[Think Tank] Familiars


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Ok guys its simple how would you improve familiers ?


Starfinder Superscriber

Honestly, I'd make them a bit more magical; maybe even automatically upgrade them to the improved familiars (via the feat) at 7th level.

Maybe allow them the abilities to cast your cantrips as well, but that maybe a bit over balancing. I've never really had a wizard/sorc do much with a familiar except use it to scout.


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 .


I always thought, that all familiars/special mounts/companions should be ruled the sameway.

Choose a basic animal (with ECL no higher than your level) and let it improve with you when gaining levels.

Improvement should be overall, meaning: (real) HD, skill points, feats, autoimproving intelligence, and maybe also STR/DEX and AC.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about givin the familiars the same progresion chart as the Druid animal companion Only instead off getting improvments to physical stats they get improvments to mental ones? Also instead of the more combat orientated abilites an animal companion gets let them have more mental/ magic related ones?


The question I have is, why should the druid be bount to a combat orientated companion?

Therefor I would let the player decide where to put the bonus ability increases for his familiar/mount/companion.

I think I have to point out: I meant making familiar/mount/companion ALL WORK THE SAME WAY! The same progression chart, (mostly) the same abilities, etc.


DracoDruid may be on to something there. My two cents:

Ditch current rules for year and a day between familiars, if only for dismissing and summoning a new one via improved familiar. Fold Improved Familiar into standard, make all familiar rituals cost 100g per caster level required for familiar.

Possibly, make a improvement chart similiar (or swappable, as DracoDruid suggested) to animal companion. Put improved familiars at approriate places on the chart. Baseline chart has standard familiar special abilities. Familiars have "specific" abilities, based on actual species (Cat vrs Shocker Lizard vrs Viper vrs Small Water Elemental). See 2nd Edition "Augment Familiar II-XII" spells for ideas.

Dark Archive

I wouldn't change familiars too much. I'd grant them feats as the Wizard levels up, just like animal companions and mounts.

For familiar feats, I'd give them options for maintaining concentration for the caster, granting a caster level bonus, increasing their hit points to 75% or 100% of the master's hp total, etc.


There is a simple mechanic for higher level familiars/companions:

ECL - Class level + 1 = effectiv class level.

This way you can use almost any creature as basis (although I recommend animals and maybe magical beasts for druids and outsiders in addition to those for wizards).


I don't think familiars need much of a change (aside from improved being automatic as it is with druids and 3/4 hp instead of half). But I think they should give something back to the caster. I mean, you have an incredibly vulnerable part of yourself out there for what? For them to spy and occasionally deliver one of the few arcane touch spells? Maybe they should give a concentration bonus or concentrate on spells for you or something of that nature.

Dark Archive

I'll try to post more detailed house rule for familiars tomorrow or day after tomorrow, but here are some broad strokes: 1) Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar are rolled into one; the type and power of a familiar is based on the caster's level; more powerful familiars are more difficult to summon, which is reflected in cost of a summoning ritual. 2) Familiars provide the master with bonus caster level (more powerful spells, but not more spells), and some other special abilities, like magic resistance, for instance (i.e. if familiar is resistant to magic, so is the wizard). 3) Familiars get more powerful when their master levels up, and they receive additional HD and feats. More to come, and in greater detail.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

It would be really cool if the wizard could turn his familiar into something formidable. Either a 1st level spell (that increases in power with leveling, thus maintaining its usefulness), or a feat that casters can take.

Something where the familiar grows to large size and becomes a dire/feral version of itself. Perhaps, 1x per day, for 1 round per level, your little tabby cat familiar turns into a saber-toothed beast. (He-man and Battlecat jokes aside.)

Your raven familiar takes on the stats of a pterodactyl, etc. etc.

Something limited, but something where people think twice about screwing with your familiar, and players won't be so afraid to take a familiar.

Maybe, the familiar loses the ability to deliver touch spells if the feral trait is taken.

Just some rough thoughts.

Dark Archive

There are spells to improve familiar. They were published in Dragon, I think.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

nightflier wrote:
There are spells to improve familiar. They were published in Dragon, I think.

Yeah I know, but something made "standard" in the PFRPG player's handbook would be cool. Something limited, but useful.


Here's my issue with familiars: they're a wizard class feature, but they don't in any way make you a better wizard.

Think about it for a second. They've got cool fluff; no doubt about it, but they'd work just as well for a cleric or a rogue or a commoner, for that matter. The new bonded item, on the other hand, lets you cast a free spell and can be enhanced as a magic staff or whatever. (P.S. I don't consider "deliver touch spell" to be all that useful: my players all refer to it as "deliver familiar to Hell," because it's a great way to get one killed.)

What if your familiar, instead of increasing in HD or becoming an animal companion or whatever, instead got meaningful abilities that gave a modest bump to your spellcasting ability (as Velderan suggested)? Keep deliver touch spell, but other ideas would be +1 caster level when touching master, maintain concentration on spells for master (another cookie for Velderan!), maybe an automatic sense magic, etc. These could be scaled with the master's wizard level.

Then there would be a game-mechanics reason why wizards have familiars in the first place, instead of them being mere fluff.


Answered this question several times in several threads.

I would bring familiars more on par with Animal Companion. Namely, a limited base creatures at 1st level with abilities improving per usual for familiars. But there would be the option to delay acquiring a familiar or dismiss one they already have (with it holding what traits it acquired due to its former master's level when it was dismissed). If you waited or dismissed you could acquire a more inherently powerful familiar but with a reduced effective level for the usual benefits of a familiar. This would allow wizards to acquire the more esoteric familirs normally confered by the Improved Familiar Feat. In effect, moving that feat to being a class feature for wizards. This would allow for familiars such as imps, tiny/small elementals, pseudo-dragons etc.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


I feel that the Arcane Item Bond is so powerful that we might stop seeing familars in games. My plan is to allow both options and give anyone who really doesn't want a familiar a bonus feat instead.

I most likely will do the same for Nature and Divine Bond as well.


I like the idea of rolling improved familiar in rather than having it as a seperate feat. I would like to see the 'deliver touch spell' ability un-nerfed. It's actually pretty cool, but there should be some way to use it without killing the familiar. Maybe some sort of DR? And while I'm on the subject, I really want to see the penalties for familiar death seriously lowered. Maybe something along the lines of a -1 to attacks, saves, and skill checks for an hour. Having it set you back a level makes familiars a lot more unpopular. And the whole thing about it taking a year and a day to summon a new one, but you can have it raised....First of all, even if you're a high enough level for that to matter, how many clerics can you sweet talk into casting a raise dead spell on a familiar? It's silly. Okay, you could probably find a druid who would go along with it :)
I liked nightflier's idea about having it increase your caster level by one, as well. But I'm not sure if that would make it too good. I'll look at it some more.


Weylin Stormcrowe 798 wrote:

Answered this question several times in several threads.

I would bring familiars more on par with Animal Companion. Namely, a limited base creatures at 1st level with abilities improving per usual for familiars. But there would be the option to delay acquiring a familiar or dismiss one they already have (with it holding what traits it acquired due to its former master's level when it was dismissed). If you waited or dismissed you could acquire a more inherently powerful familiar but with a reduced effective level for the usual benefits of a familiar. This would allow wizards to acquire the more esoteric familirs normally confered by the Improved Familiar Feat. In effect, moving that feat to being a class feature for wizards. This would allow for familiars such as imps, tiny/small elementals, pseudo-dragons etc.

-Weylin Stormcrowe

And once again, we two are on the line... ;)

But I think the MAIN ABILITY for a familiar (or an animal companion) should be the "borrowing" (Anybody who reads Terry Pratchett has the advantage here).
For those of you who don't: Borrowing let's you fall in a trance and slips your mind into the body of an animal. Now you perceive the world through their eyes and can guide the animal where ever you like.
I always thought that's what a familiar is good for.

As for the familiar itself. I always thought humuculi and little outsiders do fit better for wizards. And animals fit better for nature guys like witches.
As I posted above, I personally would rule all three companion types into one simple rules set.

Dark Archive

There are several great descriptions of familiar summoning rituals in fantasy literature, Steven Brust's Jhereg novels, for instance. But, in occult tradition, the main purpose of the familiar is to provide more power to the mage, or more knowledge. Arcane Bond item enables the wizard to enchant it like he already has all the needed feats. It gives a significant increase in raw power. To balance that, in my opinion, familiar should grant - at least - bonus metamagic feats to it's wizard.

Liberty's Edge

I really like the idea of having familiars be capable of maintaining concentration on spells for their masters, and having other abilities that actually make them useful to wizards. I also like the borrowing idea, that seems very wizardy.


