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I'm looking to develop a magical pet for one of my wizard PCs, I'm the DM and this is my first time as such so I wanted to ensure I wasn't creating something which could cause chaos.

After watching the Critical Role campaign, one of the players had a magical cat, which he is able to instantly summon and dismissed, had a psychic link which allowed him to control but the disadvantage was to render his physical body blind and the cat was fairly weak.

To allow my PC a similar pet, I have the following:

Astral Rat

It's a rat which is in astral form yet has a physical presence, just translucent (whether it glows or not I'm not sure).

Abilities

  • Able to be summoned and dismissed with a snap of the finger (May require ring to limit it to a single hand) so it requires a hand free to use it and requires line of sight to summon.
  • A psychic link allows the Wizard to control the rat within 1 mile however it also renders the Wizard blind, they can speak and move with assistance from other PCs.
  • It's fairly weak, maybe 4 hit points and when it reaches 0, it will instantly jump to the astral plane which the Wizard requires time to meditate in order to search for the rat in the astral plane (thinking rolling a D20 during each long rest to indicate success of finding the rat or getting attacked by another astral creature with the risk of causing psychic damage (or something similar).

Purpose

The rat is purely there as a tool, doesn't attack, able to carry or tug very light items, similar to a real life rat. More of a companion to the Wizard. Allows the chance to send the rat to investigate a location.

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You don't need to homebrew a magic creature - just use the Find Familiar spell

Caleb's cat Frumpkin is pretty cool, and luckily you don't need to do any DIY work to have a similar creature in your game. Frumpkin is a familiar as summoned by the first level wizard spell Find Familiar, which summons some kind of spirit in the form of a beast, such as a cat or rat, with all the special properties you want:

Your familiar acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. In combat, it rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn. A familiar can't attack, but it can take other actions as normal.

When the familiar drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. It reappears after you cast this spell again.

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, 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.

As an action, you can temporarily dismiss your familiar. It disappears into a pocket dimension where it awaits your summons. Alternatively, you can dismiss it forever. As an action while it is temporarily dismissed, you can cause it to reappear in any unoccupied space within 30 feet of you.

Liam plays Caleb as temporarily dismissing and summoning his familiar by snapping his fingers - though he almost never does it in combat time, so it rarely comes up that this technically requires his whole action. You can of course use that bit of flavour at your table if you like!

The only thing you might want to be aware of is that the ruling in Critical Role that Caleb can observe through Frumpkin's senses at distances much greater than 100ft is based on what many (most?) would consider a misreading of the spell text - that particular ability should only work at distances of up to 100 feet. (They did have some discussion about that on the show after the fact but eventually decided since they'd already let Caleb do it that way a few times already they might as well stick with the ruling.)

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