Can a familiar wake a sleeping PC?


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

I feel certain this has been addressed somewhere, but I simply cannot find it on the message boards, so please accept my apology if it is.
If a PC is taken out of action by a sleep spell can they be woken by a familiar or animal companion? For example, a wizard is taken out with a sleep spell, and the bad guy then turns her attention to another PC. While the bad guy has her attention focused elsewhere, could the wizard's cat wake him? How about the same scenario for a ranger and her wolf companion?


It's certainly possible for a cat to waken a human; the main question in my opinion is whether the companion would know to do that. Familiars are intelligent (often more intelligent than the BSF) and self-motivating, but animal companions generally need to be handled, which means someone would need to command the wolf to waken the ranger.

Grand Lodge

BSF?


claudekennilol wrote:
BSF?

Big Stupid Fighter

Anecdotally, the first full face transplant was performed on a French woman. She had taken an OD of prescription medication and, subsequently, had most of her face torn off by her little dog as it tried to rouse her. There are also many cases of family pets, usually dogs but occasionally other animals, saving their families by waking their owners when there is a fire in the home.

I would say it's certainly possible, I'm just not sure the familiar or companion would undertake the task within a convenient or helpful time frame. Say it takes a cat 20 rounds to decide to wake up its master--a mere 2 minutes in real time but much longer than would be useful to any character in combat.


claudekennilol wrote:
BSF?

big stupid fighter

Grand Lodge

Yes the faamilar could wake them up. They are smart enough to know they need to wake the master up and if all else fails they can attack the master to do 1 hp of damage to wake him up (I think all of them have a attack that can do at lest 1 damage)

The animal companion may not be smart enough to know to do it but they may pull ther person to get them out of harms way.

Liberty's Edge

As a GM, I would not have a problem with a familiar knowing to wake up his slept master, but there are a few hoops to work through. First of all, the master would need to define the conditions in which the familiar will take action. Second, he would need to spend some time in game 'training' his familiar. The wizard would need to have a sleep spell to 'train' with. Of course, this 'training' is totally a story-element. No traits, feats, etc are expended. The familiar just learns what should be done in that situation.

However, when it comes up in combat, the GM is the one who should control the familiar. The familiar would need to fist check that they notice that the wizard is slept (which should be easy if the familiar is not engaged in an activity or if he is not 'hiding' in the wizard's pack. Second, the GM should play out what the familiar does to wake the wizard.

Of course, for comedy relief, occasionally it would be amusing for the familiar to accidentally wake the wizard when he is just sleeping.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why does the familiar need to be trained? After a certain point, relatively early on, there is a very real chance that the familiar is smarter than the fighter, so do we require the fighter to be trained to wake someone up?


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RedDogMT wrote:
As a GM, I would not have a problem with a familiar knowing to wake up his slept master, but there are a few hoops to work through. First of all, the master would need to define the conditions in which the familiar will take action. Second, he would need to spend some time in game 'training' his familiar. The wizard would need to have a sleep spell to 'train' with. Of course, this 'training' is totally a story-element. No traits, feats, etc are expended. The familiar just learns what should be done in that situation.

The familiar is a magical beast, not an animal, and sentient -- often smarter than your average commoner/turnip farmer. I agree that this would be necessary for an animal companion, but not for a familiar.

By RAW, you don't need Handle Animal to direct a familiar, while you do need it to direct an AC, even an AC with Int 3 or better. Since HA is the relevant skill for training an animal, I read that as stating that familiars don't need training.

Liberty's Edge

Familiar, yes.

Animal companion Int 1-2: not without trick or Push.

Animal companion Int 3+: all bets are off on concensus.

Sovereign Court

Val'bryn2 wrote:
Why does the familiar need to be trained? After a certain point, relatively early on, there is a very real chance that the familiar is smarter than the fighter, so do we require the fighter to be trained to wake someone up?

The problem is that Pathfinder *apparently* makes the attributes absolute. Such as, 18 strength means more physical power than 17 strength in all cases and all times. 6 intelligence must obviously involve more cognition than 5 intelligence, right?

Wrong. That's just a faulty impression. Understandably made, granted, but still faulty.

A small sized Halfling with 18 strength still doesn't have the raw power that a large sized horse does at 17 strength, despite having a +4 to his damage bonus rather than a +3. The proof is right there in the carrying capacity rules.

Likewise, an animal (and arguably, a magical beast) with X intelligence is still "just" an animal. It'll never be as smart as a human, no matter how big and dumb he may be.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, the 10 intelligence Raven familiar, who can hold full conversations, contemplate his existence, and have a deep understanding of engineering, is too dumb to wake someone up?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unfortunately, deusvult, that argument doesn't make any sense. You're right on the Halfling vs horse, since it comes down to a matter of size, but why is a magical beast less intelligent than a human, despite equal intelligence scores? They would view the world differently, I grant, but what you're saying is almost like saying a dragon is less intelligent than a human by virtue of not being a human, despite having an IQ of a good 100 points higher.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are we basing this on type?

Are all the Sphinx, just dull minded animals, incapable of anything complex, like, hmm, a riddle contest?


deusvult wrote:


Likewise, an animal (and arguably, a magical beast) with X intelligence is still "just" an animal. It'll never be as smart as a human, no matter how big and dumb he may be.

How "arguably, a magical beast"? Who has ever raised this particular argument specifically with regard to magical beasts?

Sovereign Court

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Are we basing this on type?

To oversimplify down into a single word: yes.

More to the point: Magical Beasts are, as I said, at best *arguably* dumb critters. Obviously it depends on the magical beast. My point wasn't about whether or not the familiar is dumber or smarter than the fighter. Not that it's relevant to what I was saying, but to avoid confusion I'll state that yes, familiars are "fluffed" as being particularly clever critters. As are sphinxes.

My point (largely missed, it seems) is that measuring smartness solely by the intelligence attribute value is a fallacy.* Quite to the point of the discussion at hand however, is that while familiars may have the intelligence and ability to wake a sleeping wizard, they may very well lack the wherewithal to realize that's what the (player) would want. Familiars are, in effect, alien intelligences as we (the real world people) would define them. They ARE still magical beasts, so that doesn't mean that they'd perceive threats the way a humanoid might. Would the master want to be woken up for every little disturbance? A magical beast (familiar) isn't guaranteed to answer that question the same way a humanoid (porter hireling) would.

*= Actually, that's so true on several levels. Obviously Wisdom and Charisma also have a ton to do with a character's "smartness". In fact, when it comes to "realizing what is the best thing to do", I'd argue that Wisdom is the relevant stat. But that's a chain of discussion not along the lines of what I've been talking about. I meant looking at the attribute(s) values out of context.

Grand Lodge

deusvult wrote:
My point (largely missed, it seems) is that measuring smartness solely by the intelligence attribute value is a fallacy.

But you're making generalizations and assumptions based on one set of rules. Yes--size and legs makes a difference for carrying capacity based off of strength. Are there any examples of that elsewhere at all for mental abilities?

Sovereign Court

claudekennilol wrote:
deusvult wrote:
My point (largely missed, it seems) is that measuring smartness solely by the intelligence attribute value is a fallacy.
But you're making generalizations and assumptions based on one set of rules. Yes--size and legs makes a difference for carrying capacity based off of strength. Are there any examples of that elsewhere at all for mental abilities?

Well, right off the top of my head, there's that rule for animal companions about still being "dumb as an animal" even if you do pump their intelligence up as they level up.

So yeah, if you pump up your AC to 3 or 4 intelligence, it's still not as smart as a humanoid (N)PC with 1 or 2 intelligence.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I disagree.

The familiar is an extension of the Wizard.

They share an empathetic link, that eventually manifests fully as a wholly telepathic link.

