Ultimate Wilderness reprinted familiar archetypes, slightly modifying some, adding some, and dropping at least one (Decoy). I've been thinking about the Mesmerist Eyebiter archetype lately and wondering which archetype might be most helpful.
An eyebiter imbues one of his eyes with limited sentience, so that he can pluck it out and allow it to move on its own. The eyeball familiar functions similarly to the tumor familiar alchemist discovery (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 17) except as follows. The eyeball familiar does not have fast healing. The eyeball familiar doesn’t resemble an animal, and its size is Fine for a Medium or smaller eyebiter (or one size category larger for every size category the eyebiter is larger than Medium). It has a fly speed of 20 feet (perfect maneuverability) and no physical attacks (though it can still deliver touch spells once the eyebiter has reached 3rd level). The eyeball has a Strength score of 1, a Dexterity score of 12, and a Constitution score of 10. It has no set Hit Die, base saves, or skill ranks of its own, though it uses its master’s when a familiar normally would. It doesn’t grant its master any familiar bonus, nor can it ever be an improved familiar.
Whenever the eyebiter’s eyeball familiar leaves his body, he is dazzled until it returns (if it is destroyed, the eyebiter loses that eye until he gains the effects of a regeneration). An eyebiter must have at least one eye to use this ability, and an eyebiter with only one eye is blinded instead of dazzled until his familiar returns.
1. First up, the Protector. Please note that while the eyeball familiar "functions similarly to" a tumor, it is not a toomah and therefore shouldn't be held back by the new language forbidding tumor familiars from taking the archetype. It doesn't have fast healing, which is the reason they did that.
Protector familiars are so devoted that they would give their lives for their masters. A tumor familiar can’t be a protector.Loyal Bodyguard (Ex): A protector gains BodyguardAPG and Combat Reflexes as bonus feats. If the familiar is sharing its master’s square, it can use Bodyguard to aid another to improve its master’s AC even if it doesn’t threaten the attacking foe, though it still needs line of effect to its master and the attacker.
This replaces alertness and improved evasion.
Shield Master (Su): At 5th level, whenever a protector or its master takes hit point damage, as long as the protector and its master are touching, its master can split the damage evenly between them as if under the effects of shield other.
This replaces deliver touch spells and speak with animals of its kind.
Able Defender (Ex): At 11th level, a protector gains In Harm’s WayAPG as a bonus feat. In addition, the familiar’s hit points are now equal to its master’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), regardless of its actual Hit Dice.
This replaces spell resistance.
Pros: Consistent +2 AC boost, extra HP via splitting damage, hilarious "hit me in the eye" applications of In Harm's Way, generally cool RPing of how the connected eye is providing Bodyguard bonuses (probably via emotional/spoken warnings).Cons: You have to heal your eyeball separately out of combat, putting extra strain on CLW wands. Your very fragile spy trades improved evasion and SR for some HP soaking.
2. Next, the Emissary. This is pretty hilarious to RP, with your god putting a bit of power in your independent eyeball. Perfect if you have Odin as a homebrew deity.
The emissary is touched by the divine, serving as a font of wisdom and a moral compass for its master.Special Requirement: An emissary familiar can serve only a master who worships a single deity.
Emissary Skills: An emissary treats Heal, Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive as class skills.
Divine Guidance (Sp): An emissary can cast guidance at will. This replaces alertness.
Share Will (Su): Whenever an emissary or its master fails a saving throw against a mind-affecting effect that affects only one of them, the other can attempt the saving throw as well. If this second saving throw is a success, treat the original result as a success, and the emissary and its master can’t use this ability again for 24 hours. On a failure, both the emissary and its master suffer the effects of the failed saving throw, even if one of them wouldn’t ordinarily be a valid target.
This replaces share spells.
Domain Influence (Sp or Su): At 3rd level, the emissary gains a spark of divine power from the deity its master worships. Choose one of that deity’s domains that grants a 1st-level domain power usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the user’s Wisdom modifier. The emissary can use that power once per day.
This replaces deliver touch spells.
Pros: +3 to any Knowledge (religion) ranks you took, +1 to saves/attacks/skills from spamming Guidance, small chance of a backup mind affecting save (what is the Wisdom of your eyeball?), domain can be cool but don't pick a touch effect for your Fine sized familiar that requires Regenerate to come back.
3. Finally, we have Figment. There's nothing RAW to prevent it, for RP purposes I guess you sacrificed your eye for power and rebuild its ghost as part of your class ability.
Figments are born from their masters’ imaginations rather than being ordinary creatures that are awakened.Recurring Dream (Su): A figment has a total number of hit points equal to 1/4 of its master’s total hit points. If the figment dies, it vanishes, appearing again with 1 hit point after its master awakens from a full night’s sleep. If a figment ever strays more than 100 feet from its master or enters an antimagic field, or if a figment’s master is unconscious or asleep, the figment disappears until the next time its master prepares spells or regains her spells per day. Because it is a being of its master’s mind, a figment can never serve as a witch’s familiar, a shaman’s spirit animal, or any other spell- granting familiar, and it can’t use any divination spells or spell-like abilities the base creature has.
This replaces improved evasion.
Manifest Dreams (Su): At 3rd level, a figment is shaped by its master’s dreams. Each time the master awakens from a full night’s rest, he can apply to the figment 1 evolution point’s worth of eidolon evolutions that don’t have a base form requirement. At7thlevel,he can apply 2 points’ worth of eidolon evolutions;
at 13th level, he can apply 3 points’ worth of eidolon evolutions.
This replaces deliver touch spells, speak with animals of its kind, and scry on familiar.
Pros: You don't ever have to spend money on a Regenerate spell. Some of the eidolon evolutions, such as Basic Magic (ranged touch Acid Splash/Ray of Frost) to trigger your Painful Stare debuffs, can help in combat, while others, like Scent, Skilled, Minor Magic (Vanish, Comprehend Languages, Detect Evil, or Obscuring Mist), Blindsense, Major Magic (Invisibility or See Invisibility), or See in Darkness help its scouting function.Cons: About that enhanced scouting function - its limited to 100'. You won't have to Regenerate your eye, but you will spend a lot of time without it and suffering a -1 to hit until you get it back.
Any recommendations here? Some other archetype I'm overlooking?
I see the Protector going well with a melee/survivable Mesmerist, Emissary as more of a generalist, and the Figment as a short range reliable scout I'm not afraid to use, as well as a potential skill booster for Perception or Knowledge skill. I haven't thought too much yet about which defensive Mesmerist tricks are best to implant and how they work out with particular uses of the familiar.