So you take Improved Familiar at level 7, ready to get yourself a shiny new faerie dragon...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


But what about sparky, your loyal fennec fox? have you no attachment to him? Is he just a gateway familiar, even after he devoted his entire life to you?

It feels kind of weird taking that feat, in my opinion. What are good reasons, role-play wise, to switch to your new familiar besides the obvious "rocks fall and tragically kill sparky"?

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I've had it be a transformation to the familiar's true form.

Maybe the master wasn't yet ready for a connection to the Improved form (too alien), or maybe the familiar was cursed into the lesser animal form (perhaps even by the witch herself!).

"Damnit Sparky, you've eaten all of the jam for the last time! I'm turning you into a fox until you've learned your lesson."


Gateway familiars- NOT EVEN ONCE

JUST SAY NO

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FAMILIARS. ANY QUESTIONS?

....I can see this as a campaign for a genre savvy evil overlord who understands the value/danger of plucky comic relief mascot characters.

Shadow Lodge

I like transformations. Some familiars make this easier. We had a wizard start with a cat that later revealed itself as a silvanshee (after the master had proven himself).

The master could also come to the realization that adventuring is dangerous for the more fragile normal familiar - the initial familiar may even ask to retire.

Awakening the former familiar might be a nice way to go about it. They keep their self-awareness that way and can still help out behind the scenes.


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And if you are getting yourself a new Imp you simply slay your old familiar in part of the summoning ritual. . .

Scarab Sages

I had my fennec fox gain stoney features when he became an earth elemental. I guess that'd be harder with a dragon, though.


Well this is how some recent archetypes handle it (pact wizards and chosen one paladins) at high enough levels it's the familiar that shows its true form.


Think of it like Pokemon. Evolution is cool.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Think of it like Pokemon. Evolution is cool.

It's still hard to explain how Vulpix evolved into Mega Altaria


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My witch had a weasel called "bait" for a reason.

Gutting him and turning him inside out, crushing his innards to paste for my face then taking the skin and laying under a blanket was like waiting for the tooth fairy.

Tomorrow couldn't come fast enough.


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Entryhazard wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Think of it like Pokemon. Evolution is cool.
It's still hard to explain how Vulpix evolved into Mega Altaria

Then pretend you did a trade with another wizard. He was willing to accept your basic familiar for his improved one because yours had near perfect IVs for breeding.


My DM had Desna transform my thrush familiar into a lyrakien. Worked out great for all concerned :-)


Maybe my faerie dragon was with me all along, and simply using greater invisibility until I got my first familiar. Then, she used a combination of ghost sound and silent image until I was ready.

meanwhile, I'm blissfully unaware of just how much of a stalker this faerie dragon turned out to be.


Cavall wrote:

My witch had a weasel called "bait" for a reason.

Gutting him and turning him inside out, crushing his innards to paste for my face then taking the skin and laying under a blanket was like waiting for the tooth fairy.

Tomorrow couldn't come fast enough.

Creepy. I love it.


transformation, whether by outside force or "revealing" true blah blah, is usual.
also, cold logical analysis leading to "retiring" the old one IS applicable sometimes.
or being creative, you could "meet" the new one (possibly it was following NPC you meet who then dies, or it was "unbonded"),
and it decides to CONVINCE you to let it tag along, etc... which means giving up the old one.

The Exchange

I did it out of annoyance after my weasel complained about wanting to fly all the time. Ye know, wave your magic wand and all that...except socks is now a mephit, and happier that way, as there's so much more mischief you can get into with opposable thumbs and a pair of wings.


this is a part of the reason i enjoy the souldrinker prc so much (other part ther easy cash and drainig ability). the new improved familier you get (cocadaemon) comes and eats your former one if you had any ;)

Shadow Lodge

You could just "dismiss" your old familiar and re-establish the Arcane Bond with something else, but what then? You could hold on to your former familiar who loses all the benefits of being a magical test animal, or leave it with any surviving family members a PC might have.
As long as we're swapping anecdotes about this topic for mutual inspiration, though, I know what my eventual Drow demonic apostle cleric will do with his familiar: first, he'll get a spider. Then, as he levels up, it'll turn into a fiendish spider. Then, as soon as he hits level 7, it messily explodes and there's a quasit sitting in its place.

The biggest issue will be finding an opportunity to bring in a demon-worshipping drow.


Pehaps the Fox goes back to the forest. And you promise to come visit.

Shadow Lodge

D'aww, that's a more suitable and adorable idea.


the animal types of alot of normal familiars have pretty short lifespans,
so it's more than reasonable that they could die a natural death, since you didn't
even necessarily have them from when they were a young pup/cub/egg/etc...

they could also just decide they don't want to be a familiar anymore,
they meet the perfect Mr/Mrs Familiar Animal, and want to go make a familiy, etc...


I'm a supporter of notion that Familiar's are extradimensional beings that choose a shell to house their spirit while on the mortal plane. When you select Improved Familiar, your old familiar just gets a pimped out new vehicle to ride around in.

Scarab Sages

Cap. Darling wrote:
Pehaps the Fox goes back to the forest. And you promise to come visit.

And then you never call, you never write, you selfish jerk.

I've seen the familiar as an ally spirit which can assume various mundane forms in other systems. Of course there its always a spirit and its powers remain the same just the apperance varies unless you buy new powers/forms/etc.

For myself I either stick with my first familiar or I hold off till I"m powerful enough to bond with the improved one. Then again I like grimalkin's so cat to grimalkin is easy to explain even if I do start with a cat then take imrpoved but their not in this system sadly.

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