I am a novice player who recently started playing D&D 3.5 with a group (who are also novices). In the game I am a druid, and this question relates to using the animal companion in combat. As we understand it, the druid needs to command her companion with a handle animal check. This check is a free action when commanding the animal to perform a trick it knows.
I roll initiative for both my own character and the animal companion. If the druid goes first then she can command the animal in her turn, but what if the animal companion goes first? Does the animal have to act on its own because the druid cannot command it to do anything, or what happens in this situation?
Possible ways this could work out:
- The animal companion acts out of instinct in the first round, essentially giving control to the DM.
- The animal companion delays in the first turn until the druid gets her turn and can command it.
- The druid is able to command the animal companion even if it acts before the druid.
For now we have used option 1, but we are not sure that this is the correct way to deal with the situation. As the player, obviously I would prefer 2 or 3 so I can control the companion in the first round.
Does anybody know the correct way to handle this situation?