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Quasits, Imps and Pseudo Dragons as familiars

Uller

Adventurer
Are there any rules for PCs other than Pact of the Chain Warlocks to gain these creatures as Familiars?

I ask this for two reasons:

In a game I am running, the party came across a quasit and captured it. The wizard player wants to cast Find Familiar to bind it as her familiar.

In a game I am playing in, we have encountered a pseudo dragon that was the familiar of the villain we are hunting. I am playing a wizard and I'd like to make it my familiar.

Each is listed as a variant familiar in the MM. Is it just up to the DM? I'd like to see it have a cost more significant than the normal casting of FF.

Thoughts?
 

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Kobold Stew

Adventurer
There are no rules; it is all up to the DM and the player's role-playing.

(Note that technically creatures summoned by the spell are celestial/fey/fiend spirits in the form of the animal, not the animal itself. That's presumably true of the familiars of the Warlock. Getting a real pseudodragon or whatever is a character's interaction with an NPC.)
 

ccs

40th lv DM
It's pretty much up to the DM, as it should be. Afterall, gaining the services/aid of one of these unique creatures makes for a far more interesting story than does just summoning another cat/toad/etc. So work with your DM.
 

neogod22

Explorer
The rule is, with intelligent familiars like those, the wizard and creature needs to come to an agreement before the creature allows the wizard to make it a familiar. The familiar link lasts until the creature decides it doesn't want to be the wizard's familiar anymore, or it dies (or in the case of the fiends, banished permanently). A wizard cannot forcefully bind these creatures into service, so if the wizards alignment or actions do not agree with the creature's then they probably won't be successful in gaining the familiar with the exception of the imp. Imps don't care what a wizard's alignment is, because they will try and corrupt them anyway. Usually a wizard has an imp or quasit familiar after they've made a bargain with a greater fiend, and those familiars are there to make sure the wizard is keeping their end of the bargain.

The good aligned creatures: sprites, pixies, psuedodragons, and faire dragons will only help other good aligned characters while they are doing good, and will probably won't align with characters who are evil or break their link if the wizard allows others to do evil acts around them. Also, these creatures are alive, and can be killed. If killed, they cant be resummoned. The fiends on the other hand can be resummoned as long as the link is in place.

As a DM, if you allow a player to have one of these familiars, while the wizard can command it, you have to control it especially the fiends who will definitely have agenda of their own. The imp may be attempting to get the wizards to sell its soul by corrupting th wizards thoughts with how it shares its knowledge, while the quasit is only attempting to spread the corruption of the abyss, by helping the wizard summon more powerful demons he may or may not be able to control.
 

CTurbo

First Post
The rule is, with intelligent familiars like those, the wizard and creature needs to come to an agreement before the creature allows the wizard to make it a familiar. The familiar link lasts until the creature decides it doesn't want to be the wizard's familiar anymore, or it dies (or in the case of the fiends, banished permanently). A wizard cannot forcefully bind these creatures into service, so if the wizards alignment or actions do not agree with the creature's then they probably won't be successful in gaining the familiar with the exception of the imp. Imps don't care what a wizard's alignment is, because they will try and corrupt them anyway. Usually a wizard has an imp or quasit familiar after they've made a bargain with a greater fiend, and those familiars are there to make sure the wizard is keeping their end of the bargain.

The good aligned creatures: sprites, pixies, psuedodragons, and faire dragons will only help other good aligned characters while they are doing good, and will probably won't align with characters who are evil or break their link if the wizard allows others to do evil acts around them. Also, these creatures are alive, and can be killed. If killed, they cant be resummoned. The fiends on the other hand can be resummoned as long as the link is in place.

As a DM, if you allow a player to have one of these familiars, while the wizard can command it, you have to control it especially the fiends who will definitely have agenda of their own. The imp may be attempting to get the wizards to sell its soul by corrupting th wizards thoughts with how it shares its knowledge, while the quasit is only attempting to spread the corruption of the abyss, by helping the wizard summon more powerful demons he may or may not be able to control.

I agree with this.


For one thing, it's totally up to the DM. For another, I MAY let the player control one of the "good" aligned ones if his/her character is also good, but no way would I let the player control one of the evil ones. They have to be a WILLING servant which means that if an Imp or Quasit agrees to serve you, it either has some kind of plot to use/exploit you or thinks it can can something from you. Unless of course the player's character is pure evil in which case an Imp or Quasit might agree to "serve" it if it thinks it'd be "fun" to do.

None of them would tolerate being mistreated.


Note: these familiars, especially a flying invisible Imp, are REALLY powerful for a PC to have. They will single handedly shut down or completely bypass entire encounters if you're not careful. I played in a really laid back campaign where I was an evil Paladin with an Imp and the Beastmaster Ranger had an Owlbear companion and my Imp made a larger impact on the game than his Owlbear ever did.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
For imps, quasits, and sprites, you can use planar binding. That is a 5th level (or higher spell), so there is some opportunity cost. If you want to keep it for a reasonable amount of time, I would do 7th level (just me, but 1 7th level spell is worth less than 3 6th level spells or 30 5th level spells). For the pseudodragon, you are stuck one hour at a time, either dominate monster or charm monster.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
For imps, quasits, and sprites, you can use planar binding. That is a 5th level (or higher spell), so there is some opportunity cost. If you want to keep it for a reasonable amount of time, I would do 7th level (just me, but 1 7th level spell is worth less than 3 6th level spells or 30 5th level spells). For the pseudodragon, you are stuck one hour at a time, either dominate monster or charm monster.
You may be able to control those creatures in those ways, but they certainly won't function as familiars (at my table).
 

neogod22

Explorer
You may be able to control those creatures in those ways, but they certainly won't function as familiars (at my table).
I agree. A familiar is a partner to a wizard, not a slave. Trying to cast planar binding creates it's own problems. You have to capture the creature and be able to hold it long enough to cast the spell.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
Planar binding is a 5th level spell, which means the caster is at least 9th level (and presumably so is the rest of the party), so the party shouldn't have any real difficulties in capturing/holding an imp or quasit in the admittedly unlikely scenario where they come across one by itself. Whether "I command you to become my familiar" is within the scope of planar binding is DM and setting dependent. My reading is that not every imp or quasit can, so the party would have to be lucky or track down a specific fiend. On top of that, I assume that whatever granted the imp/quasit the ability to be a familiar is unlikely to be happy that there is no contract (or a very favorable one to the wizard); to prevent this, the contract might have some boilerplate language that could bite the wizard pretty badly, especially if he/she just assumes the contract is favorable...


It is a pretty corner case, but if the party did the research (via a quest) and was willing to accept the almost 100% chance that retribution will show up at some point, I would let them do that. It seems like a lot of effort and risk for pretty minimal reward at the level party members can cast the necessary spells, but PC's (and players) can be weird.
 

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