So... about our squishy spellbooks.


Witch Playtest

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I think Eidiwir and Excalibur are on the right track with some form of easier spell restoration ability if your little buddy bites the dust, whether it be an object the familiar reads like a codex, and/or a restoration ritual that's specifically for regaining lost knowledge. I made a witch in the playtest, and our next session is gonna be combat START! and I have been quite concerned about losing my go juice if my pet gets wacked too hard, so I'm glad I'm not the only one who's showed worry about this particular issue. I'm personally for the ritual, since that also lets wizards and future book based casters (Arcanists as spontaneous Arcane anyone?) also not get boned if someone decides to take away their knowledge font

Grand Lodge Designer

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Y'all are making some good points in here. Our team is looking at ways to address this!

Liberty's Edge

Honestly, a single piece of equipment released with less than 50 words, placed on the gear table, and MAYBE a piece of 1-inch art would suffice to fix this in the form of a Familiar Satchel with rules on how they can be safely stowed away on the Masters body in exchange for something like 1 Bulk.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Honestly, a single piece of equipment released with less than 50 words, placed on the gear table, and MAYBE a piece of 1-inch art would suffice to fix this in the form of a Familiar Satchel with rules on how they can be safely stowed away on the Masters body in exchange for something like 1 Bulk.

Fine as an option, but doesn't solve the "It's a class feature" element.

Familiar satchels were bandaid fixes in pf1e.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Honestly, a single piece of equipment released with less than 50 words, placed on the gear table, and MAYBE a piece of 1-inch art would suffice to fix this in the form of a Familiar Satchel with rules on how they can be safely stowed away on the Masters body in exchange for something like 1 Bulk.

Making the class dependent on a pokeball to avoid game mechanics pretty much kills the flavor of the class.

I like the idea of a spirit animal that can manifest if the witch wants to take the risk.

With minor penalties that last until the next full rest if it does die.


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Yeah, a very good design step in 2e was that rules are meant to be used, not bypassed.

Let’s stick to it.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Honestly, a single piece of equipment released with less than 50 words, placed on the gear table, and MAYBE a piece of 1-inch art would suffice to fix this in the form of a Familiar Satchel with rules on how they can be safely stowed away on the Masters body in exchange for something like 1 Bulk.

As I wrote on the other thread re: witches with no familiars:

A familiar satchel would be a must for classes that want the benefits of a familiar, but not the risks. Hence Paizo should avoid releasing one. (Especially since what neat trick would it do?)
If a familiar is in a satchel (or Bag of Holding w/ Bottled Air), then it's effectively an object. If this appears to be the norm (and I'm pretty sure I'd aim for this if I had a Witch) then why not have intelligent objects as an option for familiars?

New:
It's thematic for Witches to talk to and even learn from intelligent objects. Mirrors, medallions, crystal balls, and more have been sources of witch magic from lore around the globe.

In return, strip out many or all of the boons a familiar otherwise provides. The Witch would be on par w/ a Wizard re: safety of their spell library, but would still have a witch-themed "companion" to interact with.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

Honestly, I think both wizards and witches could do with some kind of mechanic for restoring their lost spell receptacle. Like: maybe there could be some kind of ritual for this kind of thing?

Maybe witches could access the ritual for free but other classes with lose-able spell lists could hunt it down.

I like that characters can lose spells, i am even happy for the witch to lose spells permanently. Just not being tied to common gameplay mechanics and a squishy easily killed class feature.

If a character is to lose major power it should be because the gm made very specific choices and considerations. Not that they followed the basic combat rules.

I don't know. With sunder gone, there's no martial equivalent, and it would be a tad unfair.


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Wouldn’t Witches need some kind of conduit even if it wasn’t a Familiar?

Inanimate objects as familiars would be cool, perhaps just flat more options for familiars in terms of versatility than others (though not necessarily geared for combat applications so much as survivability and narrative options).


Castilliano wrote:
If a familiar is in a satchel (or Bag of Holding w/ Bottled Air), then it's effectively an object.

