View Full Version : [3.5e] Familiars

2009-12-11, 02:49 PM
I was looking at one book.. Encyclopaedia Arcane: Familiars, and was wondering.. I believe that most of the time, people prefer not the have them, trading in for something more useful, or they use certain familiars for specific benefits like hands for UMD or that one bird that gave init bonus?

Anyway, I was looking at the book and it looks kinda interesting.. It basically gives the familiar feats for free so you can have a weak plant familiar, or you can learn animal familiar ritual 4 at level 7 and get yourself a tiger familiar.. Although with having half your hp a more utility type of familiar is better.. A doppelganger maybe?

The first level rituals are free and allows you to get CR1/2 creatures, while the others give you (spell level -1) CR creatures, but you need to learn those, so it is good for a wizard or to anybody if they get a scroll..

The book contains extra feats for familiars and even the ability to get extra familiars (keyed off your main spellcasting ability modifier) so it is nice if you actually want to focus on your familiars..


2009-12-11, 02:54 PM
Even CR 8 creatures wouldn't be worth the spell, because I can trade away my familiar to allow me to Malconvoke effectively (standard action summoning? Hell yes!)

2009-12-11, 03:09 PM
If I remember the book, it lacked a decent PrC for focusing on familiars. So far I only know of two published PrCs that focus on familiars. One of them is 1/2 casting (I.E, junk) and the other I can't find the book for. The best home brewed PrC is This (http://www.heliodragon.com/index.php/d20/familiarist).
Take a look at a book called Spells and Spellcraft. Page 135 on has some good improvements for familiars. It's one of the Legend and Lairs books put out by Fantasy Flight Games.

THe chart about spending exp to give your little buddy things like regeneration, SLAs, DR and so forth is handy.

2009-12-11, 04:26 PM
Familiars are useful, just limited. The most usable qualities:
- They get your skill ranks
- They get a separate set of actions
- They get your HD
- They get your BAB
- Basic familiars all have handy benefits
- Many improved familiars have great, hard-to-replicate abilities (such as free Communes, Telepathy and the like)
- Share Spells, Deliver Touch Spells and the other familiar-abilities

This translates into Aid Another, auxillary skill monkeying (for a Beguiler/Unseen Seer/similar, they make for great watchers and scouts, especially with size bonuses), UMD, combat (with Polymorph-type effects [Magical Beast is a fairly good type] for especially Gish-types with decent HD; they'll still of course require defensive pumping to not eat your XP), AMF carriers, creature to touch friendlies for Teleport & al., Scry magnet, etc.

It's just that many of the substitutions are just damn good (Abrupt Jaunt, Chain of Disbelief, Rapid Summoning, etc.) that you really want them; at that point, I strongly consider the "Obtain Familiar"-route since the benefits of an extra set of actions are quite great.

2009-12-11, 04:30 PM
At the high end of the optimization scale, your familiar can benefit from spells like Shapechange, and there are some really brutal things your familiar can turn into, like a Beholder.

2009-12-11, 05:24 PM
Or you could just cast Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability and basically give yourself 5 quickened spells of up to 5th lvl (at CL 15) a day. Cast Familiar Pocket also and he can enter/leave the pocket as a free action, making him safe from harm while casting.

2009-12-11, 05:27 PM
Hmm... All this talk of familiars is making me want to work on my multi- Familiar build again