I am a very new DM in DnD 5e, and one of my players is a ranger. As I was browsing through posts here and there we decided to use the UA, as everyone is saying the RAW ranger is lackluster. She obtained her wolf in a little side story, and I would like to set up the stats for her companion. I read through the UA, and it states:
For each level you gain after 3rd, your animal
companion gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.
Now this confuses me a lot, and upon further looking into how HP is calculated, I don't even understand the stats of the simple Wolf enemy.
So in the Monster Manual the HP of the wolf is 11 (2d8+2).
First question: How is this calculated? The average of 2d8 should be 10. 10+2 is 12.
Second question: What is the hit die of a wolf? If its 1d8, than in case the wolf is "level 1", its HP should be 10 (max hit die + con modifier). If it is considered to be level 2, its HP should be 17 (Max hit die + avg hit die + con modifier). What am I missing?
Third question: I found a post on a DnD reddit site where someone calculates the stats of a wolf in case the ranger is level 7. It goes like this:
Medium beast, your alignment
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 35 (6d8+6)
Speed 40 ft.
STR 12 (+1)
DEX 17 (+3)
CON 12 (+1)
INT 3 (-4)
WIS 12 (+1)
CHA 6 (-2)
Proficiency Bonus +3
Skills: Perception +4, Stealth +6, Skill of Choice, Skill of Choice
Saving Throws: Str +4, Dex +6, Con +4, Int -1, Wis +4, Cha +1
Senses: passive Perception 14
Actions Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d4 + 6) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
I think I was able to figure out everything, except the HP.
My first assumption was to start with the given base 11 HP as a level 3 companion. Than at level 4, it gains an additional 7 (5 hit die +con modifier). And the same thing goes on for level 5, 6 and 7, to a total of 11+4*7 totaling 39.
If I start from the 2d8+2, and just add a hit die each time the ranger levels up, I can understand the 6d8 mentioned in the post, but I don't get the +6 modifier. Shouldn't it be +10? +2 base modifier at level 3, and +2 for each 4 levels totaling at +10. And now the problem is that averaging this value leads to 40, not 39, this problem is coming from my first question.
I am completely lost here.
One last question. The
Bite attack says +6 to hit. I can explain this as the DEX modifier became +3, and the proficiency bonus also became +3, however I dont understand the reason why DEX modifier is used for the
Bite attack instead of STR.
Thanks a lot for the answer!