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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next School of Familiars: Wizard



AgentMaineSIGMA
2019-03-14, 11:10 PM
My take on a wizard who focuses entirely on making stronger, better familiars. With a bit of inspiration from the Warlock's Pact of the Chain, the Beastmaster ranger, and some general buffs to the Find Familiar spell, this class overall looks to be fairly fun and unique to play. That said, I only just completed it, and would love some improvements for balance/theming changes, so please leave a comment below! Please enjoy...

SCHOOL OF FAMILIARS
You focus your studies on a particular subset of conjuration, honing your abilities with familiars. The beasts you summon are stronger, smarter, better than any other kind of wizard could hope to conjure. With time, you learn to control numerous familiars as extensions of your very will.

CONJURED WARD
You possess a deep understanding of the conjuring magic for familiars. You learn the find familiar spell. If you already know this spell, you learn one other 1st-level conjuration spell of your choice.

Furthermore, you know how to magically pass damage on to your familiar. As a reaction when you take damage, you can choose to reduce the damage by your Intelligence modifier. As part of this reaction, your familiar takes damage equal to your Intelligence modifier.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
Starting when you choose this school at 2nd level, you learn to create stronger, more durable familiars. Whenever you cast the spell find familiar, you gain the following benefits:
Your familiar can be any Beast of CR ⅛ or lower. This increases to CR ľ at 6th level, CR Ĺ at 10th level, and CR 1 at 14th level.
When you use the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks to have your familiar make an attack as its reaction.
You can cast the spell as an action, rather than taking an hour to cast it as normal. Once you cast the spell this way, you cannot do so again until you complete a long rest.

ARCANE CONDUIT
At 6th level, you learn to channel your spells through your familiar, regardless of your spellsí nature. When you cast a ranged spell, your familiar can serve as the origin point for the spell instead of yourself. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to channel the spell. If the spell requires an attack roll, you can use your modifier for the attack roll, and if the spell requires a saving throw, you use your Spell Save DC.

SMART SUMMON
Starting at 10th level, you begin to project your own mental abilities to your familiar. Your familiar replaces its Intelligence score, Wisdom score, and Charisma score with your respective statistics, unless its are higher. Furthermore, your familiar can cast the spell blink on itself once per long rest.

TWIN SUMMON
Upon reaching 14th level, you to conjure additional spirits with the find familiar spell. Whenever you cast the spell, you can choose to create an additional creature, as per the rules of the spell.

noob
2019-03-15, 06:24 AM
My take on a wizard who focuses entirely on making stronger, better familiars. With a bit of inspiration from the Warlock's Pact of the Chain, the Beastmaster ranger, and some general buffs to the Find Familiar spell, this class overall looks to be fairly fun and unique to play. That said, I only just completed it, and would love some improvements for balance/theming changes, so please leave a comment below! Please enjoy...

SCHOOL OF FAMILIARS
You focus your studies on a particular subset of conjuration, honing your abilities with familiars. The beasts you summon are stronger, smarter, better than any other kind of wizard could hope to conjure. With time, you learn to control numerous familiars as extensions of your very will.

CONJURED WARD
You possess a deep understanding of the conjuring magic for familiars. You learn the find familiar spell. If you already know this spell, you learn one other 1st-level conjuration spell of your choice.

Furthermore, you know how to magically pass damage on to your familiar. As a reaction when you take damage, you can choose to deal that damage to your familiar instead, provided they are within 30 feet of you. Once you use this reaction, you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
Starting when you choose this school at 2nd level, you learn to create stronger, more durable familiars. Whenever you cast the spell find familiar, you gain the following benefits:
Your familiar can be any Beast of CR ⅛ or lower.
When you use the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks to have your familiar make an attack as its reaction.

ARCANE CONDUIT
At 6th level, you learn to channel your spells through your familiar, regardless of your spellsí nature. When you cast a ranged spell, your familiar can serve as the origin point for the spell instead of yourself. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to channel the spell. If the spell requires an attack roll, you can use your modifier for the attack roll, and if the spell requires a saving throw, you use your Spell Save DC.

SMART SUMMON
Starting at 10th level, you begin to project your own mental abilities to your familiar. Your familiar replaces its Intelligence score, Wisdom score, and Charisma score with your respective statistics, unless its are higher. Furthermore, the enhanced intellect of your familiar makes it a more elusive foe. Your familiarís AC now equals 10 + your Intelligence modifier, unless its natural AC is higher.

TWIN SOUL
Upon reaching 14th level, you learn to split the soul of your familiar into two beasts. Whenever you cast the spell find familiar, you can create another familiar as part of the spell. This familiar will follow all the rules of the spell. The two familiars created with this spell share a soul. As a result, when one is reduced to 0 hit points, the other is immediately reduced to 0 hit points as well, regardless of its health prior.

