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Familiars

   
Familiars

I'm creating a homebrew version for 3.5 Familiars, and would like some input/suggestions. The list will be updated as I come up with more options.

Thank you in advance


Bat: Master gains Blindsense (30 feet) as an ability
Cat: Master gains advantage on Move Silently checks
Ferret: Master gains advantage on Reflex saves
Owl: Master gains advantage on Spot checks made in the dark
Rat: Master gains advantage on Hide checks
Raven: Master gains advantage on Spot and Listen checks
Snake, constrictor: Master gains advantage on Grapple checks
Snake, viper: Master gains advantage on saves against poison
Tarantula: Master gains Spider Climb as an ability
Chameleon: Master gains advantage on Disguise and Hide checks
Monkey: Master gains advantage on Climb and Sleight of Hand checks
Hawk: Master gains advantage on Spot checks made during the day
Hedgehog: Master gains +1 Natural Armor and advantage on Will saves
Raccoon: Master gains advantage on Sleight of Hand checks
Hare: Master gains advantage on Hide and Move Silently checks

What exactly is your aim here? Many of these creatures already exist as familiars, and already have bonuses assigned.

And what is "advantage"? Isn't that 5e terminology? Are you trying to port 3.5 stuff to 5e, or what? (You've tagged this as 3.5, not 5)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
What exactly is your aim here? Many of these creatures already exist as familiars, and already have bonuses assigned.

And what is "advantage"? Isn't that 5e terminology? Are you trying to port 3.5 stuff to 5e, or what? (You've tagged this as 3.5, not 5)
Just trying to give Familiars better abilities, without going too far with it. I'm going to run a 3.5 game, but will include some 5e game mechanics in it.

Well, not knowing how that works, it's pretty hard to judge its usefulness.

Do familiars need better abilities? They're already pretty awesome to have.

Hedgehog seems notably better than most - a bonus to AC and to Will saves trumps most skill bonuses - apart from Bat, which is ridiculously good. Blindsense? That's pretty useful (and well worth a feat) - though I guess that bats already have blindsense, so if you have a bat familiar it can just direct you (that thing about "familiars are already awesome" again, I guess ). Tarantula is also pretty neat at low levels - continuous Spider Climb (a L2 spell) available at L1? That'll get old quickly but at that point, it's pretty powerful.

@TheFred
'Advantage' is the 5e general term for '2d20, drop the lowest'
@Draegan666
The bonuses you've listed thus far appear to vary immensely in power, probably to a detrimental degree.
For instance, more than a quarter of this list seems to be made up of trap choices (options for which a strictly superior alternative is available at no added cost). eg. what (mechanical) reason would anyone ever have to take a Cat over a Hare? or an Owl/Hawk over a Raven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedronai View Post
@Draegan666
The bonuses you've listed thus far appear to vary immensely in power, probably to a detrimental degree.
For instance, more than a quarter of this list seems to be made up of trap choices (options for which a strictly superior alternative is available at no added cost). eg. what (mechanical) reason would anyone ever have to take a Cat over a Hare? or an Owl/Hawk over a Raven?
Well, as it is right now...

a Cat gives advantage to Move Silently checks, where a Hare gives advantage to Move Silently and Hide checks

an Owl gives advantage on Spot checks made in the dark, and a Hawk gives advantage on Spot checks made during the day or in a well-lit area. A Raven gives advantage on Spot and Listen checks.

Besides the ability that a Familiar gives, someone might choose a particular Familiar because of other things it can do by itself (ex. attack), or other strengths it might have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draegan666 View Post
Well, as it is right now...

a Cat gives advantage to Move Silently checks, where a Hare gives advantage to Move Silently and Hide checks

an Owl gives advantage on Spot checks made in the dark, and a Hawk gives advantage on Spot checks made during the day or in a well-lit area. A Raven gives advantage on Spot and Listen checks.

Besides the ability that a Familiar gives, someone might choose a particular Familiar because of other things it can do by itself (ex. attack), or other strengths it might have.
Can you confidently say that the 'other strengths' of an Owl are worth losing the Raven's Advantage on Spot (during the day) and Advantage on Listen (always)? I don't think I'd be confident of that.
...let alone as compared to the 'other things' of the Raven, which in un-houseruled 3.5 is already one of if not the go-to Familiar thanks to it's ability to speak, and thus activate Command Word magic items...

From the SRD...

Bat Master gains a +3 bonus on Listen checks
Cat Master gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks
Hawk Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in bright light
Lizard Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks
Owl Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in shadows
Rat Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves
Raven Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks
Snake, viper Master gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks
Toad Master gains +3 hit points
Weasel Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves

For the Cat, Hawk, and Owl, I gave advantage instead of a bonus. I gave the Raven advantage on Spot and Listen, because it has the Alertness feat. For the others, I looked them up to see what might be the best ability I could give them (Viper an advantage against poison saves, Chameleon advantage on Disguise and Hide, Tarantula gives a Spider Climb ability, etc.) Maybe where I have two skills listed, I could pick the best one and drop the other (ex. Chameleon advantage on Disguise or Hide, but not both.

If you're using your familiar in combat, either it's being used to deliver spells/items or something has gone horribly wrong. A cat being able to do 1 point more damage than the rabbit is a non-factor.

One thing to remember that 3.5's base familiar are not exactly well-balanced in and of themselves. Giving advantage for certain skills as well as some of those granted abilities only made things worse. Free Blindsense is amazing. +1 Natural Armor and advantage of Will saves when the classes that get Familiars have high Will saves is powerful. Spider Climb at 1st level for free on a class that typically loves not being in melee?

When compared to conditional advantage on Spot checks, it's pretty clear there's a disparity in power.

Ultimately, I'd honestly say that Familiar don't need better abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veradux View Post
If you're using your familiar in combat, either it's being used to deliver spells/items or something has gone horribly wrong. A cat being able to do 1 point more damage than the rabbit is a non-factor.

One thing to remember that 3.5's base familiar are not exactly well-balanced in and of themselves. Giving advantage for certain skills as well as some of those granted abilities only made things worse. Free Blindsense is amazing. +1 Natural Armor and advantage of Will saves when the classes that get Familiars have high Will saves is powerful. Spider Climb at 1st level for free on a class that typically loves not being in melee?

When compared to conditional advantage on Spot checks, it's pretty clear there's a disparity in power.

Ultimately, I'd honestly say that Familiar don't need better abilities.
Thanks...I didn't look at it that way. It's really not about the ability that the Familiar has to give, but how you use the Familiar







 

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