A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Revamping my earlier thread.

    Spoiler: Eschew Familiar
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    Eschew Familiar
    You have renounced your familiar or never bothered to summon one in the first place, gaining increased power, drive, and clarity at the expense of a true friend and ally.

    Prerequisite
    Summon familiar.

    Benefit
    You gain a +1 bonus to your caster level and a +2 increase to your Charisma and Intelligence scores.

    Special
    You lose the benefits of this feat while you possess a familiar.


    Spoiler: Greater Familiar
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    Greater Familiar
    Your familiar has gained in power and become less dependent on you.

    Prerequisite
    Summon familiar or Obtain Familiar.

    Benefit
    Your familiar gains a number of benefits beyond those of a standard familiar, as detailed below. Furthermore, those statistics and abilities of your familiar that were determined by your class level are now determined by your character level instead. In all cases, a familiar uses either the statistics described below or those of a standard familiar, whichever would be better.

    Hit Dice: Your familiar's Hit Dice become equal to your character level. Recalculate base attack bonus, saves, feats and skill points, remembering that a familiar is a magical beast.

    Hit Points: Your familiar's hit points are now determined by it's Hit Dice and Constitution score, rather than being one-half of your own.

    Saving Throws: For Will saving throws your familiar uses its own base Will save or yours (as calculated from all your classes), whichever is better. For Fortitude and Reflex saving throws your familiar uses its own base saves.

    Skills: Your familiar uses its own skill ranks instead of yours on skill checks. Its class skills are any skills possessed by the base animal and all class skills from all of your classes.

    Ability Scores: Your familiar's Charisma score increases to match its Intelligence score.

    Independence (Ex): You and your familiar retain the special abilities granted by your bond regardless of the distance between the two of you (but not if you are on different planes). You need not be within 5 feet of your familiar to share spells with it, nor be in contact with it for it to deliver touch spells for you.

    Alignment: Your familiar's alignment now matches your own, if it didn't already. It remains loyal to you regardless of how evil it might become or how much power it might acquire i.e. through the Spellcasting Familiar feat.

    Special
    You may not apply the benefits of this feat to a familiar obtained through the Improved Familiar feat.

    After taking this feat your familiar is eligible to take feats itself. Recommended feats are [General] feats, monster feats from the monster manuals, and [Familiar] feats.


    The following feats may be taken by the familiar itself:

    Spoiler: Aligned Familiar
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    Aligned Familiar
    Your magical nature now fully reflects your master's alignment.

    Prerequisite
    Familiar, master of any good or evil alignment with the Greater Familiar or Improved Familiar feat.

    Benefit
    If your master is good-aligned you gain the celestial template. If your master is evil-aligned you gain the fiendish template.

    Special
    At your DM's discretion you may instead apply lawful-, chaotic-, or even neutrality-themed templates to your familiar as appropriate for your alignment, or take this feat twice to apply a template appropriate to your alignment for each alignment axis.


    Spoiler: Spellcasting Familiar
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    Spellcasting Familiar
    You have learned a bit of magic from your master

    Prerequisite
    Familiar, master of at least 11th level with the Greater Familiar feat.

    Benefit
    You cast spells as a spellcaster of your master's class level-10.

    If your master is a sorcerer you cast spells as a sorcerer, using your own Charisma score to determine save DCs and spells per day. Your spells known must be chosen from your master's spells known. If your master chooses to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, you must similarly replace that spell if it is one you know. Otherwise you may replace one of your spells known every 4th level just as a standard sorcerer (provided the new spell you learn comes from your master's spells known).

    If your master is a wizard you prepare and cast spells as a wizard, using your own Intelligence score to determine save DCs and spells per day. You do not learn spells yourself; you may only prepare spells from your master's spellbook. You and your master may prepare spells from the same spellbook at the same time without penalty. If your master is a specialist wizard you gain the same specialist advantages and drawbacks.

    Special
    If you have taken the Aligned Familiar feat, add all spells from the appropriate cleric domain to your spells known for each template you have added through that feat (e.g. the Good domain for the celestial template, the Evil domain for the fiendish template, etc.). If you cast spells as a sorcerer these spells do not count towards your number of spells known. If you cast spells as a wizard you may prepare these spells without needing a spellbook (as you would read magic).

    When you cast alter self or similar spells, you are considered to be an animal rather than a magical beast.


