Can a Wizard use Feral Speech to learn spells from a Witch's Familiar?


Rules Questions


A Witch makes a pact made with an otherworldly power and, communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains a host of spells. Familiars store all of the spells that a witch knows.
A witch’s familiar can learn spells from another witch’s familiar. To accomplish this, the familiars must spend one hour per level of the spell being taught in communion with one another. At the end of this time, the witch whose familiar is learning a spell must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the check succeeds, the familiar has learned the spell and the witch may utilize it the next time she prepares spells. If the check fails, the familiar has failed to learn the spell and cannot try to learn that spell again until the witch has gained another rank in Spellcraft.
So, a Familiar stores spells for the Witch, and communicates them to her somehow.
Now, suppose the Witch picks a spell, at a new level, that is on both the witch's tradition spell list and the Arcane spell list.
If a Wizard selects the Arcane Discovery Feral Speech, can the Familiar teach the spell to the Wizard?


No because a familiar can only tech another familiar. Being able to understand the familiar makes no difference. There are a lot of improved familiars that can communicate but they cannot teach wizards spells.

A spell the familiar knows is a witch spell even if it is one that is on both lists. The wizard can only learn the spell on his own list. Detect magic is on just about every list, but that does not mean the cleric can teach the wizard detect magic. The witch is not different.


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Officially, no. But also that’s more of a flavor limitation. If you are the GM and you want things to work that way, it really wouldn’t cause a noticeable problem


No. And why would a familiar betray it's appointed master? The Power put it there for a reason.

I'd point you to NPC access which is only Half the Scribe Cost for a spell, cost=1.5*Scribe cost. Way cheaper than the Scroll method which is the RAW process they'd have to use.

You could(using Home Game GM powers) have a friendly witch offer and as a GM there should be some compensation. Feral speech isn't needed in that case as the Witch could scribe out a non-magical spell page under the tutelage of the familiar (see scribe cost) which the wizard would have to decipher (as usual) which equates to 2.5*Scribe cost. Wizards have to learn spells somehow during their apprenticeship and it could just take a couple days per spell level of intense tutoring... Cost? At least 1*Scribe cost for the wizard's scribing plus tutor's fee.


Homebrew wise: Familiars can learn for spellbooks, I don't see why a wizard can't learn from a familiar.

Rules wise: Yeah as written the familiar can learn from the book, but the reverse is not true.


Temperans wrote:

Homebrew wise: Familiars can learn for spellbooks, I don't see why a wizard can't learn from a familiar.

Rules wise: Yeah as written the familiar can learn from the book, but the reverse is not true.

No, familiars can not learn from spellbooks, only from scrolls (and other familiars).

If a Witch wants to learn from a spellbook, they need to channel their inner dragon and sleep on the matter.

If one would houserule that a familiar can teach a Wizard, one should definitely also houserule the reverse to work.


Learn from a Scroll: A witch can use a scroll to teach her familiar a new spell. This process takes 1 hour per level of the spell to be learned, during which time the scroll is burned and its ashes used to create a special brew or powder that is consumed by the familiar. This process destroys the scroll. At the end of this time, the witch must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the check fails, the process went awry in some way and the spell is not learned, although the scroll is still consumed.

A Witch’s familiar can learn from a scroll by consuming the scroll. They cannot learn from spell books.


Derklord wrote:
Temperans wrote:

Homebrew wise: Familiars can learn for spellbooks, I don't see why a wizard can't learn from a familiar.

Rules wise: Yeah as written the familiar can learn from the book, but the reverse is not true.

No, familiars can not learn from spellbooks, only from scrolls (and other familiars).

If a Witch wants to learn from a spellbook, they need to channel their inner dragon and sleep on the matter.

If one would houserule that a familiar can teach a Wizard, one should definitely also houserule the reverse to work.

I'll admit I was wrong and misremembered.


The OP mentions "tradition" and "Arcane" spells lists, and Feral Speech in PF1 would not help you talk to a familiar anyway. Not sure if it makes any difference to the answer, but I think the OP was asking about PF2.


glass wrote:
The OP mentions "tradition" and "Arcane" spells lists, and Feral Speech in PF1 would not help you talk to a familiar anyway.

You linked a trait, but the OP was talking about the Wizard Arcane Discovery. It grants a permanent Speak with Animals effect, and thus does indeed let the Wizard speak with other familiars.

Liberty's Edge

Derklord wrote:
glass wrote:
The OP mentions "tradition" and "Arcane" spells lists, and Feral Speech in PF1 would not help you talk to a familiar anyway.
You linked a trait, but the OP was talking about the Wizard Arcane Discovery. It grants a permanent Speak with Animals effect, and thus does indeed let the Wizard speak with other familiars.

