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Un-Familiar Companions (Part 2 of 2)

A witch feeding demonic impsWizards, sorcerers, and witches can all have familiars. While familiars continue to grow more powerful along with their masters, some arcane casters want something more…

[previously]

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Altered Familiar Feat

This feat changes the nature of your familiar but not its type. For example, you can have a clockwork toad familiar or an undead rat. They keep the familiar’s normal abilities.

Casters can choose from several forms, and once chosen, that form cannot be changed for that familiar. However, a new familiar can have a different form from the previous familiar. Sometimes, very different indeed…

Clockwork familiar

Requirements: Familiar class feature, arcane bond or arcane bloodline, and either Deft Hands or 1 rank in Knowledge (engineering).

Clockwork familiars are complicated but often elegant machines. Those who have clockwork familiars learn the skills to maintain them. Repairing a disabled (dead) clockwork requires a Disable Device check (DC 15 + damage beyond 0). This takes 1 min./point of damage beyond 0. Healing a clockwork familiar with magic requires mending (healing 1d4 hp) or make whole (which acts as heal). Clockworks gain the construct type.

These familiars are loud, giving you a −4 penalty to your Stealth checks. However, you are much more resistant to distractions, gaining a +4 bonus to all concentration checks.

The clockwork can shoot a spare sprocket 1/day/2 caster levels. These act as shuriken with a range of 10 ft., dealing 1d2 damage and using your attack bonus. Additional sprockets can be purchased for 1 gp each. Commanding a familiar to shoot a sprocket is a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Wondrous Familiar

Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item.

The familiar is a living statuette made of precious or semi-precious material. The familiar is Tiny and gains a +1 bonus to Dex, AC, and CMD and a −1 penalty to Str, attack rolls, and CMB. Wondrous familiars are susceptible to dispel magic—they become inert for 1 day (DC 15 + your CL)—shatter, and sunder attacks. They can be affected by shatter and sunder while they are inactive. Familiars damaged by a sunder attack gain the broken condition and impart no wondrous benefit until repaired with a craft check or mending.

Wondrous abilities function only when the familiar is activated. It can be active for a number of rounds per day equal to 2 x your CL: thus, a 3rd level wizard could have a wondrous familiar active 6 rounds/day. Activating one’s familiar is a swift action that does not invoke attacks of opportunity. There are several types of wondrous familiar.

Type (hardness): Special Ability

Amethyst (3): +2 bonus to saves against fear effects; +1 bonus to saves against mind-affecting effects.

Darkwood (8): +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks; +2 bonus to Swim checks; +2 bonus to Survival checks.

Electrum (8): +1 luck bonus to saving throws.

Hematite (4): +2 bonus to stabilize checks for all creatures within 20 ft.; +2 to heal checks; you ignore the first point of bleed damage each round.

Iron (10): +2 bonus to saves against fey magic (spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities of fey); +1 shield bonus to AC.

Onyx (4): grants use of 0-level light spell 3/day; at 8th level, also grants daylight 1/day (at your  CL).

White Jade (3): grants resist cold 5.

Undead Familiar

Requirements: School specialty necromancy, undead bloodline, Spell Focus (necromancy), or you experienced the death of a familiar.

Whether morbidly attached to a dead familiar or for darker reasons, some choose an undead familiar. Undead familiars gain the undead type and can only be healed by channeled negative energy or by inflict spells. In addition, you suffer a −4 penalty to social interactions (Diplomacy, Bluff, and Sense Motive) with living creatures.

Skeletal—gain a +3 bonus to confirm critical hits on undead.

Spectral—your weapon gains the ghost touch quality for 1 round/2 CL.

Zombie—gain a +4 bonus to Diplomacy checks with undead and a +2 bonus on Knowledge checks dealing with undead.

Wild Familiar

Requirements: Con 13.

A wild familiar surges with primal energy and imparts some of its ferocity to you. It grants a +1 bonus to Survival checks, and you can attack with ferocity 1/day. You gain a +1 bonus to damage with melee weapon attacks or natural weapons (but not touch attacks) for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your CL. Attacking with ferocity causes all spells you currently maintain by concentration to stop immediately, even those that normally linger.

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5 Replies to "Un-Familiar Companions (Part 2 of 2)"

Marc Radle

April 5, 2011 at 8:08am

Very nice!

Chris

April 5, 2011 at 9:23am

I like the article, only thing I don’t like is that a loud clockwork familiar helps the caster to concentrate.

Darkjoy

April 5, 2011 at 10:34am

Wouldn’t the loud familiar train the wizard to focus better?

I like the article.

Nate

April 8, 2011 at 6:57am

Re:Clockwork, think of a metronome; the steady, rhythmic ticking of the familiar could help the caster drown out the chaos around them, focus on the steady rhythm and task at hand, and away they go!

DocOutlands

April 18, 2011 at 4:12pm

I’ve been looking at making a magic-user who is an engineering type, specializing in animated objects and constructs. This clockwork familiar is just right up his alley…