As the Title states I'm wanting to know if there is a ruling on whether a Tumor Familiar can get an archetype or not?

Specifically wanting to know in regards to the protector archetype.

I am fully in agreement that an alchemist cannot get Improved Familiar unless he multiclasses with an arcane caster. Since he does not possess levels of any arcane of its own. However I'd argue thats more against the Caster than the familiar for lacking the Levels. The Tumor Familiar is still a Familar and therefore able to get an Archetype. Is that a logical conclusion?


2 Answers 2


It's unclear

You could argue that it counts as a familiar, but if that quote was enough, we wouldnt have a FAQ item saying that Tumor Familiars cannot be Improved Familiars:

tumor familiars, as lumps of flesh in the shape of animals, can’t become Improved Familiars.

This answer seems to claim that tumor familiars are not actual familiars.

In other words, they count as familiars, but are not familiars. Just like an alchemist is not a caster, but uses his alchemist level to define effects based on caster level.

The same reasoning going pro archetypes should also allow them to become improved familiars if we ignore the existance of that FAQ item.

I created a thread on paizo's messageboards asking for clarification. The decision will be left at GM Fiat until a developer answers the question or a new FAQ entry about it is written.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Dang I tried to search the FAQ but my search-fu was weak yesterday. Good catch, +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 26, 2017 at 12:23

According to Sean K Reynolds here, in response to:

5)Tumor Familiar: Does an Alchemist with this discovery count has having the "familiar class feature" (which is the prerequisite for certain feats like: 'Evolved Familiar')?

He says:

Yes, it counts as a familiar.

Therefore, I'd say it would also qualify for Archetypes; it is, in every way, a familiar.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't really know what to do with that six-year-old Sean K. Reynolds answer. I mean, I think at the time he was working for Paizo, but I don't know if—when he answered that—he was answering in an official capacity. \$\endgroup\$ May 25, 2017 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan some older posts shows different titles from when he was a developer. But as the years go, older posts all show his current title (contributor). But digging his profile, we can see multiple posts where he answers FAQ entries. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 25, 2017 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I can't help but remain skeptical, however, especially given the answer's age and brevity—I'd really like a more current and considered ruling. \$\endgroup\$ May 25, 2017 at 19:10

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