Familiar advice


Advice

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

A pretty basic question about wizarding:

I'm looking at familiars and concept-wise am considering familiars without much mobility. So how much am I hobbling myself by foregoing a familiar that can effectively deliver a touch attack, or a bonded item, and going with a familiar that basically just provides some skill bonuses? Any other benefits from a familiar that would essentially always be on my person?

If it makes a difference, this is a PFS character.


Great scouts. They are tiny and normally harmless looking so they tend to be ignored. They can also telepathically give some idea of what is going on. Ravens can talk, so that could be pretty fun. They learn a bonus language which can be one you don't know, being an helpful translator. Bats have blind sense helping you figure out where to aim spells against invisible opponents. Familiars are much better than objects. In Lord of The rings, when Saruman the white gets hisbstaff broken, he can't cast spells, and is screwed. While you have to pay for a new familiar, you don't suffer a spellcasting penalty.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sorry, I should have been more specific about my familiar choice. I'm not looking at anything that can fly. I'm considering a sloth. With a 5' move speed, he's not going to be doing much at all besides providing a bonus to climb and providing Alertness.

I don't want to derail my own thread by debating bonded items vs. familiars. I think the risk of bonded items is overstated, so we can assume I don't have a problem choosing that option.

Am I at a significant disadvantage with a sloth familiar who can't deliver touch attacks on my behalf? What other benefits can I realize from the sloth? He's got a great stealth, so he could scout things out if we're willing to wait awhile. :-)


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If you're not going to use your familiar for combat then you want something really small and easy to hide.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's a lot of people who pretty much just use familiars as pocket stat bonuses - there's even an item built for that purpose, the familiar satchel. While delivering touch spells is a handy ability if you decide you want to use it, it's not absolutely essential to functioning; you'll still be a perfectly fine wizard without it.

All in all, your sloth familiar should be fine - remember to account for him in your carrying capacity, but other than that you're good. His low-light vision can help once the two of you can communicate, since he'll be able to see further than you in dim light. And the thought of you walking around with a sloth riding piggyback makes me smile. :)


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Give him the valet archetype so he can very slowly help you craft!


Well, if they have nice senses, then that is great. Something with blind sense, for instance, would be nice.

I think one of the better options (that isn't just +4 initiative) might be the ioun wyrd when you can afford one. It can guard your ioun stones, it is a construct so it is immune to a lot (might need infernal healing wand to heal it though), it has 30' blind sense, and it gives you +1 natural armor.

So hardly terrible.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks, everyone. I'm enjoying this concept. I'm going to stick with the sloth. I really appreciate everyone's input.

Rennaivx wrote:
And the thought of you walking around with a sloth riding piggyback makes me smile. :)

Me, too. He's a mildly depressed wizard who bonded with a sloth because, really, sloths should cheer up anybody.


lol...
most choose the greensting scorpion for the INIT boost. Other boosts are Compsognathus(INIT), Archaeopteryx/Fox/Weasel(Rflx), Mongoose/Rat/Skunk/Snapping Turtle(Fort).
A dog(fox) or a cat would be best as they blend in for urban environments.

all in all I'd say retrain it to bonded item around level 5... familiars are far too easy to kill starting around 7th level.


TomParker wrote:

Thanks, everyone. I'm enjoying this concept. I'm going to stick with the sloth. I really appreciate everyone's input.

Rennaivx wrote:
And the thought of you walking around with a sloth riding piggyback makes me smile. :)
Me, too. He's a mildly depressed wizard who bonded with a sloth because, really, sloths should cheer up anybody.

then try a Mouse Lemur(lemming(?!))... lol


TomParker wrote:
Any other benefits from a familiar that would essentially always be on my person?

One more Perception roll in the party. Or Sense Motive. Or even an extra save, just in case the whole party fails theirs against a single spell.

I wouldn't give a Sloth guard duty though...


lemeres wrote:

Well, if they have nice senses, then that is great. Something with blind sense, for instance, would be nice.

I think one of the better options (that isn't just +4 initiative) might be the ioun wyrd when you can afford one. It can guard your ioun stones, it is a construct so it is immune to a lot (might need infernal healing wand to heal it though), it has 30' blind sense, and it gives you +1 natural armor.

So hardly terrible.

Make Whole heals an Ioun Wyrd quite well.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The ability to cast self only spells and spells that wouldn't normally effect animals/magical beasts on your familiar is IMO under-rated (sometimes completely overlooked). Starting at 3rd level you can use alter self to make your familiar into a humanoid... I especially like ravens for that because they have a language so they can really pretend to be humanoid, but that would fix your sloth's speed (as would expeditious retreat if you want to use it for some touch attacks).

All of the polymorph spells will have some use if you want your sloth to do more than be an adorable backpack, and along with other buffs they can definitely increase its survivability at any level. At high levels you can even stack polymorphs with transformation to really get your familiar going. Just make sure to read up on the polymorph rules because the smaller familiars get extra bonuses when polymorphing.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Rennaivx wrote:
And the thought of you walking around with a sloth riding piggyback makes me smile. :)

If anyone cares how this turned out—loving this character and had a chance to have Tyler Walpole draw him at PaizoCon.

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