[Think Tank] Familiars


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humm wouldn't a feat that increases there personality bonuses be more then +1 ...would +3 be to much its even with skill fouces after all


lynora wrote:

I like the idea that threeblood suggested. I didn't at first, but after I thought about it for awhile, it makes sense and fits the flavor of the concept pretty well. I got a little muddied about how many times/day he was suggesting that they could be summoned for and for how long. Otherwise I am very interested to see where this goes.

Seeker's idea is good, too, but for me is just too much, well, psicrystal. I love to play a psionicist. I also love to play arcane casters. For me the two, while filling the same party role, are very, very different. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of a psicrystal and a familiar being practically the same thing. But that's just me.

good point the other option is to base it off the animal form it assumes and not its personality ..I may work on that but over all I like the personality bases bounse over critter based ones after all at the point they become familiars there not animals anylonger.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
humm wouldn't a feat that increases there personality bonuses be more then +1 ...would +3 be to much its even with skill fouces after all

Well, my thought would be, if the feat increased all of its personalities, a +1 would be most approriate. Especially when you concider some of the bonuses are to saving throws.


lynora wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

1. Object that gives good wizard boosts (as exists)

?????!

In exchange for a small boost on an ability and the alertness feat, you get an all too squishable achilles heel.

No... "object," not "animal." Look at what paizo did with the staff or whatever.


0gre wrote:
Many many people don't use familiars much...

May I ask you why you think that is? Not a trick question. I'll elaborate on my theory below.

0gre wrote:
As such don't want to see the rest of the class features nerfed to expand the powers of the familiar.

A reasonable point. I don't think I'd want to the class nerfed so that familiars are necessary. At the same time, I still think they aren't used so often is because they're a little on the boring side. An NPC animal that usually only the Wizard can role-play off of.. and the lack of variety reinforces that.

I'd ask that you bear in mind that the OP never said they were strictly broken, merely that they could be improved. That's an ongoing theme in PFRPG, 'How can we make Core more fun and interesting?'

Having said that, Seeker, how would you offset the benefits of these improved familiars without nerfing the class itself?


ok added in animal based form bounse as an option...humm what if it became +1 per 5 levels or so kinda as part of leveling up...but that may be to much they have alot of new things in my write up anyhow


With regards to the power boost... many people have complained about the Universalist wizard being far better than the specialists. What if the universalist lost his bonus powers and got a REALLY good familiar or bonded object instead? And the specialists would keep their suites of specialist powers instead of getting a familiar.


to be honest watcher i see no need to offset it . case in point the druids animal companion is much better then 3.5 familiars what was offset for it?

That being said the fragmentation of a familiar and you lose its benefits for 24 hours. I see no reason why a familiar should not help the caster and not just be something of a burdening or a forgotten pokipet.


well kirth universalists powers need nerfed a bit i think but all wizards should be able to have a familiar if they want one.

Sovereign Court

1) +1 caster level (stacks with anything else that increases CL)
2) Open up the lists of possible familiars, rolling Imp. Familliar into the base choices for higher level casters
3) Let the familiar share some special ability with the caster other than Alertness
4) Let the familiar "know" one spell/spell level. This gives wizards 3 automatically learned spells every other level, and increases a sorcerers "known spells per level" by 1/spell level.
5) Let familiars maintain concentration for some spells.
6) any/all of the above


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

to be honest watcher i see no need to offset it . case in point the druids animal companion is much better then 3.5 familiars what was offset for it?

That being said the fragmentation of a familiar and you lose its benefits for 24 hours. I see no reason why a familiar should not help the caster and not just be something of a burdening or a forgotten pokipet.

I see. (nods)

Then you disagree with 0gre's comment about the wizard being a little over powered in general?

His contention was that the wizard is a class that didn't need any extra help, like getting better familiars.

I don't know myself, but I'm trying to facilitate the brainstorming, and this seems like something someone will want you to clarify.

Your comment about the Druid companion is interesting, because I thought they were often abused (in terms of being too powerful) in 3.5, but I don't want to threadjack.


