How do the beastmaster's animal henchmen work?


What restrictions are there on what animals a beastmaster (from the Heroic Fantasy book) can take as henchmen? My understanding from Core ACKS is that henchmen have to be less in level than their master; Lairs & Encounters also says that monstrous henchmen must have fewer HD than their master has levels. However, the sample beastman starts at level 1 with a trained wolf henchman, even though wolves have 2+2 HD. I’ve seen some discussion of this (Animals as Henchmen), with the suggestion that the HD restriction can just be ignored.


If you are using L&E rules then the beastmaster’s wolf henchman is in violation of the limits. Personally i have allowed up to +1 HD without issue, allowing a beastmaster to have a wolf or light horse at 1st level, but different Judges have different tolerances for such matters. If you prefer, you can have the wolf be a young (adolescent) wolf with lower stats using the L&E rules.