I'd argue that with the current rules, they have more in common with items than creatures. Removing movement [and those options], IMO, is giving up enough boons. It seems like it's a very small step to make it a 100% object instead of a 80% object.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't personally see the point of a familiar if it's NOT tied in with your spells. The whole idea is that your patron (whatever it may be) gave you a middle-man from which you learn your magic. If you take its spellbook like nature away, then it's just a normal familiar with no real point of being there than just to be there.

Taking away the punishment for losing the familiar seems... somehow wrong, too? I'm not sure how to put it. Like, it's already a little more forgiving than Wizard's, and I don't wanna be eating my Wizard's lunch over here, too by actually being able to get mine back without spending all my reserved gold on replacement scrolls.

Of course, the punishment can and is effectively game-ending for either class at certain points for a lot of campaigns, and that's not okay, either.

In a vacuum, I personally think the most fun way of dealing with this issue is making the familiar actually better than other casters', as per the flavor encounter-wise, since that would both dissuade people from treating it like a non-living spellbook (since they can actually use it), and make the risk of actually using your familiar a strategic choice - do I have my buddy help me out on this one, or should they tread carefully this time? - instead of always defaulting to "safety first" mode. I realize I'm using vague terms here, but I'm not thinking of specifics more than the direction of taking this issue.

(Of course, it's very possible that there's a good compromise between the two, where the familiar is useful but not a second PC, and also not game-ending to lose. But, if I had to pick between a spellbook-animal that is low-risk but still less effective than a crossbow, or a high-risk animal spellbook that can actually make use of being a commandable creature, I'd take the latter any day.)


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Side note, Dimension Door says the spell automatically fails if it would bring another creature with you (even in an extradimensional container). It would be nice for familiars to be exempt from this restriction.


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How I would have it.

- You gain a familiar and Receptacle of Power. This receptacle stores all of yours spells like a spellbook does.
I would then allow the familiar to enter and leave the receptacle as well as see out of it and commune from it.
If the familiar dies its essence returns to the receptacle and the witch can recall it during the next daily preparations.

Examples of Receptacles of Power could be Crystal Balls, Arcane Tomes, Broomsticks, Mirrors.

This way they have an object like a wizard with the same vulnerabilities as the wizard. It is tied to the familiar and the familiar is still teaching them / giving them power. It also acts as a thematic familiar satchel and explains why their familiars can come back after a single day. Non witches could gain basic functionality through a magical item maybe (could even make it a 2 action ability to call the familiar out of the item if you wanted to limit its function in combat, but I think the minion trait does that well enough)

It would need a "if this gets lost how would you get a new one" rule, but that shouldn't be much different to design than the current "if you need a new familiar one".

MadMars wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

Honestly, I think both wizards and witches could do with some kind of mechanic for restoring their lost spell receptacle. Like: maybe there could be some kind of ritual for this kind of thing?

Maybe witches could access the ritual for free but other classes with lose-able spell lists could hunt it down.

I like that characters can lose spells, i am even happy for the witch to lose spells permanently. Just not being tied to common gameplay mechanics and a squishy easily killed class feature.

If a character is to lose major power it should be because the gm made very specific choices and considerations. Not that they followed the basic combat rules.

I don't know. With sunder gone, there's no martial equivalent, and it would be a tad unfair.

??? I am saying that I am happy for familiars to be allowed to die IF they are decoupled from the penalties when it comes to a witch.

I am saying that I like characters being able to have story arcs where their power is diminished if the GM so chooses.

Martials can lose their equipment, Wizards can lose their spell book, Clerics and Druids have Anathema, sadly Bards and sorcerers are not on the same plane.


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Ediwir wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
playing a Wizard with the Advanced Familiar thesis, I can say that it's basically the same as playing a Wizard without a thesis at all. Not being able to use my focus ability sucks, but quite frankly if I had no familiar whatsoever and played as if I were a Wizard without a thesis, my gameplay pattern and abilities would not change at all.

Odd. before converting to Witch, my character was a familiar thesis necromancer (with a zombie guinea pig named Mycroft). It allowed me to reuse Focus powers more often, gain additional cantrips, and effectively use Reach Spell (useful once you look at necromancy hard enough). That was at low level only.

What abilities did your familiar have? Defense only? Then yes, it's useless - but that's a problem Witch has, not Wizard.

