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A Ranger (level 3 Neutral Good Human) in my 5e campaign commanded his panther companion to follow him into a city. I was surprised that the player made this choice since I had assumed the companion would stay in the wilds and be reunited once again. While the panther was reluctant to do so, it nervously followed. A bribe was needed at the city gate. The companion was acquired in the last session, and the session ended as the party entered the city. The party has not decided what plot leads to follow next, but their adventures so far have been contained to urban adventures and dungeons discovered within the city.

In the next session, there are a few options that I can use with regards to this companion, such as the Ranger becoming highly conspicuous while travelling along city streets and attracting a following of street urchins and also becoming the focus of unwanted attention from undesirable NPCs.

How are Ranger companions usually handled within city / urban environments? Are Ranger companions usually allowed within cities? What situations have arisen in your campaign when companions are brought into cities? What situations have arisen and what rules have been applied in these situations?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Looking forward to this one with interest, having just gone through a campaign where the ranger insisted on trying to take his saber toothed tiger companion to a royal ball. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Sep 13 '17 at 3:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis you mean an a***** of a ranger that wanted to torture the tiger with screeching sounds from the orchestra (yeah, those harmonics over 20kHz don't really sound like music), bad scents from all those ladies' perfumes and so on? Instead of gladly declining the invitation and staying cozy in the gardens (at most)???? This is no ranger; a circus tamer is a better fitting denomination. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Sep 13 '17 at 4:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a discussion question more appropriate to a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Sep 13 '17 at 6:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I vote against closure. I don't think it's much different than many other questions dealing with difficult player behavior, or classes that have hard-to-accomodate features. No one's asking their opinion of the behavior, just ways to incorporate it into roleplay while minimizing disruption. It's a common problem that could use addressing. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Sep 13 '17 at 6:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question does not invite different or opposing points of view. The question will not lead to a debate where different opinions would weigh up against each other. The question invites responses which demonstrate how D&D5e games manage to fill in this gap in the rules. The question is not controversial or speculative and can readily be answered by the actual experience of gameplay without relying on opinion. Different answers are unlikely to be in conflict with each other, different situations will more likely to be complementary, or they may provide alternative options. \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Sep 13 '17 at 7:49
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There is no RAW

As far as actual published rules, there aren't any. There may be setting-specific help in some of the packaged modules -- but don't recall seeing it.

What I do

I play it differently for each city based on how I think the city would react. A city near a large forest inhabited by rangers and/or druids might be more apt to allow animals in. In places like a coastal city where large animals are a rarity, the guards and townsfolk might react less welcoming.

I've had my party's ranger have to bribe the guard at a gate to get the animal in, and sneak it around, which resulted in less hilarity that I thought it would. I think it still added a bit of realism to add things like "Hey, that wolf, you don't think I'm going to let in stay in my Inn, do you? It's a dangerous beast."

Considerations

It is a delicate balance. To exclude the animal from places with potential battles means stripping the subclass of its primary feature. To let a bear, wolf, tiger, or panther prowl around on the streets without anyone in town saying anything about it is unrealistic.

Critical Role

To mitigate things like that on the show Critical Role, the DM Mathew Mercer gave the party Ranger Vex'ahlia (played by Laura Bailey) a necklace that is kinda like a Poké Ball to put her companion bear in when it is inconvenient to have a bear waltzing about.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for quoting Matt Mercer. I love how he handles things in Critical Role. \$\endgroup\$ – Eärendil Baggins Sep 14 '17 at 6:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder has a collar that turns the companion into a tiny statuette, it is certainly an idea worth stealing. \$\endgroup\$ – John Sep 16 '17 at 14:01

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