Familiars : How smart are they in the playtest


Situation : So in my group, I am playing a wizard, and am looking to have a familiar as my Wizard Feat. However, after reading over the Playtest rule book entry for familiar I cannot reach an agreement with my DM on the intelligence of a Familiar. We have gone through the patch notes 1.1 to 1.6 and haven't seen anything to clarify this.

Their point is that it falls under an animal companion, and the beginning of that section in the book ( pg 284) it shows that they have animal intelligence ( ~ 2), and the only intelligence advancement I've seen is the 16th level ranger ability to create a Specialized Companion ( adds +2 Int ). Since Familiar does not fall under that category, they believe they only have animal intelligence.

The Familiars section, simply states that they are tiny animals infused with magic. Nothing about their basic stats. They share AC and Saving throws with the Caster, and gain Perception, Acrobatics and Stealth based on PC level + PC casting stat. HP are a flat bonus each level with no con adjustments.

In Pathfinder 1st edition, familiar intelligence is based on a table, and ranges from 6 up to 15 at a 20th level caster.

What I'm curious about is if I can get any input on the Familiar in the playtest, and perhaps some clarification on their intellectual capacity.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Familiars in the playtest can be replaced by heirloom vases for all it matters, so...

But your right, nothing in the playtest document days anything about it.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As far as I can tell, Familiars HAVE no Ability Scores, nor even proper stat-blocks. The only defined Statistics they DO have are HP, & Skills. According to RAW they're even Untrained in ALL Saving throws. Additionally the minion rules apply to them as follows:

Minion A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. A minion acts on your turn in combat when you spend an action to issue it verbal commands (this action has the concentrate trait). If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for at least 1 minute, mindless minions don’t act, whereas intelligent ones act as they please.

Since they AREN'T mindless creatures as far as I can tell, they'd have some personal agency and wouldn't just sit there and do nothing if ignored but there is surprisingly little to be known about them other than this.

Following this essentially means their Ability scores either DON'T EXIST, or simply do no matter/cannot be affected which is quite interesting and something they WILL have to fix/add to the CRB. I can see why the left that info out as in their current form they seem to essentially be prohibited from actually engaging in combat actions other than to move and MAYBE fetch things.

Honestly I can't believe we've gone THIS long without taking a closer look at them, that is a pretty big chunk of info that players do have have before them.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yep, no ability scores right now. As far as I can tell. For the classes that get them their only real use is that at higher levels they give you an extra spell slot and they give you an extra perception check and for anyone but a druid it’s likely to have a higher bonus. A gnome taking one through their ancestry potentially breaks this mold a bit but I’m not sure if it’s for any good purpose. Yeah, they need serious fleshing out for the CRB.

Familiars are in pretty bad shape currently. They have the awful minion trait as well as having no stats and don't really get good enough abilities to do anything all that useful, plus don't get much from leveling up. Especially compared to PF1 familiars, they're pretty bad, no delivering touch spells, improved evasion, ability to talk to animals of their kind, and there's no option for Improved Familiars. It's been said that they want the change to PF2 to be transparent to the characters in the world, but familiars suddenly losing almost all abilities is pretty noticeable. I really do hope familiars get a rework for the final, they currently feel like an afterthought, but there really hasn't been much at all said about them throughout the test.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They're as intelligent as the plot/backstory requires. I know that's not a great answer :\ But for all intents and purposes they're as intelligent as Salem, as Nall, as Crookshanks, as... you get the point.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Classes / Familiars : How smart are they in the playtest All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Classes