The optional rules in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything for the Beast Master Ranger's "Primal Companion" state:

In combat, the beast acts during your turn. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action.

This language implies that the companion can take actions like dash, disengage, or help that any creature can take, but are not listed in the Primal Companion's stat block. However, the level 7 ability states:

Beginning at 7th level, on any of your turns when your beast companion doesn’t attack, you can use a bonus action to command the beast to take the Dash, Disengage, or Help action on its turn.

This implies that the companion couldn't take those actions before level 7. Is there a list somewhere of what actions a Primal Companion can be commanded to take?


1 Answer 1


The Exceptional Training feature is worded the way it is because the original Ranger's Companion feature worked differently from Primal Companion:

On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you don’t issue a command, the beast takes the Dodge action.

So when Exceptional Training permits you to use a bonus action to command the companion, it is an improvement on this feature in particular. Primal Companion is just a different mechanic, and it replaces Ranger's Companion:

Primal Companion

3rd-level Beast Master feature, which replaces the Ranger’s Companion feature

As you have observed, Primal Companion is a bit redundant with the 7th level feature Exceptional Training, but Exceptional Training is worded the way it is because it is originally an improvement on a different feature, one with which it was not redundant.

We should assume no implication that this redundancy means a Primal Companion cannot take these actions. First, because Primal Companion says what it says, and second, because the whole point of the Primal Companion feature is to be an improvement over the original Ranger's Companion feature.


You must log in to answer this question.

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