    Spoiler: Guardian Familiar
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    Guardian Familiar
    You hide amongst your master's hoard, in his pack, or in his coat, keeping watch against thieves and assassins.

    Prerequisites
    Familiar, master of any lawful alignment with the Greater Familiar feat.

    Benefits
    Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot are all considered class skills for you.

    You no longer need to sleep.

    You gain a +20 bonus on Hide checks while carried on your master's person, or hiding amongst his possessions (e.g. in a pile of coins, on a bookshelf, between laboratory beakers, etc.).

    Whenever you succeed on a Search or Spot check opposing the Sleight of Hand check of someone attempting to rob your master, you may make a sneak attack against that character as a rogue of your character level and their Sleight of Hand attempt automatically fails.

    You gain the uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge special qualities as a rogue of your character level. While you are within 5 feet of your master, he shares these benefits (even if he is asleep).


    Spoiler: Trickster Familiar
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    Trickster Familiar
    You are a clever little ally for your master, opening locks that bar her way and spying on her enemies.

    Prerequisites
    Familiar, master of any chaotic alignment with the Greater Familiar feat.

    Benefits
    Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Open Lock, Move Silently, and Sleight of Hand are all considered class skills for you.

    You gain may make sneak attacks as a rogue of one-half your character level.
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-12-02 at 04:23 PM.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Okay is there a way to get humanoid familiar( like families elven maid as sorcerers familiar)
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    A feat and a minor loss for +1 CL and +2 to your casting stat... That's REALLY good for a feat. Too good.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Eschew Familiar: Remove a flavorful ability for bland number crunch.

    This is the least ideal type of feat, I think.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    Okay is there a way to get humanoid familiar( like families elven maid as sorcerers familiar)
    Sure - it's a feat called Leadership ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    A feat and a minor loss for +1 CL and +2 to your casting stat... That's REALLY good for a feat. Too good.
    Ha! In the earlier thread people said it was too weak (and I'm inclined to agree, especially given that you lose the option of Greater Familiar etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    Eschew Familiar: Remove a flavorful ability for bland number crunch.

    This is the least ideal type of feat, I think.
    Yeah fair enough. I felt it should be a benefit focused around magic and enhancing yourself (since you're giving up an external entity), this was the best I could do. Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    A feat and a minor loss for +1 CL and +2 to your casting stat... That's REALLY good for a feat. Too good.
    How good a feat is can only be measured via comparing it to alternative. This options is basically "two feats are equal to 1 CL and +2 to casting stat".

    Personally, I wouldn't mind lowering my casting stat by 2 and CL by 1, if I get to have 2 bonus feats. Especially, if there are no flaws or PF progression. Consequently, for me, Eschew Familiar feat is not good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    Eschew Familiar: Remove a flavorful ability for bland number crunch.

    This is the least ideal type of feat, I think.
    Nope. Reduction of fiddlyness is always good.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    If you consider reduction of fidlyness is always good then can you explain me what is fidlyness?
    And can you explain me why you were playing dnd 3.x in the first place?

    About the homebrew itself I can say: Greater Familiar is quite hampering the saves of the familiar(I made the calculation on my straight core wizard: this feat would make my familiar absolutely horrible at surviving).
    The independence power is not something that would be useful to my wizard since he did not threw his familiar at his opponents.
    And the fact it now use its own hit dice and stats for calculating its health would in fact reduce its health(quite ironic) with many wizards that use equipment.
    So in fact Greater familiar is not a good feat if you carry your familiar around.
    Oh and the whole "loyal to you" is probably already automatic for a familiar because it is "summoned to service" but basically if you somehow have your gm make your class feature work against you it probably means that you pissed off the gm and picking up a feat to fix that will not work: you made your gm angry and the only solution is to stop playing with that gm.
    Last edited by noob; 2017-11-25 at 12:50 PM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    About the homebrew itself I can say: Greater Familiar is quite hampering the saves of the familiar(I made the calculation on my straight core wizard: this feat would make my familiar absolutely horrible at surviving).
    The independence power is not something that would be useful to my wizard since he did not threw his familiar at his opponents.
    And the fact it now use its own hit dice and stats for calculating its health would in fact reduce its health(quite ironic) with many wizards that use equipment.
    So in fact Greater familiar is not a good feat if you carry your familiar around.
    Oh and the whole "loyal to you" is probably already automatic for a familiar because it is "summoned to service" but basically if you somehow have your gm make your class feature work against you it probably means that you pissed off the gm and picking up a feat to fix that will not work: you made your gm angry and the only solution is to stop playing with that gm.
    Hmmm! Does your wizard carry a lot of save- and hp-boosting gear? Generally a greater familiar would have equal or better stats to a PC of that level, let alone a standard familiar.

