If a hobgoblin wizard had a familiar summoned, would that familiar count as an ally, thus boosting the Saving Face ability?

Saving Face:

Hobgoblins are careful not to show weakness in front of their allies, for fear of losing status. If you miss with an attack roll or fail an ability check or a saving throw, you can gain a bonus to the roll equal to the number of allies you can see within 30 feet of you (maximum bonus of +5). Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.


Yes, it would

The Sage Advice Compendium confirms that familiars are allies:

Does the familiar of find familiar count as an ally for the purposes of Sneak Attack?

A familiar is an allied creature. Its proximity to a target can allow you to use the Sneak Attack feature or any other feature that requires the presence of an ally.

Since it counts as an ally for Sneak Attack, it would count as one for any other effect as well.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For added information in support of this, the Sage Advice Compendium is considered official rulings, the tweets of Jeremy Crawford are not, the ones deemed rule-worthy are migrated over to the SAC, here's a relevant question on the topic: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/140221/… \$\endgroup\$ – SamsyTheUnicorn Oct 18 '19 at 9:48

Ally is not a precisely-defined term in 5e D&D.

From What does 'ally' mean, as a game term?

You are unfortunately dependent on the normal English meaning of the word, and thus it is largely the DM's ruling as to whether or not two creatures count as allies or not on a case by case basis. The Oxford English Dictionary defines an ally (in this sense of the word) as:

A person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity.

In this case I would rule that yes, the familiar is an ally. It makes for an interesting dynamic when the master is careful not to show weakness to the familiar.

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