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It says the HD is the number of d8s the animal has but I wasn't sure if we should be rolling a d8 or just adding up the HDs as 8s + Con modifier.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

House-rules apart, normally just the very first hit dice of a creature or character is maxed out. The rest are rolled. In some tables that could be diffent: you could take the average, for example, depending on what your group use as rule.

However, taking into account what Tridius commented, it seens that for racial hit die that rule is a bit different, so all of the hit die of your companion should be rolled.

So, let´s say that your companion dog is lvl 5. It will have 5d8 HP, plus all relevant cons bonuses.


I changed the awnser a little bit to take Tridius comment into account.

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Pretty sure taking the average is a (fairly common) houserule; mentioning after you've already said "house-rules apart" implies it's an option by default. Assuming I'm right and it isn't a default option, I'd suggest just dropping that bit. The bit about it working the same as for a player character covers any houserules. – KRyan Mar 28 '14 at 18:14
@KRyan The part about house-rules should be referencing just the first sentence. I will clarify. – Thales Sarczuk Mar 28 '14 at 18:16
The HP rules actually say that for something that gets its first HD from race (like an aninmal), you roll that HD and not use the max. (Scroll down to point 7.) You can see the same thing on something like the Wolf, which has 13 HP despite having 2 HD and a +2 CON. – Tridus Mar 28 '14 at 18:17
@ThalesPereira Nice clarification; alas I have but one upvote to give. – KRyan Mar 28 '14 at 18:20

Short answer: Roll for them as usual and add Con modifier.

As Tridus pointed out:

Animal companions are animals, and their HP is calculated in the usual way (roll all HD and add CON modifiers). See point 7 of the character creation rules for the "normal" rule.

The SRD at the Animal Companions page have this text:

The following information is not official in terms of general campaign usage. It is copied from the Pathfinder Society Organized Play FAQ section because we thought it might be helpful information for a player or GM in adjudicating common problems or questions. Usage is up to the GM of your game.

How do I determine hit points for my animal companion?

Animal companions receive average hit points per hit die. For d8, the average is 4.5. Multiply 4.5 times the number of hit dice your animal companion has and round down. Recalculate hit points for your companion each time it gains additional hit dice. After its hit points are calculated, add in appropriate bonuses from its Constitution modifier, feats, and so on.

Source here.

As you can see, it all comes down to your group preferences.

Do you think the poor animal deserves a better chance of survival? Give him full HD.

Do you think that the Druid have already enough good stuff? Give him average HD.

Do you like randomness? Roll the HD.

Hope this helps ^^

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I like that you're mentioning some popular variants, however there is a standard rule for it. Animal companions are animals, and their HP is calculated in the usual way (roll all HD and add CON modifiers). See point 7 of the character creation rules for the "normal" rule. It would be worth mentioning the standard way along with the variants. – Tridus Mar 28 '14 at 18:27

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