Every wizard needs a familiar.
These little creatures are meant to serve as companions to wizards and warlocks, but they’re more than fun and furry companions to bring along on adventures.
Lots of players either neglect to have a familiar or don’t want to hassle with what amounts to a second character sheet and a second set of actions during combat.
But we’re telling you: You ought to have one.
Here are some fun things you can do with your familiar. (Just watch out: Most of them only have a few hit points.)
One of the familiar’s best attributes is its ability to cast any spell with the range of touch as if it were you. This is great if you can’t get close enough (or don’t want to get close enough) to deliver attacks such as Shocking Grasp or to help your friends with spells such as Cure Wounds or Guidance.
Having a creature that can fly above the field of battle gives you a huge advantage. You can communicate with it telepathically, so it can tell you who and what you’re fighting. And depending on what kind of creature it is, you can load it up with things such as alchemist’s fire to drop on your unsuspecting enemies. Death from above!
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Speaking of flying, owls have this great ability called “flyby,” which states that the owl doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach, meaning it can swoop in, deliver touch spells and swoop out without anyone getting a swing on it.
Especially if you don’t have a rogue in the party, you can use your familiar as a stealthy scout. Most have high stealth modifiers and special senses (owls have darkvision!), so they’re great to head out ahead of the party and see what’s up. Plus, most enemies wouldn’t give a second thought to a spider or raven if they spotted one.
Familiars can take the Help action, granting you advantage on an attack. But you better watch out. It’ll be in range of anything you’re attacking, making it vulnerable.
In the confusion of battle, your familiar can grab an item no one is paying attention to and fly/walk/run off with it. Especially helpful if the item in question is something your party is seeking.
As an action, you can dismiss your familiar to another dimension. Then as another action, you can have them reappear within 30 feet. You don’t need line of sight. For example, you could have them pop up on the other side of an unlocked door and open it for you.
Your familiar should be a companion and a big part of your character. We read about a player whose wizard character was mute but her raven familiar helped cast her spells and another whose character’s mouse familiar was his best friend.
Our favorite creative use of a familiar ever:
We saw this one on Reddit. All credit goes to redditor Malkavon for this one:
“Familiar-Detonated Bomb: Have a raven familiar wielding a wand of dispel magic ready an action to use the wand when you throw a book at an enemy. Before the battle, you fill every page of the book with explosive runes (Glyph of Warding). Order your familiar to voluntarily fail the caster level check to dispel, setting off every rune in the book and obliterating anything within the blast radius.”