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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Society
401 to 421 of 421 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge 3/5

not Familiars... animal Companions

5/5

nosig wrote:
Viondar wrote:

Looking at it from a power-balance viewpoint, I can live with the decision no problem.

The thing is the roleplaying part.

Some (see my concession, here?) elementals have humanoid shapes, hand-like appendages, and (as outsiders) martial weapon proficiency.

Both when I'm GM, and when I'm player, I'd like the rules to make sense beyond 'because these are the rules'. Like, for example, a druid doesn't wear metal armor, because (like Celtic folklore dictates), metal blocks magic. So the druid doesn't wear metal because magic blocks the magic of their tradition. A wizard doesn't wear armor, metal or otherwise, because it inhibits their gestures.

Now... With gameworld logic in mind... How do I wrap my mind about an earth elemental with humanoid form and hands being unable (or unwilling?) to wield a hammer?

How do I wrap my mind about a human (paladin) being unwilling to wield a weapon that just happens to be dipped in poison?

How do I wrap my mind about so many things that I find hard to understand in the setting we are playing in?

That an arrow does more damage than a javelin, or a "man" hit (repeatedly) with a 2 handed sword - and walks away effectively un-impaired by the experience? That a Chakram is the most effective throw weapon in the game - that spears are inferior weapons compared to swords (when in reality spears are so much better).

It's part of the package... part of the "suspension of disbelief" I have to exercise to make the game world work.

A paladin CAN use a weapon that he knows has been coated with poison. He just knows there will be consequences. That's where an INT check comes in play. Smart guys take a whack at the ground (or something) first or simply wipe off the poison.

Weapons are tools and tools have their uses. The efficiency of that usage varies with various circumstances. It's all too fine a detail for the d20 system as presented in core Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

I know this is specifically for PFS, but can someone point to where / when familiars gained the ability to get feats? Are we just talking about swapping out one of the feats a creature of that type normally gets? Is this just a PFS rule?

It has always been established that familiats didn’t gain feats (other than as I said above). Did I miss a rule change / update? Do I just need more coffee?

Silver Crusade 2/5

Marc Radle wrote:

I know this is specifically for PFS, but can someone point to where / when familiars gained the ability to get feats? Are we just talking about swapping out one of the feats a creature of that type normally gets? Is this just a PFS rule?

It has always been established that familiats didn’t gain feats (other than as I said above). Did I miss a rule change / update? Do I just need more coffee?

The PFS rule is allowing to familiars to exchange the pitifully few feats that familiars get for extra item slot, not about allowing them any more feats. Some familiars have weapon finesse to trade out, and my own has agile maneuvers, at 14th level.


I am so very late to this thread, but have I parsed these three conclusions correctly?

1) my vague dreams of a character riding a Tyrannosaur are dead, because I'd be taking a -5 to ride for no saddle, maybe with another -5 if the GM said they weren't suitable for riding.

2) my owl can no longer drop splash weapons on people, because familiars can't use weapons. An animal companion bird can be trained to do that as a trick, the owl can carry a splash weapon in its talons, and said owl has an int higher than some PCs, but it can't drop a splash weapon on an enemy because familiars can't use weapons.

3) Eldritch Guardian is not a good idea.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Lucy_Valentine wrote:

I am so very late to this thread, but have I parsed these three conclusions correctly?

1) my vague dreams of a character riding a Tyrannosaur are dead, because I'd be taking a -5 to ride for no saddle, maybe with another -5 if the GM said they weren't suitable for riding.

2) my owl can no longer drop splash weapons on people, because familiars can't use weapons. An animal companion bird can be trained to do that as a trick, the owl can carry a splash weapon in its talons, and said owl has an int higher than some PCs, but it can't drop a splash weapon on an enemy because familiars can't use weapons.

3) Eldritch Guardian is not a good idea.

I'm sure it's possible still, a lot of the ride DC's are pretty low.

Yeah seems like it, he can drop them harmlessly on the ground though in the square of the enemy.

Eldritch guardians have some builds that work, just not general purpose. Like a tengu with a mauler familiar that both going claws would have a lot of synergy.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1) Maybe

2) Its not really a weapon.

3) Maybe


My preferred Eldritch Guardian build uses Share Spells, Alter Self, and a pair of exotic weapons (one for each wielder).

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Can I still purchase exotic saddles for avians like Rocs and Axebeaks? Or are the slots only for magic items, not mundane ones?

____

A few reactions:

I was really surprised that Pseudodragons and Calligraphy Wyrms can't trigger wands. They appear to have hands. They can talk. I honestly believe that all dragons should be able to use wands.

What about the Pipefox? Its adorable artwork shows it cradling a wand! Although it's serpentine, I can imagine it triggering the wand with its tail.

What about elementals? In Tyranny of the Winds, it became canon that elemental creatures can take on humanoid forms when they wish to do so.

Some of these rulings really surprise me.

Hmm

I would like to call everyone's attention to two updated FAQs.

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

With this FAQ, my grippli inquisitor, Flip, can now have a saddle for his Roc!

Can my familiar wield weapons? Can it wear or use armor or magic items?

Cup's calligraphy wyrm, Longjing, is very happy now that he can trigger wands! (I still find it weird that the Pipefox and Pseudodragon cannot, but I understand that hands and voice are considered important elements of spell triggering.)

Thanks to everyone who worked on this change! Linda, Lau and any other VOs who helped update things for us. Your work is much appreciated.

Hmm

3/5

My giant sea turtle (archelon) can now have a magic saddle, so I'm happy.

Q: does this FAQ changes the requirement to dump a feat for a magic item slot?

Q2: are there magic item slots that DON'T require a feat?

Thank you!

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I read this as the following:

#1 If the creature type does not have the slot, then yes you need to dump a feat for the Saddle slot.

#2 All slots can use magic items.

3/5

Thanks Gary. Makes sense. Otherwise coming up with that list would have been a major waste of time, come to think of it.

Silver Crusade 1/5

I'm sorry to say that I think Gary may be wrong.

FAQ wrote:
An animal companion can wear magic items in its armor and neck slots, as long as its body shape is eligible for these slots. If a magic item specifically calls out that it is made for a type of creature, then that creature can wear that item. Creatures with the Saddle and Horseshoe slots can always wear magical versions of these items. Plant, animal, and vermin companions can unlock the ability to wear magic items in additional slots from the table below that they possess by taking the Extra Item slot feat, which appears in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide. Companion creatures may also carry slotless magic items, and companions with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can activate ioun stones.

The only items slots that don't require a feat are: Armour and Neck slots (as long as your body type has those slots), and Saddle and Horseshoe slots.

The Extra Item Slot feat works as it says in the Guide.

guide to org play season 9 wrote:
Choose one magic item slot that you qualify for. You can now wear magic items in that slot.

Extra Item Slot does not give you access to a slot your body type doesn't have.

I don't like it, but that's what we've got.

The Exchange 5/5

supervillan wrote:

I'm sorry to say that I think Gary may be wrong.

FAQ wrote:
An animal companion can wear magic items in its armor and neck slots, as long as its body shape is eligible for these slots. If a magic item specifically calls out that it is made for a type of creature, then that creature can wear that item. Creatures with the Saddle and Horseshoe slots can always wear magical versions of these items. Plant, animal, and vermin companions can unlock the ability to wear magic items in additional slots from the table below that they possess by taking the Extra Item slot feat, which appears in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide. Companion creatures may also carry slotless magic items, and companions with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can activate ioun stones.

The only items slots that don't require a feat are: Armour and Neck slots (as long as your body type has those slots), and Saddle and Horseshoe slots.

The Extra Item Slot feat works as it says in the Guide.

guide to org play season 9 wrote:
Choose one magic item slot that you qualify for. You can now wear magic items in that slot.

Extra Item Slot does not give you access to a slot your body type doesn't have.

I don't like it, but that's what we've got.

yeah, I think you are right. I kind of wanted to really "bling!" out my Pseudodragon Familiar ("Sparky"), but it looks like she'll only get fancy armor and some type of necklace. She only has one feat, and doesn't get more when I level... so it looks like she has no extra slots for flashy stuff...

3/5

Hmm... why impose an 'above core rules' tax on the already very limited feats available to an Animal Companion, and more so now that the PFS staff has gone through all the efforts of coming up with a list of available slots for each familiar and animal companion body type? (i.e. when we already track gold by way of chronicle sheet?)

With Ultimate Wilderness released and adopted in the PFS campaign, I was under the impression that you now just had to cross reference in that table to find your Animal Companion or Familiar and just start decking the halls with boughs of holly, to be honest.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Fire Dancer wrote:
supervillan wrote:

...

Extra Item Slot does not give you access to a slot your body type doesn't have. ...
yeah, I think you are right. I kind of wanted to really "bling!" out my Pseudodragon Familiar ("Sparky"), but it looks like she'll only get fancy armor and some type of necklace. She only has one feat, and doesn't get more when I level... so it looks like she has no extra slots for flashy stuff...

Mundane items can be worn in a creatures body slots, magic items require the extra slot feat.

So if 'bling' is jewelry you are set to shine! Other mundane categories are masterwork, alchemical, and technology items.

There are also slotless items such as Caltrop Bead, Ioun stones, etc. Other rules may impact usage.

3/5

Tsk tsk! we all know what he meant by "bling!" lol

...but thanks for confirming that jewelry does NOT require a body slot! LOL!

Silver Crusade 1/5

GM PDK wrote:

Hmm... why impose an 'above core rules' tax on the already very limited feats available to an Animal Companion, and more so now that the PFS staff has gone through all the efforts of coming up with a list of available slots for each familiar and animal companion body type? (i.e. when we already track gold by way of chronicle sheet?)

With Ultimate Wilderness released and adopted in the PFS campaign, I was under the impression that you now just had to cross reference in that table to find your Animal Companion or Familiar and just start decking the halls with boughs of holly, to be honest.

I've said before, what problem is the campaign ruling on Extra Item Slot trying to solve? Wealth for PCs is tightly controlled (and it should be), so every gp spent on gear for a companion critter is a gp not spent on gear for the PC.

The Exchange 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM PDK wrote:

Tsk tsk! we all know what he meant by "bling!" lol

...but thanks for confirming that jewelry does NOT require a body slot! LOL!

Actually, part of what I was referring to was flashy jewelry. I have encountered more than one Judge who objected to my use of continual flame spells on such things as earrings. ("No magic item creation - and only one 'continual' spell can be carried from scenario to scenario... so you can only have one 'flaming' earring." Sigh...). I was actually wanting to put Sparky in a little silk cape - and mithril chain armor - or maybe Darkleaf Parade armor. Perhaps with some silver inlays in the armor and maybe something to add a bit of "bling" to the cape... maybe use prestiditation to give it a 'chocolate smell'? Or a bit of a 'flickering flame pattern"... or something to add some pazzize...

It is often amazing how many times I try to include something that I find "cute", only to have someone object to it out of fear that I must be trying to "game the system" rather than just have a little fun. Not everyone is trying to gain a combat advantage when they want "flashy" armor. I've actually had someone tell me one of my PCs couldn't have a smoking pipe - because there was no book that listed one with a price. (Yeah - I got around that with a "masterwork tool" for Perception - the smoke aids in finding secret doors? It weighs a pound and costs 50 gp. And it makes my guy look more like the classic Sherlock Holmes.).

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

it has taken literally years to get the familiar list updated for PFS and it's been done twice in the last year(tweaks ya know!). I'm glad they did and added Saddle slots to resolve any mount questions about saddles and belts. PFS has moved towards a more home game environment. Yay and Thanks.
It would have been nice to have UltWild do that via Addl Resources but it didn't seem to work out for Organized Play but the input will be helpful for home games.

PFS regulates the actions of 'pets' in another FAQ. You get one pet that can participate in combat, others have lesser roles.

My post above is more than just about bedazzling your bandoleer(and was humorous) but then dragons use jewellery as a couch. hmmph...

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Fire Dancer wrote:
{recounts running into rule issues and conflicts with character design enhancements or trying to be cute}

I understand. There are rules and it's best to remember that PFS is a simple game for fun for everyone at the table.

Some GMs will help you to try and achieve your goals within the system. So next time ask, "how do I do this within the rules?" <grin> There's also the Advice forum/board.

401 to 421 of 421 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Paizo Blog: A Few More Answers All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.