A swarm monger druid is a class with a variant familiar class feature.
"Fecund Familiar (Ex)
A swarm monger bonds with an urban familiar, treating her druid level as her wizard level for the purposes of determining her familiar’s abilities.
The swarm monger must select her familiar from the following options: cat, house centipede, rat, raven, or scarlet spider. The fecund familiar gains the benefits of its master’s child of pollution, shadowy opportunist, and venom immunity class abilities."
To me, it seems fairly cut and dried: The swarm monger qualifies for improved familiar.
Improved familiar says: prerequsites:Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below)
Benefit: When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed here are also available to you.
My PFS ref disagrees, saying that the Swarm Monger druid must choose from cat, house centipede, rat, raven, or scarlet spider.
Yes, I believed that would be true, for a *familiar* but not for an improved familiar. There are no restrictions in the class for taking an improved familiar; nor in the faq.
Speaking of the FAQ, it says:
"In general, you can take Improved Familiars for class-granted variant familiars like a shaman’s spirit animal, with a few exceptions: First, temporary familiars like the occultist’s soulbound puppet can’t become Improved Familiars from the Improved Familiar feat, and those class features don’t qualify you to take the Improved Familiar feat. Second, tumor familiars, as lumps of flesh in the shape of animals, can’t become Improved Familiars. In other cases, treat Improved Familiar as if it was an archetype to see if it stacks with other familiar options: 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 or alters or removes speak with animals of its kind an Improved Familiar."
So to me it says, "In general you can take improved familiars for class-granted variant familiars."
This means people like Serpent Bloodline sorcerers - that can take only *1* familiar - can take any Improved familiar.
However, Ref is saying that the third case (above) applies - it doesn't stack.
To me, the third case says, see if you can apply improved familiar as an archetype to the regular familiar.
As the regular familiar does not modify speak with kind, nor change type of animal - it stacks; therefore the character is free to take Improved familiar.
Sorry for the wall of text. What I am looking for is
a). Do you have any arguments either pro or con on this discussion; is this pretty much settled PFS.
b). Are there instances in published PFS modules that support this position?