A third level High Elf Pact of the Chain Warlock with an Archfey patron casts the find familiar spell and then chooses a sprite form for the spirit to take.

The Warlock commands the familiar to enter a dark cave, and can see with darkvision through the familiar's eyes. The sprite does not have darkvision and, therefore, either must have a light source or be guided by the warlock's commands (such as "go right 10'"). The sprite is blinded by the dark.

This was the implementation of the rules by the DM in the game situation which I agree with. After checking the Player's Handbook, I can't see any argument against this ruling. I want to keep the sprite familiar, and I rarely use the familiar in game, I keep it for specific situations, one of which could be the "dark cave" situation.

Is there a way for the sprite to gain the senses of the Warlock such as darkvision?

My question is about the possibility of a Plan B to enable a "ninja sprite" in this situation, either now or in the future.

Include abilities, magic items, feats and spells which can be accessed at higher levels (including multi-classing) that might help, and also include tactics for different ways to use the familiar in this situation. I would prefer to exclude the option for the familiar to take another form such as pseudodragon to avoid the "choose a different familiar" option for role-play reasons.

The DM already ruled on the question posed here, so I would need some more evidence before going to "ask the DM" again about the ruling. The best answer could be: "No, there is no Plan B, your sprite will always enter a dark cave blinded, go with it and enjoy the challenge!".


Sure: familiars can use magic items. Goggles of night grant darkvision.

I do want to provide a bit of a frame-challenge, though. You say

... but exclude meta-gaming options such as "choose a different familiar".

Now, in some ways this is setting/game/table dependent, because different people have different ideas of what a magic users' familiar should be (in a mythic/essential sense), but in the rules, it's clear that the familiar is a spirit which happens to take on a particular form, and in the find familiar spell, there is this explicit phrase:

If you cast this spell while you already have a familiar, you instead cause it to adopt a new form.

This isn't "choosing a new familiar" — it's simply shaping the one you have into a different form. So, by a vanilla rules reading, this is totally copacetic — making the familiar's form be a single, permanent choice is a house rule.

It is, however, very understandable from a story or setting point of view to say "my familiar is a cat", or a raven, or (obviously in this case) a sprite. There is plenty of literature and folklore where familiars are specific animals, not shape-shifting nature spirits. If I were the DM, I'd consider offering you this option: when you cast find familiar while your familiar is already present, you can choose to alter its (magical) abilities while keeping its form. In this case, you would swap out your sprite's Heart Sight and Invisibility for Flyby and Keen Hearing and Sight (with darkvision).

I've never had a player ask to do this in a game of mine, but I've had a similar situation with a druid who wanted to keep a particular shifted form but not completely hobble that class's versatility. Since really all you are doing is changing the visible description of the familiar, there aren't any game balance (or "metagaming") concerns, and you can keep true to the story you want for your character.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, sprite familiar with teeny-tiny goggles is adorable. \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Mar 13 '19 at 1:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes that would be a good magic item for this situation, especially as it does not require attunement. Plus I totally agree! \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 13 '19 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should clarify that to exclude the "choose a different familiar" is a role-play decision. I will make that edit. \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 13 '19 at 1:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ How is picking the in-game better option meta-gaming? \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 13 '19 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András - it's not, I removed that from my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 14 '19 at 11:06

Spell-wise, you can just use the Darkvision spell, although you'll have to multiclass to get it. Or use a scroll/Ring of Spell Storing.

Items are kind of limited. There is Goggles of Night and Belt of Dwarvenkind. Both of which you'll have to talk to your DM about seeing if they will shrink down to sprite size.

Another way to approach this would be the Ring of Shooting Stars. It would allow the sprite to cast light and dancing light at-will. Or a simple Driftglobe.

I do realize that some of these items would not be available to a 3rd level character, but I just wanted to put them out there.

And for the record, what you described wouldn't work.

Per the spell description:

"...Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar's eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses."

The warlock would be just as blind as they are using the sprite's senses. The sprite does not gain the warlock's natural Darkvision sense.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Belt of Dwarvenkind is a good option for a magic item, and I would like to see the sprite grow a beard! \$\endgroup\$ – Penanghill Mar 13 '19 at 2:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Penanghill now I'm imaging a sprite with a huuuuge beard, making it appear like a football-sized flying beard ^^ \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Mar 13 '19 at 11:48

This may have just been my DMs house rules/Neverwinter setting but my Archfey Warlock lvl 3 has A "Stock" Sprite familiar and unless it is invisible it is a tiny floating light orb that can light an area 5 ft squared around itself so when Its told to go scout that dark creepy cave unless it chooses to dim its natural bioluminescence or turn itself invisible it counts as it's own light source so dark cave becomes a dim cave as if it was being lit by a torch. So that's why the fey creature doesn't have the standard minimum low light vision ability that so many others do. So unless you are expecting to wake a very angry bear or cave dweller the Sprite wouldn't need Darkvision to scout the aforementioned cave, which is why We believe the Sprite doesn't have the natural need for low light vision or darkvision. And if thier just happens to be some super spooky/hungry cave dweller living in said cave the sprite can turn Invisible almost instantaneously and either go back the way it came or wait for its Warlock to come claim it back.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your sprite doesn't quite match the official one note the illustration. The light property is also notably absent as well. If you could edit your answer to adjust for that, and please break it up a little too (paragraphs and some more punctuation) so I can understand it properly. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Mar 15 '20 at 1:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Mar 15 '20 at 1:47

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