Wizard Familiar and eldritch heritage


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Wizard wrote:

Arcane Bond:
Arcane Bond (Ex or Sp): At 1st level, wizards form a powerful bond with an object or a creature. This bond can take one of two forms: a familiar or a bonded object. A familiar is a magical pet that enhances the wizard's skills and senses and can aid him in magic, while a bonded object is an item a wizard can use to cast additional spells or to serve as a magical item. Once a wizard makes this choice, it is permanent and cannot be changed. Rules for bonded items are given below, while rules for familiars are at the end of this section.

Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost. Objects that are the subject of an arcane bond must fall into one of the following categories: amulet, ring, staff, wand, or weapon. These objects are always masterwork quality. Weapons acquired at 1st level are not made of any special material. If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be wielded. If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level. If the object is a ring or amulet, it occupies the ring or neck slot accordingly.

A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required item creation feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a wizard with a bonded dagger must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the dagger (see the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat in Feats). If the bonded object is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its bonded object properties and can be used to craft a new wand. The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type.

If a bonded object is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the wizard prepares his spells. If the object of an arcane bond is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic item retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded item.

Benefit: Select one sorcerer bloodline. You must have Skill focus in the class skill that bloodline grants to a sorcerer at 1st level (for example, Heal for the celestial bloodline). This bloodline cannot be a bloodline you already have. You gain the first-level bloodline power for the selected bloodline. For purposes of using that power, treat your sorcerer level as equal to your character level – 2, even if you have levels in sorcerer. You do not gain any of the other bloodline abilities.
Arcane Bond (Su): At 1st level, you gain an arcane bond, as a wizard equal to your sorcerer level. Your sorcerer levels stack with any wizard levels you possess when determining the powers of your familiar or bonded object. This ability does not allow you to have both a familiar and a bonded item.

Would eldritch heritage (arcane bloodline) allow me to have have effective familiar level of (level * 2 -2)?


Assuming that you're talking about a wizard taking eldrtich heritage and taking the arcane bloodline with it, I would say yes.

However, you'll notice that outside of how quickly the familiar gains abilities this doesn't do very much.

For example. lets look at what a 10th level wizard with a familiar would normally get, vs what a 10th level wizard with eldrtich heritage would get.

assumptions:
Wizard has 56 hp

Normal 10th level wizard

HD: 10
HP: 28
Natural armor: +5
Attacks: +5 to hit
Saves: same as wizard
Skills: same as wizard
Abilities: Alertness, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link, Deliver touch spells, Speak with master, Speak with animals of its kind

10th level wizard with eldritch heritage arcane

HD: 18
HP: 28
Natural armor: +9
Attacks: +5 to hit
Saves: same as wizard
Skills: same as wizard
Abilities: Alertness, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link, Deliver touch spells, Speak with master, Speak with animals of its kind , Spell resistance (23), scry on familiar

The reason they are so similar is that only HD, Natural armor and abilities are based on the master's level. And even then, HD are divorced from HP.


LordKailas wrote:

Assuming that you're talking about a wizard taking eldrtich heritage and taking the arcane bloodline with it, I would say yes.

However, you'll notice that outside of how quickly the familiar gains abilities this doesn't do very much.

I imagine it would be a different story if it were a Mauler Familiar, and maybe a Spirit Binder wizard, making use of evolved familiar (giving the familiar pounce if we choose a quadruped) and Duplicate Familiar.


willuwontu wrote:
I imagine it would be a different story if it were a Mauler Familiar, and maybe a Spirit Binder wizard, making use of evolved familiar (giving the familiar pounce if we choose a quadruped) and Duplicate Familiar.

Spirit Binder is the only one of those that substantially benefits from this since it gives the familiar non-trivial scaling abilities. Without it, the resulting familiar is pretty similar to what you would normally get.

Edit: looking at it further, spirit binder used this way is less OP then it might seem. You give up your bonus feats to give them to your familiar and so you're literally transferring feats from yourself to the familiar. Also, this ability is based on your character's progression not the familiar's, since it replaces the wizard bonus feats. So it wouldn't gain these bonus feats at an accelerated rate. Base Saves progress so slowly that the increased bonus may not be noticeable since the difference between 12 and 20 for a good save is only +4 and for a bad save it's only +2. The BAB is the real winner here. The accelerated BAB means that it will max out it's number of iterative attacks at 12th level (assuming a full BAB class is picked). This has the makings of something interesting for sure.


LordKailas wrote:

Spirit Binder is the only one of those that substantially benefits from this since it gives the familiar non-trivial scaling abilities. Without it, the resulting familiar is pretty similar to what you would normally get.

Edit: looking at it further, spirit binder used this way is less OP then it might seem. You give up your bonus feats to give them to your familiar and so you're literally transferring feats from yourself to the familiar. Also, this ability is based on your character's progression not the familiar's, since it replaces the wizard bonus feats. So it wouldn't gain these bonus feats at an accelerated rate. Base Saves progress so slowly that the increased bonus may not be noticeable since the difference between 12 and 20 for a good save is only +4 and for a bad save it's only +2. The BAB is the real winner here. The accelerated BAB means that it will max out it's number of iterative attacks at 12th level (assuming a full BAB class is picked). This has the makings of something interesting for sure.

As much as I like the full bab, it really just helps our to hit (and power attack), most of the damage comes from natural attacks (which is where the increased str bonus from mauler comes into play).

The gist of the build:

Human 20 PB:
Str 7 (-2), Dex 11 (+0), Con 18 (+4), Int 16 (+3), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 13 (+1)

Mauler Familiar (some quadruped)

Feats:
1 (Human): Evolved Familiar (Claws)
1: Evolved Familiar (Claws)
3: Evolved Familiar (Pounce)
5: False Focus [for buffs]
7: Skill Focus (Knowledge Arcana)
9: Eldritch Heritage (Arcane Bloodline)
11: Evolved Familiar (Sting)
13: Evolved Familiar (tail)
15: Evolved Familiar (Sting)
17: Evolved Familiar (tail)
19: Evolved Familiar (Sting)

Familiar Feats:
1: Power Attack
5: Paired Opportunists
10: Snapping Flank
15: Outflank
20: Improved Outflank (may switch for combat rhythm)

We're essentially an off-brand summoner.


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You can't gain a class feature twice, much like you can't gain (most) feats twice.

The wizard familiar is an arcane bond class feature, as is the Eldritch heritage. I can't find anything about familiars RAW, but no animal should be allowed to exceed your hit dice, minus one occasion with the Oracle


SorrySleeping wrote:

You can't gain a class feature twice, much like you can't gain (most) feats twice.

The wizard familiar is an arcane bond class feature, as is the Eldritch heritage. I can't find anything about familiars RAW, but no animal should be allowed to exceed your hit dice, minus one occasion with the Oracle

I guess it's a good thing we only gain it once, and just have stacking levels, also ninja and monk ki pools would disagree with you. If you do manage to find a rule about capping for Familiars (or animal companions), please do cite it, otherwise oracles aren't special.


SorrySleeping wrote:

You can't gain a class feature twice, much like you can't gain (most) feats twice.

The wizard familiar is an arcane bond class feature, as is the Eldritch heritage. I can't find anything about familiars RAW, but no animal should be allowed to exceed your hit dice, minus one occasion with the Oracle

Animal companions have been ruled as to not being able to get over your hit die +1 in hit die but considering that they have really poor inherent hit die scaling its not much of an issue. Other companions however and not called out as having that restriction.


You can gain a class feature twice though. Lots of healing builds do this with channel. Technically you can always gain the same feat multiple times too. It just doesn’t do anything unless specified otherwise.

Quote:
If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, this doesn't work, like... not at all.

You treat your Class Levels as Sorcerer Levels for the purpose of the Bloodline, the Bloodline gives you Arcane Bond which treats your Sorcerer levels as Wizard Levels.

You already HAVE wizard levels, and in no way shape or form can you Stack Wizard Levels + Wizard Levels, it simply doesn't work like that- You cannot use this as a work-around way to double the HD and power of your Familiar in order to pump them up into some kind of insane monstrosity.


Do you have a rules source saying you can’t stack wizard levels with wizard levels?

Liberty's Edge

Melkiador wrote:
Do you have a rules source saying you can’t stack wizard levels with wizard levels?

The Familiar rules in Wizard state:

Quote:
Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master's level.

It's a simple as this-

The Character has X levels for Arcane Bond Familiar from Wizard

The Character has X levels -2 from Eld Heritage

Since the Arcane Bond granted by Eld Heritage treats the "Sorcerer levels" as Wizard Levels these are NOT treated as separate classes and in since specific beats general this line here clearly indicates that Wizard + Wizard does not stack for the purpose of the Familiar. The levels are from the SAME class and as such the PC is NOT entitled to stacking them.

Just because you're getting the same thing from two different sources does not mean that you're magically allowed to add your Class Level to the formula twice.

That being said if your GM is ok with running with your personal interpretation that's totally in their wheelhouse to decide.


All options that grant familiar levels mention wizard levels though. You aren’t really adding wizard levels to wizard levels but wizard levels to sorcerer levels.


Themetricsystem wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Do you have a rules source saying you can’t stack wizard levels with wizard levels?

The Familiar rules in Wizard state:

Quote:
Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master's level.

It's a simple as this-

The Character has X levels for Arcane Bond Familiar from Wizard

The Character has X levels -2 from Eld Heritage

Since the Arcane Bond granted by Eld Heritage treats the "Sorcerer levels" as Wizard Levels these are NOT treated as separate classes and in since specific beats general this line here clearly indicates that Wizard + Wizard does not stack for the purpose of the Familiar. The levels are from the SAME class and as such the PC is NOT entitled to stacking them.

Just because you're getting the same thing from two different sources does not mean that you're magically allowed to add your Class Level to the formula twice.

That being said if your GM is ok with running with your personal interpretation that's totally in their wheelhouse to decide.

Yes it does and you can do the same thing with animal companions and other class features as well so long as they have a line that says they stack which familiars and animal companions both do.


Themetricsystem wrote:

The Character has X levels for Arcane Bond Familiar from Wizard

The Character has X levels -2 from Eld Heritage

This isn't true. Eldritch heritage is Character level - 2. Base Wizard is Class level - 0.

Example 1:
If a 10th level fighter were to take eld heritage(arcane) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 8.

Example 2:
If the fighter took 1 level in wizard instead of eld heritage (making them a Wizard 1, Fighter 9) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 1.

Example 3:
If the fighter from example 2 now took 5 levels in witch (making them Wizard 1, Fighter 9, Witch 5) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 6.

The only reason the OP is getting overlap is because one ability is based on levels in a class (in this case wizard) and the other ability is based on character levels. As others have pointed out the same thing happens with animal companions. The feat horse master causes similar overlap since it changes progression so that it's no longer based on class and instead is based on character level. Its not like the feat makes it so that levels in cavalier suddenly stop stacking with levels in druid to determine your effective druid level.


LordKailas wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

The Character has X levels for Arcane Bond Familiar from Wizard

The Character has X levels -2 from Eld Heritage

This isn't true. Eldritch heritage is Character level - 2. Base Wizard is Class level - 0.

Example 1:
If a 10th level fighter were to take eld heritage(arcane) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 8.

Example 2:
If the fighter took 1 level in wizard instead of eld heritage (making them a Wizard 1, Fighter 9) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 1.

Nope. It would still be effectively 8.

LordKailas wrote:

Example 3:

If the fighter from example 2 now took 5 levels in witch (making them Wizard 1, Fighter 9, Witch 5) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 6.

Nope. It would be effectively 13.

LordKailas wrote:
The only reason the OP is getting overlap is because one ability is based on levels in a class (in this case wizard) and the other ability is based on character levels. As others have pointed out the same thing happens with animal companions. The feat horse master causes similar overlap since it changes progression so that it's no longer based on class and instead is based on character level. Its not like the feat makes it so that levels in cavalier suddenly stop stacking with levels in druid to determine your effective druid level.

Eldritch heritage places a minimum effective level of HD - 2 no matter what classes you have.

As to doubling up levels, each level can add at most 1 to the total. You don't get to add the same level twice.

Getting a familiar at higher than your level takes work with some special stuff. I don't know if there is a FCB for it, and I think there is something under Oracles that can do this. But that is all I can think of.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

The Character has X levels for Arcane Bond Familiar from Wizard

The Character has X levels -2 from Eld Heritage

This isn't true. Eldritch heritage is Character level - 2. Base Wizard is Class level - 0.

Example 1:
If a 10th level fighter were to take eld heritage(arcane) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 8.

Example 2:
If the fighter took 1 level in wizard instead of eld heritage (making them a Wizard 1, Fighter 9) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 1.

Nope. It would still be effectively 8.

LordKailas wrote:

Example 3:

If the fighter from example 2 now took 5 levels in witch (making them Wizard 1, Fighter 9, Witch 5) their familiar would be based on an effective wizard level of 6.

Nope. It would be effectively 13.

LordKailas wrote:
The only reason the OP is getting overlap is because one ability is based on levels in a class (in this case wizard) and the other ability is based on character levels. As others have pointed out the same thing happens with animal companions. The feat horse master causes similar overlap since it changes progression so that it's no longer based on class and instead is based on character level. Its not like the feat makes it so that levels in cavalier suddenly stop stacking with levels in druid to determine your effective druid level.

Eldritch heritage places a minimum effective level of HD - 2 no matter what classes you have.

As to doubling up levels, each level can add at most 1 to the total. You don't get to add the same level twice.

Getting a familiar at higher than your level takes work with some special stuff. I don't know if there is a FCB for it, and I think there is something under Oracles that can do this. But that is all I can think of.

/cevah

You can double up and there are several fcb for companions that let you do so.


There is the rule that things from the same source do not stack. You are get credit for your wizard levels for being a wizard. Since eldritch heritage uses your character level which includes your wizard levels they are the same source and therefor do not stack.


Cevah wrote:
Nope. It would still be effectively 8.

How do you get an effective level of 8 from Wizard 1, Fighter 9?

I think you missed that in examples 2 and 3 the character does not have eldritch heritage.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There is the rule that things from the same source do not stack. You are get credit for your wizard levels for being a wizard. Since eldritch heritage uses your character level which includes your wizard levels they are the same source and therefor do not stack.

those "things" are specifically untyped bonuses

Quote:
Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

what's being discussed are not untyped bonuses.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There is the rule that things from the same source do not stack. You are get credit for your wizard levels for being a wizard. Since eldritch heritage uses your character level which includes your wizard levels they are the same source and therefor do not stack.

Level is not a recognized "source" in the stacking FAQ, so the limits of source stacking do not apply to it.

Liberty's Edge

It's clear that those here who are trying to defend this and those opposed are entrenched and I doubt this will ever officially clarified at this point.

You're trying to justify a minion with more BAB, HP, better Saves than a Fighter of the same level with more attacks, and the ability to get a full attack on a Charge.

This is patent munchkin nonsense that only BARELY makes sense if you DO misinterpret how these abilities work.

If you want to say you'd allow it in your game, cool, that's homebrew. Otherwise, you're making a very very silly argument trying to say you can count your Character Level twice for the purpose of calculating this. If you think I'm wrong, go ahead and ask your local PFS folks, or even better try showing up to an actual game table with this trash and see how fast you are corrected or kicked from the table for being disruptive and exploitative.


