Players' Guide: Familiars

No house rules or things necessary for play live here, just additional helpful reference materials. Basically think of this section as a bonus sourcebook.

Moderator: Dungeon Masters

Players' Guide: Familiars

Postby Jiriki » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:25 am

This post is basically just a reference guide on familiars with some new game-specific information; if your characters don't have one and don't want one, feel free to move along.

Who can take a familiar?
Sorcerers and wizards receive the ability to take familiars upon taking their first levels in that class, though they must pay 100 gp for the privilege, and enact a ritual that requires 8 hours of concentration. At higher level, they can take the Improved Familiar feat to expand their selection, but the summoning process works in the same manner.

Other arcane spellcasters (bards, warmages, etc.) can gain a familiar by taking the Obtain Familiar feat from Complete Arcane, which requires arcane caster level 3rd. They also must pay the 100 gp fee for summoning materials. Once they have taken the Obtain Familiar feat, they are also eligible to take the Improved Familiar feat.

Why do I want a familiar? And what are the drawbacks?
Even the most basic familiars can serve as lookouts or run minor errands. If the right familiar type is chosen, it can convey messages, and at higher level they can be used to gain information from others of their kind, or even as a scrying beacon. Improved familiars, in addition to these benefits, are useful in combat as well (though some are far moreso than others). On top of all that, a familiar's presence within 1 mile usually grants you a feat-equivalent bonus, and all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat so long as they are within 5 feet.

The drawbacks are that once you have a familiar, you need to keep a very close eye on it, and you need to make sure beforehand that you're taking the one you want. If it is ever killed, or you decide you want to dismiss it for a different one, you lose 200 XP per caster level (Fort DC 15 half), and you cannot gain a new familiar for a year and a day.

House Rules
On losing a familiar, you can choose not to attempt the Fortitude save at all. You automatically take the full XP hit, 200 points per level, but you can summon a new familiar as soon as possible thereafter instead of waiting the full year and a day.

If a normal specimen of your familiar (as per its entry in the appropriate sourcebook) would have higher maximum HP than the normal for a familiar (1/2 the master's), it instead has maximum HP as the normal specimen.

Thankfully, many familiars can wear at least some items (so rather than selling off your old items, they can be passed down to your familiar, because most magic items resize for their wearer), which can make them sturdier in battle. However, most also have one or more anatomical limitations that keep them from taking advantage of all the humanoid-shaped item slots, so in many cases a DM will have to adjudicate just what your familiar can wear.

Examples
Because of its body shape and anatomical limitations (no opposable thumbs and wings instead of arms, for starters), a bat cannot wear/use a vestment, gloves, boots, gauntlets, bracers, or weapons, but could theoretically wear rings, a necklace, and a circlet, as well as ioun stones that could be placed around it by its master.

A mephit, meanwhile, can wear any item, because it is humanoid-shaped, and wield weapons or other items (such as potions or tools), because it has opposable thumbs and outsiders are proficient with simple and martial weapons.

Familiars capable of true speech, and only those, can use command-word items; this is limited to the Raven, the Parrot, and most Improved Familiars. No familiar can use spell-completion items unless it has a caster level (and of this list, the only one with that option is the Phaerimm), and only the Phaerimm and True Dragon familiars may use spell-trigger items (since they would eventually gain access to the sorcerer's spell list as normal creatures, even though they never do so as familiars).

Familiars get more powerful as I do, right?
Correct. As your level increases, your familiar increases in potency as well, as follows:

  • A familiar has as many Hit Dice as its master, and precisely half as many hit points. Note that this does not increase the familiar's size, even if it has a size increase in the Advancement portion of its published stat-block.
  • A familiar's base saves (not including ability modifiers) are each the better of his master's or that of a normal creature of its type and Hit Dice. (This generally results in a familiar having all "good" saves or close to it.)
  • A familiar shares its master's Base Attack Bonus. (All familiars also effectively have Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.)
  • In addition to the skills of the base creature (which do not increase with Hit Dice, mind), a familiar has ranks in all skills equal to its master's. For example, if the master has 8 ranks in Spellcraft, so does his familiar. This may allow the familiar to serve as sort of a "second-chance" roll on many skills, though there are also many skills a familiar cannot use (or use with relevance) regardless of its ranks due to bodily limitations. For example, a lizard familiar will be hard-pressed to use Craft at all, and even if it could use Spellcraft to identify a spell, unless it has gained the ability to speak with its master, said identification would be worthless.

