So do we know if Wizards still have familiars?

I was unable to discover this with searching, do we know if in 4E, Wizard and/or anyone else, still have familiars? I mean, I sincerely hope they do, because they really were one of my favourite things about being a Wizard (or the like), but I'd be unsurprised if they got the chop in the simplification drive.
 
The assumption right now is that the wizard class will not have familiar built right in. However, wizards will likely have a feat or a talent that will grant them a familiar.

So not all wizards will have familiars, but because it costs a resource to gain one they will likely be better and more survivable for those who want them.

Again, this is speculation, not confirmed fact.
 

Derren

Adventurer
Several pictures of wizards include a familiar thing, so it looks like they are not completely gone.
 
Stalker0 said:
The assumption right now is that the wizard class will not have familiar built right in. However, wizards will likely have a feat or a talent that will grant them a familiar.

So not all wizards will have familiars, but because it costs a resource to gain one they will likely be better and more survivable for those who want them.

Again, this is speculation, not confirmed fact.
That seems fine, and I hope it's so. I didn't like the fact that every Wizard did or should have a familiar, but I wanted my ones to!

Derren - Good, hopefully that's not just window-dressing.
 

Sitara

Visitor
The aprt timesorceress article mentioned a familiar, so yeah I am pretty sure they are in. I hope this time they actually aid in magic,i.e. maybe having a familiar raises the caster level of all spells cast by 1 or somthing.
 

jtrowell

Visitor
There was speculation (I think) about familiar being useable as another implement (staff, wand and orb), probably released in a splat book later
 

Thornir Alekeg

Albatross!
Sitara said:
The aprt timesorceress article mentioned a familiar, so yeah I am pretty sure they are in. I hope this time they actually aid in magic,i.e. maybe having a familiar raises the caster level of all spells cast by 1 or somthing.
I hope that isn't how they end up working. I don't want familiars to remain what they are - something that is completely forgotten about, except for the persistent bonus.

The only reason the familiar itself gets remembered is when the PCs need an independent creature to help them.

If familiars are not going to actually be useful and memorable on their own in routine adventuring and combat, I hope they only serve to do things like boost ritual magic.
 

Zamkaizer

Visitor
Stalker0 said:
So not all wizards will have familiars, but because it costs a resource to gain one they will likely be better and more survivable for those who want them. [Zamkaizer: emphasis mine]
Derren said:
Several pictures of wizards include a familiar thing, so it looks like they are not completely gone.
A quick perusal of Races and Classes reveals a dragonborn wizard with a dragon or pseudodragon perched on his shoulder, screeching at whatever the mage is gesturing towards with his wand, as well a dwarf wizard serving as a perch for a bat with the 'Christ, that's big' template. So, yes, on both counts, less'n William O'Connor is terrible lying bastard.
 
Last edited:

Lizard

Visitor
jtrowell said:
There was speculation (I think) about familiar being useable as another implement (staff, wand and orb), probably released in a splat book later
Gods, I hope familiars aren't just an animal-shaped magic item.

Every game I've been in, familiars have been an important part of the spellcaster and the party, and they've always been fun NPCs to play or deal with. If they're reduced to just a random stat bonus or an "implement", that will be pretty darn pathetic.
 

Aristotle

Visitor
I like the idea of them as optional and ignorable.

I like the idea of them as more powerful and useful, more like a cohort than a critter living in your pack.

Shadowrun makes use of familiars in an interesting way. They aren't required, and they have many more uses in play. I don't want an exact copy of what they did, but something along those lines would be great.
 

WhatGravitas

Visitor
A question to the familiar-lovers (and I also like to see them as an optional tree): How would you make familiars interesting and unique - yet wizard-like, not a druidish animal companion?

Cheers, LT.
 

Aristotle

Visitor
I'd love to see familiars that could...

Defend their master.
Larger animals like wolves or mountain lions that act as guardians, or golem-like constructs.

Have symmetry with their master.
More fragile creatures, like fairy dragons or humunculous, that can cast limited spells/rituals.

Be the eyes and ears of their master.
Small shapshifters, owls, and other traiditional familiars that can spy, deliver messages, and so on...
 
Lord Tirian said:
A question to the familiar-lovers (and I also like to see them as an optional tree): How would you make familiars interesting and unique - yet wizard-like, not a druidish animal companion?

Cheers, LT.
I feel like wizards should have an intimate, magical connection with ONE familiar (at most), while druids have a more general affinity with ALL natural creatures. So a druid can chat with animals in the forest and see what they've noticed, but if she wants something to slither into the enemy fortress and scout it out... well, that's what wildshape is for!

I guess in effect this would mean removing the "animal companion" mechanic from druids and giving them some more class abilities that let them communicate and negotiate with wild animals.
 
Hmm. I think they'd be good for a talent tree or feat chain or something. That way the player can decide how much of their awesome they want to spend on the familiar. In fact, IMHO, that's so overwhelmingly the best idea I'll be kind of surprised if they don't go that route. I think it'd be kind of cool to have a Wizard character with a familiar so great they could be like a backup character if your actual character got kidnapped. Sort of like how Snoopy eventually ended up being more interesting and cool than Charlie Brown.
 

Lizard

Visitor
WyzardWhately said:
Hmm. I think they'd be good for a talent tree or feat chain or something. That way the player can decide how much of their awesome they want to spend on the familiar.
I agree. One thing I like about 4e (there's a lot I like conceptually, I just have issues with the implementation) is the idea that there can be a lot of variability in a given class based on player choice. The 3e fighter was brilliant -- all he was was a pile of feats, and you could use those feats to build almost any kind of fighter from a 2-weapon stabmaster to a greatsword-wielding tank. No, they weren't all "optimal", but the core idea was sound, and with three feats at first level (human fighter) you could start off different and keep going.

If 4e makes it so the bulk of what you do is a choice, not fixed class powers, that will be Very Good.
 
ZombieRoboNinja said:
I feel like wizards should have an intimate, magical connection with ONE familiar (at most), while druids have a more general affinity with ALL natural creatures. So a druid can chat with animals in the forest and see what they've noticed, but if she wants something to slither into the enemy fortress and scout it out... well, that's what wildshape is for!

I guess in effect this would mean removing the "animal companion" mechanic from druids and giving them some more class abilities that let them communicate and negotiate with wild animals.
Not to jack the thread, but I agree. I always seem to have "that one guy/girl" in the party who has their wolf animal companion (always a wolf, and always named "Cujo," "Lassie," or "Buttons") that takes over the melee combat with its 3.5E 'trip 'n' bite' mechanic. It's not fair to arbitrarily take the companion away and using fear effects gets old fast, but all the other players only get one character to bring to the fight. Rarely have I seen a familiar in the current 3.5E rules set that tips the balance in such a way.

I like the earlier idea of more useful familiars (not animal companions) as an feat or arcane power path taken by those wizards who want them.
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Lizard said:
I agree. One thing I like about 4e (there's a lot I like conceptually, I just have issues with the implementation) is the idea that there can be a lot of variability in a given class based on player choice. The 3e fighter was brilliant -- all he was was a pile of feats, and you could use those feats to build almost any kind of fighter from a 2-weapon stabmaster to a greatsword-wielding tank. No, they weren't all "optimal", but the core idea was sound, and with three feats at first level (human fighter) you could start off different and keep going.

If 4e makes it so the bulk of what you do is a choice, not fixed class powers, that will be Very Good.
THIS..is what I am most excited about 4E, choices at every level and large customisation within class. Heck it should be easy to make up your own talent trees or whatever to get your ideal character.
A Wiz who devotes a lot of his choices to his familiar is a great idea, I wouldn't play it (Raistlin though dependence on another creature as a weakness ;)) but it gives options beyond advanced familiar feat! Maybe eventually leaving your body behind and inhabiting the familiar to scout or even if you die....
 

Voss

Visitor
hopefully we won't have the menagerie of woodland critters by default anymore. If people want to spend feats or powers or whatever on them, then fine. But I'd like them far away from default, locked class features.
 

Advertisement

Top