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Variant Familiars & Companions Options (3pp)

The rules here expand the role of familiars and animal companions in your campaign by providing an assortment of new rules and options. Using these rules, not only can characters of any class now summon familiars and animal companions, but the familiars and animal companions that are summoned possess a much greater potential for versatility and power.

All character, kingdom or world names mentioned herein are meant as examples only, as these rules are meant to serve as a generic source for all fantasy campaigns, regardless of the campaign setting you call home. It is our hope that these expansions (which include the return of certain lost elements such as the paladin’s mount and the druid’s animal companion) will enhance and enrich your 5e fantasy game.

The following is a short synopsis of the new options available here concerning familiars and animal companions. As these rules are primarily player options, the Game Master should be the final arbiter of what means and methods are used in their specific campaigns to acquire familiars and other abilities detailed herein.

ADVANTAGES: Advantages are a new type of character ability that serve as a replacement for, or alongside of, feats. They function exactly the same as feats and are differentiated simply by what they do and their variety and focus. Characters, other than those specifically able to acquire familiars (such as wizards), need to take the Summon Familiar advantage in order to gain a familiar. Additional advantages allow characters to gain more powerful familiars. In addition, assortments of other Advantages allow players to increase the power of their character’s existing familiars.

Similarly, characters without the class ability or spells to summon animal companions can now do so with advantages to duplicate its effects – allowing characters of any class to gain a familiar or animal companion.

NEW PATHS: In the core rules, each character class has a path, oath, pact, college, circle, archetype or other progression that defines their character’s specific approach to their abilities. This “path” has a different name for each character class, but for every one it represents a choice they make at third level. In these rules, each class gains a familiar path that they can take in the place of their other progressions. These paths allow access to new powers, and each class has their own type of familiar defined by a unique power progression. These include improved and supreme powers.

TRICKS: A variety of new tricks have been provided for animal companions, along with guidelines on training animal companions to perform tricks.

SUMMONING RITUALS: Each class has its own summoning ritual for acquiring familiars or companions and several generic rituals are provided you for a wide variety of options. These rituals are different than the rules for magic rituals in the core rules, and are specific approaches each class must take to call a familiar or animal companion to serve.

NEW FAMILIARS AND ANIMALS: Rules are included for more than two hundred possible familiars – including complete statistics for more than seventy new animals and monsters. The exact nature and powers of a particular familiar depend upon the character class of the master, and the decisions you make as the PC in summoning and empowering the familiar.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? What’s the difference between a familiar and an animal companion? On the surface, after all, both of them look pretty similar.

The essential distinction is this – while both familiars and animal companions are magical creatures loyal to their masters, only animal companions are actually free-willed companions who serve of their own accord. Like other NPCs, they do not always do as their PC master wishes, and they are subject to whims of their own. The binding that links a master to a familiar is much more powerful, in many ways making the two almost one being. As a consequence, most familiars are always obedient, obeying their master’s commands above all else.

This distinction also leads to other differences – familiars are sentient, while animal companions are not. So while animal companions can be trained to perform an assortment of tricks as described under the ‘Animal Companion Tricks’ section later in this chapter, they simply are not intelligent enough to perform certain tasks or communicate complex information to their masters in the same way that familiars can. In addition, familiars often possess a wide assortment of magical powers, while animal companions rarely have more than a few such powers related to their master. On the other hand, animal companions are generally far more physically imposing and powerful than familiars, and they are far more suited to the role of guardian or battle companion.

Contents

Familiars and Steeds by Spell

The standard spells used to gain a familiar or steed are by and large replaced by the new abilities in this book. They in many ways become redundant, but are also a lesser version of the familiars and steeds found herein. If the GM desires, these spells can remain in play, albeit as “lesser” versions of the abilities herein; no familiar or steed summoned through the use of one of these spells has access to any of the special abilities available to familiars or steeds summoned via the rituals in this book.

Familiars and Power Progressions

In the interest of keeping things basic, the power progressions tables in the forthcoming chapters are formed using level 3 as a base “entry” level. The reason for this is that most characters will have access to a familiar as part of their archetype at level 3. It may be possible, in some cases, for a human character to gain a Greater Familiar by this time. If the human character opts to take the Summon Familiar Advantage at level 1 rather than the standard human ability increase (see “humans”), and then enters a Path or archetype that grants them a familiar, the familiar granted would be of the “Greater” variety. This would then open the door to obtaining a Supreme Familiar as early as Level four, when they take another Advantage.

In any case, should a character gain a Standard, Greater or Supreme Familiar at a level other than that indicated on the level progression table, they still only gain the initial abilities for their familiar, and progress normally from there, adding (or subtracting) their current level to that shown on the progression table.

The essential distinction is this – while both familiars and animal companions are magical creatures loyal to their masters, only animal companions are actually free-willed companions who serve of their own accord. Like other NPCs, they do not always do as their PC master wishes, and they are subject to whims of their own. The binding that links a master to a familiar is much more powerful, in many ways making the two almost one being. As a consequence, most familiars are always obedient, obeying their master’s commands above all else.

This distinction also leads to other differences – familiars are sentient, while animal companions are not. So while animal companions can be trained to perform an assortment of tricks as described under the ‘Animal Companion Tricks’ section, they simply are not intelligent enough to perform certain tasks or communicate complex information to their masters in the same way that familiars can. In addition, familiars often possess a wide assortment of magical powers, while animal companions rarely have more than a few such powers related to their master. On the other hand, animal companions are generally far more physically imposing and powerful than familiars, and they are far more suited to the role of guardian or battle companion.

Familiars and Steeds By Spell

Some standard spells allow a character to gain a familiar or steed are by and large replaced by the new abilities in these rules. They in many ways become redundant, but are also a lesser version of the familiars and steeds found herein. If the GM desires, these spells can remain in play, albeit as “lesser” versions of the abilities herein; no familiar or steed summoned through the use of one of these spells has access to any of the special abilities available to familiars or steeds summoned via the rituals in these rules.

Familiars and Power Progressions

In the interest of keeping things basic, the power progressions tables found herein are formed using level 3 as a base “entry” level. The reason for this is that most characters will have access to a familiar as part of their archetype at level 3. It may be possible, in some cases, for a human character to gain a Greater Familiar by this time. If the human character opts to take the Summon Familiar Advantage at level 1 rather than the standard human ability increase (see “humans”), and then enters a Path or archetype that grants them a familiar, the familiar granted would be of the “Greater” variety. This would then open the door to obtaining a Supreme Familiar as early as Level four, when they take another Advantage.

In any case, should a character gain a Standard, Greater or Supreme Familiar at a level other than that indicated on the level progression table, they still only gain the initial abilities for their familiar, and progress normally from there, adding (or subtracting) their current level to that shown on the progression table.

Thus, if a character gains a Greater familiar at level 12, and the level progression table begins at 3, then progresses to 5, 7, 9, etc., the character would gain abilities at level 12, 14, 16, 18 etc. This can mean that characters are still gaining new abilities past level 20, but so what?

A word of caution to GMs: Greater and supreme familiars can be exceptionally powerful and could be unbalancing to a game. Regardless of what is shown on the level progression tables for familiar abilities, you are well within your rights (and indeed, it is recommended) to deny characters the ability to gain a greater or supreme familiar until they reach a certain minimum level (say, level 8 for greater familiars and level 12 or even 15 for supreme).

New Condition: Dazed

A number of the effects in these rules cause opponents or victims to become dazed. Dazed should be treated as a new condition. Dazed characters are dizzy, confused and have difficulty focusing. The condition is a stage between aware and stunned; dazed characters can act, but not very well. Those who are dazed suffer the following effects: Victims suffer Disadvantage on all attacks, ability checks and saving throws.

Victims lose their Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class.

Opponents have Advantage to attack a Dazed opponent.

Familiar Basics

Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiar’s kind, as given in the monster book of your choice, but make the following changes:

Hit Dice: For the purposes of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

Hit Points The familiar has one-half the master’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice, which may be spent during rest periods as normal.

Attacks: Use the master’s Proficiency bonus or the familiar’s attack bonus, whichever is higher. Damage is standard for a normal creature of the familiar’s kind.

Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the familiar’s proficiency bonus or the master’s, whichever is better.

The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any race, magic, class or other bonuses the master might have other than her proficiency bonus.

Class Abilities: Abilities possessed by the master may be transferred to the familiar. For example, if a character possesses sneak attack, its familiar may also use the sneak attack ability.

Wizards, clerics and other spellcasters may cast their spells through the familiar.

Familiar Special Abilities: All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending to the level of the master and the class they are associated with. Each class description includes three charts: Standard Familiar Special Abilities, Greater Familiar Special Abilities, and Supreme Familiar Special Abilities. Standard familiars improve according to the Standard Familiar Special Abilities chart. Greater familiars improve according to the Greater Familiar Special Abilities chart. Supreme familiars improve according to the Supreme Familiar Special Abilities chart. The special abilities are described in their own section for ease of reference.

Obtaining Familiars

The Find Familiar, Summon Steed and Animal Friendship spells notwithstanding, there are two ways for a character to obtain a familiar or animal companion.

The first is to take the Summon Familiar or Animal Companion Advantage, listed below. This Advantage, taken at Fourth Level in place of an ability score increase or Feat, allows a character to enter the world of adventuring with a loyal and mystically-bonded companion.

The other way to gain a familiar or mystical companion is to choose one of the new Paths offered for each character class.

This path, chosen usually at second or third level (depending on the character class) will include a familiar, steed, animal or other kind of magical companion as a major part of its abilities. It is in this manner that a rogue can gain a mystic bond with his awakened shadow, a fighter can gain a magical intelligent legacy blade, a monk can gain wisdom from the spirits of their ancestors, etc. If a Path grants a familiar or other abilities to a PC who would not normally meet the prerequisites for those abilities, the PC still gains the ability the Path trumps the normal prerequisites.

Advanced and Supreme Familiars

Each class also has options for gaining advanced or supreme familiars-more powerful versions of the basic or path-related familiars for their characters. It should be noted that even when a character belongs to a Path that grants a familiar, the only way to gain an Advanced or Supreme Familiar is to take the appropriate advantage, sacrificing an ability increase or Feat at levels 8, 12 or higher. For purposes of meeting prerequisites, PCs are assumed to already have the Summon Familiar advantage by virtue of belonging to one of the new Paths in these rules.

Multiple Familiars

In general, a character can have no more than a single familiar at a time. Binding their lifeforce to a spirit entity is a taxing process and one that creates an unyielding and jealous bond. In general, if a character has the Summon Familiar Advantage and then takes the Summon Greater or Summon Supreme Familiars Advantages, their current familiar either becomes enhanced to the new level, or they gain a brand new familiar at the cost of losing the old one (though in this case there is no penalty as there would normally be for losing a familiar).

Optionally, however, sorcerers, warlocks and wizards may gain more than one familiar by taking the Summon Familiar Advantage multiple times. At no time, however, may any character have more than a single greater or supreme familiar, as multiple bonds at this level would simply be too taxing for the mortal to maintain.

In addition, there is a practical cost to gaining multiple familiars. The power the familiar imparts to the character robs the character of some of their innate abilities. In game terms, each new familiar selected robs the character of one level of spellcasting abilities. For sorcerers and wizards, this means they cast as one level lower than they currently are for each familiar beyond the first. For warlocks, this means reducing all magical abilities by one level, including invocations, patron features, boons, Arcanum and spells for each familiar beyond the first.

For example, a warlock who takes the option to gain a familiar at first level, and then at fourth level chooses Summon Familiar again, would then not receive their 6th level otherworldy Patron feature until 7th level. In addition, they would know and cast spells and invocations as a 3rd-level caster, only progressing to fourth level casting ability when they reached fifth level. Choosing additional familiars and gaining the benefits they provide essentially costs a level in magical power progression.

Multiple familiars are also more difficult to control. Each additional familiar beyond the first (of any type) increases the DC of any check involved with preventing a familiar from gaining emancipation by +2.

In terms of the game world, this is because the magic user has chosen to invest their mystical power into an awakened spirit to function as a companion. They are exchanging standard power for a different kind of power. In practical terms, this is an important balancing element to prevent players from running away with the game by having five familiars, all imparting different special powers.

In any case, the Game Master is well within her rights to forbid characters from having more than a single familiar at any given time, regardless of the familiar’s level of power.

Familiars Lists

You will find a list of familiars appropriate to the given class, path or archetype in question. While in many places these lists are expansive, they should not be considered all-inclusive; that is to say, they are mere suggestions and recommendations. If a player wants a familiar not included on a given list for her PC, it is in the end up to the GM to determine whether that familiar is appropriate in theme and power for the PC in question. Use the existing lists as general guidelines and make sure that whatever you allow is appropriate to your game.

Table 1-1: New Abilities
Familiar Abilities Prerequisite
Defense of the Familiar Ability to summon a familiar
Empower Familiar Ability to summon a familiar
Empower Familiar, Greater Empower Familiar or Summon Greater Familiar
Empower Familiar, Supreme Greater Empower Familiar or Summon Supreme Familiar
Improved Familiar Ability to summon a familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see class descriptions)
Improved Sensory Familiar Sensory Familiar
Meditative Conveyance Ability to summon a familiar Meditative Conveyance, Improved Meditative Conveyance
Sensory Familiar Ability to summon a familiar
Strike of the Familiar Ability to summon a familiar
General Prerequisite
Animal Companion  
Barbarian’s Mount Barbarian 4th level+
Companion Tricks Animal companion, Handle Animal
Dichotomous Ability 1st level wizard or warlock + ability to summon multiple familiars (via adding the appropriate summon familiar ability)
Empower Mount Paladin 4th Level+ or barbarian’s mount ability
Enhance Hero’s Weapon Hero’s weapon ability
Enlarge Mount Paladin level 4th+ or barbarian’s mount ability
Expanded Terrain Druid or ranger level 1st+, summon familiar ability
Fey Companion Bard 4th level+
Hero’s Weapon Fighter 1st level+, Charisma 13
Joined Turning Summon familiar ability, ability to turn undead
Special Mount, Greater Barbarian or paladin 8th level+, barbarian’s/paladin’s mount ability
Special Mount, Supreme Barbarian or paladin 12th level+, greater special mount ability
Spur Mount Knight 1st level, or Mounted Combat Ability
Summon Diabolic Servant Any neutral or evil alignment, arcane spellcaster level 1st+
Summon Familiar  
Summon Greater Familiar Ability to summon a familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see the individual class descriptions.)
Summon Supreme Familiar Compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see the individual class descriptions), Summon Greater Familiar
Vermin Companions Animal Companion ability or class ability
Item Creation Prerequisite
Craft Nature Fetish Barbarian 4th level+
Craft Woodland Familiar Druid level 8th+, Summon Familiar

Summoning Rituals

As described in the various Summon Familiar abilities, a character must perform a ritual in order to summon a familiar. These rituals have a fixed cost (as described in the Summon Familiar feats), but they can vary greatly in detail. Each class has at least one specific summoning ritual associated with it. If you don’t find an option in these rituals which appeals to you, however, your Game Master may allow you to use one of the “generic” rituals provided below.

Regardless of the nature of the ritual being performed, it should be noted that characters should still need to take the requisite feats or classes to gain a familiar (as well as pay the associated costs in wealth and experience).

Quest

A character may need to actively seek out their familiar. For example, a character might go questing for the “golden stag of Westernesse” – the stag, once gained, would become the character’s familiar. Other possibilities might include: a pool of liquid mithril atop Mt. Karowan (a penitent dwarf who touches the liquid is gifted with the companionship of the magical creature which emerges from the pool), a journey to the heart of the forest, where it is said an animal soul mate for each man and woman may be found wandering beneath the trees, etc.

Divine Gift

As a reward for faithfulness or service, a character might gain a familiar as a divine reward. The idea of a magical or divine gift can extend beyond gods – this could be a natural reward for powerful nature spirits to grant as well, for example.

Magic Item

The relic known as the Rock of Demeter (see Appendix D) is one example of an artifact which can grant a character a familiar.

Guilds

Joining a specific guild or organization may give a character a chance to gain a familiar. In some cases, this might be a matter of a secret ritual known only to the guild. In other cases, the guild may have a special relationship with some figure of power (such as a god) capable of creating familiars for, or binding familiars to, the guild’s members. Perhaps a rare magic item possessed by the guild lies behind the guild’s relationship with these magical beasts.

This process is traumatic, inflicting permanent damage to the master after the transfer. Transferring into a standard familiar reduces the Constitution of the new body by 2; transferring into a greater familiar inflicts 3 points of Constitution drain; transferring into a supreme familiar inflicts Constitution drain of 4 points. This Constitution drain is permanent and cannot be restored by any means short of a Greater Restoration spell. Note that in addition to these penalties, the master is now limited by his new form (unless he took precautions beforehand to alleviate this). For example, a master forced into the body of a cat familiar cannot speak, cast spells, use skills or feats dependent upon the humanoid form, etc. Any other exact effects of this sort of transformation are left to the Game Master to decide.

Table 1-4: Standard Familiars
Familiar Special
Antelope Master gains advantage on Dexterity checks related to balance
Baboon Master gains advantage on Acrobatics checks
Badger Master gains advantage on Survival checks to Track
Bat Master gains advantage on Hearing-based Perception checks
Cat Master gains advantage on Move Silently checks
Camel Master gains advantage on Constitution based Survival checks
Chameleon Master gains advantage on Dexterity based Hide checks
Crab Master gains a +1 natural armor bonus
Crane Master gains advantage on Charisma based performance checks
Deer Master gains proficiency on Dexterity saves. If he already is proficient, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Dog Master gains advantage on Survival checks to Track
Dolphin Master gains advantage on swim related checks
Donkey Master gains advantage on Dexterity checks related to balance
Dove Master gains advantage on Charisma checks to be diplomatic
Fox Master gains advantage on Stealth checks
Goat Master gains proficiency on Constitution saves. If he already is proficient, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Goblin Master gains the ability to disengage from combat as a bonus action or reaction.
Hawk Master gains advantage on vision-based Perception checks in bright light
Hedgehog Master gains a +1 natural armor bonus
Horse (any) Master gains advantage on saves to resist fatigue
Hummingbird Master gains a +1 dodge bonus to armor class
Koala Master gains advantage on climbing checks
Kobold Master gains darkvision 60 ft. (or 120 ft. if he already has darkvision).
Lizard Master gains advantage on climbing checks
Lizard, venomous Master gains advantage on saving throws against poison
Mongoose Master gains proficiency on Dexterity saves. If he is already proficient, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Monkey Master gains advantage on Acrobatics checks
Mule Master gains proficiency on Wisdom saves. If he is already proficient, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Octopus Master gains a bonus action that can be used for any purpose, in addition to any other bonus action he may otherwise have.
Orc Master gains darkvision 60 ft. (or 120 ft. if he already possesses Darkvision)
Owl Master gains advantage on Perception checks in shadows
Panda, red Master gains advantage on climbing checks
Peacock Master gains a advantage on Charisma based checks to be diplomatic
Penguin Master gains damage resistance (cold)
Pig Master gains proficiency on Constitution saves. If already proficient, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Pony (any) Master gains advantage on Dexterity based checks to ride a mount.
Porpoise Master gains advantage on swim related checks
Raccoon Master gains advantage on checks to find and disarm traps
Rat Master gains proficiency on Constitution related saves. If he already has proficiency, his proficiency bonus doubles.
Raven Master gains advantage on vision-based Perception checks.
Sheep Master gains advantage on Persuasion checks.
Skunk Master gains advantage on Intimidate checks.
Snake (Tiny viper) Master gains advantage on Deception checks.
Squid Master gains a bonus action that may be used for any purpose, in addition to any other bonus actions he may have.
Squirrel Master gains advantage on vision-based Perception checks.
Squirrel, flying Master gains advantage on vision-based Perception checks.
Turtle Master gains +1 natural armor bonus
Toad Master gains an additional hit die, with corresponding bonus to maximum hit points (but not to character level).
Vulture Master gains advantage on Intimidate checks.
Weasel Master gains advantage on Deception checks.

Familiar Compatibility

Due to their powerful natures, Greater and Supreme familiars require a certain amount of compatibility to a particular master before they agree to serve. In order to be philosophically compatible, the master may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each of the alignment axes (lawful through chaotic, good through evil). For example, a chaotic good master could acquire a neutral familiar. A lawful neutral master could acquire a neutral good familiar. In addition, many of the most powerful creatures only agree to serve masters that have achieved a certain level. Thus, a master’s character level must be at least that listed under the ‘Associated Character Level’ column of the particular creature desired, otherwise the creature will refuse to serve as the character’s familiar.

Table 1-5: Greater Familiars
Associated Familiar Character Alignment Level
Ape Neutral 5th
Arrowhawk, juvenile Neutral 5th
Bear, black Neutral 3rd
Bear, brown Neutral 7th
Bear, polar Neutral 7th
Bison Neutral 4th
Blink dog Lawful good 5th
Boar Neutral 3rd
Bull Neutral 5th
Chameleon, giant Neutral 3rd
Caribou Neutral 3rd
Cheetah Neutral 4th
Celestial hawk1 Good 3rd
Crab, giant Neutral 3rd
Crab, monstrous Neutral 7th
Crocodile Neutral 3rd
Darkmantle Neutral 5th
Dire badger Neutral 3rd
Dire bat Neutral 3rd
Dire rat Neutral 3rd
Dire weasel Neutral 3rd
Dog, riding Neutral 1st
Dog, battle Neutral 3rd
Dretch Chaotic evil 5th
Eel, electric Neutral 3rd
Eagle Neutral 3rd
Elemental, Small (air) Neutral 5th
Elemental, Small (fire) Neutral 5th
Elemental, Small (water) Neutral 5th
Elemental, Small (earth) Neutral 5th
Fiendish Tiny viper snake2 Evil 3rd
Formian, worker Lawful neutral 7th
Giant ant Neutral 3rd
Giant bee Neutral 5th
Giraffe Neutral 3rd
Goblin Any3 5th
Hell hound Lawful evil 9th
Hippogriff Neutral 9th
Hippopotamus Neutral 5th
Homunculus Any 7th
Imp Lawful evil 7th
Kangaroo Neutral 3rd
Kobold Any3 5th
Lantern archon Lawful good 7th
Lemure Lawful evil 5th
Leopard Neutral 5th
Lion Neutral 7th
Lizard, monitor Neutral 3rd
Lizard, giant venomous Neutral 4th
Lizard, monstrous Neutral 5th
Manta ray Neutral 3rd
Mephit (any) Neutral 7th
Modron Lawful Neutral 7th
Musk ox Neutral 3rd
Panda Neutral 4th
Pseudodragon Neutral good 7th
Orc Any non-good 7th
Ostrich Neutral 3rd
Quasit Chaotic evil 7th
Ram Neutral 3rd
Saber tooth tiger Neutral 9th
Shark, Medium or Large Neutral 3rd (Medium)/4th (Large)
Shocker lizard Neutral 5th
Snake, constrictor Neutral 3rd
Snake, Large viper Neutral 3rd
Stirge Neutral 5th
Tapir Neutral 3rd
Tiger Neutral 8th
Turtle, giant Neutral 2nd
Turtle, monstrous Neutral 4th
Walrus Neutral 3rd
Wolverine Neutral 3rd
Wolf Neutral 3rd
Worg Neutral 4th
Wyrmling (dragon) (any) Varies 11th
Yak Neutral 3rd

The lists of standard, greater, and supreme familiars found here offer a comprehensive guide to the familiars available to all characters. Certain specific familiars are only available to a few select classes – see each individual class for details.

1 Or other celestial animal from the standard familiar list.

2 Or other fiendish animal from the standard familiar list

3 Good-aligned characters with these familiars receive an exceptional creature who does not follow his species’ normal proclivities.

Table 1-6: Supreme Familiars
Associated Familiar Character Alignment Level
Achaierai Lawful evil 9th
Ankheg Neutral 7th
Arrowhawk, adult Neutral 7th
Arrowhawk, elder Neutral 13th
Basilisk Neutral 11th
Bulette Neutral 13th
Carrion crawler Neutral 11th
Cloaker Chaotic neutral 13th
Cockatrice Neutral 9th
Crocodile, giant Neutral 7th
Digester Neutral 9th
Dinosaur (deionychus) Neutral 7th
Dinosaur (elasmosaurus) Neutral 11th
Dinosaur (megaraptor) Neutral 11th
Dire ape Neutral 7th
Dire bear Neutral 9th
Dire boar Neutral 7th
Dire lion Neutral 9th
Dire tiger Neutral 10th
Dire wolf Neutral 5th
Dire wolverine Neutral 7th
Displacer beast Lawful evil 9th
Dragonne Neutral 11th
Dragon, very young (any) Varies 15th
Dragon, wyrmling (any) Varies 12th
Elemental, Medium (air) Neutral 7th
Elemental, Medium (earth) Neutral 7th
Elemental, Medium (fire) Neutral 7th
Elemental, Medium (water) Neutral 7th
Elephant Neutral 11th
Ethereal filcher Neutral 7th
Ethereal marauder Neutral 7th
Ettercap Neutral evil 11th
Formian warrior Lawful neutral 9th
Gargoyle Chaotic evil 13th
Giant eagle Neutral good 7th
Giant owl Neutral good 5th
Giant wasp Neutral 7th
Gibbering mouther Neutral 11th
Girallon Neutral 7th
Grick Neutral good 9th
Griffon Neutral 11th
Howler Chaotic evil 11th
Lizard, monstrous venomous Neutral 6th
Lizard, huge Neutral 7th
Nightmare Neutral evil 11th
Pegasus Chaotic good 11th
Phase spider Neutral 9th
Octopus, giant Neutral 11th
Ravid Neutral 9th
Rhinoceros Neutral 9th
Rust Monster Neutral 9th
Salamander, flamebrother Evil (any) 7th
Shadow mastiff Neutral evil 9th
Shark, Huge Neutral 6th
Snake, Huge viper Neutral 5th
Spider eater Neutral 12th
Squid, giant Neutral 13th
Tojanida, juvenile Neutral 5th
Unicorn Chaotic good 12th
Whale, orca Neutral 9th
Winter wolf Neutral evil 9th
Yeth hound Neutral evil 9th

Different Familiars

If a desired familiar is not found here or elsewhere, consult with the GM Certain creatures may be restricted to specific classes or not have available statistics. In the latter case, the GM can always work with you to design an appropriate familiar.

Power Progressions

Each class has a power progression for abilities granted by familiars. Often, this progression begins at a lower level than it would be possible to get the familiar. In such a case, the character/familiar gains all abilities up to the master’s current level. Thus, if a character gets a familiar at 5th-level which grants abilities at levels 1, 3 and 5, the character (or familiar) gains all three of those abilities.

Familiars in the Game

Roleplaying A Familiar

Don’t let your familiar just fade into the background, or worse yet, become nothing more than a piece of equipment that you use for an ability increase or the occasional special ability. Make sure that your familiar does things, even when they don’t necessarily need to be doing things. For example, when your character bellies up to the bar for a drink, make a point of noting that your weasel is curling up in front of the fire. When your character sags to his knees after an exhausting battle with trolls, mention that your battle dog is nuzzling you with a sympathetic whine.

Your character, at least, has a physical presence at the game table – you’re sitting there right next to your fellow gamers. Your familiar, to the other hand, doesn’t have that advantage – unless you make a point of reminding people that they’re there, they’re likely to be forgotten.

If you’re having problems keeping your familiar an active part of the campaign, here are some suggestions to engage them: Give yourself a visual reminder of your familiar’s presence.

Write “Remember The Familiar” to a Post-It note and stick it to the table in front of you. Or make it a point to buy and use a miniature for your familiar.

Set a goal for yourself. For example, you can start small by saying that you’re going to have your familiar do ten specific things outside of combat. Then, make a check mark on a piece of paper every time you have the familiar do something.

Develop a personality for your familiar. This helps make the familiar a vivid participant in the game, and can suggest things they might do.

Give your familiar a gimmick. For example, your familiar might be a friendly kleptomaniac (always burrowing around in the belongings of other party members). Or maybe he’s a practical joker. Maybe he’s cruel. Or perhaps he’s always finishing your sentences for you.

If it won’t be too disruptive, bring an actual pet to the game table. This is particularly effective if you happen to have a pet that matches your familiar. Ask your Game Master to remind you.

Once your familiar gains the ability to speak, you’ll be presented with the challenge of essentially roleplaying two separate characters. Make it a point of not only speaking in character, but speaking in your familiar’s character – otherwise your familiar is, again, relegated to nothing more than a prop.

If you’re having problems making it clear when your character is speaking and when your familiar is speaking, you might try:

  • A different voice.
  • A hand puppet.
  • An arbitrary sign – such as holding your hand up.
  • Simply saying “my familiar says” before speaking.

You might also consider asking your Game Master to help you out by taking over your familiar’s role. This is probably less useful for highly symbiotic master-familiar relationships (where master and familiar often speak with one voice and act with one mind), but more useful for antagonistic relationships (involving friendly banter or a sullen familiar). The drawback to this solution is that the GM already manages a large number of characters, so the familiar is likely to get shorter shrift than if you ran it yourself.

Things become trickier when you have more than one familiar.

Again, giving each of your familiars a distinctive hook helps to make them stand out. On the other hand, you might consider a sort of cheating – if you embrace the idea of a symbiotic relationship, you and your familiars might speak with one voice.

You start a sentence, the dog picks it up, the eagle finishes it – that type of thing.

Death of A Familiar

As described in the Summon Familiar feats, when a familiar dies or is otherwise lost the master runs the risk of major damage in the form of ability loss due to the traumatic nature of the experience. (The size of this loss is dependent on the power of the familiar.) In addition, the master is unable to replace the familiar for a year and a day after the familiar’s death. However, this does not prevent the master from summoning other familiars using different class abilities or feats. For example, if a character loses their familiar for some reason, he is unable to summon a replacement for a year and a day.

There is a single exception to this rule: if the character takes an additional Summon Familiar advantage in the meantime, he could summon a familiar using that ability.

In addition, if the character takes a Summon Greater Familiar or Summon Supreme Familiar advantage, he may dismiss his existing familiar in favor of the new one at no penalty. At no time may any character possess more than one familiar.

Slain familiars can be raised from the dead just as characters can be. However, if the master has summoned a replacement familiar in the time since his familiar died, the familiar is no longer his (unless, of course, the new familiar was summoned in the meantime using another Summon Familiar feat, in which case the master is allowed multiple familiars – up to a point). This uncomfortable situation is essentially identical to what happens when a familiar’s master dies – the raised familiar would become independent.

A Note to the Gamemaster: Familiars should occasionally find themselves in peril. When using familiars as they exist in the core rulebooks, many Game Masters simply allow them to slide through potentially deadly situations – the toad survives a fireball because he was inside the sorcerer’s pocket. The wizard’s cat only seems to be around when the wizard needs it to do something. And so forth. This kind of thing should not be allowed. When using the options presented here, letting things slide this way has the danger of unbalancing your campaign. Familiars (particularly greater and supreme familiars) are possessed of a large number of special abilities, and these abilities are essentially balanced in three ways:

First, in order to gain them, a character must expend a feat, gold pieces, and other resources, possibly including choosing an archetype, path, college, circle, etc.

Second, the character doesn’t actually possess these special abilities – his familiar does. In general, this leads to a lesser utility (although in some ways it leads to a higher one).

Finally, there is a risk that the familiar may die. This carries the risk of ability loss and may entail additional expenditures of gold and resources (in order to summon a new familiar or raise the old one).

To simplify, in terms of game balance, familiars are essentially magic items which can be purchased with a small outlay of gold and effort – but with the potential risk of needing to lay out more gold and hardship in the future in order to maintain the benefits of the feat. If you remove the risk of losing the familiar, you have removed a significant balancing factor for familiars in the game. This doesn’t mean that you should actively seek to harm or kill a familiar in order to fulfill some sort of “death quota.” But it does mean that familiars should be made to face the same dangers as other characters. If your players want familiars, place the onus on their characters to protect them.

Death of the Master

If the familiar’s master dies, the familiar is left without direction.

They become free creatures – capable of pursuing their own goals and desires.

If a familiar’s master dies, the familiar retains all of their special abilities, their improved hit points, their improved abilities, their natural armor bonuses, and the like. In other words, the familiar’s statistics are not changed by the master’s death in any way.

If the master is subsequently brought back to life (through a resurrection spell, for example), the bond between familiar and master is automatically restored. As a result of being raised, however, the energy for reforming the bond is drawn from the familiar as well as the master. This means that the familiar suffers from all penalties that the master does, and these penalties disappear at the same rate. For example, if a master is raised through the resurrection spell, both master and familiar suffer -4 to all checks, with the penalty being reduced by one for each long rest.

If an independent familiar dies or is killed in the time before its master is restored to life, the familiar is treated as if it had been killed or dismissed while still linked to its master, beginning at the time of its death (see the ‘Death of a Familiar’ section above).

Dismissing A Familiar

Familiars can be dismissed at will by their masters. The effects of doing so are similar to the death of a familiar. As described in the Summon Familiar feats, the master runs the risk of Constitution loss due to the traumatic separation and is unable to replace the familiar for a year and a day after the familiar’s death.

In a manner similar to the death of a familiar’s master, a familiar which has been dismissed becomes an independent creature – it retains all of its special abilities, improved hit points, improved abilities, natural armor bonuses, and the like.

A master can reforge the bond with his former familiar by performing a summoning ritual, even if a year and a day have not passed. However, the familiar must be willing, and the master must again make all of the normal expenditures of wealth and other factors associated with a summoning ritual.

The sole exception to this is when the master takes a new advantage in the form of Summon Greater Familiar or Summon Supreme Familiar. In such circumstances the master can dismiss his current familiar in favor of the new, improved one.

The dismissed familiar becomes independent at this point and may not be favorably inclined to its new master. If a familiar is dismissed in favor of a superior new one, the bond between the master and the original can never be re-forged.

Protecting The Familiar

Familiars (particularly those belonging to spellcasters) often become the first targets when combat is entered – archers aim for them in the hope of crippling their master, enemy spellcasters see them as a weak link through which to strike, etc. Low-level spells such as magic missile or ray of frost can quickly wound or destroy weak familiars, and higher level spells like flame arrow and lightning bolt make short work of almost any standard familiar.

What can be done to protect a familiar from these tribulations?

Mundane Protections

Perhaps the best advice on keeping a familiar safe is using common sense. A master who sends their familiar directly into aggressive situations is likely to lose the familiar. of course, some familiars – such as those belonging to a fighter or monk – are ideal combatants.

But when swords are drawn, arrows nocked, and spells made ready, a familiar not prepared for fighting should be waiting (and hiding) at a safe distance. A concealed familiar is one that doesn’t attract enemy attacks, so they should be commanded to immediately seek cover when any non-party member approaches.

A strong steel box, crate, or chest attached to a cart, mule, or carried by a hireling, is a great place for a familiar to seek shelter. When danger appears, the familiar is trained to flee to the sheltered area. Once in the shelter, the familiar receives the benefits of cover from all attacks. Particularly dexterous familiars may even be able to open and close their own sanctuaries, allowing for total cover. To further protect the familiar, the shelter could be draped in a drab cloth to provide both a comfortable temperature and keep the function of the shelter a secret.

A backpack or rucksack could also be reinforced with steel wire or wooden slats to create a living space for a familiar, depending upon exactly what it is. Lining, air holes, and food should also be included for the comfort of the familiar. A small opening or pocket could allow access to the pack depending upon the type of familiar. When combat threatens, the familiar could easily flee back to the pack and sequester itself within. The reinforcement would further protect the tiny occupant from the blows of weaponry or the effect of magic (perhaps allowing it to share the master’s armor class and saving throws directly).

The backpack could also keep the familiar a secret, as while it is hidden away, those whom the master encounters might never suspect its presence. Larger backpacks may be customized to have a small familiar compartment and still have a larger compartment to hold adventuring gear.

Scroll tubes with air holes drilled in them make excellent familiar dwelling spaces for toads, rats, snakes, weasels, and other small creatures. When hung from a belt, backpack or saddle, such gear can keep a familiar safe and in complete concealment.

Magical Protections

Clever spellcasters have developed a few more magical-based strategies to keep their familiars safe, and even non-spellcasters can often avail themselves on the skills of those in their party to do the same.

Spellcasters typically have the ability to share spells with their familiar. As a result, they can use spells such as resistance, shield, protection from energy, protection from evil/good, blur, bless and displacement to offer protection both to themselves and their familiars. Spells such as expeditious retreat and haste can help familiars rapidly flee from areas of conflict. Spider climb can allow familiars to hide in unexpected places and away from the threat of trampling feet. Enhance ability, mage armor and barkskin can all raise a familiar’s armor class. Rope trick can shelter familiars during an attack, while dimension door and teleport can whisk them away to safety. Invisibility can keep a familiar unseen during combat, while resilient sphere is a great way to keep familiars safe during combat. Other defensive spells offer similar protection.

A variety of magical protective devices have also been crafted for familiars. Examples of such items can be found in Appendix D.

Familiar Special Effects

Familiars are magical beings. Sometimes they are natural creatures imbued with magic. In other cases they are magical creations which resemble natural creatures. But whatever the case, the familiar’s blood flows with magic. As a result, don’t shy away from making your familiars obviously magical. For example, the eyes of a demonic cat might glow red. Motes of light might dance about a mouse performing magic. The unearthly voice of a snake might echo with every word. Lightning might crackle with every footstep of a mastiff. and so forth.

As a general rule of thumb, if these types of special effects don’t have any usefulness in the context of the game, then the only limit is your imagination. Your Game Master might even let your familiar have a few special quirks despite the fact that they have some marginal utility. (On the other hand, special effects which are clearly useful need to be paid for. For example, having your familiar’s eyes glow red is a special effect. Having your familiar’s eyes emit cones of light is a special ability.)

This type of customization, by way of the fantastic, can give your familiars a unique flair and flavor. If you have more than one familiar, explore the possibilities of themed familiars, with all of them perhaps having a strange quirk in common. These types of personal touches can help to make your familiars memorable characters.

Ability Score Loss

Some attacks or circumstances, such as the strength drain ability of a shadow, or the loss of a familiar by a character, reduce the opponent’s score in one or more abilities. This loss can be temporary (ability damage) or permanent (ability drain).

While any loss is debilitating, losing all points in an ability score can be devastating.

Strength 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He lies helpless on the ground.

Dexterity 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He stands motionless, rigid, and helpless.

Constitution 0 means that the character is dead.

Intelligence 0 means that the character cannot think and is unconscious in a coma-like stupor, helpless.

Wisdom 0 means that the character is withdrawn into a deep sleep filled with nightmares, helpless.

Charisma 0 means that the character is withdrawn into a catatonic, coma-like stupor, helpless.

In certain situations, such as the special attack of the shadow or other creatures, having an ability reduced to zero can kill a character outright, often causing them to rise as an undead thereafter. Keeping track of negative ability score points is never necessary. A character’s ability score can’t drop below 0.

Having a score of 0 in an ability is different from having no ability score whatsoever.

Some spells or abilities impose an effective ability score reduction, which is different from ability score loss. Any such reduction disappears at the end of the spell’s or ability’s duration, and the ability score immediately returns to its former value.

If a character’s Constitution score drops, then he loses 1 hit point per Hit Die for every point by which his Constitution modifier drops. A hit point score can’t be reduced by Constitution damage or drain to less than 1 hit point per Hit Die.

The ability that some creatures have to drain ability scores is a supernatural one, requiring some sort of attack. Such creatures do not drain abilities from enemies when the enemies strike them, even with unarmed attacks or natural weapons.

Ability Damage

This attack damages an opponent’s ability score. The creature’s descriptive text gives the ability and the amount of damage.

If an attack that causes ability damage scores a critical hit, it deals twice the indicated amount of damage (if the damage is expressed as a die range, roll double the number of dice).

All points lost to ability damage return after the creature completes a long rest, and the spells lesser restoration and restoration (see “New Spells” appendix) offset ability damage as well.

Ability Drain

This effect permanently reduces a living opponent’s ability score when the creature hits with a melee attack. The creature’s descriptive text gives the ability and the amount drained. If an attack that causes ability drain scores a critical hit, it drains twice the indicated amount (if the damage is expressed as a die range, roll two dice). Unless otherwise specified in the creature’s description, a draining creature gains 5 temporary hit points (10 on a critical hit) whenever it drains an ability score no matter how many points it drains. Temporary hit points gained in this fashion last for a maximum of 1 hour.

Some ability drain attacks allow a Constitution save (DC 8 + draining creature’s proficiency bonus + Charismamodifier). If no saving throw is mentioned, none is allowed.

Points lost to ability drain are permanently gone, though the Greater Restoration spell can restore even those lost ability score points.

Barbarian Familiars and Special Mounts

Barbarian Familiars

Barbarians have many reasons for wishing to seek out a companion creature or fantastic familiar. Often living on the fringes of civilization or in far-flung desolate and primitive environs, barbarians find a common link to the beasts of the wild. Their tribal clans and kingdoms are often named after the animals that live side by side with them in the wilderness. Names such as Bear Claw, Elk Horn, Crow, Cheetah, or Snake are not uncommon among the people the “civilized” world labels barbarians.

The Bard’s Familiar

So many choices. So many options. Just like an impromptu play, Malfys thought, or a song from the heart. Perhaps his talent with song and dance would lead him to the halls of a king, performing with the inspiration of his muse before the royalty of the land.

Or perhaps he could go into the forests and call upon a companion who would guard his back on the long journeys of the coming months.

The possibilities were endless, and he could feel the exhilaration growing within him, like the chorus of a good drinking tune or the final movements of a concerto. Perhaps he would join the Symphony of the Oak and Fiddle with power and music both.

Or perhaps he would just stay out in the fringes and have a few adventures – there was always the Fellowship of the Road, where one could cook up some trouble and sing of it in taverns afterwards- making oneself the hero of the tale of course.

Either way, he was going to need some guidance. A companion of sorts would be nice. If nothing else, it would be someone to talk to. To sing to.

Bard Familiars

The bard is the jack-of-all-trades. Gatherers of many disparate skills and knowledge, the bard has an innate touch with not only with arcane magic, but also with the skills and traditions of song and ritual, which often lend themselves to making allies and companions of rangers, druids, and the other guardians of nature. A bard is at once a herald, a sage, a swordsman and a spy. Bards ply their trade in stories, secrets, performance and prose. They are masters of legends and lore, of history and myth.

Their needs are few, and at the same time many, as their mouth and wit often get them into the greatest trouble.

It is unsurprising that on the oft-times lonely road of the performer, minstrel, and adventurer, that a companion should be desired.

Bards are a varied lot of beguilers and performers, and the type of familiar or companion they choose is dependent on the type of bard they are. Bards choose companions suited to their needs as poets, players and spies. As bards move freely from wilderness to metropolis, they often choose animal companions which are suited to life in either setting, and that do not raise the ire of the local constabulary. of course, this is not always the case. Many bards thrive on chaos, after all, and may be as likely to become friends with a saber toothed tiger as a songbird.

Of Summonings and Secret Songs

Ultimately it is the magic of her song which forms the eternal bond between a bard and her companions and familiars. Five very powerful songs are among the deepest secrets of the bardic colleges: the Song of Companions, the Song of Familiars, the Song of the Fey, the Song of the Muse, and the Illusionist’s Song. The origin of these ancient songs is lost to the mists of time and history, but some say there were stolen from the gods.

Each of these songs is considered to be a spell-like ability and joins the Song of Rest as part of the bard’s repertoire of bardic songs. Each also has, as a prerequisite, one of the Advantages listed in these rules, or membership in a specific Bard College, as stated in the description of the individual song. Through these songs, the bard has one way to gain a familiar or companion.

The Song of Companions: Only those bards who take the Animal Companion Special Ability have learned, or been inspired to create, the Song of Companions. To use the Song of Companions, the bard must first locate the companion creature she seeks to befriend. The Song of Companions can actually aid in this –if the bard goes into the wilderness and sings the Song in the natural habitat of the creature, a creature of the selected type is attracted to the bard’s location within 1d4 hours.

Once the creature is present, the bard must befriend it and bind it through the power of the Song. This requires a Fascinate Check whose Challenge Level is equal to the Hit Dice of the sought after animal companion). If the bard’s Fascinate check is successful, she befriends the creature as per the Animal Companion Ability.

The Song of Familiars: It is said that a song is the voice of the soul. But the Song of Familiars is a song of magic, and it truly carries with it a part of the singing bard’s soul –imbuing it into a chosen creature and forming a bond which cannot be broken save through pain and despair.

Only those bards who take the Improved Familiar, Summon Familiar, Summon Greater Familiar, or Summon Supreme Familiar advantages have learned the secrets of the Song of Familiars. Performing the Song is the bard’s summoning ritual and, in addition to the other requirements and costs, requires the bard to make a successful Fascinate check. The DC for this check is 5 plus the HD of the Familiar for a standard familiar, 10 plus the familiar’s HD for a greater familiar, and 20 plus the familiar’s HD for a supreme familiar, with a minimum DC in all cases of 15. If the bard fails the check, the materials required to perform the ritual are destroyed and the bard must begin the Song again on another day in order to summon her familiar.

For more information on the familiars bards can summon, see ‘The Song of Familiars’ section.

The Song of the Fey: There is an ineffable link between music and the realms of the fey, and the bard’s mastery of the former often draws the latter to them. In place of a Supreme Familiar (see the Summon Supreme Familiar Ability, a bard may summon a fey companion by singing the Song of the Fey.

The Song of the Fey is known to bards who have taken the Fey Companion advantage.

For more information on fey companions and their special roles as a bard’s companion, see ‘The Song of the Fey’ section.

The Song of the Muse: The muse is a special sort of Familiar available only to a bard. The muse is an unusual sort of creature, being summoned to bards through their innate need to seek creativity and beauty. The Song of the Muse is known to bards who have joined the College of the Muse.

For more information on muses and their role as familiars, see ‘The Song of the Muse’ section.

The Illusionist’s Song: Bards share a weak connection to the same primal forces of arcane magic as a wizard or warlock. Like a Warlock, those bards who join the College of Illusion too can travel to the Methetherial, although their means of travel to that plane is the Illusionist’s Song. Most bards use the Illusionists’s Song to summon mercurial familiars, but the song can also be used in place of the Song of the Familiar to summon an animistic familiar.

The Illusionist’s Song weaves the power of the enneagram into the words of the bard, allowing her to walk in the footsteps of the Illusionist’s journey. The song requires a marathon performance lasting 24 hours. During this time the bard cannot be disturbed and must make a successful Fascinate Check (Challenge Level 10). If the bard is successful, she leaves her tangible body behind –sending a mental projection of herself out into the Plane of Idea. Upon arriving, the bard is immediately met by the GM of the Cusp.

The GM, recognizing the bard as a foreigner among the spirits of the Methetherial, demands that the bard perform for him. The bard must now make a Perform check to impress the GM with his cra ft. The DC of this check depends on the power of the familiar the bard is attempting to summon from the Methetherial: Challenge Level 10 for a standard familiar, Challenge Level 15 for a greater familiar, or Challenge Level 20 for a supreme familiar.

Should the GM find the bard’s performance lacking, the bard is cast out of the Methetherial and may not again attempt to summon a familiar from the Plane of Idea until a year and a day have passed (although she may attempt to summon a familiar using one of the other songs available to her). If the bard succeeds at this Perform check, however, the GM is impressed with her skill and offers her a familiar as a gift.

The bard is allowed to choose whether she wishes to have an animistic familiar or a mercurial familiar. If she chooses an animistic familiar, she gains a familiar just as if she had performed the Song of Familiars (see above). If the bard chooses a mercurial spirit, however, she must make a Charisma check (DC 20 for a standard mercurial, DC 25 for a greater mercurial, or DC 30 for a supreme mercurial) in order to gain the respect of the mercurial spirit. If the check fails, the mercurial spirit has rejected the bard. The bard must return to her physical body and attempt the Song another day, with additional time and monetary expense. (There is also a chance that the mercurial escapes and becomes an emancipated spirit, see below.)

For more information on mercurial spirits and their role as familiars, see the ‘College of Illusion’ section.

The Song of Familiars

Bajaran danced boldly before the serpent, and the snake in turn weaved to the motions of her form. Hypnotized by her seduction, its forked tongue tasted the scent of her quickly heating flesh. The serpent curled at her feet and skid up her leg, coiling about her calves and thighs, stretching up her back and around her arms. Ka’ Hizz knew every turn of her form just as she knew that the Rajah’s most recent attempt to poison her had failed.

She murmured her thanks to Ka’hizz, who even now rasped his jewel-like scales lovingly across her bosom while her body writhed and turned in dance. Her kohl-marked eyes flashed to the sultan who watched with bated breath as Bajaran and Ka’Hizz performed their dance. She smiled, knowing that the sultan would make a much better benefactor than her last.

Table 3-1: Bard Familiars
Standard Bard Familiars
Bat
Baboon
Cat
Chameleon (treat as lizard with advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks)
Dog (use stats for mastiff)
Dolphin
Eagle
Fox
Hawk
Hummingbird
Koala
Lizard
Lizard, venomous (treat as lizard but add poison DC 10 Constitutionsave Fail=1d12 poison damage and poisoned for 24 hours)
Mongoose (treat as weasel)
Monkey (treat as baboon, but without pack tactics and with advantage and +4 on Strength (Climb) checks)
Owl
Panda, Red
Poisonous Snake
Raccoon
Rat
Raven
Squirrel (treat as rat with advantage and +4 on Strength (climb) checks)
Squirrel, flying
Greater Bard Familiars
Ape
Baboon
Bear, black
Bear, brown
Bear, polar
Blink dog
Chameleon, giant (treat as giant lizard with advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks)
Cheetah
Dire wolf
Elemental, small (any)
Giant bat
Giant eagle
Giant owl (treat as giant eagle)
Goblin
Hell hound
Kobold
Leopard Lion
Lizard, monitor (treat as giant lizard)
Lizard, giant venomous (as giant lizard but add poison DC 10 Constitutionsave Fail=1d12 poison damage and poisoned for 24 hours)
Lizard, giant (variant)
Mephit (any)
Panda
Pseudodragon
Ram (treat as goat)
Saber-toothed tiger
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Tiger
Wolf
Wolverine (treat as badger)
Worg
Supreme Bard Familiars
Dire wolf
Displacer beast
Dragonne
Dragon, wyrmling (any)
Elemental, medium (any)
Ettercap
Gargoyle
Giant ape
Giant bear
Giant eagle
Giant lion
Giant tiger
Giant wolverine (treat as giant badger)
Griffon
Imp
Modron (any)
Nightmare
Orc
Pegasus
Phase spider
Rust monster
Salamander, fire snake
Shadow mastiff
Snake, huge viper (treat as giant constrictor snake, but without constrict and with poison: 3d6 damage and victim poisoned for 1d6 days; ConstitutionDC 15 negates)
Unicorn

Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen –see Tables 1-5 and 1-6 for more details.

Bard Familiar Abilities

The bard’s familiar is crafty and sly, while its mere presence can have an intoxicating effect. The familiar of a bard is a creature of startling grace and beauty, but possesses the skill to stalk silently through the shadows and slip from conscience sight.

Table 3-2: Standard Bard Familiars
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Distracting, Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance
13th-14th +7 12 Inkling
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC through a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Table 3-3: Greater Bard Familiars
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Distracting, Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10 Greater Familiar Ability
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance
13th-14th +7 12 Inkling
15th-16th +8 13 Speech, Animal Trance
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15 Greater Familiar Ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC through a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select any one greater or standard familiar ability (see the ‘Standard Familiar Special Abilities’ section Table 3-5 for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Table 3-4: Supreme Bard Familiars
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Distracting, Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7 Greater Familiar Ability
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10 Greater Familiar Ability
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance
13th-14th +7 12 Inkling
15th-16th +8 13 Speech, Animal Trance
17th-18th +9 14 Greater Familiar Ability
19th-20th +10 15 Supreme Familiar Ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC through a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select any one greater or standard familiar ability (see the ‘Standard Familiar Special Abilities’ section Table 3-5 for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select any one supreme, greater, or standard familiar ability (see the ‘Standard Familiar Special Abilities’ section Tables 3-5 or 3-6 for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Table 3-5: Bard Greater Familiar Special Abilities
Augury
Blessed Companion
Blink
Countercall
Courageous Roar
Darkness
Daylight
Dazing Touch
Deafening Call
Defensive Roll
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Disease Immunity
Disenchanter
Dispel Magic
Enhance Attribute
Encompassing Vision
Mirror Image
Mystic Disguise
Natural Armor, Greater
Nondetection
Recall
Silence
Speak with Dead
Spell Resistance, Greater
Woodland Stride
Table 3-6: Bard Supreme Familiar Special Abilities
Astral Projection
Banisher
Banishing Call
Charm
Cloak of Chaos
Companion’s Veil
Confusion
Dimension Slip
Divine Health
Find the Path
Fly
Natural Armor, Supreme
Spell Resistance, Supreme
Tongues
Zone of Truth

The Song of the Fey

The fey creatures of the world have long been endeared to the art of song and all things of beauty. As bards grow in their creative strength and power, they may find themselves drawing the admiring attention of not only mortal crowds, but of those magical beings that live in the boundaries between this world and the next.

A bard who has taken the Fey Companion Ability can call out to the fey, summoning a companion from those realms to serve at their side. Rules for performing this summoning and the DC to call forth a Fey companion can be found earlier in this section.

Table 3-7: Fey Companions
Fey Creature
Aaleear
Bloodsprite
Brewer Fairy
Dream Faun
Dryad1, **
Fire Nymph
Forest Nymph
Mantrid
Moon Cat****
Nixie1, **~
Noble Stag
Nymph1
Pixie1
River Nymph
Satyr1 (with pipes)
Skitterwing
Spirit Flowers**
Sprite1
Treant1
Tree Warriors
Unicorn1
Woodshade

1 All creatures without an attached note of some kind can be found in Appendix B.

** Dryads, spirit flowers, and similar fey who are bonded to a plant or object serving as fey companions are also bonded to the character. They can “join” with the character in much the same way they can join with their plant or object, and receive the same benefits from doing so (see Appendix B for more details on spirit flowers).

**~ As pixie, but with swim speed 30 ft., water-breathing, Charm Person 1/long rest.

**** Moon cat companions only appear as harbingers of crisis or before a significant event in the character’s life (see Appendix B for more details on moon cats).

Note: Not all ”fey creatures” that can serve as a bard’s fey companion (as listed here) are in fact fey creatures).

The list of possible fey companions here is far from complete.

There are literally hundreds of possibilities for fey companions who might join a bard on their adventures. Following the rules for Song of the Fey, a bard may be able to summon any of a broad variety of standard fey creatures, at the GM’s discretion.

In game terms, any creature with a creature type of “Fey” is fair game for calling as a companion. The GM should always carefully monitor the chosen or summoned creature options, as this can open the door for powerful evil bards to summon such foul creatures as hags to their service. Take care not to allow the unbalancing of your game as a result.

Finally, note that in no case, regardless of how high the perform check may be, can any bard have a fey companion whose Challenge is greater than the bard’s level, minus 2. For Challenge Ratings below 1, each increment counts as one down. Thus, challenge 1/4 is 2 below Level 1.

The College of the Muse

The exact origin of a muse is a mystery even to the bard herself, although song upon song has been written discussing their origin and the mastery of performance that they bring to their chosen subjects. Some say they are the lesser children of the gods, giving to them names such as Calliope, Clio, Aoede, Melete, and Meneme. Others whisper that a muse is part of the bard’s own soul, brought into material reality through the bard’s supplication to her art. Still others believe that the muse is a figment of the imagination, given only subconscious reality through a blending of the bard’s arcane magic and will to create.

Whatever the case may be –and it may vary from one bard to the next –a muse is a reflection of the bard’s desires made tangible; the perfect creative collaborator, and a power which changes spirit to thought and thought to reality. Some bards enter an intensive field of metaphysical study which allows them to draw a deep and personal relationship with their muse, personified.

This muse joins them as a guide and companion on their journeys, providing them knowledge and power.

A bard who joins the College of the Muse at third level learns the Song of the Muse, and can call out to her muse, summoning such a creature to guide, inspire and improve her own artistic talents.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of the Muse at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in three skills of your choice.

Song of the Muse

When you join the College of the Muse at 3rd level, you gain the ability to summon your muse to inspire you in art and song.

Prerequisite(s): Bard level 3; member of the College of the Muse.

Benefit(s): You can summon a muse. Doing so requires a ritual of performance and song which takes a day and uses up materials that cost 1,000 gp. You must make a successful Charisma (Persuasion) check whose DC is equal to 10+ the HD of the muse to summon the spirit of creativity that is your muse. If you fail this check, your muse refuses to answer your call. The materials used in the performance of the Song are wasted, and the Song must be performed again at a later time (at least one week is required before the attempt may be made again).

If a muse dies, or if you choose to dismiss it, you must attempt a Constitution save with a Challenge Level equal to the Hit Dice of the Muse. If the saving throw fails, you lose 1d6 points of Constitution.

A successful saving throw reduces the loss to half that amount. However, your Constitution can never go below 6 as the result of a muse’s demise or dismissal. These lost points cannot be restored by any means other than a Wish spell or A slain or dismissed muse cannot be replaced for a year and a day. Slain muses cannot be raised from the dead –they are lost forever.

Muse Properties

Muses are an intimate expression of the bard’s inner creative genius.

For more information regarding these creatures and their exact statistics, see Appendix B.

Muse Abilities

A muse has many abilities, and as the bard grows in strength, the muse grows as well. In order to use its abilities, however, a muse must manifest. This makes the muse vulnerable to attack (see Appendix B for details).

Muse Songs

Muses are capable of inspiring bards to perform muse songs.

Muse songs are essentially identical to bardic songs in that:

  • Singing a muse song requires the bard to use one of her bardic songs for the day. (Singing a greater muse song requires the bard to use two of her bard songs for the day.)
  • The bard can take other actions while singing, but not magical actions (casting a spell, activating magic items by spell completion, or activating magical items by magic word).

