A Few More Answers

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hi Pathfinders!

Familiars and animal companions are loyal allies that can be of great assistance to your PCs. Adjudicating rules around them can get messy, however, particularly in an organized campaign like the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. When we updated the Pathfinder Society FAQ a few months ago, we left a big "We'll get back to this" at the top of the question regarding familiars and magic item use. We knew this was going to be a hugely time-consuming project, so we enlisted help from a team of community members: Lau Bannenberg, Steven Lau, Bradley McTeer, and Roger Sidebotham. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to pull together a comprehensive guide to every magic-item related question we could think of for familiars. In addition to updating the list of who can use wands, we tackled the thorny question of magic item slots. Many hours of "Does a floating head have different magic item slots than a floating helmet?" later, we created a magic item slot chart for every familiar that it is possible to acquire in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

All of this information will appear on the FAQ soon, along with a few other smaller updates. For now, here it is, spoilered for length.

Can my familiar wield weapons or use magic items?

By default, familiars do not have any magic item slots, but they can unlock magic item slots associated with their respective body shape. See below for a list of which body slots each familiar is eligible to unlock. To unlock a magic item slot, a familiar must take the Extra Item Slot feat, which appears in Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive and will be reprinted in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide as of version 9.0. In the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, familiars of all body shapes may take this feat, including humanoid-shaped familiars. When you gain a familiar, you may exchange one of its feats for Extra Item Slot for free. Familiars may also carry slotless magic items and activate ioun stones.

The following chart specifies the magic item slots that each familiar can unlock. Available slots followed by either (saddle) or (horseshoes) denote that creatures of that body type can only wear magic items in those slots if they are saddles or horseshoes, respectively. Creatures without these notes cannot wear saddles or horseshoes. Celestial, entropic, fiendish, and resolute familiars use the same slots as typical animals of their kind.

All familiars can activate the abilities of their use-activated magic items, so long as these abilities do not require a command word. The following familiars can use spell trigger and spell completion magic items, including wands and scrolls, as well as magic items with a command word: arbiter, brownie, cassisian (in small humanoid form), faerie dragon, imp, leshy (any), liminal sprite, lyrakien, mephit (any type), nosoi, nuglub, pooka, pyrausta, quasit, shikigami, soulbound doll, sprite, and zhyen. For more information on these magic item categories, see page 456 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Familiars in categories marked with an asterisk (*) are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including weapons, rods, wands, and staves, as long as their carrying capacity is sufficient. Most familiars cannot wield weapons in combat. The following familiars can wield weapons: arbiter, brownie, cassisian (in small humanoid form), imp, leshy (any), liminal sprite, lyrakien, mephit (any), nuglub, pooka, quasit, shikigami, soulbound doll, sprite, and zhyen.

Some familiars have natural shapeshifting ability. One of the most striking cases is the cassisian familiar, which is listed below in both its humanoid form and its helmet form. Whenever a familiar changes from a form that has access to a magic item slot into a form that does not, the item melded into its body. A melded item provides no benefits. For familiars that can take the shapes of animals, use the standard item categories for that animal listed below.

Please review Additional Resources before selecting a familiar. Some of the listed familiars are only legal choices if your character has a Chronicle sheet boon or an archetype that grants access to them.

Arbiter* (eyes, hand, headband, wrist): Arbiter

Auger (eyes, headband): Auger

Avian* (armor, belt, chest, eyes, headband, neck, ring, wrist): Archaeopteryx, arctic tern, bat, chicken, clockwork familiar, dodo, dove, flying fox, hawk, kakapo, mockingfey, nosoi, osprey, owl, parrot, peacock, penguin, pseudowyvern, ptarmigan, puffin, raven, rhamphorhynchus, snail kite, snowy owl, thrush, toucan

Biped [claws/paws]* (armor, belt, chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, right, shoulders): Compsognathus, petrifern, wallaby

Biped [hands]* (all item slots): Brownie, cassisan (Small humanoid form), coral capuchin, faerie dragon, homunculus, imp, leshy (any), liminal sprite, lyrakien, mephit (any type), monkey, nuglub, pooka, pyrausta, quasit, shikigami, soulbound doll, sprite, xiao, zhyen

Cassisian (headband): Cassisian (helmet form)

Doru (eyes, head, headband): Doru

None (no item slots): Eyeball, harbinger, paracletus, wysp

Piscine (belt, chest [saddle], eyes): Popoto dolphin, pufferfish, seal

Quadruped [claws/paws] (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders): Almiraj, arctic fox, arctic hare, armadillo, brain mole, calligraphy wyrm, cat, cat sith, caypup, chuspiki, dire rat, donkey rat, ermine, flying squirrel, fox, hedgehog, koala, lemming, mole, mongoose, otter, platypus, pseudodragon, pseudosphinx, rabbit, raccoon, rat, red panda, silvanshee, skunk, sloth, squirrel, weasel

Quadruped [hooves] (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, feet [horseshoes], head, headband, neck, shoulders): Goat, pig

Quadruped [squat body] (armor, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders): Snapping turtle, toad, turtle

Saurian (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck): Dwarf caiman, lizard, marine iguana, tuatara

Serpentine (belt, eyes, headband): cacodaemon, leopard slug, mamiwa, nehushtan, nycar, pipefox, raktavarna, sea krait, viper, voidworm

Verminous (belt, eyes): Blue-ringed octopus, clockwork spy, elemental (any type), giant flea, giant isopod, greensting scorpion, house centipede, katroome, king crab, octopus (young template), scarlet spider, stirge, trilobite, typhilipede

After finishing this entry, we decided to update the animal companion magic item slot chart from Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive to include every possible animal, plant, or vermin companion.

Can my animal companion, plant companion, or vermin companion wield weapons? Can it wear or use magic items?

An animal companion has access to the armor and neck magic item slots automatically, as long as its body shape is eligible for these slots. They can also unlock additional magic item slots that their shape allows. See below for a list of which body slots each companion is eligible to unlock. Plant and vermin companions do not gain automatic magic items slots. All three kinds of companions may carry slotless magic items.

To unlock an additional magic item slot, the animal, plant, or vermin must take the Extra Item Slot feat, which appears in Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive and will be reprinted in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide as of version 9.0. In the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, companions of all body shapes may take this feat, including humanoid-shaped companions.

Animal, plant, and vermin companions in categories marked with an asterisk (*) are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including weapons, rods, wands, and staves, as long as their carrying capacity is sufficient. No animal, plant, or vermin companions can wield weapons or activate magic items, with the exception of the imp granted by the diabolist prestige class, which uses the rules for an imp familiar (See "Can my familiar wield weapons or use magic items?"). Specifically, they cannot use spell trigger, spell completion, command word, or use-activated magic items (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 458). An animal companion with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher may use ioun stones.

Available slots followed by either (saddle) or (horseshoes) in the table below denote that creatures of that body type can only wear magic items in those slots if they are saddles or horseshoes, respectively. Creatures without these notes cannot wear saddles or horseshoes.

Please review Additional Resources before selecting a companion. Some of the listed companions are only legal choices if your character has a Chronicle sheet boon or an archetype that grants access to them.

Avian* (armor, belt, chest, eyes, headband, neck, ring, wrist): Axe beak, blackwisp egret, dimorphodon, dire bat, eagle, giant raven, giant vulture, hawk, impaler shrike, moa, owl, pteranodon, quetzalcoatlus, roc, trumpeter swan, whisperfall vulture, yolubilis heron

Biped [claws/paws]* (armor, belt, chest, eyes, headband, neck, right, shoulders, wrist): Ceratosaurus, chalicotherium, deinonychus, gigantosaurus, kangaroo, pachycephalosaurus, theriznosaurus, troodon, tyrannosaurus, velociraptor

Biped [hands]* (all item slots): Ape, baboon, devil monkey

Piscine (belt, chest [saddle], eyes): Blue whale, dolphin, dunkleosteus, manta ray, narwhal, orca, plesiosaurus, seahorse, shark, stingray, tylosaurus, walrus

Quadruped [claws/paws] (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders): Badger, bear, cheetah, digmaul, dire rat, dog, giant weasel, goblin dog, hyena, leopard, lion, panda, thylacine, tiger, wolf, wolverine

Quadruped/Hexapod [feet] (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders): Baluchitherium, camel, deinotherium, elasmotherium, embolotherium, elephant, giant ant, giant mantis, giant wasp, hippopotamus, mastodon, megatherium, pygmy hippopotamus, rhinoceros, triceratops, uintatherium

Quadruped [hooves] (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, feet [horseshoes], head, headband, neck, shoulders): Antelope, aurochs, boar, bristle boar, elk, giraffe, horse, llama, megaloceros, mindspin ram, moose, pony, ram, shissah, skittergoat, stag, styracosaurus, yzobu

Quadruped [squat body] (armor, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders): Elasmosaurus, giant frog, giant snapping turtle, glyptodon, tortoise

Saurian (armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck): Alligator, crocodile, amargasaurus, ankylosaurus, brachiosaurus, dimetrodon, kaprosuchus, kentrosaurus, stegosaurus, giant chameleon, giant gecko, megalania, monitor lizard

Serpentine (belt, eyes, headband): Basilosaurus, constrictor snake, electric eel, gar, giant leech, giant moray eel, giant slug, titanoboa, viper

Plant/Verminous (belt, eyes): Cameroceras, carnivorous flower, crawling vine, giant beetle, giant centipede, giant crab, giant scorpion, giant spider, octopus, puffball, sapling treant, squid

Do you have any questions about familiars, animal companions, or other companion creatures that we haven't answered yet in the FAQ? Let us know in the comments below.

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Developer

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Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Serious request: if the Team is evaluating which creatures can wear saddles, can they also address whether PCs can use the Ride skill and Mounted Combat feats on other PCs?

Years ago it seemed like one of those annoying questions where the answer was "Technically, yes, but that's just silly" to now where there are entire builds involving Undersized Mount, Trick Riding (via early access thru Sohei), and even Familiars who acquired Mounted Combat via Retraining in order to protect their squishy master.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

"Looks like riders from afar..."

"Nope. Pathfinders.

"How can you tell from this distan-... Are those people they're riding?!"

"Ayup. A cavalry of Monks riding naked Barbarians. If you thought the Geb/Nex thing was bad..."

Scarab Sages 5/5

Considering bipeds don't have belt/chest [saddle] they can't wear saddles.

As a GM, I'm going to go with no until told otherwise. It seems the intent is you can only ride things made to be ridden.

Edit: mounted combat is messed up enough without throwing two player characters into the mix is just annoying.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:

Considering bipeds don't have belt/chest [saddle] they can't wear saddles.

As a GM, I'm going to go with no until told otherwise. It seems the i tent is you can only ride things made to be ridden.

but you can ride a snake and they don't have a saddle slot. You just ride them bareback and take the appropriate penalties.

There are no rules to prevent you from riding anything you want, while there are rules telling you what happens when you ride anything. Thus it's allowed.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

^ that.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Considering bipeds don't have belt/chest [saddle] they can't wear saddles.

As a GM, I'm going to go with no until told otherwise. It seems the i tent is you can only ride things made to be ridden.

but you can ride a snake and they don't have a saddle slot. You just ride them bareback and take the appropriate penalties.

There are no rules to prevent you from riding anything you want, while there are rules telling you what happens when you ride anything. Thus it's allowed.

There aren't any rules that says you can ride anything.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Indeed there are, which is why this is becoming a problem.

Mostly centered around the lack of a definition of the word "Mount".

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Considering bipeds don't have belt/chest [saddle] they can't wear saddles.

As a GM, I'm going to go with no until told otherwise. It seems the i tent is you can only ride things made to be ridden.

but you can ride a snake and they don't have a saddle slot. You just ride them bareback and take the appropriate penalties.

There are no rules to prevent you from riding anything you want, while there are rules telling you what happens when you ride anything. Thus it's allowed.

There aren't any rules that says you can ride anything.

There are rules for riding an inappropriate mount. Is a person an appropriate mount for a person? No. Then it's an inappropriate mount. Because inappropriate mount is anything you're using as a mount that you shouldn't be used as a mount.

EDIT: The actual line is "If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount" so that is what I'm condensing to "inappropriate mount"

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

^ again, that.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

There are no rules to prevent you from riding anything you want, while there are rules telling you what happens when you ride anything. Thus it's allowed.

The rules that are there assume that you are riding an animal that is more or less willing to have you there and working with you

The further you go from that assumption, the grayer the area gets, and the more the dm is apt to say "oh hell no" and with good cause.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My apologies in advance to the eight year old kid I encountered who was playing a Wizard wearing an exotic saddle while his Monkey Familiar steered the reins.

It was creative. It made me laugh. But the slippery slope of that needs to be dammed before it breaks.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

There are no rules to prevent you from riding anything you want, while there are rules telling you what happens when you ride anything. Thus it's allowed.

The rules that are there assume that you are riding an animal that is more or less willing to have you there and working with you

The further you go from that assumption, the grayer the area gets, and the more the dm is apt to say "oh hell no" and with good cause.

So does that mean I can't ride anything that isn't the animal type?

No riding magical beasts or whatever?

Cause if you're using "animal" but meant more like "creature" then that's exactly what is going on. One human creature is more or less willing to have you there and work with you.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

And we already know some PCs with Intelligence scores less than trained Animals, so....

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Nefreet wrote:

My apologies in advance to the eight year old kid I encountered who was playing a Wizard wearing an exotic saddle while his Monkey Familiar steered the reins.

It was creative. It made me laugh. But the slippery slope of that needs to be dammed before it breaks.

Just declare it a familiar satchel that's open and call it a day. As long as its not an initiative monkey on his master slotho who cares.

Shadow Lodge

Nefreet wrote:
"Technically, yes, but that's just silly" to now where there are entire builds involving Undersized Mount. . .

Off topic, but not really considering the idea of appropriate Mounts, but did they ever make that Feat actually do anything?

There was never a rule saying a Mount had to be one size larger than the rider, (which that Feat incorrectly assumed was the case), and the Feat itself doesn't actually allow classes like the Cavalier any additional Mount options that they wouldn't to begin with.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Chess Pwn wrote:
So does that mean I can't ride anything that isn't the animal type?

Didn't say that. Didn't hint that. Didn't imply it.

I do not speak binary. The rules do not work in binary. That should be pretty obvious when i'm talking about gray areas. Attempting to codify things in precise language is usually what fubars them. (case in point here...)

Knight on a horse: what the rules were written for.

Landing on your opponents head in batform, declaring them your mount, telling them to walk off a cliff with a DC ride check: toss someone from the table worthy attempt to abuse raw.

Somewhere between those two you are going to hit a legitimate "oh hell no ", probably around the time someone tries to play master blaster.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
So does that mean I can't ride anything that isn't the animal type?
Didn't say that. Didn't hint that. Didn't imply it.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
The rules that are there assume that you are riding an animal

My question was trying to find the intent of this statement. You use the word animal. Animal is a game term and thus you might have been meaning to reference the game term or you might have been meaning to reference the more general non-game meaning. So I was clarifying if you meant the game term or not.

Clearly you didn't mean to reference the animal game term via your reaction here.

But you need to realize that you not meaning to say something doesn't mean you didn't say something. You EASILY could have meant animal as per the game term, because that makes a logical statement still, "The game assumes only riding animal type creatures."

And I hope you take questions as clarifying your meaning instead of trying to misuse, misquote or put words in your mouth.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Chess Pwn wrote:
My question was trying to find the intent of this statement

It was intended to be read with the other sentences of the post, in contex. With the rest of the sentence it's in , at the very least.

It was not intended to be read from a paradigm that anything that the rules don't assume that they automatically exclude, or that the rules are an all encompassing objective rule set that can grammatically be followed to an objective conclusion.

Shadow Lodge

PRD wrote:

Handle Animal

Special: You can use this skill on a creature with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 that is not an animal, but the DC of any such check increases by 5. Such creatures have the same limit on tricks known as animals do.
PRD wrote:

Ride

You are skilled at riding mounts, usually a horse, but possibly something more exotic, like a griffon or Pegasus. . .

Pegasus = Magical Beast

Griffon = Magical Beast

I had a Cleric with the Animal Domain that was riding his Owlbear Companion (Goblins Boon), just for fun.


Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
A receipt from a game store counts as proof of purchase, in the same way that a screenshot from your My Downloads page does.

Because I know I'm going to be lucky enough to find the one guy who sees this and calls me out on it (that's just the way my luck runs):

Is Amazon.com (or other online store) considered a 'game store'?


The owlbear boon companion is still missing from the list.

