Gaming Discussion

For all things gaming related.


What use is a standard familiar -really-?

   
Let's not forget that a familiar has the same ranks you do in all skills. Even if they are using their own stat adjustments instead of yours it still means you get two chances at knowledge checks and when you aren't aiding another as was mentioned above. Familiars aren't meant for combat, they are tools meant for intelligent and cunning mages. They are spies, messengers, second opinions. They can help manage your minions when you aren't there, take care of your philactery, pour potions down your throat when you get overconfident and tell the rabble to get lost when you are sleeping. They're the only creature you can trust.

Even if you don't use things like UMD, the familiar grants you Alertness when it's nearby and can make its own Spot and Listen checks (a little like the Quick Reconnoiter feat or similar), as well as the familiar bonus which is equivalent to a Skill Focus, Lightning Reflexes or Great Fortitude. None of those things are all that brilliant on their own (like three feats, but three bad feats) but added together they're not a bad package, especially if you get them for one feat (Obtain Familiar).

There is also Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability from the Spell Compendium which allows great action economy all by itself, plus combos like Mystic Surge (PHB2) where your familiar can use something you couldn't use on yourself (Harmonic Chorus is a great one for Bards). If you Imbue concentration-based spells like Telekinesis you don't need to transfer many slots. Speaking of which, there's the Familiar Concentration feat knocking about somewhere IIRC too.

Share Spells is awesome. Something like Shapechange is bad enough, but casting it on (or Sharing it with) your familiar is crazy. Who said familiars couldn't fight? Share Spells also lets you ignore Personal and type restrictions. It's probably more useful for Animal Companions, but you can do things like cast Enlarge Person on your familiar even though they're not a "Person".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyber_Goddess View Post
That would be it. The source that gave me the combo didn't list the feat name. But yeah if you absolutely want to use a familiar and plan to do anything except straight wizard 20 that combo is pretty much necessary.
Actually, not so much. Your (effective) Wizard levels only really boosts special abilities, Int and NA. BAB, HP, saves and skill ranks are all based off the master's which in turn are based off character level. Share Spells is available at L1. Having a familiar as a Wizard 20 is only a bit better than as a Wizard 1, and the difference isn't so big as compared with having a familiar in the first place. (In Epic, it'd be worth taking Obtain Familiar just to get the higher level because you get Familiar Spell which is quite nice, but that's a bit niche)

Hey, there's something special when it turns out the familiar is the smartest person in the party.

I know this isn't the answer direction you're looking for, but I've used my familiar thematically in multiple campaigns to great effect. The fact that a person -in both real life and in fairytale land- can be judged by how they treat an animal in their care (even an intelligent one), says a lot about them. So I've used it both positively as a PC and negatively as an NPC.

I tend to do the same things with Animal Companions and they are far more hearty as combat fodder. But most of the time I use mine as another gauge of the character's character more than action economy. Then again, I also OOCly judge people by how often they toss their animal companion or familiar into the throngs of war without regard to their well-being.

Well, that is where having a pet bird with an Int great than the party Fighter's probably does come in handy. Animal companions are pets but they're still animals at the end of the day; familiars are intelligent, perhaps as much as people (or more so).

I mean, how many times has a nefarious bad guy been set up with the very easy and very effective trope of the Good Guys watching him be a dick to his minions and/or his animal playthings? It's such a good trope for a quick insight into a person without forcing the need for an evil monologue that it's used all of the time.

I've also seen it used as a good trigger for a PC that had less than optimal motivation towards someone. Oh, you kicked the dog or caged the pseudodragon in a tiny box? It's about to go down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchant View Post
Hey, there's something special when it turns out the familiar is the smartest person in the party.
Isn't the wizard the familiar, in that case?


Sorcerer, but yeah!

I've seen sorcerers with an INT dumpstat and the rest of the party were action types. The familiar really was the brains behind the operation. It was a raccoon, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchant View Post
Sorcerer, but yeah!

I've seen sorcerers with an INT dumpstat and the rest of the party were action types. The familiar really was the brains behind the operation. It was a raccoon, of course.
Please tell me you gave it a repeating crossbow of some kind.




 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Last Database Backup 2017-04-23 09:00:07am local time
Myth-Weavers Status