I don't think that Speak with Animals works with Magical Beasts.

A Familiar can speak with animals of its kind, but I don't think that means that it can speak with someone using Speak with Animals.

Liberty's Edge

Azothath wrote:

No. And why would a familiar betray it's appointed master? The Power put it there for a reason.

I'd point you to NPC access which is only Half the Scribe Cost for a spell, cost=1.5*Scribe cost. Way cheaper than the Scroll method which is the RAW process they'd have to use.

You could(using Home Game GM powers) have a friendly witch offer and as a GM there should be some compensation. Feral speech isn't needed in that case as the Witch could scribe out a non-magical spell page under the tutelage of the familiar (see scribe cost) which the wizard would have to decipher (as usual) which equates to 2.5*Scribe cost. Wizards have to learn spells somehow during their apprenticeship and it could just take a couple days per spell level of intense tutoring... Cost? At least 1*Scribe cost for the wizard's scribing plus tutor's fee.

Are you sure that a Witch can scribe the spells she knows as a not magical document?

Filling a spellbook is a class feature, I don't think someone without the class feature or special abilities can copy an arcane spell description correctly and completely. Otherwise, there would be an industry in producing wizard primers for fledging spellcasters.


Diego Rossi wrote:
I don't think that Speak with Animals works with Magical Beasts.

Oh, right. Totally forgot about that, my bad! Thanks for the correction.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Are you sure that a Witch can scribe the spells she knows as a not magical document?

Yeah, I don't think that's a thing, either. A Wizard can learn "Spells Copied from Another’s Spellbook or a Scroll", no mention of anything else. The rules on spellbooks only mention Wizard ("Once a wizard understands a new spell, he can record it into his spellbook." CRB pg. 219), and thus the only option writing a Witch can produce that a Wizard can learn a spell from is scrolls.

Dark Archive

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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Learn from a Scroll: A witch can use a scroll to teach her familiar a new spell. This process takes 1 hour per level of the spell to be learned, during which time the scroll is burned and its ashes used to create a special brew or powder that is consumed by the familiar. This process destroys the scroll.

So if a wizard burns a familiar and mixes the ashes into a special tea, maybe then he can learn a spell from it? :)

Seriously, though, I don't think of a familiar as something that really *knows* the spells, so much as a mystical conduit connecting the witch to the patron during the 'prep time.' Another familiar can also 'link up', but not a wizard, IMO. (Although I would certainly allow for a wizard arcane discovery that allows the wizard to learn spells from a witches familiar, or one that grants 'proficiency in alchemical notation' and allows the wizard to adapt formula into spells for his own spellbook from an alchemist's formula book, etc.)

It would certainly be a neat tweak to have witches familiars actually *know* the spells they 'store,' and be able to use Eldritch Aid (from Advanced Class Origins?) to Aid Other during spellcasting, even if they themselves can't actually cast a spell.

Vaguely reminiscent of the black cat 'who had served many witches' from the novel Forgotten Beasts of Eld, who, while not herself able to cast spells, was a fount of knowledge about spells and arcane lore, and offered a spellcaster in the novel the secrets of a spell to melt the skeleton of a man that offended her.


This will not work for one simple reason. A witch’s familiar can teach another witch’s familiar a spell. A witch’s familiar cannot teach any other creature a spell, including another witch. If a witch cannot learn a spell directly from another witch’s familiar a wizard cannot. A wizard’s familiar does not have the store spells ability of the witch’s familiar so cannot learn spells.

Store Spells: Starting at 1st level, a witch's familiar stores all of the spells that the witch knows. This does not allow the familiar to cast these spells or use spell-trigger or spell completion magic items. Starting at 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch's familiar adds new bonus spells to the witch's spell list based on her patron. These spells are automatically stored by the familiar and can be prepared as normal once they are gained.

The bolded section seems to confirm the fact that the witch’s familiar does not actually know the spells but is simply storing the spells.


Quote:
Familiar Teaching Familiar: A witch's familiar can learn spells from another witch's familiar. To accomplish this, the familiars must spend one hour per level of the spell being taught in communion with one another. At the end of this time, the witch whose familiar is learning a spell must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the check succeeds, the familiar has learned the spell and the witch may utilize it the next time she prepares spells. If the check fails, the familiar has failed to learn the spell and cannot try to learn that spell again until the witch has gained another rank in Spellcraft. Most witches require a spell of equal or greater level in return for this service. If a familiar belongs to a witch that has died, it only retains its knowledge of spells for 24 hours, during which time it is possible to coerce or bribe the familiar into teaching its spells to another, subject to GM discretion.

I think we are getting too nitpicky about a question we all already know the ultimate answer to. Familiars "learn" spells and familiars can "teach" spells. But familiars are limited in who they can teach spells too, other witch familiars.

If someone wants to alter that rule in their home game, then it can easily work that way. It could make just as much sense if a wizard and familiar spent just as much time together and taught each other spells they share on their spell list, but there is no rules support for doing that. So house rule or don't. It's fine either way.


there are ways to obscure things(I'm not presenting them as 'legal', just possibilities);
what if a wizard magic jarred into a witch's familiar and tried to learn it from another witch's familiar.

There's also chatting with the recently dead, witch familiars included.

Thre's object posession/magic jar on a witch cast Blood Sentinel while her familiar is departed...

these involve mid to high level magic.
A medium might have more luck with the recently departed.

I agree that rather than delve into oddball corner cases, the GM should consider his options and make a decision to homebrew it or deny it.


Derklord wrote:
glass wrote:
The OP mentions "tradition" and "Arcane" spells lists, and Feral Speech in PF1 would not help you talk to a familiar anyway.
You linked a trait, but the OP was talking about the Wizard Arcane Discovery. It grants a permanent Speak with Animals effect, and thus does indeed let the Wizard speak with other familiars.

Fair point about the Arcane Discovery, but the point regarding "tradition" and "Arcane spell list" stands.


The OP is quoted the 1st edition rules for a witch’s familiar learning spells from another familiar.

This is from 1st edition. A witch’s familiar can learn spells from another witch’s familiar. To accomplish this, the familiars must spend one hour per level of the spell being taught in communion with one another. At the end of this time, the witch whose familiar is learning a spell must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the check succeeds, the familiar has learned the spell and the witch may utilize it the next time she prepares spells. If the check fails, the familiar has failed to learn the spell and cannot try to learn that spell again until the witch has gained another rank in Spellcraft.

This is from 2nd edition. Your familiar can learn new spells independently of your patron. It can learn any spell on your tradition's spell list by physically consuming a scroll of that spell in a process that takes 1 hour. You can use the Learn a Spell exploration activity to prepare a special written version of a spell, which your familiar can consume as if it were a scroll. You and your familiar can use the Learn a Spell activity to teach your familiar a spell from another witch's familiar. Both familiars must be present for the entirety of the activity, the spell must be on your spellcasting tradition's spell list, and you must pay the usual cost for that activity, typically in the form of an offering to the other familiar's patron. You can't prepare spells from another witch's familiar.

What the OP had in his original post matches the 1st edition rules exactly. Furthermore, the OP specified the wizard taking the Arcane Discovery Feral Speech. Arcane discoveries are from 1st edition and as far as I can see do not exist in 2nd edition. The linked trait is also from 1st edition not second and as far as I can tell there is nothing in 2nd edition called feral speech. All of this makes it pretty clear the OP is not talking about 2nd edition.

One other reason this will not work is that the two familiars don’t actually talk to each other when they are learning spells. Learning a spell from another familiar is something a witch’s familiar can do at 1st level. At this level the familiar cannot talk to anything. Familiars gain talk with master at 5th level and talk with animal of its kind at 7th. Before that they have no special way of communicating with each other but can still learn spells from another familiar. So, at 1st level how does the scorpion familiar teach the cat familiar? The ability of a witch’s familiar to commune with another witch’s familiar is a feature of the familiar class feature of the witch.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The OP is quoted the 1st edition rules for a witch’s familiar learning spells from another familiar.

Not sure why you feel the need to hammer the "glass was wrong" button quite so hard (complete with bolding), but the the OP did not quote anything. I admitted I was wrong about the specific instance of Feral Speech, but I do not believe I was wrong about the OP being confused (in presentation, if not in their own mind).

They did talk about PF1-exclusive things (Spellcraft checks), but they also talked about PF2-exclusive things ("the arcane spell list").


Sorry about putting too much emphasis on my point. But the first bolded part was copied from the original post, so the OP did specify first edition rules.


Before anyone gets too far in the weeds over what the OP did or didn't mean, realize that they have not said anything since the original question, and indeed have only one other post on these forums. Their last post (almost seven years ago) was to propose an alternate casting system of incredible brokenness, a discussion they started and then did not participate in.

I'm not saying you've been trolled, but I'm not saying you haven't been trolled.

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