Grand Lodge 4/5

d'Eon wrote:
The owlbear boon companion is still missing from the list.
FAQ wrote:
Quadruped [claws/paws] .. bear

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

^ what he said. The Owlbear is just a reflavored Bear and follows nearly all of the rules for Bears.

You can even make it large-sized by being a Beast Rider Cavalier ^_^

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

What about poor little Goblin Vulture Pilots?

As far as I can see the only legal options for a Vulture mount are the Giant Vulture or the Whisperfall Vulture, both of which are size Large (and thus two sizes larger than a Small creature).

We have a player around here who now has a Goblin Alchemist PC, and who rides a flying mount; I gave him one of those figures (which he'd never even heard of), but he can't actually have a vulture as his mount :-(

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

wait, why is being two sizes bigger a problem?


Nefreet wrote:

^ what he said. The Owlbear is just a reflavored Bear and follows nearly all of the rules for Bears.

You can even make it large-sized by being a Beast Rider Cavalier ^_^

Follows nearly all the rules is not all the rules.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Look at the size of a Giant Vulture - it's got something like a 30' wingspan. you don't need something that large if you're a goblin.

Most mounts I've seen (with the exception of the odd Huge Tyrannosaurus or Treant) are one size larger than their rider. It's hard enough to fit mounts into a typical scenario without added complications of trying to accommodate oversized creatures. Not to mention that the explicit rules in 3.5 didn't carry over to Pathfinder, so there may be a risk of getting saddled (sic) with some sort of penalty for riding an oversized mount.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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John Francis wrote:


Look at the size of a Giant Vulture - it's got something like a 30' wingspan. you don't need something that large if you're a goblin.

It's a large creature, it occupies a 10 by 10 cube and thats it.

Quote:
Most mounts I've seen (with the exception of the odd Huge Tyrannosaurus or Treant)

Please tell me the treant had a swing or a tree fort for the saddle

Quote:
are one size larger than their rider. It's hard enough to fit mounts into a typical scenario without added complications of trying to accommodate oversized creatures.

The difficulty of dealing with a mount's size is absolute, not relative to the rider. Snuffalufagus is just as hard to get through the dungeon with a halfling or giant humanoid pet.

Quote:

Not to mention that the explicit rules in 3.5 didn't carry over to Pathfinder, so there may be a risk of getting saddled (sic) with some sort of penalty for riding an oversized mount.

There is no "the mount has to be one size bigger than you" rule. Its at least one size bigger. there's no upper limit. This rule doesn't exist. Don't worry.

Liberty's Edge

d'Eon wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

^ what he said. The Owlbear is just a reflavored Bear and follows nearly all of the rules for Bears.

You can even make it large-sized by being a Beast Rider Cavalier ^_^

Follows nearly all the rules is not all the rules.
Owlbear Companion scenario boon wrote:
The owlbear companion uses the stats of a bear companion with the following modifications:

where none of the listed modifications would influence item slots.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
d'Eon wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

^ what he said. The Owlbear is just a reflavored Bear and follows nearly all of the rules for Bears.

You can even make it large-sized by being a Beast Rider Cavalier ^_^

Follows nearly all the rules is not all the rules.

In this case, every relevant rule is covered.

Silver Crusade

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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Please tell me the treant had a swing or a tree fort for the saddle

Now you've got me picturing a tire hanging by a rope from one of its arms/branches.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Please tell me the treant had a swing or a tree fort for the saddle

No tire; just a piece of wood tied to the rope to swing upon. Also nailed some boards to the side of the treant to make it easier to climb up.

Here's a pic.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The only difference between a mount of up to one size category bigger than the rider and a mount two or more size categories bigger than the rider is the time needed to dismount.

Unless you have the 3d level Mammoth Rider ability you can never fast dismount of a mount that's two or more size categories larger than the rider.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shådid Evånjölyn wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Please tell me the treant had a swing or a tree fort for the saddle

No tire; just a piece of wood tied to the rope to swing upon. Also nailed some boards to the side of the treant to make it easier to climb up.

Here's a pic.

I very fondly remember playing (or was I GMing?) a game in Kaer Maga with your Treesinger Druid. We had endless jokes about people eyeing your Companion as a building resource.

And then we set it to "Guard" the entrance to the prison, and it just stood there. Like a tree.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
If you have a saddle or armor slot, you can definitely wear mundane saddles or armor without taking Extra Item Slot.

*backfoot headscratch*

So you can put your weasel familiar in a suit of adorable tiny plate armor, you just can't enchant it unless they swap out their feat?


Two big remaining improved familiar questions for me.

First the question of what is meant by "arcane spellcaster level"?

Would a 6th level wizard, with an item that increases his caster level by one qualify for familiars that require a an "arcane spellcaster level" of 7th?

Would a wizard 1/sorcerer 7 count as having an arcane spellcaster level of 7th even though the sorcerer levels would do nothing else for the familiar? (Besides qualify for the feat)

Do prestige classes that advance arcane spell casting count towards "arcane spellcaster level"?

Second, the way the FAQ is currently worded, it specifically states that

FAQ wrote:
In general, you can take Improved Familiars for class-granted variant familiars like a shaman’s spirit animal, with a few exceptions:

But it also says

FAQ wrote:
since the two things it alters from a regular familiar are that it removes the ability to speak with animals of its kind and it prevents changing the creature type for non-animals, you couldn’t make a familiar that changes the creature type of non-animals.

And the shaman's spirit animal "familiar" states

spirit animal wrote:
Although a shaman's spirit animal uses the statistics of a specific animal, it is treated as an outsider with the native subtype for the purposes of spells and abilities that affect it.

If take improved familiar on a shaman, am I limited to only choosing animal improved familiars?

Or could you take outsiders, because their type would not be changed (only their subtype-to native)?

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
If you have a saddle or armor slot, you can definitely wear mundane saddles or armor without taking Extra Item Slot.

*backfoot headscratch*

So you can put your weasel familiar in a suit of adorable tiny plate armor, you just can't enchant it unless they swap out their feat?

"OOH OOH AHH AAAHHH AAAHHH AAAHHH!!!"

Translation: "I'm Po Po the Monkey, and I approve this message."

Grand Lodge 3/5

Is there any chance of talking familiars getting an exception to the "no command words" clause? I understand not wanting to give them wands, but if they can speak, they should be able to activate items.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

What do I need to bring to a game to use material that is not from the Core Rulebook for my character?

A receipt from a game store counts as proof of purchase, in the same way that a screenshot from your My Downloads page does.

Can i retrain my "muscle of the society" trait and sell back my pack mule at full cost?

Dark Archive 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I noticed that the FAQ about Animal Companions has been updated last Friday, and I'm very happy to have some confirmation about the Promethean Homunculus in there as well. I had but a single small post in a sea of questions about a companion available only for a single archetype, and all my questions were answered in the FAQ. Although I'm a bit sad it isn't allowed to use spell trigger, spell completion, command word, or use-activated magic items, I can live with that (It's still allowed to have weapons, gains access to the Extra Item Slot feat, and now officially falls under Biped[Hands]).

On a completely different note, I also happened to notice and read the Familiar FAQ beneath it.

FAQ: Can my familiar wield weapons or use magic items? wrote:

Stuff

...
Some Tiny familiars have the Weapon Finesse feat listed as one of their feats, even though they gain the benefits of Weapon Finesse for free from their size. Swapping out this feat does not deprive Tiny familiars of the ability to use its Dexterity to hit.
...
Stuff

That part is new, right? Because that is awesome for some of my familiars.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Its semi new. The old rule was your familiar could use dex to hit as long as they didn't swap out weapon finesse (even though weapon finesse was redundant for tiny familiars)

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Yeah. A lot of tiny critters get Weapon Finesse, but all familiar can use Dex to hit with natural attacks.

Some familiars don't have natural attacks (hedgehog).

What's unclear to me is if when you deliver a touch spell with a natural attack (so using "familiar finesse") it's an attack against touch or regular AC. It looks like it would be regular AC but also inflict natural attack damage.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Yeah. A lot of tiny critters get Weapon Finesse, but all familiar can use Dex to hit with natural attacks.

Mike brock had ruled that if your familiar traded out weapon finesse that they had that the familiar could no longer do that (which was really weird, glad to see that thats been overturned)

Quote:
What's unclear to me is if when you deliver a touch spell with a natural attack (so using "familiar finesse") it's an attack against touch or regular AC. It looks like it would be regular AC but also inflict natural attack damage.

I believe the familiar has the option of attacking using a touch spell against touch ac or attacking with a natural attack and triggering the touch spell as part of the hit, same way any other creature does. A touch spell is definitely a touch attack and can use dex (its part of being a familiar, and via this ruling is restored to all PFS familiars), attacking normally would probably use strength unless the creature had another ability, go against regular ac, and be a really bad idea.

Dark Archive

I also have some questions about Promethean's Homunculus companion.

According to this newest FAQ, it is included in animal (plant or vermin) companion and it can't use or even wear most magic equipment.

1 So can this kind of Homunculus be treated as "animal companion" in any other situation? Such as benefitting from feats (like Boon Companion) or class ability normally for animal companions?

2 Promethean Alchemist trades this companion with bomb and mutagen, which means she has lost nearly all way to deal damage. And compared with normal animal companions (pick up another one for free, low int ability), Homunculus is more weak but more expensive, it cost 100 gp per HD if destroyed (just like familiar) and it can not change feats unless pay for retrain (just like eidolon, Phantom or familiar). This archetype is more like summoners or spiritualists as they only have a limited spell list, a companion and nearly nothing else. What can a summoner do during a game and what equipment should she purchase if her eidolon have only a neck slot and can't trigger any magic equipment?

3 Homunculus can pick up UMD as its class skill as description said and can speak after getting 5 HD, also it has at least 10 int. I don't understand why it is limited for using magic equipments more like animal or vermin but not an eidolon, Phantom or an improved familiar.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Yeah. A lot of tiny critters get Weapon Finesse, but all familiar can use Dex to hit with natural attacks.
Mike brock had ruled that if your familiar traded out weapon finesse that they had that the familiar could no longer do that (which was really weird, glad to see that thats been overturned)

Yeah, that was a ruling I didn't much like either.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
What's unclear to me is if when you deliver a touch spell with a natural attack (so using "familiar finesse") it's an attack against touch or regular AC. It looks like it would be regular AC but also inflict natural attack damage.
I believe the familiar has the option of attacking using a touch spell against touch ac or attacking with a natural attack and triggering the touch spell as part of the hit, same way any other creature does. A touch spell is definitely a touch attack and can use dex (its part of being a familiar, and via this ruling is restored to all PFS familiars), attacking normally would probably use strength unless the creature had another ability, go against regular ac, and be a really bad idea.

Well you might think that, but what the CRB actually says is:

Quote:
Attacks: Use the master's base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes. Use the familiar's Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to calculate the familiar's melee attack bonus with natural weapons.

So what familiars get for free is a lot more limited than Weapon Finesse. Now the question is: if you deliver touch attacks via a natural attack (to use Dex instead of tiny-critter Strength), is the attack still against Touch AC?

I don't think so, because the Combat chapter says:

Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

These rules only provide for delivering touch attacks with natural weapons as a rider on a normal attack, so against normal AC.

Conclusion: maybe it's unwise to trade out Weapon Finesse.
Th

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden These rules only provide

No. They provide for it. Thats not all they provide for.

Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master would. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

I don't see how its more limited than weapon finesse. Just make the touch with the claw.

1/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden These rules only provide

No. They provide for it. Thats not all they provide for.

Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master would. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

I don't see how its more limited than weapon finesse. Just make the touch with the claw.

But natural attacks aren't touch attacks, any more than unarmed strikes are. If the master tried delivering Shocking Grasp through an unarmed strike, I would expect him to target normal AC as well. Similarly to a magus using spellstrike, actually.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually searched for existing rulings on this subject. The above is only my interpretation. Offer not available in all areas; void where prohibited.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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I didn't say that natural attacks are touch attacks. I said you have options for making a touch attack with a natural attack.


So "just as the master would" should be:

As a touch attack, against touch AC, and get just the spell effect

or

As a normal natural (unarmed) attack while holding the charge, getting natural weapon damage plus the spell effect

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andy Brown wrote:

So "just as the master would" should be:

As a touch attack, against touch AC, and get just the spell effect

or

As a normal natural (unarmed) attack while holding the charge, getting natural weapon damage plus the spell effect

Exactly. The thing is, a familiar only gets Dex instead of Strength to hit if he's using a natural attack (so not targeting touch AC), or if he's using Weapon Finesse.

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