Conversion: Wild Cohort- Feat(D&D 3.5) to [D&D 5e]

Image by Ján Števonka

As anyone who has played in tabletop RPGs with me can attest, I love companion creatures. I tend towards companion classes and will take steps to turn non-companion classes into companion classes. I once had a DM forbid me from taking a semi-intelligent, animated jade horse statuette as a pet in a D20 Modern(affiliate link) game. Though to be honest by that point my techno mage had at least half a dozen homunculi. The jade horse did cameo in a couple adventures as a nice call back though. Moving, on it should come as no surprise that I am very sympathetic to players in my games that get attached to companion creatures. In a D&D 5e game I ran some time ago, my players got attached to some of the beasts that they encountered. The creatures they adopted were a very intelligent(intelligence 7) war dog, a creature called an Amber Hound(basically the reptilian equivalent of a dog), and a monkey that was the simian equivalent of a fire genasi.

It didn’t take long for the players, none of whom were playing rangers, to want to form a deeper bond with these creatures and have them become more than just pets. Well they were basically out of luck, short of a taking a three level dip in beastmaster ranger. The Animal Handler feat from Unearthed Arcana: Feats For Skills was an option, but it fell a bit flat. So I whipped up a feat for them inspired by Wild Cohort for D&D 3.5. In short the feat provided characters of other classes a lesser version of the Druid’s animal companion class feature. I tried to do the same with the Beast Master Ranger’s animal companion feature from 5e. Below are two versions of this feat one derived from the original Beast Master Ranger’s animal companion the other is based on the revised Beast Master Conclave Ranger’s version of this ability.


Image by skeeze

Wild Cohort (Based On Original Beast Master Ranger)

Prerequisite: Wisdom score of 13 or higher

You have a special bond with a wild animal, and it is willing to travel and adventure with you.

  • You gain a wild cohort that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. 
  • The cohort obeys your commands as best as it can. If you are incapacitated or absent, your cohort acts on its own. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn’t take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action. If you have the Extra Attack feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the beast to take the Attack action. 
  • Add half your proficiency bonus (rounded down) to the beast’s AC, attack rolls, damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or three times your character level, whichever is higher. 
  • If your wild cohort dies, you can obtain another one by spending 8 hours magically bonding with another beast that isn’t hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one. 

Image by Stefan Keller

Wild Cohort (Based On Beast Master Conclave Revised Ranger)

Prerequisite: Wisdom score of 13 or higher

You have a special bond with a wild animal, and it is willing to travel and adventure with you.

  • With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you gain a beast that accompanies you on your adventures. Choose a beast from the following list to become your wild cohort: blood hawk, giant badger, giant weasel, mastiff, mule, wolf. you can have only one wild cohort at a time.
  • The cohort obeys your commands as best as it can. If you are incapacitated or absent, your cohort acts on its own. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its decisions, attitudes, and so on. However, it doesn’t act unless you command it to. On your turn, as a bonus action you can command the beast to move and take actions. 
  • For each level you gain after 4th, your wild cohort gains an additional d6 hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.
  • For every five levels you gain after 4th your wild cohort increases its proficiency bonus by +1. In addition to the areas where it normally uses its proficiency bonus, a wild cohort also adds its proficiency bonus to its AC and to its damage rolls.
  • Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your cohort’s abilities also improve. Your cohort 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 cohort can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise.
  • Your wild cohort shares your alignment, and has a personality trait and a flaw that you can roll for or select. Use the tables for the Beast Master Conclave’s(Ranger) wild cohort background as the basis for the wild cohort’s personality trait and flaw, modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your identity. (For instance, consider the words “ranger” and “person” to be interchangeable.) Your cohort shares your ideal, and its bond is always, “The person who travels with me is a beloved cohort for whom I would gladly give my life.”
  • If your wild cohort dies you can return it to life. With 8 hours of work and the expenditure of 50 gp worth of rare herbs and fine food, you call forth your cohort’s spirit restoring it to its body, healing its flesh in the process. You can only return a wild cohort to life in this manner if you have its body.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s