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I would like to make a druid build where my character's power resides in my animal companion(s) and what little druid spellpower I can muster I use to buff it.

By powerful I mean most druid level to increase the animal companion's row on the Animal Companion Table. This could be by adding character feats to amplify the animal companion, as well as animal companion feats that could contribute to its rank. I am hoping for a companion that is higher in rank than my druid level, in other words.

How can I accomplish this?

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I'm not sure if you could raise your animal companion level past your Druid level, but you could always be a Pack Lord Druid and take Boon Companion twice to buff the level of each companion, and have two max level companions until level 9.

If you are an Aasimar, you could take the feat Celestial Servant to give your animal companions the celestial template.

I don't think as it stands there is a way to do this via Druid, but a Lunar Oracle should fit what you're looking for just dandy. Just take the primal companion revelation:

Primal Companion (Ex): You gain the service of a faithful animal of the night. You can select from a bear, boar, crocodile, shark, tiger, or wolf. This animal functions as a druid's animal companion, using your oracle level as your effective druid level.

After that, use the favored class bonus of an Aasimar Oracle:

Oracle Add +1/6 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation.

The original version of this (before a July 2015 errata) let you have +1/2 instead of +1/6. Despite that, you can use the spells Righteous Might and Divine Power (which stack and can be cast on your animal companion via the Share Spells feature). Also look into Divine Vessel for a disgusting display of animal companion power.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I, too, wish this question were more about animal companions than druids. That is, I think a sacred hunter inquisitor that picks the Animal domain—because, for such a character, more than one animal companion's a no-no—has a level 20 animal companion at, like, character level 12. But that oracle isn't far behind with a level 20+ companion at character level 14, and the oracle's a full caster. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 31 '16 at 22:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ PFSRD suggests that aasimar get +1/6 to their level for purposes of one revelation rather than +1/2; was there errata that you (or PFSRD) missed? \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Feb 1 '16 at 20:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a good catch. I remembered it being +1/2, but as you've suggested there was an errata July 2015 that made it +1/6 found here: paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/resources from the Advanced Race Guide. \$\endgroup\$ – Dumpcats Feb 1 '16 at 20:46
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The Boon Companion feat allows you to have an animal companion of up to 4 levels higher than your druid class level. However, it is limited to your character level...this means you could use this to make up for multiclassing, but wouldn't make it more powerful than your total character level. Not quite what you want, but I thought I'd mention it for completeness.

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Use Retraining

If you choose a domain for your Nature's Bond class ability, you can gain an animal companion at level-3 once you are level 4 via the feat Animal Ally. Retraining your Nature's Bond class feature from a domain to an animal companion at level 4 costs 200 gp and takes 5 days, but really you should do it at level 5 for 250 gp to avoid also needing to retrain your 3rd level feat.

Animal Ally specifies that, though you can't take it if you already have a companion, you can keep it if you later get a companion and the effective druid levels stack. This means that by retraining into having an animal companion you end up with a total effective druid level of 2*druid level-3, so you can have a 9th level companion at level 6, for example, or a 37th level companion at level 20.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh, that .... sounds wrong. But I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. Does the line 'the effective druid level granted by this feat stacks with that granted by other sources.' imply that effective levels in a class stack with actual levels in a class? If you have actual levels, there is no need for effective levels. I am dubious. \$\endgroup\$ – McCloud Apr 6 '18 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given that it's based off full character level, if it couldn't double-stack those druid levels, it couldn't stack with anything. That's... terribly broken. Methinks they didn't playtest that bit quite well enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Nov 19 '18 at 18:47
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You can't get a animal companion above your own active level, theres multible way for people to aquire animal companions as several others has stated, can add exotic heritage + Eldritch Heritage: Fey; Sylvan would would also get you a animal companion tho with a effective level of -5 instead of the -3 a animal ally would give, but it also has it's own benefits.. but either way you do it, you can't ever get a animal companion above it's masters max level.

The best way to get around this is to simply play a awaken animal with class levels and take the leadership feat and have a human or whatever cohort with you as a NPC, dont know if this would satisfy your idea however but thought i would atleast throw it out there!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you get "awakened animal" as your base race, though? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Mar 6 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Be sure to check out the tour and the help center if you have any questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Peregrine Lennert Mar 6 at 17:50
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You can have an animal companion beyond level 20 and the rules for such an effort are denoted in the core rule book (which is about as RAW as RAW gets). Here is a link to a similar rules question on Paizo's forums with the necessary information you might be looking for.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! You can take the tour to learn about the site or check the help center if you need further guidance. Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 16 at 18:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would improve your answer if you summarised the contents of the link in your answer and back it up with the citation of the source. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Jul 16 at 19:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. It seems like this might've been intended to be a comment on another answer. Can this answer be edited so that it answers the question? Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 16 at 19:31

protected by Oblivious Sage Jul 16 at 18:55

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