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As stated in the title, I got curious about the interaction between the Attack action of my beast (which requires my Bonus Action) and the Extra Attack feature.

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

I am already aware of the necessary conditions to use the Extra Attack, which states that it must come from my character during my own turn... But could we say that my primal beast is also a part of my Ranger since it comes from my subclass and can therefore activate the feature? It's especially more confusing when you know that your primal companion can attack the same turn as you which reinforces this "two in one" effect:

In combat, the beast acts during your turn.

Sorry if the answer to this question seems obvious and all, I am still new to this game. Thank you in advance for your answers :)

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3 Answers 3

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No, that's not how Extra Attack works

You have a set of possible Actions you can take on your turn. You, as in the ranger character, need to take the "Attack" action for your Action in order to trigger Extra Attack. Just because your primal companion is attacking, primal companion does not equal you.

Your options

In the description for Primal Companion:

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. You can also sacrifice one of your attacks when you take the Attack action to command the beast to take the Attack action. If you are incapacitated, the beast can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

So you can either:

  1. You use the Attack Action, and attack twice using Extra Attack. Then use your Bonus Action to have your companion attack.
  2. You use the Attack Action, only attack once using Extra Attack, and have your companion attack on your second attack. You can then use your Bonus Attack for some other purpose.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ That makes more sense now, thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Duhl
    Nov 10, 2022 at 7:12
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Beast/Primal companions describe how you can make the extra attack.

The original Beast Master class provides the rule for using the extra attack when commanding your companion to attack (emphases mine):

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. Once you have the Extra Attack feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the beast to take the Attack action.

The Primal Companion feature from Tasha's provides a different rule (emphasis mine):

[...] you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. [...] You can also sacrifice one of your attacks when you take the Attack action to command the beast to take the Attack action.

In your case, under the specific beats general principle, the Primal Companion rule overcomes the original Beast Companion one: when you have the Extra Attack feature, you can

  • forgo one of your attacks to make the companion take the Attack action (beware: the companion takes the Attack action, does not make an attack: see here for the difference)

or

  • use your bonus action to make the companion take the Attack action and take your Attack action to activate your Extra Attack feature.
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No.

The companion has its own turn (although it's tied to yours) and individual actions. For all intents or purposes, it's like attempting to trigger your extra attack off of another player that shares initiative with you. The extra attack is a modifier to your own attack action coming from your character.

The closest, but not the same, would be forfeiting one of your attacks or requiring a bonus action to have your companion use an attack of their own like the Drakewarden Ranger.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree with the fact that the companion has its own individual actions, the rules for the beast do specifically say it "acts during your turn", not "has the same initiative". Compare to Find Familiar: "In combat, it rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn." And Homunculus Servant: "In combat, the homunculus shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours." \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Nov 10, 2022 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smbailey I always understood it so it allows rangers to "cross" actions between them and their companion, so you have different ways to act. For example, the homunculus explicitly says it acts after you, and the companion lets you work with it, being able to have the companion to attack, then the ranger takes the attack action... basically mixing actions between them. I might have worded it wrong, but for example effects that last "until X's next turn" would lead to confusion if you don't treat it that way. You are welcome to edit my reply if you think you can improve on it though! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2022 at 8:27

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