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19

"Natural armor" is its own bonus type, which has its own fairly uncomplex stacking rules -- most importantly, it stacks with "armor" bonuses, and does not apply to touch AC.


14

Check out the D20 SRD. There are some class variants that might appeal to your players. Specifically, many of the Specialist Wizard Variants involve replacing the familiar with some other bonus related to specializing in a specific school. There's also an option to take an animal companion rather than a familiar.


14

I like what Pathfinder did with Familiars. Instead of being forced to either take a familiar or ignore a benefit of your class, you can instead choose to take an Arcane Bond with an item. This item gives the caster the ability to cast any spell in their spellbook or that they know once per day. It can also be made magical without having the requisite item ...


12

There is nothing about it on the SRD about cats, but I do remember about a race called Tibbits that could transform into house cats, and the description said something along the lines of "while in cat form, Tibbits function as normal cats and cannot manipulate fine objects or activate magic items", so I'd rule the same for cat familiars. EDIT: Found it. "A ...


12

Communication Issues Most familiars can't speak languages (Ravens, Parrots, and Thrushes can). They can communicate telepathically with their master, but not being able to talk to the rest of the party or NPCs that aren't the same type of animal would present some difficulties. Class Levels? Normally, familiars don't gain levels (or hit dice) on their ...


10

It's just a temporary inconvenience, except in a singular case. Basically, all that a familiar's death means is that you'll have to recast Find Familiar at your earliest convenience (so it means the loss of a spell slot for a day if you have a time pressure and can't take 10 minutes to cast it). The spell/ritual does cost 10gp, but that's a pretty trivial ...


9

The Forlorn flaw from Dragon vol. 333 prevents you from gaining a familiar. As with all flaws, you get an extra feat for taking it. The existence of the Obtain Familiar feat (Complete Arcane) suggests that this is a fair trade and that the familiar is valued about the same as a feat. For actual alternate options, from the best list of alternate class ...


8

I have not found anything specific to pathfinder. However, there is a dnd 3.5 feat that does this: Name: Obtain Familiar Book: Complete Arcane Short description: Gain a familiar. Complete Arcane, p. 81


8

The Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion includes a Familiar Edge which fits the bill. If you're doing a fantasy campaign, pick that up.


8

Familiars should always be present but are frequently forgotten until they are in use. There are a few ways to handle the situation. When the characters are going into a cave or dungeon state whether or not the familiar can fit or not. If not then it will have to wait for them to come back out or meet them somewhere else. This option is on the assumption ...


8

I see it as perfectly laid out plan. The idea is cool and you already set up the base for justify it within the framework of rules that usually govern the master-familiar relationship in term of power level. The quirks that I currently see here are: 1) Because there is a sort of mind-controlling effect established, your DM and you should write down some ...


8

You said it yourself: "It provides me with a natural armor bonus of +1." "Natural armor" is the bonus type.


7

Do you have access to new spells? If so have the wizard pick up Hoard Gullet out of Dragon Magic. Turns yourself into a bag of holding. If you're trying to make the Alter Self thing work ask your DM about the final paragraph of Alter Self. Depending on his ruling you may be able to strap your stuff to your legs and then Alter Self into a Merfolk which has a ...


7

It's a magical cat. It doesn't sound any more or less crazy to have it be able to uncork a potion and drink it. Sounds like a full-round action, though.


7

I think Improved Familiar is really just a better creature. For comparison, the standard familiars are basically all CR 1/3 or 1/2 creatures. Wait until level 7 and you can get a Mephit, which is a CR 3 monster. Plus that Mephit is going to get all of the other bonuses, like more HD/HP, better saves, deliver ranged touch attacks, etc. With all of the ...


7

The issue in 3.5 is that (Wizard and Sorcerer, and certain other) arcane characters automatically qualify for a familiar, regardless of character concept. If they aren't interested in roleplaying out what amounts to an additional NPC (and the DM doesn't want to either), that's kind of a problem. Although players usually don't balk at the idea of the little ...


7

From a roleplaying perspective, the problem you'll run into with this character is that if she's actively involved in combat, ripping dudes apart with spells left and right, the contrast between her and her familiar will be hard to play up. Plus, familiars are never going to be as powerful as, say, animal companions, and so a character based entirely on a ...


7

No. Please see the Arcane Bloodline page under the Arcane Bond section. This ability does not allow you to have both a familiar and a bonded item. Since the Arcanist bloodline development relies on the Sorcerer arcane bloodline and does not specifically alter the way this ability functions, it does not allow you to break the restriction.


6

The mechanics of the stopper matter a lot here. Could a cat uncork a potion bottle? Under a literal interpretation I would say yes. Two paws grab the bottle, the cat uses it's mouth to grab the cork (it's teeth will sink in and grip) and pulls. I would likewise let it open any bottle whose stopper was some sort of bulb and wasn't too big to go in the ...


6

I would say probably not. Typically, creatures that don't have hands can't manipulate objects designed for those that do. As a DM, I might allow a DC 15-20 Dex check as a full-round action to let a cat open a potion. Looking at the potion activation rules in the DMG, there's nothing explicitly preventing animals from opening potions, but it does say you ...


6

From Dragon #375 Oso the Circus Bear Speed 4, fly 6 (hover) Constant Benefits: you gain a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks. Active Benefits: Oso can speak any language you know, and can converse with other creatures. Unlike mere familiars, you can’t hear everything Oso hears and says unless Oso lets you, and you would never be able to tell Oso what to say. ...


6

As familiar-keeping characters in D&D 3.x are generally saddled with the often problematic d4 hit die, I've always liked the solution of trading the familiar in for a d6. It's mechanically almost identical to taking the Toughness feat (the 3.5 version, anyway), and Familiars are just about worth a feat, anyway. (Arguably, they're worth more at higher ...


6

Exactly what your familiar does while in passive mode is unspecified, and entirely fluff. (Arcane Power says "perching on your shoulder or hiding in your pocket," but those are just examples. Later in the same chapter, it also says "you can also what happens when your familiar enters passive mode.") Mechanically, a passive familiar is little different from a ...


6

I agree with Track's idea to an extent - from a role-playing perspective, you may benefit from "delegating" some of your powers to work thematically as if "the bunny did it" - without actually changing their mechanics. For example, your witch may mechanically spend her action on casting a touch spell, but thematically she is doting on her cute familiar or ...


6

RAW (Rules As Written), it looks like it according to the rules for familiars and looking at improved familiar, improved familiars do not give you a bonus to skills. Not that this is a terrible thing; some of those improved familiars have super nifty abilities! They just don't give you more skill points to a skill. (Some of them could just perform the skill ...


6

All of these creatures are in the Monster Manual. However, you can also find the ones that don't appear in the PHB in the D&D Basic Rules posted on the WotC web site.


6

Yes, you can gain a familiar elsewhere and have both This ambiguity is due to a very annoying habit that Wizards of the Coast had to assume that all characters were starting from 1st-level, would remain single-classed, and would not take cross-class skills, when discussing what members of a class can do. You see this in similar issues like: whether a ...


5

Familiars don’t actually gain HD They simply are stated to be treated as if they had HD equal to their master’s for the sake of spell effects and the like. As a result, they don’t increase in size category, don’t gain separate HP, save bonuses, feats, skill points, and so on (though those last four are covered by the familiar setting ...


5

Yes It’ll work. I’d be very careful about where you’re sending that Familiar though, seeing as it is going to cost you a lot of XP if it dies.



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