Nature Companion (Apath)
Nature companions watch over the wild places of the world, making friends of the creatures that live there. Nature companions befriend and train a beast of the wild as a companion, and some call companions "beastmasters" because of these pets, but nature companions are much more than tamers of wild things. They are experts at mastering the harsh brutality of nature’s fury and making do with whatever tools and weapons present themselves.
This is a prestige archetype, a druid focused on terrain and his companion over spells.
Prestige Class: Nature companion.
Build Classes: Druid.
Role: The nature companion is a versatile spellcasters and summoner, but more than that a mater of wilderness environments and is at her most powerful in any of the variety of environments that she has studied. She and her animal companion form a potent team.
Alignment: Any. Neutral nature companions are unconcerned with civilization, chaotic ones resist the encroachment of civilization or work for a special interest, while lawful ones seek harmony between land and folk.
Hit Die: d8.
The nature companion has all the class features of the druid, except as noted.
Companion Bond (Ex)
This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (which is part of the Nature Bond class feature), except as noted here, and modifiesthat ability.
A nature companion's animal companion shares his favored terrain bonuses.
The nature companion and her animal companion have an empathic link to a 1 mile distance, similar to that between a wizard and his familiar. The master can communicate empathically with the companion, but cannot see through its eyes.
Natural Empathy (Ex)
This is the same as the druid ability wild empathy except as noted and replaces that ability.
When in her favored terrain, a nature companion adds her favored terrain bonus to wild empathy checks. She may also choose to use wild empathy to demoralize an animal or magical beast rather than improving its attitude, as if using Intimidate rather than Diplomacy. This is a standard action.
At 8th level, a nature companion no longer suffers a penalty when using wild empathy to influence or demoralize magical beasts. At 12th level, she may use wild empathy to affect vermin (whether mindless or with Intelligence 1 or 2). At 16th level, she may use it to affect plant creatures (whether mindless or with Intelligence 1 or 2).
A nature companion casts spells as a druid, but only up to 6th level spells. Level 7 and higher druid spells are not on the nature companion's spell list. The nature companion's spells per day are listed in Table: Nature Companion.
Animal Speech (Sp)
At 2nd level, a nature companion can speak with animals at will when in her favored terrain. Outside her favored terrain, she can use speak with animals once per day. Her caster level is equal to her class level. This replaces woodland stride.
Favored Terrain (Ex)
This is the same as the ranger ability of the same name. Favored terrain, survivalist, woodforging, guarded lands, and plant speech replaces the downgraded spellcasting abilities of the nature companion.
Mystic Harmony (Su)
At 3rd level, a nature companion in her favored terrain gains an insight bonus to AC equal to half her favored terrain bonus. She loses this bonus when she is immobilized or helpless. This replaces trackless step.
Wild Shape (Su)
This is the same as the druid ability, except the nature companion cannot change into elemental or plant forms.
Wild Stride (Ex)
At 5th level, a nature companion and her animal companion gain the ability to move through natural hazards of her favored terrains (such as bogs, loose sand, snow, ice, rockslides, and so on) at her normal speed without taking damage or suffering any other impairment (in effect, this is the woodland stride ability applied to non-plant environmental hazards). Terrain hazards that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her. This replaces resist nature's lure.
At 7th level, a nature companion’s animal companion and any creature she summons with summon nature’s ally gain DR/silver equal to the warden’s class level. In addition, their natural weapons are considered silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. When wild shaped into an animal, the nature companion gains the same advantages. This replaces nature's sense.
At 9th level, a nature companion suffers no penalty for using an improvised weapon or improvised tool. At 10th level, a warden can spend 1 minute examining and adjusting an improvised weapon or tool; thereafter she treats it as a masterwork weapon or tool. Favored terrain, survivalist, woodforging, guarded lands, and plant speech replaces the downgraded spellcasting abilities of the nature companion.
Companion Walk (Su)
At 11th level, the nature companion’s companion shares the benefits of travel spells (such as tree stride and transport via plants) and polymorph and similar spells (including tree shape) cast by the warden from the druid spell list. The companion counts either as part of the warden or as an object with no weight, whichever is more favorable for the warden. This replaces a thousand faces.
