As per this 3.5e question, I believe Pathfinder also has flat tables about familiar advancement - ones that aren't granting "+X to existing statistic", I mean - and thus I find myself wondering if it does, in fact, have the same potential problems as that does in 3.5e. So. Can becoming someone's Improved Familiar make a creature worse?


1 Answer 1


Becoming an improved familiar can decrease int.

"Worse" is arguable, but if you're asking whether becoming a familiar can downgrade a creature in any of its statistics, the answer is yes. Improved Familiar includes:

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature's type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

This means that they use the regular rules for a familiar's int:

It retains the appearance, Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skills, and feats of the normal animal it once was, [...]

All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master's combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. [...] Int: The familiar's Intelligence score.

An improved familiar with have a decreased int if, at a level at which you could have a given improved familiar, the int in the table is lower than the base int for that creature. This applies to the very first option (alphabetically) for an improved familiar, an aether wysp. An aether wysp is available as an improved familiar starting from level 7, at which point the table would give it 9 int. An aether wysp, by default, has 10 int.

Overall, I agree with this answer for Pathfinder as well as 3.5e.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .