Magical Child Archetype question


Rules Questions

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63 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 7 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm continuing to read through my copy of Ultimate Intrigue and have started looking at this archetype. My question is in regards to their familiar. Can they take, and keep a familiar archetype such as Mascot?

On one hand it says in the description "At 3rd level, the magical child’s familiar reveals another aspect of its form, and its vigilante identity changes into a creature on the Improved Familiar list that would be available to a 3rd-level spellcaster (the animal guide’s social identity always remains as the original normal animal)." At first glance one would think you couldn't have the familiar archetype because Improved Familiars don't have the "speak with animals of their kind"

However, the Animal Guide changes form into, but does not actually become, an improved familiar so I'd think they keep all of the basic familiar abilities. This would, happily, allow them to take Mascot since it is still the same familiar who would have had the archetype when they started.

Thoughts?

Dark Archive

Any thoughts on this? Can't seem to find anything further myself so was hoping to get thoughts from the group.


By my reading, while it's in the Improved Familiar vigilante form it is actually an improved familiar.

So while the base social form could be the mascot archetype, the improved familiar form would not qualify and could not benefit from it.

Scarab Sages

The way it's worded (changes into a form, instead of becomes) makes it a bit tricky. Sounds like something that would have to be FAQed. I suggest flagging it as a Such.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

My initial reading was that since they become an Improved familiar in the future, they would not be eligible for archetypes that trade out Speak with others of Kind.

My second reading, after a few nights rest, was more in line with @Claxon's. Though I can also see it applying to all forms because like the OP and @VampByDay said, it changes into the form of an Improved Familiar but you don't actually gain the feat or its restrictions.

[The Improved Familiar feat’s alignment restrictions apply to this ability, but only the magical child’s vigilante identity needs to have an alignment that fulfills the alignment requirements of the improved familiar.]

It makes no mention otherwise other than restriction in level and alignment for variable choices and doesn't bring in the text about removing the ability to speak with other animals of its kind. Additionally, considering the Magical Child's lack of Specialized Talents only it can get, I don't find this Vig-archetype having the unique ability to have an Improved Familiar with any familiar archetype to be broken. Having this choice available makes their familiar super unique in that regard. And the archetype needs something to help it stand out a little more from the other magical vigilante archetypes.

Either way, FAQing.


Ditto for most of Zerri. It seems to me that the form of the familiar just changes, but you never gain Improved Familiar as the feat. Considering that the familiar eventually gets the change shape universal ability, it feels intentional, if unusual. Given that Animal Guide replaces the entire vigilante specialization and denies access to two-thirds of the talents, having an improved familiar with a familiar archetype is not completely out of left field.

Also, I'm no expert on magical children in pop and anime, but I never envisioned them to be a pet class. Faq'd anyhoo.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I think you can use archetypes. You don't actually get the Improved Familiar feat, so the familiar doesn't lose the ability to speak to animals of its kind.

Scarab Sages

Can I just say that I really hope archetypes work from a game balance perspective? Balance-wise, the archetype is pretty weak without it. You have access to spellcasting, sure, but a lot of your spells are useless, since you don't have an eidolon. Additionally, improved familiars aren't that great, certainly not great enough to justify giving up a full BAB or d8 sneak attack AND locking you out of most of the vigilante talents (remember, you don't count as either an avenger OR a subtlety guy, so you can't take talents aimed at them.)

Heck, I would be happier if your familiar could choose NOT to transform with you and just archetype normally, as then you would have some options available. I don't think it would be game breaking, it would just make the archetype viable.


This got me curious...

What happen if your Animal Guide take the form of Impundulu?

Since you don't have Improved Familiar feat.. Do they get full Impundulu power instead of acting as an imp or quasit..?


I take it this hasn't yet been answered conclusively? :)


It means that you have a two in one familliar.

Sometimes it's standard non-improved familliar and operates as one.

Othertimes it's an improved familliar of a type you choose when you hit the appropriate level for the form you want it to be. and it operates as that type.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

It means that you have a two in one familliar.

Sometimes it's standard non-improved familliar and operates as one.

Othertimes it's an improved familliar of a type you choose when you hit the appropriate level for the form you want it to be. and it operates as that type.

My take is similar, except that I'd call it a four in one familiar. The original animal form is a normal familiar and can take any archetype (e.g. mauler). The later additional forms are improved familiars and thus can only take archetypes which do not swap out the 'speak with animals of kind' ability (e.g sage) and are otherwise appropriate for the creature. Each of the four forms can have a different familiar archetype (or no archetype).

The Exchange

Was it ever established if Improved Familiars with just a template (i.e. celestial, fiendish, etc) retain all the normal familiar abilities (including speak with animals) or is that just a common house rule? If it's allowed, you could just stick a template on the familiar and be done with it.


Seems like a very weak archetype if that's the case, and wouldnt that mean that its social form could have the figment archetype, so it can be dreamed back if the familiar dies in any of its forms, thus bypassing the ritual and cost of replacing it?

That seems a little off to me too...


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ProfPotts wrote:
Was it ever established if Improved Familiars with just a template (i.e. celestial, fiendish, etc) retain all the normal familiar abilities (including speak with animals) or is that just a common house rule? If it's allowed, you could just stick a template on the familiar and be done with it.

The author of one of the resources popped up on a thread and said that he "never stated improved familiars could take archetypes", have a little google, you should be able to find it. Though that was regarding ordinary improved familiars, not the magical child complex familiar, I think the discussion here is that the magical child's familiar only takes the form, and it's an odd case because the familiar is multiple forms in one familiar. (some qualifying for archetypes, and the ones that dont might just be superficial "forms" and not actual improved familiars)

I'd have thought they would have included some text about archetypes in the magical child entry, given how the class seems to revolve around the familiars.


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Quote:
The author of one of the resources popped up on a thread and said that he "never stated improved familiars could take archetypes", have a little google, you should be able to find it.

Well, it doesn't need to be stated. Familiars can take archetypes. Improved familiars are familiars. They don't qualify for a lot of them, because they lose speak with animals, though.


Just my interpretation, but I would certainly rule that the non-improved version of the familiar would be able to have an archetype, and that the improved version simply loses access to those features when it changes, similar to how you can take a feat like Power Attack when you have a 12 STR and a +2 STR item, but lose access to the feat when you take your belt off.


Yeah, that does make the magical child archetype seem a little lackluster though. Here's hoping we get someone to clarify the intent.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Not all options are required, expected, or designed to seem non-lackluster.


ProfPotts wrote:
Was it ever established if Improved Familiars with just a template (i.e. celestial, fiendish, etc) retain all the normal familiar abilities (including speak with animals) or is that just a common house rule? If it's allowed, you could just stick a template on the familiar and be done with it.

Adding the template does not change what is underneath.

Scarab Sages

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Was it ever established if Improved Familiars with just a template (i.e. celestial, fiendish, etc) retain all the normal familiar abilities (including speak with animals) or is that just a common house rule? If it's allowed, you could just stick a template on the familiar and be done with it.
Adding the template does not change what is underneath.

They are an improved familiar so they do lose speak with animals. It's silly, but that is the written rule. They do not lose anything else, though, since the base creature does not change unless the template specifically changes something. So scorpions still give their master bonus.


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Strained RAW-probably-not-RAI-but-it-makes-the-archetype-actually-kind-of-interestin g-and-not-just-dumb(or SRAWPNRAIBIMTAAKOIANJD for short):

Magical Child familiars don't lose speak with animals because that's a component of the Improved Familiar feat, which the Magical Child never gains in the first place. The class feature doesn't even have a 'functions as', clause. You just pick a creature on the list and gain the ability to change between forms.

Therefore, the Magical Child can freely use archetypes that take speak with animals and the familiar retains the benefits of that archetype regardless of form.

Liberty's Edge

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SillyString wrote:
Seems like a very weak archetype if that's the case,

Assuming this was intended for me... no I don't think having four different familiars, each with its own archetype is weak at all;

Cat (social) / Cat (familiar) Infiltrator
Celestial Crab Mauler (assuming 'speak with animals of kind' is retained w/ celestial/fiendish template)
Sprite Sage (flying, humanoid form for magic item use)
Dweomercat cub Emissary (teleport pounce with vigilante startling/frightening/stunning appearance, teleport pounce from Share Will)

There are enough options that you can come up with a combination familiar which is suited for a vast array of situations... no more giving up the ability to use magic items for better combat prowess, just take forms which are good at each and switch as needed. Can have flying / swimming / burrowing forms with stealth / combat / advisory abilities. Et cetera.

Quote:

and wouldnt that mean that its social form could have the figment archetype, so it can be dreamed back if the familiar dies in any of its forms, thus bypassing the ritual and cost of replacing it?

That seems a little off to me too...

As opposed to the figment archetype allowing you to bypass the ritual and cost of replacing familiars for any other class that takes the archetype? I'm failing to see the difference.

The Exchange

CBDunkerson wrote:
As opposed to the figment archetype allowing you to bypass the ritual and cost of replacing familiars for any other class that takes the archetype? I'm failing to see the difference.

I guess the difference is that the familiar could be killed in a non-figment 'mode', but then dreamed back into existence in its social, figment, mode? I'm not sure it's actually a huge power boost, unless one plans to build some sort of suicidal combatant familiar concept, maybe?


@CB
I was saying if you couldn't apply any archetypes it'd be pretty weak.
-
And the difference is that figment archetypes generally arent as good, but are easier to replace to balance that out, if you can say "oh yeah my social form is a figment but my battle form isnt" then you're getting a benefit of it being a figment with none of the drawback. Sure, not broken, but I doubt that's what they intended. Who knows though, right?

ProfPotts wrote:
I'm not sure it's actually a huge power boost, unless one plans to build some sort of suicidal combatant familiar concept, maybe?

Heh, make it hold all the gunpowder. Boom.

Liberty's Edge

Was this ever decided?


Lorewalker wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Was it ever established if Improved Familiars with just a template (i.e. celestial, fiendish, etc) retain all the normal familiar abilities (including speak with animals) or is that just a common house rule? If it's allowed, you could just stick a template on the familiar and be done with it.
Adding the template does not change what is underneath.
They are an improved familiar so they do lose speak with animals. It's silly, but that is the written rule. They do not lose anything else, though, since the base creature does not change unless the template specifically changes something. So scorpions still give their master bonus.

Improved familliars such as imps, pseudodragons, etc. "lose" speak with animals (of it's type) because THEY NEVER HAVE IT, no being animals to start with.

An animal familliar that's given a template still retains the animal familliar abilities it had to start with.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Hello! I bumped into this thread looking for a related but slightly different magical child familiar question that will either help or make things worse in this thread...

Is this a polymorph ability??????? :)

so at 1-8, it reads as if it is not and the familiar changes all stats and everything into the new improved familiar. It gives no specific guidance to keep your original stats so this would almost have to NOT be a polymorph effect. Polymorph abilities specifically say you only look like the new thing, and only gain the things listed, so that leads me to believe it's not a polymorph ability because nothing is listed and you are expected to completely transform.

but... at level 9 you gain "change shape" which is clearly a polymorph ability.

The only sense I can make out of it is that :
1. social identity and vigilante identity is not a polymorph ability, and thus have separate stats RAW.
2. vigilante identity is the only identity that can use change shape at will, so your stats are stuck at the last improved familiar that you picked and you can only change shape as the polymorph spell into your old vigilante identity choices.

So if you ask me, my argument for rules as written for the questions in this thread:
1. You have two separate stat blocks for one familiar (not 4).
2. Each stat block can have it's own archetype since it is worded as a transformation and not a polymorph effect (remember that is 2 and not 4 possible archetypes).
3. you absolutely do not lose "speak with animals" since the feat is clearly what takes it away and this ability only references improved familiar as a list of things you can turn into.

now with all that said, "change shape" following the rules of the polymorph spell can make this more complicated if the size/creature type isn't listed in the spell polymorph then how do you know what you get? For example "Coral Capuchin" is a tiny magical beast, and is impossible with the polymorph spell.

my only guess is that the line "It can use this ability at will when in its vigilante identity to transform into any of its four vigilante identities" is supposed to overwrite the actual text of change shape meaning you "transform" instead of "polymorph", but if that's the case why did they even bother using the term "change shape" to begin with if it's not going to follow any of it's rules?

So in closing, RAW this archetype literally breaks at level 9 and falls into the netherspace of rule-less limbo where it will stay until 100 more people hit the FAQ button. :D (button pressed)

Change Shape (Su)

Spoiler:

A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. A creature cannot change shape to a form more than one size category smaller or larger than its original form. This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature’s description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics). Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures, such as lycanthropes, can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures do adjust their ability scores, as noted in their descriptions.

Format: change shape (wolf, beast shape I); Location: SQ, and in Special Abilities for creatures with a unique listing.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

If you want to be conservative, it gets Change Shape(SU) for beast shape I as per the example in the Universal Monster rules. More likely (because features should work with the rules), treat it as beast shape IV. You have the stats of the last vigilante identity you chose, but can gain the special abilities and appearance of even a Coral Capuchin!

You can still use this archetype with only a minor assumption about which spell to emulate.

Note: The Paladin (Chosen One) gains a similar ability. I think a FAQ is appropriate, but both archetypes are workable until things are officially cleared up. (And you might have luck searching Mark's thread)


KingOfAnything wrote:

If you want to be conservative, it gets Change Shape(SU) for beast shape I as per the example in the Universal Monster rules. More likely (because features should work with the rules), treat it as beast shape IV. You have the stats of the last vigilante identity you chose, but can gain the special abilities and appearance of even a Coral Capuchin!

You can still use this archetype with only a minor assumption about which spell to emulate.

Note: The Paladin (Chosen One) gains a similar ability. I think a FAQ is appropriate, but both archetypes are workable until things are officially cleared up. (And you might have luck searching Mark's thread)

the "chosen one" looks cool too, it definitely has the same "change shape" polymorph effect vs. transformation issue.

I would hate to use beast shape 4 as a solution though since it makes a lot of the familiars unusable (because they have tons of abilities not listed on beast shape 4, and it seems like the goal was to let you use them). I think the simplest way to do this RAW would be to change the stats everytime, a complete transformation like the text suggests but alas I feel that it will have to forever come down to the GM decision because I don't think we have enough FAQ hits to get an official answer. :(


Has this still not been answered? It would be really nice to know ^^;


RE-NECRO...the power states that the familiar retains its "social identity" even though it "transforms" into an improved familiar...and as it retains its social identity as a mundane animal through this...as long as, when it manifests initially as a familiar, it has the speak with its kind (even though mundane animals aren't truly its kind) as the animal its manifests as, it should qualify and retain a familiar archetype (and thus lose its ability to speak with its kind within the context of its social identity)-at least as how this uneducated Valet Familiar Voodoo Monkey sees it...


This is the assumption I'm operating under for my halfling dragonrider (mauler Pyrausta). If it is ruled on, I hope Magical Children's familiars get to keep their archetypes.

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