Further, a familiar gains several abilities based on its master's arcane caster level. (By RAW, this is limited to the master's wizard or sorcerer level, but that rule has been reinterpreted to include the total arcane caster level, which includes prestige class levels that stack for spellcasting purposes.)

  • At every odd level, the familiar's natural armor bonus increases by +1.
  • At every odd level, the familiar's Intelligence increases by 1, starting at 6. If the familiar's base Int is higher (such as with an Improved Familiar), its Int starts at the base creature's, and does not increase until natural progression overtakes it. For example, if the base creature's Int is 10, the familiar's Int is 10 and does not increase until its master reaches 11th level (when all familiars reach Int 11).
  • Familiars also eventually gain other powers based on their master's arcane caster level. See the "Familiars" section in the Player's Handbook for those specifics. Improved Familiars use the same chart for additional abilities, with the exception of gaining the Speak with animals of its own kind ability--most improved familiars can speak naturally, so this option is redundant.

What's an 'improved' familiar, as opposed to a 'basic' one?
An improved familiar is one that is taken by virtue of the Improved Familiar feat from the Dungeon Master's Guide. They require a higher caster level, and many also have other requirements, but they are hardier and more powerful than standard familiars, and many have relatively potent combat abilities. Many can also communicate with other sentient creatures normally (that is, they have one or more spoken languages, usually including Common), whereas most basic familiars can speak only with their master or others of their own kind.

Base familiars, by comparison, are those available at creation. They're not as powerful to start as an Improved Familiar, but they have the upside of giving you certain bonuses that most improved familiars do not (all but mindless construct familiars grant Alertness, but no familiar after 3rd level grants additional bonuses to the master), and they don't require an additional feat to acquire.

Note that any familiar, Improved or Base, that starts with the Animal type becomes a Magical Beast. All other familiars retain the base creature's type.

What familiars are available?
Familiars, both base and Improved, are scattered throughout several of the books we allow on this site, and it seems almost every time they are discussed, there is a reference to the lists not being complete, and that anything of the same relative size and power level is suitable to be a familiar. What does that mean? Well, I've officially gone through all the books we allow on this site, and cobbled together what would appear to be a full list of the familiars, both base and improved. This includes lists collated from all the books we allow, plus official DM rulings on other creatures deemed suitable to join this list, and a few custom creatures pulled from the Silver Marches sourcebook for some local flavor.

Any familiar with an alignment other than True Neutral requires the caster to have an alignment within one step on both the good-evil and lawful-chaotic axes. For example, a Lawful Good familiar could be summoned by an LG, NG, TN, or LN caster, while a Neutral Good familiar could be summoned by any caster of a non-evil alignment. Some familiars are more restrictive than this; these are noted on the tables linked below.

Additional Note: Familiars With Spells and Spell-Like Abilities
Familiars with spell-like abilities (which includes no base familiars, but many improved ones) have a caster level for those abilities equal to the number listed in the base creature's stat-block or the familiar's Hit Dice, whichever is higher.

The Phaerimm Hatchling, meanwhile, is the only familiar that has access to actual spells: it casts spells as a 1st-level sorcerer. Its caster level (which does not affect spells per day or spells known, only level-dependent variables such as damage dice, range, and duration) is equal to 1/2 its Hit Dice.

Dragon Wyrmlings generally do not have spell-like abilities. However, because dragons do eventually get access to spells once they reach a certain age category, they can freely activate wands and other spell-trigger items based on spells from the sorcerer's class list.

Base-Level Familiars
The following list includes the familiars that are available to anyone capable of summoning a familiar. The Improved Familiar feat is not required for any of these (as all the other familiars discussed in this section do).

Format: Creature Name - Source, Bonus granted to master.

  • Albatross - Stormwrack, +1 Spot
  • Bat - Player's Handbook, +3 Listen
  • Cat - Player's Handbook, +3 Move Silently
  • Eel* - Stormwrack, +3 Escape Artist
  • Fish Owl - Stormwrack, +3 Spot (only in areas of shadowy illumination)
  • Hawk - Player's Handbook, +3 Spot (only in areas of bright illumination)
  • Ibis - Races of Faerun, +3 Spot
  • Lizard - Player's Handbook, +3 Climb
  • Monkey - Custom, +2 Balance and +2 Tumble
  • Octopus* - Stormwrack, +3 Grapple checks
  • Owl - Player's Handbook, +3 Spot (only in areas of shadowy illumination)
  • Parrot - Stormwrack, +3 Appraise and familiar can speak one language
  • Rat - Player's Handbook, +2 Fortitude
  • Raven - Player's Handbook, +3 Appraise and familiar can speak one language
  • Rock Rat - Custom, +3 Sleight of Hand
  • Sea Snake - Stormwrack, +3 Bluff
  • Sewerm - Serpent Kingdoms, +2 saves vs. pain effects
  • Snake - Player's Handbook, +3 Bluff
  • Snake, Dung - Serpent Kingdoms, +2 saves vs. disease
  • Snake, Reed - Serpent Kingdoms, +2 saves vs. poison
  • Spider, Hairy - Monsters of Faerun, grants no benefit
  • Tereep - Custom, +3 Initiative
  • Toad - Player's Handbook, +3 hit points
  • Treecat - Custom, +2 Climb and +2 Move Silently
  • Weasel - Player's Handbook, +2 Reflex

Notes: All base familiars are of Tiny size (except for the Hairy Spider, which is Fine, the Sewerm, which is Small, and the Dung Snake, which is Medium). All base familiars are of True Neutral alignment, making them viable choices for any spellcaster. The Eel and Octopus are aquatic creatures typically lacking the ability to breathe oxygen, making their availability limited in most cases.

  • Rock Rat: A lizard-like rodent that steals and feeds on eggs. Stats identical to the Lizard, and most casters from this area take rock rats instead of lizards, as the climate suits them better.
  • Sewerm: A brown marsh-snake up to eight feet in length that feeds on blood much like a leech. These aren't terribly common in the North.
  • Tereep: A tiny, loud, skittish warbler unique to (and extremely common in) the North. Stats identical to the Owl; only casters who originate from The North or Silverymoon may take these as familiars.
  • Tree-Cat: A climbing cat with a bushy tail that behaves like a squirrel. Stats identical to the Cat, except it has a Climb speed (20 ft.), its racial Climb bonus increases to +8, and it can always choose to Take 10 on a Climb check.

Improved Familiars, CL 3rd+
All of the following familiars require both the Improved Familiar feat and a caster level of at least 3rd to summon. Like the basic familiars, these familiars continue to grant statistical bonuses to their masters while within 1 mile. (Note that this is a house rule in some cases; not all of the books list benefits for these familiars, but we've elected to equalize the options at this level.) Unlike the basic familiars, the alignments, sizes, Intelligence, and types of these creatures can vary. Some of these familiars also have additional requirements; these are noted in the listing below.

Format: Creature name - Source, Size, Alignment, Bonus granted to master, Additional requirements, if any.

  • Badger - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN, +3 Escape Artist
  • Krenshar - Monster Manual, Medium, AL TN, +3 Intimidate, Base Atk Bonus +3
  • Lynx - Races of Faerun, Small, AL TN, +3 Move Silently
  • Lizard, Spitting Crawler - Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Tiny, AL TN, +3 Hide
  • Monstrous Centipede, Small* - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN, +3 Climb
  • Monstrous Scorpion, Small - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN, +3 Grapple checks
  • Snake, Flying - Races of Faerun, Small, AL TN, +2 saves vs. Acid spells/effects
  • Snake, Glacier - Serpent Kingdoms, Medium, AL N, +2 saves vs. Cold spells/effects
  • Snake, Tree Python - Serpent Kingdoms, Medium, AL CE, +3 Hide
  • Tressym - Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Tiny, AL CG, +2 saves vs. poison
  • Viper, Medium - Monster Manual, Medium, AL TN, +2 saves vs. poison
  • Watchspider - City of Splendors: Waterdeep, Medium, AL TN, +3 Climb
  • Warg - Monster Manual, Medium, AL NE, +1 natural armor, Base Atk Bonus +3
  • Whipsnake - Serpent Kingdoms, Medium, AL N, +3 Grapple checks