    Saves: As a magical beast the greater familiar has the Good progression for Fortitude and Reflex saves, in exchange for losing the wizard's Will save. The familiar gains ability points it can put into Wisdom though, as well as the ability to take Iron Will etc.

    Independence is a flavour benefit, useful only in niche situations when you send the familiar on long-distance missions e.g. by using it to covertly deliver touch spells on an enemy you're scrying on.

    Hit Dice: A greater familiar uses d10 HD and can put ability points into Constitution if it so chooses. A wizard needs a starting Constitution of 18 to exceed his familiar's hp (on average), and if he's wearing a +6 con item he can probably afford a +2 or +4 one for his familiar anyways. In any event a greater familiar almost certainly has more hp than a comparable standard familiar:

    Assuming a Constitution 24 wizard (base 18, +6 item): 9.5 hp/Hit Dice, 4.75 hp/Hit Dice for standard familiar, whereas a greater familiar has 5.5 hp/Hit Dice.

    The alignment thing is also for flavour (and to affect the other homebrew feats I posted).
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-11-25 at 01:30 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    1: You forgot the +5 con from wishes or the manual of gainful exercise(or whatever name that magic item had).
    2: When a wizard wears a +5 to saves cape and a luckstone the familiar no longer benefits from it once you take the greater familiar.(I made the calculations: the familiar will have much lower saves since my wizard nearly have a 20 in each save while the familiar will find itself with a 17 in its highest save)
    3:Why spend money on equipment for a familiar when you can get more equipment for yourself and have it benefit your familiar by just not taking that feat?
    Also equipment for your familiar would cost quite a lot:a +2 con item costs 4000 gp.
    If instead of buying that +2 con item you bought more spells on a runestaff you could add a level 4 spell on your runestaff or buy a level 2 pearl of power or save up that money for buying something else later.
    Last edited by noob; 2017-11-25 at 01:46 PM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    1: You forgot the +5 con from wishes or the manual of gainful exercise(or whatever name that magic item had).
    2: When a wizard wears a +5 to saves cape and a luckstone the familiar no longer benefits from it once you take the greater familiar.(I made the calculations: the familiar will have much lower saves since my wizard nearly have a 20 in each save while the familiar will find itself with a 17 in its highest save)
    3:Why spend money on equipment for a familiar when you can get more equipment for yourself and have it benefit your familiar by just not taking that feat?
    Also equipment for your familiar would cost quite a lot:a +2 con item costs 4000 gp.
    If instead of buying that +2 con item you bought more spells on a runestaff you could add a level 4 spell on your runestaff or buy a level 2 pearl of power or save up that money for buying something else later.
    Hm sounds like you run a fairly high-op game - plus luckstones and runestaves aren't core, right?

    1. A Con 29 (including +5 tome) wizard's standard familiar will have 5.75 hp/Hit Dice, more than a greater familiar but it's assuming the best case scenario (20th-level wizard WBL, starting with maximum Constitution), and the greater familiar need only put 1 or 2 points into Constitution to exceed it.

    2. Good point re: save-boosting items, though again a greater familiar can take save-boosting feats, use ability points to pump up its saves, and use Spellcasting Familiar to protect itself via spells. Although a fully-geared wizard's standard familiar might ultimately have better saves, a greater familiar will have better saves for most of a campaign.

    3. Fair enough, though due to diminishing returns a wizard might choose to opt for a +4 item rather than a +6 (can spend 4k on a +2 item for familiar and still have 16k left over).

    Note that a standard familiar might be better-protected but it's ultimately useless at higher levels, whereas a greater familiar can actually be sent off to do stuff.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Actually the familiar have the saves of his master no matter where it is and have half of the hp of the master no matter where it is and if you start using content out of core there is a spell who allows to transfer 5 level 5 spells to your familiar(that the familiar can then cast as if it was you so it have the same caster level as you).
    Luck-stone(+1 luck to all saves) is from the dungeon master manual however the runestaff is not but it was an example of thing someone could want to buy with the extra money.

