Question about the faq and improved familiars


Pathfinder Society

Sovereign Court 5/5

So it seems the answer to one of the questions of the new faq indicates that no familiar, improved or otherwise can use a wand.

So I am guess my question is can improved familiars with Use Magic Device still use wands?

Question and Answer that I am referring to:
Can my animal companion or familiar wear or use magic items?
Note: This FAQ entry reflects the current rules. It will receive an update in the near future to expand the list of options.

It is intended that animal companions or familiars cannot activate magic items. An animal companion could benefit from an item with a continuous magical effect like an amulet of natural armor if its master equipped the item for the animal companion. Animal companions of any type may not use manufactured weapons.

Animal companions are also limited by their individual anatomies. In Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, animal companions always have access to barding and neck-slot items so long as they have the anatomy. For example, a horse and pig can always have access to barding and neck-slot items. A snake does not have access to either. However, an item called out to be used by a specific animal is usable by that animal regardless of slot.

Additionally, animal companions have access to magical item slots, in addition to barding and neck, as listed on the inside front cover of Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive so long as they select the Extra Item Slot feat. The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except under the following conditions. First, an animal companion, familiar, or bonded mount, may choose one slot listed under its body type when taking the Extra Item Slot feat (this feat may be taken multiple times, each time selecting a different available magic item slot based on the creature's anatomy). Second, access to specific magic item slots may be granted at a later date by another legal source. If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

An animal or familiar has to have an intelligence of 3 or higher to activate an ioun stone. If the animal or familiar has less than a 3 intelligence, it may not activate an ioun stone.

The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, mephit, quasit, sprite familiars, granted by the Improved Familiar feat, use the Biped (hands) section of the chart. The carbuncle and voidworm protean, familiars granted by the Improved Familiar feat, uses the Serpentine section of the chart. If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

What abilities do vanity-purchased NPCs have on play (for example, the NPCs on pages 60-61 of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide)?
These NPCs provide only the listed benefits. They have no statistics and cannot roll checks

3/5

torrquan wrote:
So I am guess my question is can improved familiars with Use Magic Device still use wands?

More importantly, what about the faerie dragon, which by RAW can definitely use wands and staves by virtue of being a spellcaster in it's own right.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Linda stated in her blog post that the improved familiars section was still under review, and an update will be forthcoming.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Tony Lindman wrote:
Linda stated in her blog post that the improved familiars section was still under review, and an update will be forthcoming.

THIS

Linda and I have a few remaining FAQ topics that are each pretty massive in scope and/or consequence, and we recognized that delaying the many excellent FAQ clarifications and entries until we could resolve those last few topics would do nobody any favors. As I recall from our conversation, the old ruling on familiars (a short list were approved to use wands and the like) would stand until we could prepare our more comprehensive response. The resource review team has also been helping us tackle the familiar issue, along with a few other tough cases.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

At this point, I think it is the familiar familiar issue.

Scarab Sages

The confusion of the OP stems from the fact that the short list never made it to the FAQ. It only exists in a forum post that one would have to go fishing for.
I have high hopes for the re-write of this specific FAQ.

@torrquan
As John Compton said, the short list is still legal.
Here is the link to the post with the list

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

No, the old shortlist was also in the old FAQ.

Scarab Sages

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
No, the old shortlist was also in the old FAQ.

The old FAQ:
"Can my animal companion or familiar wear or use magic items?

It is intended that animal companions or familiars can not activate magic items. An animal companion could benefit from an item with a continuous magical effect like an amulet of natural armor if its master equipped the item for the animal companion. Animal companions of any type may not use manufactured weapons.

Animal companions are also limited by their individual anatomies. In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, animal companions always have access to barding and neck-slot items so long as they have the anatomy. For example, a horse and pig can always have access to barding and neck-slot items. A snake does not have access to either. However, an item called out to be used by a specific animal is usable by that animal regardless of slot.

Additionally, animal companions have access to magical item slots, in addition to barding and neck, as listed on the inside front cover of the Animal Archive so long as they select the Extra Item Slot feat. The Animal Magic Item Slots table found in Animal Archive is not a legal except under the following conditions. First, an animal companion, familiar, or bonded mount, may choose one slot listed under its body type when taking the Extra Item Slot feat (this feat may be taken multiple times, each time selecting a different available magic item slot based on the creature’s anatomy). Second, access to specific magic item slots may be granted at a later date by another legal source. If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

An animal or familiar has to have an intelligence of 3+ to activate an ioun stone. If the animal or familiar has less than a 3 intelligence, they may not activate an ioun stone.

The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, mephit, quasit, sprite familiars, granted by the Improved Familiar feat, use the Biped (hands) section of the chart. The carbuncle and voidworm protean, familiars granted by the Improved Familiar feat, uses the Serpentine section of the chart. If you do not own a copy of the Animal Archive, your animal companion may only use barding and neck-slot items.

posted March 2012 | back to top"


The old FAQ only said which improved familiars used the Biped (hands) section of the Animal Archive. While the two lists are identical, the FAQ did not mention wands at all. There were additional lines meant to be added but never quite made it that covered wand usage.

Except for some very minor rephrasing, and the addition of these lines(Which I'm fairly certain is an accidental addition and they were meant to be on their own)...

"What abilities do vanity-purchased NPCs have on play (for example, the NPCs on pages 60-61 of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide)?
These NPCs provide only the listed benefits. They have no statistics and cannot roll checks."

The two FAQs are identical.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Ah, right. Well, the familiar FAQ is inching closer and closer to being ready for Tonya's approval.

Scarab Sages

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Ah, right. Well, the familiar FAQ is inching closer and closer to being ready for Tonya's approval.

Considering the other FAQs recently released, I have high hopes. This one has needed looking at for some time. The old FAQ suffered from very unclear writing among other considerations. And it is a big subject that deserves time and careful consideration.

So I'm fine with them taking extra time on it. But I am excited for its on-coming release.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Ok, Thanks that answers my question for the moment.

Will wait patiently......

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Monday, Monday... PFS blog posts...

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Lorewalker wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
No, the old shortlist was also in the old FAQ.
** spoiler omitted **...

There is an older old FAQ that had the wand list. I found it via the Internet wayback machine. That said, I think the forum post is newer, and may even have added a few familiars.

Scarab Sages

Jared Thaler wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
No, the old shortlist was also in the old FAQ.
** spoiler omitted **...

There is an older old FAQ that had the wand list. I found it via the Internet wayback machine. That said, I think the forum post is newer, and may even have added a few familiars.

The old FAQ did once have a very short list(only 4 critters) attached to it. But it was removed years ago. The new short list was supposed to be added... and it never was.

The thread I posted above contains all that information.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

familiar and yet not a familiar on just another manic monday...

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