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Deliver Aid (Ex)

[...]

This ability replaces speak with animals of its kind.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/wizard/familiar/familiar-archetypes/valet-familiar-archetype

[I]mproved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind [...].

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/improved-familiar

Can an Improved Familiar take the Valet archetype?

The Valet archetype is not the only one that replaces that ability, so this question applies to more than just that archetype.

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2 Answers 2

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The designer did not intend for familiar archetypes to be applied to improved familiars

While I agree that it kind of sucks, Familiar Folio author Mark Seifter confirms as much in this Paizo messageboard thread. He says, in response to another poster, that

Another Poster:
The writer of the book... also confirmed that the improved familiars should be usable with the archetypes.

Seifter:
As the freelancer in question, I can assure that I did not confirm that improved familiars should be usable with the archetypes.

There are, nonetheless, probably ways to get the archetypes on an improved familiar anyway; Pathfinder is pretty vast, after all. But such ways aren't intentional.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The valet archetype was printed in Animal Archive before it was printed in Familiar Folio, and as far as I can tell, Seifter was not involved in this one. Also, all Seifter says in your quote is that he did not state that it was compatible. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 26, 2015 at 11:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrLemon I'm almost certain later printings of identically named items supersede earlier printings (otherwise the game's an even bigger mess). And while Seifter might not be responsible for the first version of the archetype, he appears to be assuming responsibility for familiar archetypes now. By the way, I'm totally cool with an alternative answer that posits The designer states that it's possible by not confirming that the archetypes should not be applied to improved familiars ... or something. That might be a fun (if challenging) read. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2015 at 11:53
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The above is a slight misrepresentation. The Seifter quote is him saying 'no I never said that improved familiars can always take archetypes'. It isn't him saying 'improved familiars cannot take archetypes'.

To answer the question, RAW they cannot take the valet archetype (and actually most of them) because they do not have one of the abilities they'd need to sacrifice.

However I'd encourage you to politely ask your GM if they'll permit it or permit you trade away a similar ability (like the ability to speak that many improved familiars come with). There is a good chance they'll approve something like this especially if they feel confident you're not going exploit it or overshadow other players with it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Answers on this site are sorted by vote count, so saying "the above" means your answer could end up referring to a different answer to the one your originally intended if new answers are added to the question, or the order of answers changes. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Mar 4, 2021 at 20:36

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