Animal Lord

(Complete Adventurer variant, p. 22)

Each animal lord forms a bond with one group of animals. Apelords, bearlords, birdlords, catlords, horselords, sharklords, snakelords, and wolflords all exist. Animals in his selected group accept an animal lord as a kindred soul and a leader. They offer him their support, and he watches over them in turn.

Barbarians, rangers, and druids are the most likely characters to adopt this class. Barbarians prefer the more physically powerful options, including apelord, bearlord, and horselord. Rangers gravitate toward the stealthier selections, such as catlord and wolflord. Most birdlords are druids with the ability to use wild shape, but druids are equally likely to select any type of animal to bond with. Some scouts, rogues, and even rare monks find this path rewarding as well. Among the races, elves and half-elves are the most common examples of animal lords due to their close bond to nature.

A character can choose this prestige class more than once but must select a different group of associated animals and start at 1st level each time. Levels of different animal lord classes do not stack when determining level-based class features.


Base Attack Bonus: +5

Alignment: Neutral good, lawful neutral, neutral, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil

Skills: Handle Animal 4 ranks , Knowledge (nature) 2 ranks

Apelord: Climb 4, Toughness
Bearlord: Intimidate 4, Endurance
Birdlord: Spot 4, Improved Flight†
Catlord: Move Silently 4, Weapon Finesse
Horselord: Jump 4, Run
Sharklord: Swim 4, Improved Swimming†
Snakelord: Escape Artist 4, Combat Reflexes
Wolflord: Survival 4, Track

†New feat described on page 110.

Hit die


Skill points

4 + Int

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Animal lords gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Animal Bond (Ex): An animal lord develops a bond with animals of his selected group (see below). He gains a +4 bonus on Handle Animal and wild empathy checks made to influence animals from his chosen group. If an animal lord has the animal companion class feature, he adds his animal lord level to his effective druid level for the purposes of determining his animal companion's bonus Hit Dice, special abilities, and so forth.

The eight groups of animals included here, along with examples taken from the Monster Manual, are as follows.
Apelord: ape, baboon, dire ape, monkey.
Bearlord: black bear, brown bear, dire bear, polar bear.
Birdlord: eagle, giant eagle†, giant owl†, hawk, owl, raven.
Catlord: cat, cheetah, dire lion, dire tiger, leopard, lion, tiger.
Horselord: horse (all), pony, warpony.
Sharklord: dire shark, shark (all).
Snakelord: constrictor, giant constrictor, viper (all).
Wolflord: dire wolf, wolf.
†These creatures are included even though they are not of the animal type.

Detect Animals (Sp): Beginning at 1st level, an animal lord can detect the presence of any animals of his selected group at will, as if using detect animals or plants with a caster level equal to his class level.

Wild Empathy (Ex): An animal lord can improve the attitude of an animal. See the druid class feature, page 35 of the Player's Handbook. If an animal lord has wild empathy from another class, his level stack for determining the bonus.

First Totem: At 2nd level, an animal lord gains a +4 bonus on checks made with a specific skill, determined by his selected group as follows. Apelord: Climb; Bearlord: Intimidate; Birdlord: Spot; Catlord: Move Silently; Horselord: Jump; Sharklord: Swim; Snakelord: Escape Artist; Wolflord: Survival.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): At 2nd level, an animal lord gains low-light vision, allowing him to see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of shadowy illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If an animal lord already has low-light vision from another source (such as his race), his low-light vision improves, allowing him to see three times as far as a human in conditions of shadowy illumination.

Wild Aspect (Su): At 3rd level and higher, an animal lord can take on an aspect of the animals of his selected group. Assuming a wild aspect is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity (see Swift Actions and Immediate Actions, page 137). Unless otherwise noted, the effect lasts for 1 minute per level. An animal lord can use this ability once per day at 3rd level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels gained after 3rd (twice per day at 6th level and three times per day at 9th level). When an animal lord reaches 7th level, his wild aspect becomes more powerful, as described below.

If an animal lord has the wild shape ability, he can spend one daily use of wild shape to assume his wild aspect instead (the duration is as normal for the wild aspect). If an animal lord already has a natural attack of the type gained by his wild aspect, use whichever damage figure is superior while the wild aspect is active. If an animal lord wields a weapon while using his wild aspect, he can use the natural attacks gained as natural secondary weapons if he uses his weapon as a primary attack, provided they are still available (an apelord couldn't use a secondary claw attack, for example, if he wields a two-handed weapon).

Apelord: An apelord gains two primary claw attacks. Each claw deals 1d4 points of damage (or 1d3 points for Small apelords). If an apelord hits an opponent with both claw attacks, he rends the foe for an additional 2d4 points of damage (or 2d3 points for Small apelords), plus 1-1/2 times his Strength bonus. At 7th level, the claw damage increases to 1d6 points (or 1d4 points for Small apelords) and the rend damage to 2d6 points (or 2d4 points for Small apelords).

