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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Douhugal's Avatar

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    Default making familiars battle ready.

    I like familiars for the rp value. But they don't seem that helpful anywhere else.
    maybe as reconnaissance when speak with master is gained

    I have only found one way to make a first familiar (bat, frog, rat, etc.) interesting in battle indefinitely without much buffing or feat spending.
    This was when I played a Wu-jen (with familiar, through complete arcana feat: obtain familiar) and casted fire breath on myself, the familiar also gained the spells effect through share spell. this was easily permanencyed at lvl 9 8. after that I had a familiar snake who thought he was a really small dragon. he did at lvl 9 8 an attack of 1d8 per 2 caster levels, so 4d8, with a 15 feet range.

    (DM couldn't find any flaws I missed and he tried his best to find one )

    I would choose a flying familiar next time for abovious reasons.

    What do you think about this?
    And are there other examples like this one that doesn't involve heavy feat spending to buff the familiar?
    Last edited by Douhugal; 2010-07-02 at 04:55 AM.

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douhugal View Post
    I like familiars for the rp value. But they don't seem that helpful anywhere else.
    maybe as reconnaissance when speak with master is gained

    I have only found one way to make a first familiar (bat, frog, rat, etc.) interesting in battle indefinitely without much buffing or feat spending.
    This was when I played a Wu-jen (with familiar, through complete arcana feat: obtain familiar) and casted fire breath on myself, the familiar also gained the spells effect through share spell. this was easily permanencyed at lvl 8. after that I had a familiar snake who thought he was a really small dragon. he did at lvl 8 an attack of 1d8 per 2 caster levels, so 4d8, with a 15 feet range.

    (DM couldn't find any flaws I missed and he tried his best to find one )

    I would choose a flying familiar next time for abovious reasons.

    What do you think about this?
    And are there other examples like this one that doesn't involve heavy feat spending to buff the familiar?
    Make a golem with a hollow head, put the familiar in it and tell the golem to obey the familiar.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douhugal View Post
    After that I had a familiar snake who thought he was a really small dragon.
    Sorry for not being more helpful but I had to say that made me laugh alot for some reason or another. Maybe because I can see him talking with other animals and trying to convice other animals that he really IS a dragon.

    Random Animal : OH GODS A SNAKE
    Familiar: I'm not a snake, I'm just a really small dragon
    Random Animal: So does this mean your NOT gonna eat me?
    Familiar: No I am still gonna eat you but only after I ROAST you!
    Random Animal: OH GODS IT BURNS
    Familiar: MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Yeah in my mind snakes are evil little creatures.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake-Aes View Post
    Make a golem with a hollow head, put the familiar in it and tell the golem to obey the familiar.
    Use a shield golem, and give the key amulet to the familiar.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    I guess the same could be done with undead, preferably a singular really powerful undead unit. (if your character is into that kind of thing)

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douhugal View Post
    this was easily permanencyed at lvl 8.
    ...how? Permanency is a 5th level spell, which you cannot access until level 9.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Get a lot of buffs, use the familiar to buff your guys.
    *yay* useful.

    Low level campaigns: Don't do the standard bit, and keep enchantment. Get a raven familiar, and have him direct your dominated minions.

    1 Feat of combat familiar makes them much better at delivering touch attacks for you.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Don't spells cast on yourself only affect the familiar if it remains within five feet of you? I think you'd have to cast the fire breath spell and permanency on the familiar itself if you wanted the effect to last.

    Anyway, I have a fifth-level gish wizard that draws his Celestial Viper familiar as a free action while moving, drops it into an opponents square as a free action, and then it uses Aid Another to grant the wizard +2 to AC or attack rolls. Since its AC is like 27 or so, it hardly ever gets attacked. If I want it to deal damage instead, Chill Touch is useful because it can last many rounds, so I can make full attacks and get an extra d6 every round on top of normal damage. Plus the low DC viper poison and Chill Touch's Str drain force two Fortitude saves every round.
    Last edited by Sitzkrieg; 2010-07-01 at 06:15 PM.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Cast any of those new polymorph subschool spells such as dragonshape and share them with your familiar.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    I have lots of love for my beholderkin eyeball who I named Onion. He had a permanent Reduce person (I cast it on myself and shared it and permanencied it), and that spell that grants bonus to attack for familiars. I would then have him shoot my shivering touch and my shocking grasp, the nercomantic touch spells. Later when we were higher level, the spell that allows me to grant my familiar spellcasting ability really helps with action economy. With (shared) Celerity, we can usually place six spells on the table on the first round.
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    be small sized

    Enlarge your tiny familiar so it is also small sized . . .

    reduce yourself so you are tiny. . .

    you may now ride your familiar. . .

    no matter how you work this. . . it's potentially awsome. . .
    RAMS > RAI > RAW

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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    So you almost made Mushu from Mulan (is that the little guy's name?)

    niiice
    I have to give Paizo credit...

