In D&D 3.5, druids had animal companions. In D&D 5e, only the Beast Master ranger subclass seems to get one. This made me wonder about the history of this feature in general.

Which classes had access to animal companions in which editions of D&D, and how do their abilities differ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I am generally interested in a comparison of all editions. Vaguely similar features under different names may be interesting as a side note. \$\endgroup\$ – Mars Plastic Mar 11 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ a lot of PCs can get a familiar in D&D 5e; isn't that a sort of animal companion? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 11 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The Beastmaster's animal companion is a lot more powerful than a familiar, but this is still a valid point. I should rethink what exactly I mean by an animal companion... \$\endgroup\$ – Mars Plastic Mar 11 at 15:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarsPlastic The AD&D 1e DMG treatment of followers could, with a good roll, end up with special followers for higher levels that are blood hawks, bears, badgers, etc ... I am not sure if that fits into your question. Is your question about purely player controlled class features? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 11 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast PHB2e Table 19, anyone? (Ranger followers, ranging from 01-10 Bear, black to 00 Other wilderness creature (chosen by DM)) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 12 at 12:00

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