It’s a pet! It’s a dragon! It’s a pet dragon! See what Pseudodragons do…and how to ride one.
What is a Pseudodragon Familiar 5e?
Familiars in DnD are tiny magical creatures that can perform simple tasks for their master. A Pseudodragon is one type of familiar.
Pseudodragons are quiet, defensive creatures with a playful disposition. Their abilities include poisonous stingers, magical resistance, and telepathy. Psuedodragons are not true dragons, but rather fey, fiend, or celestials classified as “dragon-kin.”
What can a Pseudodragon do?
You can use a Pseudodragon familiar to:
- Sting, with a chance for poison
- Use an Object
- Communicate telepathically within 100 feet
- See and hear (with advantage on checks involving sight, sounds, or smell)
- Deliver “touch” spells
- Sense what your pseudodragon senses within a mile (Variant rule only)
- Get magical resistance within 10 ft. (Variant rule only)
One of the coolest things a familiar can do is vicarious spellcasting. For example, if your familiar is near a dying party member, but you aren’t, you can cast a spell like Cure Wounds through your familiar to your party member. This only works for spells with the range “Touch.”
Pseudodragon Familiar 5e stats
- Armor Class: 13
- Hit Points: 7 (2d4 +2)
- Speed: 15 ft., fly 60 ft.
- Alignment: Neutral Good
- Skills. Perception +3, Stealth +4
- Senses. Blindsight: 10 Ft., Darkvision: 60 Ft., Passive Perception: 13
- Languages. Understands Common And Draconic But Can’t Speak
- Proficiency Bonus. +2
Pseudodragon Familiar 5e abilities
Keen Senses. Advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight, hearing, or smell.
Magic Resistance. Advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Limited Telepathy. Can magically communicate simple ideas, emotions, and images telepathically with any creature within 100 ft. of it that can understand a language.
Pseudodragon Familiar 5e Attack Actions (Warlock only)
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
On Hit: 1d4 + 2 piercing damage.
Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
- 1d4 + 2 piercing damage.
- The target must succeed on a DC 11 constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 hour.
- If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target falls unconscious for the same duration, or until it takes damage or another creature uses an action to shake it awake.
How to get a Pseudodragon Familiar 5e
The two most common ways to get a pseudodragon familiar are by summoning one through the Find Familiar spell, or by taming a pseudodragon in the wild.
Per Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, you can also get a pseudodragon familiar as a Draconic Gift. When a dragon dies, some of its power can take root in a character in the form of a Draconic Gift.
Draconic Gifts make more sense in certain campaigns, or for certain characters such as Kalashtar. Talk to your DM to see if it’s viable for your adventure.
Pseudodragon Familiar Standard vs Pseudodragon Familiar Variant
There are two rules for Pseudodragons: The standard rule from the Player’s Handbook which only allows Warlocks to summon them through a Pact Boon, and a variant rule introduced in the Monster Manual which lets a Pseudodragon become a familiar for a spellcaster of its choosing.
Standard Pseudodragon Familiar rules:
- Only Warlocks can summon a Pseudodragon familiar, as one of four Special forms of familiar through the “Pact of the Chain” Pact Boon.
Taming a Pseudodragon Familiar Variant 5e rule:
- Pseudodragons dwell in quiet places such as tree hollows and caves, so you may be able to find a pseudodragon in such places.
- Pseudodragons encountered in the wild can sometimes be won over with gifts of food or treasure.
- If a pseudodragon finds you an agreeable companion, it may bond with you if you treat it fairly.
- After befriending a Pseudodragon, you can sense what your pseudodragon senses within one mile. If your pseudodragon is within 10 feet of you, you also share their Magic Resistance trait.
Note that taming Pseudodragons from the wild in 5e is not the same as summoning pseudodragon familiars. Tamed pseudodragon familiars won’t put up with bad treatment, manipulation, or abuse.
So if you are the type of player to treat your pets roughly, your pseudodragon familiar won’t want to be familiar with you for very long.
Summoning Pseudodragon Familiars with other classes
Some DMs have ruled that the Variant rule only applies to pseudodragons found in the wild, while others have ruled that it allows other classes to summon a pseudodragon through Find Familiar. Ask your DM what they think!
For tables where spellcasters can summon pseudodragons through Find Familiar:
- Wizards can get a pseudodragon familiar right away by taking Find Familiar as a starting spell.
- Warlocks can take Find Familiar at level 3 with Pact of the Chain
- Other classes can take Find Familiar at level 4 with the Magic Initiate feat, which lets them choose a level 1 Wizard spell
Find Familiar takes about an hour to cast plus 10 minutes for the ritual. That means you’ll need at least 70 minutes of in-game time to initially conjure your Pseudodragon familiar. The conjuration also needs charcoal, incense, and herbs consumed by fire in a brass brazier.
GameCows Tip: Your pseudodragon familiar’s summoning is a great opportunity for roleplay! Gather your party and sit around the fire, do a dragon dance, chant in pseudodraconic…whatever your pseudodragon heart desires!
Is the Pseudodragon Familiar good in DnD 5e?
Pseudodragons are a Special form of familiar from the Warlock’s “Pact of the Chain,” and are therefore stronger than the Standard familiars: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, and weasel.
The four Special forms of familiar are Pseudodragon, Imp, Sprite, and Quasit. They are the strongest familiars in DnD, with various strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The Pseudodragon’s Keen Senses make it the strongest spy and scout of the bunch, for example.
Here’s a table comparing the Special forms of familiars:
|HP||AC||Speed||Darkvision||Invisibility||Magic Resistance||Strongest Abilities|
|Pseudodragon||7 (2d4 +2)||13||15 ft., fly 60 ft.||60 ft||No||Yes||Advantage on Perception Checks; fast flight|
|Imp||10 (3d4+3)||13||20 ft., fly 40 ft.||120 ft||Yes||Yes||1d4 piercing + 3d6 Poison attack; Immunity to poison + fire|
|Sprite||2 (1d4)||15||10 ft; fly 40 ft.||No||Yes||No||Spy on alignment + emotions; high AC|
|Quasit||7 (3d4)||13||40 ft.||120 ft||Yes||Yes||Shapeshift; damage resistance|
These familiars have also been added to the original familiars and variant familiars lists over the years, and can be used at your DM’s discretion:
- Abyssal Chicken (from Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus)
- Albino Gazer (from Waterdeep: Dragon Heist)
- Almiraj (from Tomb of Annihilation)
- Anvilwrought Raptor (from Mythic Odysseys of Theros)
- Fox (from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden)
- Flying Monkey (from Tomb of Annihilation)
- Hare (from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden)
- Tressym (from Storm King’s Thunder)
- Virgil (From Ghosts of Saltmarsh)
Can you ride a Pseudodragon 5e?
Mounts in 5e must be one size larger than you in order to ride. But Pseudodragons are Tiny, and the smallest race size is Small. If only there was a way to become Tiny, while your pseudodragon becomes Small…luckily there is!
Small-sized Sorcerers can ride their pseudodragons starting at 3rd level by casting Metamagic: Twinned Spell with the Enlarge/Reduce spell.
Enlarge/Reduce lets you either Enlarge or Reduce a target in size. A Twinned Spell lets you cast a spell on two creatures at once. Casting Enlarge/Reduce “twinned” lets you Enlarge your pseudodragon to Small with one “twin” while you Reduce yourself to Tiny with the other!
All that’s left is to hop on your pseudodragon, and ride off into the sunset.
The Enlarge/Reduce trick only works by being a Sorcerer with these Small Races in DnD 5e:
- Dhampir (from Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft)
- Fairy (from Wild Beyond the Witchlight)
- Grung (from One Grung Above)
- Owlin (from Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos)
- Verdan (from Acquisitions Incorporated)
Pseudodragon familiar 5e FAQ
Can pseudodragons read minds?
Pseudodragons can’t read minds, but they can communicate telepathically with their master and transmit simple ideas, emotions, and inner states. The masters of pseudodragons can also sense through the eyes and ears of their pseudodragon familiars within one hundred feet.
Are pseudodragons related to dragons?
Pseudodragons are not true dragons, which is why they are called “pseudo” dragons. True dragons in DnD become more powerful as they age, walk on four legs, and can breathe fire, among other abilities.
How much can a pseudodragon carry?
Pseudodragons have a carrying capacity of about 45 pounds.
How long do pseudodragons live?
Pseudodragons can live up to 160 years. When Pseudodragons die, they are gone for good.
Do pseudodragons speak draconic?
Pseudodragons can’t speak but can understand Draconic and common. If you want to interpret Draconic for your party, a workaround is that a pseudodragon can translate simple images of Draconic communications telepathically to their master.
Can pseudodragons be other colors?
Pseudodragons have chameleon-like abilities, and so can be of any color, but the standard is brownish-red.
How big do pseudodragons get?
Pseudodragons weigh about seven pounds, and are about two feet long.
Do pseudodragons have thumbs?
Yes, pseudodragons have thumbs and have been described as having “articulated hands.” This means your pseudodragon should be able to carry, or steal, objects for you.
We hope Pseudodragons are more familiar to you now! Get familiar with other DnD oddities like Firbolg 5e, Minor Illusion Spell 5e, and Tiefling 5e.
Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages.