View Full Version : What is your familiar and why did you choose it?

08-31-2009, 10:52 AM
I some what new to the PnP DnD. I recently started playing in a new campain playing a wizard and I'm eyeing some improved familiar's. I thought it might be interesting to see what others have and why.

On my wizard Im looking at a pseudodragon, homunculus, or a mephit (most likely cold since we are in a cold area).

I have a duskblade in another campain that has a raven. His family is named Ravenmane, so the raven seemed fitting.

So what is your's and why?

08-31-2009, 03:41 PM
Let's see. I've had a lion (3rd party feats), a pseudodragon (where we established that dragons meow), a raven (which I accidentally blasted with a cone of cold), a toad (damned 2e random table), and a cat so fat it couldn't move without the aid of its magical floating pillow. He was awesome.

09-01-2009, 03:44 PM
Brushtail Fennec: These small, nocturnal sand-colored foxes are known for their distinctively bushy tails, curiousity and agility. You gain a +3 bonus on search checks (perception checks - Pathfinder). Brushtail fennecs have the same stats as a dog but with a strength of 6.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-01-2009, 07:46 PM
I love evil wizard types and even though everyone loves the pseudodragon, i always used a spider.

09-01-2009, 10:35 PM
I only ever played one mage that had a familiar and it was a pseudodragon. I have my munchkin characters every now and then...

09-01-2009, 10:39 PM
Pseudodragon for my halfling wizard. the character never talked. Just used the Pseudodragon to speak through telepathy

09-03-2009, 08:58 PM
I am running a Dark Sun game and have an elven defiler with a Cilops as his familiar. It was started at a fairly small size (2 foot) but will grow as he advances.

09-04-2009, 08:15 AM
The only familiar I've ever had as a player was a Pseudodragon, it was for an AD&D Elven fighter/wizard. One of the longer running campaigns I was in and by the end of the campaign, the party had gotten to be very powerful.

It is one of the more fondly remembered campaigns I've been in.

09-04-2009, 09:56 AM
I've only ever had 1 magic-user character for which i had a familiar - I was forced to have a Spider...I'm an arachnophobe in real life, so it was for ribbing's sake. However, I have had several wizard characters and always avoid having familiars, as a DM I forbid them. I know they sort of sterotypical for wizards, I can't stand'em. Useless wastes of paper and time in my opinion. I houseruled as a DM, since no familiars, that each time a player of a wizard would get a boost to their familiar by advancing in levels (3E), the wizard received 1 of three things, depending on what point the campaign had reached, first couple of times, it was a feat, the next couple of times it'd be an attribute increase, and finally towards the end of familiar amping through level increase I'd give'em one or two spell-like abilities. Figured it was a fair way of compensating for something that a lot of people see as being a useful trait for a wizard.

09-04-2009, 11:18 AM
Honestly speaking I prefer the familiar rules from other games more then the ones in AD&D. Familiars in Ars Magica and Mage were outstanding and did a lot to balance them in a manner that suited a more complex relationship and in my opinion actual myth of what they really were. I have started incorperating their aspects into my game and I think it adds some great flavor to a game.

09-04-2009, 12:31 PM
Spider is one of the best. They can survive almost any drop. Lizard is a bit hardier, but its because of the cool factor. I think magical familiars are cheeseball, so i evolved out of those and never looked back. Crow is also cool because it flies. I like cool/creepy factor above all else. Its useful to have an animal other animals will "talk" to as well, to get intel. No natural critter is going to tolerate some pseudo dragon trying to communicate with it... at least, not in my world they wont.

09-04-2009, 02:02 PM
I love the spider and the snake myself. I've had probably all of them for different reasons, usually dependent on the character's personality or what I would want for them as far as skill bonuses go. I like the spider and snake for their intimidation factor and their poison, even if slight.

09-04-2009, 09:59 PM
I played a martially inclined sorcerer once with an old group, but the DM was a heartless :censored: who immediately killed my first familiar, a fox, as soon as I got him, a damn orc crit it with a long bow...

So my guy suffered from the year long emo phase that sorcerers go through when they lose they're familiar, plus the loss of experience, since then I've never gotten a familiar.

09-07-2009, 10:25 AM
I like owl familiars simply because I like owls and I think they work well as a familiar to a sage. Of the improved familiars, I generally prefer pseododragons because they aren't likely to die instantly if they accidentally wind up in the line of fire.

09-11-2009, 01:13 PM
A cat and tailor it to be a Cath Shee a ancestor making amends for something.

10-08-2009, 04:09 PM
Last time I had a familiar? Shoots, let me dust off those character sheets...


ah. Here's one... construct, made my own for a game where we were spoofing off of characters in other games and movies.

Small, round, furry and it purred, but get it near food and the food would disappear to be replaced with more of this thing...

I believe we called it a tribble. ;)


all kidding aside the familiar I had once and remember the most fondly was this snarky little pseudo dragon that had an ego the side of a great wyrm.

Dumb little thing even flew up to a noble's face and told him a thing or two, much to my mage's embarrassment.

Picked it for the RP value really after talking it over with the other players and we did have alot of fun with it. Those were the days.

10-09-2009, 09:53 AM
I've done the Pseudodragon one before.

The funniest one was a Wizard/Rogue in 3.5E, I got him a Shocker Lizard one. We had waived the rules on needing the feat (Improved Familar) as we found a nest of them in a complex we cleaned out. He started feeding them as we took over the complex and he made the room adjacent to their tunnels his lab. While only one of them was the familar it was fun setting himself up as a member of their pack.

Other than that, I've very rarely in 1E/2E/3E have taken a familar. But all NPC wizards who were 'noncombatants' all had one around. :D

10-13-2009, 02:58 PM
Pseudodragon for a Warblade/Duskblade. I like to outfit him in with low level magical gear, like a healing belt, Gloves of Dex, Mirial chain shirt, and one or two eternal wands. With my character having a high hp that gave the pseudodragon high hp. Lots of fun.

10-18-2009, 12:15 PM
I only had a familiar once or twice, general stuff randomly rolled from a chart... Then I discovered all the wonderful wonderful things you could get instead of a familiar and never looked at them again. I personally love the Imbued Staff!

11-20-2009, 08:38 AM
I use it because its fast and it paralizes people and it has a good int.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-20-2009, 08:46 AM
I never used familiars when i was young seeing how the negatives outweighed the benefits. I'm speaking of older editions, of course. That being said, later on i did begin using familiars, the last one being a spider. Good times.

On a side note, i once read about a player that used a human familiar. I believe i read about it somewhere on P&PG long time back. Clever stuff.

Perhaps the member in question will give us details.

11-23-2009, 04:21 AM
Above a 7th Level Wizard, and need Improved familiar. And then Find and kill a Phoelarch ( MM3 pg 121) Grab the nifty egg from the exploded corps and Hatch yer'self a fire chicken- a Phoera, Very nice familiar, and there is even a note in the MM3 about different elemental variants.

This one made a great familiar to a Fire Blaster Wizard