Familiar Cohort


Homebrew and House Rules


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I'm pondering an idea. What would you think of this feat? More or less broken than Leadership?

Familiar Cohort (Mythic)
Prerequisite: You must have a familiar.
Benefit: Your familiar is your cohort and gains class levels equal to your level minus 2. Your familiar's hit points, base attack bonus, and saving throws are based on its class levels as if it were an independent creature or on its abilities gained from being a familiar, whichever are higher. Your familiar gains no skill ranks from class levels. Whenever you gain a level, so does your familiar (to a maximum of your level minus 2). Your familiar cannot gain a companion of any kind from its class levels, even if it would normally gain one.
Special: You cannot have more than one cohort.


This is something I sought for a long time.
Some suggestions:

Prerequisite: Improved Familiar, Leadership, mythic tier 1.
Benefit: Your familiar is your cohort and gains as many class levels as needed to take it to a cohort level equal to your level minus 2. Your familiar's hit points, base attack bonus, and saving throws are based on its class levels as if it were an independent creature or on its abilities gained from being a familiar, whichever are higher. Your familiar gains no skill ranks from class levels. Whenever you gain a level, so does your familiar (to a maximum cohort level equal to your level minus 2). Your familiar cannot gain a companion of any kind from its class levels, even if it would normally gain one.
Special: You cannot have more than one cohort.

A typical improved familiar has CR 2. Its cohort level would be 4. So it should gain a number of class levels equal to its master's level -6. Taking into account that you can normally have one familiar and one cohort, and this only allows to combine the two into one, I think it's not overpowered for a mythic character.


Bardess wrote:

This is something I sought for a long time.

Some suggestions:

Prerequisite: Improved Familiar, Leadership, mythic tier 1.
Benefit: Your familiar is your cohort and gains as many class levels as needed to take it to a cohort level equal to your level minus 2. Your familiar's hit points, base attack bonus, and saving throws are based on its class levels as if it were an independent creature or on its abilities gained from being a familiar, whichever are higher. Your familiar gains no skill ranks from class levels. Whenever you gain a level, so does your familiar (to a maximum cohort level equal to your level minus 2). Your familiar cannot gain a companion of any kind from its class levels, even if it would normally gain one.
Special: You cannot have more than one cohort.

A typical improved familiar has CR 2. Its cohort level would be 4. So it should gain a number of class levels equal to its master's level -6. Taking into account that you can normally have one familiar and one cohort, and this only allows to combine the two into one, I think it's not overpowered for a mythic character.

you could do either:

Prerequisite: Improved Familiar, Leadership, mythic tier 1.

OR

Prerequisite: Improved Familiar, Crusader, mythic Champion tier 1.

-

either way +1 :)


Or either, Marshal tier 1 and Loyalty.

So, let's only say: Improved Familiar and a cohort or squire?


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I would not require improved familiar, nor would I restrict it to on path. And I wouldn't make it require leadership, either. That's absurd.


No prerequisite?

Not a fan. But your game, have fun!


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The point was to compare it to leadership.


Could someone explain this Mythic and Champion tier stuff to me?


Crusader functions as leadership, plus some extra powers.


Someone can correct me, but I don't see that Crusader gives you a cohort, only followers. So it wouldn't be the best ability to replace a requirement of Leadership with.

I would either change the language a bit to say that gain a cohort and it must be your familiar, or include the pre-req of Leadership (I think we could drop Improved Familiar, just too many feats at that point). Only because "Your familiar is your cohort", to me, implies the pre-existence of you having one.


Since the feat already includes the line "you cannot have more than one cohort" that prevents you from taking Leadership (again) so that solves the one loophole I was worried about. I agree with UR that the piles of prereqs are not necessary.

All it does is give your familiar the ability to take class levels, it's still going to be (usually) a miniscule creature of limited capability. You can make it more useful with Improved Familiar, but it certainly isn't broken if you don't require it. And the best classes for a little animal familiar, outside of spellcasting (which it's questionable whether most non-Improved Familiars would be capable of casting, and would require an okay from your GM), would be stealthy skill-based classes like Rogue, so the inability to gain skill points is a bit of a hindrance.

We're definitely not looking at a sudden power boost here, unless they do go with Improved Familiar + spellcasting class. In which case, that's still one more feat investment than just taking Leadership to get a spellcaster cohort. So I'm fine with it.