Focus Powers aren't linked to your Familiar whatsoever unless you take the feat which also grants you a focus point (or two) back when you use the Drain Focus feature. Even then, a lot of focus powers aren't that strong or are niche in use. The Evoker power (which is what I focused on) with the extra missile isn't that strong, and the advanced power is niche at best. Granted, Evoker probably isn't the strongest school of magic to focus on, it does have a solid blasting spell list (even though it seems cantrips are stronger and more reliable than normal spells on average).

Mine is a bat named Gloomdread (CN Cavern Elf Wizard). It's required to have Darkvision and Flight, plus the added speed to make it comparable to actual bats, as required by the rules. It's technically required to have Echolocation, but since that's not a power, Darkvision is the closest we get. As such, it's technically not possible to have a bat familiar unless it's Improved.

Even then, the other powers are junk. Movement would matter if it contributed to anything other than an outdated spell battery. Damage Avoidance would matter more if it was actually worth saving for something besides spell battery. Kinspeech is pretty lame, especially since it can't talk to you at all, Lab Assistant, requiring you to have a feat and for another power selection, is for Alchemists specifically and the crafting rules are all FUBAR'd anyway. Manual Dexterity is only good if you give it a recastable wand (which is nerfed to 1/day now, so RIP on that). Scent might be useful in detecting bad guys, but most characters can sense bad guys through other means. And Speech, while helpful for some situations, isn't worth the feats or class ability selection for what else you can get in exchange.

Master Abilities are literally the only things worth anything, but even then they're limited in scale. Extra cantrips are nice, but I haven't had an issue of "not having the right cantrip selected" yet. (Plus I only get 5 cantrips anyway, no point in selecting a power that lets me prepare an additional cantrip that I already have prepared.) Extra Reagents is Alchemist junk. Familiar Focus isn't bad for in-combat focus regeneration, but when you only have 1 focus point, and you have plenty of other things to do that can work against enemies, it's not necessary. Lifelink can get you killed, so hard pass there. Spell Battery is nice for utility spells, but the late requirements and the willingness to waste a prepared slot for certain spells isn't really a good idea. Also, Spell Delivery is broken since it doesn't explain what you precisely do with those 2 actions. If it takes 2 move actions to get to a target, does it then fail to touch said target since that usually takes an action as well, or does it get to deliver the spell as a free action, meaning you have to only worry about the movement within 2 actions? Not to mention attacks of opportunity are pretty rampant and a serious concern for not only your familiar, but your potentially wasted actions, compared to Reach Spell which makes things much safer for both you and your action economy, even if the range can be much less.

Sovereign Court

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I’m definitely seconding (thirding? Fortiething?) lessening the penalties for losing your familiar. It’s super counterproductive to give a class a familiar and tell the player how cool it is only to penalize that player for actually remembering it exists. Just having the familiar come back the next day is perfectly fine. Your punishment for your familiar getting killed is that you can no longer use your familiar that day and maybe you get a scolding from your patron. It doesn’t need to be any more than that.


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What if every time you hex or sustain a hex against someone your familiar got a benefit? Sort of a "strengthening" your ties to your Patron. Then sending your familiar in is an option, as long as you're hexing or sustaining a hex. It could be straight up temporary HP or maybe a small selection of choices.

Familiars and Hexes

On any round in which you cast a hex or sustain a hex, your familiar receives Temporary HP equal to your Class Proficiency Bonus. In addition, your familiar receives a benefit specific to the hex being sustained or cast.

Evil Eye
Familiar Benefit: "While this hex is active on a target your familiar is immune to fear effects and receives a +2 to AC and Saves against targets that are frightened,"

Personal Blizzard
Familiar Benefit: "While this hex is active your familiar treats targets that are concealed by your personal blizzard as observed instead of concealed."

Minor Ward
Familiar Benefit: "While this hex is active your familiar receives the benefits of the ward as well as the target."

I think this gives Witches more incentives to want to keep their hexes active, thus encouraging more tactical play, and also gives them the ability to use the familiar more.


Is this problem unique to 2e witches? I've played with a witch PC in my 1e games about 75% of the time and the familiar rarely if ever got a mention outside of RP. This seems like creating an issue where one doesn't need to exist. Yes there are ways a familiar can get killed but a d$#$%ead GM can just as easily choose to go after a Wizard's spellbook or a cleric's divine focus.


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The difference between PF1 and PF2 witches familiar is that a PF1 Witch doesnt have to wait a week to regain 3/4 their spells.

PF1 dead familiar: Pay 500 gp per witch level (300 gp more than a wizard) to regain: Your familiar, all cantrips, 2 spells per witch or spell lv (depending on how you read it), and bonus spells from witch level and patron. At minimum you would get 3 spells per spell level 1 day after.

PF2 dead familiar: No payment, to regain: 3 cantrips and 1 spell per level (doesnt say if its witch or spell level) from those you knew, 1 week later you finish regaining all spells but lose 1 random spell per level that's not from a lesson. Assuming its witch level, you get at minimum 1 spell per witch level 1 day after and 3 spells per spell level 1 week after (2 per witch level -1 per spell level).

****

So just to recount a pf1 witch gets all cantrips and 3 spell/ spell or witch level; 1 week after reappearing a pf2 witch gets 10 cantrips and 3 spells per spell level.

Having said all, after a point it's much cheaper for the witch to regains spell in either edition. Assuming the PF1 wizard never bought extra spells, they are cheaper until lv 12; the PF2 wizard always costs more due to witch regaining the familiar for free.

Sovereign Court

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Ross Orion wrote:
Is this problem unique to 2e witches? I've played with a witch PC in my 1e games about 75% of the time and the familiar rarely if ever got a mention outside of RP. This seems like creating an issue where one doesn't need to exist. Yes there are ways a familiar can get killed but a d##++ead GM can just as easily choose to go after a Wizard's spellbook or a cleric's divine focus.

I’d say with familiars getting much more emphasis as a class feature, it isn’t exactly fair to compare a GM targeting the squishy monkey who is actively helping his witch to an inanimate object that may or may not even be at hand to target.

Grand Lodge Designer

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Vallarthis wrote:
Side note, Dimension Door says the spell automatically fails if it would bring another creature with you (even in an extradimensional container). It would be nice for familiars to be exempt from this restriction.

Noted. :)


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Not to copy too much from 5e, but maybe make it so if a familiar is killed it isnt necessarily dead. Maybe it has a pocket dimension it can stay in, that it can be pulled in or out of as an action. When it hits zero it returns there, but with a wounded condition that lasts a week. If it hits dying 4 from that it is truly gone, needs a ritual to rebind, and comes back less willing/able to share spells.

Then it has some durability, can be used for recon without risk of disabling your caster on a bad roll, and gives the witch something unique. As for why anyone would have their familiar on them at all times, maybe they give a bonus to you for having it on you. That would also help those who don't want a familiar, as they could just have it restore their spells in the morning and then send it away.


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Ross Orion wrote:
Is this problem unique to 2e witches? I've played with a witch PC in my 1e games about 75% of the time and the familiar rarely if ever got a mention outside of RP. This seems like creating an issue where one doesn't need to exist. Yes there are ways a familiar can get killed but a d%+#~ead GM can just as easily choose to go after a Wizard's spellbook or a cleric's divine focus.

Relying on a gm to ignore a familiar in combat or ignore combat rules is not the same as going after an item stashed in a backpack.

As I said before, a swarm is a common enemy, it is a huge danger to familiars... a gm doesn't have to be going after a witch to have thst impact them.

Plus. The familiar should get to move away from the witch, it is why it gets so many extra abilities.

In PF1e my witch's familar lives in its satchel and I am rarely even rping with it because its death means a retired character at this point.


I do feel we should avoid the cases of Figment (familiar lives in your head), Soulbound (familiar is a soul in a crystal), et cetera; Since witches were specifically prohibited from having those types of familiars, "...because they are attached to patrons or spirits."


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Temperans wrote:
I do feel we should avoid the cases of Figment (familiar lives in your head), Soulbound (familiar is a soul in a crystal), et cetera; Since witches were specifically prohibited from having those types of familiars, "...because they are attached to patrons or spirits."

Or, since those options would make having a familiar and using a familiar more forgiving, we could have Witches have those options first and foremost.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ross Orion wrote:
This seems like creating an issue where one doesn't need to exist.

You literally just said the problem existed in 1e too. How does a problem in 1e existing make it less of a problem if it didn't get fixed in 2e?

Quote:
Yes there are ways a familiar can get killed but a d!@##ead GM can just as easily choose to go after a Wizard's spellbook or a cleric's divine focus.

Well, no, not just as easily.

The rules governing attended objects are designed to protect those objects. If your spellbook is on your person there's basically nothing anyone can do about it without deliberately going out of their way to try to take it off your person.

If a familiar is next to you, any AoE can potentially kill it (or you if you try to life link it away).

You're right, that a lot of GMs just ignore this entirely, but hoping your GM is willing to pretend your familiar doesn't exist isn't very satisfying, both because it relies on GM fiat and because it means your familiar ends up being a nothing class feature, which is just plain boring.


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My suggestion:

Stone Familiar: Witch Feat 1
In a 10 min ritual the witch turns her familiar into a stone statue. The familiar in this form is treated like an intelligent Object instead of a Creature. The familiar in stone form is immobile so no movement powers work but other abilities work normally. In stone form they are not counted as living creatures and therefor immune to things that living beings requires like breathing, drinking, bleeding, ect. The effect lasts until the ritual is used again or the witch prepares for another day.

This allows a witch to decide if/when and where they want to risk a mobile creature if they want it at all. When they don't, it's the equivalent of a wizards spellbook.

Sovereign Court

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graystone wrote:

My suggestion:

Stone Familiar: Witch Feat 1
In a 10 min ritual the witch turns her familiar into a stone statue. The familiar in this form is treated like an intelligent Object instead of a Creature. The familiar in stone form is immobile so no movement powers work but other abilities work normally. In stone form they are not counted as living creatures and therefor immune to things that living beings requires like breathing, drinking, bleeding, ect. The effect lasts until the ritual is used again or the witch prepares for another day.

This allows a witch to decide if/when and where they want to risk a mobile creature if they want it at all. When they don't, it's the equivalent of a wizards spellbook.

That could work, but I like the idea of turning your familiar into a tattoo on the witch's body better. Then it can never get lost or stolen, it's literally part of the witch herself. The witch and familiar could still mentally communicate with each other, but in order to get out and do stuff the familiar is also able to emerge from the witch and form a body of it's own for a little wile (I suggested 1 minute per level of the witch per day Then back to tattoo form. Same if the familiar dies, it just reappears as the tattoo.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What about allowing Witch Familiars to step into the ethereal plane (at the cost of not being able to use them as familiars)

you could do it situational in encounters where you're expecting a dragon breath or something to ruin your familiar's day.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


How I would have it.

- You gain a familiar and Receptacle of Power. This receptacle stores all of yours spells like a spellbook does.
I would then allow the familiar to enter and leave the receptacle as well as see out of it and commune from it.
If the familiar dies its essence returns to the receptacle and the witch can recall it during the next daily preparations.

Examples of Receptacles of Power could be Crystal Balls, Arcane Tomes, Broomsticks, Mirrors.

This way they have an object like a wizard with the same vulnerabilities as the wizard. It is tied to the familiar and the familiar is still teaching them / giving them power. It also acts as a thematic familiar satchel and explains why their familiars can come back after a single day. Non witches could gain basic functionality through a magical item maybe (could even make it a 2 action ability to call the familiar out of the item if you wanted to limit its function in combat, but I think the minion trait does that well enough)

It would need a "if this gets lost how would you get a new one" rule, but that shouldn't be much different to design than the current "if you need a new familiar one".

MadMars wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

Honestly, I think both wizards and witches could do with some kind of mechanic for restoring their lost spell receptacle. Like: maybe there could be some kind of ritual for this kind of thing?

Maybe witches could access the ritual for free but other classes with lose-able spell lists could hunt it down.

I like that characters can lose spells, i am even happy for the witch to lose spells permanently. Just not being tied to common gameplay mechanics and a squishy easily killed class feature.

If a character is to lose major power it should be because the gm made very specific choices and considerations. Not that they followed the basic combat rules.

I don't know. With sunder gone, there's no martial equivalent, and it would be a tad
...

