Archives of Nethys

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Familiar Details | Familiar Options | Archetypes

Familiars

Description Source: PRPG Core Rulebook
A familiar is an animal chosen by a spellcaster to aid him in his study of magic. It retains the appearance, Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skills, and feats of the normal animal it once was, but is now a magical beast for the purpose of effects that depend on its type. Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. An animal companion cannot also function as a familiar.

A familiar grants special abilities to its master, as given on the table below. These special abilities apply only when the master and familiar are within 1 mile of each other.

Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master's level.

If a familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later through a specialized ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

Nethys: See the monster entry by clicking on the Familiar's name for full details on its use as a familiar.

Small and Vermin Familiars

Description Source: Ultimate Magic
Small-sized familiars threaten the areas around them like Small creatures, and can be used to flank enemies, though both familiars and their masters are often loath to use such tactics, as the result is often a dead familiar. Small-sized familiars are also harder to keep on a master's person than Tiny or smaller familiars. Often they require some form of magic item, like a bag of holding, for such a feat to work. The process of making a vermin into a familiar grants it an Intelligence score and removes the mindless trait. Vermin familiars communicate with their masters and other vermin of their kind (greensting scorpions with other scorpions, house centipedes with other centipedes, and scarlet spiders with other spiders) by way of a strange combination of behaviors, slight changes in coloration, and even the excretion of scents, subtle and otherwise. As with other types of familiars, other creatures cannot understand this communication without magical aid.

Unusual Familiars

Description Source: Familiar Folio
While most familiars are Tiny animals or magical beasts, spellcasters may acquire larger or more unusual creatures during their travels, which impart certain rules effects that should be considered at the table.

Small familiars threaten the areas around them like other Small creatures, and can be used to flank enemies—though both familiars and their masters are generally loath to employ such tactics, as the result is often a dead familiar. Small familiars are also harder to keep on a master’s person than Tiny or smaller familiars; some form of magic item, like a bag of holding, is usually required.

Construct, plant, and vermin familiars gain an Intelligence score, and they lose the mindless trait if they had it. If such familiars lack a language, they communicate with their masters and other creatures of their kind (greensting scorpions with other scorpions, mobile plant creatures with other mobile plant creatures, and so on) by way of a strange combination of behaviors, slight changes in coloration, and sometimes even the excretion of scents or pheromones. Other types of creatures can’t understand this communication without magical aid.

Outsiders and undead creatures are normally available only with the Improved Familiar feat, and require no other special rules.

FamiliarSpecial AbilitySource
ArchaeopteryxMaster gains a +2 bonus on Reflex savesBestiary 4 pg. 96
Arctic foxMaster gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves (use fox statistics, +4 Stealth to blend into snow)Reign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
Arctic hareMaster gains a +4 bonus on initiative checksReign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
Arctic ternMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fly checksReign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
ArmadilloMaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus to ACAnimal Archive pg. 10
BatMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fly checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
CatMaster gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
Centipede, houseMaster gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
ChickenMaster gains +3 hit pointsFamiliar Folio pg. 0
Compsognathus dinosaurMaster gains a +4 bonus on initiative checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 2 pg. 90 (Amazon)
Crab, kingMaster gains a +2 bonus on combat maneuver checks to start and maintain a grappleAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
DodoMaster gains a +4 bonus on initiative checksBestiary 4 pg. 96, Animal Archive pg. 10 (Amazon)
Dolphin, popotoMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
Donkey ratMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
Dwarf caimanMaster gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checksAnimal Archive pg. 10
ErmineMaster gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves (use weasal statistics, +4 Stealth to blend into snow)Reign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
Flying squirrelMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fly checksBestiary 3 pg. 112
FoxMaster gains a +2 bonus on Reflex savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 3 pg. 112 (Amazon), Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
Giant fleaMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fortitude saves against disease (witch only)Bestiary 4 pg. 99
Giant isopodMaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus to ACAnimal Archive pg. 10
GoatMaster gains a +3 bonus on Survival checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon), Bestiary 3 pg. 112 (Amazon)
HawkMaster gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in bright lightAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
HedgehogMaster gains a +2 bonus on Will savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
Ioun wyrdMaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus to ACFamiliar Folio pg. 0
KakapoMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
KoalaMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
LemmingMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesReign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
Leopard slugMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
LizardMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
Marine iguanaMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checks (use dwarf caiman stats for marine iguanas)Animal Archive pg. 10
MoleMaster gains a +3 bonus on smell-, taste-, and touch-based Perception checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
MongooseMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves (use weasel stats for mongooses)Animal Archive pg. 10
MonkeyMaster gains a +3 bonus on Acrobatics checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
Octopus, blue-ringedMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
OspreyMaster gains a +3 bonus on Survival checks (use hawk stats for ospreys)Animal Archive pg. 10
OtterMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 3 pg. 112 (Amazon)
OwlMaster gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks in shadows or darknessAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
ParrotMaster gains a +3 bonus on Linguistics checks (use raven stats for parrots)Animal Archive pg. 10
PeacockMaster gains a +3 bonus on Intimidate checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
PenguinMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
PetrifernMaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus to ACFamiliar Folio pg. 0
PetrominMaster gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checksPathfinder #85: Fires of Creation pg. 82
PigMaster gains a +3 bonus on Diplomacy checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 3 pg. 112 (Amazon), Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
PlatypusMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksBestiary 4 pg. 96, Animal Archive pg. 10 (Amazon)
PtarmiganMaster gains a +3 bonus on Stealth checksReign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
PufferfishMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesFamiliar Folio pg. 0
PuffinMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksReign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
RabbitMaster gains a +4 bonus on initiative checksAnimal Archive pg. 30
RaccoonMaster gains a +3 bonus on Sleight of Hand checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 3 pg. 112 (Amazon)
RatMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
Raven*Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
RhamphorhynchusMaster gains a +2 bonus on initiative checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Pathfinder #37: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv pg. 83 (Amazon)
Scorpion, greenstingMaster gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks (if familiar is within 1 mile)Bestiary 4 pg. 232, Animal Archive pg. 10 (Amazon), Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
Sea kraitMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves (use viper stats for sea kraits)Animal Archive pg. 10
SealMaster gains a +3 bonus on Swim checksAnimal Archive pg. 10
SkunkMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesAnimal Archive pg. 10
SlothMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checksBestiary 4 pg. 96
Snail kiteMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fly checks (use hawk stats for snail kites)Animal Archive pg. 10
Snapping turtleMaster gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, Bestiary 2 pg. 273 (Amazon)
Snowy owlMaster gains a +3 bonus on sight-based and opposed Perception checks when in shadows or darkness (use owl statistics, +4 Stealth to blend into snow)Reign of Winter Player's Guide pg. 10
Spider, scarletMaster gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks (if familiar is within 1 mile)Bestiary 4 pg. 252, Animal Archive pg. 10 (Amazon), Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
SquirrelMaster gains a +3 bonus on Sleight of Hand checksAnimal Archive pg. 10
Squirrel, flyingMaster gains a +3 bonus on Fly checksAnimal Archive pg. 10
Thrush*Master gains a +3 bonus on Diplomacy checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
ToadMaster gains 3 hit pointsAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
TorbleMaster gains a +2 bonus on Craft (alchemy) checksPathfinder #25: The Bastards of Erebus pg. 85
ToucanMaster gains a +3 bonus on Diplomacy checks (use raven stats for toucans [cannot speak])Animal Archive pg. 10
TuataraMaster gains a +3 bonus on Survival checksBestiary 4 pg. 96
TurtleMaster gains a +1 natural armor bonus to ACAnimal Archive pg. 10, Ultimate Magic pg. 1 (Amazon)
ViperMaster gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checksAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
WallabyMaster gains a +3 bonus on Acrobatics checksFamiliar Folio pg. 0
WeaselMaster gains a +2 bonus on Reflex savesAnimal Archive pg. 10, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 82 (Amazon)
*A raven familiar can speak one language of its master's choice as a supernatural ability.

Improved Familiars

Description Source: PRPG Core Rulebook
This feat (for more details, see the Improved Familiar feat) allows you to acquire a powerful familiar, but only when you could normally acquire a new familiar.

When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed below are also available to you. You may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each alignment axis (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature's type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

Nethys: See the monster entry by clicking on the Familiar's name for full details on its use as a familiar.

