Awaken Animal Companion

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Awaken Animal Companion:

Prerequisites: character level 9 (not caster level!), special companion of the Animal type (e.g. Animal Companion, Special Mount, but not Familiar, which is a Magical Beast) with at least 3 HD and no more than 2 Int

Benefits: If you have an animal companion, or some other special companion of the Animal type with less than 3 Int, it may have Awaken cast on it without breaking the bond that you share.  Its total number of HD does not increase (because the Animal Companion rules overwrite the base HD which is what the Awaken’s +2 HD are added to), but its Intelligence and Charisma scores improve as normal for Awaken, and it still gains the ability to speak.  It may choose its initial language(s) either from the list of languages that you know, or from the list of languages that the caster knows, but not from both.  An animal Awakened in this manner does not automatically follow the commands of the caster, nor does it cause any previously Awakened animals to stop following the caster’s commands.  However, if you are the caster, this does not prevent the pre-existing bond from functioning (it still obeys your commands to the extent that it would have before being Awakened, except that its improved Intelligence score means it may have a different outlook on life).  The animal’s type still becomes Magical Beast (augmented animal), but it also remains vulnerable to any effects which specifically target animal physiology (such as Animal Growth, the ranger’s favored enemy bonuses, but not spells such as Awaken).  The animal retains its pre-existing ability to speak with members of its own kind, and thus also retains its ability to communicate with characters using Speak with Animal. If this ability is used to Awaken a Paladin’s Mount (or any other creature), any later changes that would change the type to Magical Beast are completely disallowed (i.e. if this is used on a Paladin’s mount, it would not gain the Celestial template at level 11).

Special: If you have the Leadership feat, having an Awakened animal companion imposes an additional -5 penalty to your Leadership score for purposes of attracting a cohort.  Additionally, the animal counts as a cohort for penalties such as the Leadership penalty associated with the death of a cohort.

Rough draft by Ethan, with input from dylanryan. Edited slightly by dylanryan to account for later emails that never got backported. May be edited later.

Awaken Animal Companion

Wings of Redemption dylanryan