might linger in the area after the magical effects wear off. In any case, the effects of the proficiency or spell no longer apply; the animal in question has decided of its own accord to stick around.
As part of an adventure, the DM may decide to stage one or more encounters featuring potential followers. For instance, the party may need to explore a cave containing a curious bear, search for a sunken treasure chest surrounded by friendly dolphins, or navigate a jungle filled with mischievous baboons. Assuming that the ranger doesn't inadvertently sabotage the encounter--he kills the bear or avoids the treasure chest--this is one of the most dependable methods for introducing new followers.
When shopping for a new mount, a ranger may be surprised to find one of the horses in the stable noses its way to the front, as if presenting itself for
purchase. When hunting for the evening meal, the ranger might suddenly notice that a
deer or other game animal is following
. Perceptive rangers may realize that these
animals are offering themselves as followers.
The ranger spares a foe, only to be adopted by the grateful creature. An NPC youth of long acquaintance (perhaps one rescued on a previous adventure) decides to take ranger training with the PC as a mentor.
For no apparent reason, an creature may present itself to the ranger. Hiking through the woods, the ranger becomes aware of a brownie sauntering behind him. The ranger wakes up with a sleeping fox curled up on his chest. A pseudodragon flutters from the sky and perches on the ranger's shoulder. From a purist's point of view, this is the least satisfying option for introducing followers, as it doesn't arise directly from the events of the story. But it's an acceptable method when all else fails.
Clearly, some types of followers are more desirable than others. Most rangers will find a horse to be more useful than a rabbit, a dog more advantageous than a mouse. Even in the best of situations, a snake or scorpion follower may be more trouble than it's worth.
There's not much a ranger can do to ensure he gets the type of followers he wants. Becoming a follower is essentially a choice made by the animal or NPC, not the ranger. Though the ranger can influence animal behavior to a certain degree, a ranger can't force a particular creature to become a follower against its will.
However, a ranger can increase his chances of acquiring specific followers in several ways. The easiest and most obvious way is to go where the animals live. A ranger who wants a polar bear follower should go to arctic. Farms and market places are good sources of domestic animals, while zoos and carnivals may stock a wide variety of exotic creatures.
The frequent use of the animal training or animal handling pro iciencies, as well as
special ability, brings the ranger in close contact with potential
followers. Spells such as
can lead him to particular species,
while the follower.
spell (described in Chapter 6) may successfully summon a