I'm just wondering. Did anybody already proposed to change the "abstinence-time" after loosing a familiar?

Or is it already like with bonded objects? I think it was 30 days or so.
Furthermore, just no XP-loss when the beast get's killed and everything is fine (at least about that).


well I never got the wizard being to powerful but to each his own. Lets put it like this why does a wizard take a familiar? It seems the arcane bond is being so popular because it helps you with something. The familiar as is is a hindrance more then a help to many wizards. So i took the ideal that there were a part of ones self something to help recall bits and pieces of spell lore and really have a use for every wizard that little voice in you head that says "ya yeah ya need to add a 2 , or no no the fingers angle up more then that". And yes this will help in casting and recalling things ..but shouldn't it?


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
well kirth universalists powers need nerfed a bit i think but all wizards should be able to have a familiar if they want one.

I agree. In fact, I think ANYONE should be able to have a familiar the way they are in 3.5e, even a fighter. I'd make a "Bond Familiar" feat that anyone could take.

The universalist would be the only one to get concentration, caster level, and/or metamagic boosts from it, though. Powers fitting for a universalist.


DracoDruid wrote:

I'm just wondering. Did anybody already proposed to change the "abstinence-time" after loosing a familiar?

Or is it already like with bonded objects? I think it was 30 days or so.
Furthermore, just no XP-loss when the beast get's killed and everything is fine (at least about that).

well I didnt cover that with mine ideal because it cant be killed. But yeah the year is to much for a familiar lose 30 days would make sence.


DracoDruid wrote:

I'm just wondering. Did anybody already proposed to change the "abstinence-time" after loosing a familiar?

Or is it already like with bonded objects? I think it was 30 days or so.
Furthermore, just no XP-loss when the beast get's killed and everything is fine (at least about that).

I was just reading that, and that none of the old penalties were listed for losing your familiar. It only talked about what happens to your bonded object.

Perhaps the penalties are still up in the air for familiars. Personally I think they should follow the same rule as for your bonded object. Then perhaps people would be more willing to make use of them.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
well kirth universalists powers need nerfed a bit i think but all wizards should be able to have a familiar if they want one.

I agree. In fact, I think ANYONE should be able to have a familiar the way they are in 3.5e, even a fighter. I'd make a "Bond Familiar" feat that anyone could take.

The universalist would be the only one to get concentration, caster level, and/or metamagic boosts from it, though. Powers fitting for a universalist.

There is a 3PP book that allows that and has rules for it ..but I think they need an overhaul for the wizard. No one ever wants one that tells ya it needs work.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
There is a 3PP book that allows that and has rules for it ..but I think they need an overhaul for the wizard. No one ever wants one that tells ya it needs work.

So, if I understand your post correctly -- forgive me, it's a bit difficult -- it sounds like we agree. I'm not sure a separate book is warranted for fighters getting a familiar (I'd have 'em just take the feat and use the SRD table), but a wizard's familiar -- particularly a universalist's familiar (if we nerf or nix his other powers) -- for sure needs an overhaul.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
lynora wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

1. Object that gives good wizard boosts (as exists)

?????!

In exchange for a small boost on an ability and the alertness feat, you get an all too squishable achilles heel.
No... "object," not "animal." Look at what paizo did with the staff or whatever.

Oops. Sorry. My bad. I read that wrong. Thanks for clarifying.


sorry for not being clear. There is a book about familiars that show how to adapt them to all classes. But yes I would allow the familiar as is for any class with a feat .

But wizards familiars need work.... thats what this thread is about if nothing else its helped me work on what I will use with ideals and help from many people.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
But wizards familiars need work.... thats what this thread is about if nothing else its helped me work on what I will use with ideals and help from many people.

OK, got it. Thanks.

