Companions and Summons


Due to the events of "The Longest Year" and in accordance with our server vision, Animal Companions, Familiars, and Summons have all changed in both perception and function.

For purposes of this post, when not specified, Familiars and Animal Companions will be referred to as "Companions". Additionally, there may be an addendum to statements based on the exact nature of a companion, I.e. a Sorcerer's Cat being far more acceptable in civilisation than a Ranger's Wolf.

Traditionally, companions and summons are highly magical creatures, through sheer bond, by originating from the Astral Plane, or by being called forth from other extraplanar locations, however in TDN's lore such magical and planar connections have long since been fully severed or drastically weakened. For PCs, this means available companions are much more grounded and realistic than their previous counterparts, though they still include some exotic options catering to different climates of the world where PCs may come from.

Vanilla companions such as Hell Hounds and Faerie Dragons are gone, and it's preferred PCs don't claim prior ownership or companionship of such creatures, though you're free to RP having lost a magical companion appropriate to the setting, such as a Druid's erstwhile spirit animal that took the form of a wolf, or a Wizard's former raven familiar. If in doubt about anything concerning companions or summons, feel free to contact a DM on the Discord or the forums.

Animal Companions:


“We have been on the Endless Path for many a year, now. Once I relied on the Forestarms of Our Lady of the Forest to do my duty, yet ever since our fates intertwined, Mor'du and I have come to make up for one another's weaknesses in a way my brothers and sisters never could. Alone, we are vulnerable. Together, we are nature's wrath incarnate.”

- Jharn Delthan, human ranger of Mielikki, explaining to a stranger the bond between him and his animal companion of a bear.

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Animals are among nature's most potent resources. They offer sustenance with their milk, their eggs, and their very flesh. Their skins and hides provide clothing and shelter from the elements. Some serve ordinary people as beasts of burden or transportation, or even guard against predators. It comes as no surprise then that in the absence of the old ways, guardians of nature predominantly took to befriending and employing wild animals in their duties and daily lives alike, completely replacing spirit animals and summoned creatures of the past.

The difference between ordinary people and guardians of nature is that both the Druid and the Ranger have a fundamental respect for the natural world they live in, often resulting in a strong affinity with it. Not only do they strive to maintain a connection with nature, but they also maintain special relationships with its children, commonly through animal companions that may share the Druid or Ranger's path for their entire lives.

Druids and Rangers have deeper and more complex relationships with animals than other characters do, but even so, the basics are unchanged - they are mundane animals, if above the average beast. Though they tend to be tame in comparison to beasts that barely or never experience humanoid contact, it's highly unlikely they spend much time - if any - in or around civilisation, to the extent that they'd never be comfortable or manageable in the midst of it. They also are just as likely as any other animal to consume the bounty of nature in the form of hunted animals or even people - that's part of the cycle of life after all.

A Druid or Ranger's companionship with animals isn't quite a process of domestication, something that has taken humanoids centuries of effort to achieve - rather it's a delicate process of balance that strives to retain at least a semblance of their wild natures so that they will still survive on their own. Wild animals can be tamed only to an extent by most, and primarily so in the presence of trusted people, rather than any and all humanoids they come in contact with. That's not to say you can't have companions in the proximity of other PCs, but rather that it's recommended you don't roleplay them as you would, say, a dog who is fond of everyone.

Animal companions are an important part of a Druid's (and to a lesser extent, a Ranger's) power. The Druid lacks some of the inherent benefits other divine classes tend to boast, but their powerful companions go a long way toward compensating. An animal companion can serve as a protector, tracker, scout, and warrior - sometimes all at once. It can even be a friend capable of company and comfort that no human can offer, though not all Druids or Rangers find animals an acceptable replacement for humanoid presence - or vice versa.

The realistic way to have a better than average animal is to raise it from infancy (though this option is only for Druids due to Rangers receiving theirs at level 6). An animal that never goes hungry and gets ample exercise as well as greater exposure to the dangers of the natural world is likely to grow up stronger, tougher, and slightly more intelligent than the average creature of its kind - keep in mind this doesn't mean you should have animals like ravens speaking fluently or anything resembing unrealistic speech (see the Familiar entry about this). However you can still tailor your and your companion's story to your liking within reason, as Druid and Ranger have greater leeway in explaining the prowess and exceptional nature of their companions. As such you're not required to RP having raised yours from birth, an exceptional animal found along a Druid or Ranger's path - or something along those lines - is just as authentic.



