|Unofficial rules compendium|
All mounts and companions have hit dice, armor, and abilities based on your character level (including ECL modifier), not your class level. Other abilities of your companion, such as those listed under special, or an animal companion's bonus tricks, are still based on class level and not character level.
Example: Kos is a fifth level druid with a single level as rogue. His wolf companion has the hit dice, armor class, and Str/Dex bonuses of the companion of a sixth level druid, but the bonus tricks and special abilities of the companion of a fifth level druid. If Kos had been a sixth level ranger instead, his companion would keep the hit dice, armor class, and Str/Dex bonuses of the companion of a sixth level druid, but the bonus tricks and special abilities of the companion of a third level druid (half his ranger level, as usual).
If you have a companion that does not evolve over levels, either because it never did or because you have out-leveled the class progression that makes it evolve, add one hit dice and one point of natural armor bonus per two levels you achieve. This only applies to paladin mounts, animal companions and familiars post level 20, but prestige class companions might benefit earlier on.
This applies mainly to paladins, rangers, and druids, but certain prestige classes also gains this benefit. The familiars of sorcerers and wizards already have hit dice, hit points, skills and saves that progress by character level rather than class level, and are not supposed to be in action as much, so this is less important to them.
Regaining a Lost Companion
The waiting period to get a new companion if one dies or is dismissed is standardized at one week. If a special mount dies, the paladin has to atone. If an animal companion dies, get a druid to commune with nature to determine the general condition of nature in the area from which you want to recruit your companion; if this is good, you can get a new companion. If not, you have to solve the problem; druids often meet their new companion during such quests. Yes, you can travel to a natural paradise to make this easy. A familiar can be always summoned at the normal cost.
Some additional familiars:
Druids and rangers can have vermin as companions:
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