Yes, I think we definitely all agree that wizards' familiars need work. No doubt about it. I'm guessing that you want the specialists to get a familiar equal to the universalist's, though, and that's where I have a question:

* If all wizards get equal familiars, and those familiars are really good, then we need to nerf all of the specialist powers lists to make up for it, or we end up with super-wizards. Pruning all of the lists sepatately would be a lot of work, and would also make the specialists less specialized.

* If, however, we could give the specialists regular familiars, and give only the universalist a really good familiar, we could just strip the universalist's list of powers, and leave the specialists' lists alone.


Well just my view but i see no reason to nerf stuff because we powered up the familiar really. The familiars sole reason for being is to help the wizard so I say let it. The schools have nothing to do with this simple function really. I will point again to the Animal Companions there just a powerful as in 3.5. While the druid did get nerfed a bit that had nothing to do with it.

So I say boost familiars to a usable level and leave everything else along


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Well just my view but i see no reason to nerf stuff because we powered up the familiar really. The familiars sole reason for being is to help the wizard so I say let it. The schools have nothing to do with this simple function really. I will point again to the Animal Companions there just a powerful as in 3.5. While the druid did get nerfed a bit that had nothing to do with it.

So I say boost familiars to a usable level and leave everything else along

So balance isn't an issue? It's OK if we make the wizard twice as powerful, for example, and leave everyone else the same? I'm forced to admit I'm not comfortable with that at all.


I really dont see how making the familiar on par and useful is over powering. There is noting there that cant be done or done better with feats. I think the wizard's power is fine. I think nerfing it just to add a useful familiar is in no way balanced in any way.


Ok I've combined the paladin summon mount with wizard arcance bond familiar and threw in my own 2 cents into the mix. I don't think it's to horribly over powered, but I would like to hear what others think.

The arcane bond (familiar) 1st level, allows a wizard to harness the raw magic of the world and shape it into an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal companion. Once a form is chosen by the wizard for his familiar, he receives all bonuses for the creatures form plus all bonuses for the familiar of the appropriate level. Every familiar so formed must maintain that form until a new arcane bonding ritual can be performed.

The Bonding Ritual requires at least 8 hours of uninterrupted preparation time and 100gp in material components and magical foci. At which time the wizard my reshape his familiar into a different form and/or add to the familiar with the improved Arcane Bond.

This familiar is usually shaped into one of the classic wizardly familiar forms, (see familiar special 1 below) but as the wizard progresses in power, so too does the magical essence of the familiar. A familiar also grants special abilities to its master (a
sorcerer or wizard), as given on the table below. These special abilities apply only when the master and familiar are within 1 mile of each other .Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master’s level.

Familiar Special 1
Bat Master gains a +3 bonus on hearing-based and opposed Perception checks
Cat Master gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checks
Hawk Master gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in bright light
Lizard Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks
Owl Master gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in shadows or darkness
Rat Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves
Raven1 Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks
Snake2 Master gains a +3 bonus on Deception checks
Toad Master gains +3 hit points
Weasel Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves
1 A raven familiar can speak one language of its master’s choice as a supernatural ability.
2 Tiny viper.

At any time during the day, as a full-round action, a wizard may
magically call her familiar from the raw arcane magic that suffuses the world and him. The familiar immediately appears adjacent to the wizard and remains
for 2 hours per wizard level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. There is no restrictions on how many times per day a familiar may be summoned, so long as it does not exceed the 2 hours per wizard level. The familiar is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the wizard may change its form after completing the proper bonding ritual after it has been summoned. Each time the familiar is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The familiar also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a familiar is a
conjuration (calling) effect. Should the wizards familiar die, it immediately
disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The wizard may not summon another familiar for 30 days or until she gains a wizard level, whichever comes first,
even if the familiar is somehow returned from the dead. During this 30-day period, the wizard takes a –1 penalty on attack and spell damage rolls.