It shares the Wizards experiences, feelings, desires, and is intelligent enough to understand those.

It recognizes danger, and should be fully capable of discerning when sleeping is a danger to it, and it's master.


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A familiar has a decent int score, and more importantly also has all of its master's skill ranks.

The familiar not only recognizes that the master just feel asleep mid-combat and would be worried about it, it quite possibly recognizes that a sleep spell got cast, knows what the sleep spell actually does, and how to specifically deal with it, because that familiar has a spellcraft check.

Not a very good one, but it actually has it, and the familiar sure as hell knows what spellcasting looks like, even if it failed to ID the specific spells.

Now an animal companion is not remotely as smart (or as educated!) as a familiar, and it might not realize it needs to go slap the boss awake right now.

I'd expect the animal companion to react, but not necessarily in a helpful manner - depending on the companion, possibly even "master's out cold, I'm not letting anyone near him!"

Silver Crusade

Zhangar wrote:

A familiar has a decent int score, and more importantly also has all of its master's skill ranks.

And that's not even considering improved familiars

Grand Lodge

deusvult wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
deusvult wrote:
My point (largely missed, it seems) is that measuring smartness solely by the intelligence attribute value is a fallacy.
But you're making generalizations and assumptions based on one set of rules. Yes--size and legs makes a difference for carrying capacity based off of strength. Are there any examples of that elsewhere at all for mental abilities?

Well, right off the top of my head, there's that rule for animal companions about still being "dumb as an animal" even if you do pump their intelligence up as they level up.

So yeah, if you pump up your AC to 3 or 4 intelligence, it's still not as smart as a humanoid (N)PC with 1 or 2 intelligence.

I think that disproves what you're saying enough right there. Nowhere does it say that for familiars.

Sovereign Court

Zhangar wrote:


The familiar not only recognizes that the master just feel asleep mid-combat and would be worried about it, it quite possibly recognizes that a sleep spell got cast, knows what the sleep spell actually does, and how to specifically deal with it, because that familiar has a spellcraft check.

That's one scenario, and personally I wouldn't quibble with it.

What about another completely different scenario:

Big dumb fighter and Bigger, dumber barbarian are having a disagreement at 2 am about who's turn it is to take watch. Being fighters and barbarians, they don't mind a little fisticuffs to make their points. Does the familiar wake the wizard, especially considering the risk to the master of not gaining enough sleep to regain spells?

The familiar might wake up the wizard even if the player wouldn't have wanted it. Maybe a bona fide fight does break out, and the familiar mistakes it for squabbling. I'm saying, that as a magical beast, its worldviews are inherently different than a humanoid's. It's fundamentally prone to misinterpreting such scenarios. How often? Well, that's up to the GM.

claudekennilol wrote:
I think that disproves what you're saying enough right there. Nowhere does it say that for familiars.

You're a step behind. I'm not saying familiars are animals. I'm saying there's more to "smartness" than Intelligence (and Wisdom/Charisma) stat values. Creature type is one such factor that also must be considered. Animal, Magical Beast. What do they have in common? They're both "other than humanoid". It can matter. Won't always, but Can.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, no matter how high all your mental scores are, you are still "dumb", unless you have the right creature type?

How do Awakened animals work?

What are the "always dumb" types?

Where is the rules for this "always dumb" clause?

Sovereign Court

blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, no matter how high all your mental scores are, you are still "dumb", unless you have the right creature type?

I didn't say that and I have to assume you both know it and are deliberately trying to pick an argument. In case I'm wrong, here's the explanation again.

Yes, the stats (Int, Wis, AND Cha) all represent the smartness of a critter. However, they are not the SOLE considerations. I gave examples upthread where, for example, creature type can trump a stat value.

Quote:
How do Awakened animals work?

I assume we both know what the rules say.

I will point out that per the spell, the creature type changes. Why would it, if it were not important?

Quote:


Where is the rules for this "always dumb" clause?

Admittedly, in PFS. If you don't play PFS, you don't need to worry about it. Although, putting one's head in the sand about what the authors intended doesn't make me wrong.


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This ridiculous idea that a 10 Int Magical Beast is somehow not as smart as a 10 Int human is simply unsupported by anything in the rules, the setting, or anything anyone has said on the boards.

Deusvult, if this is something you run in your home games, that's fine, but it is not part of the rules. A 10 Int familiar is just as capable of cognition, planning, and problem solving as a 10 Int human, and will actually have more intellectual resources at its command because of sharing skill ranks with its wizard (or whatever). If a fighter with 7 Int can figure out she needs to wake up the party wizard when he falls asleep in battle, so can the wizard's familiar, especially if they've talked about that contingency beforehand.


deusvult wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
deusvult wrote:
My point (largely missed, it seems) is that measuring smartness solely by the intelligence attribute value is a fallacy.
But you're making generalizations and assumptions based on one set of rules. Yes--size and legs makes a difference for carrying capacity based off of strength. Are there any examples of that elsewhere at all for mental abilities?

Well, right off the top of my head, there's that rule for animal companions about still being "dumb as an animal" even if you do pump their intelligence up as they level up.

So yeah, if you pump up your AC to 3 or 4 intelligence, it's still not as smart as a humanoid (N)PC with 1 or 2 intelligence.

Where exactly is "that rule for animal companions" that you keep referring to?

And I would say that even a dumb animal companion would react to a sleep spell exactly the same way it would react to its master falling unconscious. Whatever the player has designated as the animal's actions for "when I go unconscious", just use that for sleep.

Eventually, the animal is going to wake the master up, because it will get hungry or want attention or decide to cuddle up with him. :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You keep going to Animal Companions, which first, they don't change type, and second, fall under PFS houserules once their intelligence reaches 3.

I do play PFS, and they do have houserules. They must, for it to function.

So, you can't use an Organized Play Houserule, as the sole basis for your argument.

You might as well say all PCs cannot craft.


In our game we took a prisoner. We had to make camp, so we tied him up, and started taking watches. But, I also asked my familiar to specifically keep an eye on the prisoner and to wake everyone if he started to escape. Surprise, he got free and started to run, and the familiar was able to wake us all up so we could recapture him.

Now, in that scenario, I specifically had given the familiar a command with conditions and what to do. I think that's perfectly reasonable.

If with a sleep spell, as someone pointed out, familiars have spellcraft, and can use that skill. So yes, the familiar could wake the wizard. Though this also runs into the "if you use your familiar in combat it will die" issues.

Animal companion? No. You must give orders via handle animal to them. So someone would have to "push" the animal companion to wake the ranger, or otherwise use some trick it knew to achieve the same affect.

Sovereign Court

Gwen Smith wrote:
Where exactly is "that rule for animal companions" that you keep referring to?

Here.

Paladin of Baha-who wrote:
This ridiculous idea that a 10 Int Magical Beast is somehow not as smart as a 10 Int human is simply unsupported by anything in the rules, the setting, or anything anyone has said on the boards.

We're using "smart" in different ways. I think you'd agree that creatures as different as humans and pegasi/sphinxes/etc have very different minds? Even when having identical game stats in Int/Wis/Cha, they might do things that they consider quite reasonable that the other would deem stupid.

I've never said ignore Int/Wis/Cha and take creature type as the primary factor in smartness. I'd appreciate it if you didn't pretend I did.

Quote:
Deusvult, if this is something you run in your home games, that's fine, but it is not part of the rules. A 10 Int familiar is just as capable of cognition, planning, and problem solving as a 10 Int human, and will actually have more intellectual resources at its command because of sharing skill ranks with its wizard (or whatever). If a fighter with 7 Int can figure out she needs to wake up the party wizard when he falls asleep in battle, so can the wizard's familiar, especially if they've talked about that contingency beforehand.

The rules I've pointed out are very much a part of the rules. (quibble: Possibly excluding PFS clarifications, although they're valuable as insight to the writers' minds)

We're disagreeing over whether the stats are intended to be absolute except for a couple of cases, or whether the stats are intended to be mainly relative. I'm arguing the latter. If you reject that and insist the former is the case, then we can agree to disagree.


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Hello... WAKE UP! Master, get up! Hey, c'mon! Can Golarion's destiny really depend on such a lazy boy?!

...

You finally woke up! I'm Navi the fairy. The Decemvirate asked me to be your partner from now on. Nice to meet you!

...

HEY! LISTEN!

Scarab Sages

Familiar is an NPC. It should have an alignment and it's own personality. You cannot train a familiar with handle animal, it's too smart for that.

The Animal Archive Covers this and the Awakened animals bit.

Lantern Lodge

First of all, I think we all need a clear understanding of what different mental stats do. In my DnD games when I explain it to newbies, I say thus:

Mental Stat Explanation wrote:


"Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit
Wisdom is knowing not to put tomato in your fruit salad
Charisma is convincing your friend to do it anyway"

At a quick glance of all the familiars, in their base form, they have 10+ wisdom. No problem there. Generally, their charisma sucks. Their intelligence also sucks.

Thats characteristic of an animal. HOWEVER, by becoming a familiar, they gain intelligence. If they have the right anatomy, they can talk, perform various skills (Appraisal is nice to have), etc...

Heck, a gorilla with two intelligence can learn sign language. What do you think happens when that gorilla triples it's intelligence?

This whole "An animal can never be as smart as a human" bit is wrong. Just wrong. Pay attention to the raven familiar in the Order of the Stick comic, or watch "The Secret of NIMH". There is no scaling factor for intelligence anywhere in the rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

PFS clarifications are not valuable insights into the writer's mind.

PFS clarifications are designed with Organized Play in mind, which may never enter any writer's mind.

Those are not relevant.

Worse, you still ignore the share experiences, feelings, and thoughts, that the the Wizard and Familiar have.

The Familiar isn't just smart, he has the perspective of a different creature to call upon.

This why a Wizard can use Alter Self on his Familiar, and reasonably expect him to act Human, as not only is it smart, but has experienced the mind of being Human.(Well, considering the Wizard is Human).

Sovereign Court

blackbloodtroll wrote:

PFS clarifications are not valuable insights into the writer's mind.

PFS clarifications are designed with Organized Play in mind, which may never enter any writer's mind.

Those are not relevant.

If you want to put your head in the sand, go ahead. But that particular ruling can hardly be put in the same category of "No crafting in PFS".

If you don't like that example because it's PFS, consider your own example. The Awaken spell does not allow smart animals; they must change to magical beasts for the spell to work from a meta-rules view.

Quote:

Worse, you still ignore the share experiences, feelings, and thoughts, that the the Wizard and Familiar have.

The Familiar isn't just smart, he has the perspective of a different creature to call upon.

I ignored no such thing. I think you probably missed that I said I agreed it makes sense that a familiar would wake his master after he succumbed to a sleep spell.

I said that the familiar, possessing an essentially alien mind, is going to sometimes do things that the player might think is stupid. The example I gave is the potential (not likelihood, POTENTIAL) for a familiar to mischaracterize a non-dangerous situation as dangerous, or a dangerous situation as non-dangerous and erroneously wake up the wizard, or fail to wake up the wizard.

To go back to the OP: We're answering two different questions.

CAN the familiar wake up the wizard? We all seem to agree yes. But I'm answering:

WILL IT ALWAYS wake up the wizard? I say nope. Sometimes It's gonna think the wizard is better off asleep, no matter what the player wants. No matter how much exposure it has to the human mind. Just as a magical beast's mind is alien to a humanoid, a humanoid's is alien to a magical beast.

Liberty's Edge

Whoa. Good vigorous discussion in progress. Thanks for the opinions, folks.

RedDogMT — I like the training idea for story element, especially the comedy potential of accidental waking.
Deusvult — Your alternate scenario is a great counter, and something to put into play.
Zhangar — Your argument cinches it for me. I will allow the familiar to wake it’s master if this scenario comes up again. Same for the animal companion’s reaction.
Tarantula — Since you agree with Zhangar, I agree with you.

Liberty's Edge

Orfamay Quest wrote:
RedDogMT wrote:
As a GM, I would not have a problem with a familiar knowing to wake up his slept master, but there are a few hoops to work through. First of all, the master would need to define the conditions in which the familiar will take action. Second, he would need to spend some time in game 'training' his familiar. The wizard would need to have a sleep spell to 'train' with. Of course, this 'training' is totally a story-element. No traits, feats, etc are expended. The familiar just learns what should be done in that situation.

The familiar is a magical beast, not an animal, and sentient -- often smarter than your average commoner/turnip farmer. I agree that this would be necessary for an animal companion, but not for a familiar.

By RAW, you don't need Handle Animal to direct a familiar, while you do need it to direct an AC, even an AC with Int 3 or better. Since HA is the relevant skill for training an animal, I read that as stating that familiars don't need training.

You are not paying attention. There is no point where I say that Handle Animal is necessary for training. However, I did say this 'training' is totally a story-element.

Also, directing an Animal Companion is related to activating tricks. Familiars do not have tricks so that argument really makes no sense.

Of course, some sort of training is needed. How in the heck do you expect the familiar to know what to look for and what to do if you do not take the time to go over it with him? That does fall under the category of training. Yes, you can hand wave it, but that is what needs to happen in real life.

Grand Lodge

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Also rember there have been real life storys of a house pet (not trained to) have pulled thier master out of a burning building. If a pet can do this with out being trainned to then yes a familare can do this. As to the exampel some one above game about them being waken up becouse of the 2 "gaurds" arguing I say that is a very real possiblity same as if a kid seen them fighting may do it unless they are use to seeing this happen alot.

As to animal thinking diffrent then Human that is try and it would color how they reacted to things but they are smart and danger would still be seen as such. For a example the AC dog may go infront of his master and stop anyone he does not know from coming close while the familer know that his wake master would be better and fighting then the familer can defend.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Familiars, like awakened animals, are magical beasts. While their personality and perspective may be different from a humanoid, in general their intelligence is what their int attribute says it is. They can understand the same sort of things any other creature with that int would understand, and training is no more appropriate for them than it is any other intelligent creature. You might teach them something, you might make contingency plans together but you would certainly not train them in the sense you train an animal.

The system doesn't work well for regular animals and animal companions though as far as simulating intelligence. It isn't granular enough at a the low end, and doesn't take into account differences in kind as well as differences in degree. This is probably partially why the PFS rules about handling animal companions, even with enhanced intelligence, exist, and those special rules are appropriate. It is reasonable to say that an animal companion with an int of 3 is still quite different from a PC with an int of 3.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, no matter how high all your mental scores are, you are still "dumb", unless you have the right creature type?

How do Awakened animals work?

What are the "always dumb" types?

Where is the rules for this "always dumb" clause?

I think it is the first time I "like" one of your post BBT, but this time you really deserve it.

- * -

Anecdote time:
- 2 of my old cats had learned that the best way to wake me was to rustle some paper. It was an instant wake up, while other, louder, sounds hadn't the same power. My current cats know perfectly how to wake me if they need to do it.
- my sister was saved by her cat. She was asleep on the sofa and the cat started mewing, she waked sleepy and with an headache and opened the door to the cat to let him leave. The cat run out and back in, still protesting to her, until he forced her to go in the courtyard. At that point he calmed down. She reentered and finally noticed the odor of gas in the house. There was a gas leak and she was already half intoxicated. The animal intelligence cat without any special training has realized that and forced her to leave the dangerous area.

(The "he" and not "it" is intended. Animals have a personality and each one is different from the others.)

So:
- familiar and other intelligent creatures [included most magical beasts, that have this text in the type description: "Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical beast knows at least one language, but can't necessarily speak)."] can and will wake their master/companion when needed. The quality of their evaluation of the situation can vary depending on intelligence and wisdom, but any creature with which we can share a language has a world view compatible with ours.
- animal intelligence creatures generally will try to help a unconscious character if not otherwise engaged. They do that even in the wild in our world.
- creatures with a truly alien mindset like oozes and vermin probably will not do that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
deusvult wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:
Where exactly is "that rule for animal companions" that you keep referring to?

Here.

It has already been pointed out several times, but repetita iuvant:

Pathfinder Society Frequently Asked Questions

not general gameplay.

Liberty's Edge

This is EXACTLY how it would happen.

Liberty's Edge

I would hope, HangarFlying, that the wizard would receive less damage than that to wake.

As for where Pathfinder Society Frequently Asked Questions are, Deusvult pasted a link ealier. Here it is, once more:

Pathfinder Society FAQ


Quote:
We're disagreeing over whether the stats are intended to be absolute except for a couple of cases, or whether the stats are intended to be mainly relative. I'm arguing the latter. If you reject that and insist the former is the case, then we can agree to disagree.

This is the rules forum, not a discussion of our respective houserules. In the rules, Intelligence is an absolute scale of intellectual capacity. Animals are intelligence 1 or 2. A human whose intelligence has been drained to 1 or 2 should behave like an animal, because he has the intellectual ability of an animal. He should drop his weapons and tools or use them poorly, be unable to speak, attack opponents at random or based on which one hurt him most recently, and so on. (It doesn't say this in the rules, specifically -- I'm just giving an example of how I play NPCs of animal intelligence. However you play NPCs of animal intelligence, is the way a human drained to 1 or 2 Int should be played.) A magical beast with an 18 intelligence should have the same cognitive ability as an 18 intelligence elf wizard, and may be better than the wizard at some skills. Said magical beast may think very differently than the wizard, certainly, but is no worse or better at thinking than the elf.

CRB wrote:
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3.

There is nothing there that even hints at intelligence being relative. You made the analogy with strength, earlier, and the problem with that analogy is that strength is explicitly stated as being relative to size and number of legs in regards to carrying capacity. Without that explicit rule, we would conclude that an 18 strength halfling (presumably with a belt of strength or level 8 or higher) could carry more than a horse with strength 17.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
There is nothing there that even hints at intelligence being relative. You made the analogy with strength, earlier, and the problem with that analogy is that strength is explicitly stated as being relative to size and number of legs in regards to carrying capacity. Without that explicit rule, we would conclude that an 18 strength halfling (presumably with a belt of strength or level 8 or higher) could carry more than a horse with strength 17.

Said differently, that halfling would stand a better chance of breaking through a wooden door, or winning a arm wrestling match against a giant who had a Str of 17.


RedDogMT wrote:


Of course, some sort of training is needed. How in the heck do you expect the familiar to know what to look for and what to do if you do not take the time to go over it with him?

Based on intelligence, the same way I expect a fellow human to do the right thing in an unpredicted emergency situation.

I don't think I've had any training in what to do if the telephone in front of me suddenly catches fire. On the other hand, I like to think that I'm smart enough to try to put it out if possible, and otherwise to go to safety and raise the alarm. Indeed, I like to think that 'run to safety and raise the alarm' would be my default response to any emergency that I didn't feel comfortable handling myself -- and that's not due to training, but due to common sense plus normal human intelligence,

A familiar has 'normal human intelligence,' and in fact, will achieve considerably above normal human intelligence. This is what distinguishes a familiar from an animal companion which explicitly does not have normal human intelligence.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Quote:
We're disagreeing over whether the stats are intended to be absolute except for a couple of cases, or whether the stats are intended to be mainly relative. I'm arguing the latter. If you reject that and insist the former is the case, then we can agree to disagree.

