Does the UA Beast Conclave revised ranger let you add your proficiency bonus to both the Boar companion’s Tusk damage roll and its Charge damage roll?

I am just hoping to get some clarification on this one.

The UA Ranger Beast Conclave’s Companion’s Bond feature says:

In addition to the areas where it normally uses its proficiency bonus, an animal companion also adds its proficiency bonus to its AC and to its damage rolls.

Does this mean if my boar companion uses a charge attack, I add proficiency damage twice (to the tusk damage and charge damage) or is it added only one time?

Just for referencing, the boar’s statblock says:

Charge. If the boar moves at least 20 ft. straight toward a target and then hits it with a tusk attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 3 (1d6) slashing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Tusk. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

Can an animal companion’s support benefit be triggered by a cantrip?

Many of the support benefits contain the condition

“Until the start of your next turn, your Strikes that deal damage to a creature that your companion threatens”

(pp. 215-216).

Strikes are defined as (pg 471)

“You attack with a weapon you’re wielding or with an unarmed attack”

implying that only weapon or unarmed attacks count as a Strike, but not spells. Neither the “Cast a Spell” action nor the “Spell Attacks” section indicates that a spell is a Strike, and the Attack tag explains that it could be “a Strike or … another attack action.”

All this leads me to believe that the cantrips available do not count as Strikes for triggering the support benefits of an animal companion. I just want confirmation, or someone to point me to something I may have missed, since this significantly reduces the utility of animal companions for druids, since weapon use is not a strong suit of theirs.

I’m not interested in builds that make this viable (well, I am if it’s awesome, but that isn’t the purpose of this question) – I am aware of Order Explorer (Wild) and/or Shillelagh making it somewhat viable.

Should my UA Beast Conclave ranger slaughter her Animal Companions when she is done with them?

I’m in the process of converting my PHB Ranger to a UA Ranger. In doing so I’m looking with particular interest at the differences this has on the Animal Companion.

The new features that have caught my eye, and hence spawned this question, are these two which relate to bonding with your Animal Companion and bringing it back after death:

Rules on the initial bond (emphasis mine)

With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth an animal from the wilderness to serve as your faithful companion. You normally select you companion from among the following animals: an ape, a black bear, a boar, a giant badger, a giant weasel, a mule, a panther, or a wolf. However, your DM might pick one of these animals for you, based on the surrounding terrain and on what types of creatures would logically be present in the area.

Rules on bonding again after its death (emphasis mine)

If your animal companion is ever slain, the magical bond you share allows you to return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 25 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth your companion’s spirit and use your magic to create a new body for it. You can return an animal companion to life in this manner even if you do not possess any part of its body.

It seems to me that the rules are encouraging me to shelve the loving and faithful bond I have with my companion once our time together has come to an end and, assuming the creature is still alive, instead of setting it free to return to the wild, I should slaughter it (probably in a style not to dissimilar to the dog in I Am Legend).

The benefits of slaying the animal instead of letting it live are considerable:

  • Unlike the initial bond there is no need for an animal of the given type to be in the area should I want to bond with one, I can just create it out of herbs and spices.
  • I get it for half price.
  • I get the exact same animal (in a new body) as opposed to a different animal of the same type. (No advantage here rules wise, but could be meaningful RP wise.)
  • I can create a ‘pokedex’ of animal companions, allowing me to draw any out at will. So even if I stumble upon a location that contains animals that I don’t want as companions at the time, I should bond with one regardless, immediately slaughter it to add to my library for future use, and then repeat with any others in the area, bringing back my original companion once I’m done (who I also slaughtered).

I’m surprised that the rules are arranged in such a way as to make this an attractive option, my reading of the Ranger Companion is that it is intended to be a loving, or at least mutually respectful, relationship.

Other than alignment issues, am I missing anything that makes this a less appealing idea? Are there any rules I’ve overlooked or perhaps follow up from Wizards of the Coast or others?

What happens to a UA revised Beast Conclave ranger’s Animal Companion’s ASIs when it dies?

The Beast Conclave feature “Companion’s Bond” from the UA revised ranger says this:

Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your companion’s abilities also improve. Your companion can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise.

If the companion dies, do the ASIs carry over to the next companion if the ranger chooses not to re-summon them? Or are you able to re-allocate the points into your new companion?

Similarly, what if the ranger wants a different animal to be his companion? Do you get to change your new companion’s ASIs or do you have to stick with the ones you gave your old companion?

Do the rules for carrying capacity apply to animal companions?

Imagine a Ranger Beast Master with a Hawk animal companion.

A player wants their helpful hawk to carry gear that other characters could take from.

The hawk wears a specially made harness with a pack dangling from it.

The carrying rules stipulate a capacity of Strength score times 15 in pounds. Half this number in the case of a Hawk which is tiny.

Since the Hawks Strength is 5, can it carry a backpack (5lbs) filled with 30lbs of gear?

  • (5 STR x 15) / 2 = 35 lbs

A different example might be a wolf, carry capacity of 180 lbs?

  • (12 STR x 15) = 180 lbs

How does Share Spells work with animal companions for continuous effects?

Right okay so here’s a question I’m hoping someone can provide clarity to under the D&D 3.5 rule set. I’ve used the PHB, DMG and the 3.0 Rules of the Game Animals Part 4 to research an answer though I’m no closer to a solution.

From the ranger or druid class ability animal companion, spells can be shared with the companion via the share spells ability. This is also true of magic items, from Rules of the Game Animals Part 4:

You and your animal companion can share effects from magic items only if the effect is a spell that you can target on yourself. For example, you and your animal companion can share a barkskin spell cast from a wand, but cannot share the armor bonus from bracers of armor.

How does this apply to magic items with continuous ongoing effects? Say for example the character is wearing a Mantle of Spell Resistance granting the wearer spell resistance 21, the wearer approaches and stays within 5ft of his animal companion choosing to share his spells with the animal companion. Does the animal companion also receive spell resistance 21 provided the wearer stays within 5ft of his animal companion?

Or is the understanding that sharing spells is only applicable if the character casts a spell or produces some effect at the time or after the character approaches and remains within 5ft. For example the character is riding along on his animal companion heavy horse suddenly the ground beneath them gives and both the animal companion and the character plunge down a 30ft pit. But luckily the character is wearing a ring of feather falling and therefore the feather fall spell is activated and BOTH the character and the animal companion drift slowly and safely to the bottom?

Last example using the character and heavy horse animal companion again from above, the character and animal companion are riding along the trail when suddenly an orc shaman jumps out of the bushes and casts magic missile, the character is wearing a brooch of shielding which protects against magic missile however the orc shaman casts the spell at the horse. Does the shield spell effect of the brooch of shielding protect the horse?

All of the above examples use reactive spells or effects, the character hasn’t actively cast a spell or produced an effect to share.

Hoping someone can shed some light on this.

Can a Beast Master ranger change beast companions?

Can a Beast Master ranger change beasts? Let’s say I have a hawk, but I see a nice panther. Can I simply perform the 8 hour bonding with the panther and say goodbye to my hawk? The manual describes replacing a dead beast, but not changing companions.

If so, would I need to do the 8 hours again to bond with the hawk?

I’m guessing only one beast at a time is possible.