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One of my players is playing a wizard who knows the find familiar spell. Last session, they had to deal with some hags. While they were scouting a manor, one of the hags attacked his familiar and killed it.

I have a problem with this part of the wording of the find familiar spell:

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

Can its form be changed when the spell is cast again? Or does he have to cast the spell once to get the familiar back, and then cast it again to change its shape?

I am quite unsure about the wording of the spell, because to me, it seems like when you recast this spell you get the same familiar as you had previously.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Mercr and welcome to the RPGSE! Do the answers to this question (What happens when a familiar from the Find Familiar spell “dies”? address yours as well? \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Nov 19 '20 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara That’s a substantively different question. That one asks if the familiar is the same being when you recast the spell. This question is asking if you can change the form of the familiar when recasting the spell after the familiar dies. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 19 '20 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ve reworded the title, let me know if that’s an accurate summary of your question here. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 19 '20 at 0:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 19 '20 at 0:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah it does, thanks for all the answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Mercr Nov 23 '20 at 14:44
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You choose the form when you cast the spell.

Find familiar says:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel. Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of a beast.

So when you cast the spell, you choose the form.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth including the part of the spell mentioning how you can change the familiar's form with a casting of the spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Aristotle Nov 19 '20 at 1:39
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Yes, absolutely.

Three quick quotes from find familiar:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose

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

If you cast this spell while you already have a familiar, you instead cause it to adopt a new form. Choose one of the forms from the above list. Your familiar transforms into the chosen creature.

When your familiar "dies" and you need to resummon it, at that point do you currently have a familiar and it's just not present, or is it gone and you have to regain its service? Well, it doesn't matter, because either way, you get to pick a new form for it when it reappears. You always get to pick the familiar's form when you cast find familiar, even if the choice is "don't change it".

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