“You're feeling his emotions too, through the link you now share. As time goes on and you learn more magic, that bond will grow stronger. He's another living being, like you, that responded to a call by the Weave and nature to bond. That bond teaches each of you more with an expanded perspective on magic and life both.”

- Tsarra Chaadren, a half-elf sorceress, teaching Chaid al Farid al Fuqani, a Tethyrian mage, about his new familiar, Brakar.

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In the wake of the Longest Year, all familiars became ordinary again, the loss of connection and communication that followed between mages and their erstwhile familiars a devastating change to the world of wizardry and sorcery, for many relied on these creatures for not only company, but also everyday tasks - whether mundane or magical. When magic began to return, such links between familiar and wizard could no longer be established. Instead, familiars are now constructed painstakingly over many months through manipulation of the Weave.

Each familiar is a living magical construct, a homunculus of sorts, that has been fashioned to service in an intricate and lengthy ritual by a Sorcerer or Wizard, and magically bonded to the spellcaster in a similar manner to familiars prior to the Longest Year. The magical link between a familiar and its master is so strong that in some ways they share a common existence, and so closely are they bonded that separation by death harms the other.

All familiars are intelligent - not necessarily very intelligent, but more so than an animal, and has personality traits that the spellcaster imparts upon them - usually taking on some aspect of the spellcaster themselves. They are able to understand and speak Common, but to a limited degree.


Rather than originating from extraplanar locations, summons on TDN fall under two categories depending on your class; Conjure Creature and Call Nature's Ally. The majority of magical classes receive Conjure Creature, with the exceptions of Druid, Shaman, and some particular nature domains for Cleric, whose ability is simply calling upon nearby creatures of nature to aid them. Conjure Creature on the other hand manipulates matter itself to create a creature identical to a living one. When the magic of the spell wears off, the creation simply disappears and the matter returns to its original form, whatever that may have been.

Roleplay in Town:

Companions should generally not be used in towns or civilized areas, with the exception of most familiars. Not only is it unlikely that animal companions would be as tame outside of their natural habitat and in the complete opposite of it, but the disappearance, return, and limiting of magic has made people even more on-edge toward the dangers of the world and it would be exceptionally rare to have a wild animal following you into settlements. Companions that are used in town will more often than not be treated like the creatures they are, with appropriate consequences befalling their masters just the same.

Roleplaying Companion Summoning and Death:

As the act of mechanically spawning a companion is no longer a matter of summoning, you're expected to roleplay their appearance in more mundane ways. A wolf rushing out of the nearest treeline, a rat squirming its way out of a satchel, or a bear having waited all along by a river's bank that the PC's party happens to go to, etc.

Understandably companions of all kind, even the less combat focused ones, risk dying sooner or later. While they visually indeed appear to die, on TDN this is taken with a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief, by default roleplayed as severe injury that either incapacitates the companion on the spot (fleetingly or long-term), perhaps prompting its owner to fall back and RP carrying the animal back to safety and caring for it, or the incident simply sends the companion fleeing, so that the player has justification to move on in the moment and OOCly summon their companion again once their per rest charge has been restored - preferably with the appropriate RP entailing such a scenario.

That said, PCs are free to roleplay companion death whenever they see fit, whether they intend to relevel and replace it next level with another type, or change it into a differently named, opposite gender of their current choice, or because death makes sense in ongoing RP and provides character progression, resulting in the character going without a companion for the foreseeable future.

Generally it's recommended to impose companion death with RP in mind as well as a realistic amount of time reserved between changes, as the taming of a beast for Druids and Rangers, for example, doesn't happen overnight. Nor does a Wizard or Sorcerer's bonding process. Even if a Druid or Ranger may claim to have multiple companions and thus switch between them as often as possible, our mechanics don't allow this to be portrayed frequently or properly, and so an approach like this may simple be detrimental to one's own RP.

This stance on companion death shouldn't be seen as an invitation to treat the lives of companions with lacking realism and gamey intentions, even if mechanics may make it a tempting inclination to use the companion as cannon fodder, given its inherent lack of consequences. Not only have they been generously given feats to mitigate chances of death occurring due to NWN's clunky mechanics (I.e. poor pathfinding and AI), but it also tends to be antithetical to a Druid or Ranger's core values (though exceptions do exist). As such DMs reserve the right to impose companion death under appropriate circumstances, whether to curb on notably immersion breaking behaviour or to exact realistic consequences following a DM event.