So a whole school about overriding the mind of your familiar, torturing it and splitting its soul to torture it twice as much.
How about calling it school of cruelty toward sapient creatures?

nickl_2000
2019-03-15, 06:53 AM
So, ethical problems aside.....

This class fells very weak to me. At second level your main ability is to summon a slightly strong familiar and redirect an attack to that familiar. However, at CR 1/8 the top amount of HP I see is the Camel with 15. Which means, they are going to be lucky to be able to absorb more than one hit. Also, they are able to attack instead of you. However, you are still looking at CR 1/8 critters here, having them attack is pretty much pointless since they are still not going to be able to hit or do much damage. Outside of maybe level 2-4, you will never use this feature since a cantrip will be more.


ARCANE CONDUIT - Now this I can see being used, what you are doing is effectively endangering you familiar to give yourself an extra 100 feet to your range. There are lots of useful effects on this, although there are some interesting questions that come up. For example, what happens if I channel this spell through a familiar that I have turned invisible? Do they stay invisible?

SMART SUMMON - I consider this a ribbon ability. Basically you are making you familiar intelligent enough to be able to work on it's own without you controlling it. The AC bonus, really is pretty moot since at level 10 the difference between 10 AC and 15 AC is effectively nothing.

TWIN SOUL - This ability allows you to split the scouting and make it so you have more range options for the 6th level ability. Outside of that it doesn't do all that much. Personally, I would simply give the ability for a Wizard to summon two familiars instead of one. No splitting the soul or when one dies the other does to. I don't see the need for all that.


Overall, here is my struggle with this subclass. Your best option for a familiar that is sticky in combat is going to be a Flying Snake since it has flyby and a good flying speed or a Giant Crab for 15 AC and 13 HP. Either way, it is going to get dropped in combat pretty quickly. Once it's been killed in combat, you have lost every single one of your subclass abilities until you have 1 hour and 10 free minutes to ritually summon another. For this to be viable, there needs to be some way that the wizard can keep his familiar alive better. Whether it's reducing damage taken by them, increasing their HP as the wizard levels, or taking the damage from the familiar onto the wizard themselves. You need something to keep that familiar around so you gain the advantages of this subclass.

AgentMaineSIGMA
2019-03-18, 10:35 AM
So, ethical problems aside.....

This class fells very weak to me. At second level your main ability is to summon a slightly strong familiar and redirect an attack to that familiar. However, at CR 1/8 the top amount of HP I see is the Camel with 15. Which means, they are going to be lucky to be able to absorb more than one hit. Also, they are able to attack instead of you. However, you are still looking at CR 1/8 critters here, having them attack is pretty much pointless since they are still not going to be able to hit or do much damage. Outside of maybe level 2-4, you will never use this feature since a cantrip will be more.


ARCANE CONDUIT - Now this I can see being used, what you are doing is effectively endangering you familiar to give yourself an extra 100 feet to your range. There are lots of useful effects on this, although there are some interesting questions that come up. For example, what happens if I channel this spell through a familiar that I have turned invisible? Do they stay invisible?

SMART SUMMON - I consider this a ribbon ability. Basically you are making you familiar intelligent enough to be able to work on it's own without you controlling it. The AC bonus, really is pretty moot since at level 10 the difference between 10 AC and 15 AC is effectively nothing.

TWIN SOUL - This ability allows you to split the scouting and make it so you have more range options for the 6th level ability. Outside of that it doesn't do all that much. Personally, I would simply give the ability for a Wizard to summon two familiars instead of one. No splitting the soul or when one dies the other does to. I don't see the need for all that.


Overall, here is my struggle with this subclass. Your best option for a familiar that is sticky in combat is going to be a Flying Snake since it has flyby and a good flying speed or a Giant Crab for 15 AC and 13 HP. Either way, it is going to get dropped in combat pretty quickly. Once it's been killed in combat, you have lost every single one of your subclass abilities until you have 1 hour and 10 free minutes to ritually summon another. For this to be viable, there needs to be some way that the wizard can keep his familiar alive better. Whether it's reducing damage taken by them, increasing their HP as the wizard levels, or taking the damage from the familiar onto the wizard themselves. You need something to keep that familiar around so you gain the advantages of this subclass.

Some ideas to help balance everything, that hopefully address your criticisms.

CONJURED WARD
Maybe instead of shunting off all your damage onto the familiar, what if you could reduce damage by your Intelligence modifier and pass it on to your familiar? It means your familiar takes more than one hit from the ability, and still gives you a bit of survivability.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
The change here is pretty small. As you get levels, you can summon better familiars. At 6th level, you can summon CR 1/4, and at 14th, you can summon CR 1/2.

SMART SUMMON
Maybe instead of the AC boost, add that your familiar can now take the Attack action on its own turn. It adds a bit of functionality, especially since we've raised the CR of your familiar.

TWIN SOUL
Exactly what you proposed, you just make two familiars.

How would you feel about that?

nickl_2000
2019-03-18, 11:33 AM
Some ideas to help balance everything, that hopefully address your criticisms.

CONJURED WARD
Maybe instead of shunting off all your damage onto the familiar, what if you could reduce damage by your Intelligence modifier and pass it on to your familiar? It means your familiar takes more than one hit from the ability, and still gives you a bit of survivability.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
The change here is pretty small. As you get levels, you can summon better familiars. At 6th level, you can summon CR 1/4, and at 14th, you can summon CR 1/2.

SMART SUMMON
Maybe instead of the AC boost, add that your familiar can now take the Attack action on its own turn. It adds a bit of functionality, especially since we've raised the CR of your familiar.

TWIN SOUL
Exactly what you proposed, you just make two familiars.

How would you feel about that?

CONJURED WARD
Between this and the boost to the CR of the familiar it does make it more effective. I still don't see myself using it a huge amount since I don't want to lose my familiar. Maybe an additional boon for this ability that let's you cast Find Familiar once a day as a single action instead of an hour long ritual? That way you have a much higher chance of always having a familiar around.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
I still think that CR 1/2 is to low. I would consider At 1st level, you can summon 1/4, 6th level, you can summon CR 1/2, and at 14th, you can summon CR 1. Even a Crag Cat or Giant Eagle at level 14 isn't all that great. It doesn't seem overpowering to me at all. You will also want to note that there is no longer a size restriction to your familiar as there is in the spell.

SMART SUMMON
You familiars attack is never going to be that great, even with a CR1 critter they aren't going to be hitting often enough or hard enough to make it worthwhile. You are a wizard and are summoning something that is a Celestial/Fiend/Fey. Give them a magical ability or innate casting here instead. Maybe 1 casting per long rest of shield, Mage Armor, and Mirror Image (1 cast of each). This massively improves the survivability of the familiar when they are being used in battle, and gives you more ability to use your subclass features. It is worth considering at least.

AgentMaineSIGMA
2019-03-18, 11:49 AM
CONJURED WARD
Between this and the boost to the CR of the familiar it does make it more effective. I still don't see myself using it a huge amount since I don't want to lose my familiar. Maybe an additional boon for this ability that let's you cast Find Familiar once a day as a single action instead of an hour long ritual? That way you have a much higher chance of always having a familiar around.

ENHANCED FAMILIAR
I still think that CR 1/2 is to low. I would consider At 1st level, you can summon 1/4, 6th level, you can summon CR 1/2, and at 14th, you can summon CR 1. Even a Crag Cat or Giant Eagle at level 14 isn't all that great. It doesn't seem overpowering to me at all. You will also want to note that there is no longer a size restriction to your familiar as there is in the spell.

SMART SUMMON
You familiars attack is never going to be that great, even with a CR1 critter they aren't going to be hitting often enough or hard enough to make it worthwhile. You are a wizard and are summoning something that is a Celestial/Fiend/Fey. Give them a magical ability or innate casting here instead. Maybe 1 casting per long rest of shield, Mage Armor, and Mirror Image (1 cast of each). This massively improves the survivability of the familiar when they are being used in battle, and gives you more ability to use your subclass features. It is worth considering at least.

What if you get one cast as an action per long rest? I'm hesitant to take down an hour long ritual to a single action every time, even if the class is based around that one spell.

What if it went CR 1/8 at 2nd, 1/4 at 6th, 1/2 at 10th, and 1 at 14th? That way it has a bit more of a natural progression, and it achieves the same effect in the long run.

I'd be willing to say they can cast blink innately once per long rest. It seems fairly natural for an extraplanar creature being able to blink between planes.

nickl_2000
2019-03-18, 11:53 AM
What if you get one cast as an action per long rest? I'm hesitant to take down an hour long ritual to a single action every time, even if the class is based around that one spell.

This was actually my intent. I may not have spelled it out clearly enough though.



What if it went CR 1/8 at 2nd, 1/4 at 6th, 1/2 at 10th, and 1 at 14th? That way it has a bit more of a natural progression, and it achieves the same effect in the long run.

Absolutely, that seems fine with me.



I'd be willing to say they can cast blink innately once per long rest. It seems fairly natural for an extraplanar creature being able to blink between planes.

Makes sense, you can give this and the attack if you like, but I still don't see the attacking being used very often at all.