With Book of Wishes about to be released, we wanted to go over a couple of things in the book. Let’s start with familiars. Most fantasy enthusiasts are familiar with familiars. These are the little spell casting assistants that some spell casters make use of, but should one die, the magical and emotional toll is severe. It’s so severe, that we don’t think you should take your familiar into combat. That’s not really what they’re for. You’ll notice that there aren’t any sorcerer familiars - That’s because those guys throw fire balls at each other. Fireballs kill familiars, and that would wipe out the sorcerer pretty effectively!
Druids, conjurers and necromancers can have familiars. With the conjurers, it makes the most sense - summon your familiar and have it aid you in the bonding of some more powerful creature. With druids, it is a little more of the forces of nature concentrated in one of nature’s creatures. The druid familiars can be a little tougher than the others, especially if you choose a wolf or something like that, but to have your familiar attack in melee would be the height of stupidity. Necromancers are more like the conjurers - especially the undead masters. Here the familiar would assist in making the skeletons and zombies more powerful.
So how do you sneak in a familiar when you want one in combat? Well, protect it. Familiars need to be in physical contact with their spell casters. This rules out non-corporeal forms, but if you wanted to bend this rule, that would be a great defense. How about an arcane tower? Very good defense, but the familiar does count as an area of effect and is not considered part of the spell caster. How about ingenuity? I once had a familiar that posed as the necromancer’s shadow. Sure, he had two shadows, but when guys bust down the door and start flinging arrows, that isn’t the kind of thing they notice. In fact they never did. So I changed it up. The next time, I gave the necromancers a second shadow, and told them about it. This time it was a decoy. The familiar was actually the little gargoyle looking thing on the necro’s cane, and therefore in his hand the whole time.
This article also made me think - How about giving an illusionist an illusionary familiar? Any mage worth his salt would immediately attack what he thought was a small, easily killed familiar, wasting precious attacks on the illusion and not on the illusionist. Ooh, I have to use that!!
Are these it? By no means! In the description of the necromantic familiar it says, “A normal familiar will take...” Guess what? Yep, we’re implying that there are “non-normal” familiars out there.
Take our advice - You don’t want to take 4-40 points of damage, just because you took your cute owl familiar into battle with you and someone who thinks better than you do shot it with a lightning bolt!