This came up last night, and the DM and I wanted to ask around to see if anyone could clarify this for us.

I'm playing a Pact of the Chain warlock (with the voice of the chain master invocation, if that matters), with an imp familiar. The question we have is this:

If my familiar is out of my sight and I'm not actively thinking about him, would I know he has been attacked? In the case that came up last night, I had sent him down to scout out some building for us, and he was flying back up to us (we were riding around on a magic carpet). The DM did some rolls and started asking about his armor class, with the intention of some npc (that I was also not aware of) hitting him with a fireball. If it had hit, my little imp buddy would have just died, without a chance to contact me and let me know he was under attack. So the question is, would I know about it instantly, or would I only know once I turned my attention to him and tried to issue a command?

My thinking was that I've always considered my familiar sort of a "third arm." Almost part of my character. But that's just head canon, that doesn't seem to be represented in the books. If that is the case, then I think I would know immediately. But if not, then I don't think I would.

We went over the spells and invocations and didn't really see anything. RAW, it doesn't seem to be a concept that's addressed at all in the books. So there may not actually be an answer to this, maybe it's just something we have to figure out for our game.

But if someone can answer this for me, it would be very much appreciated.


1 Answer 1



From Find Familiar:

While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar's eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn,

Communication is talking at a distance - a conscious process. Silence may tell you something is up (because familiars don’t screen their calls) but not exactly what.

If you happen to be looking through it’s eyes, that’s hardly “unconscious”.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yep. You might want to note that the Voice of the Chain Master invocation expands the range of telepathy and perceiving through its senses to anywhere on the same plane and lets you speak through the familiar in your own voice, but doesn't change anything else about the spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 8, 2019 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Totally forgot about this until just now. I think you guys are right and I wasn't reading it right. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – bigbenbt
    Feb 10, 2019 at 5:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .