View Full Version : [4e] Familiars!

2008-06-23, 04:13 AM
Ok, a little bit of backstory. Within my campaign world, there is a country that is entirely occupied and run by wizards. I wanted to give these mages something that other wizards cannot have. So I came up with a way to do familiars. Then, while talking to a friend, I realized that familiars are lame. Or at least, as they were in 3.5. They were boring little creatures that barely buffed you any.

I subscribe to a few rules as a DM. One of them is that all players wanna be cool. And familiars didn't used to be cool, not after like ... level 5. So I came up with an "Augmented Familiar." You'll see as you read on.


Obtain Familiar
Level: 3
Category: Creation
Time: 1 hour
Duration: Permanently
Component Cost: 500 gold Obsidian statue of the animal you are summoning.
Market Price: 250 gp
Key Skill: Nature

You awaken the magical spirit within the finely crafted statue to act as a servant for you. You may as a minor action summon the creature. All familiars have an additional sacrifice of 1 hitpoint per level, and 1 hitpoint every level you attain with a familiar. You may only have one familiar at a time.
You summon your familiar as a standard action, sustain it as a free action, and dismiss it as a minor action.. When summoning, it appears in a square adjacent to you. A familiar does not occupy the square it is in. As long as the familiar is within 1 square of you, you gain a +1 familiar bonus to all arcane powers you use. The familiar ignores difficult terrain.
Familiars may be attacked. Their AC, Fort, Will, and Reflex defenses are all equal to your Charisma modifier. They have a number of hitpoints equal 3 times your level. If a familiar is reduced to 0 hitpoints, it discorporates immediately. When this happens, you lose a healing surge and are stunned for a round. To resummon a discorporated familiar, you must perform the ritual again, though to summon the same familiar, it does not have a component cost, and you do not have to sacrifice anymore hitpoints.
EDIT: When you use the ritual, make the nature check - average for your level. If you fail, the statue is reduced to residium (that is, magic powder that is 1/5 its original price.) You gain bonuses to your nature check if you are in an area that is potent with the creature that you are trying to awaken. Such as, if you want the rat familiar, and you perform the ritual in the sewers of the city, you gain a +2 bonus to the check. This is all up to DM's discretion.

Augment Familiar Arcane Utility 16
At Will * Arcane
Permanent Action
Your familiar upgrades to a new form. If there is more than one choice, choose one. It does not change until you lose your current familiar and gain another.
An upgraded familiar keeps all statistics and properties it had before, except now it has hitpoints equal to 5 times your level and counts as an ally for flanking purposes.

2008-06-23, 04:20 AM
Here is my list of familiars and upgrades. They are very simple, and easy to add to, if you guys like my familiar rules. Feel free to continue to add more.

The basic idea is you first use a mundane animal, give it an equivalent bonus for the caster who has it. Then find a legendary creature and create it as the augmented familiar, giving it a daily power the mage can use.


List of Familiars

+2 Diplomacy, +2 to saves vs. Fear
Augmented: Blink Dog
Encounter Power: Move Action. You and the Blink Dog switch places.
Augmented: Barghest
Daily Power: Standard Action. Burst 2 Int v. Will. All who fail are immobilized until save. This is a fear effect.

+2 Perception, Int modifier Fire Resistance
Augmented: Phoenix
Daily: Immediate Reaction. Trigger: You or an enemy uses an ability with the fire subtype. Burst 2 Int v. Reflex. All who fail take ongoing 7 fire damage.
Once Power: Immediate Reaction. Trigger: You or an ally dies. The Phoenix dies instead, and you or your ally spends a healing surge immediately. You do not suffer the normal disadvantages for your familiar dying.

+2 to Stealth, You never land prone after falling. Increase speed by 1.
Augmented: Panther
Daily: Standard Action. Burst 3 Char v. Will. Only enemies. All enemies get a -2 to AC, attack rolls, and damage (to a minimum of 1). Save ends.

+2 to Bluff, you ignore the first square of difficult terrain you enter each move action.
Augmented: Couatl
Daily: Standard Action. Burst 10, one creature in burst. Ignores all cover and gives line of effect to all creatures in burst. Int vs. Will. 2d8+NT modifier psychic damage, and ongoing psychic damage equal to your intelligence modifier.

+2 to Thievery, +2 to saves vs. Poison
Augmented: Lavellan
Daily power: Standard Action. Burst 2. Con v. Fort. Deals 2d6+Con damage and then they take continuous poison damage equal to your Con modifier until they save.

+2 to Heal; Every morning, it brings you a gold coin.
Augmented: Ramidreju
Daily power: Standard Action. You can spend a healing surge and make a saving throw against a single effect that is on you.

+2 to Athletics; +2 to Arcana. It does not cost you any hitpoints.
Augmented: Water Leaper
Daily power: Standard Action. Burst 2. Char v. Reflex. All who fail fall prone. The area is considered difficult terrain for the rest of the encounter.

Shades of Gray
2008-06-23, 09:15 AM
Sounds good, I was thinking of making familiars implements, but now I see a ritual working nicely.

brian c
2008-06-23, 09:47 AM
The phoenix seems like the best option by far, unless I'm missing something.