[RPG] How to handle PC’s buying companions/animals


One of my PC's without handle animal bought a psuedodragon to have as a companion. Is that legal? He does not have the handle animal skill, and the creature seems seems way over powered. He is also a rogue and bought one because they are in the ultimate equipment guide. There is no reference to it being a companion in the bestiary. How should I handle this?

Best Answer

An "animal companion" is a special ability that mostly druids and rangers have. It is irrelevant to this discussion as your rogue does not have it. See What feats can I use to get a companion of any sort? for a list of abilities that actually grant companions in the technical sense; these guys stick with you and help you because they're your nature buddy. The rogue, however, is basically in the same boat as someone who wanders down to the local zoo and convinces them to sell him a tiger. He has no specific control over it and it has no specific reason to care about him.

A PC can purchase and try to keep around any other kind of creature that's available for sale and they can afford, from animals to human slaves. Note that things are not available because "they are in a book the player has" - you're the GM, put on the big boy pants, you control the game world and what is available and how in the markets of your game world. If such a creature is available by sale or by capture, whether you can use them effectively and whether they kill you in your sleep or not has a lot to do with other rules systems and roleplaying.

If you have an animal (a monster of type "Animal" - not magical beasts, not anything else) you can use the Handle Animal skill to teach them specific tricks over a long period of time and to try to command them in combat. There are a couple magical beasts that have an exception stated to this (hippogriffs, familiars) that can have Handle Animal used on them in specific circumstances.

If you have anything else, then it's pretty much you convincing them through other means to help you out. This is one part GM fiat, one part bluff/intimidate/etc (for intelligent creatures). Charm or dominate, or the Leadership feat, or other specific rules in the game that allow for influencing other creatures apply as normal.