Muse songs, however, can only be performed while the muse is manifested (see Appendix B for details).

Table 3-8: Muses
Class Level HP Special
3rd +1d8 Inspiration, muse song
4th-5th +1d8 Muse ability
6th +1d8 Muse ability
7th-8th +1d8 Muse ability
9th-10th +1d8 Muse ability
11th-12th +1d8 Muse ability
13th-14th +1d8 Muse ability
15th-16th +1d8 Muse ability
17th-18th +1d8 Muse ability
19th-20th +1d8 Muse ability

HP: Roll 1d8 and add the total to the muse’s hit points. This does not count as an additional HD for the muse.

Inspiration: As per the muse ability (see below).

Muse Song: As per the muse ability (see below).

Muse Ability: Select one muse ability (see below).

Muse Abilities

Accompaniment: The muse can accompany the bard in the performance of bardic songs such as Bardic Inspiration, Countercharm or any bardic magic. The muse’s accompaniment allows the bard to overpower magical silence; magical silence can no longer prevent the bard’s songs or spells with verbal components from being heard (and taking effect).

Amplify Song: The muse’s presence increases the strength and range of the bard’s songs or spells. The bard must make a Charisma check to harness the strength of the muse in her performance. A successful check allows the bard to double their proficiency bonus when determining the save DC of their spells.

In addition, the check can increase the range of the spell. The specific DC required is based on the desired range increase, as noted below:

Table 3-9: Amplify Song Results
DC Result
20 Increase range by 50%
25 Increase range by 100%
30 Increase Range by 150%

The bard must choose the desired range increase before making the check; making this choice does not require an action. If the bard fails his check, the song or spell takes no effect and is wasted. The amplifying effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the bard’s level.

Channel Sound: The muse can create a supernatural channel through which sound can flow from the bard to any creature within sight. Any bardic song or muse song the bard casts while the channel remains open can potentially affect any target within sight as if they were within the song’s normal range. Since the muse can channel any sound, the bard can also speak to the targets of the channel as if they were standing next to him (although not vice versa –the channel only goes one way). The channel is even powerful enough to conduct sound through, or into, an area of magical silence. The muse can maintain this channel for a number of rounds equal to its bard’s class level. After using this ability, the bard must engage in a long rest before it can be used again. This ability can be chosen more than once. Each additional time the ability is chosen, the muse can use it an additional time between rests.

Freedom: While manifested, the muse can move any distance away from its bard (normally they cannot move farther than 30 feet away from their bard). However, if the muse moves more than 30 feet from the bard, the bard cannot benefit from the use of the muse’s power until it returns to within 30 feet.

Gift of Song: When the muse is manifested, the bard gains one additional spell slot per day. This slot is fluid and can be of any level the bard can cast. The muse must be manifested for the bard to use the extra spell. This ability can be chosen up to three times. Its effects stack.

Inspiration: The muse may manifest and inspire the bard’s performance. As long as the muse remains manifested, the bard gains advantage on Charisma based checks. The muse can maintain this inspirational effect for a number of rounds equal to twice its bard’s bard level. Once used, the bard must complete a long rest before using this ability again. This ability may be chosen a second time. If chosen a second time the bard must only complete a short rest between uses.

Intensify Song (Crescendo): The muse’s presence increases the damage inflicted by any attacks or damaging spells cast by the bard’s inspired allies when the bard is using his Bardic Inspiration Ability. The bard must make a Charisma check to harness the strength of the muse in her performance. The Challenge Level needed is based on the desired damage increase, as shown below:

Table 3-10: Intensify Song Results
DC Result
15 Increase damage by 1d6
20 Increase damage by 2d6
25 Increase damage by 3d6
30 Increase damage by 4d6
35 Increase damage by 5d6

The bard must choose the desired damage increase before making this check (a free action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity). If the bard fails the check, the song or spell has no effect and is wasted. The muse can maintain this intensifying effect for a number of rounds equal to its bard’s bard level.

Muse’s Intuition: The muse can grant the bard particular insight into a question or puzzle. The bard gains advantage on all Intelligence-based checks (but not saving throws). The muse can maintain this inspirational effect for a number of rounds equal to twice her bard’s bard level. After using this ability, the bard must complete a long rest before it can be used again. Choosing this ability a second time enables the bard to use it again after completing only a short rest.

Muse Songs: The muse’s inspiration allows the bard to perform muse songs. When this ability is chosen, the bard gains three muse song slots with which to perform magical effects. She also knows two muse songs of her choice from the ‘Lesser Muse Songs’ section below. The bard can now perform these muse songs when his muse is manifested. This ability can be chosen more than once. Each additional time the ability is chosen, select two new muse songs. However, selecting this ability more than once does not grant extra song slots-it merely grants extra songs known. Extra song slots are only (and automatically) granted through the bard reaching higher levels of experience.

For more information, see “Muse Songs,” below.

Muse Song, Greater: The muse’s inspiration allows the bard to perform a greater muse song. When this ability is chosen, select one greater muse song (see the ‘Greater Muse Songs’ section below). The bard can now perform this greater muse song when his muse is manifested. This ability can be chosen more than once. Its effects stack. Each additional time the ability is chosen, select one new greater muse song. The bard may choose this ability a maximum number of times equal to one less than his muse songs ability. Thus, if he has chosen muse songs three times, he may choose greater muse song up to twice.

Song as Sustenance: The muse’s bard no longer needs to eat or drink; the power of song alone sustains him. The muse must manifest at least 15 minutes each day for this ability to sustain the bard.

Sonic Protection: The muse’s presence protects the bard from the rigors of harsh sounds. The bard gains resistance to sonic energy while the muse is manifested.

Sustain Song (Sostenuto): The muse’s presence allows the bard to increase the duration of a non-instantaneous spell or song. The bard must make a Charisma check to harness the strength of the muse in his performance. The Challenge Level needed is based on the desired duration increase, as shown below:

Table 3-11: Sustain Song Results
DC Result
15 Increase duration by 50% (1.5x rounds per level)
20 Increase duration by 100% (2x rounds per level)

The bard must choose the desired duration increase before making this check (a free action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity). If the bard fails the check, the song or spell has no effect and is wasted. The muse can maintain this sustaining effect for a number of rounds equal to its bard’s bard level.

Muse Songs

Muse Songs are special magical abilities granted to the bard through her special mystical bond with her muse. The muse grants to the bard a number of song slots that she may use to perform these abilities. When she first selects the Muse Songs ability, the bard gains three song slots.

Some song effects may be expanded by using additional song slots. To accomplish this, the bard simply treats a single use of a song as multiple ones. For example, using two song slots means that the bard sings only once, but it counts as two songs for purposes of when he requires a long rest before using more.

When these song slots are used, she must then must complete a short or long rest before any more songs may be used. After completing a short rest, she regains a single song slot. After completing a long rest, all expended song slots are regained.

Alternately, she may expend hit dice during a short rest to regain song slots. Each hit die expended during a short rest allows the bard to regain a single song slot. However, if she spends hit dice in this manner, she does not regain hit points.

At 6th, 10th and 14th levels, the bard gains an additional song slot (for a total of six song slots).

Songs and Other Performance

The abilities herein are referred to as “bardic songs,” and the idea of singing is used as a default means of performance. However, not all bards sing. Whatever the bard’s preferred means of performance can be substituted for singing herein. Thus, a bard who is a thespian may perform an inspiring monologue. One who plays the lute could pick out a menacing melody on her instrument. A poet could recite an epic, and so on.

Lesser Muse Songs

All of the songs below are available to a bard who selects the “Muse Song” ability, and each costs a single spell slot to use at its base level of effect.

Blinding Performance: The bard’s performance is devastating to the eyes of all those who see them. When the bard uses this ability, anyone within 30 feet of her must make a Constitution Save whose DC is equal to the bard’s spell save DC or suffers from the blinded condition. The bard can continue performing this song for up to 5 rounds. This song has no affect on any of the bard’s own familiars that are caught in the affect, nor does it affect muses of any kind. This song has no effect on deaf creatures. By expending a second song slot the bard can render his allies immune to the effects of the performance.

Sounter Silence: The bard automatically dispels an area of magical silence or effect created by the spell or a creature of 5th-level or lower. Unlike all normal songs, this song can be used in an area already affected by silence.

Cushion Fall: The bard can create a cushion of sound, either for herself or for someone else within 100 feet. The cushion allows the target to fall safely up to 20 feet per level of the bard. This song does not reduce falling speed, but instead creates a cushion under the falling creature or object that absorbs the fall. If the target falls farther than the bard’s level allows, the target suffers full damage. Unlike other songs, cushion fall can be cast even when it is not the bard’s turn. However, if the bard sings the song out of turn, on her next turn she can only take a partial action.

Deafening Cacophony: The bard’s song is calculated to deafen the senses of those near her. Anyone within 30 feet of the bard must make a Constitution save with a DC equal to the bard’s spell save DC or become deafened (suffers from the deafened condition). The bard can continue performing this song for up to 5 rounds. This song has no affect on any of the bard’s own familiars that are caught in the affect, nor does it affect muses of any kind. This song has no effect on deaf creatures. By expending a second song slot, the bard can render his allies immune to the effects.

Influence: The bard sings a soothing, pleasant melody beneath her breath –lacing it around her words if she finds it necessary to speak. A single target within 50 feet of the bard reacts to the bard as if affected by the command spell. A Wisdom save equal to the bard’s spell save DC negates the effect. The muse can maintain this influencing effect for a number of rounds equal to twice its bard’s bard level. This song has no affect on deaf creatures. If the bard uses a second song slot, he can either affect a second target, or treat a single target as though it were affected by the suggestion spell. If the bard uses a third song slot, he can affect all targets within 50 feet, or can treat two targets as though they were affected by suggestion. By expending four song slots, the bard can treat all targets within 50 feet as though affected by mass suggestion.

Inspire Competence: The bard’s song can help an ally to accomplish a task. The ally must be able to see and hear the bard, and the bard must also be able to see the ally. Depending on the task at hand, the bard may use their music to lift the ally’s spirits, to help the ally focus mentally, or to assist in some other way. The ally gets advantage on all skill checks with a particular pre-specified skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bard’s music. The Game Master may rule that certain uses of this ability are infeasible (singing to make a rogue move quietly, for example, is contrary to the point). The bard can maintain this song indefinitely, so long as she continues to sing.

Lullaby: With a soothing note, the bard can cause a number of awake, living creatures to fall asleep. This spell functions in all ways identically to the sleep spell; spending additional song slots treats the effect as though it were cast using higher level spell slots. This ability has no effect on any of the bard’s own muse, familiar or animal companions. This effect continues as long as the bard continues to sing and 5 rounds thereafter. The bard can maintain this song for up to 10 rounds, after which sleeping creatures wake up. In addition to having no effect on creatures normally immune to sleep, this song has no effect on deaf creatures.

Momentary Charm: This song makes a humanoid, animal, or beast regard the bard as a trusted friend and ally, albeit for a moment. The creature may make a Wisdom save vs. the bard’s spell save DC to negate the effect. If the bard or his allies are currently threatening or attacking the creature it receives advantage on its saving throw. This song does not enable the bard to control the charmed subject in automaton fashion, but the creature does perceive the words and actions of the bard in the most favorable way possible. The creature is in all ways affected as per the Charm Person spell. Any act by the bard or her apparent allies that threatens the charmed subject breaks the effect of the song. Note, also that the bard must speak a language the creature can understand in order to communicate. The effect of this song lasts as long as the bard continues singing (which she may do while speaking to the charmed subject, but not while speaking to others), plus a number of rounds equal to the bard’s level. This song has no effect on deaf creatures.

Silent Chord: As the bard sings this chord she deadens all sound within 50 feet of herself. All sound stops –conversation becomes impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area; the only sound that can be heard is the bard’s singing. The effect moves with the bard as she continues to sing. This song provides a defense against sonic or language-based attacks, such as command, harpy song, a horn of blasting, etc. The bard can maintain this song for up to 10 rounds, and the effect lasts for 5 rounds after the bard stops singing (remaining centered on the location where the bard stopped singing). For the remaining duration, an echo of the bard’s song can be heard repeating, slowly fading to nothing, at which point normal sound returns.

Songstrike: With a single, blasting note, the bard sends forth a cone of sonic energy (to a distance of 30 feet) from his mouth that inflicts 2d6 points of sonic damage, plus the bard’s charisma modifier. Each additional song slot expended adds 1d6 to this base damage. Targets are entitled to a Constitution save vs. the Bard’s Spell Save DC for half damage.

Song of Destruction: The bard creates a loud, ringing note that shatters brittle, non-magical items, sunders a single solid non-magical object, or damages crystalline creatures. It functions in all ways identically to the shatter spell. All objects on or held by the bard are immune to this affect.

Stun: The sound of the bard’s voice stuns a targeted creature within 50 feet. The creature must make a Constitution save at the bard’s spell save DC or is affected by the stunned condition as long as the bard continues singing and for one round thereafter. The bard may continue this song for up to 5 rounds. This song has no effect on deaf creatures.

Whisper: The bard can send a whispered message, carried on a single magical note, with little chance of being overhead (only the use of powerful spells such as wish, miracle, etc. allow eavesdropping). In every way, this spell functions identically to the message cantrip.

Greater Muse Songs

These are magical effects of higher power and more devastating results. A bard can never have more greater muse songs than she has lesser muse songs. All Greater Muse Songs use two song slots when they are used at their base level of effect, rather than one.

Cacophony: All creatures within 30 feet of the bard take 2d6 points of sonic damage. Each additional song slot spent increases this damage by 2d6, to a maximum of 10d6. Victims can make a Constitution save equal to the bard’s spell save DC for half damage. This song has no effect on any of the bard’s own familiars that are caught in the area, nor does it affect muses of any kind. This song has no affect on deaf creatures.

Disrupt Body: With a string of terrible, discordant sounds, the bard disrupts the physical processes of a single creature within 50 feet. The targeted victim may make a Constitution save using the bard’s spell save DC to avoid the effect. If the victim fails its save, it is affected by the incapacitated condition for 1 minute per level of the bard.

Disrupt Magic: The bard can use a complex melody to end ongoing spells within an area. Because magic is powerful, so too is the ability to disrupt magic in exactly the same manner as a dispel magic spell. Any magic that can’t be defeated by dispel magic is likewise not affected by the disrupt magic song, either.

Disrupt Thoughts: With a terrible, discordant sound, the bard disrupts the thought processes of all creatures within 50 feet. Victims can attempt a Wisdom saving throw against the bard’s spell save DC. Affected victims are subject to the stunned condition for the duration. The bard can maintain the song for up to 10 rounds. This song has no affect on any of the bard’s own familiars that are caught in the affect, nor does it affect muses of any kind. It likewise does not affect deaf creatures. This song is a sonic attack; creatures with resistance to sonic damage gain advantage on their saving throw to resist.

Recall Tale: Using music to part the veil of reality, the bard can conjure forth knowledge of a story involving the song’s focus. For example, if the bard concentrated upon a specific magic item while singing the song, the bard could gain some tale regarding its creation or history –something that might reveal or hint at its power. If the bard were to focus on a person, a story from his or her past would come to the bard. This ability has two potential effects-a lesser and a greater. The lesser effect is that the bard can identify a magic item’s abilities, purpose and uses exactly as the identify spell. The second is that the bard can recall information exactly as per the legend lore spell. Unlike other greater muse songs, the lesser effect of this song uses only a single song slot.

Charm Song: As per the momentary charm muse song (see ‘Muse Songs’ above), but with a longer duration. The charm lasts for as long as the bard continues to sing plus a number of hours per bard level.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

The College of Illusion

Bards who enter the college of illusion focus on using their powers of persuasion to make people believe things that are not true-hear things that aren’t there, see things that do not exist.

This is a powerful and deceptive school of bardic knowledge, and bards of the College of Illusion are ill-trusted by many in polite society, though they are well in demand as stage magicians and sleight-of-hand artists.

Bonus Proficiencies

When a bard enters this college at level 3, she gains proficiency in Sleight of Hand, Deception and Persuasion. If she is already proficient in these skills, she doubles her proficiency bonus when using them.

The Mercurial Familiar

Although a bard can use the Illusionist’s Song to summon an animistic familiar (which is, in all ways, treated as a familiar summoned using the Song of Familiars), the true power of this song is the summoning of a mercurial familiar.

A mercurial familiar is a creature unto itself –it exists only to satisfy its own unpredictable desires. It is as fleeting as a wisp of smoke and its very nature is one of caprice; it flies on a whim, it flits and fades, and it is nothing, if not ephemeral.

Mercurial Familiar Properties

Bards can summon mercurials as standard familiars, greater mercurials as greater familiars, or supreme mercurials as supreme familiars (see Appendix B for details and statistics for these creatures). Due to their unique nature, however, mercurial familiars do not have access to all of the special abilities most familiars have access to. Even when using the Empower Familiar feats (see ‘New Feats’), mercurial familiars are limited to the special abilities listed on the tables below. For more details on mercurials, reference the Illusionist’s familiars.

Table 3-123: Standard Bard Familiar (Mercurial)
Master Class Level Deflection Adj. Int Special
3rd +1 6 Alertness, empathic link, sensory familiar
4th-5th +2 7
6th +3 8 Blur
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10 Detect magic
11th-12th +6 11
13th-14th +7 12 Improved Sensory Familiar
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Deflection Adj.: This number noted here is a bonus to the familiar’s existing deflection armor bonus (mercurials initially have none). It represents a preternatural increasing power of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Sensory Familiar feat, but only for mercurial familiars.

Improved Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Improved Sensory Familiar feat, but only for their mercurial familiars.

Table 3-13: Greater Bard Familiar (Mercurial)
Master Class Level Deflection Adj. Int Special
3rd +1 6 Empathic link, sensory familiar
4th-5th +2 7
6th +3 8 Blur, Greater Familiar Ability
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10 Detect magic
11th-12th +6 11 Greater Familiar Ability
13th-14th +7 12 Improved Sensory Familiar
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Greater Familiar Ability
19th-20th +10 15

Deflection Adj.: This number noted here is a bonus to the familiar’s existing deflection armor bonus (mercurials initially have none). It represents a preternatural increasing power of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Sensory Familiar Ability, but only for mercurial familiars.

Improved Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Improved Sensory Familiar Ability, but only for their mercurial familiars.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one Greater Familiar Ability from the Table 3-15 below.

Table 3-14: Supreme Bard Familiar (Mercurial)
Master Class Level Deflection Adj. Int Special
3rd +1 +6 Empathic link, sensory familiar
4th-5th +2 7
6th +3 8 Blur, Greater Familiar Ability
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10 Detect magic
11th-12th +6 11 Greater Familiar Ability, Supreme Familiar Ability
13th-14th +7 12 Improved Sensory Familiar
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Greater Familiar Ability
19th-20th +10 15 Supreme Familiar Ability

Deflection Adj.: This number noted here is a bonus to the familiar’s existing deflection armor bonus (mercurials initially have none). It represents a preternatural increasing power of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Sensory Familiar feat, but only for mercurial familiars.

Improved Sensory Familiar: The familiar’s master benefits from the Improved Sensory Familiar feat, but only for their mercurial familiars.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one Greater Familiar Ability from Table 3-15 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one Supreme or Greater Familiar Ability from Tables 3-15 or 3-16 below.

Table 3-15: Bard Greater Familiar Special Abilities (Mercurial)
Augury
Blessed Companion
Blink
Enhance Attribute
Commune with Nature
Contagion
Darkness
Daylight
Dazing Touch
Death’s Harbinger
Death Ward
Defensive Roll
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Dispel Magic
Encompassing Vision
Fearful
Find Traps
Freedom of Movement
Guided Strike
Haste
Mirror Image
Mystic Disguise
Nondetection
Opportunist
Recall
Resist Energy
Shocking Touch
Silence
Sleeping Touch
Speak with Dead
Speech
Time Hop
Uncanny Dodge, Improved
Wholeness of Body
Table 3-16: Bard Supreme Familiar Special Abilities (Mercurial)
Antimagic Field
Astral Projection
Banisher
Charm
Cloak of Chaos
Companion’s Veil
Confusion
Damage Reduction
Destruction’s Touch
Dimension Slip
Divine Health
Ethereal State
Familiar Growth
Find the Path
Fly
Raise Dead
Time Regression
Tongues
Zone of Truth

Mercurial Whimsy

Mercurial familiars are notoriously spirited. They are inherently free-willed, and most of them would love nothing more than to slip from the bond with their summoner and fly about the world unhindered. All mercurials, regardless of alignment, seek to become emancipated spirits. Generally speaking, a mercurial attempts to gain freedom at least once every 1d4 months, unless its master has gone to extremes to placate the familiar. This quest for liberation is known as a mercurial contest, and they can take place whenever the Game Master desires-usually at the most critical times in the master’s life. If for some reason a bard has summoned a mercurial familiar of an alignment contrary to his own, a contest occurs once every 2d6 days.

A contest of wills involves an opposed Charisma check, pitting the bard’s Charisma attribute against that of the mercurial familiar. If the bard wins, the mercurial remains bound and the bard gains a cumulative +1 on future checks (each check won by the bard results in another +1 on the next check; thus, if the bard has won three straight checks, his fourth check would be at +3), to a maximum of +5. After the bard has achieved +5 to his checks, he gains advantage and +5 on all future checks.

The danger here is that regardless of how many checks the bard has won, the mercurial needs succeed at a contest of wills only once to escape the bard’s control. If the mercurial is victorious at any time, it immediately becomes an emancipated spirit (as detailed in Warlock’s Familiars).

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

Cleric Familiars

For a cleric, familiars are those attendant spirits that are divinely gifted to aid the faithful in their calling. Their constant guidance and assistance is often granted by a god or goddess as a result of a service rendered (and sometimes for a service which must be performed).

Divine familiars usually exhibit in their appearance, or in their behavior, some particular aspect of their patron deity. They are, in fact, not only a living extension of their cleric master, but also of their god. Clerics are expected to guard and respect their familiars, and a failure to do so may lead a deity to withdraw his gift until he has once again been satisfied by his servant’s faith.

Summoning Ritual

Preparations had been made and equipment gathered for the journey. There was a part of Celadin’s heart that remained reluctant to leave the confines of the temple, but his faith drove him. and there was some excitement for the coming journey, too, even if the pack upon his back seemed too small a thing to ready him for the road ahead.

A cleric’s familiar is not summoned; it is sent. Although sometimes a cleric can request the aid of a familiar through prayer, it is more common for his god to send the familiar uncalled for. The form of this sending depends on the god and on the circumstances in which it is made. (Of course, a player should still select the appropriate Abilities for his character –see ‘New Abilities’ section.)

The Dreaming

Often a cleric destined to receive a familiar will receive a vision in his dreams, and often this vision appears to the cleric through the eyes of his future familiar, although sometimes he simply observes it. In all cases, the cleric sees enough to recognize a location, and feels a sense of purpose associated with that location.

Frequently, further prayer and meditation will clarify the dreaming, giving the cleric enough information to begin his journey to the location revealed to him. In other cases, the cleric simply knows that it is enough to follow the natural patterns of his life. In time, he will be brought to the place shown in the dreaming.

Once the cleric reaches the end of his journey, he needs to complete a religious ritual to bind his destined familiar to him.

Usually the aid of the new familiar will be required to complete whatever task the cleric’s god has laid before him.

The Messenger

Gods often employ animals as their messengers. In some cases, these messengers are ubiquitous. But such visitations are usually considered high points of a cleric’s life –a moment when one’s deity takes a direct interest in one’s affairs.

Sometimes, in addition to carrying the divine message, the animal is also the god’s gi ft. Once its role as messenger is complete, the creature becomes a familiar to the recipient of the message. Usually the message bids the cleric to perform a task or service.

The Quest

Sometimes the familiar leads to a quest, and sometimes a quest leads to the familiar. The quest may be a specific instruction of the cleric’s god or church, or it may be that there is a specific quest (or set of quests) which any cleric can attempt in order to gain a divine familiar.

Divine Familiars And Other Clerics

Divine familiars are touched by the god of the cleric they serve. They are holy animals in the most literal sense of the term, and this reality affects the way in which they are treated. Followers of the cleric’s god usually treat the familiar with elevated respect (sometimes more respect than the cleric to which the familiar has been bonded). Followers of rival gods may see the familiar as an abomination.

Of course, it is easy to imagine exceptions to these types of generalizations. For example, the orthodox church of the cleric’s god might view familiars as a heresy –forcing the cleric to hide his unique gift from his fellow believers.

Divine Familiars

To obtain a familiar, a cleric must be a follower of the Beast Domain or another domain that grants a familiar, or must take the Summon Familiar, Summon Greater Familiar, or Summon Supreme Familiar advantages.

The familiars a cleric may possess depend upon the domains their gods are associated with. In this way, divine familiars are more specialized and closely tied with the nature of the deity who grants them.

By its nature, such a listing cannot be comprehensive. The Game Master should be flexible in granting familiars of different types, as long as they have the appropriate ‘feel’ to them. Note that this listing does not supercede the common rules listed regarding what magnitude of creature can become a character’s familiar –i.e. if the domain listed states that a griffon is an appropriate familiar, the character still needs the Summon Supreme Familiar Ability to summon such a creature.

Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen –see Tables 1-5 and 1-6 for more details.

Patron Animals

Some deities possess patron animals. For example, the god Odin is associated with the raven, while the goddess Athena is associated with the owl. In addition to his domain familiars, a deity may also choose to bestow his patron animal as a familiar.

Table 4-1: Domain Familiars
Domain Familiars
Air Any creature of the air sub-type. Any creature with a Fly speed.
Animal Any animal.
Chaos Any creature with a chaotic alignment. Any monkey or ape. A gibbering mouther.
Death Raven or vulture (including dire versions).
Destruction Any reptile or dire animal.
Earth Any creature of the earth sub-type. Any creature with a Burrow speed.
Evil Any demon, devil, or bat. Any creature with an evil alignment.
Fire Any creature of the fire sub-type.
Good Any dog or wolf. Any creature with a good alignment.
Healing Any non-poisonous snake. A lantern archon. A unicorn.
Knowledge Any owl or dragon.
Law Any eagle or hawk. Any creature with a lawful alignment.
Luck Rabbit or weasel (including dire versions).
Blink dog Moon dog as a supreme familiar (see Appendix B).
Magic Any magical beast or fey.
Plant Any intelligent plant.
Protection Armadillo, badger (including dire version), or bulette.
Strength Any raptor. A bull. Any creature with a strength of 18 or higher.
Sun Any hawk or eagle. A griffon.
Travel Any creature which can serve as a mount.
Trickery Fox, spider, or wolf (including dire and giant versions). Any creature with a chaotic alignment.
War Battle dog, eagle, hawk, horse, lion, or wolf (including dire versions).
Water Any creature of the water sub-type. Any creature with a Swim speed.

Cleric Familiar Abilities

The cleric’s familiar is gifted with divinity, and its abilities are a god’s will made manifest.

Table 4-2: Standard Cleric Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Healing/inflicting touch, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7 Undead turning, deliver touch spells
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC from a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Undead Turning: A cleric’s familiar can turn undead as if it were the cleric himself. Each such attempt uses up one of the cleric’s turning attempts for the day.

Table 4-3: Greater Cleric Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Healing/inflicting touch, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link, undead turning
3rd-4th +2 7 Greater familiar ability, deliver touch spells
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC from a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Undead Turning: A cleric’s familiar can turn undead as if it were the cleric himself. Each such attempt uses up one of the cleric’s turning attempts for the day.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar abilities from Table 4-5 below.

Table 4-4: Supreme Cleric Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Healing/inflicting touch, improved evasion, share spells, empathic link, undead turning
3rd-4th +2 7 Greater familiar ability, deliver touch spells, blessed companion
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 10 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 11 Spell resistance, supreme familiar ability
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 15 Supreme familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC from a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Undead Turning: A cleric’s familiar has two uses of Channel Divinity, which it can use to turn undead as if it were the cleric himself.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from Table 4-5 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one supreme or greater familiar ability from Tables 4-5 or 4-6 below.

Table 4-5: Cleric Greater Familiar Abilities
Animal Trance
Augury
Blessed Companion
Enhance ability (bull’s strength)
Enhance ability (cat’s grace)
Commune with Nature
Contagion
Darkness
Daylight
Death’s Harbinger
Death Ward
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Disease Immunity
Encompassing Vision
Endure Elements
Fearful
Freedom of Movement
Natural Armor, Greater
Nondetection
Silence
Speak with Dead
Speech
Spell Resistance, Greater
Venom Immunity
Water Walk
Wholeness of Body
Woodland Stride
Table 4-6: Cleric Supreme Familiar Abilities
Antimagic Field
Astral Projection
Banisher
Banishing Call
Charm
Companion’s Veil
Confusion
Damage Reduction
Divine Health
Ethereal State
Familiar Growth
Find the Path
Fly
Natural Armor, Supreme
Raise Dead
Spell Resistance, Supreme
Tongues
Zone of Truth
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

Divine Domain: Beast Domain

Some of the more savage deities of nature grant the ability to know and commune with the beasts of the world, both magical and mundane. For clerics of these deities, the power inherent in the creatures of the world manifests in the form of a divine familiar and the ability, through that familiar, to commune directly with the cleric’s deity.

Bestial Acolyte

At first level, you learn any one cantrip from the Druid list. This cantrip is in addition to those you normally get as a cleric.

Bonus Proficiency

At first level, you gain proficiency in Handle Animals

Channel Divinity: Familiar Communion

For clerics with this domain, a communion familiar serves as a direct conduit between a cleric and his god. When the cleric gains Channel Divinity at second level, they also receive a familiar as a gift from their deity.

It foregoes most of the normal benefits of a cleric’s familiar, but through the familiar, the cleric can speak directly with his deity.

And, at times of the god’s choosing, the familiar can actually serve as a minor avatar –the god can see through its eyes, speak with its voice, and take action with its body.

Communion Familiar Abilities

Any standard, greater, or supreme familiar can serve as a communion familiar. When a cleric of the beast domain receives their familiar at second level, it is a standard familiar. Greater and Supreme familiars may be chosen by gaining the advantages. These clerics are presumed to have the Summon Familiar ability for purposes of meeting the prerequisites for greater and supreme familiars.

A communion familiar possesses only the natural armor, intelligence, and empathic link of a cleric’s familiar. While they do not possess the other abilities of a normal familiar. they instead possess the following abilities:

Augury (Sp): 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.

Commune: Upon reaching at least 10th level, the cleric can use the familiar to gain needed information, as per the commune or commune with nature spell (cleric’s choice). Calling upon this ability requires two uses of channel divinity. Over-using this ability can result not only in gaining no answer (as per the spell) but in falling out of favor with the deity which can, at the GM’s option, bring all manner of ill fortune upon the PC.

Beast Domain Spells

1st–animal friendship, animal messenger

3rdconjure animals, dominate beast

5th–faithful hound, giant insect

7thanimal shapes, dominate monster

9thshapechange, true polymorph

Note to the Gamemaster Because of the Commune ability they possess, using a communion familiar requires a very fine balancing act, and you should consider carefully before allowing a PC to gain one. If you do introduce a communion familiar to the campaign, take some time to define exactly what role the familiar will be playing. This depends on the nature of the god granting the communion familiar, and his reasons for doing so.

A temptation to avoid when using a communion familiar is continual interference from the god the familiar serves. If the god is constantly popping in to save the cleric or drop a clue, then you’re taking control and responsibility away from the PCs.

If that happens, the campaign will suffer.

There are a few ways to avoid this problem in a logical fashion: Gods Work in Mysterious Ways: Sure, the cleric’s god can see that the cleric is in trouble. But maybe he’s testing his faith. Or maybe he knows the cleric will triumph in the end. Or perhaps he knows that the cleric will fail, but that’s the way he wants it for some reason.

The God Hammer: No, we’re not talking about Mjolnir.

We’re talking about the fact that clerics who overuse their abilities and run to their gods for help all the time tend to, well, tick off their gods. and no cleric wants to deal with the repercussions of an angry or even displeased deity.

Gods Are Busy Beings: Speaking of Mjolnir, Thor has better things to do with his time than to hop down to the Material Plane and mop up some trolls because one of his clerics can’t cope with the situation.

Even Gods Have to Play by the Rules: Gods may be prevented from various forms of interference by the rules they exist by and the agreements they have made. and the nature of those rules and agreements may not be entirely comprehensible to mortal minds (see “mysterious ways,” above).

Alter the Ability: The deity may not grant Commune as a Channel Divinity feature. Instead, it may grant only Commune with Nature, or another spell-like ability altogether-perhaps Scrying, Planar Binding, or a similar fourth- or fifth-level spell from the Cleric or Druid spell lists.

Healing/inflicting Touch: The communion familiar of a good god can touch any creature and heal 1d8 points of damage, plus the cleric’s Wisdom modifier. A communion familiar of an evil god instead inflicts 1d8 points of damage plus the cleric’s Wisdom modifier with its touch. Clerics of a neutral deity must choose whether their familiar imparts healing or inflicting damage when the familiar manifests, and this choice cannot be changed. This ability works in all ways like the Cure Wounds spell, and the cleric can devote additional uses of channel divinity to increase the effective spell level (each additional use increases the effective level by one).

The cleric may call upon any of these abilities while within 30 feet of his familiar by expending one use of his channel divinity class feature. In addition to these abilities, the communion familiar is a living connection between this world and the cleric’s god. What this means exactly depend on the god, the familiar, the cleric, and the situation. Ultimately, the communion familiar is a tool of the Game Master to be used however he sees fit to help flesh out a campaign.

Friend of Beasts

At 6th level, no beast will attack you under any circumstances, unless you attack it first. Beasts will always submit to your authority in whatever way is common to their species-dogs, for example, will crouch to the ground, their ears folded back. This ability does not automatically give you the ability to command beasts; it simply means they will be docile around you and not attack you. They may, if threatened, flee from you.

Talon and Fang

At 8th level, you gain the ability to manifest natural weapons as a beast. You may as a bonus action, sprout claws, fangs or horns (your choice). These natural weapons deal 1d8 damage plus your strength modifier. The natural weapons last for your cleric level in rounds. When you use this ability, you must complete a long rest before using it again.

Master of Beasts

At 17th level, you have control over the beasts of the world.

You may command and control any beast you encounter.

In addition, you may communicate with all beasts freely, expressing detailed concepts and thoughts. If the beast you encounter is under the control of another, you may make an opposed Charisma check against the current controller to wrest control of the beast from their power. Familiars bonded to another may not be controlled in this manner.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

The Druid’s Familiar

Druid Familiars

Even the most solitary of druids may at times need another voice of counsel. While the animals and plants around her can often be heard, their actual knowledge is often lacking, and doesn’t always make for the best advice to follow. When the druid has few or no humanoid companions to rely on, she may turn to a familiar.

Druids may take their familiars from the large base of natural creatures that surround them, bonding with them in a way far beyond that of a normal animal companion. Where the druid spends her time, where she has been trained, and the lands she wishes to protect determine what creatures a druid may choose as a familiar. In some cases a powerful druid may even craft her familiar from the very stuff of the lands around her, or entreat an existing animal companion to become her familiar.

But a druid, more so than many, also understands that a familiar comes not only with benefits, but with responsibilities. A familiar remains a creature of the wild, and the druid must protect it as she would any other natural creature. If a druid loses a familiar, she has failed doubly –not only allowing a companion to be destroyed, but also failing to uphold her sacred charge.

Of course, a druid’s familiar is not viewed as a hindrance, but as a great asset to be cared for and protected. Like its master, a druid’s familiar gains a cunning insight into the natural world.

It is protected against nature’s harshness, given safety from the charms of fey and wild things. It gains the ability to move quickly and secretly through natural surroundings, and more.

Such a familiar can provide the druid with advice, an extra pair of eyes and ears, and in times of great need, another strong paw or tooth. The relationship created by the bonding of a druid and a familiar is very deep and fulfilling, in both a spiritual and emotional sense. The love a druid feels for the natural world is focused on a single creature and this creates a bond strong enough to overcome nearly anything.

Summoning Ritual

When a druid decides to take the Summon Familiar Ability for the first time, she must also choose a type of terrain –arctic, aquatic, desert, forest, swamp, mountain, plains, jungle, or underground. This choice determines the types of familiars a druid may attempt to summon, as described below. In choosing this terrain type, a druid should consider not only what areas of the natural world she is closest to, but also the nature and setting of the campaign. For example, choosing the aquatic terrain is almost worthless unless the campaign is seafaring one.

Actually summoning a familiar is less of a ritual for a druid and more a part of her normal existence. A druid’s intimate connection to the natural world simply allows her to reach out and ask for the aid of the creature of her choice (usually through the use of the speak with animals spell). Binding the familiar permanently to herself does require the use of ritual magic, expending the normal cost of a summoning ritual in herbs and foods for the desired animal. The druid must also make an Intelligence (Nature) check to complete the ritual: CR 15 for a standard familiar; CR 20 for a greater familiar; CR 25 for a supreme familiar.

Familiars By Terrain

Aquatic

An aquatic familiar’s benefits and drawbacks are obvious. While it does make for a good companion in a campaign where there is much seafaring going on, when major land travel occurs, the familiar must stay behind, which can be dangerous. Another problem with an aquatic creature is the type of water body it can survive in. While many creatures can survive either salt or fresh water, few can survive both. Choosing this terrain type should only really be an option in water-based campaigns. Naturally, the element associated with the aquatic places of the world is water.

Arctic

Arctic familiars hail from any place that is cold most of the year.

While these creatures are accustomed to surviving longer than normal without food, they are also covered with a layer of fat, fur, or feathers that keeps them safe from the extreme cold.

The major disadvantage of these familiars is that when taken to warmer climes, they need more water than a normal creature and often suffer from the heat. The advantage is that they can store food for quite some time on their bodies and, therefore, eat half as much. The elements associated with the arctic are water and air.

Desert

Desert creatures are probably some of the heartiest and most versatile creatures in the world. Accustomed to small amounts of food and water for lengthy times, they are also adept at surviving in the heat of day and the near-freezing temperatures at night. This makes them the easiest of any familiar to transfer from one land type to another with little or no problem. The elements associated with the deserts of the world are fire and air.

Forest

Forest is probably the most commonly chosen terrain type when a druid selects her familiar. Most druids live in and protect forests, so it is the natural choice. The creatures in forests are very attuned to the ecosystem of the woodlands they are from, and moving them to a new ecosystem makes it harder for them to find food and water for themselves. The advantage of a forest creature is that with a higher Intelligence and Wisdom, it may be able to recognize problems with the forest on its own when things are out of alignment. The elements associated with forest are air and water.

Jungles

Jungle familiars are creatures that come from warm climes such as tropical islands and places where it is warm and wet most of the year round. Creatures from these areas are used to the heat, but they are also used to being able to find shade or a cool breeze when the day gets hottest. Taking them into a very cold environment is dangerous at best, and should only be done with a bit of preparation on the part of the master. The elements associated with jungle locales are fire and water.

Mountains

Mountains and hills are not an easy terrain for anyone to exist in. As such, the creatures that call these areas home are often hearty and accustomed to surviving in harsh conditions. A second advantage to these creatures is that they are usually very good climbers, which can have a number of benefits in a pinch.

Depending on the area of the mountains or hills the creature hails from, it may also be used to a cooler climate and suffer some of the woes of an arctic creature when moved to a warmer environment. The elements associated with mountain environs are air and earth.

Plains

Plains creatures fall into one of two simple forms. Either the animal is a timid grazer such as antelope, or a powerful hunter such as a lion. While the lion is the more powerful of the two, it may also be the most dangerous if something ever happens to the druid to whom it follows. Just because an animal is loyal to one person, doesn’t guarantee its loyalty to a group. While the more timid creatures may seem less attractive and less threatening to you, remember that they will also seem that way to people who see them when they are hunting or tracking for you. The plains are associated with the element of air.

Swamp

Swamp or marshland is a difficult terrain to take a native creature out of. While many of the creatures may be quite hearty, they are used to a plethora of water and may lack the natural skills to easily find it on their own when taken to a new area. A major advantage of swamp creatures, however, is their familiarity with life in the water, often giving them advantages both on land and water, and making them more versatile than some of the other terrain creatures. Swamps and marshlands hold sway over the elements of earth and water.

Underground

Creatures of the underground are adept at digging and finding their way through the earth and the dark places therein. This can be a major advantage if your druid plans to spend a lot of time in these areas, as these creatures are often adept at finding food and water, as well as a way out, should you become lost or trapped. When you do decide to return to the surface world, however, many of these creatures will be blinded by the sun and very much like a fish out of water. Luckily, most undergrounddwelling creatures often have ways of finding their own holes, even far away from caves. The deep places of the earth are protected by the element of the same name.

Each terrain type a druid can select for her familiars is listed below, along with a short description of what goes into taking care of familiars from that terrain type, and what hindrances and advantages familiars from these places may create. In addition to the familiars listed below, a druid may also take an elemental as a familiar. The types of elemental they can summon are based on the elements associated with their chosen terrain type (see the ‘Elemental Familiars’ section for more details on elemental familiars.

Table 5-1: Standard Familiars By Terrain
Aquatic
Crab
Dolphin/Porpoise
Frog
Octopus
Squid
Turtle
Arctic
Dog (Use stats for Mastiff)
Ermine**
Goat
Horse, Riding
Lemming**
Penguin
Pony
Rat
Snowy owl (use stats for Owl)
Desert
Baboon
Bat
Camel
Dog (Use stats for Mastiff)
Hawk/Falcon
Horse, Riding
Hyena
Jackal
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Oryx**
Pony
Rat
Snake (poisonous)
Vulture
Forest
Badger
Bat
Cat
Crane
Deer
Dog
Dove
Eagle
Fox
Hawk/Falcon
Hedgehog
Horse (Riding)
Hummingbird
Koala
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Monkey
Owl
Pig
Raccoon
Raven
Snake (poisonous)
Squirrel
Squirrel, flying
Toad
Jungle
Baboon
Bat
Chameleon**
Crane
Koala
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Monkey
Peacock
Rat
Snake (poisonous)
Mountain
Badger
Bat
Deer
Eagle
Fox
Goat
Hawk
Hedgehog
Lizard
Mule
Panda, red
Owl
Raccoon
Rat
Sheep
Snake (poisonous)
Weasel
Plain
Antelope
Baboon
Badger
Bat
Cat
Crane
Deer
Dog (use stats for Mastiff)
Donkey**
Dove
Eagle
Fox
Goat
Hawk
Hedgehog
Horse
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Mule
Owl
Peacock
Pig
Pony
Raccoon
Rat
Raven
Sheep
Snake (poisonous)
Squirrel
Squirrel, flying
Weasel
Swamp
Bat
Chameleon**
Heron**
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Rat
Snake (poisonous)
Toad
Turtle
Underground
Badger
Bat
Fox
Hedgehog
Lizard
Lizard, venomous**
Raccoon
Rat
Snake (poisonous)
Toad
Weasel

** See ‘Non-standard Familiars’ sidebar for details.

Table 5-2: Greater Familiars By Terrain
Aquatic
Bullywug
Crab, Giant
Crab, Monstrous
Crocodile
Sahuagin
Shark, Reef or Hunter
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Turtle, giant
Turtle, monstrous
Arctic
Bear, polar
Caribou**
Dog, riding (Use stats for Mastiff)
Musk ox
Ram
Reindeer**
Snow leopard**
Walrus
Wolf
Wolverine
Yak
Desert
Dog, battle
Dog, riding
Giant ant
Giant bat
Giant rat
Jackal
Kangaroo
Lizard, giant**
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Forest
Ape
Bear, black
Bear, brown
Boar
Chameleon, giant
Dog, riding**
Faerie Dragon
Giant badger
Giant bat
Giant frog
Giant Rat
Giant weasel
Goblin
Leopard
Lizard, Giant
Orc
Panda
Saber tooth tiger
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Wolf
Wolverine**
Jungle
Ape
Chameleon, giant**
Crocodile
Giant bat
Giant rat
Leopard
Lion
Lizard, giant**
Lizard, monstrous
Panda
Panther
Snake, constrictor
Snake, Large viper
Tiger
Mountain
Ape
Bear, black
Chameleon, giant
Bear, brown
Giant bat
Giant rat
Giant weasel
Hippogriff
Lizard, giant**
Mountain lion**
Ram
Saber tooth tiger
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Tiger
Wolverine**
Yak
Plain
Bison
Bull
Cheetah
Dire badger
Dire bat
Dire rat
Dire weasel
Dog, riding
Giraffe
Hippogriff
Hippopotamus
Kangaroo
Leopard
Lion
Lizard, giant
Musk ox
Ostrich
Ram
Saber tooth tiger
Snake, constrictor
Snake, Large viper
Tiger
Wolf
Swamp
Alligator**
Bullywug
Giant bat
Giant rat
Hippopotamus
Lizard, giant
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous
Turtle, giant
Underground
Darkmantle
Giant badger
Giant bat
Giant centipede
Giant rat
Giant weasel
Lizard, giant
Snake, constrictor
Snake, giant poisonous

** See ‘Non-standard Familiars’ sidebar for details.

Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen –see Tables 1-5 and 1-6 for more details.

Table 5-3: Supreme Familiars By Terrain
Aquatic
Crocodile, giant
Dinosaur (plesiosaurus)
Dragon (Young)
Octopus, giant
Sea horse, giant
Shark, giant
Snake, monstrous poisonous
Squid, giant**
Whale, killer
Arctic
Dire wolf
Dragon (Young)
Mammoth
Owlbear
Winter wolf
Desert
Dragon (Young)
Giant scorpion
Lizard, giant venomous**
Snake, Huge viper
Forest
Bugbear
Dinosaur (Allosaurus)
Dire wolf
Dragon (Young)
Elephant
Giant ape
Giant boar
Giant eagle
Giant owl
Giant panther
Giant wolverine**
Lizard, giant venomous**
Owlbear
Pegasus
Snake, monstrous poisonous
Unicorn
Jungle
Crocodile, giant
Dragon (Young)
Elephant
Lizard, giant venomous**
Snake, monstrous poisonous
Mountain
Death Dog
Dire wolf
Dragon (Young)
Giant ape
Giant eagle
Giant owl
Giant panther
Giant wolverine**
Griffon
Hippogriff
Lizard, giant venomous**
Ogre
Snake, monstrous poisonous
Plain
Ankheg
Dire wolf
Dragon (Young)
Elephant
Giant boar
Giant eagle
Giant owl
Giant panther
Giant wolverine**
Lizard, giant venomous**
Owlbear
Rhinoceros
Snake, giant poisonous
Swamp
Alligator, giant**
Dinosaur (allosaurus)
Dinosaur (plesiosaurus)
Dragon (Young)
Lizard, giant venomous**
Snake, giant poisonous
Dinosaur (tyrannosaurus rex)
Underground
Ankheg
Carrion Crawler
Dragon (Young)
Hook Horror
Lizard, giant venomous**
Snake, giant poisonous
Umber Hulk

** See ‘Non-standard Familiars’ sidebar for details.

Other Animals

These lists are not inclusive. A druid may seek out any animal familiar appropriate to her elected terrain type, even if it does not appear on these lists. In other cases, a particular animal may not be present in an area, even if a similar habitat is available.

Non-Standard Familiars By Terrain

Druids have several non-standard familiars:

Alligator: Use the stats for a crocodile.

Caribou/reindeer: Use the stats for an Elk.

Chameleon: Use the stats for a lizard, but the familiar gains the spider climb ability of giant lizards, plus Stealth +4 and the following special ability: Camouflage: The chameleon gains advantage on all stealth checks due to its ability to alter its coloring to blend into its natural surroundings.

Chameleon, Giant: Use the stats for a giant lizard with the Spider Climb variant, but the familiar gains Stealth +4 and the following special ability: Camouflage: The giant chameleon gains advantage on all stealth checks due to its ability to alter its coloring to blend into its natural surroundings.

Dog, Riding: Use stats for Mastiff

Donkey: Use stats for mule

Ermine: A nocturnal carnivore similar to a weasel, but with a more violent personality. Use the stats for a weasel.

Falcon: Use the stats for a hawk.

Fox, Arctic: Use the stats for foxes as presented in Appendix A. However, the arctic fox’s racial bonus to Hide checks rises to +15 in snowy environments.

Heron: Use the stats for cranes as presented in Appendix A.

Lemming: Use the stats for a rat.

Leopard, Snow: Use the stats for a leopard. However, a snow leopard racial bonus to Hide checks rises to +10 in snowy environments.

Lizard, Poisonous: Use the stats for a lizard, but on a successful bite the target suffers an additional 5 (2d4) poison damage and the target is Poisoned for 1d6 hours. A successful Constitution save (DC 10) halves this damage and negates the Poisoned condition.

Lizard, Giant Venomous: Use the stats for a giant lizard, but on a successful bite the target suffers an additional 10 (3d6) poison damage and is Poisoned for 2d6 hours. A successful Constitution save (DC 12) halves the additional damage and duration for the Poisoned condition.

Mountain Lion: Use the stats for a panther.

Oryx: A small horse-like antelope. Use the stats for deer.

Squid, Giant: Use the stats for a giant octopus, but add an additional attack: Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) slashing damage. Any target grappled by the squid’s tentacles is subject to automatic bite damage every round (no to-hit roll required).

Wolverine: Use stats for badger, but bite deals 3 (1d6) piercing damage and add an additional attack: Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) slashing damage.

Wolverine, Giant: Use stats for giant badger, but bite deals 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage and add an additional attack: Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) slashing damage.

Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen –see Tables 1-5 and 1-6 for more details.

Table 5-5: Greater Druid Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int/Wis Special
1st-2nd +1 7 Empathic link, endure elements, Nature Sense, Track
3rd-4th +2 8 Share spells, woodland stride
5th-6th +3 9 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +4 10 Speak with animals of its kind, venom immunity
9th-10th +5 11 Resist elements, greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 12 Speak with any animal
13th-14th +7 13 Trackless step
15th-16th +8 14
17th-18th +9 15 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 16

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC from a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int/Wis: The familiar’s Intelligence and Wisdom scores (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence and Wisdom). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people. Often, they’re even wiser.

Resist Elements: The familiar gains advantage on saving throws against earth, air, fire, water, cold and lightning-based attacks.

Track: All druidic familiar gain the ability to track, regardless of their previous ability to track (if any). Tracking is accomplished from a Wisdom (Survival) check; the Familiar is assumed to be proficient with this skill.

Speak with Any Animal: As per the speak with animals spell.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from Table 5-7 below.

Table 5-6: Supreme Druid Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int/Wis Special
1st-2nd +1 9 Empathic link, endure elements, Nature Sense, Track
3rd-4th +2 10 Share spells, woodland stride
5th-6th +3 11 Speak with master, greater familiar ability, Nature Lore
7th-8th +4 12 Speak with animals of its kind, venom immunity
9th-10th +5 13 Resist elements, greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 14 Speak with any animal, supreme familiar ability

Druid Familiar Abilities

Madrina and Mousebane had been together nearly a year when she met the wizard who was to continue the training that Master Fingere had begun. Mousebane didn’t like this new person in their life. He was bossy, he yelled a lot, and he had a cat on his shoulder. While they stayed in the dark place, Mousebane was forced to live mostly within the carrier Madrina had bought him, and he was getting tired of it. Quietly, he rustled in his cage, almost too caught up in his own musings to notice the dark cat that usually sat upon the wizard’s shoulder approach. Glaring hard, Mousebane screwed up his courage as much as he could, and stared the sleek, black cat right in the eyes. Unperturbed, the cat spoke, “Little owl, when my master is done teaching yours, you will be so much more than you are now…”

Possessing many of the same powers and abilities as a druid, a familiar does not hinder its master the way a normal companion might. Indeed, as a druid gains in power, her familiar can better assist her in her endeavors.

Unlike the familiars of other classes, a druid’s familiar gains in both Intelligence and Wisdom. This reflects that a druid’s familiar is not only becoming more and more a part of the druid, but more and more a part of the natural world around them as well.

Table 5-4: Standard Druid Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int/Wis Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link, endure elements, Nature Sense, Track
3rd-4th +2 7 Share spells, woodland stride
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind, venom immunity
9th-10th +5 10 Resist elements
11th-12th +6 11 Speak with any animal
13th-14th +7 12 Trackless step
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC based on a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int/Wis: The familiar’s Intelligence and Wisdom scores (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence and Wisdom). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people. Often, they’re even more wise.

Track: All druidic familiars gain the ability to track, regardless of their previous ability to track (if any). Tracking is accomplished from a Wisdom (Survival) check; the Familiar is assumed to be proficient with this skill.

Resist Elements: The familiar gains advantage on saving throws against earth, air, fire, water, cold and lightning-based attacks.

Speak with Any Animal: As per the speak with animals spell.

13th-14th +7 15 Trackless step 15th-16th +8 16 – 17th-18th +9 17 Greater familiar ability 19th-20th +10 18 Supreme familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s AC from a natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int/Wis: The familiar’s Intelligence and Wisdom scores (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence and Wisdom). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Track: All druidic familiars gain the ability to track, regardless of their previous ability to track (if any). Tracking is accomplished from a Wisdom (Survival) check; the Familiar is assumed to be proficient with this skill.

Resist Elements: The familiar gains advantage on saving throws against earth, air, fire, water, cold and lightning-based attacks.

Speak with Any Animal: As per the speak with animals spell.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from Table 5-7 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one supreme or greater familiar ability from Tables 5-7 or 5-8 below.

Table 5-7: Druid Greater Familiar Abilities
Animal Trance
Augury
Blessed Companion
Blink
Enhance ability (bull’s strength)
Enhance ability (cat’s grace)
Commune with Nature
Contagion
Countercall
Courageous Roar
Darkness
Daylight
Death Ward
Deafening Call
Defensive Roll
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Disease Immunity
Encompassing Vision
Familiar Rage
Fearful
Freedom of Movement
Great Leap
Haste
Mystic Disguise
Natural Armor, Greater
Nondetection
Opportunist Recall
Resist Energy
Silence
Speech
Spell Resistance, Greater
Water Breathing
Water Walk
Wholeness of Body
Table 5-8: Druid Supreme Familiar Abilities
Astral Projection
Banisher
Banishing Call
Charm
Companion’s Veil
Confusion
Damage Reduction
Dimension Slip
Divine Health
Ethereal State
Familiar Growth
Familiar
Rage, Greater
Find the Path
Fly
Mind Store
Natural Armor, Supreme
Spell Resistance, Supreme
Supreme Leap
Tongues
Zone of Truth
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

Druid Circle: Circle of the Elements

In addition to the animals of her realm, a druid may also call upon the aid and service of the very elements themselves.

Elemental Cantrip

At second level when you choose this circle, you gain one evocation cantrip of your choice from the wizard or sorcerer spell lists. This cantrip must be elemental in nature and is in addition to your existing druid cantrips.

Elemental Familiar

A druid who belongs to the Circle of the Elements gains a special familiar who serves as their connection to the elemental forces that govern all natural laws. This familiar is granted by the elemental guardians and helps the druid to understand and serve the demands and desires of the forces these guardians represent.

Elemental Guardians

The elemental guardians are powerful creatures who have often served as both ally and enemy to the druids of the world. From their homes deep within the vast reaches of the elemental planes, they watch over their domains in the natural world, tending to them from afar.

In game terms, elemental guardians are elder elementals with above average Intelligence and Wisdom. Most are powerful druid sorcerers.

Summoning An Elemental Familiar

In summoning an elemental familiar, a druid calls out to one of the guardian elementals watching over her realm. First, the druid must gather a large sum of the guardian’s element together. Collecting a large pile of rare rocks, casks of purified water, stoppered bottles of rarefied air, or even setting a large fire could all accomplish this, depending upon which element is being beseeched. The druid then meditates near the element she has collected for one day, performing a ritual using rare ingredients (the worth of which is determined by the type of familiar the druid is requesting). At the end of the day, the druid must make a successful Nature Lore check (DC equal to 10 + the HD of the elemental) in order to successfully contact the guardian elemental. If the check fails, the ritual has been wasted and the druid must try again another day (at least one week is required before the attempt may be made again). If the check succeeds, however, the guardian elemental has been successfully contacted.

Once contacted, the guardian elemental judges the druid. If, in the druid’s time as caretaker, she has acted with good conscience and treated her companions and charges well, the guardian sees fit to bestow an appropriate elemental (particularly if the druid has done something to further or improve the guardian’s own elemental domain). The reaction of the guardian may also be swayed by appropriate gifts. If there is any question in the guardian’s mind, it may ask the druid to complete a quest or task to prove her worth (the particulars of which are left to the GM’s whim).

If the druid possesses merit in the guardian’s eye, the guardian grants her an elemental familiar. An elemental familiar is a true elemental of air, earth, fire, or water, but disguised in the form of a normal animal chosen from the animal types included herein.

At the GM’s discretion, a druid may also ask an elemental guardian to grant her a lesser elemental creature (such as a mephit) to serve as her familiar.

Elements Without Guardians

Guardian elementals may or may not be an appropriate addition to every campaign world. Even if they don’t exist, there’s no reason that druids can’t summon elemental familiars –they’ll simply do so in a way similar to their other familiars or from another source, depending on the cosmology of the campaign.

Elemental Familiar Abilities

An elemental familiar does not gain the same abilities that a druid’s typical familiar does. A separate table is given below for the advancement of all elemental familiars. Unlike a typical druid familiar, an elemental familiar’s primary advantage comes from its natural abilities.

Commune With Elements: The familiar can commune with nature, as per the spell, but with the limitation that it applies only to those areas in the immediate vicinity of its elemental type.

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

Hit Dice: The familiar’s HD type increases, its natural attack bonus and save bonuses double. (Continue using the master’s total if it is higher.)

Size: The familiar’s size increases one step. Increase attack bonus by half, damage increases by one die type, and the space, reach and other abilities are determined by its new size.