So far, I would, mind the bonded object, since there are several other threads discussing those, and they are far from being fix.

Let's just come up with a really cool way for handling familiars and let the guys over in the bonded objects thread adjust those too us! ;)


Have two notes:

First, the best handling of familairs in any game I have played was Ars Magica. It allowed a a basic list of advantages gained from having a familiar and also great deal of customization of abilities gained from the arrangment. No two familiars were the same usually even if say both were crows.

Second, the ability to dismiss a familiar from service would lead to the interesting (at least to me) situation of 'mercenary' familiars. Former familiars who work for pay of some sort even sometimes shelter. Or of a player picking up a familiar at higher level who once served another wizard. Something like this happened in a game I played in where my tiefling warlock ended up with a hireling who was an imp who had been a drow's familiar. Smoke (the imp) was not his familiar (never picked up the feat acquire familiar) but instead worked for him.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


Oooh, that sounds intersting... Ars Magica, you say?


The Answer

END OF THREAD


All I ask for in a familiar is a frickin' shark with a frickin' laser beam attached to his head... Wait, is the dolphin ill-tempered?


Actually, my suggestion on critter familiars - based on familiar "grade" (i.e., reduced if you take an Improved Familiar), it can give the wizard so many "levels" of spontaneous metamagic if it is within X distance (or perhaps touching) the wizard.

Thus, if you've got a good-enough level and not too powerful a familiar, it can give you, say, three levels of spontaneous metamagic, which as a wizard is nice. As an arcane-blooded sorcerer, it's still nice, since it doen't increase the spell slot and can allow you to metamagic your higher-level spells, plus it means not having to increase your casting time. That and you now have a reason for Quicken Spell. Sorcerers can now startle their foes with a Quickened Fireball when they can only cast 3rd level spells (okay, I don't know how I'd actually scale the ability, I just came up with it, but you get the drill).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I'm all for rolling Improved Familiar into the standard build for familiars much like the animal companions.


The only thing I have to say about Dolphins is:

Don't trust any creature which smiles all the time - It surely is up to something...


Weylin Stormcrowe 798 wrote:

First, the best handling of familairs in any game I have played was Ars Magica. It allowed a a basic list of advantages gained from having a familiar and also great deal of customization of abilities gained from the arrangment. No two familiars were the same usually even if say both were crows.

I kinda like this approach.

General comments:

Familiars can be kinda boring really, not because the idea is a poor one, but there is a lack of ability to individualize the familiar. You have a standard list of options, and from a metagame perspective, what they do is kinda predictable.

I also wish there was a way to really individualize them in respect to what kind of creature they are. So you can build them up from the ground up, but yet not end up with anything too overpowered.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

DracoDruid wrote:

The only thing I have to say about Dolphins is:

Don't trust any creature which smiles all the time - It surely is up to something...

Like leaving us to have our planet be demolished. They claim it was because we weren't smart enough to understand, but I think they just didn't try very hard.

At least we have the mice mostly on our side.


I'd kind of hate to see the "improved familiar" become default for familiars. I'd rather have a 3-tiered system, which wouldn't be too hard to implement:

1. Object that gives good wizard boosts (as exists); or
2. Tiny animal that can do some spying and give modest wizard boosts; or
3. Animal/monster that can fight but gives no wizard boosts (e.g., Improved Familiar/Animal Companion).


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.
Don't get me wrong, I love familiars. I love the fluff that goes with them. They are fun to have. They just don't give you much as is.

That said, I think your idea of dividing familiars into three types that give you different benefits is a good one, and would definitely support increased cutomization.


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.
Don't get me wrong, I love familiars. I love the fluff that goes with them. They are fun to have. They just don't give you much as is.

That said, I think your idea of dividing familiars into three types that give you different benefits is a good one, and would definitely support increased cutomization.

Really, you could collapse options two and three. Given that every improved familiar has a minimum level, if you tie the spellcasting boost to wizard level then you could simply subtract the minimum level for the familiar from that number. Thus, if you have Woogiemon as your Pokem... familiar, and he has to be taken at minimum at level 5, then subtract four from your wizard level to determine the spellcasting buff the familiar grants you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Making Improved Familiar and a new Greater Familiar one of the Wizard's bonus feats would go a long way to fixing a lot of familiar complaints.

One of the most overlook Wizard + Familiar combos...

Polymorph Other

By the time a wizard can cast Polymorph Other, the familiar should now be smart enough to understand what just happened to it and take advantage of it.

However.. I'm not so sure how useful such a combo under the current Polymorph rules would be.


I think if you have an animal companion, a familiar, and a bonded mount all on the same character, then they should be able to "voltron" together to form some kind of super-familiar that breaks the game...that would rock.

I realize that I am adding nothing useful to this thread as well...I am awarded no points, and may god have mercy on my soul.


Reading through this thread I thought of this idea. What if we change the nature of the fimiliar from a summoned creature (locked into one solid form) and instead made it more of a formless aspect of magic. It would then be up to the wizard summoning the arcane force to shape the fimiliar into what he wanted or needed at the time. We could rename the Fimiliar feat - Arcane Bond (something like the paladins Divine Bond) But instead of the fimiliar being a representation of a bond to a diety. It is instead a representation of the wizards bond to all things arcane.

With this mechanic we could then allow for an improved fimiliar at say 5th or 7th level(Greater Arcane Bond), as the mage advances so too does his Arcane Bond. As it is the formless stuff of magic that is growing stronger and not just a summoned creature.

Also something intresting to think on is to allow a wizard to reshape his fimiliar as situations change during the course of his adventuring career. To avoid abuse of a wizard reshaping his fimiliar 8 times in the course of an adventuring day we could state that to change the form of a wizards Arcane Bond, the ritual requires at least 6 hours to perform and cost X gp in material components and foci.

None of this has been playtested, as I just thought of it while reading the thread.

If we treated it like a divine mount then we could summon it when needed from the arcane bond which surrounds the wizard and the world. We can then use the same abilities that are used form the mount(ie arrives in full health, takes all equipment with it when dismissed, if it is killed it can be resummoned in 30 days.) Although I don't think 1/day is enough for a wizard. Maybe we could keep the same 2 hours per level, so that when a wizard finally reaches 12th level he is now powerful enough to keep his fimiliar with him 24/7.

This would also solve the problem of the 'invsible fimiliar'(Order of the stick) that just pops up when needed to scout. In that since the fimiliar is composed of raw magic bent into a form by the wizard, it can always be with the wizard as a sort of magical residue that just lingers about a wizard, waiting to be called into shape.

I would love to here everyones pros and cons on this. I'm pretty thick skinned so constructive critism never offends. Thanks


Threeblood that is a great ideal..what if it was combined with the monte cook one .your familer is always there but it is visible only to you and you can manifest it as you say but its only a construct of magic and not a true livening being......I have to go now but will be back soon and will think on this.


I did the following merging of companion/familiar/mount over a year ago. While it might not be fitting (anymore?), I just wanted to post you this, so you get a clue on what I am up too.

Mystic Companion
Rank: [ Caster level of Character (arcane or divine) - HD (of unbound animal) ] divided by 2, rounded up
Your caster level must exceed the HD of the unbound animal to be able to bond it to you
HD: With increasing HD the Mystic Companions BAB, saves, skills and feats increase accordingly
MOVE: Every "+1" stands for an additional 5 ft. added to the mystic companions movement rates
AC: The bonus to AC can be freely divided between dodge bonus and/or natural armor
ABLT: This bonus increases ALL six abilities of the mystic companion
The special abilities resamble those listed in the PHB under the animal companion, familiar and special mount

Rank__HD__MOVE__AC__ABLT___Special
_1____+1____+1____+1____+1____Empathic link, share saves, alertness, share spells
_2____+2____+2____+2____+2____Deliver touch spells, evasion
_3____+3____+3____+3____+3____Speak with master
_4____+4____+4____+4____+4____Speak with animals of its kind
_5____+5____+5____+5____+5____Multiattack
_6____+6____+6____+6____+6____Scry on companion
_7____+7____+7____+7____+7____Command creatures of its kind, improved evasion
_8____+8____+8____+8____+8____Spell resistance
_9____+9____+9____+9____+9____-
10___+10___+10___+10___+10____-


I like the option where the familiar levels with the caster. Then every few levels, more options can open up to familiars/companions. So, if we continue with combining improved familiar options into the basic familiar, at later levels when people choose a "cool new" familiar, it would begin the progression from "level 1".