Yes, I am aware. I am saying that I do not like the idea of a witch losing spells permanently, or personally happy with it.


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Lukas Stariha wrote:
Your punishment for your familiar getting killed is that you can no longer use your familiar that day and maybe you get a scolding from your patron. It doesn’t need to be any more than that.

And the more non-spellcasting class features that go into a familiar, the more painful it would be for a spellcaster to lose it, without losing their ability to cast spells. Give out familiar abilities like candy, and people will feel the sting of losing it while still being able to participate.


Squiggit wrote:
Ross Orion wrote:
This seems like creating an issue where one doesn't need to exist.

You literally just said the problem existed in 1e too. How does a problem in 1e existing make it less of a problem if it didn't get fixed in 2e?

Quote:
Yes there are ways a familiar can get killed but a d!@##ead GM can just as easily choose to go after a Wizard's spellbook or a cleric's divine focus.

Well, no, not just as easily.

The rules governing attended objects are designed to protect those objects. If your spellbook is on your person there's basically nothing anyone can do about it without deliberately going out of their way to try to take it off your person.

If a familiar is next to you, any AoE can potentially kill it (or you if you try to life link it away).

You're right, that a lot of GMs just ignore this entirely, but hoping your GM is willing to pretend your familiar doesn't exist isn't very satisfying, both because it relies on GM fiat and because it means your familiar ends up being a nothing class feature, which is just plain boring.

I don't deny that it could be a problem but that it should be one. It hasn't been a problem in my experience (doesn't mean it never was for anyone just that I've never known or been a GM vindictive enough to actually make it an issue) and barring narrative requirement it seems like the great majority of groups would mutually agree to not make it a problem. Rule of fun and all. Swarms still attack everything in their space. AoE spells still affect everything in their area. Why make it a problem?


Samurai wrote:
graystone wrote:

My suggestion:

Stone Familiar: Witch Feat 1
In a 10 min ritual the witch turns her familiar into a stone statue. The familiar in this form is treated like an intelligent Object instead of a Creature. The familiar in stone form is immobile so no movement powers work but other abilities work normally. In stone form they are not counted as living creatures and therefor immune to things that living beings requires like breathing, drinking, bleeding, ect. The effect lasts until the ritual is used again or the witch prepares for another day.

This allows a witch to decide if/when and where they want to risk a mobile creature if they want it at all. When they don't, it's the equivalent of a wizards spellbook.

That could work, but I like the idea of turning your familiar into a tattoo on the witch's body better. Then it can never get lost or stolen, it's literally part of the witch herself. The witch and familiar could still mentally communicate with each other, but in order to get out and do stuff the familiar is also able to emerge from the witch and form a body of it's own for a little wile (I suggested 1 minute per level of the witch per day Then back to tattoo form. Same if the familiar dies, it just reappears as the tattoo.

IMO, my idea was a compromise between the tattoo idea and those that want the familiar to still be a vulnerability: some like the possibility for spellbooks and such to be taken as part of a plot and the stone statue keeps that. Tattoo would be far better than a wizard with a spellbook so I'd wonder is that'd be allowed.

Secondly, the statue would allow Dimension Door to work while the tattoo would still technically not work as it's still a creature in another space like a bag of holding.


Themetricsystem wrote:
Honestly, a single piece of equipment released with less than 50 words, placed on the gear table, and MAYBE a piece of 1-inch art would suffice to fix this in the form of a Familiar Satchel with rules on how they can be safely stowed away on the Masters body in exchange for something like 1 Bulk.

Wasn't that the one that provided food,water and air?


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Hmmm...the one thing that bothers me the most about all this discussion is everyone is treating the witch's Familiar as just another Familiar like anyone else would have, even if it DOES get a few more benefits. However, this is no ordinary Familiar. It is a vessel of power bestowed upon the witch by her Patron to act as the emissary of said Patron, so wouldn't it make more sense if the Familiar itself were more of a supernatural creature than merely being an augmented animal?

If it IS more of a supernatural creature, why not take a notion from the 1E Summoner and make the Familiar something the witch initially summons to her when she forges the pact with her Patron and remains with her at all times, but she can dismiss it as a reaction or free action to keep it from being endangered, and can Summon it back to her with a 1 minute ritual. If it dies, then she can't Summon it again until the next time she prepares spells, and then must perform a ritual with material components equal to the cost of her highest level spell (as if she bought a scroll) to appease her Patron so the Familiar may be "allowed" to return to her.

I also think the Familiar should have other abilities, weaknesses, or resistances based on the nature of the Patron, but for that, we need to determine how much influence the Patron has first, but let's leave THAT discussion in the other threads. I'll just say as an example, a Patron of Fire should give the Familiar damage resistance to fire that improves as the witch levels up, and maybe add one die of damage (varied by level?) to the witch's fire spells as long as she remains in contact with her Familiar.


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Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:

Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.

Very agreed. Less Sabrina and more Dresden!


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Sporkedup wrote:


Very agreed. Less Sabrina and more Dresden!

Even then, Salem just seemed lethargic, like he has been at the 9 to 5 Familiar job for way too many years and should have retired a century ago


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Some extra differentiation from other class's familiars would definitely be appreciated.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's kind of what I've been getting at, Midnightoker, though I've always been more of the belief that the witch and the familiar grow as a unit. Less of a "do as I say" relationship like other caster's companions/familiars and more of an equal "hey, do you mind?" request.
Witch familiars may be sent by the patron, but it doesn't know everything by the start (why you're still a learned caster instead of knowing everything in your list), so as you level and gain more lessons you AND your familiar are kinda decoding the messy lessons your patron is giving you. Does that make sense?


BigHatMarisa wrote:

That's kind of what I've been getting at, Midnightoker, though I've always been more of the belief that the witch and the familiar grow as a unit. Less of a "do as I say" relationship like other caster's companions/familiars and more of an equal "hey, do you mind?" request.

Witch familiars may be sent by the patron, but it doesn't know everything by the start (why you're still a learned caster instead of knowing everything in your list), so as you level and gain more lessons you AND your familiar are kinda decoding the messy lessons your patron is giving you. Does that make sense?

Absolutely. I would welcome that kind of dichotomy in the Witch, in a more reinforced way.

I know Familiars aren't necessarily slaves for Gnomes or Wizards, but something a little more on the lines of "hey, we're equals and we're going to treat each other like equals" would be nice.

Especially since, well, the familiar certainly does hold they keys to the castle (you have to commune with it to prepare your spells).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is maybe that the secret, then? Give the familiar a boost in power in exchange for the Witch 'returning the favor', so to speak? That could actually tie really well to helping solidify patrons as a concept as well, like discussed in other threads.

It would even work for patrons that aren't 'living' (i.e. wellsprings of elemental or primal energy) if you flavor it as the familiar asking for the 'tax'. You could even say that the patron influences both you and your familiar towards certain inclinations.

So, for example, someone who's patron is a hag (and more actively involved in the witch's progression) might require that the Witch spreads fear among the people regularly, whereas someone who's patron is the magical energies of the Forest of Spirits (more of an intangible source of power) might mentally nudge the witch and familiar to pray to seemingly-mundane things in order to please whatever kami might be residing within them. And in all this, the familiar is the one "keeping tabs" so to speak.

As much as I dislike the witch having an 'anathema' mechanic, it could work similarly in that if you don't keep up whatever thing your familiar (and by extension the patron) tends to do your familiar, like, loses something in exchange?

EDIT: Or maybe it could work in an inverse? If you perform your weird ritual thing then your familiar GAINS bonuses?


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What if familiars, if hit by the same AoE as their master, share their damage, such that if they both take the same tier of success on the save, only the master will take the damage. If the familiar's save is a worse level of save, the master has the option of taking the familiar's level of success, and be the only one taking the damage.

In such a case, if a caster and their familiar were together in the scope of a single fireball, if they both succeed or fail (or crit-fail) only the caster would need take the damage. If the familiar's save was worse, the caster would choose to accept the greater damage to themselves to stop the familiar from being damaged.

[this however, wouldn't impact direct attacks targeting a familiar as an individual]

Personally, I don't think it is unreasonable to have the death of a familiar cause the potential loss of certain spells known. That actually seems reasonable. Wizards have a similar risk if they don't stash a backup spellbook somewhere in case their primary burns up or befalls some other fate.

Honestly, the impact of the death of the witches familiar seems somewhat generous from my initial impression.

However, all that said, it is also true that wizards have a very specific way to make sure they don't lose spells. They can make a backup spellbook and hide it somewhere. It just generates a cost of making this preparation and putting it somewhere safe. [perhaps the presumed home]

I think a good solution would be to insure that Witches can have a similar 'Preparation' available to them. As mentioned, in theory there sounds like there is the option to create a Lear a Spell written version of the spells you know as an option. That isn't a bad option but I think we have heard another that might seem more flavorful and fun.

@The Gleeful Grognard I like your idea of the Receptacle of Power, as it really seems both pretty cool, and in line with much of the flavor associated with a Witch. But instead of it being a granted power at level one. I suggest, have it be something that can be imbued via a ritual. It would 'back-up' the knowledge and powers of your familiar at the time of the ritual, and could be used to restore your familiar, it can be used to get it fully restored to that point quickly. Any new/remaining spells coming from prior to the ritual would wait to be restored as usual and potentially subject to potential loss.

Really, in a way, perhaps the 'written version' that one can craft as part of the learn a spell downtime, could perhaps simply be the simplest most basic (one spell limit) version of the more general Receptacles of Power process. It is easier to imagine a witch carrying around a crystal ball that it would use to restore its familiar to full abilities, that to imagine them carrying around a stack of scrolls.

I love the flavor of this essence being stored in a focus object of some sort, ranging form broomstick, crystal ball, bowl or even some sort of option that might include a 'magical' inscribing of a tattoo on the witch them self. Guess what, these very items would also potentially be a means to 'learn' spells form a 'fallen' witch, as well, which might not be as dependent on a familiar's cooperation.

I could also imagine having a feat that might allow a familiar to 'merge' with an appropriately powerful Receptacle of Power disappearing suddenly, and able to be called forth by using the item and a minute of time, for instance.

Silver Crusade

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Idea, we have a 1st level feat that gives you a plushie familiar, you can use craft checks to heal them.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That would actually be a neat class feat for like a poppet witch dedication - instead of a living animal you have a plushie that acts as a bonded item.


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Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

Liberty's Edge

The familiar like a PF1 eidolon?

With class feats (including focus spells) that give it new abilities and make it stronger?

And no impact on the Witch's abilities when it dies. Beyond not having the familiar here to help of course. Which will indeed be a penalty if the familiar is stronger than the current version.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:

Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

To what exactly are you referring here? Which solutions do you believe are more patches than problem solving, and what would you suggest instead? While I would assume you mean suggestions like the Familiar Satchel and being able to simply stow it away, your wording is a little unclear.


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BigHatMarisa wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

To what exactly are you referring here? Which solutions do you believe are more patches than problem solving, and what would you suggest instead? While I would assume you mean suggestions like the Familiar Satchel and being able to simply stow it away, your wording is a little unclear.

I'm fairly certain he's referencing the "familiar satchel"/"extra dimensional space"/"damage prevention" solutions some are proposing.

A more involved relationship that allows you to actually use the familiar should be the design goal, not a band-aid just so the familiar doesn't die.


I think a start is to remove the 1 week wait before you get your spells back; Losing spells is already enough punishment.

Giving Familiar better stats so that they are not in rush of dying from a stray fireball/swarm would also help a lot. That way the only real problem then becomes people specifically targeting your familiar, just like they can target a spellbook, divine focus, or a martial's weapon (in theory).

Making Familiar more autonomous is another potential solution. Effectively and potentially making them the only class that doesnt have to spend an action to guide the familiar. But then this might mess with companion classes and the summoner if/when it gets ported.

Alternatively, Familiar could grant bonuses to certain spell based on some condition. This could be related to the type of familiar or the patron.

Similarly, one potential is to straight up increase the number of familiar/master abilities a witch can have. But than this runs into the problem of the Familiar Wizard thesis.


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Ediwir wrote:

Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

Yep! Please no feats or items, the solution can easily be an automatic part of the rules as to not create a "tax", autopick feature or something new players have to learn for their class to actually function. Everything they need should be built in!

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