Is there a way for familiars gained through Improved Familiar to be given weapons? Well, the ones that should plausibly have hands: Imps, Lyrakien Azatas and so on.

I heard that PFS prevents players from being able to buy tiny-sized weapons. Can't find anything preventing it. Roleplaying Guild Guide only mentions the resize options from Medium to Small being available for items found on Session Sheets, items bought through the normal ways only specify that they need to be priced differently.

Can the familiar wield a small-sized one instead? The staff in question I want for the at-will casting ability it gives to the wielder, so the penalty for inappropriately-sized weapon I'd ignore anyway.

  • \$\begingroup\$ When the character buys a staff of entwined serpents and hands it to his familiar, does the GM say No, that doesn't happen? That is, is it okay if the familiar carries the staff and uses the magical features of the staff but doesn't make melee attacks with the staff ('cause the familiar can't 'cause the familiar can't wield the staff as it's a Medium 2-handed weapon)? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 7 '16 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That sounds like the seed of a good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Dec 7 '16 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are different ways I tried to look at it. First of all, can the character buy it in non-Medium size in the first place? The wording on the weapon goes "At will, the wielder can use the staff to cast" - so if somebody who's just carrying it, without being able to make melee attacks, can be considered a wielder is another question. \$\endgroup\$ – Nox Dec 7 '16 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the second one I am guessing the answer is no. \$\endgroup\$ – Nox Dec 7 '16 at 13:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've been hunting for that exact information in Pathfinder for a while. In the Pathfinder antecedent D&D 3.5 a magic staff is absolutely made from a masterwork quarterstaff. I have been unable to locate in Pathfinder a similar requirement. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 7 '16 at 15:16


The previous answer was correct, but this ruling has since been modified in PFS organized play.

As per this FAQ:

All familiars can activate the abilities of their use-activated magic items, so long as these abilities do not require a command word. The following familiars can use spell trigger and spell completion magic items, including wands and scrolls, as well as magic items with a command word: arbiter, brownie, cassisian (in small humanoid form), faerie dragon, imp, leshy (any), liminal sprite, lyrakien, mephit (any type), nosoi, nuglub, pooka, pyrausta, quasit, shikigami, soulbound doll, sprite, and zhyen. For more information on these magic item categories, see page 456 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Awesome, way to keep up on this. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Aug 21 '17 at 15:49

A familiar could wield a small or tiny weapon; however, they could not activate non-passive magic bonuses/spells:

Pathfinder Society FAQ:

The brownie, faerie dragon, imp, lyrakien azata, mephit, quasit, sprite familiars, granted by the Improved Familiar feat, use the Biped (hands) section of the chart.


It is intended that animal companions or familiars can not activate magic items.

In text link and emphasis mine.

Additionally, if you want them to use a passive magic weapon, they must take the Extra Slots feat:

Additionally, animal companions have access to magical item slots, in addition to barding and neck, as listed on the inside front cover of the Animal Archive so long as they select the Extra Item Slot feat

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Darn you, Pathfinder Society FAQ! Is it so hard to say Animal companions and familiars can't activate magic items?! Why you gotta go with all this intended stuff? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 10 '16 at 2:18

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