D&D 5E Blink Dog Familiar

ManBagel

Messing up everything in DnD since 2019
So I was watching a video by Runesmith about Blink Dogs and Displacer Beasts. He said that in some rare cases Blink Dogs are sold as puppies and if a bond isn’t formed strong enough it will run away. I searched up if there were stats and like many cool ideas, Critical Role already has Nugget as a puppy Blink Dog. So I was wondering if there is any problems if I got a puppy as a familiar for my rogue before I asked the DM.
 

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Perun

Mushroom
Er... I'm not sure how you can get it before you ask the DM. If you mean write it down on your character sheet or in your backstory.... what's stopping you from getting an ancient gold dragon as a familiar?

I'd say, as a general rule, that unless it's offered as an option in PHB or one of the rulebooks you're using, you definitely have to talk to your DM. And even if it is offered as an option in one of the accessories, you still probably have to clear it up with the DM, unless they have allowed it in advance.

Summing it up -- always consult the DM, especially when in doubt.
 

Yes. even if you wanted your rogue to have regular dog, you would still have to consult your DM, there is no guarantee they allow combat capable pets. A blink dog familiar is more likely to be a quest reward - starting with one would be like starting with a +2 sword.
 

ManBagel

Messing up everything in DnD since 2019
What do you mean? Familiars can’t attack normally unless you are a warlock. I really don’t see what you mean. You just drop HP down a lot, reduce Strength Score.
 

ManBagel

Messing up everything in DnD since 2019
Er... I'm not sure how you can get it before you ask the DM. If you mean write it down on your character sheet or in your backstory.... what's stopping you from getting an ancient gold dragon as a familiar?

I'd say, as a general rule, that unless it's offered as an option in PHB or one of the rulebooks you're using, you definitely have to talk to your DM. And even if it is offered as an option in one of the accessories, you still probably have to clear it up with the DM, unless they have allowed it in advance.

Summing it up -- always consult the DM, especially when in doubt.
So I meant I want to know if it could break anything before I ask the DM about it. Not throw it on without them knowing.
 


What do you mean? Familiars can’t attack normally unless you are a warlock. I really don’t see what you mean. You just drop HP down a lot, reduce Strength Score.
Wrong. Familiars acquired using the Find Familiar spell cannot attack. Familiars acquired because they bond with you (several are mentioned in the Monster Manual) can use all their natural abilities (but you can't see through their eyes). If the DM permits it, anyone could buy a trained attack dog - in some games it's common for the party to take along a few dogs.

You cannot get a Blink Dog by casting Find Familiar. (Some DMs might allow it as an alternative pact of the chain familiar for fey/celestial warlocks).
 

Perun

Mushroom
I'll use this opportunity and toot my own horn, as it were...

Improved familiar
Prerequisite: Ability to cast find familiar; or ability to cast at least one spell and character level 8 or higher
You can cast find familiar, but only as a ritual.
The familiar you summon has additional features, in addition to those granted by the spell:
  • Its hit point maximum equals to one-half of your hit point maximum. It is considered to have Hit Dice equal to yours for any effects that might depend on the number of Hit Dice;
  • The familiar can use its Attack action to make an attack. It uses the attack options appropriate for its form (as listed in its stat block). If the familiar does not normally have an attack option (i.e. frog or sea horse), it gains a bite or claws attack which deals 1 hp of piercing or slashing damage (as appropriate) ;
  • It adds your proficiency bonus to AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any special effects DCs (such as the poisonous snake’s poison), saving throws and skills it is proficient in.
  • It gains Intelligence score of 4 plus your proficiency bonus. [Optional hindrance: Its Intelligence score cannot exceed yours.]
  • It can speak one language of your choice that you can speak;
  • You can communicate telepathically with your familiar while you are both on the same plane of existence.
  • Casting this spell again restores all hit points to the familiar and removes any conditions. This works even if the familiar is not dead or hidden in the pocket dimension.
You add badger, scorpion and spider to the list of familiars you can summon. Your DM might allow other forms the familiar might take beside the ones listed in the find familiar spell.

We're using this in a campaign I'm currently playing in as a 11th level storm sorcerer, with a storm elemental familiar. We've designed it so that it's useful to both plain old wizards and pact of the chain warlocks.
 

Perun

Mushroom
Wrong. Familiars acquired using the Find Familiar spell cannot attack. Familiars acquired because they bond with you (several are mentioned in the Monster Manual) can use all their natural abilities (but you can't see through their eyes).

This. Familiars obtained through the find familiar spell (or, rather, the Pact of the Chain warlock familiar improvement) are not same as the critters from the MM with the familiar sidebar. That is, the use the same stat block as the critters they're posing as, but are actually just spirits taking the form of imps, quasits, pseudodragons or sprites. Even their types can be different (celestial imps, fey quasit, fiend pseudodragon, etc.), and you don't get the goodies (magic resistance, etc.).

Likewise, as you say, if a MM pseudodragon decides to become your familiar, you only get the benefits listed in the creature's stat block sidebars. And if the creature dies, it's dead. It was not called by the spell, so it can't be brought back by casting find familiar again.

So... I'd suggest talking to the DM to decide which version of blink dog familiar could be available in the game. Do you want a find familiar familiar, or a companion creature functioning as a familiar (similar to options available in the MM)?

I think a blink dog falls far outside the scope of the plain find familiar spell, as per the PHB. I don't necessarily think it would be overpowered, especially at mid-to-high levels, but it opens up a can of worms. If a rogue can get a blink dog, what can a wizard get out of the spell.

If you just want a companion, it would be easy for the DM to work it in the game.
 


ManBagel

Messing up everything in DnD since 2019
I think I will go using the owl stat block for it. Like a genetic mutation that gave it wings, or a flying snake using an owls stat block. The main reason why I was wondering if it would break anything because it fits in theme of my character. My rogue is going to use a homebrew subclass that makes him have powers over time and at third level you can jump backwards in time, like a blink dog can teleport.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think I will go using the owl stat block for it. Like a genetic mutation that gave it wings, or a flying snake using an owls stat block. The main reason why I was wondering if it would break anything because it fits in theme of my character. My rogue is going to use a homebrew subclass that makes him have powers over time and at third level you can jump backwards in time, like a blink dog can teleport.

Yeah, I think springing the blink dog familiar on your DM is probably the least of the issues.
 


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