Witch Familiar + Improved Familiar Faerie Dragon


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ok I DID look at some of the witch familiar threads and i did not spot this particular question, not surprising its pretty particular.

So you are a witch. you take improved familiar and you chose faerie dragon.

A witch's familiar 'knows'x spells based on the witchs level

A Faerie dragon is, its own right, a 2nd level caster. Does the zero and 1st level spells known to the witch get added to the known spell list for the faerie dragon since they know enough to teach them to the witch?

Faerie dragons are already among the best, if not the best, familiar out there they dont particularly need this but Logically the above does make sense. I just want a opinions/and official ruling.

Dark Archive

No. The familiar doesn't actually know the spells it's teaching the Witch, they are merely holding them. All the spells the witch learns from the familiar are granted by their Patron, the familiar is just the cart that holds the spells as they go from Patron to Witch.

Liberty's Edge

now i am just quoting the book here

'Spells Gained at a New Level: A witch’s familiar learns a certain amount of lore and magic as the witch adventures. Whenever a witch gains a level, she may add two spells from the witch spell list to her familiar. The two free spells must be of spell levels she can cast'

so its pretty explicit the the familiar is learning the magic and the familiar is teaching it to the witch.


no they do not and i will get you the relevant texts this evening when i am home.

Liberty's Edge

ok thanks

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
neferphras wrote:

now i am just quoting the book here

'Spells Gained at a New Level: A witch’s familiar learns a certain amount of lore and magic as the witch adventures. Whenever a witch gains a level, she may add two spells from the witch spell list to her familiar. The two free spells must be of spell levels she can cast'

so its pretty explicit the the familiar is learning the magic and the familiar is teaching it to the witch.

Actually, neither the familiar NOR the witch actually learn spells. The witch operates under a mechanic that resembles the wizard, but is profoundly different.

The witch gains spells from sources and her patron, they are bestowed upon the familiar, and when the witch prepares spells she selects them from what the familiar contains.

The familiar doesn't "learn" spells any more than a wizard's spellbook does. It's merely a container.

Dark Archive

neferphras wrote:

now i am just quoting the book here

'Spells Gained at a New Level: A witch’s familiar learns a certain amount of lore and magic as the witch adventures. Whenever a witch gains a level, she may add two spells from the witch spell list to her familiar. The two free spells must be of spell levels she can cast'

so its pretty explicit the the familiar is learning the magic and the familiar is teaching it to the witch.

That is a cut and paste error when they pulled the entry from the wizards level up text. The entire point of the witch is here in this description of the class.

Witch wrote:

the witch draws her magic from a pact made

with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source,
using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a
host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as
hexes.

The familiar is just the conduit to the power, all spells come from the patron, even the ones that you research yourself.


People need to also understand that sometimes words get used in the normal english sense rather than the game sense. But as Mathwei pointed out Witch Familiar's act as a conduit for the witch to understand the magic.

If it worked as the op implied it did there would have to be text somewhere explaining how it worked, As the witch class contains no text explaining what happens when improved familiars already capable of casting spells 'learn' spells we can assume that it has no effect beyond the normal witch familiar effect.

A good sign that it doesnt work also is every single witch thread would push it :)


I agree that this doesn't work. The faerie dragon could effectively add a spell known with a Page of Spell Knowledge though. Also, the faerie dragon is actually caster level 3.

Liberty's Edge

Actually i believe it should not work as well. Maybe that did not come across. I was posting this for the FAQ update purpose AND to get opinions. I am firmly on the 'this should not work' side of things.

The quote however is not a bad cross reference. Its from Page 68 of the APG the side bar specifically dealing with a witchs familiar.

Dark Archive

neferphras wrote:

Actually i believe it should not work as well. Maybe that did not come across. I was posting this for the FAQ update purpose AND to get opinions. I am firmly on the 'this should not work' side of things.

The quote however is not a bad cross reference. Its from Page 68 of the APG the side bar specifically dealing with a witchs familiar.

Yes it is, back in the playtest for the witch the familiar was a lot more involved in teaching the with these spells and the pulled the entry for how Wizards gained new spells on leveling and modified it for the familiar. When the patrons were added and the familiars dropped back in importance they neglected to to update that entry. It's an editing glitch is all.

Liberty's Edge

yeah i mean that section is all about teaching familiars spells from scrolls even. Its pretty clear from the wording of that section at least that the familiars are indeed 'Learning' spells.

I dont mind it being an editing glitch, but they should update the FAQ in regards to this before we see a which fair dragon with a dozen or so spells. Per RAW i can easily see this being argued as the dragon knows all the arcane spells (0 and 1st) that the witch does.


I don't think 'learn' can be truly associated with 'spells known' unless the latter term (or "know spells") is explicitly mentioned.
The quoted wording talks about 'learning' spells, but as mentioned, that is from wizards...
Where said wording does NOT mean they have any 'spells known', i.e. their spellbook spells do not carry over if they m-class in sorceror.

Likewise, the familiar's own sorceror casting does not matter just because they 'learned' witch spells.
In both cases, there is also an argument re: spell type, namely that wizard or witch spells are not castable as sorceror spells.
The distinction doesn't matter for other cases, e.g. scrolls don't care, but it still does exist.

I would say it is a goal for Pathfinder 2nd Edition to more strongly/clearly differentiate the terms for wizards/sorcerors so there is no confusion on the subject, which can crop up in areas besides this example.

Liberty's Edge

Quandary, i completely agree with you.


And now that everyone else has covered it I'm good.


I have a question about this topic

if i want to switch familiars with improved familiar, and i already have my previous familiar, isn't it possible that my previous familiar teach my new familiar the spells he already knows ?

explicit taking the rules from the Familiar Teaching Familia rules

Or will it happen that in the moment I switch familiar my previous one will become again into a mindless beast?

Right now my familiar is a Snow owl and I befriended a Pixie, so i want to take the improved familiar feat to switch familiars.

I think this might be on the GM discretion, example:

we suppose when a witch dies the patron bound is severed, something similar happens when you switch familiar, then the old familiar will lost his powers in 24 hours, so this will be all the time that i have to have him teach his spells to the new familiar ?

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