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Book of Arcane Magic Preview #4

Product Discussion

The Book of Arcane Magic Preview #4

Welcome to the fourth of five previews to The Book of Arcane Magic: A Sourcebook for Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards! The Book of Arcane Magic is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible product that will release in August 2009. This product features over 100 new arcane spells, new feats based on colleges of magic and bardic schools, new sorcerer bloodlines, new familiars and new magic items.

Today’s feature is from the Familiars chapter and is a sneak peek at the new Clockwork Familiars.

Clockwork Familiars

Clockwork familiars are not true familiars, despite the name. They are tiny constructs that resemble a living creature, such as a cat, rat, owl or bat, and for a wizard or sorcerer, have a place somewhere between a bonded object and a true familiar.

If a wizard has a living familiar, he cannot also have a clockwork familiar. Likewise, the sorceress with a bonded object cannot also have a clockwork familiar. If a wizard or sorcerer loses a familiar or bonded object, he or she can then acquire a clockwork familiar. A wizard or sorcerer can never have more than one clockwork familiar at a time.

There are four common types of clockwork familiars – the clockwork cat, clockwork rat, clockwork bat and clockwork owl. All are visually similar to their namesake animal, but are not living creatures. A wizard must clean and oil his clockwork familiar at least once per week in order to keep grit, mud and rust from interfering with the gear mechanisms that give the clockwork familiar mobility. A clockwork familiar with faulty gears suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to all attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks and skill checks for each week it goes uncleaned. The clockwork familiar’s speed slows by 5 ft. per round for each week it is not cleaned. If a clockwork familiar’s speed drops to 0 ft. due to ill maintenance, the internal gears freeze up, requiring 2d3 days work and 4d10 gp in supplies to return to working condition.

A wizard must be within 1 mile of his clockwork familiar to easily cast spells. If he is more than 1 mile away from the clockwork familiar, the wizard must make a Spellcraft check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell’s level.

Unlike a living familiar, a clockwork familiar grants a wizard no special abilities. However, like a living familiar, the wizard can share spells (Su) with the clockwork familiar, even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the clockwork familiar’s type (construct). Also like a living familiar, the wizard can deliver touch spells (Su) through the clockwork familiar. The wizard must be 5th level or higher in order to do this, otherwise it works the same as the ability of a living familiar. Finally, as with a living familiar, a wizard can scry on clockwork familiar (Sp). If the wizard is 13th level or higher, he may scry on his familiar once per day as if casting the spell scrying.

Because of the arcane nature of their construction, clockwork familiars possess a rudimentary intelligence on par with their living counterparts. Unlike a living familiar, a clockwork familiar’s intelligence does not increase as its master gains power.

For more information on 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, go to or contact them at or (406) 868-9260.

4 Winds Fantasy Gaming is a Great Falls, MT, USA-based roleplaying game publisher, formed in March 2009. The co-owners of the company, Connie & Robert Thomson, have over 40 years combined experience as gamers in tabletop roleplaying games and are using that experience to bring quality new material to the hobby. Connie & Robert have made their home in Great Falls, MT since May 2004. Connie is originally from McClusky, North Dakota and Robert is originally from Etowah, Tennessee.

The Book of Arcane Magic and associated text and art are © 2009 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming

Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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