Casting Time 1 Action
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: no
Components: V, S, M
This spell requires the body of a dead familiar and a 1,000 gp black pearl, both of which are consumed by the casting. Once cast, you create an obedient dark familiar (see Appendix B for details on this new monster). Further castings create additional dark familiars who follow your commands (assuming you can have multiple familiars). Aside from gaining multiple servants, the primary benefit you gain from additional dark familiars is the increase of your effective level for purposes of rebuking or commanding undead (see below for details).
A dark familiar is treated for all intents and purposes as a familiar, so this spell automatically fails if cast while you currently already have a familiar (unless you have a feat such as Summon Familiar or Improved Familiar that allows you to have multiple familiars, and even then, you’d still need to have the additional familiar slot unfulfilled. The dark familiar gains all the abilities that any ordinary familiar you possessed would have, and it progresses in power as you do, though it also has special abilities inherent to dark familiars (see the entry in Appendix B).
As the dark familiar’s master, you also gain the ability to Channel Divinity as an evil cleric of your arcane spellcaster level (through which you cast the spell). The only purpose for which you can use this Channel Divinity is to rebuke or command undead. For every additional dark familiar you command, your effective level for rebuking or commanding undead increases by three (this is the immediate benefit if this spell was cast as a Death spell). Because of this supernatural ability, necromantic mages with one or more dark familiars are often mistaken for clerics, a ruse such mages often foster, as enemies who believe they’re facing a cleric may employ different tactics than they would if they knew they were facing a mage.
Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christofferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.