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Animal Companion Tricks

Unlike intelligent followers or cohorts, animals can’t follow complex instructions, such as “attack the mage in the red robes.” A character can give a simple verbal command to an Animal Companion such as “attack,” “come,” or “subdue” as a move action (if the animal is an animal companion being handled by its master, this is a free action), provided that such a command is among the tricks the animal has learned. Animals are ill-equipped to handle unusual situations (such as combats with invisible opponents), and they typically hesitate to attack weird and unnatural creatures (such as oozes).

Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.

Come (DC 15): The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so.

Defend (DC 20): The animal defends you (or is ready to defend you if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, you can command the animal to defend a specific other character.

Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn’t know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.

Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches some random object.

Guard (DC 20): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.

Heel (DC 15): The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.

Perform (DC 15): The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.

Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.

Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.

Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability).

Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a load up to twice his own weight.

Count (DC 15): The animal accurately counts a number of objects, and reports that information back (by tapping a paw, etc.). The animal’s upper counting limit is 10 per point of Intelligence. So, an animal with a 2 Intelligence could count up to 20 objects, beyond that would always be reported as 20.

Dig (DC 15): The animal digs at a given spot until commanded to stop.

Follow (DC 15): The animal follows a specified creature or target at a discrete distance while attempting to avoid detection.

Hide (DC 15): The animal hides to the best of its ability within a given area.

Obey (DC 20): The animal obeys a different character as indicated by its companion. The indicated character must be familiar with whatever command phrases or gestures the character uses to command the companion. The animal will obey the indicated character for up to 10 minutes per every point over the Challenge Level of the check required to get the animal to follow the command that the handling character’s skill check was. For example, if the ranger Typhis, an 8th level ranger who is not prime in Charisma is attempting to get his wolf animal companion (2 HD) to obey the cleric Brother Duran, he would have to beat a Challenge Level 25 on a D20 roll. Typhis rolls a 19 and adds +8 for his level getting a 27, thus convincing his wolf to follow Brother Duran’s orders for twenty minutes. Note that the indicated character must still make his own Handle Animal Charisma checks to command the animal, but he need not have the Handle Animal ability to do so. The minimum amount of time an animal will obey is 10 minutes.

Pick Pocket (DC 25): The animal attempts to pick the pocket of an indicated character using its Sleight of Hand skill. The victim must be indicated (although this can be done discreetly), and this requires a full round action. Note that the animal so trained need not have the Sleight of Hand skill (and can perform untrained skill checks), though the character performing the training does need to have ranks in the skill.

Protect (DC 20): The animal follows a specified creature or character and protects him from danger (like “Defend,” but for another character).

Sync (DC 25): The animal coordinates its actions with another animal companion. Each time the trick is learned, you choose one other trick the animal knows (attack, protect, seek, track, etc.). If the two animals both perform the trick at the same time (for example, both attacking the same target; both tracking the ability once per day per two levels of its master, and the ability functions just like the spell.

Subdue (DC 35): As per the attack command, but the animal attempts to subdue its opponents rather than actually kill them.

Familiar Special Abilities

The special abilities for familiars – standard, greater, and supreme – are listed and described below. Which special abilities a familiar possesses is dependent on the level of its master and the class it is associated with. Note than when selecting a special ability, you can always choose a less powerful ability. For example, if you are choosing a Greater Familiar Special Ability, you can instead choose a Standard Familiar Special Ability if you wish.

For any spell-like abilities the familiar may gain by taking a special ability, its effective caster level is equal to its master’s level (as associated with the familiar). For all other abilities requiring a saving throw, the Challenge Level + the master’s level (as associated with the familiar, unless noted otherwise).

Standard Familiar Special Abilities

Alertness: The presence of the familiar sharpens its master’s senses. While the familiar is within arm’s reach, the master gains proficiency in Perception. If the master is already proficient, he doubles (or trebles, if already double-proficient) his proficiency bonus. This bonus applies to base as well as rolled Perception checks (base perception is equal to ten plus the character’s Wisdom bonus, plus any applicable proficiency bonus).

Blood Bond: The familiar is advantaged on all attacks, ability or skill checks, and saves, if it witnesses its master threatened or harmed. This bonus lasts as long as the threat is immediate and apparent.

Blur: The familiar benefits from the effects of the spell blur for a number of minutes per day equal to its master’s level. The familiar may blur on a number of different occasions during a single day as long as the total number of rounds spent blurred does not exceed its master’s level. Evoking or dismissing this power is a standard action.

Chameleon (Su): The familiar’s skin takes on the color and texture of nearby objects, including floors and walls. This grants advantage to Stealth checks.

Command Creatures of Its Kind (Sp): This is a spell-like ability that the familiar can use at will against other creatures of its kind with fewer Hit Dice than it has itself. The familiar can use this ability once per day, per two levels of its master, and the ability functions just like the spell command (for purposes of this spell, the familiar can make itself be understood by any normal animal of its kind). Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the familiar’s daily uses.

Control Light: The familiar’s presence alters the natural ambient light levels of its surroundings. When this power is selected, choose whether you want the familiar to dim or brighten nearby light. The total illumination of the area within 100 feet of the familiar is altered by 20%. This increases or decreases the overall range of vision for all characters within that range by an equal percentage. The change in intensity can be either gradual or sudden when a familiar enters a region (but this, too, must be selected at the same time as the power). This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, its effects stack in the same manner as previously selected. (For example, a familiar who has taken this ability three times would dim or brighten the ambient light level by 60%.) Decreasing ambient light levels grants a +1 circumstance bonus to Hide checks for every 40% shi ft. Increased ambient light of a torch or brighter light by 200% or more blinds normally sighted creatures in the area.

Control Shadow: The familiar can manipulate its shadow as a free action. The familiar’s shadow can grow in size, move independently of the familiar, or change shape so long as the shadow remains within 200 feet of the familiar. In addition to being used as a possible silent signal between the familiar, the master, and/or his companions, this ability can also be used to provide advantage to any Hide or Intimidate checks made by either the familiar or its master (who must be within 5 feet of the familiar at the time).

Danger Sense: The familiar gains advantage on saving throws against traps.

Darkvision: The familiar can see up to 60 feet in the dark.

Deliver Touch Spells: The familiar can deliver touch spells for the master. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as able to deliver the touch component. The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

Detect Good Or Evil: At will, the familiar can detect good or evil, as per the spell. The familiar can use this ability once per day per two levels of its master, and the ability functions just like the spell.

Detect Law OR Chaos: At will, the familiar can detect law or chaos. This ability works as per the spell Detect Good or Evil, but applies to the ethical axis, rather than the moral. The familiar can use this ability once per day per two levels of its master.

Detect Magic: At will, the familiar can detect magic, as per the spell. The familiar can use this ability once per day per two levels of its master, and the ability functions just like the spell.

Detect Poison and Disease: At will, the familiar can detect poison and disease, as per the spell. The familiar can use this

Detect Secret Doors: At will, the familiar can automatically detect the presence and exact location of secret doors, snares and pits within 30 feet of its location. The ability is instantaneous rather than lasting, and the familiar can use this ability once per day per two levels of its master.

Distracting: The presence of the familiar can prove to be oddly distracting. At will, as a standard action, the familiar can cause all living creatures within 30 feet to become disadvantaged on all skill checks and attack rolls. The familiar and its master are immune to this ability.

Empathic Link: The master has an empathic link with the familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiar’s eyes, but the two of them can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content (such as fear, hunger, happiness, curiosity) can be communicated. Note that the low Intelligence of a low-level master’s familiar limits what the creature is able to communicate or understand, and even intelligent familiars see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible. Because of this empathic link between familiar and master, the master has the same connection to an item or place that the familiar does. For instance, if his familiar has seen a room, the master can teleport to that room as if he has seen it too.

Endurance: The presence of the familiar gives the master pools of hidden strength. While the familiar is within arm’s reach, the master gains the use of the Endurance Feat.

Endure Elements: The familiar is naturally resistant to extreme temperatures and environments, and is considered protected by an endure elements spell at all times.

Familiar’s Eye: At will, the familiar’s eyes emit a 20-foot cone of light. This light functions in all other ways as per the light spell.

Familiar’s Flame: At will, as a free action, the familiar appears wreathed in a harmless flame, equivalent in brightness to a torch. The flame looks like a normal fire, but does not create heat and consumes no oxygen. The flame can be covered and hidden, but cannot be smothered or quenched.

Fangs/talons: The familiar’s natural weaponry sharpens and lengthens, granting it a +2 bonus to its unarmed damage. This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar gains an additional +1 bonus to their unarmed damage.

Healing Touch: Once per day, the familiar can touch any creature and heal one hit die of damage (using the hit die of the creature touched). This healing neither causes the target to spend a hit die, nor counts against the creature’s normal total hit dice for purposes of healing damage after a rest. This ability can be selected more than once. Each additional time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time each day.

Inkling: The familiar has a sixth sense and often knows whether intended actions are good or bad. A number of times per day equal to its Wisdom bonus (or their master’s Wisdom bonus, whichever is higher), the familiar has a 50% chance of knowing whether the results of a particular action will be good or bad. The Game Master should roll the check secretly. If successful, the familiar knows whether the action is “Weal” (with good results), “Woe” (with bad results), “Weal and Woe” (a combination of good and bad results), or “Nothing” (no particularly good or bad results). If the check fails, the familiar will receive a “Nothing” result. This ability can only see into the future about half an hour and so the familiar cannot foresee consequences beyond that time limit. This ability can be selected more than once. Each additional time it is selected, the familiar can use this ability up to a number of times per day equal to its Wisdom bonus (or its master’s) multiplied by the number of times the familiar has selected this ability. For example, if a familiar has a +3 Wisdom bonus, and has chosen this ability three times, it can use it up to nine times a day.

Know Direction: At will, the familiar can know direction, as per the spell. The familiar can use this ability once per day per two levels of its master, and the ability functions just like the spell.

Low-Light Vision: The familiar can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.

Natural Armor: The familiar gains a +2 bonus to its AC due to improved natural armor. This ability can be selected more than once. Each additional time it is selected improves AC by +1. Its effects stack with all other natural armor bonuses the familiar already possesses.

Scry On Familiar: If the master is 12th level or higher, he may scry to his familiar (as if casting the spell scrying) once per day. This requires no material components or focus.

Share Songs: Only the familiar of a bard may possess this ability. The familiar’s master is capable of inspiring the familiar’s song or call, imbuing it with the power of their own voice. The familiar can use one of its master’s bardic abilities at any time, with an effect identical to that which the song would have if the familiar’s master was using it. This use counts as the bard using it for purposes of when the songs can be used, though the bard and her familiar can use the ability simultaneously in different areas, thus increasing the effective range and number of targets. The familiar and the master must be sharing an empathic link when this ability is used. The familiar may mimic the following abilities, so long as the Bard is currently able to use them: Inspiration (or any inspiration-like ability), Rest, Countercharm, Cutting Words. The use of this ability counts as a Bonus action for the bard, but is a standard action for the familiar.

Share Spells: At the master’s option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect one of his familiars by using this ability. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, the spell stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away, and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the master before the duration expires. Additionally, the master may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. A master and his familiar can share spells, even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiar’s type (usually magical beast). Spell effects cannot be shifted from one familiar to another. Spells available to the caster from another class other than the one the familiar is associated with can be shared with this ability.

Speak with Animals of its Kind: The familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same type as itself (including dire variants): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks with owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures of the family Mustelidae (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the Intelligence of the conversing creatures.

Speak with Master: The familiar and master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.

Spell Resistance: The Familiar is advantaged when saving against spells.

Trackless Step: The familiar leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. It may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Uncanny Dodge: The familiar has the extraordinary ability to react to danger before its senses would normally allow it to do so. This functions identically to the Rogue’s Uncanny Dodge ability, using a reaction to halve damage from a successful attack against the familiar.

Greater Familiar Special Abilities

Animal Trance: At will, as a continuous full round action, the familiar is capable of compelling animals, beasts, and magical beasts within 60 ft. of it to do nothing but watch it. Only normal animals with the “beast” type and an Intelligence of 7 or less can be affected by this ability. This means that a giant ape could be affected, while an orc or goblin of low intelligence could not. Roll 2d6 and add the master’s level (as relates to the familiar) to determine the total number of HD the familiar entrances. The closest targets are affected first until no more targets within range can be affected. Animals trained to attack or guard, and beasts with an intelligence of 6 or 7 are allowed a Charisma save to negate this effect. The DC for this save is 8 plus the master’s Charisma bonus + HD of the Familiar. An entranced creature can be struck (with advantage, as if it were stunned), but it then recovers from the compulsion and is no longer affected by the ability. This effect continues until the familiar stops concentrating on the power, is interrupted, suffers damage, or until some other event or action brings the subject(s) out of the effect.

Antiplant Shell: The familiar is permanently affected by a field that protects it from plants and plant life. This ability works as per the antilife shell spell but affects only plants rather than all life. The familiar can raise or lower the shell at will as a free action.

Augury: The familiar can tell whether a particular action will bring good or bad results for itself or its master in the immediate future. This ability operates as per the spell augury. Once it is used, the familiar cannot use it again before it takes a long rest. This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Blessed Companion: When the familiar and its master are in physical contact, both receive a bonus to attack rolls and saving throws as though affected by the Bless spell.

Blink: The familiar can ‘blink’ back and forth between the Material and Ethereal planes, as per the spell blink. The effect lasts for 1 round per level of the familiar’s master. The familiar can use this ability once, and then must take a long rest before it can use it again. This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Commune with Nature: The familiar can commune with nature (as per the spell). Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts as having been used. Note that unless the familiar is able to communicate complex ideas to its master, this ability is of limited use. Once used, the familiar cannot use this ability again before completing a long rest. This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can us it an additional time between rests.

Cause Disease: If the familiar touches a creature (requiring a touch attack, but also works in conjunction with any natural weapons the familiar may have), the creature is afflicted with a disease that is selected at the time this ability is selected and always remains the same. The exact effects of the disease must be approved by the GM, but at minimum should result in the victim being Poisoned for a duration of 1d4 weeks unless it fails a Constitution saving throw (DC=10 + familiar’s hit dice to a max DC 15; save may be made each week). The familiar’s master is immune to this ability.

Combat Sense: The Familiar gains advantage on surprise checks, negates the advantage afforded by flanking, and suffers half additional damage from sneak attacks.

Countercall: Tthe familiar can use his natural call (a lion’s roar, a bird’s song, etc.) to counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have a verbal component). A familiar can countercall while performing other mundane actions, but not magical ones. When a sonic related spell is cast, the familiar with the Countercall ability automatically makes a Charisma check with a challenge level equal to the level of the caster. If the familiar is successful, they automatically negate the effects of such spells as sound burst or command, charm person or other spells with sonic or language dependent components. Using the Countercall is automatic, but it replaces the familiar’s action for the round and only works so long as the familiar continues roaring, chirping, barking, or using whatever effect is required to disrupt the spell caster. The Countercall may be maintained for one round per HD of the familiar and once used, the familiar must take a long rest before using it again. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Courageous Roar: The familiar can inspire courage in its allies with its natural call (a lion’s roar, a bird’s song, etc.). To be affected, an ally must hear the familiar’s call, and the familiar may do nothing else in the round save continue the call. The effect lasts for as long as the familiar continues calling, and for five rounds after the familiar stops calling (or can no longer be heard). A familiar can continue calling while taking other mundane actions, but not magical actions. Affected allies receive a +2 morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls. The familiar can keep up the Courageous Roar for up to 10 rounds. Once used, the familiar must engage in a long rest before using the Courageous Roar again. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Darkness: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can plunge an area within a 20-foot radius of itself into darkness (as per the spell). Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it can be attempted again in subsequent rounds.

Dazing Touch: If the familiar touches a creature, the creature disadvantaged on all attacks, ability checks and saves for 1d6 minutes unless it succeeds at a (DC = 10 + Familiar’s HD, max DC 15) Wisdom save. This requires a touching attack, but also works in conjunction with any natural weapons that the familiar may have. The familiar’s master is immune to this ability.

Death’s Harbinger: If the familiar touches a creature with -1 hit points or lower, the subject must make a Charisma save equal to the level of the familiar’s master or die. If it dies, the familiar gains 1d8 temporary hit points and a +2 bonus to Strength. Additionally, the familiar’s master’s effective caster level (if any) goes up by +1, improving spell effects dependent to caster level. (This increase in caster level does not grant additional spells.) These effects last for 10 minutes per HD of the victim.

Death Ward: When the familiar and its master are in physical contact, both are immune to all death spells and magical death effects. This ability does not protect against other sorts of attacks, such as hit point loss, poison, petrification, or other effects, even if they might prove lethal. The familiar may activate this ability as a bonus action or reaction, and once used, it cannot be used again before the familiar has a long rest.

Deafening Call: The familiar can empower their natural call (a lion’s roar, a bird’s song, etc.) into an ear-splitting cry that deafens and damages creatures in its path. To use theis ability the familiar may not do anything for the entire round save use their call, including bonus actions and reactions. Any creature within 30 feet of the familiar when it makes such a call must make a Constitution save (DC=8 + Master’s Wisdom bonus + Master’s Proficiency Bonus) or suffer 2d6 points of damage and be deafened for 2d6 rounds. A successful save negates the deafness and reduces the damage by half. Any brittle or crystalline object or crystalline creature exposed to this call takes an additional 1d6 points of damage per level of the familiar’s master (maximum 15d6). Crystalline creatures are allowed a Constitution save (DC as above) to reduce damage by half, and creatures holding fragile objects can negate the damage with successful Reflex saves. A deafened creature, in addition to obvious effects, suffers a -4 penalty to initiative and a 20% chance to miscast and lose any spell with a verbal component that they try to cast. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time per day.

Defensive Roll: As a reaction, when a familiar would normally be struck a physical blow in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the familiar can attempt to roll with the damage. The familiar makes a Dexterity save (DC is 8 + damage dealt). If successful, the familiar only takes half damage from the blow. The familiar must be aware of the attack and be able to react to it. If the familiar is denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class due to paralysis or some other effect, it cannot use the defensive roll.

Detect Scrying: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can immediately become aware of any attempt to observe itself or its master through any means of magical scrying including that from spells or magical items such as crystal balls. If the spell caster or magic item is within 150 feet, the familiar also knows its exact location. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted in any way. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it can be attempted again in subsequent rounds.

Detect Thoughts: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can detect thoughts, as per the spell. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check to continue the detecting thoughts if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it can be attempted again in subsequent rounds.

Discern Lies: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can instantly know if a subject upon whom it is concentrating deliberately speaks a lie. The familiar does not necessarily know the truth behind the lie; only that the subject has deliberately spoken a lie. Accidental inaccuracies or evasions of the truth are not revealed; only outright lies. Victims are entitled to a Charisma based save (DC=8 + Master’s Wisdom Bonus + Master’s Proficiency Bonus) to resist the effect. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check to continue to discern lies if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it can be attempted again in subsequent rounds.

Disease Immunity: The familiar gains immunity to all diseases except for magical diseases such as mummy rot.

Disenchanter: If the familiar touches a creature affected by an enchantment (transmutation, curse, petrification, or other magical transformation), the touched creature is entitled to a new saving throw at advantage to resist the effect. Unwilling subjects of a disenchanter’s touch are entitled to a Charisma-based saving throw (DC=8 + Master’s Charisma Bonus + Master’s Proficiency Bonus) to resist being disenchanted. This requires a touching attack, but also works in conjunction with any natural weapons the familiar may have.

Dispel Magic: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can dispel magic as per the spell.

Encompassing Vision: The familiar gains the supernatural ability of sight in all directions, allowing it a perfect view of everything within a 360-degree sphere. Aside from the obvious benefits, the familiar cannot be flanked, and it gains advantage on all Perception checks. However, the familiar also suffers disadvantage to saves against all gaze attacks.

Enhance Attribute: The familiar may choose to enhance one of its attributes as the Enhance Ability spell. This effect lasts for one hour. Once the familiar uses the ability, it cannot use it again before taking a long rest.

Fearful: Creatures who see the familiar must make a Wisdom save (DC 8 + master’s Charisma bonus + master’s Proficiency bonus) or become Frightened. Affected creatures flee from the familiar as best as they can. The master and creatures with 6 or more HD are immune to this ability.

Find Traps: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can find traps, as per the spell. This is a spell-like ability.

Freedom of Movement: The familiar can move and attack normally, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement (such as hold person, solid fog, slow, and web spells). The familiar can also move and attack normally underwater (although the ability does not allow water breathing), if it is ordinarily unable to do so. After this ability is used, the familiar must take a long rest before using again. This ability can be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use the ability an additional time between rests.

Guided Strike: As a bonus action, the familiar can grant its master advantage on his next attack roll. The bonus comes from the familiar granting a unique, third-person insight into the weaknesses of the master’s opponent. As a result, the familiar must be able to see both the master and his opponent for this ability work.

Great Leap: The familiar’s jumping distance (vertical or horizontal) is not limited according to its height, and the familiar gains advantage on all Athletics or Acrobatics checks related to leaping.

Haste: As a bonus action or reaction, the familiar is affected as per the haste spell. Once used, this ability may not be used again until the familiar takes a long rest. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Light: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can shed light in a 60-foot radius around itself, as per the light spell. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it can be attempted again in subsequent rounds.

Mirror Image: As a bonus action or reaction, the familiar can invoke illusionary duplicates of itself, as per a mirror image spell. This is a spell-like ability. Once used, the familiar must take a long rest before it can use this power again. This ability may be selected twice; taking it a second time allows the familiar to use it after a short rest rather than a long rest.

Mystic Disguise: The familiar can make itself look different, as per the alter self spell. This is a spell-like ability. After using this ability the familiar must complete a long rest before it can be used again.

Natural Armor, Improved: The familiar gains a +2 bonus to its natural armor. This ability can be selected more than once. Each additional time it is selected increases the natural armor bonus by +1. Its effects stack with all other natural armor bonuses the familiar already possesses, to a maximum total natural AC of 15.

Nondetection: The familiar is affected as per the nondetection spell.

Opportunist: Once per round as a reaction, the familiar can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character (the familiar must still have sufficient reach to do this). This attack counts as the familiar’s attack of opportunity for that round.

Recall: As a bonus action, the master can instantly summon their familiar to their side, as if the familiar had cast word of recall with the master as the designated “sanctuary.” Once used, this ability cannot be used again until the master completes a long rest. This ability may be selected more than once. Each additional time the ability is selected, it can be used one additional time between rests.

Resist Energy: The familiar benefits from a limited protection to damage from one of the five energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. (The energy type is selected at the same time the ability is selected and never changes.) The familiar has resistance against the energy type chosen. This ability protects any equipment held by the familiar as well. This ability functions in all other ways as the protection from energy spell. This ability may be taken more than once. Each additional time it is taken, a different energy type may be selected.

Slow Fall: A familiar within arm’s reach (or leg’s reach, tail’s reach, etc.) of a wall can use the wall to slow its descent when falling. The familiar takes damage as if the fall were 30 feet shorter than it actually is. This ability may be selected more than once. The second time the ability is selected, the familiar can slow fall 40 ft. The third time the ability is selected, the familiar either reduces the fall by 40 ft. or takes half damage from any fall, no matter how high the distance, whichever results in less damage.

Shocking Touch: The familiar can as a reaction use shocking grasp as a spell-like ability, with its caster level equivalent to its HD. The familiar’s master is immune to this ability. Once used, the familiar must take a short rest before it can deliver another shocking touch.

Silence: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can silence a 20-foot radius around itself. The familiar must concentrate to maintain this effect. In all other ways this spell-like ability functions as per the silence spell.

Sleeping Touch: If the familiar touches a creature, the creature is affected as per the sleep spell. This requires a touching attack, but also works in conjunction with any natural weapons the familiar may have. The familiar’s master is immune to this ability. The save DC for this spell is equal to 8 + the master’s Wisdom bonus + the master’s Proficiency bonus. Once used, the familiar must take a long rest before it can use this ability again. This ability may be taken a second time. Selecting it a second time allows use after a short rest rather than a long rest.

Sneak Attack: As per the rogue’s class ability, the familiar can perform a sneak attack for +1d6 damage. This ability may be selected more than once. Each additional time the ability is selected, the familiar does an additional +1d6 points of damage with its sneak attack.

Speak With Dead: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can speak with dead, as per the spell, as a spell-like ability. Note that unless the familiar has the ability to speak with the dead creature (is under the effects of a tongues spell, speaks the correct language – see Speech below, etc,), this ability is of no use.

Speech: The familiar gains the ability of speech, knowing whatever languages its master knows.

Spell Resistance: The familiar gains advantage on all saving throws against magic spells.

Spell Resistance, Greater: In addition to being advantaged on saving throws against spells, the familiar always uses the best ability score bonus either it or its master has when making such throws, regardless of what ability would normally be used to save against the spell. In order to gain this ability, the familiar must first have Spell Resistance.

Spider Climb: The familiar can at will, as a bonus action, spider climb as per the spell, as a spell-like ability. Once used, the familiar must complete a short rest before it can use this ability again.

Time Hop: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can hop forward in time 3d6 rounds. The familiar appears to disappear, and then reappears in the exact same spot (with the same orientation and condition) 3d6 rounds later. For the familiar, no time has passed at all. If the space in which the familiar reappears has become occupied, the familiar materializes in the nearest unoccupied space.

Venom Immunity: The familiar is immune to poisons of all kinds.

Water Breathing: The familiar can breathe water freely. (This does not make them unable to breathe air.) This ability can be taken in reverse to allow aquatic familiars to breathe air freely.

Water Walk: The familiar can at will, as a free action, water walk as per the spell, as a spell-like ability. Once used, the familiar must complete a short rest before it can use this ability again.

Whirlwind Attack: The familiar use whirlwind attack exactly as the Ranger’s Hunter ability, allowing an additional attack against each adjacent foe.