FamiliarAlignmentArcane Spellcaster LevelSource
AlmirajAny5thBestiary 4 pg. 8
Arbiter inevitableLawful neutral7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 162 (Amazon)
Augur kytonLawful evil7thBestiary 3 pg. 171
Bat, sootwingAny evil5thMonster Codex pg. 88
BeheadedNeutral evil3rdBestiary 4 pg. 17, Pathfinder #43: Haunting of Harrowstone pg. 83 (Amazon)
BrownieNeutral7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 49 (Amazon)
Cacodaemon daemonNeutral evil7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 64 (Amazon)
Caligraphy WyrmNeutral7thLegacy of Dragons pg. 26
CarbuncleNeutral5thBestiary 3 pg. 44, Pathfinder #31: Stolen Land pg. 77 (Amazon)
Cassisian angelNeutral good7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 26 (Amazon)
Cat sithChaotic neutral7thFamiliar Folio pg. 28
CaypupChaotic good7thFamiliar Folio pg. 29
Celestial hawk1Neutral good3rdPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
CeruNeutral good7thInner Sea Bestiary pg. 9
Clockwork familiarAny7thPathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone pg. 86
Coral CapuchinNeutral3rdPathfinder #58: Island of Empty Eyes pg. 83
Cythnigot qlippothChaotic evil7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 221 (Amazon)
Dire ratNeutral3rdPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Doru divNeutral evil7thBestiary 3 pg. 86, Pathfinder #19: Howl of the Carrion King pg. 81 (Amazon)
Dragon, faerieChaotic good (within 1 step)7thBestiary 3 pg. 91
Dragon, tidepoolChaotic neutral (within one step)7thPathfinder #55: The Wormwood Mutiny pg. 83
Dweomercat CubChaotic neutral7thPathfinder #36: Sound of a Thousand Screams pg. 83
Elemental, Small (any type)Neutral5thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Entropic monkey1Chaotic neutral3rdUltimate Magic pg. 1
Fiendish viper1Neutral evil3rdPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Harbinger archonLawful good7thBestiary 3 pg. 18
Hellfire IgnisAny7thCheliax, the Infernal Empire pg. 62
Homunculus2Any7thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Imp (Devil)Lawful evil7thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
ImpunduluNeutral evil7thPathfinder #40: Vaults of Madness pg. 81
IsitoqAny evil5thBestiary 4 pg. 159
KatroomeAny5thGallows of Madness pg. 62
Lyrakien azataChaotic good7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Pathfinder #2: The Skinsaw Murders pg. 87 (Amazon), Bestiary 2 pg. 38 (Amazon)
MamiwaNeutral-aligned7thIre of the Storm pg. 63
MandragoraChaotic evil9thPathfinder #17: A Memory of Darkness pg. 85
Mephit (any type)Neutral7thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
MockingfeyChaotic neutral5thInner Sea Bestiary pg. 31
NehushtanGood-aligned7thPathfinder #107: Scourge of the Godclaw pg. 87
Nosoi (Psychopomp)True neutral7thBestiary 4 pg. 220, Pathfinder #47: Ashes at Dawn pg. 86 (Amazon)
Nuglub gremlinChaotic evil7thUltimate Magic pg. 1
NycarChaotic neutral7thBestiary 4 pg. 207
Paracletus aeonNeutral7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 11 (Amazon)
PipefoxAny7thBestiary 4 pg. 215
PookaAny non-lawful7thBestiary 4 pg. 216
PseudodragonNeutral good7thAdvanced Race Guide pg. 229, PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127 (Amazon)
PseudosphinxNeutral7thFamiliar Folio pg. 29
PseudowyvernNeutral7thLegacy of Dragons pg. 27
Psyche serpentAny neutral7thOccult Bestiary pg. 44
Pyrausta3Chaotic neutral (within 1 step)3rdLegacy of Dragons pg. 27
Quasit (Demon)Chaotic evil7thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Raktavarna rakshasaLawful evil7thBestiary 3 pg. 229
RatlingChaotic evil7thBestiary 4 pg. 226
Resolute owl1Lawful neutral3rdUltimate Magic pg. 1
SeruAny evil7thMonster Codex pg. 208
Shadow drakeAny evil7thBestiary 4 pg. 80
Shikigami kamiLawful neutral7thBestiary 3 pg. 163
Silvanshee agathionNeutral good7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 21 (Amazon)
Sin seekerSee text5thPathfinder #73: The Worldwound Incursion pg. 89
SkvaderNeutral3rdPathfinder #61: Shards of Sin pg. 86
Spirit oniLawful evil7thBestiary 3 pg. 209
SpriteChaotic neutral5thBestiary 3 pg. 256
StirgeNeutral5thPRPG Core Rulebook pg. 127
Tripurasura asuraLawful evil7thBestiary 3 pg. 26
TyphilipedeLawful evil7thPathfinder #103: The Hellfire Compact pg. 88
Voidworm proteanChaotic neutral7thUltimate Magic pg. 1, Bestiary 2 pg. 217 (Amazon)
WolpertingerNeutral5thPathfinder #61: Shards of Sin pg. 86
ZoogChaotic evil5thBestiary 3 pg. 288
1Or other celestial, entropic, fiendish, or resolute animal from the standard familiar list.
2 The master must first create the homunculus.
3 A spellcaster within one step of chaotic neutral with an arcane caster level of 3rd or greater can gain a pyrausta as a familiar by taking the Improved Familiar feat. This causes the pyrausta’s heart spark to glow slightly less brightly, but more steadily. This removes its fast healing ability and heart of flame special abilities.