Improved Familiar in DMG
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  1. #1

    Improved Familiar in DMG

    Question: On page 200 of the DMG, it says under Improved Familiar > Granted Abilities: "In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar. See page 53 of the Player's Handbook for details.

    In each Improved Familiars' Special Qualities "SQ" is every subtype known to man. Pseudodragon has "dragon", homunculus has "construct", etc.

    The rules as written, seem to directly state the caster can change his type from dragon to construct to whatever he wishes, as long as he changes his familiar. Is this what is intended?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pariah
    Question: On page 200 of the DMG, it says under Improved Familiar > Granted Abilities: "In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar. See page 53 of the Player's Handbook for details.

    In each Improved Familiars' Special Qualities "SQ" is every subtype known to man. Pseudodragon has "dragon", homunculus has "construct", etc.

    The rules as written, seem to directly state the caster can change his type from dragon to construct to whatever he wishes, as long as he changes his familiar. Is this what is intended?

    I'm pretty sure that's not the intention. Here's how I read it:

    "In addition to their own special qualities,

    [ i.e. the familiar has special qualities because it is an imp or a pseudodragon or whatever, and it doesn't lose them when it becomes a familiar; in fact, it gains abilities from being a familiar. Which ones? Well...]

    all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pariah
    Question: On page 200 of the DMG, it says under Improved Familiar > Granted Abilities: "In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar. See page 53 of the Player's Handbook for details.

    In each Improved Familiars' Special Qualities "SQ" is every subtype known to man. Pseudodragon has "dragon", homunculus has "construct", etc.

    The rules as written, seem to directly state the caster can change his type from dragon to construct to whatever he wishes, as long as he changes his familiar. Is this what is intended?
    I'm pretty sure you know it's not like that

    It was probably worded that way because those SQ (of the familiar alone) are considered a benefit from taking the IF feat. A wiz/sor who takes the feat has the benefit of having a familiar with such SQ, plus the benefit of Alertness etc which are the normal benefits a standard familiar give.

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    Of note is the fact that none of the Improved Familiars grant the pseudo-Skill Focus/Save Bonus/Toughness benefits (+3 to a skill, +2 to a save, +3 hp, etc...).

  5. #5
    I realize it's a bit of a nit-pick, but I'm trying to get at the true RAW.

    It's been a while since I took English in college, but deconstructing that sentence yields:

    In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar

    The protagonist(s): all familiars
    The action: grant
    The recipient of the action: their masters
    The commas represent a series of listed objects that are granted to their masters, IN ADDITION TO, the phrase by default attaches itself to the list being granted, since in the sentence, the familiars are the ones doing the granting.

    To attempt to solidify what I am trying to say, let me construct a new sentence using the exact same form and verbs.

    In addition to his 10 million dollars, Donald Trump grants his apprentice a new Cadillac, a beach home, and a gold watch.

    Which would you say the apprentice gets, assuming Donald Trump doesn't fire him?

    A) 10 million dollars AND a new Cadillac, AND a beach home, AND a gold watch

    OR ONLY

    B) a new Cadillac, AND a beach home, AND a gold watch?

    To me, using English composition faintly remembered from college, (A) is the only option I see as valid. I actually want to be proven wrong, somehow, since I'm the DM. (yes, yes, I know, but I think "Rule 0!!" is overused.)

    Also, since "improved" familiars don't even grant the pseudo-skill or ability bonuses that a "normal" familiar does, and just "normal" familiars grant something, it seems to me, that logically, the "improved" familiar should also grant something special to the master, and what the Imp Familiar grants should be better than what a normal familiar grants, since you are expending an extra feat. I am just not agreeing with "change your familiar, change your type".

  6. #6
    Actually, "In addition to their own special qualities" is a clause that is separated from the rest of the sentence by a coma.

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    The wiz/sorc with Imp Familiar gets the use of the familiars other special abilities (because now he has the familiar to boss around), but personally gains the characteristics called out separately.

    That's how I read it.

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    So if the familars master gets all the familiars SQ. Imagin the problems the poor wiz/sor will have when the need to make a Fort save (assuming they have a homuculas (sp), and become a Construct, lol). No Con, poor Fort save catigory = nearly auto Fort save fail when one is needed. They also can NOT be healed with cure spells etc. If a player in my champaings pushed for it, I would allow it. Just make sure to enforce the bad stuff that comes with those changes.

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    "In addition to their own special qualities, all familiars grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar."

    Which, of course means that "grant their masters the Alertness feat, the benefit of an empathic link, and the ability to share spells with the familiar" are Special Qualities that all familiars get, "in addition to their own special qualities".

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