At 13th level, a nature companion can manufacture wooden items which she may use with surpassing skill. Once per day, she may use wood shape as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to her nature companion level. In her hands, items created with this ability are treated as masterwork items under the effect of an ironwood spell; in the hands of others, they are merely ordinary wooden items of the appropriate type. If the warden uses this ability to create armor or weapons, she may craft them into magic items as if she had the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat (though they are merely magical wood in the hands of others, and only ironwood when she uses them). Favored terrain, survivalist, woodforging, guarded lands, and plant speech replaces the downgraded spellcasting abilities of the nature companion.
Guarded Lands (Ex)
At 14th level, a nature companion may designate an area as her guarded lands, allowing her to treat it as her favored terrain or to enhance her bonuses if it is already in her favored terrain. The area must be no larger than 1 square mile, and the warden must spend 24 hours carefully studying the entire area. This period of study gives her a +2 favored terrain bonus in that area, which stacks with any favored terrain bonus for that area (for example, she also gets her forest favored terrain bonus if her guarded lands are part of a forest). She may also designate one creature type as her favored enemy within those guarded lands, gaining a +2 favored enemy bonus against the creature type that stacks with any favored enemy bonus she has against that type of creature. Allies who can see and hear the warden gain an initiative bonus equal to half the warden’s favored terrain bonus for that terrain. Favored terrain, survivalist, woodforging, guarded lands, and plant speech replaces the downgraded spellcasting abilities of the nature companion.
A nature companion may have a number of guarded lands equal to her Wisdom bonus (minimum 1). When she reaches her maximum number of guarded lands, she can select a new guarded land by abandoning an existing one and performing the ritual for a new area.
Plant Speech (Sp)
At 15th level, a nature companion can cast speak with plants at will when in her favored terrain. Outside her favored terrain, she can use speak with plants once per day as a spell-like ability. Her caster level is equal to her class level. Favored terrain, survivalist, woodforging, guarded lands, and plant speech replaces the downgraded spellcasting abilities of the nature companion.
At 17th level, a nature companion may grant her animal companion and any creature she summons with summon nature’s ally DR/cold iron equal to her class level. In addition, their natural weapons are considered cold iron for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. When wild shaped into an animal, the nature companion gains the same advantages. This ability does not stack with the silverclaw ability. The warden must decide at the time of summoning whether a summoned creature gains the benefits of silverclaw or ironpaw. She may change which ability applies to her animal companion and herself by spending 1 hour in prayer and meditation with the companion within 100 feet. This replaces the ability to wildshape into elemental forms.
Companion Soul (Su)
At 19th level, a nature companion’s bond with her animal companion is so strong that it transcends distance and even death. The companion’s devotion ability increases to a +8 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects. The warden may scry on her animal companion once per day as if using the scrying spell, except she needs no focus or divine focus. She may view the area around her companion or see through its eyes. If her companion dies, she can revive it with an 8-hour ritual; this has the same effect as raise dead, except it doesn’t require a material component and the companion does not gain any negative levels from the ordeal. This replaces the ability to wildshape into plant forms.
Table: Nature Companion
| Base Attack
|Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Companion bond, nature bond, orisons, wild empathy||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||1st favored terrain, mystic harmony||4||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Wild shape (1/day)||4||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Wild shape (2/day)||5||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+2||+6||2nd favored terrain, wild shape (3/day)||5||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||Survivalist, venom immunity||5||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+3||+7||Wild shape (4/day)||5||5||4||3||1||—||—|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Wild shape (5/day)||5||5||5||4||3||—||—|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||3rd favored terrain, woodforging||5||5||5||4||3||1||—|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+4||+9||Guarded lands, wild shape (6/day)||5||5||5||4||4||2||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||Plant speech, timeless body||5||5||5||5||4||3||—|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Wild shape (7/day)||5||5||5||5||4||3||1|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||4th favored terrain, wild shape (8/day)||5||5||5||5||5||4||3|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Wild shape (at will)||5||5||5||5||5||5||5|
Summary of Lost Class Abilities
These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:
- Nature Bond
- Nature Sense
- Wild Empathy
- Woodland Stride
- Trackless Step
- Resist Nature's Lure
- A Thousand Faces
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