Let's say I'm playing a 1-st level variant: human Ranger and want a "full-featured" familiar to deliver my touch spells (and use all other familiar features just like a Wizard does).

First thing comes to mind is the Magic Initiate feat, which provides access to a single 1st-level spell:

... choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level.

Second option is the Ritual Caster feat:

When you choose this feat, you acquire a ritual book holding two 1st-level spells of your choice. Choose one of the following classes: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You must choose your spells from that class's spell list, and the spells you choose must have the ritual tag.

Since "Find Familiar" is a a 1st level spell, I can choose it in both cases. Am I correct?
Aside from multiclassing, what other options are available in 5e for getting a familiar?

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a weird question. The actual title is a question, which is great, but then you provide the answer in the same question and doubt it. If you reword the title to something like; "Is it correct that non-spellcaster classes can cast Find Familiar through feats?" then it makes more sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding familiars being a "signature" wizard feature, note that this was actually pretty similar in 3rd edition as well - any arcane caster could get one through the Obtain Familiar feat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SpacyRicochet do you suggest to remove the "am I correct" phrase and leave only the "what other options are available" final question? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


You Can Only Do What The Spell States

However, this does indeed mean you can use it deliver spells with the range of touch, telepathically communicate within 100ft, send it to a pocket dimension, etc, as they are all specified in the spell itself!

You Can Cast Find Familiar With the Ritual Caster Feat

The spell has the ritual tag, so therefore it can be cast with the Ritual Caster feat.

Other Options for Gaining/Casting Find Familiar

  • Multiclass into Wizard
  • Multiclass into Warlock
  • Multiclass into Rogue with the Arcane Trickster archetype
  • Multiclass into Fighter with the Eldritch Knight archetype
  • Ring of Spell Storing (thank you to Mindwin)
  • Ask your DM for a custom made magic item
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ RAW, yes. It is basically what the Q says. But that doesn't look right to me, since familiar is a signature wizards' feature. Maybe I'm missing something. Normally "Magic Initiate" feat only allows you to cast something once a day. Being able to freely use a "full-featured" familiar as well as a Wizard does makes this feat too strong. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor see Pyrotechnical's answer - the thought that a "fully featured" familiar is specific to a Wizard may stem from older editions and I can only comment on 5E. I don't believe that the Magic Initiate feat is overpowered, but that could be asked as a seperate question entirely! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Familiars are no longer "a signature wizard feature" - it's just a spell. If you can cast the spell, you can use the spell in full. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:52
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ you can add "ring of spell storing" to the list. Just have a friendly caster attune to the ring, put the spell in it, then you attune to it and get your familiar. And a paladin mount while at it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 13:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell scroll won't work. The spell has to be on your class' spell list in order for you to use a scroll. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 16:38

Jamie is correct, you may only do what the feat and the spell says, which permits all the things you've stated.

Your expressed hesitation with regards to a familiar being a signature Wizard feature likely stems from experience with 3.5 and older systems. However, consider that someone with the Magic Initiate feat cannot utilize the Find Familiar spell as effectively as a Wizard whom has the spell on their spell list.

Familiars are often very weak and a single hit can be enough to kill them. Thus, a ranger using the spell via the feat must be much more careful with their familiar than a wizard whom can ritually recast the spell many times in a day provided they have the resources to do so. Conversely, the ranger may only cast the spell once per day, so once it's been used for the day that will be it until tomorrow.

One last thing. You stated that you felt getting a familiar for free was OP. But I would point out that it is not free. The cost for the familiar was a feat, which is a very expensive thing. In exchange for a familiar, the ranger has given up 2 ability point score increases or any other feat in the game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Expecting your familiar to die multiple times per day sounds like a good way to get your familiar to ditch you. Not sure that advising that as a strategy for wizards makes much sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 8:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rule mechanics tend to be dispassionate about the feelings of people and familiars. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 13:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Optimization tends not to be. You are suggesting that the ability to get your familiar killed a ton balances this choice. Since that option results in loss of access to your familiar, that's not really correct. Your familiar is not controlled by you in the same manner as your PC, so you can't effectively treat it this way. It always obeys your commands, but nothing stops it from perverting those commands or taking other actions contrary to your interest, like an evil djinn. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 15:52

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