Familiar Basics: (same as on page 34-35)
Familiar Ability Descriptions: (same as on page 34-35)

At 3rd - the wizard receives the improved arcane bond (familiar). With this ability the wizard may add either the celestial or infernal template to the form of the familiar that she summoned. The Improved Bonding Ritual requires at least 8 hours of uninterrupted preparation time and 300gp in material components and magical foci. This ritual only applies to one form, and if the wizard chooses to reshape his familiar into a different form, she must pay the initial cost of the Bonding ritual plus pay the cost in time and expenses for another Improved Bonding ritual for the new form.

At 7th - the wizard gains Greater Arcane Bond (familiar) This Ritual allows wizard to reshape his arcane bond into any shape offered by the Improved familiar feat. The Greater Bonding Ritual requires at least 8 hours of uninterrupted preparation time and 1000gp in material components and magical foci.


OK, I understand now. Sorry, guys. I'd thought this was a "balanced familiar" thread, not a "power-up the wizard by means of a familiar" thread. I'll go elsewhere and stop distracting you from the task at hand.


Threeblood, I really like this write-up. It keeps the flavor, lets you actually use the abilities the familiar already has, eliminates the need for "familiar pocket", and seems really well balanced. Good job.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

I'd find it hilarious (but probably bad game design) if most of the specialist wizard powers got added to the familiar, not the wizard.


Kirth before you go can you let me know what part of my post you found over-powered. This is just my 2nd draft and I would appricate all constructive critism.

Epic Meepo what part did you find funny. Is it the templates or the improving of the familiars as they progress.

Thanks lynora I really was trying not to add to much, but I never liked the improve familiar feat and have always house ruled that at 7th level a wizard could swap out his original familiar feat for the improved familiar feat.S

So far I see room for improvement in that, my familiar write up does nothing for those players that want that the traditional summoned one form familiar. And I think a few suggestions might help out.

Remember guys this is just a THINK TANK exercise and I have always felt that the familiar could be utilized more within the gaming enviroment, so I'm throwing ideas out there. If you have the time to write out what you think is wrong it would really help me. Thanks


Kirth Gersen wrote:
OK, I understand now. Sorry, guys. I'd thought this was a "balanced familiar" thread, not a "power-up the wizard by means of a familiar" thread. I'll go elsewhere and stop distracting you from the task at hand.

I respectively disagree with this statement. I honestly don't think that is the intent here. If anything it is to nake familiars more appealing as a whole.

As it sits right now, the bonded item is by far more pallatable with its abilities:

"A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one
spell that the wizard knows, just as if the wizard had cast
it. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or
other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast
spells from the wizard’s prohibited schools."

This is a biggie right here, infringing in on the Sorcerers schtick. Spontaneous casting 1/day.

Lets not forget the free crafting feats, where the item is concerned also...

"A wizard can enchant his bonded object as if he had
the required feats. Any powers added to his bonded object
are done so at half the normal cost.
If the bonded object
is a wand, it loses its enchantment when its last charge is
consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its
bonded object properties."

Don't forget also, that the item is repaired the next day, when the caster memorizes his spells and is easily replaced:

"If a bonded object is damaged, it is restored to full
hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells.
If the subject of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it
can be replaced after 1 week’s time in a special ritual that
costs 200 gp per wizard level. This ritual takes 8 hours
to complete.

So, as we know it so far, the Bonded Item is more valuable for a wiazard, as well as easier to replace if lost.


threeblood I also like this.
Kirth Were not trying to over power the wizard but bring the familiar to a useful state. Look at arcane bond thats way more powerful then anything we'll trying to do


Threeblood wrote:
Kirth before you go can you let me know what part of my post you found over-powered. This is just my 2nd draft and I would appricate all constructive critism.

Threeblood, I've got no issues with the ideas in your post at all, actually.

Pathos and seeker are 100% correct that the familiar totally sucks compared to the bonded item; I've got no quarrel at all with that statement, and I agree it needs a "bump." I disagree, however, with turning around and making the familiar a lot better than a bonded item, and then calling that "balanced."

My feeling, guys, is that if we're going to give the wizard caster level bonuses, concentration bonuses, and spell DC bonuses in the form of a fighting animal companion, then maybe we should take something away, too.


