Familiars are a classic part of D&D, as long as the wizard remembers that they have them. Here’s a look at five of the best familiars.
Wizards and familiars go together like rice and beans. Together they make a complete protein and can be used to flavor a variety of dishes? Well the metaphor may have gotten away from me, but from Harry Potter and Hedwig to Gillian Holroyd and Pyewacket, there’s no end of powerful witches and wizards who get a little extra boost from having a helpful magical animal companion. If you’re a wizard (or a Warlock or someone who took the feat that lets you cast 1st level spells or a Cleric with the right kind of domain or…) then you can get a familiar as easily as casting Find Familiar. But which one will you pick? Here are five of the best.
Besides adding a gothic aesthetic to just about any character, Ravens are an excellent familiar because they can imitate any sound they’ve heard. Combine that with a decent fly speed and you have a distraction ready just about wherever you need it. Your Raven can scout things out then make a noise like a baby crying or a person whispering to distract a guard–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Use it at parties, or in a crowded courtroom scene and watch the feathers fly.
If you’d prefer to be a little batty, though, bats are excellent friends. Besides being a local tourist attraction, bats in D&D have blindsight, which makes them especially suited to scouting out the dark places of the world, because we can’t all have a phial containing the light of Elendil.
Octopi will mess you up. This is a familiar that can hold its breath for up to thirty minutes, which is more than long enough to do whatever you need your familiar to do. But octopi can do more than just crawl around. They can solve puzzles, mazes, escape from tanks, disguise themselves as pretty much anything–they’re oceanic terrors who will one day cast down humanity, so better to have one on your side now while you still can.
Another classic–and for a reason. If you need a fast, stealthy familiar, you won’t do better than a cat. They have the fastest land and climb speed of any of the familiars, making them perfect scouts. But their soft bellies and soothing purrs make them the perfect friends. Just don’t leave anything on a high shelf.
If you’re a wizard and you have a crab familiar you win D&D. It says so in the rules.