    In my team we spent most of the money on capes of resistance and we had good saves due to high rolls and also we did pick saving throw feats(since we were using core and in core saving throw feats are not bad) so we had way better saves than stuff with no equipment all the time.(At the same time the gm was a manic of save or lose and saves or die stuff)

    In fact a standard familiar is going to be more useful on its own a great portion of the time due to having the skills of the wizard so it means the familiar have tons of skills when alone(because I had only one stat higher than con and it was int)
    And if you wanted to send your familiar alone it is better to prepare the "imbue familiar with spell" spell rather than getting a feat(way cheaper in character resources).

    Or you could pick prestige since that feat is basically a watered down version of prestige that sacrifice a familiar and gives you a hireling that have rhd instead of classes.
    Last edited by noob; 2017-11-25 at 03:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    can you explain me what is fidlyness?
    High IRL effort, low in-game impact.

    Example of fiddly ability: getting +1 to attack rolls on Attack of Opportunities against creatures with [reptilian] subtype made in shadowy conditions with mithral weapons.

    Admittedly, Familiar is medium impact, but flat bonus is simpler than keeping track of familiar.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    So why are you playing dnd?
    It costs a high effort to make a character compared to most other rpgs which are comparably enjoyable.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Actually the familiar have the saves of his master no matter where it is and have half of the hp of the master no matter where it is and if you start using content out of core there is a spell who allows to transfer 5 level 5 spells to your familiar(that the familiar can then cast as if it was you so it have the same caster level as you).
    Luck-stone(+1 luck to all saves) is from the dungeon master manual however the runestaff is not but it was an example of thing someone could want to buy with the extra money.

    In my team we spent most of the money on capes of resistance and we had good saves due to high rolls and also we did pick saving throw feats(since we were using core and in core saving throw feats are not bad) so we had way better saves than stuff with no equipment all the time.(At the same time the gm was a manic of save or lose and saves or die stuff)

    In fact a standard familiar is going to be more useful on its own a great portion of the time due to having the skills of the wizard so it means the familiar have tons of skills when alone(because I had only one stat higher than con and it was int)
    And if you wanted to send your familiar alone it is better to prepare the "imbue familiar with spell" spell rather than getting a feat(way cheaper in character resources).

    Or you could pick prestige since that feat is basically a watered down version of prestige that sacrifice a familiar and gives you a hireling that have rhd instead of classes.
    I'm afraid I have to disagree; for most a campaign a greater familiar will be a character with better hp and saves (to say nothing of skills and BAB and feats etc.) than a standard familiar, and a standard familiar will be little more than a potential XP loss apart from at low levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    High IRL effort, low in-game impact.

    Example of fiddly ability: getting +1 to attack rolls on Attack of Opportunities against creatures with [reptilian] subtype made in shadowy conditions with mithral weapons.

    Admittedly, Familiar is medium impact, but flat bonus is simpler than keeping track of familiar.
    Yeah, I'm certainly guilty of creating "fiddly" stuff myself (see the Guardian Familiar feat haha) but I appreciate the value of streamlining things.

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    So why are you playing dnd?
    It costs a high effort to make a character compared to most other rpgs which are comparably enjoyable.
    The beauty of D&D (especially 3.5) is that you can generally customise things as much or as little as you wish. If someone wants to increase or decrease the amount of fiddly stuff, more power to them either way.
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-11-25 at 04:03 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    You could have understood that the question was given to Lazymancer.
    If you want a game that allows as much customization as possible you can also try mutants and mastermind: it is simpler(as in less rules and the rules are often less complex) and you can make a character that is as much simple or complex as you want and it takes less time to make the sheet and there is not 500 weird prcs and magic items to look at for making your character efficient.
    dnd 3.5 main appeal is not character customization: it is making weird and convoluted things with weird and convoluted rules.(like casting nystul magic aura on a creature you turned in an object so that you can put a titan in someone pocket to make that person bring a titan into a castle without that person knowing)
    Last edited by noob; 2017-11-25 at 04:12 PM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    You could have understood that the question was given to Lazymancer.
    If you want a game that allows as much customization as possible you can also try mutants and mastermind: it is simpler(as in less rules and the rules are often less complex) and you can make a character that is as much simple or complex as you want and it takes less time to make the sheet and there is not 500 weird prcs and magic items to look at for making your character efficient.
    Yes, but it's an open forum so I was simply commenting.

