The witch is a class built around having a familiar, but the set of familiar abilities currently reads as the bare minimum of what you need to make sure your familiar mechanically what it is thematically (like a raven flying) and a set of flat upgrades for spellcasters, so you don't have to invest in so many feats. I feel like this is going to have to change if familiars are to feel more than just a toolbox.
Here are a few ideas(very important that bit) for probably master abilities to get you started. sickening stench: it smells so awful that people near it have problems with fort saves(say -1, to 5ft. aura). Incorporeal: it's can move through walls. attacker: it has a strike in which it's trained, uses controllers appropriate modifier and deals maybe 1d6-ish damage.
It's these kinds of things that might mean that a familiar is more a companion than a package of bonuses.
Right now on my lv4 Necromancer-turned-witch I'm running familiar focus, cantrip connection and spell delivery. Sounds fitting enough. I plan to add spell battery later, and improved Reflexes once things start heating up.
Having 3 focus points at lv4 sure feels good.
I have no doubt there will be something more in the APG, but I don't feel restricted in choice. If anything, I have more options I want to take.
I'll let you know what my lv14 test brings up.
First off, I 100% agree, more familiar abilities is wanted.
For the sake of the Witch though I actually would prefer if the Witch's familiar had something extra that made them fundamentally different than everyone else's familiar. Even if only through Class feats.
I am visualizing a Witch Feat. Probably about level 8, which would have your patron transform your familiar into a more personal form. By giving up 4 of your familiar abilities, your familiar can take the form of any common, tiny, Level 1 creature (if a Fiend, Monitor, or Celestial then you must be within one step of the creature's alignment, so for an Imp you could be Lawful Neutral, or Neutral Evil, but not Neutral Neutral).
This would give the familiar all of the features, the ability modifiers, Ect. of the creature whose form it takes. This form uses the creature's HP as a sort of Ancestry HP and adds their new Con mod to the 5 they get every level. The familiar gets all the languages and skills that the creature gets, adds it's Dex to it's AC, and gets all the spells and whatnot of the creature, although it uses your Spell save DC or Spell Attack Bonus.
Since this would use up 4 familiar abilities, which is the minimum amount the Witch would have at that point, no extra abilities for it, but will end up adding extra as they level up.
I would like some kind of ability to transform your familiar into an animal companion, like I created in my Warlock adaptation. It would be a cool and unique ability, and presents a real danger if the familiar dies fighting the witch's enemies. (Speaking of which, I'm not sure I like how harsh the results of that are...)
|Angel Hunter D|
I am against having familiar becoming too good in combat. That's not their role.
On the other hand I love familiars thematically and would really like more feats to buff their usefulness in general (like companions get).
For instance the feat for the witch that give them +Ability to two extra skills is a start. Shame that is the only one (for now, it's a playtest).
Talking about this feat, I have a really big problem with familiars: their skills are a mess.
First for no reason they can use all skills as a bard would do untrained (level+0 instead of 0 if we consider the familiar to have 0 ability modifiers) and second the skills they have a bonus (perception,athletics and stealth) seem to stay untrained. Which mean a bird familiar could not maneuver in the air because it's a trained action.
Same for the feat. It doesn't give proficiency so yeah having bonus to 2 skills is nice but if they stay untrained it really limits what the familiar can do with them. My dream is to have options so that if you invest a bit of feats in your familiar you can have one that match the fluff of a familiar (like a mage assistant that really CAN do his paperwork and the cleaning or a witch familiar that indeed can explain her some of the secrets of magic).
I could also imagine class feats that give familiar a skill increase + a skill feat adapted to it so you can customize a bit more what your familiar can do (that would be on the power level of the rogue muticlass, a bit stronger for time economy and a bit weaker cause familiars have usually less bonus than the character)
In combat I think that the only thing familiar should do well is spells. And because spells are powerful that should not generate action economy. I would like for instance a feat that allow the caster to transfer their magical energy to their familiar so that they can cast any spell without contact. That would allow people to roleplay their familiar being able to cast, that would allow strategically to cast from multiple angles but if that requires an action for the transfer and an action to order the familiar and the familiar has to use 2 actions to cast it's not too powerful from an action economy point of view.
If advanced familiar comes back I hope it will really revolves around either utility or spells and not raw stats.
|Angel Hunter D|
Angel Hunter D wrote:I think an ability to regain or store focus for you would be great, given that hexes are focus powers now.Familiars already have the option to provide an extra focus point per day.
I think just 1 is a little weak for such a focus heavy class, but I didn't see that one before.
Hard agree to all of this. More familiar abilities is what I was really hoping for from the witch class. I wanted it to be as fundamental to their play as Divine font is to clerics, although not to the point of overshadowing the witch herself.
Imp familiars! Elemental familiars! Shadow form familiars that act as if they’re a haunt (letting you Cackle at a distance through them rather than your own position)!