I'm playing a forest gnome wizard and as part of my backstory, I've befriended a squirrel, using my Speak with Small Beasts race feature (PHB p. 37), and it follows me around. The squirrel is mostly for fun roleplaying moments, since mechanically it doesn't count as an animal companion or allow me any big benefits. One of my long-term goals is to be able to cast wish to emulate the Druid's awaken spell, thus giving sentience to my best buddy. However, that's still quite a ways off.

In the meantime, I was wondering if there's some way to turn the squirrel into my familiar. From what I understand, the find familiar spell summons some kind of spirit to become my familiar... but I don't want a spirit; I want this one specific squirrel.

Is this possible?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Historical Note: In several earlier editions, this is actually how finding a familiar worked. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jul 30, 2018 at 21:11

2 Answers 2


RAW, No, but...

As you've said, find familiar creates a

familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose

However, talk to your DM.

This would definitely fall under the realm of things I as a DM would allow, especially because it fits in the roleplay department and doesn't change balance. If you talk to your DM, I bet they'd ignore RAW in this specific instance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You'd lose that bet :/ He's a stickler for RAW. It took me a week to convince him to allow me a custom feat for Subtle Spell that I asked for in my other question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mage Xy
    Jul 30, 2018 at 18:35
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ @MageXy Adding a new feat to the game has significant potential for balance concerns, and a DM should not allow it lightly. Using a spell in a way which provides no practical benefit compared to its official mechanics, only a trivial difference in "fluff", would be much less of a concern to most DMs I've met. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30, 2018 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Getting the squirrel to be the familiar is only a semantic difference to the spell and only changes the RP, while the feat you referenced is more combat focused. I'd give it a shot, and if he doesn't allow it, I'm sure your squirrel friend would like a (slightly more utilitarian) comrade. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30, 2018 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did ask him already, and he said no. That's why I'm trying to find a rule-based way around it. :( The only reason he allowed the Subtle Spell feat is because Sorcerors already get that ability, and it prevents me from taking another stronger feat instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mage Xy
    Jul 30, 2018 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only other solution I can think of is taking a level in Druid for speak with animals. This allows you to give more concrete commands to your squirrel buddy, but doesn't allow vision, unfortunately. If you don't wanna do that, you could begin a collection of small animals and create a weasel friend for your squirrel with find familiar \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30, 2018 at 18:53

No, RAW you can't turn it into a familiar

As other answers already mentioned, and you yourself said it in your question, what Find Familiar does is summoning a

familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose

From comments, you mentioned you couldn't convince your DM - which is weird as it has absolutely no mechanical implications over anything, but his table, so let's proceed - but there are other things you can try.

Crawford is totally fine with having pets, "as long as your DM is OK adding a creature to the group". Presenting this tweet to your DM might help - rules guys usually respect Crawford's opinion.

Want your D&D character to have a pet/companion?

Here’s a little secret: you don’t need special rules for this. Through roleplaying and ability checks (most likely Animal Handling or Persuasion), you can have a buddy, as long as your DM is OK adding a creature to the group. #DnD

It's later explained that

The default assumption in the D&D rules is that you can befriend people and critters you meet on your adventures.

If a class has a special companion (Beast Master, find familiar, find steed, animate dead, etc.), that companion is in addition to creatures you might befriend. #DnD

That means even if you can't have the squirrel as your familiar, it can still be your pet, and you still have your familiar. Just role play it. I understand that's not exactly what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.


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