This is a RAW question.

Animal Companions gain an ability point at level 4. By advancing Intelligence to 3, the Animal Companion gains access to most feats. ("Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. GMs might expand this list to include feats from other sources.")

By 8th level, the Animal Companion will have gained 2 additional feats (since 4th level). Can the Animal Companion take Nature Soul and Animal Ally, thus gaining an animal companion of it's own?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I wondered whether it was allowed to put the extra point in Intelligence, but it is, see here: paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lc1y \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


Only if it becomes a separate adventurer and takes actual class levels.

One of the requirements for Animal Ally is:

character level 4th

Character level is defined in the glossary as:

The total level of the character, which is the sum of all class levels held by that character.

And classes are defined as:

Classes represent chosen professions taken by characters and some other creatures. Classes give a host of bonuses and allow characters to take actions that they otherwise could not, such as casting spells or changing shape. As a creature gains levels in a given class, it gains new, more powerful abilities. Most PCs gain levels in the core classes or prestige classes, since these are the most powerful. Most NPCs gain levels in NPC Classes, which are less powerful.

This does not include racial hit dice, which is the only thing a companion gets. So unless you upgrade your companion to a separate character and then make it earn enough XP to take 4 class levels, it won't qualify for Animal Ally.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So, unlike D&D 3.5, in Pathfinder character level ≠ Hit Dice? So, for example, a monster with Hit Dice and character levels gains feats from both its HD and character levels separately, thus, like, a feat each at HD 1 and level 1? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would seem that Hit Dice is the most generic term for "levels" in Pathfinder and that Class levels are a subset of hit dice; A pixie with 4 racial hit dice and one level of rogue has 5 hit dice. I know the question wasn't about hit dice, but I kind of wish some of the answers in the link below explained it: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/14619/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Isaac
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan: According to how these glossary terms are defined, probably. I can't find anywhere in the glossary that a racial hit-die counts as a class. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's... odd. I've only played not screen monkeyed Pathfinder, so I'm not as up on the monsters as I should be. Do sample monsters-with-levels get feats like I mentioned in my Comment above? (I'm not trying to make your life harder or anything; I'm just surprised Pathfinder would deviate so radically from their much touted backwards compatibility.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pixie is level 4 and gains dodge and weapon finesse. But adding a class level to it is - so far as I can tell - pretty much like adding a class level to an Elf, except it has a bunch of hit dice already (which effects some abilities). \$\endgroup\$
    – Isaac
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 21:41

There is a way to get your animal companion to have character levels and thus the ability to gain its own animal companion. This involves taking the feat leadership. Which I have just reread and it seems to have changed a little from what I remember, they seem to be missing the section on having a monstrous mount as your cohort.

If a magical beast's effective cohort level is lower than what is allowed by your effective druid level, the cohort gains class levels equal to the difference.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This might be what you are remembering: d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/monstrous-companion ? (Which requires Animal Companions as a class feature.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Isaac
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, the monstrous companion feat was not it. I had specifically been reading the leadership feat because I was thinking of taking it. As the character has no mount or companion I wouldnt have looked at it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 23:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's on the Leadership PAge under Magical Beast Cohorts heading - Though this opens up the question does Class level = Character level? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nyoze
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 3:11

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