One of my fellow players posed a scenario that I can't really find a satisfactory answer to. A level 10 character has the Wild Cohort feat and can have an animal companion as a level 7 druid. Since he can have an animal companion with 7 hit dice, can he choose to add a template instead of adding a hit die to avoid the maximum number of hit die his companion can have?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Can I ‘upgrade’ my Animal Companion with the Giant or Advanced Creature templates instead? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 23, 2016 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Close, but that one's for PF instead of 3.5e. I almost VtC'd before I caught that detail at the last minute. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2016 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you source the version of the feat Wild Cohort that you're using in your game? I'm concerned that it isn't the feat Wild Cohort with which I'm most familiar as that feat neither measures a wild cohort's value in Hit Dice nor caps the wild cohort's Hit Dice. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2016 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ In D&D 3.0e, a druid's animal companion did have a hit die cap. @SevenSidedDie, are you sure you were correct in adding the dnd-3.5e tag, rather than a 3.0e tag? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    May 23, 2016 at 23:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanB Yep. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2016 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


The feat Wild Cohort provides no option for the wild cohort to have a template

The benefit of the feat Wild Cohort says, in part, that

You gain an animal cohort.... Provided the DM gives her approval, at 1st level you can choose from a badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. Like a druid, you can choose more powerful animals as you increase in level. These alternative animal cohorts work like the alternative animal companions available to a druid, but they are available as cohorts later than they are available as animal companions. When selecting an alternative animal cohort, use the list of alternative animal companions on page 36 of the Player’s Handbook, but treat yourself as a druid three levels lower than your character level....

Thus the wild cohort is much like an animal companion that, likewise, is acquired without templates. Further, the wild cohort's number of Hit Dice isn't specified; instead, the creature with the feat Wild Cohort has an ersatz effective druid level, which doesn't translate easily or directly into the wild cohort's Hit Dice or Challenge Rating. Finally, an animal is specified throughout the feat's description; a template that changes the wild cohort into something other than an animal renders the cohort invalid.

...But, hey, it's a game

If everyone agrees that instead of a regular ol' badger that a half-celestial half-dragon badger is somehow acceptable (like, maybe the guy with the feat Wild Cohort is a monk or something), that's great, and no one can stop you. Have fun.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So said player could not have a wolf with a ghost template, going off RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – Siam Sid
    May 23, 2016 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SiamSid According to RAW, absolutely not. A creature with the feat Wild Cohort can't via that feat gain, for example, a ghost dog. \$\endgroup\$ May 24, 2016 at 0:01

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