Familiars


Rules Discussion


If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?
Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?


A familiar only gains abilities from the familiar abilities you pay for.
A familiar must pay for all abilities it'd normally have, i.e. flying for birds (& Bloodseekers), and it gains them as a familiar, not as a member of its original species (so use the familiar fly speed, and walk speed for that matter).

So it's not just that your familiar loses attach & blood drain, your PC cannot choose a Bloodseeker because it cannot have attach & blood drain. A GM might overrule that and let you have a broken Bloodseeker that cannot do those things (or that can buy them as familiar abilities), but I wouldn't rely on that.

I do not understand the reference to Frightened 4.
All creatures may have that condition unless specifically immune, i.e. fearless.

The familiar is a minion, but not a summoned minion (in this sense of the word). Minions gain no actions (w/ some advanced minions being exceptions). Your PC can spend one action (w/ auditory & concentrate traits)) to give your minion two actions.

The Exchange

willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Laran wrote:
willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Actually it can attack however it needs something to attack with since they have no natural attacks.

Core Rulebook pg. 217 said wrote:
If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier.

The Exchange

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Here is the thread where James Jacobs discusses familiars and attacking

familiars

4th entry
"Familiars don't have their own attacks. In 2nd edition, they're not intended to be combat buddies; that's the role of an animal companion, not a familiar. In time, as we expand the game, we'll eventually expand familiar options as well, and that might include the option of giving them attacks, but as of the base game, familiars don't have attacks—again, because they're not intended to be combat buddies in that way."


A familiar has no abilities outside the ones you buy for it.

Your choice of familiar's species only dictates which abilities you must purchase and which animals they're allowed to speak with if you take kinspeech.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Laran wrote:
willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Actually it can attack however it needs something to attack with since they have no natural attacks.

Core Rulebook pg. 217 said wrote:
If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier.

If you take the deliver touch spells ability, it needs to have a modifier but that is the only attack action that currently it might have available


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Laran wrote:
willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Actually it can attack however it needs something to attack with since they have no natural attacks.

Core Rulebook pg. 217 said wrote:
If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier.

This is probably a stretch, but Manual Dexterity will probably help since it allows the familiar to use items that require hands, and this includes Tiny weapons. Although the benefits of investing in a weapon for a creature without any damage modifiers and a poor attack modifier are debatable to say the least.

The Exchange

FlashRebel wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Laran wrote:
willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Actually it can attack however it needs something to attack with since they have no natural attacks.

Core Rulebook pg. 217 said wrote:
If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier.
This is probably a stretch, but Manual Dexterity will probably help since it allows the familiar to use items that require hands, and this includes Tiny weapons. Although the benefits of investing in a weapon for a creature without any damage modifiers and a poor attack modifier are debatable to say the least.

Familiars don't have their own attacks so a tiny weapon is not a thing


Laran wrote:
FlashRebel wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Laran wrote:
willot wrote:

If I were to choose a Bloodseeker as a Familiar does it loose attach and blood drain?

Also it flys so one of it's familiar abilities it gains must be flier. It fly speed is 30ft but flier is 25ft, which one is used?

Does the familiar gain the frighten 4 condition if it has the animal trait?

A familiar is a Minion but is it a summon minion?

Minions: "......For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s
a spell or magic item effect, like a SUMMONED MINION, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain
an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action
with the auditory and concentrate traits." What does this mean?

1) It loses the attach and blood drain since it does not have the ability to attack (with the exception of touch spell if you take that ability). It is NOT an attack buddy

2) It must take the fly speed and gets the fly speed as described in the familiar abilities (not the bestiary)
3) It is not an animal that would get the frightened condition if attacked
4) It is a minion NOT a summoned minion. Thus you command it not sustain it

Actually it can attack however it needs something to attack with since they have no natural attacks.

Core Rulebook pg. 217 said wrote:
If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier.
This is probably a stretch, but Manual Dexterity will probably help since it allows the familiar to use items that require hands, and this includes Tiny weapons. Although the benefits of investing in a weapon for a creature without any damage modifiers and a poor attack modifier are debatable to say the least.
Familiars don't have their own attacks so a tiny weapon is not a thing

Then what is their attack bonus here for then? Why mention that they use their master's level as their attack modifier if they cannot attack at all?

By the way, tiny weapons are totally a thing. They cost the same as Medium weapons and weigh half as much (1 bulk becomes light bulk, light bulk becomes negligible).


