Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The Warlock has access to special forms for their Find Familiar spell through the Pact of the Chain feature. I'm wondering if these special forms, the Quasit, Imp, and Pseudodragon in particular, allow the player character to share the familiar's Magic Resistance feature. In the Monster Manual each of these creatures has a sidebar that states that the familiar shares its Magic Resistance feature with the companion they are bonded to, but the PHB doesn't mention this in any of the creatures' stat blocks.

For example, in the Variant: Pseudodragon Familiar sidebar on page 254 of the MM it says:

"While the pseudodragon is within 10 feet of its companion, 
the companion shares the pseudodragon's Magic Resistance trait."

This feature seems clear in the MM but I'm led to believe that it wasn't intended for Player Characters since mention of it is absent from the stat blocks in Appendix D of the PHB(pages 307-309).

Would a 3rd level warlock who chose one of these familiar forms through the Pact of the Chain feature benefit from advantage from saving throws from spells and other magical effects due to these special forms, or was this feature only meant for powerful NPCs and enemy spellcasters who had made this link with these familiars themselves?

share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

No, a Warlock with the Pact of the Chain feature does not receive Magic Resistance if they choose a Quasit, Imp, or Pseudodragon. In the first place, a variant rule is only in play if the DM chooses. However, even if the DM decides that pseudodragon familiars (for example) are a thing, it still doesn't benefit the Warlock.

Some pseudodragons are willing to serve spellcasters as a familiar. Such pseudodragons have the following trait.

So "some pseudodragons" will be familiars who share Magic Resistance with their masters. The Warlock, however, gets their familiar from the find familar spell, which says:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form that you choose: [...]

The Pact of the Chain says that:

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

In other words, the Warlock's familiar isn't any sort of pseudodragon, let alone one with the variant. It's a spirit that takes the form of a pseudodragon (and can take a different form anytime the Warlock chooses).

All of that aside, a generous DM could, of course, allow a Pact of the Chain familiar to provide its master with Magic Resistance. It must be pointed out, though, that this is making the Pact of the Chain vastly more powerful than it normally is, so DMs thinking about it should consider carefully.

An even more generous DM could allow any player to gain the service of a creature with the familiar variant. This, too, should be considered carefully - it's effectively giving the player a more powerful version of the Pact of the Chain feature for free.

share|improve this answer
I don't have my books handy. Is there anywhere in the language of Pact of the Chain or elsewhere in Warlock that says that the spirit does not in game mechanics essence become the familiar creature in question? – Escoce Jan 26 at 14:43
@Escoce The language you are looking for is in Pact of the Chain where it says the spell you are casting to gain your familiar is 'Find Familiar'. Of which you would then find the relevant Find Familiar spell details and read the following: "...You gain the services of a familiar, A spirit that takes on an animal form you choose....When the familiar dies, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form...". What we are seeing here is that 'Find Familiar' gives you a sentient spirit that must take a physical form for aesthetic purposes so that it can function and aid the caster. – Airatome Jan 26 at 18:26
I am afraid the sentence after the choices also says "and it has the statistics of that creature" or something like that. This in effect makes the familiar from a game mechanics point of view. that creature. – Escoce Jan 26 at 20:54
@Escoce The Familiar variant isn't part of the creature's statistics. – Miniman Jan 26 at 21:08
"An even more generous DM could allow any player to gain the service of a creature with the familiar variant." -- Remember though that this creature is a creature, and if killed would just die (Or in the case of devils go back to the 9 layers), meaning it can't be "summoned" at the cost of an hour and a gold to have it bacl – J. A. Streich Jan 26 at 21:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.