Can a Beast Master ranger change beasts? Let's say I have a hawk, but I see a nice panther. Can I simply perform the 8 hour bonding with the panther and say goodbye to my hawk? The manual describes replacing a dead beast, but not changing companions.

If so, would I need to do the 8 hours again to bond with the hawk?

I'm guessing only one beast at a time is possible.


2 Answers 2


RAW, your current companion has to die before you may bond with a new one

Ranger's Companion

You gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you.


If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours magically bonding with another beast that isn't hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Beast Master Ranger, Player's Handbook, pg. 93

The archetype doesn't specify any other means of acquiring a new companion. So strictly following the rules, you'd have to wait for the companion to die—OR... I'm not finishing this sentence.

It is reasonable for a DM to allow you to re-bond before that point

The bonding process takes 8 hours to complete. So while it'll take some adjudicating from your DM, I think if they ruled that the moment you begin the bonding process, your previous companion automatically abandons you, this prevents this houserule from opening any potential gameplay exploits.


Rules for Rangers

The Beast Master Ranger (PHB, p. 93) requires the beast to die before get a new one, according to the rules.

If the beast dies, you can obtain another one by...

Rules for Revised Rangers

However, the Beast Conclave for the Unearthed Arcana Revised Ranger (play test material) class available on the DMs Guild seems to let you switch beasts by repeating the 8 hour ritual if you want.

With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth an animal from the wilderness to serve as your faithful companion.

This seems like it can be repeated at anytime, because they even make sure you don't have multiple pets.

... You can have only one animal companion at a time.

DM Ruling

Given that the UA Revised Ranger can repeat the ritual for a different companion, indicates that at least that the designers don't think it would be over powered to allow the player to switch. That said, the options for companions in the Revised Ranger is a smaller list (though it containers a couple more powerful animals), so the balancing might be easier there.

Talk to your DM.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .