View Full Version : Redesigning the Phoenix: From Sizes Small to Gargantuan

2015-04-05, 09:08 AM
One thing that has always annoyed me is how D&D created such an immensely powerful magical beast as that of a dragon... yet offered nothing for the examples of the smaller phoenix shown in literature and media. More D&D and Pathfinder offers nothing for the examples what could be seen as phoenix familiars or pets of characters, whether spellcasters or otherwise such as Professor Dumbledore with Fawkes and Princess Celestia with Philomena.

I actually had two ideas, one in which was to simply redesigned the phoenix into a small magical beast... while the other was to give the phoenix a resign that gave the magical beast a progression like that of a dragon based on age or number of regenerations. This way, fluff wise, it could be that young and perhaps even inexperienced phoenix could be weak or balanced enough to have as a familiar or companion (by Improved Familiar, or gained as an animal companion or a cohort) while a greater phoenix would eventually reach the legendary power seen in the Monster Manual.

What are the thoughts of those here? Would I have any support for making such a revision and redesign or will those here just it wouldn't work?

On the 'resurrection' aspect of a phoenix it can relate to how a new familiar is gained after being lost, in that the wizard carries his familiar's ashes until it rises again to be reborn after a week's end and with the appropriate cost. Another idea is that if the phoenix is killed it is reborn 'on the morn' with the rise of the sun, where it rises from the ashes to rejoin the wizard as his familiar, perhaps at the cost of magic by giving up spells for the day. Perhaps a mix of the two even. The same idea could be considered for gaining a new animal companion, by haven't it that this is simply the time taken for the resurrection to take place..

This I feel are ways of handling the phoenix resurrection without effecting balance.

2015-04-14, 09:42 AM
Beat you too it a while ago: See here. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=14947187&postcount=12 but if you want one as a familiar, I recommend this one: https://sites.google.com/site/harrypotterd20/creatures/phoenix

I'd also add this text to the lesser phoenix:
As a Familiar
Lesser phoenixes can be selected as familiars by those with the Improved Familiar feat. As a familiar, a lesser phoenix grants the ability to automatically give his master 2 hit points/level once a day when an enemy would have otherwise brought him to -10 Hit Points. If it uses its immolation power, the spellcaster gains the new phoenix as a familiar as opposed to waiting a year and a day. The spellcaster does not take an XP penalty for his or her familiar's temporary defeat. The minimum level to gain this familiar is 7th.

I am not a fan of giving a phoenix full age dependent stats since they regenerate whenever killed and that can become over powered way too quickly, especially if the party aids in that respect by "accidentally" not healing it or by actively killing it.