Note: The Small Monstrous Centipede actually becomes available at CL 2nd.

Improved Familiars, CL 5th+
All of the following familiars require both the Improved Familiar feat and a caster level of at least 5th to summon. Unlike the basic familiars and the Improved Familiars at CL 3rd, the familiars listed below--as well as those requiring an even higher caster level--do not grant any additional benefits to their master (except for Alertness). The alignments, sizes, Intelligence, and types of these creatures can vary. Some of these familiars also have additional requirements; these are noted in the listing below.

Format: Creature name - Source, Size, Alignment, Additional requirements, if any.

  • Blink Dog - Monster Manual, Medium, AL LG, Good alignment, Base Atk Bonus +5
  • Elemental, Small - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN
  • Eyeball Beholderkin - Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Tiny, AL NE
  • Hell Hound - Monster Manual, Medium, AL LE, Evil alignment, Base Atk Bonus +5
  • Jaculi - Serpent Kingdoms, Medium, AL CE
  • Mlarrun - Serpent Kingdoms, Medium, AL N
  • Monstrous Spider, Small* - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN
  • Muckdweller - Serpent Kingdoms, Tiny, AL LE
  • Night Hunter Deep Bat - Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Medium, AL NE, Evil alignment
  • Osquip - Races of Faerun, Small, AL TN
  • Shocker Lizard - Monster Manual, Small, AL TN
  • Stirge - Monster Manual, Tiny, AL TN
Note: The Small Monstrous Spider actually becomes available at CL 4th.

Improved Familiars, CL 7th+
Three of the familiars described here are constructs. In addition to the standard process for making such things into familiars, the caster must first craft the familiar's body using the Craft Construct feat. Mindless construct familiars (those with an Int score of -) do not gain an increased Int score like other familiars, and do not confer Alertness on their master, but replacing one does not take a year and a day, either.

Format: Creature name - Source, Size, Alignment, Additional requirements, if any.

  • Deathfang - Races of Faerun, Small, AL NE, Evil alignment, Spell Focus [Necromancy]
  • Elemental Grue - Complete Arcane, Medium, AL NE
  • Formian Worker - Monster Manual, Small, AL LN
  • Guardgoyle - City of Splendors: Waterdeep, Small, AL TN, Craft Construct, 2,500 gp, 120 XP, 5 days
  • Hippogriff - Monster Manual, Large, AL TN, Base Atk Bonus +7
  • Homunculus* - Monster Manual, Tiny, AL TN, Craft Construct, 1,050 gp, 78 XP, 3 days
  • Howler - Monster Manual, Large, AL CE, Base Atk Bonus +7
  • Imp - Monster Manual, Tiny, AL LE, Evil alignment
  • Mephit - Monster Manual (some also in Sandstorm), Small, AL TN
  • Phaerimm, Hatchling - Lost Empires of Faerun, Tiny, AL NE, Evil alignment, Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks, Knowledge (history) 5 ranks
  • Pseudodragon - Monster Manual, Tiny, AL NG
  • Quasit - Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CE, Evil alignment
  • Spark Guardian - Complete Warrior, Tiny, AL TN, Craft Construct, 7,000 gp, 400 XP, 14 days
  • Vargouille* - Monster Manual, Small, AL NE
  • Winter Wolf - Monster Manual, Large, AL NE, Base Atk Bonus +7
  • Yeth Hound - Monster Manual, Medium, AL NE, Base Will save +5

Note: A Homunculus can be created with up to 6 Hit Dice, at a cost of +2,000 gp per Hit Die above 2. This increases its number of base skills and feats as well.
Note #2: The Vargouille actually becomes available at CL 6th. It does not have the standard vargouille's Kiss ability.

Improved Familiars, CL 8th+
All of the following familiars require both the Improved Familiar feat and a very high caster level to summon; these are the most powerful familiars available to any spellcaster. Like the Improved Familiars at CL 5th and CL 7th, the familiars listed below do not grant any additional benefits to their master (except for Alertness). The alignments, sizes, Intelligence, and types of these creatures can vary. Some of these familiars also have additional requirements; these are noted in the listing below.

Constructs: Two of the familiars described here are constructs. In addition to the standard process for making such things into familiars, the caster must first craft the familiar's body using the Craft Construct feat. Mindless construct familiars (those with an Int score of -) do not gain an increased Int score like other familiars, and do not confer Alertness on their master, but replacing one does not take a year and a day, either.

Dragons: Among the most powerful familiars that can be summoned are True Dragon Wyrmlings. Only a dragon of wyrmling age (0-5 years) can be summoned; all such familiars start at age 1, and will serve the caster until they reach very young age (at age 6). Upon reaching the Very Young age category, a dragon immediately leaves its master's service--but the loss of such a familiar due to age does not carry an XP penalty, and a new familiar (draconic or otherwise) can be summoned immediately. ICly, the former familiar remains an ally, and may continue to help the character out in the future.

Format: Creature name - Minimum caster level required, Source, Size, Alignment, Additional requirements, if any.

  • Wyrmling, White - CL 8th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Gauntlet Guardian - CL 9th, Complete Warrior, Small, AL TN, Craft Construct, 11,500 gp, 800 XP, 23 days
  • Wyrmling, Black - CL 9th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Brass - CL 9th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Fang - CL 9th, Monsters of Faerun, Tiny, AL CN, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Green - CL 9th, Monster Manual, Small, AL LE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Mist - CL 9th, Dragons of Faerun, Tiny, AL TN, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Steel - CL 9th, Dragons of Faerun, Small, AL LN/LG (caster's choice), Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Blue - CL 10th, Monster Manual, Small, AL LE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Copper - CL 10th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Deep - CL 10th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Shadow - CL 10th, Monster Manual, Tiny, AL CE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Blade Guardian - CL 11th, Complete Warrior, Medium, AL TN, Craft Construct, 18,000 gp, 1,200 XP, 36 days
  • Wyrmling, Bronze - CL 11th, Monster Manual, Small, AL LG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Brown - Cl 11th, Monster Manual, Small, AL NE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Song - CL 11th, Monsters of Faerun, Tiny, AL CG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Starsnake - CL 12th, Shining South, Medium, AL CN
  • Wyrmling, Red - CL 12th, Monster Manual, Medium, AL CE, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Silver - CL 12th, Monster Manual, Small, AL LG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic
  • Wyrmling, Gold - CL 14th, Monster Manual, Medium, AL LG, Charisma 13+ and Draconic

Improved Familiars, Templates
Some spellcasters have figured out how to augment the abilities of an existing familiar by infusing it with certain types of magical energy, thus granting it the abilities of a template.

If you already have a familiar (of any kind, base or improved) and the Improved Familiar feat, you can add one of the templates listed below to that same familiar without being forced to dismiss it. A familiar with one of these templates grants the same bonus as the base creature would; a Celestial Rat, for instance, still grants the master a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves. Note: A familiar cannot be given more than one template, and once applied, it cannot be removed.

Rather than requiring a set caster level, the level required to add a template to a given familiar is determined by both the template and its prospective recipient; each template has a listed caster level modifier, which is added to the minimum level required to summon the base familiar. For example, if you have an Osquip familiar (minimum CL 5th) and wish to make it Pseudonatural (CL modifier +2), you would need to have a caster level of at least 7th to add the template. Further, certain templates may only be applied to certain creature types.