This is the rules forum, not a discussion of our respective houserules. In the rules, Intelligence is an absolute scale of intellectual capacity. Animals are intelligence 1 or 2. A human whose intelligence has been drained to 1 or 2 should behave like an animal, because he has the intellectual ability of an animal. He should drop his weapons and tools or use them poorly, be unable to speak, attack opponents at random or based on which one hurt him most recently, and so on. (It doesn't say this in the rules, specifically -- I'm just giving an example of how I play NPCs of animal intelligence. However you play NPCs of animal intelligence, is the way a human drained to 1 or 2 Int should be played.) A magical beast with an 18 intelligence should have the same cognitive ability as an 18 intelligence elf wizard, and may be better than the wizard at some skills. Said magical beast may think very differently than the wizard, certainly, but is no worse or better at thinking than the elf.

CRB wrote:
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3.
There is nothing there that even hints at intelligence being relative. You made the analogy with strength, earlier, and the problem with that analogy is that strength is explicitly stated as being relative to size and number of legs in regards to carrying capacity. Without that explicit rule, we would conclude that an 18 strength halfling (presumably with a belt of strength or level 8 or higher) could carry more than a horse with...

Actually an animal with its native intelligence of 2 should work better than an human with a intelligence drained to 2.

One is a healthy exemplar of its specie, the other is a heavily damaged specimen.


Well, yeah, a human trying to attack someone barehanded is going to do a much worse job of it than a tiger with the same intelligence but who has natural weapons and is familiar with using them, but the level of thinking, planning, and reacting to events should be similar.


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A familiar starts with an int score of 6-that's definitely good enough to realize that a-their master is sleeping and b-falling asleep during a combat encounter is bad for his/her health.

As for animals waking people up?

Get a cat. *Try* to sleep when the dish goes empty. I dare you.

Sovereign Court

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Quote:
We're disagreeing over whether the stats are intended to be absolute except for a couple of cases, or whether the stats are intended to be mainly relative. I'm arguing the latter. If you reject that and insist the former is the case, then we can agree to disagree.
This is the rules forum, not a discussion of our respective houserules. In the rules, Intelligence is an absolute scale of intellectual capacity. Animals are intelligence 1 or 2. A human whose intelligence has been drained to 1 or 2 should behave like an animal, because he has the intellectual ability of an animal. He should drop his weapons and tools or use them poorly, be unable to speak, attack opponents at random or based on which one hurt him most recently, and so on. (It doesn't say this in the rules, specifically -- I'm just giving an example of how I play NPCs of animal intelligence. However you play NPCs of animal intelligence, is the way a human drained to 1 or 2 Int should be played.) A magical beast with an 18 intelligence should have the same cognitive ability as an 18 intelligence elf wizard, and may be better than the wizard at some skills. Said magical beast may think very differently than the wizard, certainly, but is no worse or better at thinking than the elf.

It's not a discussion about houserules. At least, I wasn't having one. (I couldn't help but notice that despite your own insistence the discussion not be about houserules, you state your own) I for one was having a discussion about the meta assumptions behind the rules governing attributes.

CRB wrote:
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3.
Quote:
There is nothing there that even hints at intelligence being relative. You made the analogy with strength, earlier, and the problem with that analogy is that strength is explicitly stated as being relative to size and number of legs in regards to carrying capacity. Without that explicit rule, we would conclude that an 18 strength halfling (presumably with a belt of strength or level 8 or higher) could carry more than a horse with...

Since we can agree that strength has unassailable exceptions to the absolute values of strength ratings, let's look at that. Are those exceptions nothing more than outliers that violate the paradigm of otherwise absolute values? Or are they inevitable examples of how attribute values can mean subtly different things in different contexts?

Obviously, you say the former. I'd like to think that I've been clear enough that it's just as obvious that I'm saying the latter.

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