Witch Familiar skills and spells!


Rules Questions


Hello!
I'm quite confused about how Witch familiars work.

Are they able to cast spells like a wizard's familiar? How do its skills work in conjunction with its master?

I used Pathbuilder to make my character and found she, the witch, had a couple of skill modifiers that shouldn't have been there--but now I'm wondering if I've misinterpreted some rules somewhere along the line when it comes to sharing skills with her raven familiar.

Most beguiling of all is how a Raven's beak attack can be (1d3-4)


Witch familiars work exactly like wizard familiars except for the differences in the "Witch Familiar" section. Base familiars cannot cast their own spells, whether that's wizard or witch familiars... they can deliver touch spells for their master, but they do not cast the spell themselves. The action of casting the spell still uses the master's standard action (or whatever action to cast that particular spell is). That being said there are certain familiars in the Improved Familiar list that gain their own spell-like abilities to use a certain amount of times per day. But familiars are never able to cast a spell that their master knows.

Go here to view Witch Familiars: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/witch/witch-s-familiar

Certain familiars grant their master a bonus to a certain skill check or save or even initiative, so that might be where your bonus is coming from. As for your familiar skills, it uses whichever rank amount is higher, the master's or its own, then you always apply its ability score for the skill. If i were you I'd read through the link I provided in this comment to learn all you need to know about familiars


1d3 with a -4 Str mod is 1d3-4. This will be 1 point of nonlethal damage. If for some reason the raven gets a damage bonus it'll need to be a significant one to overcome the penalty.


Note: Familiars are a fairly recent feature addition to Pathbuilder (which is a freaking awesome tool BTW) so it may take some time before the developer works through and catches all of the bugs.

He is very diligent is addressing those bugs though if you notify him. Still everything takes time.


CMantle wrote:

Witch familiars work exactly like wizard familiars except for the differences in the "Witch Familiar" section. Base familiars cannot cast their own spells, whether that's wizard or witch familiars... they can deliver touch spells for their master, but they do not cast the spell themselves. The action of casting the spell still uses the master's standard action (or whatever action to cast that particular spell is).

Certain familiars grant their master a bonus to a certain skill check or save or even initiative, so that might be where your bonus is coming from. As for your familiar skills, it uses whichever rank amount is higher, the master's or its own, then you always apply its ability score for the skill. If i were you I'd read through the link I provided in this comment to learn all you need to know about familiars

So I guess the +4 swim bonus that I found on my witch's sheet was a mistake on the Pathbuilder app's part--Ravens only give appraise bonuses.

Another bit that tripped me up was this:
"A new familiar begins knowing all of the 0-level spells plus two spells of every level the witch is able to cast. These are in addition to any bonus spells known by the familiar based on the witch’s level and her patron (see patron spells)."

If by "knowing" spells it means "storing", it still doesn't make much sense to me--because "starting at 1st level, a witch’s familiar stores ALL of the spells that the witch knows." and a Witch can know "any number of spells" on the Witch's spell list--so what's with the familiar only being able to "know" a limited number?


You start with a limited list, then add to it very similar to a wizard and his spell book. It's simply telling you how many spells you start play with.


I think a big confusion comes from the non-standardized language. In reality, "spells known", "spells known by the familiar" and "spells stored in the familiar" are the same thing when it comes to the Witch.


baggageboy wrote:
You start with a limited list, then add to it very similar to a wizard and his spell book. It's simply telling you how many spells you start play with.
Derklord wrote:
I think a big confusion comes from the non-standardized language. In reality, "spells known", "spells known by the familiar" and "spells stored in the familiar" are the same thing when it comes to the Witch.

Okay that's weird because on the Witch page under "Spells" it says "A witch may know any number of spells." I guess that's not true?

This whole page is written so strangely.


You can know any number of spells, or in other words your familiar can store any number of spells. However you start only knowing the number of spells described. You add spells to your familiar with no limit on how many spells you can add except money, time and availability.


No, that sentence is true - a Witch may know/store in her fmailiar any number of spells, unlike a spontaneous caster whose spells known is strictly limited (that's what the line is for, to differentiate the two). You can literally teach the entire spell list to your familiar. You just don't get it for free.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LyraDeringer wrote:

So I guess the +4 swim bonus that I found on my witch's sheet was a mistake on the Pathbuilder app's part--Ravens only give appraise bonuses.

The +4 Swim bonus comes from the flight hex. I had the same ‘huh?’ issue with my witch.


Basically, imagine that the wizard's familiar had eaten the wizard's spellbook, but the wizard were somehow still able to add spells to and prepare spells from it.

There aren't really any special interactions between the "familiar" part and the "spellbook" part of the witch's familiar, and each separately works mostly like the wizard's.


okay I am in need of some assistance.
every morning when I commune with my Familiar (I'm a witch) I always place a spell on my familiar. so that my raven Can execute it in combat. I always have my raven hide and sneak attack the enemy with one spell.(just to keep the combat simplified one spell, one time only).
well we started combat and in the 1st round I used a supernatural ability. did not cast no more spells or anything for 3 rounds and became unconscious after the 3rd round. on the 4th round I was told that my familiar can not do a touch attack, nor do any combat. because I was laying on the ground unconscious and I had used my supernatural ability (cast a spell).
If that true then my own familiar cannot fly to me a touch attack with a cure spell or any spell for that matter.
can anybody clarify this matter for me because I'm confused as to why the familiar can not do combat when to save me or my comrades while I'm down.


WarSage wrote:

okay I am in need of some assistance.

every morning when I commune with my Familiar (I'm a witch) I always place a spell on my familiar. so that my raven Can execute it in combat. I always have my raven hide and sneak attack the enemy with one spell.(just to keep the combat simplified one spell, one time only).
well we started combat and in the 1st round I used a supernatural ability. did not cast no more spells or anything for 3 rounds and became unconscious after the 3rd round. on the 4th round I was told that my familiar can not do a touch attack, nor do any combat. because I was laying on the ground unconscious and I had used my supernatural ability (cast a spell).
If that true then my own familiar cannot fly to me a touch attack with a cure spell or any spell for that matter.
can anybody clarify this matter for me because I'm confused as to why the familiar can not do combat when to save me or my comrades while I'm down.

Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master would. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

So yes, if you cast any other spell, the one held by familiar goes away.
Keep in mind Witch Hexes are *mostly* Supernatural Abilities and thus using them doesn't count as casting a spell so it would not cancel the spell held by familiar. There are a few exceptions. For example Poison Steep is a Spell-like Hex and would disrupt a spell held by familiar as such.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The witch is very slightly different, but mostly the same for this question

Quote:
Deliver Touch Spells (Su): If a witch is 3rd level or higher, her familiar can deliver touch spells or hexes for her. If the witch and the familiar are in contact at the time the witch casts a touch spell, she can designate her familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the witch would. As usual, if the witch casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates. If the witch activates a hex, her familiar can be used to make the touch. She does not have to be in contact with the familiar to use this ability.

It seems that hexes aren't dissipated, nor would hexes used by the witch cause a touch spell to be dissipated. It may be intended for hexes to cause dissipation, but the rules don't seem to represent that.

Spell-like abilities aren't "spells" for generic purposes like this. Such things are only considered spells for abilities that work on that specific kind of spell. Like a bonus to summoning spells effects spell-like abilities based on summoning spells. But a bonus on spells in general would not apply to a spell-like ability.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Witch Familiar skills and spells! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.