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Improved Familiar

( Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers, p. 40)


As long as you are able to acquire a new familiar, you may choose your new familiar from a nonstandard list.


Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment,


When choosing a familiar, the following creatures are also available to you. You may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each of the alignment axes (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

Familiar Alignment Arcane Spellcaster Level
Shocker lizard Neutral 5
Stirge Neutral 5
Formian worker Lawful neutral 7
Imp Lawful evil 7
Pseudodragon Neutral good 7
Quasit Chaotic evil 7
These creatures are described fully in the Familiars section in Chapter 1. The improved familiar is magically linked to its masters like a normal familiar. The familiar uses the basic statistics for a creature of its kind, as given in the Monster Manual. Hit Dice: Treat as the master's level (for effects related to Hit Dice). Use the familiar's normal total if it is higher. Hit Points: One-half the master's total or the familiar's normal total, whichever is higher. Attacks: Use the master's base attack bonus or the familiar's, whichever is better. Use the familiar's Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiar's melee attack bonus with unarmed attacks. Damage equals that of a normal creature of that kind. Special Attacks: The familiar has all the special attacks of its kind.Special Qualities: The familiar has all the special qualities of its kind. Saving Throws: The familiar uses the master's base save bonuses if they are better than the familiar's. Skills: Use the normal skills for a creature of the its kind. Familiar Special Abilities: Use Table 3-19 in the Player's Handbook to determine additional abilities as you would for a normal familiar. Alternate Improved Familiars The list in Table 2-2 presents only a few possible improved familiars. Almost any creature of the same general size and power as those on the list makes a suitable familiar. Nor is the master's alignment the only factor; for example, improved familiars could be assigned by the master's creature type or subtype, as shown in the examples below.
Familiar Type/Subtype Arcane Spellcaster Level
Celestial hawk* Good 3
Fiendish viper+ Evil 3
Air elemental, small Air 5
Earth elemental, small Earth 5
Fire elemental, small Fire 5
Shocker lizard Electricity 5
Water elemental, small Water 5
Homunculus† Undead 7
Ice mephit Cold 7
* Or other celestial animal from the standard familiar list.

+ Or other fiendish animal from the standard familiar list.
† The master must first create the homunculus, substituting ichor or another part of the master's body for blood if necessary.

Also appears in

  1. Complete Scoundrel
  2. Complete Warrior
  3. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
  4. Player's Guide to Faerûn
  5. Races of Faerûn
  6. Serpent Kingdoms

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