Summoning a brand-new familiar with one of these templates requires the same 100 gp material cost and 24-hour ritual as a standard familiar. Applying the template to an existing familiar, however, is more difficult, and requires a greater expenditure of materials: the same 24-hour period is required to add the new template, but the new ritual costs 100 gp per point of the template's caster level modifier.

The templates are as follows:

Anarchic
This creature looks similar to others of its kind, but its skin and hair are blotchy or patchy, it moves erratically, and it has an "unfinished" look. At a quick glance, it reminds you of a Giant Frog, regardless of its normal form.
  • Source: Planar Handbook.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +3.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Aberration, animal, dragon, fey, magical beast, plant, vermin. Base creature must be chaotic or neutral by alignment.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be chaotic.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: Smite law 1/day. Immunity to polymorph, petrification. Acid, cold, and electricity resistance 5; increases to 10 at 8 HD. Gain fast healing 1 at 4 HD, 2 at 8 HD, and 3 at 12 HD. Gain damage reduction 5/magic at 4 HD; increases to 10 at 12 HD.

Axiomatic
This creature looks similar to others of its kind, but much "cleaner." Its symmetry is perfect, its body lean, its features crisp and prominent. Its gait is almost mechanical, with great attention to form and balance.
  • Source: Planar Handbook.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +3.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Aberration, animal, dragon, fey, magical beast, plant, vermin. Base creature must be lawful or neutral by alignment.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be lawful.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: Smite chaos 1/day. Darkvision 60 ft. Cold, fire, electricity, and sonic resistance 5; increases to 10 at 11 HD. Spell resistance equal to double familiar's Hit Dice.

Celestial
This creature looks similar to others of its kind, but its eyes are yellow in color, and it seems to glow with a faint inner light. Its hair and skin appear faintly metallic. Any hair, fur, or feathers it has are streaked with white or gold.
  • Source: Monster Manual.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Aberration, animal, dragon, fey, magical beast, plant, ooze, vermin. Base creature must be good or neutral by alignment.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be good.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: Smite evil 1/day. Darkvision 60 ft. Acid, cold, and electricity resistance 5; increases to 10 at 8 HD. Spell resistance equal to 5 + familiar's Hit Dice. Gain damage reduction 5/magic at 4 HD; increases to 10 at 12 HD.

Cold Beast
This creature looks similar to others of its kind, but its eyes are a bright, shimmering blue, and its skin and hair are covered with a thin layer of frost. In warm areas, steam visibly rises from it, and its breath comes in clouds of vapor.
  • Source: Custom.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +4.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Aberration, animal, magical beast, plant, vermin. Base creature cannot already have the Cold or Fire subtype.
  • Other Requirements: Master must have at least 12 ranks in Knowledge (the planes).
  • Type Modification: Type changes to Elemental. Gain Cold subtype.
  • Features: Immunity to cold, vulnerability to fire. Darkvision 60 ft. Immunity to poison, stunning, sleep, paralysis, and critical hits. Natural armor increases by +2. Gain damage reduction 5/magic at 8 HD; increases to 10 at 12 HD, type becomes /bludgeoning and magic at 16 HD. Familiar can speak if it couldn't already, and learns Auran or Aquan (caster's choice). Attacks with natural weapons deal an additional 1d6 cold damage.

Cryptspawned
This creature looks like others of its kind, but its skin is a putrid, flaky shade of grey, its teeth are yellowed, its eyes are a bit milky, and its hair is thin and limp. It smells vaguely of death.
  • Source: Magic of Faerun.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Any creature except construct, elemental, outsider, or undead.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be evil and have the Spell Focus (necromancy) feat.
  • Type Modification: Type changes to Undead. Gain Augmented subtype.
  • Features: No Constitution score. Darkvision 60 ft. Natural armor bonus increases by +1, with a +1 increase per 4 additional HD (maximum +5 at 17 HD). +4 racial bonus to Intimidate. Undead traits and immunities. Charisma +2. +2 turn resistance. Spell-like abilities: 3/day cause fear, 1/day ghoul touch.

