6
\$\begingroup\$

There have been two recent questions arising from a ruling on find familiar in the October 2020 update to the Sage Advice Compendium:

My answer to one and comment on another was that infinite wealth from a Warlock isn't possible because the Sprite is summoned without gear or clothes. But I'm wondering if there is anything in the rules of find familiar as they are written that suggests that a Warlock's Sprite Familiar arrives with no objects? Where do the rules support the spell creating these items in the first place?

Do the rules say that sprite familiars summoned with the find familiar spell are created with the equipment listed in their statblock? If so, where?

A quick relevant note to head it off: the stat blocks in the DMG are typical monsters encountered in the wild, and variations are possible. The ability to use the bow and sword doesn't mean the one summoned has one, unless I'm mistaken. Also, I realize that a DM may rule however they want, but I'm still wondering what the Rules as Written say.

\$\endgroup\$
19
\$\begingroup\$

Familiars have the statistics of the form they take

The text of the find familiar spell says, in part:

the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form

Inasmuch as equipment is part of the statistics for some forms (e.g. the sprite) those forms are unambiguously guaranteed to start with that equipment which is part of their statistics.

The monster manual provides the basis for equipment being part of a creature's statistics:

A monster's statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run the monster.

Note that e.g. a long sword attack in a monster's stat block doesn't just mean it can use a long sword; it means it has a longsword which it uses in combat with the following rules. You can disarm such a creature, but e.g. when a module says the PCs are attacked by cultists, those cultists are assumed to have scimitars and make scimitar attacks until they don't.


Textual support for a monster having the equipment listed in their stat block:

Armor Class


A monster that wears armor or carries a shield has an Armor Class (AC) that takes its armor, shield, and Dexterity into account. Otherwise, a monster’s AC is based on its Dexterity modifier and natural armor, if any. If a monster has natural armor, wears armor, or carries a shield, this is noted in parentheses after its AC value. (MM, Introduction)

This is clearly the case for the Sprite, which has an AC of 15 (11 from its leather armor, plus its +4 DEX bonus). That its AC is exactly what its armor and relevant Ability would imply suggests that it actually has and wears the listed armor. It's not explicit rule text, but rather a direct application of the relevant rules if and only if the monster actually has and is wearing the armor.

Equipment


A stat block rarely refers to equipment, other than armor or weapons used by a monster. A creature that customarily wears clothes, such as a humanoid, is assumed to be dressed appropriately.

You can equip monsters with additional gear and trinkets however you like, using the equipment chapter of the Player’s Handbook for inspiration, and you decide how much of a monster’s equipment is recoverable after the creature is slain and whether any of that equipment is still usable. (MM, Introduction)

Also probably not the specific rule text the OP is seeking, but explicit mention that you can equip monsters with additional gear and trinkets (additional to the standard equipment in the stat block, presumably) suggests that the monster is equipped with the things listed in the stat block.

Obviously a DM can override this at will, but there isn't any converse rule verbiage-- there aren't statements, or even implications, that a monster does not have the equipment listed in their stat block. The only RAW evidence which exists supports the idea that monsters do, by default, have the equipment their stat blocks describe.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think it's a little confusing because most familiar stat blocks don't have weapons. It's the warlock book fo chain that opens up more options, but they kept the same language. So I guess the language supports this, but it's really hard to accept that based on the other familiars. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 8 '20 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any text to show that equipment from the stat block is part of the creature? I mean, it is a reasonable assumption, but it is that actually spelled out in the rules? \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Oct 8 '20 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich It definitely seems to apply for armor, which is the easier case: if they didn't have the listed armor equipped, their AC wouldn't be what it is. This is also described by the Armor section of the Monster Manual introduction. I'm not sure that the rule description you're asking after is actually written out, though it seems (to me) to be sufficiently covered by the Actions and Equipment sections in the introduction of the MM. \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Oct 8 '20 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Upper_Case I threw in the definition on page 6 but idk if the actions and equipment one might be better \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Oct 8 '20 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since I had the relevant sections up already I added those citations, plus my explanations for why the are germane to the OP's question in comments. If I've knocked your answer off-course, please feel free to revert. \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Oct 8 '20 at 23:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.