Personally, while the "invisible" familiar is a cool idea, I think it opens too many doors for abuse. That and I'm fond of choosing a form for your physical link to the mystic arts.


we could progress the arcane bond as follows:
1st level - arcane bond(fimiliar)
3rd level - improved arcane bond(fimiliar)
7th level - greater arcane bond(fimiliar)

Example to my idea above.

1st level wizard - has arcane bond and summons raw magic in the form of an owl fimiliar( gains all bonuses that the owl form provides and all bonuses for the Fimiliar feat)
same wizard 3rd level- allows the wizard to add either the celestial or infernal templet to fimiliar form (template bonuse based on HD of the wizard)
same wizrd 7th level- allows wizard to reshape his arcane bond(after the appropriate expiditure of time and resources) into any shape offered by the Improved fimiliar feat(shocker lizards, psuedo dragon etc.)

During this progress the arcane bond grows in sentience and power as reflected be either the Dracodruids chart above or following the fimiliar chart in the wizards class section.


Khezial Tahr wrote:

I like the option where the familiar levels with the caster. Then every few levels, more options can open up to familiars/companions. So, if we continue with combining improved familiar options into the basic familiar, at later levels when people choose a "cool new" familiar, it would begin the progression from "level 1".

Personally, while the "invisible" familiar is a cool idea, I think it opens too many doors for abuse. That and I'm fond of choosing a form for your physical link to the mystic arts.

I can see where you are coming from on this. As the one fimiliar that starts with you at first level and stays your loyal companion through the years is a 'sacred cow' of DnD tradition.

But I'm hoping that in my suggestion the players get the option to have the familiar they chose, while also having a little more flexibilty. Also it might give the fimiliar a little more play time. On the flip side, if a player wants to have the same form for his fimiliar through out his career then he can. If the player wants a more dynamic and adaptable style of fimiliar he can do that just as easily.

I'm hoping that the abuse of an invisible fimiliar(or more accurately a diffused aura of raw magic that can be summoned into the form of a fimiliar)can be controlled by the 2 hours per lvl/day mechanic.

But this is the THINK TANK so we still need to bandie this about some more.


Ok did some work on this heres what I come up with

There are two ways a familiar comes into being. The first the caster summons forth a normal animal and though arcane magic imparts a piece of his soul into the creature making it into a being of magic. The second method the caster takes his own blood and though arcane magic imparts a piece of his soul into it giving it form. Familiars created in such a away often have shapes such as metal crabs, small winged humanoids, fairies, and small dragons but function the same away as animal familiars do.

Familiars however are no longer creatures of just flesh and blood but rather a part of the caster. A familiar has to states of being manifested and bonded. While manifested the familiar has a physical form and is visible. In this state the familiar may move about as normal, it may walk, fly, crawl or swim up to 30 feet per round as its form dictates this increases 10' per 5 caster levels. As long as it stays within the range of its caster as defined by the casters level the caster the caster is granted all the benefits of the familiars bond. While is physical form the familiar has HP equal to the casters level+3 and an AC of 15+1/2 the caster level any damage to the familiar that exceeds its HP its forms fractures and dissipates and it can not be called forth again for 24 hours. While bonded the familiar is apart of the casters body. A caster may bond with its familiar as long as he is touching it doing so is a move action. Once bonded the familiar is still active and can commutate with its master. The caster still receives all benefits from the familiar that do not depend on it being separate.

Benefits of a familiar.
The familiar grants the caster a +1 to spell DC as well as a +1 to all INT checks. The familiar helps the caster keep track of notes and small spell gestures and arcane words
The caster is granted this even if the familiar is bonded but does not if its out of range or dissipated for 24 hours.

Personality
Upon creating a familiar a part of the caster soul is imparted into it grating it a personality and the caster extra benefits. The familiar has an INT equal to the casters INT -2
Artiste ------+3 bonus on Craft checks
Bully --------+3 bonus on Intimidate checks
Coward ---- +3 bonus on perception checks for avoiding surprise attacks
Friendly ----+1 step to starting attitude if at lest indiffent
Hero --------+2 bonus on Fortitude saves
Liar ---------+3 bonus on bluff checks
Meticulous -+3 bonus on perception checks
Nimble ------+2 bonus on Initiative checks
Observant ---may make a check to spot secret/concealed doors within 10 feet
Poised -------+3 bonus on acrobatics checks
Resolved ----+2 bonus on Will saves
Sage ---------+3 bonus on checks involving any one Knowledge skill the owner already knows; once chosen, this does not vary
Single-minded -+3 bonus on any one skill
Sneaky ------- +3 bonus on stealthy checks
Sympathetic --+3 bonus on diplomacy checks

or you may chose to keep bounes gained from its original form
Bat.... Master gains a +3 bonus on Listen checks
Cat.... Master gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks
Hawk... Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in bright light
Lizard. Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks
Owl ....Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in shadows
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 Bluff checks
Toad ...Master gains +3 hit points +1 per level
Weasel .Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves

Improving familiars

Level---Ability
1-2…...Alertness, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link , range 5’ per level
3-4…...Deliver touch spells
5-6…...Speak with master up to 5’ per caster level
7-8…...Outer planner intellect adds another +2 to INT checks,
9-10… Speak with others, Increased range 50’ per level
11-12…Spell resistance
13-14.. Arcane thought adds a +2 to spellcraft checks
14-16…Increased spell caster +2 to spell DC
17-18…Spell storage may store up to the caster INT mod in spells

Feat.
Improved familiar
Your familiar gains a second personality fragment in your familiar. You gain the benefits of both familiar personalities. Your familiar personality adjusts and becomes a blend between all implanted personality fragments.
You can take this multiple times.

Angelic/demonic familiar
Your familiar becomes a imp{le} or a quasit [ce] while manifested also any spell cast vs. the opposite aliment is at a +2 DC.. Angelic have the same states imp[LG] quasit[CG/NG]

Perquisite
Improved familiar

Morphic familiar
You may alter your familiars form as a full round action and it must be bonded to you to do so. I t allows it to take on the form and movement type of a creature of smiler size and HD

EDITED to add movement and new feat added option for keeping form based familar options

Sovereign Court

Personally I think familiars are fine the way they are and that the only change needed is to add to the text of Imp. Familiar feat, when you take this feat you may dismiss your current familiar at no penalty...


lastknightleft wrote:
Personally I think familiars are fine the way they are

Hmmmm.. I respectfully disagree. I think they're adequate the way they are, but we can do better.

Analysis is not my strong suit, but I like the concepts that Threebood and Seeker are putting forth. If this is just a brainstorm, I think they should be encouraged to continue this hypothetical exploration.

Scarab Sages

I like the ideas that Seeker has thrown out. I think the fluff of the familiar would be enhanced if the abilities/benefits in imparts reflect the fact that it is assisting with spell casting/research. I would love to have a familiar that gives my wizard a slight boost to caster level and a +3 on Craft (Alchemy) checks.

I leave the specifics to smarter folks than me, but I wholly agree that they need an improvement.

Shadow Lodge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Ok guys its simple how would you improve familiers ?

I don't think they are broken. In fact, considering the Wizard is one of the most powerful classes in the game it's grossly unfair to boost his power without reducing it in other ways to maintain balance with the other classes.

Personally I don't think this is a reasonable idea. What other wizard class features should you trim? Wizard specialist abilities?

Many many people don't use familiars much and as such don't want to see the rest of the class features nerfed to expand the powers of the familiar. If you want a powerful familiar invest feats, spells and magic into it. If you would like to recommend some additional feats beyond improved familiar I think that's a great idea also.

Here is my one fix: Specify in the improved familiar feat that you can that you can upgrade to the improved familiar without waiting a year and a day per normal familiar rules.

Grand Lodge

How about a familiar granting you the use of a certain number of "free" Metamagic uses per day, number and feat scaled with level, without needing feat? Perhaps total of level boosts = caster level?

I like the idea that possessing a familiar gives you a magical or concentration boost. I echo the earlier reference to the Steven Brust "Taltos" books as a great guide to familiars (and just plain great reading)!


Watcher wrote:

Hmmmm.. I respectfully disagree. I think they're adequate the way they are, but we can do better.

Analysis is not my strong suit, but I like the concepts that Threebood and Seeker are putting forth. If this is just a brainstorm, I think they should be encouraged to continue this hypothetical exploration.

Agreed. There is deffinitely room for improvement for familiars.

I do like Seeker's approach towards familiars, and relative connection to Psicrystals.

To build a little off the personalities, perhaps a feat for casters to augment the personality bonuses by +1 could be in order too.


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.

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