Ah, the classic "I don't like it so it's homebrew" argument. Classic.

I suspect that many GMs (and certainly PFS, since they absolutely abhor anything they didn't already think of) would put a kaibosh on this; but that is irrelevant to the question of if it is RAW. Furthermore, there are certainly GMs who follow the axiom of "let them" and would allow this, just for giggles (especially if there wasn't anyone in the party filling the front line role already).


Themetricsystem wrote:

It's clear that those here who are trying to defend this and those opposed are entrenched and I doubt this will ever officially clarified at this point.

You're trying to justify a minion with more BAB, HP, better Saves than a Fighter of the same level with more attacks, and the ability to get a full attack on a Charge.

This is patent munchkin nonsense that only BARELY makes sense if you DO misinterpret how these abilities work.

If you want to say you'd allow it in your game, cool, that's homebrew. Otherwise, you're making a very very silly argument trying to say you can count your Character Level twice for the purpose of calculating this. If you think I'm wrong, go ahead and ask your local PFS folks, or even better try showing up to an actual game table with this trash and see how fast you are corrected or kicked from the table for being disruptive and exploitative.

A Halfling Spirit Binder wizard ends up with a minion with more BAB, HP(Assuming Wizards get more HP) and better saves then a fighter of the same level, and the ability to get a full attack on a charge. All without even touching eldritch heritage. As I stated in my first response, stacking isn't the problem. The spirit binder archetype is the problem.


LordKailas wrote:
A Halfling Spirit Binder wizard ends up with a minion with more BAB, HP(Assuming Wizards get more HP) and better saves then a fighter of the same level, and the ability to get a full attack on a charge. All without even touching eldritch heritage. As I stated in my first response, stacking isn't the problem. The spirit binder archetype is the problem.

Oh damn, I didn't even realize the halfling fcb existed. That gives us an effective level 23 familiar at 10.

Liberty's Edge

You're even insisting that it can have HD above where the table stops? This is truly beyond the pale in terms of stretching the rules yo.

This straight up belongs in Advice or Homebrew, regardless of you three repeatedly insisting that somehow Wizard Levels stack with Wizard Levels when it clearly states that only DIFFERENT Classes qualify to stack.

I guess you can't help some people....


Themetricsystem wrote:
This straight up belongs in Advice or Homebrew

Stating that it's homebrew because you dislike it, does not make it so, especially when it's how it works.


Themetricsystem wrote:

You're even insisting that it can have HD above where the table stops? This is truly beyond the pale in terms of stretching the rules yo.

This straight up belongs in Advice or Homebrew, regardless of you three repeatedly insisting that somehow Wizard Levels stack with Wizard Levels when it clearly states that only DIFFERENT Classes qualify to stack.

I guess you can't help some people....

apparently 14th level halfling wizards are homebrew.....

it's a shame there aren't like, official guidelines or anything for how to deal with abilities that are post level 20.


And given that there is an faq that allows one to double dip levels for animal companions with the stipulation that they can not have more than 1 hit die over their masters level also puts all the naysayers down.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
doomman47 wrote:
And given that there is an faq that allows one to double dip levels for animal companions with the stipulation that they can not have more than 1 hit die over their masters level also puts all the naysayers down.

As I recall, that FAQ is for PFS, not the game in general.

But I do think that a lot of problems could be solved with a simple ruling that you can't stack character levels with class levels for features you have that are based on both.


David knott 242 wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
And given that there is an faq that allows one to double dip levels for animal companions with the stipulation that they can not have more than 1 hit die over their masters level also puts all the naysayers down.

As I recall, that FAQ is for PFS, not the game in general.

But I do think that a lot of problems could be solved with a simple ruling that you can't stack character levels with class levels for features you have that are based on both.

But why? If a player wants to spend resources boosting a class feature let them, it's resources that's not spent in other ways and its a strategic trade.

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