    Well, maybe Lazymancer simply WANTS to play D&D? :D Or maybe there aren't any non-D&D groups in the area etc... I'm not sure why you expect an explanation from him/her.

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    It costs a high effort to make a character compared to most other rpgs which are comparably enjoyable.
    Please, note "low impact" bit that is inherent to fiddlyness. Most D&D abilities are not low impact.

    Also, I do enjoy OSR as well.

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    Thumbs up Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Yeah fair enough. I felt it should be a benefit focused around magic and enhancing yourself (since you're giving up an external entity), this was the best I could do. Any suggestions?
    The main problem with exchanging a familiar is that you're essentially removing a character from the cast in order to gain mechanical power, so it's kind of inherently problematic no matter what you do. Ideally you're going to want something that prompts more character interaction and doesn't allow the wizard to brood in a corner trying to come up with more sick combos to break the encounter table. My suggestion would be something like this...

    Peer Review [General]
    Requirement: Familiar class feature, the ability to prepare spells
    Benefit: You lose your familiar. You may consult another spellcaster in order to tweak your spell preparation each day. Once each day you may consult with another spellcaster or creature with spell-like abilities in order to gain arcane insight. At the end of that conversation you may replace a number of spell levels equal to your character level with spells they can have prepared (or know). These spells must be on your class spell list. (Ex. A 3rd level wizard who has Magic Missiles and Summon Monster II prepared discusses the differences and similarities between arcane and divine spell casting with a 3rd level Cleric who has Comprehend Language and Owl's Wisdom prepared. At the end of that discussion the Wizard may lose their two spells (or just one) and replace them with the Clerics two spells. The Cleric's own spells are unaffected by this.)
    Special: This feat may be selected in place of Familiar class feature. Characters the receive reduced familiar benefits reduce the power of peer review accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    Nope. Reduction of fiddlyness is always good.
    Go play an idle game and watch the numbers go up then, I'm here for a roleplaying game.
    Last edited by Knitifine; 2017-11-25 at 05:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    So I think greater familiar is sort of good...but I'd word it differently. In every place where you say the familiar gets X, I'd have the familiar get the better of X or Y where Y is what it got under the normal rules. If, for whatever reason, the feat would cause a reduction, it should instead at least get what it would normally get...or perhaps a small bonus to that.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Familiar Feats, Take 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    The main problem with exchanging a familiar is that you're essentially removing a character from the cast in order to gain mechanical power, so it's kind of inherently problematic no matter what you do. Ideally you're going to want something that prompts more character interaction and doesn't allow the wizard to brood in a corner trying to come up with more sick combos to break the encounter table. My suggestion would be something like this...

    Peer Review [General]
    Requirement: Familiar class feature, the ability to prepare spells
    Benefit: You lose your familiar. You may consult another spellcaster in order to tweak your spell preparation each day. Once each day you may consult with another spellcaster or creature with spell-like abilities in order to gain arcane insight. At the end of that conversation you may replace a number of spell levels equal to your character level with spells they can have prepared (or know). These spells must be on your class spell list. (Ex. A 3rd level wizard who has Magic Missiles and Summon Monster II prepared discusses the differences and similarities between arcane and divine spell casting with a 3rd level Cleric who has Comprehend Language and Owl's Wisdom prepared. At the end of that discussion the Wizard may lose their two spells (or just one) and replace them with the Clerics two spells. The Cleric's own spells are unaffected by this.)
    Special: This feat may be selected in place of Familiar class feature. Characters the receive reduced familiar benefits reduce the power of peer review accordingly.
    That's a very intriguing idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragovon View Post
    So I think greater familiar is sort of good...but I'd word it differently. In every place where you say the familiar gets X, I'd have the familiar get the better of X or Y where Y is what it got under the normal rules. If, for whatever reason, the feat would cause a reduction, it should instead at least get what it would normally get...or perhaps a small bonus to that.
    Ha, that would have solved the whole debate above! Good idea, I've added a line to reflect that (though I'm sure it will cause rule problems e.g. with current vs. max hp).

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