A level-1 Druid has access to the ACF Urban Companion:

Urban Companion

The fearsome animal companions who accompany some casters in the wild are indeed a boon in combat, but a hulking wolf or creeping tiger is out of place in an urban environment. Some characters believe that small and subtle is of greater value than massive and mighty.

Class: Druid or ranger.

Level: 1st (druid) or 4th (ranger).

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain an animal companion.

Benefit: The character gains the companionship of a smaller but far more intelligent creature than she otherwise would have. This is identical to the sorcerer's ability to summon a familiar (PH 52), including all benefits granted and gained by the familiar, except as noted below. Her functional level for determining the abilities of the companion is equal to her druid level or one-half her ranger level.


The Sorcerer class feature Familiar states:

Familiar: A sorcerer can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.

Does this mean that the Urban Druid's Urban Companion has the Type Magical Beast, not Animal, when it comes to e.g. Reduce Animal and Speak with Animal?


1 Answer 1


Magical Beast

Just reading the rules literally makes this clear, as your text indicates.

However, it also makes sense logically: animals can only have intelligence 1 or two, and nothing else can be an animal. To gain a "far more intelligent creature" as a companion, you cannot keep the animal type. I don't recall whether intelligence-boosted animals always become magical beasts, but the overwhelming majority of effects explicitly make that change (example: the awaken spell).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I’m aware of many, many intelligence-boosting options that convert an animal to magical beast. I’m not aware of any that don’t. However, there is the bizarre, probably-a-mistake tressym from Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, which is an Int-12 animal. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 7, 2022 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I have a vague recollection that animals converting to beasts was a rules effect in 3.0, which may not have been carried forward to 3.5 when they reworked the types. However, I think it's enough here to assert that smart animals -> magical beasts is very normal. I also tend to think that assertion doesn't need much supporting text. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Oct 7, 2022 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Was just adding my support, yeah. This can be an experiential thing: we have read the rules a lot, this is, at the very least, the pattern. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 7, 2022 at 14:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I thought the game was silent on what happens when you plop a headband of intellect +2 on a dog or cast fox's cunning on a turtle. Or were those eventualities addressed somewhere, and I just overlooked it? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 7, 2022 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I was discussing “innate” Intelligence, I guess, though I rule that such typical Intelligence boosters cannot raise an animal’s Intelligence above 2, per “Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).” \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 7, 2022 at 16:49

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