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What is familiar?


cornbread
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a familiar is a companion to a wizard, witch or sorceror/ess.

 

It is a SPIRIT that takes the shape of something much less powerful than the spell caster who summons it. If you summon one at low levels, you get an animal that appears non-magical...except maybe in size. So you get a normal dog or cat or badger, or a giant rat, or giant snail. If you summon one at higher levels, you might summon something inherently more powerful than a human - like an elemental, a miniature dragon, a lesser cousin of a dragon, or some other magical predator.

 

But no matter what shape it comes in, it is a source of power...and an extension of the spellcaster. It talks to you, alerts you to danger, and when you establish a sympathetic relationship with it, you change to be more like that beast in some way. Like getting better night vision, or other bonuses that represent connections to the power of the animalform that the spirit has taken.

 

In myths, it whispers words of power to you and thus makes it easier for you to discover the secrets of magic & learn new magical spells/powers. In D&D it doesn't do that. But I think the description above pretty much applies to familiars in myths AND in d20 system.

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CD pretty much said all I could say on the matter.

 

In DnD, it's a small, usually cute animal that travels with the spellcaster.

 

Traditionally, it's a cat or a bat, or even a rat, but I have someone in my Tabletop game that just aquired a toad as a familiar.

 

--LSH

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a familiar is a companion to a wizard, witch or sorceror/ess.

 

It is a SPIRIT that takes the shape of something much less powerful than the spell caster who summons it. If you summon one at low levels, you get an animal that appears non-magical...except maybe in size. So you get a normal dog or cat or badger, or a giant rat, or giant snail. If you summon one at higher levels, you might summon something inherently more powerful than a human - like an elemental, a miniature dragon, a lesser cousin of a dragon, or some other magical predator.

 

But no matter what shape it comes in, it is a source of power...and an extension of the spellcaster. It talks to you, alerts you to danger, and when you establish a sympathetic relationship with it, you change to be more like that beast in some way. Like getting better night vision, or other bonuses that represent connections to the power of the animalform that the spirit has taken.

 

In myths, it whispers words of power to you and thus makes it easier for you to discover the secrets of magic & learn new magical spells/powers. In D&D it doesn't do that. But I think the description above pretty much applies to familiars in myths AND in d20 system.

I though you picked a familiar to get the alertness feat. :lol:::P:

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In D20 if a familiar is within arms reach or 5 feet or something the caster gains the Alertness feat.

 

 

Also familiars can be used to cast spells for you, say in combat the familar can go in & touch the target instead of you, thou you do risk the chance of it gettin killed that way, major bummer for the spellcaster, then he can get a new one.

 

I usually choose a ferrat or something similar when I play a wizard. in Neverwinter Nights I choose a eyebite familar thou, kinda odd, espically when I possessed it & was using it to scout for the party.

 

Randy M

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