Well I dont call what i've been working on a fighting familiar at all it can have a max 23 hp at 20th level. Saying that I also dont find a +1 Dc and a +2 at 15th level to be thats big a boost really. But would limiting the Dc in some way be more balanced you think may be to one school or something

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Threeblood wrote:
Epic Meepo what part did you find funny. Is it the templates or the improving of the familiars as they progress.

No, no. My comment was completely unrelated to that. I thought it would be funny if you only got the arcane school benefits already included in Alpha 2 if you had a familiar, and only the familiar could use them. (For example, a 1st-level evoker can't shoot energy rays, but his familiar can... You can probably see why I said it wasn't a serious suggestion.)

Dark Archive

Having seen a player use a familiar regularly, I wouldn't focus on improving its independent combat abilities or making it a more a magic item the wizard wears and forgets about until needed.

From what I seen with my players, the time the familiar gets thought of is when they begin to use it for touch attacks. They use it to deliver melee touch attacks, and to deliver healing spells(the character in question is a multiclassed wizard/cleric). It adds an odd and interesting bit to the combat as the player moves to take advantage of his familiar and the limitations of the the familiar come into play.

If I had to make a suggestion, I would work on allowing the familiar to serve as a means of using spells. I would remove the limits on using a familiar as a way to deliver spells as you level, adding types of spells that you can cast from the familiar as you level.

How I would do it? I not quite sure, but heres what I would suggest:

1)Make the distance that the familiar can be affected by share spells and deliver spells increase with level.

2)Allow the familiar to deliver spells with a range of close starting at level 15


Just to throw these couple of ideas out there ...
____________________________________________________________________

When comparing the Animal Companion, I noticed that they gain 2 stat bonuses (Str & Dex), compared to familiars. What about giving the same concession to familiars? Granting it a bonus to Dex.

Level___Dex Bonus
1-2 = = = = +0
3-4 = = = = +1
5-6 = = = = +1
7-8 = = = = +2
9-10 == = = +2
11-12 = = = +3
13-14 = = = +3
15-16 = = = +4
17-18 = = = +4
19-20 = = = +5

The benefit this could provide would include:
1) increaesed Ac
2) better to hit chance with its touch attack when delivering spells.
3) increased Reflex saves, to capitalise on its Improved Evasion ability.
_____________________________________________________________________

Enhanced Alertness:
As the caster gains in experience, his perceptive abilities increase gained from the Alertness feat. At 5th level (and every 5 level there after) the caster gains an additional +1 bonus to his Perception checks from the Alertness feat.

+1(+3) = = 5th lvl
+2(+4) = = 10th lvl
+3(+5) = = 15th lvl
+4(+6) = = 20th lvl
(First bonus is from feature, the number in parenthesis is the total gained with Alertness.)

Alternately, this bonus could be provided to both aspects of the Alertness feat.
_____________________________________________________________________

Enhanced Bond:
As the caster gains in experience, his bond with his familiar increases also. The bonus gained from the special power his familiar grants increases in effectiveness. At 5th level (and every 5 level there after) the bonus from the familiars special power increases by +1.

+1 = = 5th lvl
+2 = = 10th lvl
+3 = = 15th lvl
+4 = = 20th lvl
_____________________________________________________________________

What do you think?


Some thoughts:

-Improved Familiar should be rolled into the Wizard class the same way Lightning Fists was rolled into the monk's unarmed attacks.

-The wizard should be able to use a skill to improve the AC of his familiar to avoid an attack the same way the Ride skill can be used for a rider to have his mount avoid being hit.

-I would like to see the familiar receive the benefit of spells the wizard casts on himself if the familiar is within 30 ft., not just in contact/square with the wizard. If not at 1st level, then at a higher level.

-Free augmentations for familiars at higher levels. Limited Polymorph/Enlarge familiar to a more formidible form, or perhaps allow the addition of a template to the familiar once per day...I'd like to be able to see a wizard turn his rat familiar into a Dire Rat or a Flame Rat or into an imp or "ratfolk", for example. Perhaps after a certain level the wizard could turn his rat familiar into a rat swarm?

-Have familiars grant a wizard a bonus spell for his spellbook for free at each level (Familiars are supposed to be magical helpers who guide and consul the wizard, after all).


I think "tweaks" to the familiar should be just that, tweaks, not a massive sub system change. One of the things I started thinking when I was contemplating "tweaking" 3.5 is what is a familiar suppose to do?

Familiars traditionally are suppose to be advisers and aides to a wizard. They actually get the wizard's spell ranks, but I've seen few people mention that a familiar, for example, could attempt a knowledge check. Granted, the familiar likely is not nearly as good as the wizard with the check, but its another chance to pick up information from a "trained" source.

Perhaps just spelling out that this is possible would be helpful. Also, a more in depth idea of what a familiar could and couldn't do re skills might be useful. A player in my game asked (and granted, these aren't standard familiars), could a monkey familiar use slight of hand or disable device?

Also, a big complaint I've seen is that a familiar that delivers a touch attack is putting himself in harm's way. What about, as a special ability, usable only when the familiar is "charged" with a touch spell, the familiar to do a flyby/spring attack sort of attack, touch an opponent, and keep moving without provoking an AoO? They wouldn't make "normal" attacks like this, only when they are delivering a touch spell.

Just some thoughts.


I really like the idea of the mage being able to cast (almost) any spell through his familiar, as long they have line of sight.
Meaning as long as the wizard can see his familiar (with his own eyes), he can cast any spell as though it originates from his familiar. Maybe making it a full-action though.
I know this maybe too powerful, but it's appealing non the less.

I also thought about letting the mage suffer each and every damage the familiar is suffering (if the mage isn't suffering from the same effect too). So he has to think twice to send his familiar around for fun.

I like this much better than the XP-drain if the familiar dies.


The Black Bard wrote:
Oooh, that sounds intersting... Ars Magica, you say?

unrelated to thread post: Ars Magic was one of Mark Rein-Heigen (of white wolf) first games. Focused strongly on wizards as main characters in medieval europe. Has a fantastic magic system that boils down to "what you are doing + what you are doing it to".

Back to topic:
I like the idea of a general mystic companion that applies to druid's animal companion, wizard's familiar and paladin's mount. Allow a bit of customization possibly allowing other options in later supplements. If no two druids/wizards/paladins are the same then their mystic companion should be just as varied.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


IMHO the biggest problem of familiars is that
they suffer from the "Order of the Stick"-syndrom.

I would remove any bonus for the caster from familiars!
Instead let the familiar be(come) a personality, more like
an NPC under the players (and DMs) control.

So, instead of a boring +3 to some skill, the familiar should
have some skills of its own.

Same with Alertness: the Wiz gets +2 to Appraise because he's got
a Toad? Better give appropriate skills w. ranks and racial boni
to the familiar directly.

And Speak with Master should probably be 1st level then ...
... Gol*cough*den Com*cough*pass ...
... together with a higher Int score of the familiar.
Probably start at 4 + Wiz Int Mod (and increase with levels)?

I'm not sure if a familiar is really less "powerful" than a bonded
object. An idea to improve power slightly:

Give the familiar a number of spells it knows, but can't cast.
It's a kind of living spellbook so to speak.
The Wiz is able to prepare these spells just as if they were
written in his spellbook, if the familiar is there at
preparation time.
I suggest 2 1st level spells and one spell of each level above.

LL

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
been toying with the thought of boosting there HD like a Druid’s Animal Companion. Also been thinking of improved familier as auto myself. Maybe a list of what each familiar type changes into... not really sure .

The familiar has the same HD as the character, just half the hit points.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Well I dont call what i've been working on a fighting familiar at all it can have a max 23 hp at 20th level. Saying that I also dont find a +1 Dc and a +2 at 15th level to be thats big a boost really. But would limiting the Dc in some way be more balanced you think may be to one school or something

Well, think of it this way: right now, it costs a feat (Spell Focus) to increase your spell DCs in one school by +1. So increasing all your spell DCs by 1 is the equivalent of giving a wizard eight (8) bonus feats. +2 to all your DCs is like getting 16 bonus feats. I'd consider that a pretty big boost.

