Familiars are one of the best parts of DnD. You can send your sneaky owl to check the perimeter of your campsite, infiltrate an enemy hideout with a cunning snake, or try to distract an opponent with a squawking raven.
Not only can they provide crucial intel, but they can help your melee fighters flank enemies during combat. These animals are magical, so even though they only have a few hit points, it’s easy to summon them back to your side if something happens to them.
Let’s check out how you can bond with your familiar.
Table of Contents
Finding Your Familiar
There are a few ways to get a familiar in DnD, but the most often used one is the Find Familiar spell. This spell takes an hour to cast and costs ten gold pieces per casting, but it provides a powerful advantage in a cute and cuddly form.
You can choose any animal from the following list of Familiars to become your loyal companion:
The Familiars 5e
- Frog (Toad)
- Poisonous snake
- Sea Horse
In combat, your familiar rolls and acts independently of you, but it cannot attack. The primary uses for familiars are scouting and casting spells.
As long as your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can use an action to look through its eyes and hear what it hears. You can also communicate with it telepathically. Keep in mind that when your familiar is scouting, you roll skill checks as your familiar. You use its Ability Score modifiers and proficiencies, not your own.
If you cast a spell with a range of touch, you can cast it normally or through your familiar. That means you can send your familiar flying at an enemy and use it to deliver a spell attack. You are the one casting the spell, so you use your spell attack or spell save DC.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced an optional mechanic for Druids at 2nd level, Wild Companion. It states that a Druid can expend one of their uses of the Wild Shape feature to cast the Find Familiar spell without expending any material components.
However, there are a few drawbacks. Typically, a familiar will stay with you until it dies or you dismiss it, but this familiar will only be present for a number of hours equal to half of your Druid level. At level 2, when this first becomes available, your familiar will only hang around for an hour.
Another way to gain an adorably magical pet is to take the Pact of the Chain Warlock variant. This becomes available once you reach level 3 in Warlock and gives you some additional options for your familiar. You can choose from a pseudodragon, quasit, imp, or pixie.
GameCows Tip: Most players agree that the imp is, by and large, the best mechanical choice for a Pact of the Chain Warlock. We think the pseudodragon is the cutest.
Other Types of Familiars
Although not strictly labeled as familiars, other subclasses provide your character with a designated animal partner for their adventurers. If you’re looking for something that isn’t just a spell, you can take a closer look at:
- Beast Master Ranger– choose an animal spirit
- Drakewarden Ranger– your familiar is a dragon who periodically grows and gains new abilities as you become better friends
- Shadow Magic Sorcerer– at level 6, you gain the feature Hound of Ill Omen, which means your new best friend is a dire wolf made of shadows
- Battlesmith Artificer– you gain a Steel Defender at level 3. It may not be as fun to hug, but it is definitely friend-shaped
Alexa spends the majority of her days explaining the ins and outs of DnD to her two cats, much to their dismay.