In "The COMPLETE Professor Q's Wizard Guide" (but elsewhere too) you can read that one of the familiar roles can be an alchemist.

Roles for Familiars

Alchemist: This can get a little expensive, but it’s an option you should consider since these are really effective actions your Familiar can take and could mean the difference in a battle. You’re definitely going to want to max out your alchemy skill too, not only because the best alchemy items are DC 25, but also because you’re going to want to get the ⅔ discount.

I just do not understand how that works. Is this just about my wizard creates with Craft Alchemy anything and hands it over to the familiar who can use it at the battlefield? Example: I give my eagle alchemist fire and he drops it on the battlefield (Here I do not know why the family knows where to drop the fire anyway. Is he doing this by himself (he as a good int for an animal) or do I have to give him instructions?)? Or can the familiar use the Craft Skill by itself? Would be great if anyone could help me understand this familiar role.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can the familiar use Craft by himself? - Get a Monkey as a familiar. Thumbs up! All four of them. While at it, get a monocle and top hat too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mindwin
    Jul 4, 2017 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


Basic Idea

The basic idea is that you give your familiar some kind items, and the familiar can drop the items on the battlefield. You are making your familiar into a kind of air-raid or artillery unit.

Professor Q's post describes this in a bit more detail.

Other Questions

do I have to give him instructions?

Short answer: yes. At level 5 you can issue verbal commands to your familiar, before that things are trickier. However, your familiar qualifies as a Sentient Companion, so you don't need to use Handle Animal to train or push it:

Sentient Companions: a sentient companion (a creature that can understand language and has an Intelligence score of at least 3) is considered your ally and obeys your suggestions and orders to the best of its ability. d20pfsrd - Familiars

Before being able to verbally communicate with your familiar, you might have to be more creative.

Here I do not know why the family knows where to drop the fire anyway.

You tell it.

Or can the familiar use the Craft Skill by itself?

Setting any mechanical questions regarding what animals or familiars may or may not do, you would need a way for your familiar to physically craft things. Wings and talons are not an asset here. Expect penalties, perhaps even massive ones.

You should also expect penalties from using either no tools, or improvised tools - unless hawk culture in your setting has avian tool sets.

There are some options out there for improving your familiar's crafting ability (such as using Improved Familiar to pick a familiar with hands). That is probably worth a new question, though.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Familiars are magical beasts, and have an Intelligence of 6 or greater; Handle Animal and issues of not understanding how to craft shouldn’t really be concerns. Not having manipulators appropriate for tool use and crafting is definitely a concern, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 18, 2016 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I might be confusing animal companions and familiars in there. Good call though, looks like the "magical beast" thing is buried in flavor text (at least on the SRD). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18, 2016 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1) Several of the improved familiars have hands. 2) Familiars with the valet archetype have the same craft skills as their master as well as Cooperative Crafting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Apr 18, 2016 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage Thanks. Added a statement at the end to address the possibilities of a familiar built for crafting. It's related here, but probably would benefit from being it's own question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18, 2016 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did Pathfinder ditch the silly D&D 3.5 mandate that a creature must be a spellcaster to make many alchemical items? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18, 2016 at 15:45

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