Any specialist worthy of the name will probably already have Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in their school, and boosting the DCs on top of that would quickly make them unbeatable (which is why there's no feat to boost DCs after Greater Spell Focus). But a universalist... their "universal" powers always seemed a bit crazy to me: slightly illogical, and overpowered at high levels. Strip 'em all off, and we have a lot of power to replace, and that gives us a lot of room to create a really good familiar. In that case, boosts to spell DCs are certainly reasonable. That's why I was focusing on universalists.

For specialists, we could still stand to boost the familiar a bit, but the ways in which we can do so are more limited (as in the Spell Focus example).


What I'd really like to see of for familiars to mitigate metamagic costs. This could work for all wizards, specialists or universalists.

Metamagic Assistant: Your familiar can help you prepare a spell with a metamagic feat you know applied to it. You prepare the spell normally, in its normal slot, while your familiar uses the "aid another" action (the familiar must succeed at a Spellcraft check at DC 10 + the level of the spell + the level of the metamagic adjustment). For example, if you have the Maximize Spell feat, and want to prepare a maximized fireball, you would prepare fireball as a 3rd level spell, while your familiar aids you with a DC 16 Spellcraft check.

When you cast the spell, as long as your familiar helps you cast it as well (succeeds at another Spellcraft check to aid another), the spell gains the benefit of the selected metamagic feat, even though the spell was prepared in the normal slot. If your familiar isn't touching you, fails (or is unable to attempt) the aid another check, or is distracted, the spell gets only the regular spell effect, not the metamagic boost as well.

Your familiar may assist you by casting up to 1 spell level worth of metamagic adjustment per 3 caster levels you have.

----

This allows the familiar to actually make you a better wizard. Also, it's limited in that the familiar has to help you cast, so if you're distracted during casting, you lose the spell as normal, and even if the familiar is distracted during casting, you'd lose the metamagic part.

An improved familiar that can fight, as many people are advocating, could be an option to get instead of a metamagic-assistant familiar.


Humm ya have a good point kirth ....i'll do some more work on it later. I may drop the DC or limit it to 1 spell or 1 per caster int....but it does need work on that you are right spell resistance need to go as well I think.


oh the metamagic thing i'm so gonna steal man


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
oh the metamagic thing i'm so gonna steal man

Yeah, I was pretty happy with it; been thinking about this a lot. I'm an insane nut for game balance -- that's a pet peeve for some reason (as if you hadn't noticed in the skills discussion!), but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of cool things we can still do with a familiar!


I'll troy with combine it with what I was working with...Still thinking of keeping the +1 to INT checks but may only allow that while bonded not sure though. maybe instead of using the meta magic x/times a day what if it was a flat level of spell levels....say like 3 or 2 and it gets better as you gain levels


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
I'll troy with combine it with what I was working with...Still thinking of keeping the +1 to INT checks but may only allow that while bonded not sure though. maybe instead of using the meta magic x/times a day what if it was a flat level of spell levels....say like 3 or 2 and it gets better as you gain levels

+1 to Int checks seems workable; we'd just need to figure out the details.

For familiar metamagic, I really wanted to avoid a situation where the wizard was preparing every spell with the familiar. So I think there needs to be some daily limitation, whether it's X times/day or X spell levels/day... or maybe 1/day for each metamagic feat? Dunno.


well I was thinking flexable like meta magic levels ... say like 1/3/5/7
say if ya had 1 you could only use 1 level 1 meta magic but at 3 you could use 3 level 1's or 1 +1 and 1 +2 or 1 +3 metamagic. maybe have it up 5 levels so it be something like 1/3/5/7/9... even at 20 ya could only do a +3 level meta magic 3 times like that..... but may want to cap it at 7

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