Wholeness of Body: As a standard action, the familiar can cure its own wounds. The familiar rolls a number of hit dice equal to its master’s hit die value (thus, the familiar of a fighter would roll d10s) and up to its master’s total hit dice. It can spread this healing out among several uses between long rests. This healing uses the master’s hit dice value and total, but does not count against the master’s own uses of hit dice for healing after short rests. Thus, even if the familiar of a 5th-level fighter heals 5d10 hit points, the fighter can still use its hit dice during a short rest for healing as normal.

Woodland Stride: The familiar may move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain, at its normal speed and without suffering damage or other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect the familiar.

Supreme Familiar Special Abilities

Antimagic Field: Once per day, as a standard action, the familiar can invoke a 5- ft. radius antimagic field centered upon itself, as per the spell of the same name. This is a spell-like ability, requiring a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts as a use of the ability. After use, this ability cannot be used again until the familiar takes a long rest. This ability may be selected twice. Selecting the ability a second time allows for its use after a short rather than a long rest.

Astral Projection: The familiar can project itself and up to eight others into the astral plane as per the spell astral projection. This ability functions in all ways like the spell of the same name, and once used the familiar may not use it again until it completes a long rest. This ability may be selected a second time. If this occurs, the familiar requires only a short rest after use, rather than a long rest, before using it again.

Banishing Smite: If the familiar successfully attacks an extraplanar creature, that creature is affected as if by the banishing smite spell. This requires a successful attack, but also works in conjunction with any natural weapons the familiar may have. It is in all other ways identical to the spell of the same name. The familiar’s master is immune to this ability.

Banishing Call: Once per day, as a full round action, the familiar can empower its natural call (a lion’s roar, a bird’s song, etc.), creating two effects: First, if the familiar is on its home plane, extraplanar creatures within 60 feet of an opposing alignment or hostile intent are instantly affected as per the Banishment spell. Second, creatures native to the master’s plane who hear the call and are hostile or of opposing alignment suffer the following ill effects:

Table 1-3: Banishing Call Effect
HD Effect
12 or more Dazed
Less than 12 Dazed, weakened
Less than 8 Dazed, paralyzed, weakened
Less than 4 Killed

Dazed: The creature is dazed (see New Condition: Dazed) for 1d10 rounds.

Weakened: The creature’s Strength score is decreased by 2d6 for 2d4 rounds.

Paralyzed: The creature is paralyzed 1d10 minutes.

Killed: Living creatures die. Undead creatures are destroyed. This ability may be selected more than once. Each additional time the ability is selected, it can be used one additional time per day.

Charm: At will, as a bonus action, the familiar can affect a creature it is touching as per a charm person, charm monster, or charm animal spell (possibly requiring a touch attack).

Cloak of Dark Chaos: The familiar can at will, as a bonus action, erect a cloak of dark chaos around itself. This effect lasts for a number of minutes equal to the master’s level, and envelopes the familiar with an undulating cloak of smoky darkness which inflicts 2d8 points of damage to any who attack or touch the familiar unless they succeed at an Intelligence saving throw (DC 8 + Master’s Intelligence Bonus + Master’s Proficiency Bonus). Once used, the cloak cannot be used again until the familiar completes a short rest. Lawful familiars, or whose masters are lawful, may not choose this ability.

Companion’s Veil: When the familiar and its master are in physical contact, both are protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions and thoughts. This ability protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering and divination spells. This ability otherwise functions as per the mind blank spell.

Confusion: At will, as a standard action, the familiar can cause confusion (as per the spell) to all creatures within a 10 ft. radius of itself. Both the familiar and its master are immune to this ability. This is a spell-like ability, and the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability likewise fails, but is still considered used. After using this ability, the familiar must take a short rest before using it again. This ability may be taken multiple times. Each additional time it is taken increases the radius by 5 feet.

Damage Reduction: The familiar gains damage reduction of 1, meaning that all damage it suffers from any source is reduced by 1 point. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar gains an additional point of damage reduction. Note that this ability stacks with any damage reduction or resistance the familiar may already possess.

Dimension Slip: At will, as a bonus action, the familiar can magically slip between spaces as per the spell dimension door. Once used, the familiar must complete a short rest before using this ability again.

Divine Health: The familiar is immune to all diseases, including magical ones such as mummy rot.

Ethereal State: The familiar can assume an ethereal state at will, as a bonus action, as per the spell etherealness. Once used, the familiar must complete a long rest before using this ability again. This ability may be taken a second time. If selected again, the familiar must complete only a short rather than a long rest after use before using the ability again.

Familiar Growth: Once per day the familiar can grow up to twice its normal size. This doubles the familiar’s height, width, and length, increasing its weight by a factor of eight. This increase in size has a number of effects:

Size Category: The familiar’s size category increases by 1 level (small becomes medium, medium becomes large, etc.)

Hit Dice: The familiar’s HD type changes to that of its new size category, increasing its hit points accordingly. These additional hit points are considered to be temporary hit points.

Damage: The damage from a creature’s attacks move to the next largest die. Example: d4 to d6, d6 to d8, and so on.

Armor Class: If the creature goes from small to medium or medium to large, the Creature’s Armor class is reduced by 1 due to being larger and thus easier to hit. The increased size lasts a number of minutes equal to the master’s level. When it ends, the familiar’s hit points and statistics return to normal. Once used, the familiar must complete a long rest before using the ability again. This ability may be selected a second time. If selected again, the familiar must complete only a short rest rather than a long rest after use before the ability can be used again. This ability does not stack with spells or other effects that increase a creature’s size but can be negated by a spell that shrinks a creature.

Find The Path: At will, as a full round action, the familiar can always find the path, as per the spell of the same name. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability likewise fails, but is considered to have been used. After use, the familiar must complete a short rest before this ability can be used again.

Fly: The familiar can fly at will as a free action, as per the spell. This is a spell-like ability requiring a concentration check if the familiar is distracted or disturbed. If the check fails, the spell likewise fails and is considered to have been used (as well as the familiar suffering any consequences from falling). Once used, the familiar must complete a long rest before using this ability again. This ability may be taken a second time. Choosing it again allows the familiar to complete a short rather than a long rest after using before it may be used again.

Mind Store: The mental connection between master and familiar deepens. If the master dies, his consciousness is transferred to his familiar’s body. The familiar’s personality is destroyed, and the master assumes control of the familiar’s body. (The master’s body is rendered into a lifeless shell and cannot be resurrected through the normal means.) None of the familiar’s special abilities survive the transfer, though natural abilities and automatic abilities do (a fish’s body breathes air, an owl’s body can fly, etc.). The master retains his skills, feats, and mental attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma), but replaces his physical attributes (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) with the familiar’s.

Natural Armor, Supreme: The familiar gains a +4 bonus to its natural armor. Its effects stack with all other natural armor bonuses the familiar already possesses. This bonus cannot take the familiar’s natural armor AC above 18.

Raise Dead: Once per week, the familiar can raise dead as per the spell. However, this ability does require the familiar’s master to provide the material component of a diamond worth at least 500 gp in value. Since this is a spell-like ability, the familiar must make a Concentration check if distracted. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the number of uses per week. This ability can be taken more than once. Each time it is taken, the familiar may use it an additional time each week.

Spell Resistance, Supreme: The familiar gains advantage on all saving throws against spells, and may add double its master’s proficiency bonus to all such saves.

Supreme Leap: The familiar is considered to be one size category larger when determining the height it can achieve on a jump. Additionally, the familiar gains advantage on Athletics or Acrobatics checks made to leap, and adds its master’s proficiency bonus as well as its own to such checks.

Time Regression: The familiar can apparently regress time for itself 1d4+1 rounds. To do so, the familiar must spend a full round concentrating to invoke the power. The familiar can now replay these rounds, acting on its knowledge of how they played out the last time. Any and all rolls the familiar is required to make must be re-rolled to reflect this insight. (The familiar can communicate this knowledge to other people if it wishes and is able to, and those so told must also re-roll all rolls if they have reason to believe the familiar.) Note that in complex situations such as large swirling combats, the effects of this power can be difficult for a Game Master to adjudicate. In such instances, each Game Master is encouraged to handle the situation in whatever manner they think best. The Game Master’s ruling in this regards is always final. Once used, the familiar must complete a long rest before it can use this ability again. This ability may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, the familiar can use it an additional time between rests.

Tongues: The familiar gains the ability to understand and speak the language of any intelligent creature. The familiar must be capable of speech to employ this ability.

Zone of Truth: As a bonus action, the familiar can render all creatures within 60 feet of the familiar are unable to speak any deliberate or intentional lies. This ability functions in all ways exactly as per a zone of truth spell, including saving throws to resist. The familiar and its master are immune to this ability.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christoferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.