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I am wondering if this interpretation of the interaction between the Pact of the Chain feature and Flock of Familiars is correct.

Pact of the Chain (emphasis mine) states:

You learn the Find Familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesn’t count against your number of Spells known.

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following Special forms: Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, or Sprite.

Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one Attack of its own with its Reaction.

Flock of Familiars (again, emphasis mine) states:

You temporarily summon three familiars – spirits that take animal forms of your choice. Each familiar uses the same rules and options for a familiar conjured by the Find Familiar spell. All the familiars conjured by this spell must be the same type of creature (celestials, fey, or fiends; your choice). If you already have a familiar conjured by the Find Familiar spell or similar means, then one fewer familiars are conjured by this spell.

To put it more precisely:

Does this mean that you can summon additional (although temporary) Imps/Sprites/etc?

Note: This is not a balance question, this is RAW only please.

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The Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, or Sprite are conjured by the Find Familiar spell.

The Pact of the Chain feature says:

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following Special forms: Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, or Sprite.

Obviously, it is the casting of find familiar that conjures one of these special forms.

So a Pact of the Chain warlock casts flock of familiars, which states:

Each familiar uses the same rules and options for a familiar conjured by the find familiar spell.

Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, and Sprite are "options for a familiar conjured by the Find Familiar spell", since the caster has Pact of the Chain.

So we conclude:

A Pact of the Chain warlock can use one of these special options for flock of familiars.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a bit confused: you say "it is the casting of find familiar that conjures one of these special forms" but flock of familiars is not find familiar right? What am I missing here? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Oct 7 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Flock states that you may summon familiars that are summoned by find familiar. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 7 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ ahhh I see. That is what I was missing. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Oct 7 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I made some adjustments, maybe that makes it more clear. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 7 at 19:21
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You cannot (alas) summon Chain familiars via Flock of Familiars

The Pact of the Chain feature says:

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following Special forms: Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, or Sprite.

Emphasis mine. You modify the Pact of the Chain spell when cast -- the Find Familiar spell itself is unaltered.

So when a Pact of the Chain warlock casts Flock of Familiars, Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, and Sprite are not

"options for a familiar conjured by the Find Familiar spell"

-- because it's not looking at the results of you casting "Find Familiar", it's looking at the finite list a "generic" Find Familiar spell uses. In other words, it's using "Find Familiar" as reference shorthand.

If the spell had intended to summon additional familiars, it could have said:

Each familiar uses the same rules and options as if you had cast the Find Familiar spell.

Since 5e ascribes to "what you see is what you get", I'm inclined to think that RAW, only the lesser familiars can be summoned.

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    \$\begingroup\$ See Illusionist Wizards for another example of Subclass features modifying a spell (Minor Illusion) just for them. (Though as far as I know, no other spell references Minor Illusion) \$\endgroup\$ – Raven Dreamer Aug 17 at 20:37

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