Could a compsognathus familiar wield a whip or longspear for threatening / AOO purposes?


Rules Questions


I know they wouldn't be proficient with it, but could they wield either at all - and if they can would they be able to threaten the squares around them?


Do they have hands? I don't have a good mental image of a compsognathus.

In any case nobody threatens with a whip without the Improved Whip Mastery feat, even if they can use it to attack, so stick with the longspear.


A compsognathus is like a raptor, but tiny. I assume the creature is trying to wield a medium sized creature's longspear which, last I checked, creatures can't wield weapons for creatures larger than themselves, definitely not two categories. In order to be threatening, you have you be able to make an attack with the weapon so at the very least you'd have to teach the animal a trick to have it hold a giant stick in its mouth and swat at people's ankles. Is it funny? Yes. Is it effective? No because someone's just gonna kick the poor little thing and knock out its 6 hp in one go and if this is a witch, they just lost all their spells.


Genesist wrote:
I know they wouldn't be proficient with it, but could they wield either at all - and if they can would they be able to threaten the squares around them?

I can't find an official answer on if tiny creatures with reach threaten adjacent squares as RAW they have 0 reach and reach weapons double reach:0*2=0. I think it would be reasonable to let them threaten adjacent squares but it would be GM call unless someone finds an official source.

Other legal methods:
Give the familiar the mauler archetype so it can grow to medium size

Longarm bracers (only 3 rounds per day)

Permanent enlarge person (if you have share spells and enlarge person on your list)

Small sized Fleshwarped Scorpion’s Tail as a two handed weapon or grafted


They're basically chickens with tiny little raptor hands. They cannot wield weapons.


grandobsidian wrote:
A compsognathus is like a raptor, but tiny. I assume the creature is trying to wield a medium sized creature's longspear which, last I checked, creatures can't wield weapons for creatures larger than themselves, definitely not two categories. In order to be threatening, you have you be able to make an attack with the weapon so at the very least you'd have to teach the animal a trick to have it hold a giant stick in its mouth and swat at people's ankles. Is it funny? Yes. Is it effective? No because someone's just gonna kick the poor little thing and knock out its 6 hp in one go and if this is a witch, they just lost all their spells.

It's impossible for a creature to wield a 2 handed weapon from 1 or more size category larger than themselves. For a tiny creature a small 1 handed weapon or a light medium weapon would be a two handed weapon and a small light weapon would be a one handed weapon.


I think this James Jacobs post is the closest you'll find to an "official" answer on whether Tiny critters with reach weapons get 0' or 5' reach.


2097 wrote:
They're basically chickens with tiny little raptor hands. They cannot wield weapons.

Maybe require that it swaps Improved Initiative for Extra Item Slot (hands). I think with that it should be able to wield a weapon.


2097 wrote:
They're basically chickens with tiny little raptor hands. They cannot wield weapons.

That may be true for some, but my hands are yuuuuuge! Believe me!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

G&~$%%nit Gisher.

Sovereign Court

Animal Archive lists them as "Biped (paws/claws). AA also remarks that creatures from the Biped (hands), Biped (paws/claws) and Avian body types can hold objects like weapons (and other things). However, it goes on to say that it's up to the GM to determine if they can use them effectively.


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Would you feel threatened by a chicken with a pointed stick?


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VRMH wrote:
Would you feel threatened by a chicken with a pointed stick?

You obviously have never played Ocarina of Time. Once you trigger initiative they are very threatening.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:


I can't find an official answer on if tiny creatures with reach threaten adjacent squares as RAW they have 0 reach and reach weapons double reach:0*2=0. I think it would be reasonable to let them threaten adjacent squares but it would be GM call unless someone finds an official source.

If it is in the bestiary if it has a reach is specified in his stats and the reach is specified.

tiny creatures with reach weapons sized for them are a different matter. I vaguely recall a FAQ about that, but maybe it was only a Dev comment. I think that with standard reach weapon they don't get anything, they can get something with weapons with extra reach, like a tiny whip.

In every instance, a compsognathus can't wield manufactured weapons.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Animal Archive lists them as "Biped (paws/claws). AA also remarks that creatures from the Biped (hands), Biped (paws/claws) and Avian body types can hold objects like weapons (and other things). However, it goes on to say that it's up to the GM to determine if they can use them effectively.
Animal Archive wrote:
Creature body types marked with an asterisk (*) are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including weapons, rods, wands, and staves, though they may not be able to use such items effectively (GM’s discretion) and take penalties for nonproficiency as usual.

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