D&D 5E More Unique Familiars (House Rule, would love feedback!)

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Thinking about this further, and thinking about my efforts to make familiars more unique, I came up with this rough idea:

We take out this section:



And put in something like this (note this is a very rough idea / first draft):

Origin
When you first conjure your familiar, choose an origin from the list below (or a unique one with your DM's permission).

Original Form
When your Familiar drops to 0 Hit Points, it reverts to its Original Form. It becomes insubstantial, and cannot speak, communicate with signs, or interact with creatures or objects. It gains the Movement Hover 30, as well as a unique ability as described in the table below. Until you cast Find Familiar again, you lose any Bonus Features associated with your Familiar Bond, and cannot cast spells through your familiar. The familiar cannot regain Hit Points, and is only restored to its animal form when you cast Find Familiar again.

OriginOriginal FormFeatures
CelestialA glowing orb of blue, gold, or white light.Familiar casts bright light for 15 feet and dim light for an additional 15 feet.
FeyA twirling swirl of leaves, fog, or flower petals.As an action, the familiar may create illusionary sounds, as with the Minor Illusion spell.
FiendA burning ember, emitting smoke, flames, or fiery bat wings.The familiar emits a nauseating odor; creatures starting their turn in its space must make a DC 8 Constitution Saving Throw or gain the Poison conditioned until the start of their next turn.
I think their features would be something they should be able to use both in and out of their Original Form, Like you could have each type of familiar ‘teach’ their own respective cantrip to the player and be able to use it themselves but the player looses access to it but not the familiar while in original form, if i were to pick which ones I’d choose for each:
Familiar TypeOriginal FormCantrip Taught
Celestial-Sacred Flame
FeyA tiny winged fairy with a multicoloured auraMinor Illusion/Thorn Whip
Infernal-Produce Flame
AberrantA floating eyeball covered in short tentacles (think micro-beholder)Vicious Mockery
ElementalA small amount of the elemental’s respective element animated inside a perfectly clear crystalResistance (Absorb Elements?Its a 1st level spell but it fits much better)
PrimalThe ghost of your familiar’s previous form in white smoke with shimmers of bright greenTrue Strike
UndeadThe ghost of your familiar’s previous form in black smoke with shimmers of crimson redSpare The Dying/Poison Spray
 

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Stalker0

Legend
I dont' like the 15-19 bond ability. The ability itself is fine, but it requires physical touch with the familiar. That seems to remove a lot of the cool aspect of the familiar itself, like delivering spells. Gaining an ability that requires you to deny other abilities doesn't feel that fun.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
To the OP: I don't have time right now to read the thread, but FWIW here is our re-write of the Find Familiar spell, with a slight AD&D feel:

1656450425330.png
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I dont' like the 15-19 bond ability. The ability itself is fine, but it requires physical touch with the familiar. That seems to remove a lot of the cool aspect of the familiar itself, like delivering spells. Gaining an ability that requires you to deny other abilities doesn't feel that fun.
What about something like this instead:
When you cast an ongoing spell you may choose to have your Familiar maintain concentration on it for you as it’s action for each turn.
EDIT: if your familiar takes damage while maintaining concentration you can use your lvl 10-14 bond ability to take the damage for it but the familiar must still make the associated concentration check on maintaining the spell.
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I dont' like the 15-19 bond ability. The ability itself is fine, but it requires physical touch with the familiar. That seems to remove a lot of the cool aspect of the familiar itself, like delivering spells. Gaining an ability that requires you to deny other abilities doesn't feel that fun.
In my experience playing a wizard with a familiar, by 9th level if my familiar was out on the battlefield it would die within a round due to various area of effect attacks. I think this power gives the player a choice: their familiar can be out and about, delivering touch spells and the like... or they can be close and grant advantage on Concentration checks.

Also I'm trying to not make the boons too powerful. To be honest, I don't like how this boon apes the War Caster feat, and I'll probably change it to something else.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
Thinking about this further, and thinking about my efforts to make familiars more unique, I came up with this rough idea:

We take out this section:



And put in something like this (note this is a very rough idea / first draft):

Origin
When you first conjure your familiar, choose an origin from the list below (or a unique one with your DM's permission).

Original Form
When your Familiar drops to 0 Hit Points, it reverts to its Original Form. It becomes insubstantial, and cannot speak, communicate with signs, or interact with creatures or objects. It gains the Movement Hover 30, as well as a unique ability as described in the table below. Until you cast Find Familiar again, you lose any Bonus Features associated with your Familiar Bond, and cannot cast spells through your familiar. The familiar cannot regain Hit Points, and is only restored to its animal form when you cast Find Familiar again.

OriginOriginal FormFeatures
CelestialA glowing orb of blue, gold, or white light.Familiar casts bright light for 15 feet and dim light for an additional 15 feet.
FeyA twirling swirl of leaves, fog, or flower petals.As an action, the familiar may create illusionary sounds, as with the Minor Illusion spell.
FiendA burning ember, emitting smoke, flames, or fiery bat wings.The familiar emits a nauseating odor; creatures starting their turn in its space must make a DC 8 Constitution Saving Throw or gain the Poison conditioned until the start of their next turn.
Thinking about it more, I think this just adds way too much complexity.

A much simpler option for different Familiar Origins could be something like this:

Familiar Origin
When you first conjure your familiar, choose an origin. The origin impacts the appearance of your familiar. Choose one of the appearance choices, or come up with your own. When you cast a spell through your familiar that causes damage, you may choose to instead deal the damage type associated with your familiar's origin.

OriginAppearanceDamage Type
CelestialHead surrounded by halo of light; golden eyes; or fur, feathers, or scales patterned with celestial runes.Radiant
FeyFlower petals or leaves instead of fur, feathers, or scales; prismatic colors; or a single silver horn.Thunder
FiendTwisting horns; smell of sulfur; or a long forked tongue.Fire
AberrantToo many eyes; tentacles instead of limbs or a tail; or covered in slime.Psychic
ConstructCopper fur, feathers, or scales; made of living glass; or a stuffed creature with clicking gears.Lightning
UndeadSkeletal; spectral; or a living shadow.Necrotic
DraconicLong serpentine neck and tail; row of spines; or intelligent reptilian eyes.Acid, Cold, Fire, or Lightning
BeastIndistinguishable from a normal beast.Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
In my experience playing a wizard with a familiar, by 9th level if my familiar was out on the battlefield it would die within a round due to various area of effect attacks. I think this power gives the player a choice: their familiar can be out and about, delivering touch spells and the like... or they can be close and grant advantage on Concentration checks.

Also I'm trying to not make the boons too powerful. To be honest, I don't like how this boon apes the War Caster feat, and I'll probably change it to something else.
Okay, here's a new idea for the Bond 15 - 19 power:

BondBonus FeatureMaterial Components
15 - 19When casting Find Familiar to conjure this familiar, the casting time is 1 Round, even when casting it as a ritual.100 gp of special inks and oils, which the spell consumes.
 

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