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Context first: my character has a bear-dog animal companion, and as an original way to make it less of a potential danger in cities or settlements and also less scary, I want to enchant an item with the Pup Shape spell (this won't make it harmless, but at least less likely to severely hurt someone).

The problem is, this spell comes with a -4 Intelligence reduction, and my bear-dog has the Clever Critter feat that gives it extra Intelligence and other benefits so I could teach it some cool feats.

Does reducing a trained animal's Intelligence to 1 also make it forget part of its training or less responsive to its master's commands? What about an animal with extra Intelligence having feats normally beyond reach of animals?

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No, Intelligence damage only has an impact on very specific elements of the character and this does not include training or feats. See the Intelligence Ability Score damage rules:

Ability Damage: Damage to your Intelligence score causes you to take penalties on Intelligence-based skill checks. The Ability Damage penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose.

Even though it is a deliberate, friendly source of reduction it is still treated as Intelligence Damage due to the following rule:

Ability Score Penalties: Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

It could be argued that "Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3" would be an issue, but as Skill Ranks are not reduced when Intelligence is damaged it would stand to reason that the ability to understand language wouldn't be either.

On the other hand you have a puppy now, with whatever roleplaying connotations that entails. Even though there is no restriction on training/tricks rules-wise, puppies tend not to be the best at listening and obeying!

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No, temporary Intelligence reduction only reduces Int based skill checks and Int based spellcasting DC's. Intelligence Ability Score (see Intelligence Damage)

Also, in case you're wondering why you look at 'Intelligence Damage':

Ability Score Penalties- Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

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Rules wise i think not. As a DM I would say he acts as if he were a puppy-cub, and that means he might loose most training maybe even potty training. In the end i would leave it up to the DMs decision.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you add a rules citation as to why you think it would not be the case? It doesn't seem like training would be directly affected rules-wise. \$\endgroup\$ – Phlyk Aug 19 '16 at 15:37

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