Bearlord: A bearlord gains two primary claw attacks. Each claw deals 1d4 points of damage (or 1d3 points for Small bearlords). If a bearlord hits with a claw attack, he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. The bearlord still follows all the other normal grappling rules. At 7th level, the claw damage increases to 1d6 points (or 1d4 points for Small bearlords).

Birdlord: A birdlord grows feathery wings, allowing him to fly at his base land speed (average maneuverability). At 7th level, the duration increases to 10 minutes per level.

Catlord: A catlord gains two primary claw attacks. Each claw deals 1d4 points of damage (or 1d3 points for Small catlords). If a catlord charges, he can attack with both claws at the end of his charge. At 7th level, the claw damage increases to 1d6 points (or 1d4 points for Small catlords).

Horselord: A horselord's speed, as well as the speed of any horse upon which he rides, improves by 10 feet for a duration of 1 hour per level. At 7th level, the speed increase improves to 20 feet.

Sharklord: A sharklord gains a devastating bite as a primary natural attack. The bite deals 1d8 points of damage (or 1d6 points for Small sharklords). A sharklord also gains the ability to breathe water while his wild aspect is active. At 7th level, the bite damage increases to 2d6 points (or 1d8 points for Small sharklords).

Snakelord: A snakelord gains a poisonous bite as a primary natural attack for 1 round per level. This bite deals 1d4 points of damage (or 1d3 points for Small snakelords). The poison's Fortitude save DC is 10 + animal lord level + Con modifier, and it deals initial and secondary damage of 1d3 points of Constitution. At 7th level, the bite damage increases to 1d6 points (or 1d4 points for Small snakelords), and the initial and secondary poison damage increases to 1d4 points of Constitution.

Wolflord: A wolflord gains the scent ability (see page 314 of the Monster Manual) for 10 minutes per level. At 7th level, the duration increases to 1 hour per level.

Speak with Animals (Sp): Beginning at 4th level, an animal lord can use speak with animals (as the spell) once per day to converse with animals of his selected group.

Summon Animal (Sp): Beginning at 5th level, an animal lord can summon one or more animals of his selected group once per day. This ability functions identically to summon nature's ally V, except that an animal lord can summon creatures only from his selected group, as detailed below. The duration of the effect is 1 minute per class level.

Apelord: 1d3 dire apes or 1d4+1 apes.
Bearlord: 1 polar bear, 1d3 brown bears, or 1d4+1 black bears.
Birdlord: 1d4+1 eagles, giant eagles 1, giant owls 1, hawks, ravens, or owls.
Catlord: 1 dire lion, 1d3 tigers, or 1d4+1 lions.
Horselord: 1d4+1 heavy horses, heavy warhorses, light horses, light warhorses, ponies, or warponies.
Sharklord: 1d3 Huge sharks 2 or 1d4+1 Large sharks 2.
Snakelord: 1 giant constrictor snake, 1d3 Huge vipers, or 1d4+1 constrictor snakes or Large vipers.
Wolflord: 1d4+1 dire wolves or wolves.
1 May be summoned only by nonevil birdlords.
2 May be summoned only into an aquatic or watery environment.

Second Totem: At 6th level, an animal lord gains a bonus feat related to his selected group, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. If the animal lord already has the feat, he can choose any other feat for which he meets the prerequisites. Apelord: Brachiation†; Bearlord: Improved Grapple; Birdlord: Flyby Attack (see page 303 of the Monster Manual); Catlord: Lightning Reflexes; Horselord: Trample; Sharklord: Improved Critical (bite); Snakelord: Improved Initiative; Wolflord: Improved Trip.
†New feat described on page 106.

Animal Growth (Sp): Once per day, an animal lord of 7th level or higher can use animal growth on a single animal from his selected group as a swift action (see Swift Actions and Immediate Actions, page 137) as a spellcaster of his class level. This ability otherwise functions just like the spell.

Animal Telepathy (Su): Beginning at 8th level, an animal lord can converse telepathically with any animal of his selected group that he can see within 100 feet.

Third Totem: At 10th level, an animal lord gains a permanent 2-point increase to one of his ability scores, determined by his chosen animal group as follows. Apelord: +2 Strength; Bearlord: +2 Constitution; Birdlord: +2 Wisdom; Catlord: +2 Dexterity; Horselord: +2 Constitution; Sharklord: +2 Strength; Snakelord: +2 Charisma; Wolflord: +2 Strength.


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Animal bond, detect animals, wild empathy
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 First totem, low-light vision
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Wild aspect 1/day
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Speak with animals
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Summon animal
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Second totem, wild aspect 2/day
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Animal growth
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 Animal telepathy
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Wild aspect 3/day
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 Third totem

Class skills

Skill name Key ability Trained only Armor check penalty
Climb STR no yes
Escape Artist DEX no yes
Handle Animal CHA yes no
Intimidate CHA no no
Jump STR no yes
Knowledge (nature) INT yes no
Listen WIS no no
Move Silently DEX no yes
Spot WIS no no
Survival WIS no no
Swim STR no yes

Also appears in

  1. Masters of the Wild: A Guidebook to Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers

Spells for Animal Lord

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