Ability Scores: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution increase by +4.

Special Abilities: Treat the familiar’s special abilities and attacks as if they were one size larger, increasing damage by one die type and any bonuses by half. (Its familiar type, however, does not improve. An enlarged standard familiar does not become a greater familiar.) The effect lasts a number of minutes equal to the master’s level. When it ends, the familiar’s hit points return to normal, and all damage the familiar has taken while enlarged is divided by 2.

The familiar can only use this ability once and then must engage in a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Nimbus: As a standard action, the familiar can form an elemental nimbus around its master. While in its nimbus state, the familiar is visible and can be targeted and affected normally by attacks and spells. In addition, it takes half damage from any physical attack which hits its master. The familiar can take no actions in its nimbus state, but grants special abilities to its master depending on its size and type:

Air: The master gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance to slashing, piercing, bludgeoning.

Fire: The master gains fire resistance.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 30 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench ability.

Elemental Nimbus, Greater: As per an elemental nimbus above, except the abilities granted to the master by the familiar are more powerful:

Air: The master gains a +4 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance to all nonmagical damage.

Fire: The master gains damage resistance (fire) and advantage on all fire-based saving throws.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 60 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench and water mastery abilities.

Elemental Nimbus, Supreme: As per an elemental nimbus above, except the abilities granted to the master by the familiar are more powerful:

Air: The master gains a +6 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance (all nonmagical) and advantage on all Constitution-based saving throws.

Fire: The master gains fire immunity.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 90 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench, water mastery, and vortex abilities.

Elemental Attacks: The elemental familiar’s natural attacks deal extra damage of its elemental type. Fire creatures deal fire damage, air creatures deal lightning or sonic damage (chosen when the familiar is gained), water creatures deal acid damage and earth-based creatures deal force damage. A standard elemental familiar does 1d6 elemental damage, a greater familiar does 2d6 elemental damage and a supreme familiar does 3d6 elemental damage.

Table 5-9: Standard Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: This ability may be used once, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Growth: This ability may be used once, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Table 5-10: Greater Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Greater elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements (2)
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth (2)
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: This ability may be used twice, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Growth: This ability may be used twice, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Table 5-11: Supreme Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Supreme elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth (Short)
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: The familiar requires only a short rest between uses of this power.

Elemental Growth: The familiar requires only a short rest between uses of this power.

Woodland Familiars

Some druids can gain the ability to reshape the forest itself into their servants and companions. Frequently such abilities are developed by those druids who feel a closer affiliation to the plants and the trees of their domains, rather than the animals who live among them.

For more details on how this is done, see the Craft Woodland Familiar Ability in the ‘New Abilities’.

Vermin Companions

Animal companions are normally just that –animals. By using the Vermin Companions Special Ability (see ‘New Abilities’ section), however, a druid can extend her mastery over the natural domain and choose to befriend vermin as chosen companions.

Vermin offer many benefits, such as poison and webs, but they also have many hindrances. Feeding an animal is much simpler than feeding a vermin, especially in the case of giant bees or wasps, and this should be taken into account, particularly if the campaign is going to lead the characters away from lands in which it would be easier to find food for such creatures.

Vermin also tend to elicit more extreme reactions in towns and around people than most animals. A giant wolf, while still frightening to most people, seems quite innocuous in comparison to a spider with ten-foot tall legs.

Familiars Versus Companions

Animal companions hold many benefits when compared to familiars, as well as many hindrances. The primary benefit of having animal companions is that a druid may freely release an animal companion and suffer no ill effects, as long as the animal is released within an area in which it will be safe. The animal companion can be immediately replaced by performing the 24-hour ritual, and the druid need not wait a year and a day like she would to replace a familiar. This allows a druid that spends much of her time traveling the world to change animal companions based on where she is at the time, and what her specific needs are.

When the druid’s needs dictate special abilities, such as climbing, swimming, or flying, she can easily seek out a companion with those talents. While the loss of a companion is no laughing matter, it pales in comparison to the loss of a familiar and the corresponding loss of experience.

Lastly, while a familiar may be a voice of counsel, it may also become troublesome as it develops new ideas and feelings with the new Intelligence and Wisdom it has gained by being a familiar. It may lose some of its connection to the natural world, where an animal companion is always an animal (though a powerful one), and the drastic changes in the natural world around it will affect it just as any other animal of its type, alerting the druid to these things.

Nevertheless, animal companions also have their downsides when compared to familiars. They are not as able to communicate their needs as a familiar is, and they must be trained. If something is wrong with a familiar or the way it is being treated, it can let the druid know what it needs and what is wrong. An animal companion is not possessed of these facilities, and is not normally able to communicate its needs to the druid without the use of spells or magic. This can be particularly troublesome should the animal become sick. While a familiar can complain of symptoms, an animal companion may only act on its pain, and if the druid takes no notice, has no way to cry for help. The second major downside is the training required with an animal companion. It takes a lot of time to teach a wolf to be comfortable in a city, and even more when you must communicate through teaching, instead of just speaking directly to the animal. A familiar can take orders and understand complex requests much easier than an animal companion will ever be able to.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

The Fighter’s Familiar

Fighter Familiars

Fighters are not known for their familiars, and of all the possible character classes, that of the fighter is traditionally farthest removed from the world of the familiar. Fighters are not inclined toward the magical arts, and many of them are completely antithetical to all things arcane. Whereas even rangers and paladins can claim to have some bond with the mystic arts, fighters are wholly mortal in their powers. As a result, it is often more appropriate for a fighter to have animal companions than familiars.

That being said, even fighters have been known to forge fast friendships which extend beyond the mundane. These familiars usually take a form which can stand by the fighter in combat –either as a faithful steed, a trusty guardian, or a fellow warrior.

Assuming he has the proper Summon Familiar advantage (see ‘New Abilities’), a fighter can select any type of familiar listed on Tables 1-3, 1-4, or 1-5, though he still needs to meet all the criteria listed for each familiar (if any) in the tables.

Summoning Ritual

There are many ways for a fighter and a familiar to come together, and none of them are set in stone. Often a fighter finding a familiar (or vice versa) is more a matter of fate than intention. A player who is interested in gaining a familiar for his fighter should collaborate with the GM to come up with an interesting and engaging way of introducing the companion to the campaign. Keep in mind, of course, that the fighter still requires the Summon Familiar Ability (see the ‘New Abilities’ for details). What follows are a few suggestions:

Companion’s Bond

Call it sympathetic magic. Call it a lucky chance. Call it an exceptional beast bred in the mold of old. Call it the favor of the gods. Call it good training. Call it the strength of friendship.

Whatever the case may be, the fighter has met an animal of rare strength and the two have formed a fast bond of friendship.

Sometimes it seems that they share an almost uncanny bond –as if each one can almost read the thoughts and moods of the other. and as the fighter improves his skills with the blade, his companion grows in strength and skill as well.

This is the steed that never panics. It’s the wolf that stands guard upon a wounded friend. It’s the hawk that can deliver an unerring message across leagues.

The hero does not need to perform a quest or ritual for such friends. They are simply there. and often it would be impossible to imagine the hero without them.

In this scenario, the cost for the Summon Familiar Ability represent the bonding between familiar and master, as well as the costs of maintaining (and perhaps training) the familiar.

Magical Assistance

A fighter looking to deepen his relationship with a pet –either for personal or professional reasons –may choose to approach a sorcerer, cleric, or other spellcaster. Spellcasters versed in the appropriate rituals can create the magical bonds necessary for the master-familiar relationship (such as the empathic link).

Here the cost represents the fee paid to the spellcaster the fighter approaches to perform the ritual allowing the bonding between fighter and familiar.

Folk Ritual

When a fighter takes the Summon Familiar feat, it may mean that the time has come in his life to perform the rituals of his native culture, handed down from one generation to the next.

Or perhaps he has recently learned such a ritual in the course of his adventures. These ancient folk rituals are not magical in nature, but their performance taps into the mystic world and creates the bond between fighter and familiar.

The player and GM should decide upon a ritual type, adding as much detail as desired. Many factors can play a role in determining the nature of the ritual. For example, a fighter who dwells mainly in the jungle might execute a ritual quite different from that of a fighter who serves as a knight in the king’s court.

Some rituals make use of religious accoutrements, while others are quite secular.

In whatever form it takes, a ritual is not completed instantaneously, but usually requires several hours of preparation, meditation, and actual performance. Some rituals require the fighter to fast for a certain period beforehand, while others demand that he do some other form of service to cleanse his spirit of outside influences. Following are some brief ideas for rituals to be used with the Summon Familiar Ability: Complex dance about a fire.

  • Protracted period of prayer.
  • Lengthy oral recitation, perhaps from a prayer book or epic poem.
  • Deep meditative trace.
  • Prolonged stay in a sweat lodge.
  • Performance on drums or wind instruments.
  • Rendering a detailed artistic work.
  • Lighting and maintaining a specific pattern of bonfires.

Quest

Often the bond between fighter and familiar is forged in the form of a quest. This may either be intentional (the fighter goes looking for a familiar), or unintentional (the fighter encounters an animal companion while adventuring and an extraordinary bond forms between them).

The exact nature of the quest depends upon many factors –the campaign’s mythology, the region’s geography and climate, the character’s level, and –most importantly –the GM’s prerogative.

Again, the fact that the PC possesses the Summon Familiar

Ability isn’t enough –he must complete the quest to empower the feat and form the bond with his familiar. The player should let the GM know that he is looking for a familiar, and the GM should then work the quest into the campaign (either subtly or overtly, depending on the nature of the quest).

Quest Costs

Due to the nature of a quest, the benefits of taking the Summon Familiar feats can be delayed longer than is ordinarily the case.

To compensate for this, fighters who choose to perform a quest to gain a familiar may waive the monetary and experience point costs commonly associated with summoning familiars. Note that if the character begins play with any Summon Familiar feats and a familiar, he cannot use the Quest ritual as an excuse to waive gold piece or experience point costs. In this case, since the quest cannot be played out, the typical costs are assumed to reflect the arduous nature of the completed quest.

The quest may be overtly supernatural or it may be mundane.

The quest should be a physically demanding one, but also a psychological one –a moral obstacle course that forces the fighter to confront his own personal truth and test the strength of his friendship and love for his future familiar.

Three typical quest structures are well known in myth and legend: The Trial by Faith, the Trial of the Fey, and the Trial of Legend.

Trial By Faith

In most fantasy campaign settings, the gods play an important role in the lives of morals. An established pantheon of immortal beings is integral to the continued well-being of most worlds, whether those worlds are savage and primitive, or technically and socially advanced. While some pantheons are well removed from the machinations of mortals, seldom interfering with the Material Plane, others continually insinuate their schemes into the lives of kings and heroes, causing all sorts of trouble . . . and paving the way for all sorts of quests.

What type of fighter? This quest is appropriate for fighters who feel a kinship toward one god or another divine being. If the character is an agnostic, or if the campaign pays little attention to divine goings-on, then a Trial By Faith has little value. On the other hand, if a foreign land is under the sway of an evil theocrat and the fighter has some stake in that nation’s future, then the Architect could readily impose on the fighter this type of quest. Generally speaking, this quest works best if the character is a proclaimed follower of a certain god, or the sworn enemy of another.

What type of quest? The kind of quest associated with theology usually involves ‘securing something’ for an organized church. Perhaps the fighter is sent to join an armed crusade in a distant land in order to seize a holy site from infidels. Other options include seeking out and recovering a lost relic, driving brigands from a frontier abbey, or rescuing a missionary from the clutches of angry jungle natives. The primary idea in a Trial by Faith is to ‘make something secure,’ whether the thing in question is an item, territory, person, or ideal. The GM should tailor the quest to the campaign world, or roll on the following table for inspiration.

Table 6-1: Trial By Faith
d10 Sample Quest
1 Serve two months in a crusade in a faraway holy war.
2 Investigate and bring to justice a suspected heretic.
3 Serve as a bodyguard for pilgrims in a hostile land.
4 Recover a stolen relic.
5 Infiltrate and expose an opposing cult.
6 Retrace a prophet’s journey across dangerous seas.
7 Protect a monastery from a dragon attack.
8 Patrol a particularly restless cemetery for a single night.
9 Rescue a missionary from a foreign dungeon.
10 Smuggle a seditious sermon out of the country.

Trial of the Fey

Most fantasy worlds have a strong and distinct fairy presence.

The deepest woods and the most secluded groves are often home to feral elves, pixies, sprites, satyrs, and other mystic beings, creatures that live by whimsy and are governed by no man. The inhabitants of the fairy realm are known equally for their caprice and their magical powers; entering their domain can prove disastrous if the interloper is seen as an enemy to fairykind. Because the magic of these beings frequently defies the standard ‘rules’ for spellcasting as found in the lands of humans, their territory is the perfect setting for a fighter on a quest for a familiar.

What type of fighter? The more ignorant the fighter is concerning the ways of the woodland folk, the more perfectly suited he is for a journey into the fairy lands. His quest should be a thing of wonder, a mingling of danger and delight. In pursuit of his goal, he comes into a world so unlike his own that he feels at time as if he might go mad. The Trial of the Fey is appropriate for a fighter who knows next to nothing of the woodland spirits and their antics, further heightening the strangeness and peril of the quest.

What type of quest? Whereas a Trial by Faith involves securing an item or individual, the keyword of a Trial of the Fey is “discovery.” A group of leprechauns could instruct the fighter to search for the rainbow’s end. A centaur village, concerned about rising flood waters, might ask the character to journey across the valley and scout out possible locations for new settlements. The queen of the wood elves could require that the fighter brave a network of underground caverns to prove himself worthy. A Trial of the Fey is always a journey into the unknown, going places where humans have never been. Fey creatures usually tax the questing fighter with pranks and pitfalls, simply for their own amusement; pixies torment the fighter constantly, and brownies lay traps in his path. The following table provides additional examples.

Table 6-2: Trial of the Fey
d10 Sample Quest
1 Steal a lock of hair from the Queen of the Fairies.
2 Negotiate peace between warring treants.
3 Drive a green dragon from the woods.
4 Accompany the elves in search of drow raiders.
5 Find and restore a unicorn’s lost horn.
6 Rescue a man from a siren’s watery lair.
7 Locate all the ingredients for pixie dust.
8 Win the heart of a certain hateful person.
9 Plant a poisonous mushroom in a hag’s cellar.
10 Scout a new settlement for a centaur village.

Note that though many of the creatures mentioned in the examples above are not technically of the fey type, it is of no consequence. Technicalities are not important in this regard, and all that matters are that the creatures and elements involved are commonly seen as linked to the faerie world.

Trial of Legend

Of the three types of quests, the Trial of Legend is most nebulous, and the most difficult to define. While a Trial by Faith is very straightforward (“Sneak into the dark lands of Thul and recover the Knuckle of St. Tristan”), the Trial of Legend is rarely so linear in nature. Instead of receiving an explicit set of instructions, the fighter begins with only a vague notion of his goal. A vision, oracle, or wizard describes a faraway place, always a site of myth and alleged peril, and tells the fighter to go there and seek his fortune.

For instance, an anchorite in the mountains describes to the fighter the legendary lost island of Izikul, where rumor holds that beautiful women tend a garden of living swords. The old hermit vouchsafes nothing more, saying only that the fighter should begin his quest in a nearby fishing village, where a certain sailor claims to have seen the shores of Izikul.

What type of fighter? The Trial of the Arcane requires a fighter who can think on his feet. He must be able to piece together apparently unrelated clues in order to find the location which has been glimpsed to him. Once there, he has to be prepared for anything. Guardians of such places are usually never-before-seen monsters of epic size and cunning. Defeating these creatures demands that the fighter use not only strength, but craftiness as well.

The Greek hero Perseus would have met the same fate as all the other petrified warriors had he not been smart enough to polish his shield to a mirrored shine before facing Medusa.

What type of quest? The working term here is “fabulous.”

The Trial of Legend involves lands only vaguely described, territories either too ancient or too fantastic to be known to the common man. These places are always far removed from civilization, and invariably their denizens test the fighter’s wits as well as his weapons. The fighter doesn’t know the exact goal of his quest until he arrives. Only then does he learn that a giant two-headed serpent holds prisoner the Lady of the Sky, for example. But in order to rescue the Lady, the fighter must figure out how to overcome the serpent, whose scales are said to be impervious to any weapon forged under the sun. Other sample quest can found on the table below.

Table 6-3: Trial of Legend
d10 Sample Quest
1 Tame the water buffalo belonging to Yama, god of death (Indian mythos).
2 Climb Yggdrasil, the World Ash Tree (Norse mythos).
3 Discover the Heart of Nature.
4 Duel the guardian of the Bifrost bridge to the celestial realm (Norse).
5 Plant a tree in the desert of the Serobi Wastes.
6 Swim the whirlpool of Charybdis (Greek mythos).
7 Find out why Mole lives underground (Cherokee mythos).
8 Push a millstone up the side of Mt. Gor.
9 Explore the North Sea, where bodies mysteriously have washed ashore encased in ice.
10 Put a leash on a dog from the Wild Hunt (Celtic mythos).

Fighter Familiar Abilities

Unlike the familiars of many classes, the difference between a fighter’s familiar and a common animal companion is subtle. The fighter’s familiar is still a magical beast, but its nature lends itself only to an uncommon Intelligence, Strength, and tenacity –the overt magical powers of other familiars are not present.

In truth, the only magical power possessed by a fighter’s familiar is the uncanny bond that it shares with its master. In many ways, the fighter’s familiar is far more akin to a druid’s animal companion than to the typical sorcerer or wizard’s familiar. The primary difference is that the fighter’s familiar is far more versatile, far more adaptable to its fighter-master’s personality and fighting style. A fighter’s familiar becomes the ultimate fighting companion, its powers increasing and adapting to complement its master, even as he grows in power and skill.

Table 6-4: Standard Fighter Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Strength Adj. Special
1st-2nd +1 6 +2 Empathic link, Weapon Specialization (Natural Attack)
3rd-4th +2 7 +2 Standard familiar ability
5th-6th +3 8 +3 Combat Dominance
7th-8th +4 9 +3 Standard familiar ability
9th-10th +5 10 +4
11th-12th +6 11 +4 Standard familiar Ability, Extra Attack.
13th-14th +7 12 +5
15th-16th +8 13 +5 Standard familiar ability
17th-18th +9 14 +6
19th-20th +10 15 +6 Standard familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Strength Adj.: Add this value to the familiar’s Strength score.

Standard Familiar Ability: Select one standard familiar ability from Table 6-7 below.

Table 6-5: Greater Fighter Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Strength Adj. Special
1st-2nd +1 7 +2 Empathic link, Weapon Specialization (Natural Attack)
3rd-4th +2 8 +2 Standard familiar ability
5th-6th +3 9 +3 Greater familiar Ability, Combat Dominance
7th-8th +4 10 +4 Standard familiar ability
9th-10th +5 11 +4 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 12 +5 Standard familiar Ability, Extra Attack
13th-14th +7 13 +6
15th-16th +8 14 +6 Standard familiar ability
17th-18th +9 15 +7 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 16 +8 Standard familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Strength Adj.: Add this value to the familiar’s Strength score.

Standard Familiar Ability: Select one standard familiar ability from Table 6-7 below.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one standard or greater familiar ability from Tables 6-7 or 6-8 below.

Table 6-6: Supreme Fighter Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Strength Adj. Special
1st-2nd +1 9 +2 Empathic link, Weapon Specialization (Natural Attack)
3rd-4th +2 10 +2 Standard familiar ability
5th-6th +3 11 +3 Greater familiar Ability, Combat Dominance
7th-8th +4 12 +4 Supreme familiar ability
9th-10th +5 13 +5 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 14 +6 Standard familiar Ability, Extra Attack
13th-14th +7 15 +7
15th-16th +8 16 +8 Supreme familiar ability
17th-18th +9 17 +9 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 18 +10 Supreme familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of a familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Strength Adj.: Add this value to the familiar’s Strength score.

Standard Familiar Ability: Select one standard familiar ability from Table 6-7 below.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one standard or greater familiar ability from Tables 6-7 or 6-8 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one standard, greater, or supreme familiar ability from Tables 6-7, 6-8, or 6-9 below.

Table 6-7: Fighter Standard Familiar Abilities
Blood Bond
Cleaving Strike
Dodge
Power Attack
Fast Movement
Fleet of Foot
Natural Armor
In addition to the abilities listed above, the following feats can also be selected1 as standard familiar special abilities for the fighter’s familiar (assuming it meets the requirements):
Charmed Existence
Curtain of Steel
Intimidating Strike
Tripping Blow

1 Feat progressions must still be met if these feats are being selected. These feats apply to the familiar, not the master.

Table 6-8: Fighter Greater Familiar Abilities
Blessed Companion
Enhance Attribute
Courageous Roar
Defensive Roll
Discern Lies
Familiar Rage
Fearful
Guided Strike
Great Leap
Natural Armor, Greater
Opportunist
Uncanny Dodge, Improved
Woodland Stride
Table 6-9: Fighter Supreme Familiar Abilities
Damage Reduction
Familiar Growth
Familiar Rage, Greater
Find the Path
Natural Armor, Supreme
Supreme Leap
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

Fighter Archetype: The Legacy

Often a fighter looks not for the friendship of a familiar, but for the dependable companionship of a strong weapon in his hand.

A hero’s weapon is a magical, intelligent companion that serves a warrior true. It is, in truth, an extension of the fighter’s very body and soul. For some fighters, this mystical bond between hero and weapon comes in the form of a legacy-a weapon that has performed such great deeds throughout history that it houses the very essence of those who wielded it before. The blade gains a degree of sentience and the ability to communicate with the warrior; the exact details of its personality are for the player and GM to determine. It could be a single persona, the soul of a single great warrior who held the blade in the past, or it could be a unique persona comprised of elements of all those who held the weapon in days past.

The weapon could be a family heirloom, handed down from generation to generation, or it could be a blade that chooses a wielder once in a generation, someone it knows is destined for greatness. The exact details are up to the player and GM to detail, but at third level when the player chooses the Legacy archetype, her character comes into her inheritance.

Hero’s Weapon Properties

At third level, the character comes into possession of a hero’s weapon-or at least, discovers their legacy as the hero destined to wield the powerful artifact. This manifests in one of two ways: the character comes into possession of a new weapon, either by finding it in a treasure trove or having it gifted to them by a mentor or benefactor, or they learn that a weapon they already possessed is awakened and has been awaiting its owner to be ready to receive its gifts.

A hero’s weapon is an intelligent, magical weapon which may be gifted with extraordinary powers. It can be a melee or missile weapon. Its alignment always matches the player’s, and it never actively challenges or resists the hero’s methods or choices, though it will sometimes advise, cajole and otherwise discuss or debate options. It does not speak aloud, but communicates telepathically with the hero in the voices of ages past.

A hero may never have more than one legacy weapon. This weapon is nearly indestructible and cannot be permanently lost. If the character does somehow manage to break or lose their legacy weapon, they suffer the same injuries as a character who loses any familiar, save that they can never again gain a Legacy weapon; the character’s Archetype becomes Champion thereafter.

Ability Scores: A hero’s weapon is an intelligent magic item.

Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures as they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Table 6-10 shows what the hero’s weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores are, which is dependant upon the character level of its master.

Alignment: The alignment of a hero’s weapon always matches the alignment of its master. Anyone of a non-complimentary alignment who attempts to wield the weapon suffers 1d6 points of damage every round that they hold the weapon (no save allowed).

Evoke Power: The master of a hero’s weapon can call upon its power to aid him in times of need. When he does so, the hero’s weapon manifests any and all powers the character has chosen for it (see Hero’s Weapon Power below). The summoned powers last for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. A master may prematurely end the hero’s weapon’s manifested powers.

A master can only summon the hero’s weapon’s powers once per encounter. At 3rd level he can use a bonus action to summon the hero’s weapon’s powers once between long rests. At 7th, level, he can summon a power after a short rest. At 15th level, he may spend an Action Surge to summon an additional power between short rests. At eighteenth level, he may evoke weapon powers as a reaction. Activating powers in this way still counts against his maximum usage between rests.

Hero’s Weapon Power: A hero’s weapon has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). At 1st level, and every four levels thereafter, the master chooses one power from Table 6-11 below. These powers stack with one another and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Magic Weapon: A hero’s weapon becomes a +1 magical weapon when he enters this pact at 3rd level. This bonus increases by an additional +1 at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th levels.

This magical bonus only functions in the hands of the weapon’s owner; in the hands of anyone else it is simply a normal weapon in all respects, though of exceptional quality.

In addition, when held by the hero it will radiate alteration and enchantment magic to those who can detect such energies, but when not being wielded will not possess a magical aura of any kind.

Telepathic Link: The master has a telepathic link with the hero’s weapon out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master and the hero’s weapon can communicate telepathically. Note that the hero’s weapon sees the world differently from humans, as it tends to view the world both through its purpose as a weapon and from untold ages of experience and history, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this telepathic link between hero’s weapon and master, the master has the same connection to an item or place that the hero’s weapon does. For instance, if his hero’s weapon has been in a room or other location, the master who somehow gains the ability to do so, could teleport to that locale as if he has seen it too.

Special Abilities: In addition to any powers a hero’s weapon possesses, a hero’s weapon also has access to a number of inherent special abilities as listed on Table 6-11. Hero’s weapons may also possess both standard abilities and greater abilities.

These abilities are listed on Tables 6-12 and 6-13 below.

Hero’s Weapon Powers & Abilities

A hero’s weapon starts with one power, which can be summoned for use a limited number of times between rests. For every four levels beyond 1st that the hero’s weapon’s master has, it has an additional power. A manifested power lasts for two minutes at a time.

The master may choose one power from the following table each time the hero’s weapon is granted a new power. Unless otherwise indicated, a power cannot be chosen more than once.

Table 6-10: Hero’s Weapon Powers
+1 Enhancement Increase the weapon’s magical enhancement by +1.
Bane The weapon grants advantage against one specific type of foe, and deals an extra 2d6 damage against that type of foe. This power can be chosen multiple times, each time applying to a different kind of foe.
Defending Transfer the weapon’s enhancement bonus to AC instead of to hit and damage.
Distance Double the weapon’s range increment (can only be chosen for ranged weapons).
Flaming The weapon is wreathed in fire and deals an extra 1d6 fire damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons confer this aura and damage to their ammunition.
Frost The weapon glows a pale blue or white, and deals an extra 1d6 cold damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons confer this aura and damage to their ammunition.
Ghost Touch The weapon glows a faint green or shimmers and appears translucent. It deals damage normally to incorporeal creatures.
Keen The weapon deals a critical hit on a natural 19-20.
Merciful The weapon deals an extra 1d6 damage, but all damage dealt is non-lethal-opponents reduced to zero hit points are rendered unconscious and stable.
Mighty Cleaving If the wielder fells an opponent, he may take an additional bonus action to attack a second foe within reach. This bonus action is in addition to any other bonus actions or reactions he may have.
Returning After making a ranged attack, whether successful or not, the weapon immediately returns to the wielder’s hand. Can only be placed on weapons that can be thrown.
Seeking The weapon homes in on its target, granting advantage on all attacks, even in situations where disadvantage would normally be imposed. This ability can only be applied to ranged weapons.
Shock The weapon is wreathed in crackling electricity. It deals an extra 1d6 lightning damage on a successful hit. Ranged weapons with this ability transfer this aura to their ammunition.
Throwing The weapon can be thrown and gains a range increment of 10 ft./50 ft. Weapons that are already capable of being thrown double their range increment. This ability cannot be applied to bows, crossbows, slings, or other “fired” ranged weapons.
Thundering The weapon begins to visibly vibrate in its wielder’s hands. Upon successfully striking a foe it emits a loud thunderclap, dealing an extra 1d6 sonic damage to the victim. Ranged weapons impart this aura to their ammunition.
Vicious This weapon imparts advantage on all hits and deals an extra 2d6 points of necrotic damage to a foe on a successful hit. However, the wielder also suffers 1d6 points of damage from necrotic backlash. No save, immunity or resistance is allowed against this backlash damage. This ability can only be added to melee weapons.

A hero’s weapon gains special abilities as indicated on Table 6-10. These abilities must be chosen from the tables below as appropriate. Unlike the powers listed above, these abilities do not require the master to evoke them.

For details on what these abilities do, see the ‘Familiar Special Abilities’ section. The hero may evoke an ability once, after which he must engage in a long rest before evoking a second. At tenth level, the hero requires only a short rest between evoking abilities.

Table 6-11: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities
Alertness
Detect Chaos
Detect Evil
Detect Good
Detect Law
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Endurance
Familiar’s Eye
Familiar’s Flame
Inkling
Know Direction
Speech
Table 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Greater Abilities
Enhance ability (bull’s strength) (affects the master)
Enhance ability (cat’s grace) (affects the master)
Contagion
Darkness
Daylight
Dazing Touch
Detect Scrying
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Fearful
Find Traps
Freedom of Movement (affects the master)
Guided Strike (requires no action on hero’s weapon’s part)
Haste (affects the master)
Resist Energy (affects the master)

Mystical Bond

At third level, the character undergoes a ritual to mystically bond with their Hero’s Weapon. This ritual could be a variation on those listed above, or something entirely unique. This ritual requires one hour to perform in complete solitude. It can be completed during a short rest. The character to be in constant contact with the weapon during this time. Once the ritual is complete, the character gains two benefits: First, she can never be disarmed as long as she is conscious. Second, no matter where in the world the Weapon may be, she can, as a bonus action, instantly teleport it to her hand.

Legacy Strike

At 7th level, the hero can use an Action Surge to gain advantage on her next attack with the weapon. At 10th level, she may reroll any result of “1” on damage dice with her weapon. At 15th level, she may reroll any results of “1” or “2” on damage dice with her weapon. At 18th level she may spend an Action Surge to perform a critical hit with her weapon, automatically dealing maximum possible damage.

Table 6-13: Hero’s Weapon
Master Class Level Hardness Adj. Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd +1 9 Evoke power, hero’s weapon power, telepathic link, mystical bond
5th +2 9 Hero’s weapon standard ability
7th +3 10 Hero’s weapon power, legacy strike
9th +4 10 Hero’s weapon standard ability
11th +5 11 Hero’s weapon ability
13th 6th 11 Hero’s weapon greater ability
15th +7 13 Hero’s weapon power
17th +8 13
19th +9 15 Hero’s weapon power
20th +10 15 Hero’s weapon greater ability

Hardness Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the hero’s weapon’s existing hardness rating. It represents a preternatural resilience of the hero’s weapon.

Int/Wis/Cha: The hero’s weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Hero’s Weapon Standard Ability: Select any one hero’s weapon standard ability (see Table 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

Hero’s Weapon Greater Ability: Select any one hero’s weapon standard or greater ability (see Tables 6-11: Hero’s Weapon Standard Abilities and 6-12: Hero’s Weapon Greater Abilities for details on which special abilities are available and an explanation of what each does).

The Monk Familiar

Monks live in an enlightened state of balance, forever striving for a personal perfection of mind and body. This perpetual pursuit grants them a unique insight into forging, maintaining, and strengthening the symbiotic bond between master and familiar.

Not all monks possess familiars, but those who do view them as an integral part of their training. To a monk, a familiar is more than just a companion –they are often guides or exemplars.

The monk’s familiar is not only seen as an embodiment of those traits which the monk strives for in himself, but also as a mirror –a reflection of the monk’s knowledge and wisdom. As a monk travels further down the path of life, the familiar grows with him, and the monk can see in the familiar not only the marks of his own progress, but also where his remaining weaknesses lie.

In time, monk and familiar become like two sides of the same coin –twin spirits journeying through life.

Summoning Ritual

For a monk, the act of summoning a familiar is usually accomplished through meditation. A variety of meditative rituals have been recorded, but at their core they share a common theme. As the monk harmonizes with the world around him by use of a meditative trance, a sympathetic “vibration” or “calling” is initiated. It is unclear whether this “calling” literally creates the familiar through harmonic permeation, or if the familiar is transformed from its natural state as it is summoned. Whatever the case may be, familiar and monk become linked by a common, natural harmony.

Beyond this common core, the meditative rituals by which monks and familiars become bound vary greatly. In some cases, these rituals are handed down from the founders of the monastic orders. In other cases, monks describe the rituals as “coming to them in a dream” or as “a natural course which must be followed.” Some rituals appear to summon specific types of familiars (as if the monk were attuning his own spirit to the familiar); others appear to summon random familiars (as if the monk were simply sending his spirit to seek its natural match).

The length of the ritual usually depends on the strength of the familiar summoned –summoning a standard familiar requires an hour-long meditative trance. Summoning a greater familiar requires a daylong meditative trance. Summoning a supreme familiar requires a weeklong meditative trance.

Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen –see Tables 1-5 and 1-6 for more details.

Table 7-1: Standard Monk Familiars
Cat
Crane Dhole**
Dove
Eagle
Hawk
Fennec Fox**
Goblin
Hummingbird
Mongoose (Use stats for Weasel)
Oryx**
Owl
Panda, Red
Peacock
Raccoon
Raven
Snake, Tiny viper
Weasel
Wolf

** See the Non-standard Familiars sidebar below.

Table 7-2: Greater Monk Familiars
Bear, black
Bear, brown
Bear, polar
Blink dog
Cheetah
Giant weasel
Hell hound
Leopard (or Snow Leopard)
Mephit (any)
Panda Snake, constrictor
Snake, Large viper
Tiger
Wyrmling (dragon)(any lawful or true neutral)

** See the Non-standard Familiars sidebar below.

Table 7-3: Supreme Monk Familiars
Dire wolf
Displacer beast
Dragonne Dragon, very young (any lawful or true neutral)
Elemental (air, earth, fire, water)
Elephant
Ethereal filcher
Giant Eagle
Giant Lion
Giant Owl
Giant Poisonous Snake
Giant Scorpion
Giant Tiger
Giant Weasel
Griffon
Oni
Shadow mastiff
Unicorn
Winter wolf
Yeth Hound

** See the Non-standard Familiars sidebar below.

Non-Standard Familiars

The monk has several non-standard familiars:

Dragon, Very Young– This classification is halfway between a wyrmling and an adult.

Oryx– A small horse-like antelope. Use the stats for deer.

Dhole– Also known as a “red dog,” a dhole is a species of wild dog. Use the statistics of a wolf.

Fennec Fox– A desert fox with large ears. Use the statistics of a fox as presented in Appendix A. However, fennec foxes are adapted to desert life –they can go five times as long without water as normal. Masters of a fennec fox gain the extraordinary ability to go twice as long without water (but they do not gain the +3 bonus to Hide checks from having a fox familiar).

Monk Familiar Abilities

The monk’s familiar, like the monk himself, harmonizes with the world around it, allowing it to go where others cannot, and perform prodigious feats that others would find impossible.

Table 7-4: Standard Monk Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Endurance, empathic link, stunning attack, iron body
3rd-4th +2 7 Fast movement (+10 feet)
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with animals of its kind, fast healing
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Blur
13th-14th +7 12 Trackless step
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Table 7-5: Greater Monk Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 7 Endurance, empathic link, stunning attack, iron body
3rd-4th +2 8 Fast movement (+10 feet)
5th-6th +3 9 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +4 10 Speak with animals of its kind, iron body
9th-10th +5 11 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 12 Blur
13th-14th +7 13 Trackless step
15th-16th +8 14
17th-18th +9 15 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 16

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from Table 7-7 below.

Table 7-6: Supreme Monk Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 9 Endurance, empathic link, stunning attack, iron body
3rd-4th +2 10 Fast movement (+10 feet), inkling
5th-6th +3 11 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +4 12 Speak with animals of its kind, fast healing
9th-10th +5 13 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +6 14 Blur, supreme familiar ability
13th-14th +7 15 Trackless Step, greater familiar ability
15th-16th +8 16
17th-18th +9 17 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +10 18 Supreme familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from Table 7-7 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one greater or standard familiar ability from Tables 7-7 or 7-8 below.

Table 7-7: Monk Greater Familiar Abilities
Animal Trance
Augury
Blessed Companion
Enhance Attribute
Courageous Roar
Darkness
Daylight
Dazing Touch
Death Ward
Deafening Call
Defensive Roll
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Disease Immunity
Encompassing Vision
Endure Elements
Fearful
Freedom of Movement
Guided Strike
Great Leap
Haste
Mystic Disguise
Natural Armor, Greater
Nondetection
Opportunist
Resist Energy
Slow Fall
Sleeping Touch
Sneak Attack
Speak with Dead
Speech
Spider Climb
Time Hop
Uncanny Dodge, Improved
Venom Immunity
Water Breathing
Water Walk
Wholeness of Body
Table 7-8: Monk Supreme Familiar Abilities
Astral Projection
Charm
Companion’s Veil
Confusion
Damage Reduction
Dimension Slip
Divine Health
Ethereal State
Find the Path
Fly
Holy Call
Mind Store
Natural Armor, Supreme
Raise Dead
Supreme Leap
Time Regression
Tongues

Some monks do not choose to summon a traditional familiar to serve as their companion. Instead, these monks choose to open themselves to the spirits of the past –simultaneously reaching deep into the memories of their blood and calling out to the dead souls of their ancestors.

Ancestral Familiar

Beginning at 3rd level when the monk chooses this tradition, they can harness their ki to call upon the spirit of their ancestors for guidance, aid and wisdom. The monk performs a special summoning ritual to call upon an ancestral familiar. If one of his ancestors chooses to answer his call, then it either manifests itself directly as the monk’s familiar, or possesses the body of a nearby animal. (The exact nature of the spirit’s appearance depends on the monk, the ritual, and the ancestor –but see the creatures in Tables 7-1, 7-2, and 7-3 for details concerning exactly which creatures can be chosen to host the ancestral spirit.)

In the form of the monk’s familiar, the ancestral spirit provides a unique source of guidance while protectively watching over its descendant.

Monastic Tradition: The Way of the Ancestral Spirit

Ancestral Familiar Properties

Ancestral familiars generally have the same properties as a traditional familiar, with the following exceptions:

Ability Scores: Ancestral familiars have the same physical abilities as the type of animal they possess or manifest as. However, their mental abilities (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) are identical to the ancestor’s spirit in life. Assuming that a specific ancestor with existing statistics is not summoned, roll 3d6 for the familiar’s Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma as one would do for a traditional Non Player Character.

Skills: Unlike traditional familiars, ancestral familiars cannot interchangeably use their own skills and their master’s skills. Instead, the ancestral familiar maintains its own skills. The ancestral spirit has a number of skill points as if it were a monk of the same level as its master.

Although an ancestral spirit cannot use its skills interchangeably with its master’s, it can still use its skills interchangeably with its animal form. In other words, the ancestral spirit either uses its own skills or the normal skills for an animal of its type, whichever are better.

Special Abilities: By default, ancestral familiars gain ancestral abilities rather than the traditional familiar abilities (as described below). If a monk applies an Empower Familiar Ability to the ancestral familiar (see ‘New Abilities’ section), however, he can choose whether to apply a traditional power as normal or an ancestral ability.

As described above and below, you’ll note that as an ancestral spirit’s master goes up in levels, the ancestral spirit manifests new abilities and skills. There are three ways to interpret this.

The spirit’s ability to manifest powers as a familiar may be increasing, the spirit may be learning new things in its new life, or the spirit’s memories of its previous life are improving. Which interpretation is correct depends on the familiar and the ability, and is ultimately determined by the player or Game Master.

Table 7-9: Standard Monk Familiar (Ancestral)
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
3rd +1 * Ancestral spirit, empathic link
4th +2 * Standard ancestral ability
5th +3 * Speak with master
7th +4 * Speak with animals of its kind
9th +5 * Standard ancestral ability
11th 6th *
13th +7 *
15th +8 * Standard ancestral ability
17th +9 *
19th +10 *

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Intelligence (*): The intelligence of ancestral familiars is determined by the Ancestral Spirit special ability.

Ancestral Spirit: The ancestral familiar possesses the ancestral familiar properties, as described above.

Standard Ancestral Ability: Select one standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12. These special abilities are described below.

Greater and Supreme Ancestral Familiars

As with all familiars, in order to gain a greater or Supreme ancestral familiar, the monk must take the appropriate Advantage The monk is already considered to have the basic Summon Familiar Advantage for purposes of fulfilling prerequisites.

Table 7-10: Greater Monk Familiar (Ancestral)
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 * Ancestral spirit, empathic link
3rd-4th +2 * Standard ancestral ability
5th-6th +3 * Speak with master, greater ancestral ability
7th-8th +4 * Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 * Standard ancestral ability
11th-12th +6 * Greater ancestral ability
13th-14th +7 *
15th-16th +8 * Standard ancestral ability
17th-18th +9 * Greater ancestral ability
19th-20th +10 *

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Intelligence (*): The intelligence of ancestral familiars is determined by the Ancestral Spirit special ability.

Ancestral Spirit: The ancestral familiar possesses the ancestral familiar properties, as described above.

Standard Ancestral Ability: Select one standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12. These special abilities are described below.

Greater Ancestral Ability: Select one greater or standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12 or 7-13. These special abilities are described below.

Table 7-11: Supreme Monk Familiar (Ancestral)
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 * Ancestral spirit, empathic link
3rd-4th +2 * Standard ancestral ability
5th-6th +3 * Speak with master, greater ancestral ability
7th-8th +4 * Speak with animals of its kind
9th-10th +5 * Standard ancestral ability
11th-12th +6 * Greater ancestral ability, supreme ancestral ability
13th-14th +7 *
15th-16th +8 * Standard ancestral ability
17th-18th +9 * Greater ancestral ability
19th-20th +10 * Supreme ancestral ability

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Intelligence (*): The intelligence of ancestral familiars is determined by the Ancestral Spirit special ability.

Ancestral Spirit: The ancestral familiar possesses the ancestral familiar properties, as described above.

Standard Ancestral Ability: Select one standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12. These special abilities are described below.

Greater Ancestral Ability: Select one greater or standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12 or 7-13. These special abilities are described below.

Supreme Ancestral Ability: Select one supreme, greater, or standard ancestral ability from Table 7-12, 7-13, or 7-14. These special abilities are described below.

Ancestral Abilities

Ancestral familiars are possessed of a special set of abilities –representing the unique knowledge and protective influence of the ancestor’s spirit over the monk.

Table 7-12: Standard Ancestral Abilities
Alchemist The ancestral familiar was an alchemist in its previous life. The familiar grants proficiency in the Medicine skill and in the use of Herbalism kits as well as in any Intelligence checks related to alchemy, chemistry or poisons.
Animal Friend The ancestral familiar possesses a close kinship with animals. The familiar gains proficiency with Animal Handling.
Blood Bond The familiar gains advantage to all attack, skill and ability checks, and saves if it witnesses its master threatened or harmed. This bonus lasts as long as the threat is immediate and apparent.
Danger Sense The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains advantage on saving throws against traps.
Diplomat The ancestral familiar was a diplomat in its previous life. The familiar grants proficiency in the Persuasion skill. This ability can be selected more than once and the effects stack.
Endurance The presence of the familiar gives the master pools of hidden strength. While the familiar is within arm’s reach, the master is able to call on the Diehard Feat. This ability can be used once, after which the master must engage in a long rest before using it again.
Healer The ancestral familiar was a skilled healer in its past life. The familiar gains the ability to use the healing word spell as a firstlevel caster. At 6th, 11th, and 17th levels, the familiar can use this spell as a second, third, or fourth-level slot, respectively. After using this ability, the familiar must engage in a long rest before using it again.
Improved Initiative The presence of the familiar gives the master a quicker reaction time. While the familiar is within arm’s reach, the master may add their proficiency bonus to their initiative check.
Inkling The familiar has a sixth sense and often knows whether intended actions are good or bad. The familiar has a 50% chance of knowing whether the results of a particular action will by good or bad. After using this ability, the familiar must engage in a long rest before using it again. 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.
Living History The ancestral familiar grants proficiency in the History skill due to its singular perspective.
Luck of Providence The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains proficiency in one additional saving throw category. This ability may be chosen more than once. Each time it is chosen, the master is proficient in one additional saving throw category. If all six saving throws have proficiency, choosing the ability again has no additional effect.
Performer The ancestral familiar was a great actor, singer, or dancer in its previous life. The familiar grants proficiency in the Performance skill.
Scout The ancestral familiar was a scout in its previous life. The master gains proficiency in the Survival skill.
Sorcerer’s Ward The ancestral familiar was a great sorcerer in its previous life, and its presence awakens the magical potential in its descendant’s blood. When the ancestral familiar and its master are within sight of one another, both gain spell resistance.
Stoic The ancestral spirit was a master of meditation and selfcontrol. The familiar gains advantage on Wisdom based checks where concentration is required.
Tracker The ancestral spirit was a master tracker, able to scent even antelope upon the rocky steppes. The familiar gains the ability to track as a ranger of equal hit dice.
Uncanny Dodge The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. As long as the ancestral familiar is within sight, the familiar’s master gains the extraordinary ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. The master retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being surprised or struck by an invisible attacker, and gains proficiency on Dexterity saving throws.
Ward of Harm The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains a +2 luck bonus to AC.
Table 7-13: Greater Ancestral Abilities
Actor The ancestral familiar was an actor of legendary talent. The familiar’s master gains proficiency in the Perform skill.
Advisor The ancestral familiar was a Machiavellian advisor in its previous life. The familiar gains proficiency in the Insight skill.
Arcanist The ancestral familiar was a researcher and practitioner of the arcane arts. The familiar gains proficiency in the Arcana skill.
Artisan The ancestral familiar was a great artisan in its previous life. The familiar gains proficiency in one type of Artisan’s tools.
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. After using this ability, the familiar must complete a long rest before it can be used again. This ability can be selected a second time. If it is chosen again, the familiar must complete only a short rest between uses.
Blessed Companion The monk draws strength of spirit from his ancestor. When the familiar and its master are in physical contact, both receive a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls and advantage on saves against fear effects.
Death Ward The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. 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 harmful effects, even if they might prove lethal.
Deft Movement The ancestral familiar was a master of physical control and skilled at the art of avoidance. The familiar gains proficiency with the Acrobatics skill.
Improved Aid When its master and his allies make a group check on a task, the presence of the ancestral familiar increases the effective number of successes by one.
Luck of Providence, Greater The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains advantage on any saving throw. This ancestral ability does not stack with Luck of Providence ability (above). After using this ability, the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.
Magistrate The ancestral familiar was a powerful politician or bureaucrat in its previous life. The familiar grants proficiency to any Intelligence or Wisdom checks relating to law and nobility.
Master Diplomat The ancestral familiar was a diplomat of surpassing skill in its previous life. The familiar gains advantage on Insight checks.
Ninja The familiar was skilled at stealth in its former life. The familiar gains proficiency on the Stealth skill.
Priest The ancestral familiar was a priest in its previous life. The familiar gains proficiency in the Religion skill.
Scholar The familiar was a skilled scholar in its previous life. The familiar gains proficiency on any attempt to decipher an unfamiliar written script and to the investigation skill.
Speech The familiar gains the ability of speech, knowing whatever languages its master knows.
Spy The ancestral spirit was a legendary spy. The familiar grants proficiency with the Disguise Kit.
Sorcerer’s Ward, Greater The ancestral familiar was a great sorcerer in its previous life, and its presence awakens the magical potential in its descendant’s blood. When the ancestral familiar and its master are within sight of one another, both gain spell resistance.
Thief The ancestral spirit was a rogue or thief. The familiar gains proficiency in the perception skill and thieves’ tools. The Familiar can disarm common and magical traps as a thief equal to the Hit Dice of the familiar. It is assumed to always have thieves’ tools on hand.
Ward of Harm, Greater The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains a +4 luck bonus to AC. This ancestral ability does not stack with Ward of Harm ability (above)
Warrior The familiar was a potent warrior in its previous life. The familiar’s master gains proficiency in all weapons.
Wild Lore The ancestral familiar spent much of its previous life wandering the paths and learning the hidden ways of the wild. The familiar gains proficiency in the Survival skill.
Table 7-14: Supreme Ancestral Abilities
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 grants advantage on saves 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.
Luck of Providence, Supreme The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains proficiency in all saving throws.
Karmic Greatness The ancestral familiar is a spirit of great power. The familiar gains advantage on all Charisma-based checks and saves.
Keen Intellect The ancestral familiar had a mind of startling power. The familiar’s intelligence score improves by 4.
Sagacious The ancestral familiar possessed a vast depth of wisdom. The familiar gains advantage on all Wisdom based checks.
Sorcerer’s Ward, Supreme The ancestral familiar was a great sorcerer in its previous life, and its presence awakens the magical potential in its descendant’s blood. When the ancestral familiar and its master are within sight of one another, both gain spell resistance and advantage on spell attack rolls.
Ward of Harm Supreme The ancestral familiar watches over and protects its descendant. The familiar’s master gains a +6 luck bonus to AC. This ancestral ability does not stack with Ward of Harm or Greater Ward of Harm abilities (above).

Paladin Special Mounts & Familiars

The Paladin’s Familiar

A paladin’s familiar is a holy being and a trusted servant. It is a valuable ally, a potent comrade-in-arms, and a treasured friend. Most paladins adopt familiars in order to give them an edge in combat. Many of the greater and supreme familiars are quite powerful in their own right, though even the smaller, less impressive standard familiars can assist the paladin and her other allies by flanking enemy creatures, distracting them, and the like.

A paladin’s familiar is also able to deliver touch spells and abilities on her behalf, so it may be quite a boon for the party as a whole.

The paladin herself may not be able to break off the fight with the purple worm to heal her dying comrade, but her falcon certainly can. A paladin may also use her familiar for reconnaissance and scouting, as she herself is generally not a very covert individual.

But with all these advantages comes a danger. A paladin’s place is in combat, smashing apart evil creatures, protecting her friends and her cause, and making the world a better place in which to live. Most paladins have little fear for themselves, as they wear strong, often enchanted, armor to ward off blows, and are tough enough to survive those attacks that do pierce their protection.

The same cannot be said for the typical familiar. If a familiar falls, a part of the paladin dies as well, resulting, in game terms, a loss of experience points. Since a paladin does spend much time in combat, the risk is far greater to her familiar than it would be to a sorcerer or wizard. These are concerns that must be considered when deciding whether or not to take on a familiar.

Familiars also provide the paladin with eyes and ears in places she cannot travel, or possess abilities that complement her own.

A familiar is indeed a very helpful tool, though this must be counterbalanced with the danger presented by the possibility that the familiar may be slain. Such a tragic event is sure to leave its mark on the paladin, and she will be a long time recovering.

Summoning Ritual

A paladin summons his familiar by undergoing a holy ritual and taking the Summon Familiar Advantage. The ritual takes time (about four hours) and dedication, as well as incense, holy water, and other such implements (the cost of which is included in the Special Ability descriptions), and prayer. Even paladins who do not worship a particular god must pray for their familiar, just as they pray for their spells. At the end of the ritual, the paladin opens her eyes and her new ally materializes before her.

A paladin can select any non-evil and non-chaotic creature as her familiar (see Tables 1-3, 1-4, and 1-5). Note: All Greater and Supreme familiars have specific character level and alignment prerequisites that must be met in order to be chosen.

Paladin Familiar Abilities

Due to the special bond shared between the familiar and its master, the familiar gains in power just as its master does.

Paladin familiars follow the following progression, depending on their caliber (standard, greater or supreme).

Table 8-1: Standard Paladin Familiar
Paladin Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link, divine health, detect evil, share saving throws
3rd-4th +2 7 Divine touch, share spells
5th-6th +3 8 Speak with master
7th-8th +4 9 Speak with creatures of its kind
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Blood bond
13th-14th +7 12 Inspire ally
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents the preternatural toughness of the paladin’s familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Table 8-2: Greater Paladin Familiar
Paladin Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +5 7 Empathic link, divine health, detect evil, share saving throws
3rd-4th +6 8 Divine touch, share spells
5th-6th +7 9 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +8 10 Speak with creatures of its kind
9th-10th +9 11
11th-12th +10 12 Blood bond, greater familiar ability
13th-14th +11 13 Inspire ally
15th-16th +12 14
17th-18th +13 15 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +14 16

Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents the preternatural toughness of the paladin’s familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater or standard familiar ability from the Table 8-4 below.

Table 8-3: Supreme Paladin Familiar
Paladin Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +8 9 Empathic link, divine health, detect evil, share saving throws
3rd-4th +9 10 Divine touch, share spells
5th-6th +10 11 Speak with master, greater familiar ability
7th-8th +11 12 Speak with creatures of its kind
9th-10th +12 13 Greater familiar ability
11th-12th +13 14 Blood bond, supreme familiar ability
13th-14th +14 15 Inspire ally, greater familiar ability
15th-16th +15 16
17th-18th +16 17 Greater familiar ability
19th-20th +17 18 Supreme familiar ability

Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents the preternatural toughness of the paladin’s familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Greater Familiar Ability: Select one greater familiar ability from the Table 8-4 below.

Supreme Familiar Ability: Select one supreme or greater familiar ability from the Tables 8-4 or 8-5 below.

Table 8-4: Paladin Greater Familiar Abilities
Augury
Blessed Companion
Enhance Attribute
Commune with Nature
Daylight
Death Ward
Defensive Roll
Detect Thoughts
Discern Lies
Disease Immunity

Find Steed and The Paladin’s Mount

The Find Steed spell is separate and distinct from the Paladin/Barbarian’s Steed Advantage. At the GM’s option, when the Paladin gains second level spells at fifth level (or at any time thereafter) she can cast Find Steed, and permanently sacrifice a second level spell slot to in turn gain an enhanced steed of the types detailed here. Permanent sacrifices of higher level spell slots (4th and 5th, respectively) will allow the Paladin to dismiss her current steed while upgrading to a Greater or Supreme mount, as detailed later. In conjunction with the Paladin’s Mount Advantage, this allows another option for the Paladin to gain a specially bonded steed. However, the PC may not have both the Advantage and sacrifice a spell slot-at no time may a Paladin ever have more than a single steed.

Alternate Mounts

Listed below are other possible mounts, suitable for a paladin summoning her first mount. With the Game Master’s permission, any of these creatures can be summoned in place of the standard warhorse or war pony without requiring any special feat, skill, or equipment. In addition, through the use of the Greater Special Mount and Supreme Special Mount Abilities, paladins gain access to an even wider, and more powerful variety of creatures for use as special mounts. Note that all such Greater or Supreme mounts are governed by the alignment and level restrictions listed for that monster or creature under the ‘Associated Character Level’ in the lists of Greater and Supreme familiars.

Table 8-6: Standard Paladin Mounts
Small Paladins Special Mount Notes
Antelope
Deer
Dolphin Aquatic characters only Giant sea horse Aquatic characters only
Mastiff*
Mule/Donkey*
Pony *
Porpoise/Dolphin Aquatic characters only
Ram/Goat
Medium Paladins Special Mount Notes
Camel*
Elk*
Giant Goat*
War horse *
Table 8-7: Greater Mounts
Small Paladins Special Mount Notes
Bear, black*
Dispel Magic
Encompassing Vision
Guided Strike
Great Leap
Haste
Natural Armor, Greater
Nondetection
Opportunist Recall
Speak with Dead
Speech
Spell Resistance, Greater
Venom Immunity
Wholeness of Body
Table 8-5: Paladin Supreme Familiar Abilities
Banisher
Charm
Companion’s Veil
Damage Reduction
Divine Health
Familiar Growth
Find the Path
Fly
Holy Call
Natural Armor, Supreme
Raise Dead
Spell Resistance, Supreme
Supreme Leap
Tongues

The Paladin Mount

It is not uncommon for knights and holy soldiers of the orders to also be warriors of horse. In the case of the paladin, such a horse may be delivered through the agencies of a deity or other cosmic representatives of the warrior’s Oath, as a divine or infernal companion possessed of special powers and abilities.

Such a mount cannot be called for or received until the paladin has reached 4th level, as many of the goodly gods expect paladins to first literally walk the path of humility.

Typically, the mount is a warhorse or war pony, but there is no reason that a paladin must be limited to these options. As described below, a paladin may be able to summon alternative mounts, or grant new powers and abilities to their existing mount.

There is also no reason why a paladin cannot have both a mount and familiar. For details on a paladin’s familiar, see ‘The Paladin’s Familiar’ section.

Giant eagle*
Giant owl*
Flight
Griffin*
Flight
Hippogriff*
Flight

Paladin’s Special Mount Properties And Special Abilities

Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin with the Summon Mount advantage or the Oath of the Wild may magically call her mount from the celestial plane upon which it resides. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin and remains for 2 hours per paladin level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the paladin may release a particular mount from service (if it has grown too old to continue her crusade, for instance). Each time the mount is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously.

The mount also appears wearing any gear it had when it was last dismissed (including barding, saddle, saddlebags, and the like).

Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.

Should the paladin’s mount die, it immediately disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The paladin may not summon another mount for thirty days or until she gains a paladin level or adds either the Greater Special Mount or Supreme Special Mount Special Ability (see the ‘New Abilities’ for details), even if the mount is somehow returned from the dead. During this thirty-day period, the paladin takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

A paladin’s mount uses the base statistics for a creature of its type, but gains the abilities shown on the table below. A paladin’s mount is treated as a magical beast, regardless of the base creature’s original type, for the purposes of all effects that depend on its type (though it retains the base creature’s HD, base attack bonus, saves, skill points, and feats.)

Paladin Level: The level of the paladin. If the mount suffers a level drain, treat it as the mount of a lower-level paladin.

Bonus HD: Extra Hit Dice; every three Extra Hit Dice improve the mount’s proficiency bonus by +1.

Divine Aura: The mount emanates a continuous divine aura of faith which grants it a +2 bonus to armor class and +2 bonus to saves vs. evil, conjured, or summoned creatures.

Natural Armor Adj..: The number on the table is an improvement to the mount’s existing natural armor class. It represents the preternatural toughness of a paladin’s mount.

Int: The mount’s Intelligence score (if higher than the mount’s natural Intelligence score).

Improved Speed: The paladin’s mount moves 10 ft. faster than the base speed of a normal creature of its type.

Giant badger
Giant eagle Flight
Giant wasp* Flight/Poison
Medium Paladins Special Mount Notes
Bear, brown*
Bear, polar*
Caribou
Dire bat* Flight
Hippogriff* Flight
Lion*
Manta ray Aquatic characters only
Saber-Toothed Tiger*
Tiger*
Large Paladins Special Mount Notes
Dinosaur
Giraffe
Owl
Table 8-8: Supreme Mounts
Small Paladins Special Mount Notes
Blink dog* Rider travels with blink/dimension door
Dragon, very young* Flight
Medium Paladins Special Mount Notes
Arrowhawk, adult* Flight
Dire bear*
Dire lion*
Dire tiger*
Dragonne* Flight
Dragon, very young* Flight
Giant eagle* Flight
Giant owl* Flight
Griffin* Flight
Hippogriff* Flight
Owlbear*
Rhinoceros*
Large Paladins Special Mount Notes
Arrowhawk, elder* Flight
Elephant*
Roc*
Whale, Killer* Aquatic
Dragon, very young* Flight
available uses. The mount may use this ability once per two levels of its master, after which it must complete a short or long rest before using it again. Each target may attempt a Wisdom save against the master’s spell save DC to negate the effect.

A standard mount can use its command ability against any animal of its species or related species. (For a warhorse or war pony, for example, this includes donkeys, mules, and similar creatures.)

A greater mount can use its command ability against its own kind and any creature with the beast type.

A supreme mount can use its command ability against any creature.

Spell Resistance: all mounts possess spell resistance, granting advantage on all saving throws against magic.

Other Special Abilities: The various tables below list several other special abilities that paladin special mounts acquire as they grow in power. For details on what these special abilities can do, see the ‘Special Ability’ section.

Table 8-9: Standard Paladin’s Special Mount
Paladin Level Bonus HD Natural Armor Adj. Strength Adj. Int Special Abilities
4th-7th +2 +4 +1 6 Divine Aura, Empathic link, share saving throws
8th-10th +4 +6 +2 7 Improved speed
11th-14th +6 +8 +3 8 Command animals of its kind
15th-20th +8 +10 +4 9 Spell resistance (Master’s Level)
Table 8-10: Greater Paladin’s Special Mount
Paladin Level Bonus HD Natural Armor Adj. Strength Adj. Int Special Abilities
8th-10th +2 +4 +1 8 Empathic link, share saving throws, Divine Aura
11th-12th +4 +6 +2 9 Improved speed, special mount ability, Aura of Courage
13th-14th +6 +8 +3 10 Command animals of its kind
15th-16th +8 +10 +4 11 Spell resistance (Master’s Level)
17th-20th +10 +12 +5 12 Special mount ability

Aura of Courage: A Greater paladin’s mount emanates an aura of courage which grants the allies of the paladin advantage on saves vs. fear when they are within 10 ft. of the mount.

Table 8-11: Supreme Paladin’s Special Mount
Paladin Level Bonus HD Natural Armor Adj. Strength Adj. Int Special Abilities
4th-7th +4 +6 +1 10 Empathic Link, Share saving throws, Divine Aura
8th-10th +6 +8 +2 11 Improved speed, Special mount ability, Aura of Courage
11th-13th +8 +10 +3 12 Command animals of its kind, special mount ability, Divine Smite
14th-16th +10 +12 +4 13 Spell resistance (Master’s Level), special mount ability
17th-20th +12 +14 +5 14 Special mount ability

Divine Smite: The mount may call upon its master’s Divine Smite ability. This ability counts against the master’s spell slots to use.

Empathic Link: The paladin and her mount have an empathic link out to a distance of one mile. The paladin cannot see through the mount’s eyes, but she can communicate empathically. Even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible. This is a supernatural ability.

Because of the empathic link between the mount and paladin, the paladin has the same connection to an item or place that the mount does, just as a master and his familiar.

Share Saving Throws: The mount uses its own base save or its master’s, whichever is higher.

Mount Ability: Select any one mount ability (see table).

Command: A mount has the ability to command other normal animals of approximately the same kind as itself, as long as the target creature has fewer Hit Dice than the mount. This ability functions like the command spell, but the mount must make a successful DC 15 Wisdom check to succeed if it’s being ridden at the time (in combat, for instance). If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts as one of the mount’s ???

Mounts & Familiars By Race

A member of just about any race can become a paladin, and each has its own innate preferences for familiars and mounts.

The following suggestions can serve as archetypal guidelines, but should not be considered binding rules –any paladin can select any mount (with their Game Master’s approval, of course):

Dwarf

Dwarven paladins tend to be few and far between. The race does tend to lend itself to the same ideals upheld by paladins, however, as both revere goodness and lawfulness. Dwarven paladins are likely to be concerned more with their own people than are many other paladins, as the dwarven people have a history of a long, slow decline and there are many dwarves who would see their race thrive again. Dwarven paladins are often protectors and defenders of the dwarven people, battling foul creatures and defending the borders for their fellow dwarves.

Dwarven familiars are often those born of the earth, or that live within it. These are the creatures with which dwarves have the most contact, and dwarves tend to be distrustful of other creatures. Beings with the ability to burrow or otherwise carve passages in the earth make for popular familiars.

Dwarves generally like a to have solid ground beneath their feet, so many dwarven paladins may choose to take up a familiar in lieu of a mount (see ‘The Paladin’s Familiar’ section). Those who do accept a mount prefer those that are just as steadfast and determined as they are themselves, especially those able to traverse long distances over rocky terrain. The mount must also be willing to venture into caves and other dark places beneath the earth, as that is where dwarves feel most comfortable. No dwarf worthy of his name would be caught dead riding an airborne mount, unless perhaps his mission was vitally important and there were no other way.

Elf

Elven paladins are rare, as their carefree nature does not lend itself to the strict code that a paladin must follow. Those elven paladins that exist, however, are some of the finest swordsmen and archers known to the civilized races. The elves’ disdain for evil creatures is well known, and it should be no surprise that a dedicated, enterprising few do don the mantle of the paladin and strike out into the world to drive their blades deep into the heart of wickedness, often adopting the doctrine of the crusader (see the ‘Mounts by Doctrine’ section).

As elves are famous for their skill with the bow, many elven paladins take this up as their favored weapon, becoming non-traditional archer-knights. These warriors may fire arrows from the back of their mount with no penalty.

Elves revere the woodlands, and this is where they draw most of their familiars from. Elves prefer creatures with a natural, aesthetic beauty, with beautiful shapes that please the elven eye and beautiful songs that please the elven ear. Elves admire the freedom and bliss of flight and have a special fondness for birds.

Forest dwelling creatures by far make up the majority of elven familiars. Elves have also always enjoyed a special friendship with the metallic dragon races.

The same is true of an elf’s mount, and an elf’s love for freedom often leads her to aerial mounts, particularly griffons. Elven nations exist wherein dwell an elite cadre of airborne knights (sometimes called “Wind Riders”) that inspire terror in their enemies and courage in their allies. An elven paladin may be a (former) member of one of these companies. Many elven paladins also prefer the sleek elven warhorse.

Gnome

Gnomish society places great value on the community and the support that gnomes are taught to provide for one another.

Gnomish paladins often take this sentiment one step further, showing the same watchful protectiveness over the world as a whole as they do over their families and clans. Gnomish paladins are often much more playful and less austere than paladins of other races, which inspires mixed feelings in the general populace and often mild disdain from their fellow paladins of other races. Gnomes are especially adept at combating kobolds, goblinoids, and giants, and gnomish paladins may seek these creatures out in particular. In this way, not only do they slay evil creatures and protect the world at large, they also venerate their gnomish ancestry and their clans by destroying beings that gnomes find particularly repulsive.

Gnomes love animals, and therefore almost always adopt familiars that are natural animals (as opposed to beasts, vermin, etc.). Gnomes have a special affinity to burrowing mammals, and these make for very appropriate familiars –especially as the gnome is able to magically speak with them. But gnomes adore all animals, and so anything from a badger to a barracuda may be found serving a gnomish master.

The mounts of gnomish paladins tend to be animals as well, though a few earth-going, more unusual creatures are also popular. As gnomes are Small, they suffer penalties if riding creatures larger than Medium-size, and so tend to shy away from the larger animals. Gnomes are particularly fond of ponies and riding dogs, though, again, just about any animal is possible.

Half-Elf

Next to humans, half-elves are the most likely candidates for paladinhood. They have the drive and dedication of humans and the love of freedom and individuality of elves. This combination can lead some to the path of the paladin, attempting to stamp out evil so that all may live their lives in freedom.

Half-elves tend to have a love for the forest, just as their elven forebears do, though, like humans, they vary widely in their particular likes and dislikes.

The joy of flying is as keen to a half-elf’s senses as it is to an elf’s.

However, due to their human ancestry, they are more likely to take an unorthodox mount with which to patrol the skies.

Unusual flying creatures such as giant insects can be found more among the ranks of half-elf paladins than any other.

Half-Orc

Only the most exceptional of half-orcs take up the title of paladin. Half-orcs are distrusted, crude, and have a tendency toward chaos, all qualities which match poorly with the paladin’s creed. But, nevertheless, there are those rare few who do become paladins, perhaps in some strange desire to vindicate and absolve themselves of their savage ancestry. To this end, half-orc paladins may feel as if they have to closely match the stereotype in order to prove themselves, and their choices of mounts and familiars reflect this. Other half-orc paladins, however, combine their strength and their savage heritage with their drive to destroy evil, and so take on more bestial mounts and familiars.

Those half-orcs who are trying to fit in with human society tend to take familiars that emphasize nobility. Other half-orcs want familiars that are much like they are –tough, strong, grizzled, and fear-inspiring. Half-orcs take pride in familiars that are just as potent in combat as they are themselves.

Many half-orc paladins take the traditional warhorse as a mount, in order to emphasize their noble goals. Others throw subtlety to the winds, adopting more esoteric and fearsome creatures which are able to rend and destroy their foes.

Halfling

The halfling who has the ability to temper impulsivity with caution, and opportunism with empathy is rare indeed, and thus halfling paladins are similarly uncommon. Halfling religion places great emphasis on protection, and, like dwarves and gnomes, halfling paladins are often those who take this doctrine one step further. Such individuals may feel that their less-enlightened fellow halflings are below them, or they may tolerate their capricious nature with tolerant good humor.

As halflings mingle freely with all races, their choice of familiar tends to be very open, much like those of humans and halfelves.

Halflings may prefer small creatures that they can share a certain kinship with, or they may opt for larger creatures that could potentially conceal their own small forms. Halflings have no general preference for one familiar or another.

As small humanoids, halflings receive penalties for riding creatures larger then Medium-size, so very few do. However, some halflings take it upon themselves to become expert riders, and as such, can be found atop almost anything. As with their familiars, halflings generally have no set preference for one type of mount over another.

Humans

Humans are the most apt of all the races to become paladins, and are the most diverse of all the races. Humans are much more likely to break the norms than are other races, more likely to go their own way and do things the way they would like to see them done. Humans make the most unpredictable paladins of all. It is whispered by some that they are also the most likely to fall from grace, and certainly, fallen paladin blackguards seem to lean toward humanity.

As humans are more likely to break the mold than any other races, and have wildly differing views as well as likes and dislikes, humans have no overall preference when it comes to familiars. Their views on mounts are much the same as they are on familiars –unpredictable. Because individual humans have such a wide range of preferences and ideals, no one mount is favored over another, with the exception of the warhorse. Many humans do prefer the traditional warhorse (or gracken, in some lands), though it is just as likely that a given human paladin will be riding a very unorthodox mount into battle.

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Table 8-12: Special Mount Abilities
Animal Trance
Blessed Companion
Blood Bond
Blur
Enhance Attribute
Chameleon
Commune with Nature
Control Light (brighten)
Danger Sense
Darkvision
Daylight
Death Ward
Detect Chaos
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Distracting
Encompassing Vision
Endurance
Familiar’s Eye
Familiar’s Flame
Freedom of Movement
Great Leap
Healing Touch
Improved Initiative
Inkling
Know Direction
Low-Light Vision
Nondetection
Recall
Speak with Animals of Its Kind
Speak with Master
Speech
Tongues
Trackless Step
Uncanny Dodge

Oath of the Crusader

The crusader takes the fight to the enemy. She is the one delving into dark chasms, raiding vile temples, and crushing the forces of evil wherever they may be found. Often, she does not become a hero of any particular land, as she moves around too much for the people of any one kingdom to recognize her. The crusader is the mythical warrior mentioned in ancient sagas, riding alone to the very stronghold of the enemy and casting down their vile idols.

Many adventurers fall into this category. The lone knight who rides to do battle in far-off kingdoms, the proud warrior who leads a small band to glory, and the armored figure who actively searches out and crushes the evil creatures of the world are all crusaders.

The crusader takes familiars that serve as brothers-in-arms.

They must be strong enough to tackle the enemies the crusader faces and tough enough to survive in the inhospitable locales through which she must travel. Such familiars are outfitted with special abilities that further boost their combat and survival potential. Alternately, if the crusader works alone, she may accept a familiar that serves some role that she cannot fill, such as scouting or magical prowess. Such familiars would similarly be empowered by additional abilities that capitalize on their already existing capacity. Crusaders skilled in mounted combat often take a familiar that can double as a mount, in case their special paladin mount is incapacitated or slain.

A crusader’s special mount is much the same. It too serves as a combatant against the forces of evil, crushing them beneath its hooves, rending them apart with its claws, or snapping them in its jaws. Most importantly, the mount must be steadfast and strong, able to survive terrible blows and shrug off evil spells, for nothing is worse to a charging paladin than having a mount drop dead out from under her.

Tenets of the Crusader

Seek The Enemy: Crusaders never wait for trouble to find them-they are always on the lookout for their next cause.

Bravery: A crusader never hesitates to act in favor of their cause. They fear neither death nor failure.

Be The Example: Crusaders lead from the front, never giving orders that they are unwilling to follow.

Noble Sacrifice: If the cause hangs in the balance, the crusader will always be the first to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

Difficult Choices: Individuals are never as important as the cause, and the crusader knows she must make difficult choices, always putting the greater good first.

Table 8-13: Oath of the Crusader Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Protection from evil and good, Thunderwave
5th Locate Object, Magic Weapon
9th Dispel Magic, Remove Curse
13th Banishment, Hold Monster
17th Geas, Legend Lore

Mounts By Oath

A paladin’s Oath is her reason for doing what she does.

This Oath guides her actions and determines her choice of companions, including familiars and mounts. The doctrines given below represent archetypal paladin creeds that almost every paladin follows to some extent.

You may look at your existing paladin and decide that she falls into the “crusader” category, and pick a familiar to match. You may decide to create a new paladin of the “celestial agent” variety, and steer her path toward that doctrine from her very inception.

Or, you may ignore the Oath-based suggestions entirely and choose familiars and mounts based entirely on race, on your own preferences, or on your paladin’s individual likes and dislikes.

New Paladin Oaths

The last of these oaths, the Oath of Celestial Agency, allows the Paladin to gain access to a special kind of familiar, a Spirit Weapon that acts as a conduit between the paladin and her special divine patron.

In addition to aiding the defender in combat, special mounts serve the very important function of quickly getting the defender to where she needs to go. If a humanoid army suddenly invades on the other edge of the kingdom, the defender must be there to fight the battles and rally the troops. Aerial mounts are particularly appropriate for the defender, as paladins on the wing can get to places that their land-bound brethren cannot.

Tenets of the Defender

Protect The Weak: The defender will always stand up for those weaker than her, or who she sees being victimized. This applies equally to a child being bullied in the street as it does to an abused slave in the fields, a subject being mistreated by a nobleman, or a customer being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous merchant.

Noble Self-Sacrifice: The defender knows that self-sacrifice is necessary to protect others. She will never hesitate to take a blow meant for another, or offer to put herself in another’s place if it will spare suffering.

Lend Aid And Succor: The defender seeks to protect people from their misfortunes as well as from the sleights of others. She will always stop to lend aid and help where it is needed, from helping a just rebellion to nursing the sick in a plague village.

Inspire Others: The defender believes that while one person can change the world, more help is always better. She will seek to spread her values far and wide at every opportunity and inspire others to take up the stance for righteousness.

Table 8-14: Oath of the Defender Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Protection from Good and Evil, Mage Armor
5th Aid, Lesser Restoration
9th Beacon of Hope, Remove Curse
13th Death Ward, Freedom of Movement
17th Dispel Evil and Good, Hallow

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two uses of Channel Divinity.

Defend The Weak: As a bonus action you can use your Channel Divinity to increase one physical attribute as though you were the recipient of an Enhance Ability spell. However, you may only use this ability when someone who is weaker than you is in immediate physical danger. The GM is the final arbiter of whether this ability can be used.

Armor of Faith: As an action, you can present your holy symbol or other representation of your devotion and call upon your Channel Divinity ability to grant +2 to the Armor Class of all allied creatures within a 10 ft. radius for 1 minute. You must maintain concentration to sustain this ability once it is called upon.

Channel Divinity

When you take this Oath at 3rd Level, you gain two additional Channel Divinity Options.

Instill Fear: You may call upon a single use of your Channel Divinity to instill fear in a single opponent. This opponent must make a Charisma-based saving throw at your Spell Save DC, or be Frightened for 1d4 minutes.

Mark Foe: By presenting a symbol of your devotion and calling out a foe, you can call upon a use of your Channel Divinity to mark that foe. Until the foe is defeated or you choose to remove the mark, both you and that foe have Advantage on attack rolls against one another.

Crusader’s Aura

Beginning at 7th level, so long as you are conscious, neither you nor any allies within ten feet of you are subject to the Stunned condition.

At 18th level, this range increases to 30 feet.

Righteous Fury

Beginning at 18th level, you have advantage on all saving throws against magical effects, and you add both your Dexterity and Charisma modifiers to your AC, regardless of what kind of armor you are wearing.

Unstoppable Force

At 20th level, you gain the Diehard Feat.

Oath of the Defender

The defender is the resplendent knight in shining armor riding across the kingdom, protecting the land from all comers.

Sometimes the defender serves a particular liege lord, such as a baron or king, fighting in his lord’s wars and rooting out evil within the halls of his lord’s castle. The defender may be a noble warrior, beloved by the common people, or she may be a pompous, sneering knight, welcome at court because of her fighting prowess but viewed with ambivalence by the peasants.

Whatever the case, the defender serves to protect a cause other than her own. Her expeditions tend to keep her within certain boundaries, though she may venture farther afield if this benefits her greater purpose. The hero who rides out to single-handedly confront the rampaging red dragon, the champion who metes out the king’s trial-by-combat, and the sheriff patrolling the town’s borders are all defenders.

The familiars of defenders serve much the same purpose as those of the crusader –aiding her in combat and weathering deadly physical and magical attacks. In some cases, a very powerful defender’s familiar may go on its own to a place the defender is not, to fight on its master’s behalf. In a way, this allows the defender to be two places at once, if such a tactic is desired.

Defenders also often take up the symbol of their country or lord as a familiar –for example, a falcon or boar.

Healing Before Battle: Though capable combatants, healers seek to remove curses, cure wounds and negate poisons before they engage in combat. They see this as their primary duty in life.

Heal The Spirit: Healers believe that the spirit is as important as the body, and seek to lift the spirit of others through calming and inspiring words or even song, story and poetry.

Courage Against Darkness: Healers see themselves as spreading light across an increasingly dark land, and they will never back down from a challenge where others may be injured.

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Ray of Healing: You can use your channel divinity to use your Lay on Hands ability on any creature within 10 feet. You need not touch the creature, but they must be within line of sight.

Healing Smite: When you hit a creature using your Divine Smite ability, you may as a bonus action use Channel Divinity to touch another creature within 5 feet and transfer the damage you dealt to your opponent as healing energy to the creature touched. Thus, if you Divine Smite an enemy with a longsword, which deals your weapon damage of 1d8 plus 2d8 radiant damage (for a first level spell slot), the enemy takes 3d8 damage, and your touched ally heals the same amount.

Aura of Health

Beginning at 7th level, you exude an aura of health that wards friendly creatures against toxins and illnesses. All allies within 10 feet of you gain resistance against poison and disease.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Heal The Spirit

Beginning at 15th level, you are able to inspire others through calming words. This ability works exactly as the Bardic

Inspiration ability, except that the target gains 1d10 as their

Inspiration die, and the die type never increases.

Divine Healer

Beginning at 20th level, whenever your allies spend Hit Dice to regain hit points during a short rest, you can use your healing aura to allow them to gain double the number rolled. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Aura of Defense

Starting at 7th level, you can choose to impose disadvantage on hostile creatures when they choose to attack another creature within 10 feet of you, instead of attacking you. Those marked by this ability will instinctively know they have been marked this way, and be driven to attack you instead of other creatures. You may add your Charisma bonus to your AC against attacks from marked creatures.

At 18th level, this radius increases to 30 ft..

Purity of Sprit

Beginning at 15th level, you are always under the effects of a protection from evil and good spell.

Hallowed Ground

At 20th level, as an action, you can declare an area within a 30 foot radius centered on you as affected by the Hallow spell. In addition, all creatures hostile to you who begin or end a turn within this radius suffer 10 points of radiant damage. This effect lasts for one minute, after which you can’t use this feature again until you complete a long rest.

Oath of Healing

Though clerics may be better suited to this role, there are those paladins who take it upon themselves to heal the wounded and cure the sick, to erase curses and ease the passing into death.

These individuals travel across the lands, to wherever there is a malady for them to cure, to wherever there are wounded to tend.

Such expeditions often put them in harm’s way, as they must travel across hostile territory or remain close to the front lines in great wars. With their combat prowess and immunity to disease, paladins are perhaps best suited to this role. Some healers actively journey to seek out and destroy creatures that cause disease, such as mummies and lycanthropes. The military medic, the tough, sword-wielding medicine man, and the world-traveling soldier with a gentle heart and healing touch, are all healers.

Healers often take small, agile, quick familiars in order to deliver their touch spells and abilities to the afflicted. Healers also often take familiars that possess healing abilities of their own, to supplement the healer’s own potential. Familiars who have the capacity to defend their master while she tends to the fallen are also strong possibilities.

Like defenders, healers often have to travel long distances through less-than-amicable territory. Thus, special mounts that can fly or move very quickly are popular choices among healers. A healer’s mount sometimes moves among the battlefield, taking up the wounded and bringing them back to its master for treatment.

Tenets of Healing

Lend Aid And Succor: Even more so than the Defender, healers have a primary duty and goal to help those who are sick or suffering from diseases, injury or any other kind of ailment.

This drive informs every action they take.

Oath of Command

Perhaps no other class has the force of presence and affability that best characterizes paladins. A paladin is the sort of person that other people like to follow. Others are drawn to the paladin almost inexplicably, desiring to serve her and lend their aid in the campaign against evil. The commander takes this to its highest level, gathering and leading armies, organizing sieges and defenses, and bolstering confidence as she rides amongst the troops. The peasant hero leading the massive revolt against the corrupt government, the king’s general organizing tactics and battle plans, and the adventurer conglomerating her forces for a mighty strike at the subterranean drow cities are all commanders.

Commanders often choose small, swift, winged familiars to carry messages across the battlefield. As much as she would like to, the commander cannot be everywhere at once, supervising every preparation and defense. Familiars are faster and more reliable than runners, and can, like the commander herself, inspire courage and hope in those who see them. If the commander serves a higher power, such as a baron or king, she may adopt her lord’s symbolic creature as her familiar.

Commanders often adopt the traditional warhorse as their special mounts, because they lead their men into battle, and a warhorse holds easy formation within a unit of cavalry. Commanders sometimes use their mounts in the same way they use their familiars, and therefore take swift, aerial mounts with the ability to deliver messages and their own personage wherever it is needed.

Tenets of Command

Lead By Example: Effective commanders and leaders never remain in the rear, but are among their troops, inspiring their subordinates with actions as well as words.

No Job Too Small: A leader will never ask a subordinate to complete a task that they would not themselves be seen doing.

No Man Left Behind: While a leader may order a strategic retreat, he will always the be last one to quit the field of battle, making sure his forces are away safely first.

Table 8-15: Oath of Healing Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Cure Wounds, Detect Poison and Disease
5th Calm Emotions, Lesser Restoration
9th Beacon of Hope, Revivify
13th Death Ward, Private Sanctum
17th Greater Restoration, Raise Dead

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity Options.

Combat Inspiration: Your rallying cries can inspire your fellows in combat. As a bonus action, you can call upon a use of your Channel Divinity to issue a rousing speech, battle cry or other inspiring words that grant Inspiration to one ally. If this

Inspiration is not used by the end of the current battle, it goes away.

Demoralize Foes: Your jibes, threats and posturing are the bane of your foes, intimidating them into submission. As a reaction, you may use your Channel Divinity to call upon a foe to surrender or give in, or simply insult, harass or intimidate them. That foe has Disadvantage on their next attack roll or ability check.

Aura of Confidence

Beginning at 7th level, all allies within 10feet of you are affected as though you had cast the Aid spell using a 2nd level spell slot. This increases their current hit points and hit point maximum by 5.

At 18th level, you can choose to increase the range of this aura to 30 ft., or to increase its power so that your allies within 10 ft. see their current hit points and hit point maximum increased by 15.

Battlefield Dominance

At 20th level, you are a figure of legendary renown on the battlefield, whose mere presence causes enemies to quake in their boots and inspires allies to great heights of glory. For one minute, you gain the following benefits: Whenever you cast a Paladin spell, you may make an immediate weapon attack as a bonus action.

All of your foes within 10 feet have disadvantage on saving throws against your Paladin spells and abilities.

You may call upon one of your Channel Divinity class features without expending a use of Channel Divinity.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Oath of Celestial Agency

Like the defender and the champion, the celestial agent serves another power –but this power is of the highest caliber, the paragon of goodness and righteousness, a power that has an influence and vision that is so far-reaching that few mortals can even hope to comprehend it. The celestial agent serves the very angels themselves –the celestials who dwell in their far-off planes and look upon mortals with a strange mixture of benevolence and wrath. The celestial agent goes where they will her to go, does what they will her to do. Even if she sometimes does not understand why or what she does, she has faith that the celestials are pointing her in the right direction. She is the hand of the divine in places they cannot or will not go; she brings their glory into the lightless places of the world. In return, their glory is her own.

The celestial agent has the potential to become a very powerful mortal –perhaps even more powerful than the celestials themselves, though what exactly this means for her creed is unknown. In return for her aid and loyalty, some of the lesser celestials serve her as familiars, providing a definite symbol that the forces of good are indeed behind her.

Spirit Familiars

No matter their individual variation, all paladins are part of a grand crusade, attempting to thwart tyranny and smash evil, no matter what guise it may don or where it may be hiding. Because there are many others who would like to see these lofty goals realized, paladins generally have a lot of help in their travels.

This may be from vigilant townsfolk who want to start their own militia, poor farmers who provide the paladin with food and a place to stay for a night, other warriors and mages who actively join her growing army, or mystical creatures that answer her call and join her as eternal allies. In fact, the paladin can even garner help from those who have passed before.

A special type of familiar available only to paladins is the spirit familiar. These beings occupy no physical realm, dwelling on the astral or ethereal planes. They are the souls of those who have gone before, the essence of the dead. A paladin with sufficient will and devotion can catch the attention of one of these spirits and draw it to her. The spirit must be bound in a physical receptacle or it will be unable to linger. Therefore, the paladin must have the appropriate object ready when the ritual is complete. The spirit is then tied to the paladin, as surely as any familiar, and serves willingly and readily.

Paladins are martial characters, and the spirits that come to them and the receptacles these spirits occupy reflect this. A spirit may be tied to a weapon or a piece of armor, and grants special abilities to the item so imbued. A particularly powerful paladin can even use her own body as the receptacle, and the spirit rushes into her very veins, from which its power emanates out in an aura, affecting all close by. There are therefore three broad classes of spirit familiar –weapon, armor/shield, and aura. A paladin can have any number of spirit familiars, though in the case of weapon and armor spirits, each must occupy a different piece of equipment.

Summoning A Spirit

A paladin who desires a spirit familiar must take the Oath of Celestial Agency at third level. No other paladin may access this form of familiar; familiars summoned by paladins who take the Summon Familiar advantages gain normal (though still magically-powered) familiars. It should be noted that Celestial Agents may also take the Summon Familiar or Summon Mount advantages to receive a special mount or standard familiar in addition to their spirit familiar. This is an exception to the rule forbidding characters from having more than one familiar at a time.

Spirit Familiar Properties

There are seven types of spirit familiars –standard, greater, and supreme versions of the weapon and armor spirits, and the aura spirit, which is always supreme. As the paladin gains in power, so too does the spirit familiar. If the weapon or piece of armor housing the spirit familiar is broken, the spirit is loosed and unwillingly drawn away from its master. This results in all the normal rules for the death of a familiar, including XP loss and time required before another familiar can be summoned.

The same is also true of special mounts. The celestial agent has angelic allies, and these can serve her as mounts as well as familiars. Evil creatures tremble when the celestial agent thunders among them, archons at her side, and a saintly beast beneath her.

The mount of a celestial agent is often a fearsome opponent in combat as well, supplementing its master’s own fighting prowess.

Tenets of Celestial Agency

The Will of the Gods: The first order for any celestial agent is to abide by the letter of his patron’s divine will and tenets.

The Voice of the Gods: The celestial agent acts as the mouthpiece for his divine patron in the world of mortals. His every word and deed is informed by his understanding of his deity.

The Arm of the Gods: The celestial agent embodies the ideals for which his patron fights. He is willing to die-and killfor those noble morals, values and ideals.

Table 8-16: Oath of Command Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Charm Person, Command
5th Suggestion, Warding Bond
9th Dispel Magic, Fear
13th Confusion, Spirit Guardians
17th Dominate Person, Geas
Table 8-17: Oath of Celestial Agency Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Protection from Evil and Good, Shield of Faith
5th Aid, Spiritual Weapon
9th Beacon of Hope, Revivify
13th Banishment, Divination
17th Commune, Dispel Evil and Good

Spirit Weapon

Unlike other Oaths, the Divine Agent does not gain an aura or additional Channel Divinity uses. Instead, they gain a Spirit Weapon, which grows in power as the paladin increases in experience. This spirit weapon acts as a conduit between the Divine Agent and their patron, allowing communication between the two.

For more information, see the Spirit Familiar section.

Divine Form

At 20th level, you take on the appearance of an angelic being.

You take one action to undergo a physical transformation into a divine form. For one minute, you gain the following benefits:

You sprout wings whose appearance is determined by your Patron’s tenets. They might be feathered, leathery, made of steel plates, or any other appropriate look. You are affected as though under the effects of the fly spell.

All enemies within 30 ft. must make an immediate Wisdom saving throw (DC=your spell save DC) or flee in terror. Those who succeed in their save are Frightened for the duration of the transformation.

All of your attacks deal an extra 1d8 radiant damage. This damage stacks with that from spells, Divine Smite and other paladin abilities. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

A fallen individual whose spirit is housed within a weapon can still be returned to life (for example, by means of raise dead or resurrection), though this draws the spirit out of the weapon and the warrior spirit involved may not wish to abandon its newfound ally. The paladin suffers no penalty if this should transpire; the spirit within his weapon is simply replaced by another agent of his deity or celestial patron.

Weapon spirits can be summoned as standard, greater, or supreme familiars. As with other special familiars, the Paladin may gain a standard spirit weapon as part of their Oath of Celestial Agency. Gaining a greater or supreme familiar requires the appropriate Advantage, though Celestial Agents are already assumed to have the base summon Advantage for purposes of determining prerequisites. Any nonmagical, masterwork melee weapon may be imbued with such a spirit. A spirit weapon is an intelligent, magical weapon which may be gifted with extraordinary powers. The spirits within these items are always lawful good, and usually, but not always, have views that mesh with their paladin masters.

Greater and Supreme Spirit Familiars

A paladin with the Oath of Celestial Agency may only have one spirit familiar at a time. If he begins with a spirit weapon, then gains a suit of spirit armor as a greater familiar, the spirit leaves his weapon, and empowers his armor instead with greater abilities. If he later gains an Aura Spirit, the same spirit is once again infused with supreme abilities and leaves his suit of armor, taking on its new role as a supreme familiar.

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Table 8-18: Standard Spirit Weapon
Master Class Level Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 6 Evoke power 1, spirit weapon power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 7 Warrior knowledge
7th 8 Evoke power 2, spirit weapon power
9th 9 Spirit connection 11th 10 Evoke power 3, spirit weapon power
13th 11 Spirit Connection
15th 12 Evoke power 4, spirit weapon power
17th 13
19th 14 Spirit weapon power
20th 15 Evoke power 5

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Table 8-19: Greater Spirit Weapon
Master Class Level Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 7 Evoke power 1, spirit weapon power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 8 Warrior knowledge 7th 9 Evoke power 2, greater spirit weapon power A character may have no more than one spirit weapon or spirit armor familiar (that is one of each kind; a character can have both a spirit weapon familiar and a spirit armor familiar). The spirit familiar (weapon or armor) may be upgraded by selecting either the Summon Greater Familiar or Summon Supreme Familiar Special Ability (see the ‘New Abilities’ for details) to either a Greater or Supreme Spirit familiar of the appropriate kind.

When this is done, the familiar immediately begins using the new table to define its abilities, though any specific powers it already has cannot be changed (see the Spirit Weapon Power and Spirit Armor Power sections below for more details). Lastly, note that because the new Ability actually promotes the spirit familiar to the next level, the character may now summon a new familiar of the level the spirit familiar previously occupied (standard, greater or supreme).

Spirits And Magic

The spirit within a weapon or a piece of armor, or within the paladin’s body, radiates necromantic magic at a caster level equal to the paladin’s level. This can be detected by any means normally able to detect magical auras, such as the spell detect magic. In addition, a successful targeted dispel magic or similar spell against the spirit familiar suppresses all of its powers for 1d4 rounds, after which it recovers naturally.

It is important to note that only non-magical, masterwork weapons and armor can be imbued with spirits. Magical items can never contain spirit familiars, and items that contain familiars can never be enchanted with permanent magical abilities (though they can benefit from temporary spells, such as magic weapon and holy sword).

Spirits Lost And Found

In the course of her travels, the spirit weapon or armor of a paladin may be lost, stolen, or similarly removed from her power. The spirits within these items become dormant when not in their rightful master’s control, providing no bonuses or abilities of any kind, though they still radiate magic as normal.

The paladin is unable to summon a new spirit until the item is actually destroyed, after which she must wait for a year and a day, as normal. If the spirit weapon or armor is returned to its rightful master’s hands, its power is instantly rekindled in full force, no matter the length of intervening time.

Spirits And Ex-Paladins

If a paladin ever strays from her path and becomes an ex-paladin or oath breaker, she loses all her paladin abilities. In addition, any spirit familiars beholden to her will no longer accept her, and become dormant, just as if they had been transferred to the hands of another (see Spirits Lost and Found’ section above). If the character atones for her sins and becomes a paladin again, the spirit item similarly regains its powers.

Spirit Weapons

A spirit familiar tied to a weapon is that of a valiant warrior who died in service of the Paladin’s celestial patron, and may even be the soul of one of the paladin’s deceased companions.

9th 10 Spirit Connection 11th 11 Evoke power 3, spirit weapon power
13th 12 Spirit Connection
15th 13 Evoke power 4, greater spirit weapon power
17th 14 Spirit Connection
19th 15 Evoke power 5, spirit weapon power
20th 16 Divine focus
Table 8-20: Supreme Spirit Weapon
Master Class Level Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 8 Evoke power 1, spirit weapon power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 9 Warrior knowledge
7th 10 Evoke power 2, greater spirit weapon power
9th 11 Spirit connection 11th 12 Evoke power 3, supreme spirit weapon power
13th 13 Spirit Connection
15th 14 Evoke power 4, greater spirit weapon power
17th 15 Divine smite
19th 16 Evoke power 5, supreme spirit weapon power
20th 17 Spiritual assault

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Spirit Weapon Properties

Spirit weapons have the following properties:

Ability Scores: A spirit weapon is an intelligent magic item.

Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures, as they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Tables 8-10, 8-11, and 8-12 show what the spirit weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores are, which is dependent upon the character level of its master.

Alignment: The alignment of a spirit weapon always matches the alignment of its master. A spirit weapon always counts as both the moral and ethical alignment traits for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction or resistance.

Ego: As a direct representative of the Paladin’s divine patron, the weapon can sometimes come into conflict with the wielder.

Magic Weapon: A spirit weapon always counts as a magical weapon for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction or resistance.

Spirit Light: The weapon glows with a divine luminance, illuminating a 30-foot radius. When the spirit weapon is first acquired, the paladin may decide on the color of light the weapon sheds, but once chosen the color remains the same. This light is not ordinary light. It is spirit light, which cannot be seen without special magical means (i.e. being able to see into the ethereal plane). However, due to the connection between the paladin and the weapon, the paladin is able to see this light and objects illuminated by it just as if it were normal sunlight.

Other creatures are unable to perceive this glow, however, and so the paladin essentially has a form of modified darkvision.

At the master’s option, the glow can switch from spirit light to normal light, allowing his allies (and enemies) to see by its means. Switching from spirit light to normal (and back again) is a free action.

Telepathic Link: The master has a telepathic link with the spirit weapon out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master and the spirit weapon can communicate telepathically. Note that the low Intelligence of a low-level master’s spirit weapon limits what the item is able to communicate or understand, and even intelligent spirit weapons see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this telepathic link between spirit weapon and master, the master has the same connection to an item or place that the spirit weapon does. For instance, if her spirit weapon has seen a room, the master may teleport to that room as if she has seen it too.

Evoke Power: The master of a spirit weapon can call upon its power to aid her in times of need. When she does so, the spirit weapon manifests any and all powers the character has chosen for it (see Spirit Weapon Power, Greater Spirit Weapon Power, and Supreme Spirit Weapon Power below). The summoned powers last for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. A master may prematurely end the spirit weapon’s manifested powers.

A master can only summon the spirit weapon’s powers once per encounter. As she increases in level, the paladin gains additional uses of these powers before needing a rest. At 1st level she can summon the spirit weapon’s powers once. At 5th-level and every four levels thereafter, she can summon the powers one additional time (to a maximum of 5 times a day at 20th level).

Evoking the spirit weapon’s power is a bonus action. When the paladin finishes a short or long rest, she regains her spent uses of the weapon’s power.

Spirit Weapon Power: A spirit weapon has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Tables 8-18, 8-19, and 8-20, the master chooses one power from Table 8-21 below. These powers stack with one another and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Greater Spirit Weapon Power: A spirit weapon has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Tables 8-19 and 8-20, the master chooses one power from Table 8-22 below (or from Table 8-13 if she prefers). These powers stack with one another, and with all Spirit Weapon powers previously chosen from Table 8-21, and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Supreme Spirit Weapon Power: A spirit weapon has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Table 8-20, the master chooses one power from Table 8-23 below (or from Tables 8-21 or 8-22 if she prefers).

These powers stack with one another, and with all Spirit Weapon powers previously chosen from Tables 8-21 and 8-22, and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Warrior Knowledge: The spirit within the weapon was once a great warrior, and has seen and done things that its master likely has not. The paladin may draw upon the experience of the spirit to grant him advantage on Intelligence or Wisdom checks that have anything to do with identifying monsters or knowledge of combat or tactics. For example, the weapon may allow the paladin to identify a creature she has never seen before (“That’s a medusa –watch out, it can petrify you with its gaze!”), place an unfamiliar sword fighting style (“He’s in the crouching scorpion stance –that is only taught to very elite warriors in the kingdom of Elasya.”), or assist her in the defense of a stronghold (“The southern drawbridge is your weakest point.”).

Spiritual Connection: The paladin is able to draw upon the fighting prowess and skills that the warrior spirit possessed in life. This allows her to gain the free use of one Special Ability, chosen from any Martial Archetype Feature which would be available to a fighter of her level, as defined under the Fighter character class. The paladin gains any and all abilities of the martial archetype feature chosen. Once chosen, the ability may not be changed.

Additional Spiritual Connection features need not be from the same martial archetype.

Divine Smite: The weapon enhances the paladin’s divine abilities. The paladin may make one extra Divine Smite per day with the spirit weapon, as though she had an extra 3rd level spell slot to expend. This slot can only be used to perform an extra Divine Smite; not to cast another spell.

Spiritual Assault: The warrior spirit within the weapon and the paladin have reached a state of such perfect accord that the paladin, concentrating her divine energy, can cause the spirit to become manifest in the physical world and attack her foes. The spirit flies forward to attack, though it remains tethered to the weapon, appearing as a long, thin, ghostly form of wispy white.

As a spell-like ability, the paladin may point the weapon at a foe and cause the spirit to burst forth and strike at her opponent. The spirit moves around and through all intervening obstructions, so cover is not an obstacle though concealment can still foul the attack. The spirit’s attack passes through armor entirely, much as a ghost’s, so the paladin must make a ranged touch attack to hit her target. If the attack roll is successful, the spirit deals 6d8 points of radiant damage. After using this ability, the paladin must finish a long rest before she can use it again.

Spirit Weapon Powers

A spirit weapon starts with one power, which can be summoned for use once each day (see ‘Evoke Power’ above). For every four levels beyond 1st that the spirit weapon’s master has, it has an additional power, and the powers may be evoked an additional time each day. All powers manifest at the same time when they are evoked. The master may choose one power from the following tables each time the spirit weapon is granted a new power (Tables 8-18, 8-19, and 8-20 indicate which of the following tables are available at the time of selection).

Table 8-21: Spirit Weapon Powers
+1 enhancement Defending Distance Flaming Frost Holy Avenger Returning Shock Sword of Sharpness Sword of Wounding Thundering Vorpal Sword

Defending: Any of its enhancement bonus may be converted to armor class bonus.

Distance: Range is doubled. Only found on ranged weapons.

Flaming: Adds 1d6 points of fire damage to a successful attack, 2d6 against cold based creatures.

Frost: Adds 1d6 points of cold damage on a successful attack, 2d6 vs. flame based creatures.

Holy Avenger: Does not stack with sharpness, wounding or vorpal (a sword may have only one of these three powers).

Returning: When hurled the weapon instantly teleports back the thrower’s hand.

Shocking: Opponents take 1d6 points of additional lightning damage on a successful hit!

Sword of Sharpness: Does not stack with wounding or vorpal (a sword may have only one of these three powers).

Sword of Wounding: Does not stack with holy avenger, sharpness or vorpal (a sword may have only one of these three powers).

Thundering: Deals 1d6 points of sonic damage, and target must make a Constitution save vs. paladin’s magic save DC or be deafened for 1d6 rounds.

Vorpal Sword: Does not stack with holy avenger, wounding or sharpness (a sword may have only one of these three powers).

Hardness Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the spirit armor’s existing armor class rating. It represents a preternatural strength of the spirit armor.

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit armor’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Table 8-24: Standard Spirit Armor
Master Class Level Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 6 Evoke power 1, spirit armor power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 7 Warrior knowledge
7th 8 Evoke power 2, spirit armor power
9th 9 Spirit connection
11th 10 Evoke power 3, spirit armor power
13th 11 Weightless
15th 12 Evoke power 4, spirit armor power
17th 13
19th 14 Evoke power 5, spirit armor power
20th 15
Table 8-25: Greater Spirit Armor
Master Class Level Hardness Adj. Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 7 6 Evoke power 1, spirit armor power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 8 7 Warrior knowledge
7th 9 8 Evoke power 2, greater spirit armor power
9th 10 9 Spirit connection
11th 11 10 Evoke power 3, spirit armor power
13th 12 11 Spirit connection
15th 13 12 Evoke power 4, greater spirit armor power
17th 14 13 Weightless
19th 15 14 Evoke power 5, spirit armor power
20th 16 15 Impervious

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit armor’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Table 8-26: Supreme Spirit Armor
Master Class Level Int/Wis/Cha Special
3rd 8 Evoke power 1, spirit armor power, telepathic link, spirit light
5th 9 Spirit Connection, Warrior knowledge
7th 10 Evoke power 2, greater spirit armor power
9th 11 Spirit connection
11th 12 Evoke power 3, supreme spirit armor power
13th 13 Weightless
Holy Axiomatic: This weapon deals double damage to opponents of the opposite alignment of the attacker. For example, chaotic evil foes suffer double damage from a lawful good wielder. True neutral foes are immune to this effect, while lawful neutral and chaotic neutral are considered opposites.

Table 8-22: Greater Spirit Weapon Powers
+2 enhancement
Axiomatic
Disruption
Flaming burst
Table 8-23: Supreme Spirit Weapon Powers
+3 enhancement*
Brilliant energy
Speed

* Unlike with standard magic weapons, a supreme spirit weapon may be enhanced by stacking enhancement bonuses without paying any exponential penalty. Thus, if a 9th level master chose a +1 enhancement bonus for her spirit weapon’s first power, flaming burst for its second, and a +3 enhancement bonus for its third, it would simply count as a +4 flaming burst weapon.

A spirit weapon may have a maximum of a +5 enhancement bonus.

Brilliant Energy: The weapon does an additional 3d8 radiant damage on each successful hit.
Speed: The weapon grants an extra attack in addition to any attacks the paladin gains from bonus actions, class features or other abilities.

Spirit Armor

The spirit familiars tied to armor and shields are those of heroic protectors, who risked all to defend that which they loved. The spirit may even be the soul of one of the companion’s own departed comrades. See the description on spirit weapons, above, should a cleric attempt to return the spirit to its body.

Armor spirits may be summoned as standard, greater, or supreme familiars. As with other special familiars, the Paladin may gain standard spirit armor as part of their Oath of Celestial Agency.

Gaining a greater or supreme familiar requires the appropriate Advantage as described, though Celestial Agents are already assumed to have the base summon Advantage for purposes of determining prerequisites.

Any non-magical, masterwork piece of armor may be imbued with such a spirit. Spirit armor is an intelligent, magical piece of protection which may be gifted with extraordinary powers. The spirits within these items are always lawful good, and usually, but not always, have views that mesh with their paladin masters.

Evoke Power: The master of spirit armor can call upon its power to aid her in times of need. When she does so, the spirit armor manifests any and all powers the character has chosen for it (see Spirit Armor Power, Greater Spirit Armor Power, and Supreme Spirit Armor Power below). The summoned powers last for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. A master may prematurely end the spirit armor’s manifested powers.

A master can only summon the spirit armor’s powers once per encounter. In addition, she has a limited number of times she can call upon the spirit familiar’s abilities before needing to complete a rest. At 3rd level she can summon the spirit armor’s powers once per day. At 5th-level and every four levels thereafter, she can summon the powers one additional time (to a maximum of 5 by 20th level). Evoking the spirit armor’s power is a bonus action. After completing a long or short rest, the paladin regains all spent uses of this ability.

Spirit Armor Power: Spirit armor has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Tables 8-16, 8-17, and 8-18, the master chooses one power from Table 8-19 below. These powers stack with one another and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Greater Spirit Armor Power: Spirit armor has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Tables 8-17 and 8-18, the master chooses one power from Table 8-20 below (or from Table 8-19 if she prefers). These powers stack with one another, and with all Spirit Armor powers previously chosen from Table 8-19, and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Supreme Spirit Armor Power: Spirit armor has special powers that it can only manifest briefly a certain number of times each day at its master’s command (see Evoke Power above). As indicated on Table 8-18, the master chooses one power from Table 8-21 below (or from Tables 8-19 or 8-20 if she prefers).

These powers stack with one another, and with all Spirit Armor powers previously chosen from Tables 8-19 and 8-20, and all are manifested at once each time the master evokes them.

Warrior Knowledge: The spirit within the armor was once a great warrior, and has seen and done things that its master likely has not. The paladin may draw upon the experience of the spirit to grant him advantage on any Intelligence or Wisdom checks made that have anything to do with monsters, combat, or tactics. For example, the armor may allow the paladin to identify a creature she has never seen before (“That’s an umber hulk –watch out, it can confuse you with its gaze!”), place an unfamiliar sword fighting style (“He’s in the crouching scorpion stance –that is only taught to very elite warriors in the kingdom of Elasya.”), or assist her in the defense of a stronghold (“The southern drawbridge is your weakest point.”).

Spiritual Connection: The paladin is able to draw upon the fighting prowess and skills that the warrior spirit possessed in life.

This allows her to gain the free use of one special fighter feature from any martial archetype that would be available to a fighter of the paladin’s level. The paladin gains all abilities of the chosen feature while wearing the spirit armor. Once chosen, the feat or special ability may not be changed. When the paladin chooses additional abilities later, they need not be from the same martial archetype.

Weightless: The weight of the spirit armor is, miraculously, eliminated entirely. It feels to the paladin as if she wears no armor at all or the shield she carries is as easy to move around as her own hand. A suit of armor with this ability is considered to be light, meaning the paladin has no reduction in movement.

A spirit shield with this ability grants the paladin a +1 insight bonus to AC.

Impervious: The paladin may, as a reaction, speak a special command to the spirit within the armor. This causes the total AC of the armor to increase by half (round down) for one full round. For example, a suit of spirit plate mail with a +3 enhancement ability would normally provide an AC of 21.

When worn by a paladin who invokes this ability is invoked, it provides an AC of 31! After using this ability, the paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again.

Spellcrusher Spirit: The spirit within the armor automatically attempts to disrupt any hostile spells of which its master is aware. Whenever an enemy spellcaster of which the paladin is aware attempts to cast a spell, the spirit throws its energy into the oncoming spell, attempting to disturb the casting. The paladin may make an immediate attempt to dispel the spell, just as if she had readied an action to do so. In addition, the paladin does not need to use dispel magic or the same spell that is being cast in order to counter the spell, though she does need to spend an uncast spell that is of the same level or higher as the one she is attempting to dispel.

For example, a drow priestess attempts to cast a prayer while in combat with Benomen and his companions. The spirit within Benomen’s armor immediately attempts to dispel the spell, though Benomen must use one of his 3rd-level or higher spells in order to make the attempt (since prayer is a 3rd-level spell). All the normal dispel rules apply. Note that if Benomen did not have any 3rd-level or higher spells available, or if he was unwilling to sacrifice one, the priestess’s spell could not be dispelled. This dispel attempt counts as a free reactionary action.

Spirit Armor Powers

Spirit armor starts with one power, which can be summoned for use once each day (see ‘Evoke Power’ above). For every four levels beyond 1st that the spirit armor’s master has, it has an additional power and the powers may be evoked an additional time each day. All powers manifest at the same time when they are evoked. The master may choose one power from the following tables each time the spirit armor is granted a new power (Tables 8-16, 8-17, and 8-18 indicate which of the following tables are available at the time of selection). For details concerning these powers, see the “Armor and Shields Descriptions”.

15th 14 Evoke power 4, greater spirit armor power 17th 15 Impervious 19th 16 Evoke power 5, supreme spirit armor power 20th 17 Spirit Connection, Spellcrusher spirit

Hardness Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the spirit armor’s existing hardness rating. It represents a preternatural strength of the spirit armor.

Int/Wis/Cha: The spirit armor’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Spirit Armor Properties

Spirit armor has the following properties:

Ability Scores: Spirit armor is an intelligent magic item.

Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures as they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Tables 8-10, 8-11, and 8-12 show what the spirit weapon’s Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores are, which is dependent upon the character level of its master.

Alignment: The alignment of a piece of spirit armor always matches the alignment of its master –lawful good.

Ego: As a sentient magic item, the spirit armor has its own personality and desires, and always acts in accordance with the will of the paladin’s divine patron. This means there may sometimes be conflicts of personality.

Magic Armor: Spirit armor always counts as magical armor.

Spirit Light: The armor glows with a divine luminance, illuminating a 30-foot radius. When the spirit armor is first acquired, the paladin may decide on the color of light the armor sheds, but once chosen the color remains the same. This light is not ordinary light. It is spirit light, which cannot be seen without special magical means (i.e. being able to see into the ethereal plane). However, due to the connection between the paladin and the armor, the paladin is able to see this light and objects illuminated by it just as if it were normal sunlight. Other creatures are unable to perceive this glow, however, and so the paladin essentially has a form of modified darkvision. At the master’s option, the glow can switch from spirit light to normal light, allowing his allies (and enemies) to see by its means. Switching from spirit light to normal (and back again) is a free action.

Telepathic Link: The master has a telepathic link with the spirit armor out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master and the spirit armor can communicate telepathically. Note that the low Intelligence of a low-level master’s spirit armor limits what the item is able to communicate or understand, and even intelligent spirit armor sees the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this telepathic link between spirit armor and master, the master has the same connection to an item or place that the spirit armor does. For instance, if her spirit armor has seen a room, the master may teleport to that room as if she has seen it too.

Table 8-27: Spirit Armor Powers
+1 Enhancement Bonus Cold Resistance/Fire Resistance Bashing~~

Blinding~~

* Unlike with standard magic armor, spirit armor may be enhanced by stacking enhancement bonuses without paying any exponential penalty. Thus, if a 5th-level master chose a +1 enhancement bonus for both the spirit armor’s two powers, it would simply count as +2 armor.

Spirit armor may have a maximum of a +5 enhancement bonus.

~~Shields only.

Table 8-28: Greater Spirit Armor Powers
+2 enhancement*

Animated~~

Elven (as Elven Chain)

Spell resistance

* Unlike with standard magic armor, greater spirit armor may be enhanced by stacking enhancement bonuses without paying any exponential penalty. Thus, if a 5th-level master chose a +1 enhancement bonus for the spirit armor’s first power and a +2 enhancement for its second power, it would simply count as +3 armor.

Spirit armor may have a maximum of a +5 enhancement bonus.

~~Shields only.

Table 8-29: Supreme Spirit Armor Powers
+3 enhancement* Etherealness Spell resistance

* Unlike with standard magic armor, supreme spirit armor may be enhanced by stacking enhancement bonuses without paying any exponential penalty. Thus, if a 9th level master chose a +1 enhancement bonus for the spirit armor’s first power, spell resistance for its second power, and a +3 enhancement for its third power, it would simply count as +4 spell resistance armor. Spirit armor may have a maximum of a +5 enhancement bonus.

Aura Spirits

The spirits that inhabit the very body of a paladin are the souls of truly legendary heroes, who may be revered in myth and legend and remembered in songs and epics. Such a spirit courses through the very skin of the paladin, and the power it contains emanates from the paladin’s body, affecting all those close by.

Often, the paladin’s own personality is slightly reshaped to reflect the views of this new being who inhabits her flesh. But in essence, the spirit becomes a part of the paladin and the two cannot be separated by any means short of the paladin’s death or divine influence. Even should the paladin die, the spirit and its powers will return to her if she is brought back to life.

Aura spirits are always supreme familiars.

Aura spirits function quite a bit differently from normal familiars.

Impervious: Allies within the radius of the aura gain a +1 deflection bonus to AC. This aura can be activated for a total of 5 rounds per day. For every paladin level that the master has, she may choose to add +1 to the deflection bonus provided by the aura or extend its total duration by 2 additional rounds per day (note that the deflection bonus may not be increased to better than +5).

Inspiration: Allies within the radius of the aura receive advantage on all skill checks. This aura may be activated for a total of 5 rounds, after which the paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again. For every 3 paladin levels that the master has, she increase the duration by 1 round.

Penance: Enemies within the radius of the aura are subjected to holy attacks by the angry spirit, suffering 1d6 points of radiant damage per round, on the paladin’s turn.

This aura can be activated a total of 3 rounds, after which the paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again. For every 3 paladin levels that the master has, she may choose to add +1 to the damage caused by the aura (i.e. 1d6+1, 1d6+2, etc.), or extend its total duration by 1 additional round per day.

Retribution: Every time an enemy within the radius of the aura deals damage to an ally within the aura, regardless of the source (attack, spell, spell-like ability, etc.) the enemy suffers an equivalent amount of radiant damage in retribution. If the attack inflicts a condition upon your ally, the enemy who inflicted the condition suffers the same. This ability lasts for 3 rounds, after which the paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again. For every 3 paladin levels the master has, the duration increases by 1 round.

Slaughter: Allies within the radius of the aura gain advantage on all attacks (including spell attacks) and allied spell casters increase their spell save DC by 5. This aura can be activated a total of 3 rounds, after which the paladin must finish a short rest before it can be used again. For every paladin level that the master has, the duration increases by 1 round.

Spell Resistance: Allies within the radius of the aura gain Spell Resistance. This aura can be activated a total of 5 rounds, after which the paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again. For every 3 paladin levels that the master has, the total duration increases by 1 round.

Warrior: Allies within 10 feet of the paladin see their weapons affected as though by a Magic Weapon spell at 2nd level. This ability lasts for 3 rounds, after which the Paladin must finish a long rest before it can be used again. For every 3 paladin levels the master has, the duration increases by 1 round, or she can choose to increase the effective spell slot expenditure by one (thus, she would need to increase the spell slots by two to get the fourth level effect, and by four to gain the sixth level effect), with an according increase in enhancement bonus. Unlike the spell, this ability can further enhance already magical weapons.

They follow their own progression, but, as they are a part of the paladin herself, they do not gain in AC or Intelligence as normal familiars do. Nor do they gain Wisdom or Charisma scores as spirit weapons and armor do. Since they dwell within the paladin’s very body, they cannot be harmed, slain, or affected by any means short of a wish or miracle spell. There are several types of aura spirit, and the paladin must select which one she desires when she completes the ritual that summons it. Each spirit follows its own individual progression, though this progression is simple and does not require a table to monitor. A character may never have more than one aura spirit familiar.

The types of aura spirit and their effects follow. Unless otherwise indicated, the aura generated by the spirit extends 10 feet from the paladin in all directions. Beneficial auras always also affect the paladin herself. Many auras can only be used a certain number of rounds per day. These rounds do not need to be continuous, and activating and deactivating an aura is a free action. Unless otherwise noted, all effects are supernatural.