    They took an established work and said they fixed it but didn't actually fix it and yet still made money off from it.

    How can you beat that?

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    There's a few familiar buffing spells in Spell Compendium and Complete Warrior if I recall.

    Alter Self shared with a familiar might let it take larger magical beast forms like a worg or something :) Or a scary form like a cockatrice!

    If you wanted a build that created a combat familiar, Hexblade is probably the best for this. A d10 HD and full BAB go a long way. A duskblade is good too.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Abuse Share Spells. Give them lots of Temporary HP (False Life, Vampiric Touch, whatever) to mitigate their low personal HP reserve, give them Personal buffs (Alter Self, Shapechange, Mirror Image, Greater Mirror Image, etc.) [if you aren't gonna accompany them to battle, cast them only on the Familiar so you don't need to be next to them] and of course, abuse the fact that you can get an Outsider-familiar early. Get some ranks in Use Magic Device and have them use Wands if desired (this goes for Improved Familiar in particular since almost all of them can speak and thus use Magic Devices; if you take a level in Loremaster or such, it'll be a class skill and you can get enough ranks to make 'em shine).

    Outsider happens to offer incredible returns for Polymorph, and be quite powerful with Alter Self too. Ravid is a fine Alter Self form and most Demons, Devils, Angels and company have very, very good stats for their HD. And of course, they can assume almost any other form too with Polymorph 'cause it basically offers all types but Outsider which you add by having it be an Outsider itself. Also, don't forget equipment like Bardings, magic items and so on for them. Animated Shields are fine, for example, since Shield-spell has such a short duration.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Claudius Maximus's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Gishes tend to have really killer familiars due to their higher BAB and HP. Keep in mind how much of your ability your familiar inherits. Beyond that, shapeshifting and shared spells are the way to go.

    I prefer Body of War.
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    Escheton's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    the augment familiar spell comes to mind.
    as do some other familiar buffing spells I can't name at the moment as they escape me.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Imagine the familiar of a a great wyrm red dragon with the obtain familiar feat...

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Anyone know of some good (possibly 3rd party) rules for making up new Improved Familiars?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    ...how? Permanency is a 5th level spell, which you cannot access until level 9.
    Fixed, my char is higher than 9 so I looked it up and made a small mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordShotGun View Post
    Yeah in my mind snakes are evil little creatures.
    In my mind also

    Quote Originally Posted by aivanther View Post
    Get a lot of buffs, use the familiar to buff your guys.
    *yay* useful.

    Low level campaigns: Don't do the standard bit, and keep enchantment. Get a raven familiar, and have him direct your dominated minions.

    1 Feat of combat familiar makes them much better at delivering touch attacks for you.
    hmm Great idea, this will make multi tasking a lot easier. and their is something sinister about a raven with its squaking voice commanding an army of undead...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sitzkrieg View Post
    Don't spells cast on yourself only affect the familiar if it remains within five feet of you? I think you'd have to cast the fire breath spell and permanency on the familiar itself if you wanted the effect to last.

    Anyway, I have a fifth-level gish wizard that draws his Celestial Viper familiar as a free action while moving, drops it into an opponents square as a free action, and then it uses Aid Another to grant the wizard +2 to AC or attack rolls. Since its AC is like 27 or so, it hardly ever gets attacked. If I want it to deal damage instead, Chill Touch is useful because it can last many rounds, so I can make full attacks and get an extra d6 every round on top of normal damage. Plus the low DC viper poison and Chill Touch's Str drain force two Fortitude saves every round.
    first of, Yes you are right about the feet restriction. that's why I used permancy as soon as possible.

    I like your use of the viper. I'll keep the +2 to AC or attack rolls in mind next time. and using it to deliver touch attacks is also nice. that trick is fun



    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsGrnEyes View Post
    be small sized

    Enlarge your tiny familiar so it is also small sized . . .

    reduce yourself so you are tiny. . .

    you may now ride your familiar. . .

    no matter how you work this. . . it's potentially awsome. . .
    the the possiblities!! it would be complete win. especially if the viper could fly!.... hmm how to do that


    Quote Originally Posted by Evard View Post
    So you almost made Mushu from Mulan (is that the little guy's name?)

    niiice
    Now I wanna make him able 2 fly!... that would be epic. ^^


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    lots of great advice just follow the link
    This sounds great I'll try to build one some day for certain.
    outsiders have som wicked creatures yeah. thats for certain.

    For everybody else, thx for all the great ideas, I will use a lot of them (probably all). There is something epic about letting your familiar become one of your strong points. especially if that familiar can be ridden.

    golem and undead commanding is also a great idea. no worries about your familiar dying he isn't even fighting, just commanding.
    Last edited by Douhugal; 2010-07-02 at 05:21 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Extra Familiar is a feat found in a Dragon Mag. Why have one when you can have two?
    ,,,,^..^,,,,


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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Douhugal's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    hmmm 2 vipers one on each hand, then use them as flame throwers... cool or should I say smokin'. It would be like the firefly from batman. But I still need a way to fly to pull that one off
    Last edited by Douhugal; 2010-07-02 at 04:57 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Aberrant feats, or the winged template if you can buy off the LA.
    ,,,,^..^,,,,


    Quote Originally Posted by Haldir View Post
    Edit- I understand it now, Fighters are like a status symbol. If you're well off enough to own a living Fighter, you must be pretty well off!

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    Keld Denar's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Trollshape, in the SpC, is a great one to bust out on an unsuspecting baddy. Its a SWIFT action to cast. Cast it on your familiar, don't share it, and it is now a fully grown RAWR CLAW CLAW BITE REND troll, regeneration and all. Move up to an enemy, Benign Transposition you and the familiar, Trollshape the familiar, and watch it full attack your enemy's face off and hand it to you in a soggy paper bag.
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Trollshape, in the SpC, is a great one to bust out on an unsuspecting baddy. Its a SWIFT action to cast. Cast it on your familiar, don't share it, and it is now a fully grown RAWR CLAW CLAW BITE REND troll, regeneration and all. Move up to an enemy, Benign Transposition you and the familiar, Trollshape the familiar, and watch it full attack your enemy's face off and hand it to you in a soggy paper bag.
    and he still has evasion and all that...

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Douhugal's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Trollshape, in the SpC, is a great one to bust out on an unsuspecting baddy. Its a SWIFT action to cast. Cast it on your familiar, don't share it, and it is now a fully grown RAWR CLAW CLAW BITE REND troll, regeneration and all. Move up to an enemy, Benign Transposition you and the familiar, Trollshape the familiar, and watch it full attack your enemy's face off and hand it to you in a soggy paper bag.
    it is a cast on yourself only spell, so you cast it on yourself, share it with your familiar and only dismiss the spell on yourself. it will still have the same affect though.

    the familiar will be limited in its movement if the troll shape isn't permancyed though...


    ((Trollshape
    Transmutation (Polymorph)
    Level: Sorcerer/wizard 4
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 round/level (D)

    Your muscles ripple, and you hear bones crackling underneath your now mottled green skin as your form reshapes to that of a horrid troll.

    You take on the form and abilities of a troll (MM 247). You gain 30 temporary hit points, which disappear at the end of the spell's duration. See the description of the new polymorph subschool on page 95 for more details.))

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    ZeroNumerous's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douhugal View Post
    And are there other examples like this one that doesn't involve heavy feat spending to buff the familiar?
    You can give your familiar spells to cast via Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douhugal View Post
    it is a cast on yourself only spell, so you cast it on yourself, share it with your familiar and only dismiss the spell on yourself. it will still have the same affect though.

    the familiar will be limited in its movement if the troll shape isn't permancyed though...


    ((Trollshape
    Transmutation (Polymorph)
    Level: Sorcerer/wizard 4
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 round/level (D)

    Your muscles ripple, and you hear bones crackling underneath your now mottled green skin as your form reshapes to that of a horrid troll.

    You take on the form and abilities of a troll (MM 247). You gain 30 temporary hit points, which disappear at the end of the spell's duration. See the description of the new polymorph subschool on page 95 for more details.))
    Except that Familiars are legal targets for spells with "You" as the target. Per the SRD:
    Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of "You" on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Improved Familiar for an Imp is good, particularly if you have UMD. It can fly around throwing tanglefoot bags at the very least, and with Invisibility at will and fast healing it'll be extremely difficult to kill. It also gets Suggestion as a spell-like ability, which can really come in handy. Also note that due to being an Outsider it's automatically proficient with simple and martial weapons. You could (Draconic) Polymorph it into a Kelvezu or an Arrow Demon and it can pick up some weapons and wreck faces.

    A suitable substitute for any arcane spellcaster but particularly good for a Cha-based Gish would be an Eternal Wand of Hound of Doom (CW).

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Douhugal's Avatar

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of "You" on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself.
    erm oops. missed that one.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: making familiars battle ready.

    People keep mentioning familiars using wands, but for most familiars this should be impossible because of lack of hands/ opposable thumbs and most cannot speak.

    Things like Imps being an exception.

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