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I am in a pathfinder group and the entire group is new to the game, we are using just the core rulebook.

I have a ranger and as I won't be able to get boon companion - any pet can easily be a liability, and there is always the issue of bringing an exotic animal into a town.

I am considering a mount as my companion and camel, horse and pony are listed. Why isn't donkey or mule listed? Is there something somewhere I can show the DM that talks about this?

I may be better off with a mule/donkey over a horse as it looks like I will be spending quite a bit of time in mountains.

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As mentioned in the rules for Donkeys and Mules, you can use the stats for a pony for a donkey or mule. So, if you want your animal companion to be a donkey or mule, take a pony, and call it a donkey or mule.

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While this other answer addresses this particular issue with donkeys, this answer has complementary information should you be considering an animal not normally available to Rangers.

The Ranger's animal companion list is very restrictive, contrary to the Druid or Hunter lists which allow all companions. And unless your GM allows otherwise, you gotta pick one animal from that short list:

A Ranger who selects an animal companion can choose from the following list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the ranger may choose a shark instead.

That said, you need to take an ability that allows you to pick animals from the Druid's or Hunter's list of animal companions like the Beastmaster archetype. Regardless, none will be available if you are using only the Core Rulebook.

east master forms a close bond with an animal companion. This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (...). Unlike a normal ranger, a beast master’s choice of animal companion is not limited to a subset of all possible animal companion choices—he may choose freely among all animal companion choices, just as a druid can.

That said, it's not uncommon for GMs to make exceptions on that ruling. I once allowed our Ranger to take a giant ant on a desert-themed campaign, for instance.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That archetype is from the Advanced Players' Guide. OP says they're using the core rulebook only. \$\endgroup\$ – rojomoke Aug 1 '18 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rojomoke Yogozuno's answer already nailed the question. This is merely complementary information. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Aug 1 '18 at 11:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, good to see you've now added text to make that clear. \$\endgroup\$ – rojomoke Aug 2 '18 at 8:54

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