I'd allow it. Heck, I'd probably even allow it as a non-Mythic feat.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Your familiar is your cohort and gains class levels equal to your level minus 2.

So my familiar can have more HD than I do? (Improved Familiar HD + level - 2).


Change that to max HD equal to your level minus 2, then?


Or total CR = your CR -3, is what I do in my home game.


Sure, that's fair.


Use the normal rules for monster cohorts.


The issue with that is that monster cohort rules assign a specific effective cohort level to the monsters on a chart, and there are no guidelines to determine how they arrived at that number.

Since none of the familiar options is on the list, we would have to create effective cohort levels for each familiar.

You said in the earlier post that a "typical" improved familiar has a CR of 2 and a cohort level of 4, but given the large difference in improved familiars' abilities that's way too general.

They range from CR 1/3 to CR 2 , but one CR 2 creature might have abilities that put its cohort level higher than another CR 2 creature. Similar to how a Worg and Blink Dog are both CR 2 but the Worg's cohort level is higher.


Insanity Logic wrote:
Could someone explain this Mythic and Champion tier stuff to me?

Found it. Not sure when they added that to the PRD. One thing is sure. I failed my perception check and I'm being flanked right about now.


There could be another complementary feat for cohorts who become familiars. Rogue Genius Games created it as an Horrifically Overpowered feat, but it could become a fair mythic feat introducing a Leadership score penalty. 2E had an option for cohort familiars (in The Complete Necromancer's Handbook) that I always liked.

Cohort Familiar (Mythic)
You have forged a bond with a much more powerful familiar than the norm.
Prerequisites: Improved Familiar, Leadership, ability to acquire a familiar.
Benefit: Your cohort (from the Leadership feat) becomes your familiar. Its alignment does not change, but it is devotedly loyal and obedient to you, regardless of any difference in alignment. Cohort familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and cohort familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate.
A cohort familiar's cohort level rises according to the following table. Other choices may be available.

Level Monster
6 Blink dog
7 Azer
7 Ghoul
8 Worg
9 Giant eagle
9 Kech
9 Pegasus
9 Sasquatch
9 Skeletal champion
10 Contemplative
10 Phantom armor, guardian
10 Shriezyx
10 Shulsaga
10 Snallygaster
10 Giant vulture
11 Hell hound
11 Hound archon
11 Howler
11 Satyr
11 Shae
12 Fossegrim
12 Sea cat
12 Shobhad
12 Giant owl
12 Aranea
12 Griffon
12 Pixie
12 Shadow mastiff
12 Tanuki
12 Unicorn
13 Huldra
13 Phantom armor, giant
13 Saguaroi
14 Leucrotta
14 Manticore
14 Sabosan
15 Swan Maiden
15 Derhii
15 Dragonne
15 Redcap
15 Wyvern
16 Owb
16 Ahuizotl
16 Babau (demon)
16 Bralani (azata)
17 Drider
17 Maftet
18 Svartalfar


Necro-ing this as I've begun to play with the idea again. Some questions that I found worthy about the issue:
-Should a familiar cohort be a full-level familiar AND a full-level cohort, or should it be considered a "multiclass character", with some levels in the Familiar class and some other levels in its other class? (I'd say the first one. If a nature shaman's familiar can become a full-level animal companion and remain a full-level familiar, then I will state that "Familiar" and "Companion" are special classes that can be "gestalted").
-Should a familiar cohort get ability score advancements for leveling and favored class bonuses? (I'd say yes).
-Should a familiar cohort get the +4 +4 +2 +2 +0 -2 ability modifiers for monsters with class levels? This one is tricky. Do regular cohorts get them?

Dark Archive

Any chance we could have a non-mythic version of this feat, or is it somehow required for balance?

It is kind of... difficult to consider using this feat if it is limited for Mythic as perhaps not all DM want to use such for their game.


I'm afraid it could be overpowered as a normal feat. It's basically the inverse of Cohort Familiar from RGG's More Horrifically Overpowered Feats, that were more or less equivalent fo mythic feats (one of them is the same as Mythic Alignment Channel).
Actually, I'm afraid that it could be overpowered as a mythic feat too... That's why I'd like to have clear the way it should work.


Here, tell me if this way can do.

Familiar Cohort (Mythic)

“Maybe I was just your pet to begin. But I learned much since then”.

Prerequisite: Improved Familiar.

Benefit: Your familiar becomes your cohort. It is considered to have a cohort level equal to the spellcaster level required to choose it as a familiar –2, and gains enough character levels to bring it up to a cohort level depending on your Leadership score (up to a maximum of your character level –2). The creature’s Hit Dice, hit points, BAB, saving throws, feats and skill ranks are still calculated as a familiar’s, but it gains class abilities based on its cohort class levels, included ability score modifiers for creatures with levels, ability score advancements for gaining levels and favored class bonuses. A familiar generally gains levels in a key class; if it has no key classes, it can gain levels in any class as in a key class. You add your mythic tier to your leadership score when determining your familiar cohort’s total level, but can’t apply any other listed modifier to it.
If you take the Boon Companion feat, this affects only the creature’s familiar abilities, and not its class abilities. A familiar cohort can’t gain a companion of any kind from its class levels, even if it would normally gain one.
If you have or later take the Leadership feat, you can choose to replace this feat with Mythic Leadership, or receive a further bonus equal to your tier on your leadership score. If you choose the last option, then later your familiar cohort is affected as normal should you take Mythic Leadership later.

Special: You cannot have more than one cohort.


If a Familiar Cohort is too much for a group to feel comfortable with, I offer my DM's solution to bigger, better familiars: Greater Familiar.

Greater Familiar
Prerequisites: Caster Level 11, Improved Familiar

Benefit: You may choose a Magical Beast, Outsider, Dragon, Fey, Animal or Vermin with a CR no greater than your CL -4 to serve as your familiar. This otherwise functions as Improved Familiar.

It's a fairly strong feat, but not as powerful as adding scaling class levels tends to be. You may want to impose some limits on familiar sizes, but that can seriously restrict available options too.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly don't see why to even bother with the 'familiar' bit of this, and just use leadership to pink up a cohort.

Just make it either an awakened animal, or a custom race to fit whatever creature it is emulating.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Honestly don't see why to even bother with the 'familiar' bit of this, and just use leadership to pink up a cohort.

Because the idea is to jack up the familliar rather than taking a separate cohort.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Honestly don't see why to even bother with the 'familiar' bit of this, and just use leadership to pink up a cohort.
Because the idea is to jack up the familliar rather than taking a separate cohort.

That's what Awaken is for...


CraziFuzzy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Honestly don't see why to even bother with the 'familiar' bit of this, and just use leadership to pink up a cohort.
Because the idea is to jack up the familliar rather than taking a separate cohort.
That's what Awaken is for...

Some people want more interesting options than Awaken provides though. Awaken also doesn't necessarily make familiars any smarter than they'd be just by being familiars, and it does nothing at all for imps, lyrakin, psuedodragons or the like.

Dark Archive

RogueMortal wrote:

Greater Familiar

Prerequisites: Caster Level 11, Improved Familiar
Benefit: You may choose a Magical Beast, Outsider, Dragon, Fey, Animal or Vermin with a CR no greater than your CL -4 to serve as your familiar. This otherwise functions as Improved Familiar.
It's a fairly strong feat, but not as powerful as adding scaling class levels tends to be. You may want to impose some limits on familiar sizes, but that can seriously restrict available options too.

Personally I would rather have something like this then familiar Cohort, since it can be dropped into more games.


Both could be used. Note that with my feat, a 17th-level character can have a 10th-level sorcerer cassisian as a familiar, while with this one, the same character could have a 12th level cassisian (CR 13).


Bardess wrote:
Both could be used. Note that with my feat, a 17th-level character can have a 10th-level sorcerer cassisian as a familiar, while with this one, the same character could have a 12th level cassisian (CR 13).

Not unless Improved Familiar grants class levels and I missed it somehow. Greater Familiar allows you to pick a higher CR creature as a familiar, and otherwise acts like Improved Familiar just as the text says. If you choose a cassisian all you get is a CR 2 angel. Rather than add class levels, you do things like wait to have a high enough CL to get a Lillend Azata or something. But as I said before, some groups may want to limit the options to smaller creatures if they still have the right CR.

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