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Laran wrote:

Familiars don't have their own attacks so a tiny weapon is not a thing

Familiars don't have attacks on their own, but you could conceivably give a familiar one with a spell or ability. The primal spell moon frenzy, for instance, gives a creature claws and a bite attack.


thx thats helps guys.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

There is nothing mechanically stopping an familiar from attacking, bar the lack of means of attacking.

If you give a familiar a means of attacking, it can do so. Spells, Alchemy, some class features, etc can all provide means of granting familiars actions they can take with the "attack" trait. I have a brief write up on this here.

Manual Dexterity and handing them a tiny sword is not enough, they actually need some ability which grants an attack.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:

There is nothing mechanically stopping an familiar from attacking, bar the lack of means of attacking.

If you give a familiar a means of attacking, it can do so. Spells, Alchemy, some class features, etc can all provide means of granting familiars actions they can take with the "attack" trait. I have a brief write up on this here.

Manual Dexterity and handing them a tiny sword is not enough, they actually need some ability which grants an attack.

Because having hands and a weapon is somehow not enough to attack? What kind of reasoning is this?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
FlashRebel wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:

There is nothing mechanically stopping an familiar from attacking, bar the lack of means of attacking.

If you give a familiar a means of attacking, it can do so. Spells, Alchemy, some class features, etc can all provide means of granting familiars actions they can take with the "attack" trait. I have a brief write up on this here.

Manual Dexterity and handing them a tiny sword is not enough, they actually need some ability which grants an attack.

Because having hands and a weapon is somehow not enough to attack? What kind of reasoning is this?

Well, in a more general sense, it's not about "reasoning", it's just about game mechanics. I get that you might not find them intuitive, but that's not really here or there.

In a more specific sense

CRB P218 wrote:
Manual Dexterity: It can use up to two of its limbs as if they were hands to use manipulate actions.

Manual Dexterity allows familiars use manipulate actions.

The following actions are listed as having the manipulate action as part of their use

Quote:
Administer First Aid, Conceal an Object, Craft, Disable a Device, Feast on the Fallen, Grab an Edge, Impersonate, Interact, Palm an Object, Pick a Lock, Point Out, Quick Alchemy, Release, Repair, Steal, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, Treat Wounds

You'll note that none of these are strikes, or attack actions.

Also, compare the above list to those actions which have the attack trait

Quote:
Disarm, Escape, Force Open, Grapple, Shove, Strike, Trip

See the lack of overlap?


That all reinforces the post by Mr. Jacobs from the linked Forum post further up the thread.

Honestly even if a familiar could attack, you would be better off with an Animal Companion instead, or even just a trained animal. With the caveat that the trained animal is not a "Minion" so you would have to trade action for action to make it attack.

Familiars in first edition were not exactly combat powerhouses either. Even using them to apply melee touch attack spells was suspect most of the time, and more often than not in my experience led to a Wizard mourning their little buddy.

Something I would like to see is the option to have an Animal Companion/Familiar hybrid of some sort. Build an Animal Companion that has limited access to Familiar master abilities in trade for one or more of the animal companion "upgrades". Could create some neat options like a Hawk with full bird flight speed to use as a Scout with your limited empathic senses Note: Reread the familiar rules and realized that you don't share any senses with your familiar, however it can communicate with you in a limited emotion based manner, so could still report whether there are threats nearby. While familiars can do so now, they aren't half as fast as a full on bird animal companion so wouldn't make the best scouts.

This would be a cool addition to a casting Ranger archetype perhaps.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Can't find a reference in the forums or the rule book but do Familiars count as significant characters for the dying rules?

It specifically calls out companions but Familiars and Animal Companions seem to be treated as seperate entities in chapter 3.

If they do count, that helps their survivability a bit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Familiars do not have a listed STR score and hence do not have a carrying capacity.

Some of us are hoping that the GMG gives us a stat block for familiars, no matter how limited.

As things currently stand, no familiars have stat blocks, with the possible exception of a tiny snake - although its stat block is not intended to represent familiars.

In consequence, familiars bombing with alchemical gear or reloading your heavy crossbow are not possible. Having your familiar fight for you is not possible, with the sole exception of carrying your touch attack spells.


Helvellyn wrote:

Can't find a reference in the forums or the rule book but do Familiars count as significant characters for the dying rules?

It specifically calls out companions but Familiars and Animal Companions seem to be treated as seperate entities in chapter 3.

If they do count, that helps their survivability a bit.

I'd say they should count as significant characters for dying purposes, but that's just my opinion.

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