According to the Arbalester's description

Receive Enhancement (Ex): The crossbow built into an arbalester can be magically enhanced as if it were a normal masterwork weapon.

I also checked the description of the vanilla homunculus and it states that

They are extensions of their creators, sharing the same alignment and basic nature.

So we know that the item can be enchanted normally and vanilla homunculuses are an extension of their master. According to the description of the item familiar feat.

Choose a permanent magic item that you possess. You establish a link to that magic item, and the item improves in capability as you gain levels.

Logically speaking i feel like this should be possible however i wish to know if any ruling has been made by the WOTC or if there is a flaw in my logic?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This might be because I'm unfamiliar with literally everything mentioned in this question, but are you asking whether the Arbalester is valid for Item Familiar without being magically enhanced, or are you magically enhancing it using the Receive Enhancement feature and then getting Item Familiar? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ To phrase it a different way, your question says "I feel like this should be possible" but in context I can't figure out what "this" means in that sentence, or what the "logic" is that you mention in other parts of the same sentence. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Curiosity: Why does the artificer want the feat Item Familiar? Moreover, what's the artificer trying to do by picking his pet arbalester's builtin crossbow as the artificer's item familiar? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am aiming for a shoulder crossbow type of situation where the Arbalaster will have it's post be on the artificers shoulder reloading it's crossbow and firing it during the combat and i like the idea of using my shoulder mount as a storage for power while granting it special abilities turning it from a pet support type to an inseperable part of my character. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. Cool. Just be aware that "[i]f an artificer gives his homunculus more than 6 Hit Dice, it becomes a Small creature," therefore at upper-low levels it becomes (ahem) largely impossible for the arbalester and the artificer to share a space. Note also—and you may want to pose a separate question about this—that significant risks come with the feat Item Familiar. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


Wizards of the Coast has certainly not addressed this particular combination; they rarely address combinations in general, and the combination of an optional, variant rule from Unearthed Arcana with a setting-specific creature from the fairly-late-run Magic of Eberron supplement is just nowhere on their radar.

Rules as written, this comes down to what the word “possess” means, and possibly what the word “extension” means. Neither is a specific, defined game term, and as English words they are not specific enough to resolve this situation. You can argue that you possess the crossbow, or that your possession of the arbalester, who possesses the crossbow, should count, or that the arbalester’s possession of the crossbow works for you because it is an extension of your will. Or you could argue that the arbalester is the creature who possesses the crossbow, not you, and it being an “extension” of you isn’t good enough to transfer that possession. Any of these is plausible; none of them is conclusive.

In short, ask your DM.


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