Find Familiar is an essential spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e that allows players to summon a magical creature to serve as their loyal companion and ally.
Familiars offer various benefits, from scouting to aiding in combat. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Find Familiar in D&D 5e, including the different types of familiars available, their abilities and traits, and how to improve them.
Whether you’re a seasoned D&D veteran or a new player just starting out, this guide will help you enhance your gameplay experience and get the most out of your familiarity.
How to Cast Find Familiar 5e
Here’s how to cast Find Familiar in D&D 5e:
Required spell components: In order to cast Find Familiar, the caster must utilize 10 gold pieces worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs, which will be consumed during the process of casting the spell. You also need to have a spellcasting focus, such as a wand or a staff, to cast the spell.
Spellcasting process: To cast Find Familiar, you must first have the spell prepared if you’re a wizard, or have the spell slot available if you’re a warlock. You then need to perform the following steps:
- Spend 10 minutes performing a ritual that involves burning the required incense, charcoal, and herbs while holding your spellcasting focus.
- During the ritual, you must speak the incantation that accompanies the spell, which calls upon the magical energies needed to summon the familiar.
- Once the ritual is complete, a familiar appears before you, ready to serve as your loyal companion and ally.
Finding a familiar: When you cast Find Familiar, you can choose from a variety of creatures to serve as your familiar, including fey, fiend, and celestial creatures, or even mundane animals like cats and rats.
The type of creature you choose will determine its abilities and traits. The familiar appears within 30 feet of you and can communicate with you telepathically. You can also dismiss the familiar or resummon it as needed.
Types of Familiars
There are several types of familiars available in D&D 5e, each with its own unique abilities and traits. Here’s a closer look at each type of familiar:
- Fey Familiars
- Fiend Familiars
- Celestial Familiars
- Other Familiars
Fey familiars are magical creatures from the feywild, known for their mischievous nature and innate magical abilities. Two examples of fey familiars are:
Sprite: A tiny, winged creature with a mischievous nature, the Sprite can turn invisible and has a poison attack that can put enemies to sleep.
Pseudodragon: A small dragon-like creature with a loyal and friendly demeanor, the Pseudodragon can detect the presence of nearby magic and communicate telepathically with its master.
Fiend familiars are creatures from the lower planes, known for their cunning and malevolent nature. Two examples of fiend familiars are:
- Imp: A small devil with wings, the Imp is adept at shapeshifting and can turn invisible at will. It can also poison enemies and has resistance to fire damage.
- Quasit: A demonic creature with the ability to fly and turn invisible, the Quasit can cause its enemies to be frightened and has a poisonous bite attack.
Celestial familiars are creatures from the upper planes, known for their benevolent nature and connection to divine magic. Two examples of celestial familiars are:
Celestial Hawk: A bird of prey with keen senses and the ability to see through magical darkness, the Celestial Hawk is a fierce ally in combat.
Celestial Owl: A wise and perceptive creature with the ability to see in total darkness, the Celestial Owl can help its master uncover hidden secrets and uncover traps.
There are also mundane creatures that can serve as familiars, such as:
- Cat: A common house pet, the Cat has keen senses and can provide companionship and comfort to its master.
- Rat: A small and agile creature, the Rat is adept at sneaking and can help its master with tasks that require stealth.
- Toad: A slow-moving creature with the ability to secrete poisonous toxins, the Toad can also serve as a familiar for those who prefer amphibian companionship.
Familiar Abilities and Traits
Once you have summoned your familiar using the Find Familiar spell in D&D 5e, it becomes a loyal companion with a variety of abilities and traits. Here’s a closer look at what your familiar can do:
As a master of a familiar, you can cast spells through your familiar. Your familiar can deliver any spell with a range of touch that you cast, provided that it is within 100 feet of you. This includes healing spells, buff spells, and even offensive spells.
Your familiar has the ability to communicate with you telepathically, even if it is not within your line of sight. This means you can communicate with your familiar over long distances, making it a valuable scouting and reconnaissance tool.
Familiar Actions and Abilities
Familiars have unique abilities and actions that can be useful in a variety of situations. For example, a familiar can take the Help action to give you an advantage on an attack roll, or it can use the Dodge action to help protect itself.
Certain familiars, like the Pseudodragon, can even use their breath weapon to deal damage to enemies.
Familiar Hit Points and Death
Familiars have their own hit points, and if they take damage, they can die. However, you can choose to dismiss your familiar at any time, which will send it back to its plane of existence.
If your familiar dies, you can resummon it by casting the Find Familiar spell again, but it will not retain any memories of its previous existence.
There are certain feats in D&D 5e that can improve your familiar’s abilities. For example, the “Magic Initiate” feat allows you to learn two cantrips and one 1st-level spell from any class, which you can then cast through your familiar.
The “Familiar Spell” feat also allows your familiar to cast spells on its own, giving it even more versatility in combat.
Magic Items for Familiars
There are several magic items in D&D 5e that can enhance your familiar’s abilities. For example, the “Amulet of Health” can increase your familiar’s hit points, while the “Boots of Haste” can give your familiar an extra action each turn.
Certain magic items are designed for specific types of familiars, such as the “Ring of Feather Falling” for flying familiars.
Multiclassing for Better Familiar Abilities
Multiclassing into certain classes can also give your familiar new abilities. For example, multiclassing into the Warlock class can give your familiar more powerful abilities and spells, while multiclassing into the Wizard class can increase your familiar’s spellcasting ability.
Multiclassing in D&D 5e can have both benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to carefully consider the impact on your character’s abilities and progression before deciding to multiclass. By utilizing these methods, you can make your familiar an even more powerful and versatile ally in your D&D adventures.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Find Familiar 5e
|Familiars can act as scouts and provide reconnaissance for the party.||It has low hit points and can be easily killed in combat.|
|They can deliver touch spells for the caster, allowing for longer-range spellcasting.||Familiars require a 10-gold piece material component to summon, which can be expensive for low-level characters.|
|Familiars have unique abilities and actions that can be useful in combat and non-combat situations.||They are limited in their abilities and can't perform certain actions that humanoid characters can.|
|They have telepathic communication with their master, allowing for easy communication over long distances.||Familiars require their master's concentration to maintain, which can limit the caster's spellcasting ability.|
|Familiars can be dismissed and resummoned, allowing for easy access to their abilities and actions.||They can't attack their own, making them reliant on their master for protection in combat.|
What Can a Familiar Do?
Familiars can be very versatile and useful allies for their masters, providing a range of benefits both in and out of combat. A familiar in D&D 5e can do many things, including:
- Provide reconnaissance: In D&D 5e, players can use familiars to scout ahead of the party, utilizing their flying, climbing, or sneaking abilities to gather information and report back to their master.
- Deliver touch spells: Familiars can deliver touch spells for their master, allowing them to cast spells from a distance.
- Assist with skill checks: Depending on their abilities, familiars can help their master with certain skill checks, such as perception, investigation, or stealth.
- Perform specific actions: Familiars have unique actions and abilities that can be useful in specific situations, such as the owl’s ability to fly silently or the cat’s ability to climb and jump.
- Provide telepathic communication: Familiars can communicate telepathically with their master, allowing for easy communication over long distances.
- Be used for roleplaying: Familiars can enhance a character’s personality and add depth to their roleplaying experience, as they are often depicted as devoted companions with distinct quirks and traits.
Touch Spell Delivery
Who Can Access the Spell?
- Wizards: Wizards can access this spell through their spellbook at 1st level.
- Warlocks: Warlocks can access this spell through the Pact of the Chain feature, which allows them to have familiar with additional abilities.
- Eldritch Knights: Eldritch Knights can access this spell as one of their limited spells, which they can choose from the wizard spell list.
- Arcane Tricksters: Arcane Tricksters can access this spell as one of their limited spells, which they can choose from the wizard spell list.
In addition to these classes, other subclasses or races may have access to the spell through unique features or traits. For example, a Tiefling warlock can access the spell through their racial trait, Infernal Legacy, which allows them to cast certain spells related to their fiendish heritage.
It is worth noting that while the Find Familiar spell is accessible to multiple classes, the abilities and limitations of the familiar may differ depending on the caster’s class and subclass.
For example, a wizard’s familiar may have different abilities than a warlock’s familiar due to the Pact of the Chain feature.
Pact of the Chain: Super Familiars
When a Warlock chooses the Pact of the Chain feature at 3rd level, they gain access to a range of new familiar options, including the imp, quasit, pseudodragon, and sprite.
These creatures have a higher CR (challenge rating) than standard familiars and possess unique abilities that can be incredibly useful in a variety of situations. For example, an imp familiar can turn invisible at will, shape change into a rat or raven, and can poison enemies with its stinger attack.
A pseudodragon can communicate telepathically with its master, has an advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects, and can deliver healing energy to allies with its touch. A sprite can turn invisible, cast spells, and has the unique ability to heal allies and cure diseases with its arrows.
Pact of the Chain warlocks can also choose to enhance their familiar’s abilities through invocations.
Such as Voice of the Chain Master, which allows the Warlock to communicate with their familiar over any distance, and Chain Pact Boon, which allows the Warlock to summon their familiar from any distance and teleport them to their location.
Players and DMs can create homebrew familiars by combining the abilities and traits of existing creatures or by creating entirely new abilities and traits. Players can create homebrew familiars for any of the three types – Fey, Fiend, or Celestial – and assign them a variety of abilities and appearances.
When creating a homebrew familiar, it is important to consider the balance of the creature and ensure that it is not too powerful or too weak. Players and DMs should also consider how the familiar fits into the story and setting of the game.
Some examples of homebrew familiars include a tiny dragon with the ability to breathe fire, a tiny golem with the ability to repair objects, and a ghostly apparition with the ability to phase through walls.
Homebrew familiars can add a unique and personalized element to a D&D game, allowing players to create a familiar that reflects their character and playstyle. However, it is important to ensure that the homebrew familiar is balanced and fits within the rules and setting of the game.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Familiars Heal?
Familiars share their caster’s hit points in D&D 5e and can be healed by any spells or potions used on the caster. If a familiar dies, the caster must cast the Find Familiar spell again to summon a new one as they cannot be revived through normal means.
What Is the Purpose of Familiar 5e?
In D&D 5e, the Find Familiar spell is used to provide players with a magical companion that can aid them in their adventures by delivering touch spells, scouting ahead, and assisting with skill checks.
Familiars can also serve as loyal companions, adding an element of fun and magic to the game while helping players overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
How Much Weight Can Familiars Carry?
Can a Familiar Help with Ranged Attacks?
Yes, a familiar can help with ranged attacks in D&D 5e. If a character has a familiar and the familiar is within 5 feet of an enemy, the character can use their action to grant the familiar the Help action.
This allows the familiar to distract the enemy and give the character advantage on their next attack roll against that enemy. This applies to all attack rolls, including ranged attacks. So, a familiar can be very useful in helping a character hit their target with a ranged attack.
How Long Does Find Familiar Last?
The Find Familiar spell in D&D 5e has a duration of Instantaneous. This means that you cast the spell and it takes effect, summoning the familiar. The spell will end immediately after the familiar is summoned. However, the familiar will remain with you until you dismiss it or until it dies.
Dismissing the familiar is a simple action that the caster can do at any time, and the familiar can also be brought back by recasting the Find Familiar spell. It’s important to note that if the familiar dies, the caster must wait until they can cast the spell again in order to summon a new familiar.