Familiars and shield other


Rules Questions


ok, ill admit right now i am trying some jank and know it.

I want to have an improved familiar and I cant do that with protector archetype (cause you need speak with animal to get that... if I recall correctly)

I really want the level 5 effect, its why people get protector. So i am trying to find work around jank. theres the obvious magical rings, but 50k is a heavy price id rather not pay.

Is there a cheaper way do this?

as I write this, I realize imbue spell like ability or any of those options that lets you give your spell slot to someone, giving my familiar the spell, could work and I may do that but anything else?


Wands or scrolls and a familiar with use magic device?

Why are you wanting an improved familiar?

Sovereign Court

Possess the familiar in some way (magic jar, possession, familiar melding, etc) and then cast the spell on your body? If shield other isn't on your spell-list then you probably need imbue with spell ability or Lesser Spellcasting Contract anyway. There might be an argument that an 'apparently dead' body is not technically a creature, but could be a work-around.

The major benefit of the Protector level 5 ability is that it goes both directions and is voluntary. Meaning, if you had taken enough damage to kill the familiar but not yourself you can decide to not split the damage, sparing it. With regular Shield Other, it always splits and is likely to eventually kill the familiar since its default max hp is half your hp. In practice, unless the familiar has some form of healinng (or you are double dipping healing from channels, etc), the familiar will go below 0 from taking half your damage when you would have normally gone below 0 without the trick. So it doesn't really help that much, since presumably you want to avoid killing your familiar every day.

In that vein, since you are 'doing some jank' anyway I recommend the Nycar for your improved familiar, since it has regeneration (cold iron) and ferocity, basically making it the ultimate shield other buddy. From my understanding, the damage from Shield Other is untyped and can't be reduced (by DR/resist x anyway) so loses the cold iron type if the master was attacked by cold iron. Since it can't die from damage because of regeneration, and can act normally below 0 with ferocity. Throw on Merge with Familiar (not melding), and you basically have a tumor familiar without the bloodline or alchemist.


I actually dont mind having my familiar die frequently.

funny story, I actually was going to state how I could go nycar and the regen would prevent perma death just fine.
I didnt know about it having ferocity. thats some heavy jank.
Unfortunately, though, I already presented nycar as an option and gm already said it seems like its too evil a familiar. I first considered it for the poison it has (yay harvesting your familiars poison). it is what it is, awesome creature though.

Melk, why WOULDNT I want improved familiar. there are some amazing options. im also considering either changeling familiar feat or a decoy archetype so the familiar can pose as me at times. Havent decided yet though. First obstacle was a work around to not have to take protector for the health bonus.

Sovereign Court

Shinoskay wrote:
Unfortunately, though, I already presented nycar as an option and gm already said it seems like its too evil a familiar

But... but... its not evil? Its probably too chaotic for your GM though /snark


Shinoskay wrote:

Melk, why WOULDNT I want improved familiar. there are some amazing options. im also considering either changeling familiar feat or a decoy archetype so the familiar can pose as me at times. Havent decided yet though. First obstacle was a work around to not have to take protector for the health bonus.

Like you said, archetypes can be a really tempting reason. Also, improved familiars don’t give a side bonus, like +4 to initiative. I’m not saying not to go with an improved familiar. They can be fun and flavorful. But they aren’t an automatic pick.

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