While most hunters find themselves at ease in the wildest parts of the world, courtly hunters instead make their homes in cultured urban environments. They and their animal companions are more refined than typical hunters, using their skills to navigate the winding paths of courtly intrigue as surely as other hunters find trails in the wilderness.
This alters the hunter’s class skills.
A courtly hunter’s animal companion was touched by either the fey or the nature spirits that form leshys and answer to commune with nature, granting it its own intelligence. The companion’s type changes to magical beast (augmented animal), but this doesn’t change any of its statistics and it counts as an animal, not as a magical beast, for the purposes of determining all effects, prerequisites, and so on. It does not learn tricks, but it does have an Intelligence score equal to that of a familiar belonging to a wizard of the courtly hunter’s hunter level. Levels in other classes that grant animal companions do not stack with levels of courtly hunter for the purpose of determining the abilities of her courtly companion.
This ability alters animal companion.
A courtly hunter has access to a different set of animal aspects with her animal focus. She does not gain access to the bear, bull, frog, monkey, snake, stag, tiger, or wolf aspects. Instead, she gains access to the following aspects.
This ability alters animal focus.
At 2nd level, a courtly hunter can transform her animal companion into a similar Tiny animal to allow it hide easily or even blend in and act as a spy. For instance, a tiger could be transformed into a housecat, a wolf could be transformed into a Tiny dog, a dire bat could be transformed into a Tiny flying fox, and so on. This functions as a polymorph effect, and the animal companion gains a +2 size bonus to Dexterity and a –4 size penalty to Strength (use the polymorph table to adjust its ability score if the animal companion is larger than Medium). As a standard action, the courtly hunter can touch her animal companion to transform it.
This ability replaces precise companion.
At 3rd level, a courtly hunter’s animal companion gains the courtly hunter’s class skills as class skills. Her animal companion can use the courtly hunter’s skill ranks in a skill in place of its own, but only to a maximum of the courtly hunter’s hunter level (for instance, if a character had 3 levels in courtly hunter and 5 ranks in Diplomacy, her animal companion could either share 3 ranks with skill bond or use its own ranks, whichever would result in a higher total skill bonus).
This ability replaces hunter tactics and the hunter’s bonus teamwork feats.
When the courtly hunter gains this ability, she chooses a Tiny animal. When under the effects of the subtle companion ability, the courtly hunter’s animal companion can change between a shrunken, more innocuous version of its original shape or the shape of the chosen animal as a standard action. When it transforms, it loses abilities dependent on its original shape and gains abilities from its new shape as beast shape II. At 13th and 19th levels, the courtly hunter can select an additional form to add to the animal companion’s list of choices while it is in its polymorphed form.
This ability replaces bonus tricks.