Dark
The familiar becomes infused with shadow-stuff. It looks similar to others of its kind, but somethat hazy or distorted, almost washed-out, with darker hair and skin. Its weight is also reduced, as if not all of its substance is solid.
  • Source: Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Any creature except constructs, elementals, and undead.
  • Other Requirements: Master must have at least 8 ranks in Knowledge (the planes). Good casters rarely summon such creatures, but there is no specific prohibition against it.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: Darkvision 60 ft. Superior low-light vision (4x normal). +8 racial bonus to Hide, +6 racial bonus to Move Silently. +10 bonus to all movement speeds. Resistance to cold 10. Hide in Plain Sight (can Hide while observed and lacking cover/concealment except in natural light or a daylight spell).

Fiendish
This creature looks similar to others of its kind, but it reeks slightly of brimstone, and usually sports red eyes, hooves, horns, scales, or other infernal deformities.
  • Source: Monster Manual.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Aberration, animal, dragon, fey, magical beast, ooze, plant, vermin. Base creature must be evil or neutral by alignment.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be evil.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: Smite good 1/day. Darkvision 60 ft. Cold and fire resistance 5; increases to 10 at 8 HD. Spell resistance equal to 5 + familiar's Hit Dice. Gain damage reduction 5/magic at 4 HD; increases to 10 at 12 HD.

Pseudonatural
As if taken stright from the nightmares of a lunatic, this creature looks in basic form like others of its kind, but is covered with vestigial eyes, tentacles, and obscene shapes.
  • Source: Complete Arcane.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Any living creature except outsider.
  • Other Requirements: Master must be neutral by moral (G-E) alignment.
  • Type Modification: Gain Outsider type. Gain Extraplanar subtype.
  • Features: True strike 1/day. Darkvision 60 ft. Alternate Form (tentacled mass only; abilities unchanged, but creatures take a -1 morale penalty on attacks against a pseudonatural familiar in alternate form). Acid and electricity resistance 5; increases to 10 at 8 HD, and to 15 at 12 HD. Spell resistance equal to 10 + familiar's Hit Dice. Gain damage reduction 5/magic at 4 HD; increases to 10 at 12 HD.

Spellwarped
This creature looks in basic form like others of its kind, but it is much faster and visibly more powerful. Overloaded with pure arcane energy, its eyes crackle, its skin shimmers, and it seems to faintly thrum with its inherent power.
  • Source: Monster Manual III.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +4.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Any creature except construct, elemental, or undead.
  • Other Requirements: Master must have at least 12 ranks in Knowledge (arcana).
  • Type Modification: Gain Aberration type. Gain Augmented subtype.
  • Features: Strength +4, Dexterity +2, Constitution +4, Charisma +4. Spell resistance increases to 11 + Hit Dice. Natural armor increases by +2. Radiates a magical aura as a magic item of its master's CL. Gain the following ability:
    • Spell Absorbtion (Ex): Whenever a spell fails to penetrate the familiar's spell resistance, it gains one of the following benefits, chosen when the spell resolves: +4 Str, +4 Dex, or +4 Con for 1 minute, resistance 10 to one energy type for 1 minute, 5 temporary hit points per level of the failed spell (which last for 1 minute), or a base speed increase of 10 feet per level of the failed spell for 1 minute.

Winged
This creature looks identical to others of its kind, except it moves with more grace and agility, and it spots a pair of large, powerful wings. These wings may be leathery bat wings, iridescent dragonfly wings, or feathered bird-like wings; the type of wings that appear seem to depend on the alignment of both the creature and the caster, though there are some exceptions.
  • Source: Savage Species.
  • Caster Level Modifier: +2.
  • Eligible Creature Types: Animal, magical beast, outsider, vermin. Creature cannot already have a fly speed.
  • Other Requirements: None.
  • Type Modification: Animals become magical beasts, otherwise unchanged.
  • Features: Dexterity +4, Wisdom +4. Extraordinary fly speed, in the form of wings (feathered if good, bat-like if evil, iridescent/insectile or caster's choice if neutral on moral alignment axis); fly speed is equal to base land speed +20, with good maneuverability.
User avatar
Jiriki
 
Posts: 1434
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:30 pm
Location: UK!

Return to Player Guides

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest