Fighting Familiar (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Fighting familiars are warriors bonded to a spellcaster, training along with spellcasters and well able to co-ordinate to achieve synergies. There are unsubstantiated rumors that some of these warriors are actually familiars able to assume humanoid form rather than humanoids able to take the form of a familiar.

Class Information

This is a fighter archetype, a spellcaster's bodyguard and tactical warrior.

Publisher: Trailseeker.

Role: Above all else, the fighting familiar's duty is the security of his charge; he is a living wall between his spellcaster ally and the enemy. Beyond that, he is a tactically minded warrior able to stay alert under a barrage of spells and powers, combining his considerable might with that of his bonded caster.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana)(Int), Knowledge (Religion)(Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are class features of the fighting familiar.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A fighting familiar is proficient with all simple weapons and all martial weapons, and is proficient with all forms of armor and shields, including tower shields.

Caster Bond (Su)

The fighting familiar can form a bond with a spellcaster to mutual benefit. This bond is life-long for some fighting familiars, while others are mercenary and bond with the highest bidder. Forming a bond is a full-round action touching the caster to bond with. The bonded caster must be a spellcaster. The bond lasts until either side formally renounces it (a full-round action) or until the fighting familiar makes a new bond with another caster.

The partners can sense the others mood, health, and the approximate distance and direction between them. If either uses a teleport power, they can choose to unerringly teleport to the partner instead of another destination if within rage. The bonded caster can cast any spell he can cast on himself on the fighting familiar, including spells with a personal range and spells that the fighting familiar is of the wrong creature type to benefit from.

In addition, the caster can choose to give up one of the following class features, to grant their fighting familiar the corresponding bonus. The previous benefits are instantly regained with no expenditure of time or money if the caster bond is broken.

Bonded Object: The fighting familiar can transform into the shape of the caster's bonded object. When in object form, the fighting familiar is not considered a creature and is immune to all effects that target creatures but can take no actions except to observe, communicate with his bonded caster, and change back. He is usually carried around by the bonded caster. He still perceives his surroundings normally and can change back into his own form as an immediate action. Once per day when touching the fighting familiar, the bonded caster can cast any one spell from their spellbook, just as with a normal bonded object. If the original bonded object is magical both the bonded caster and the fighting familiar gains the benefits of wearing that item.

Familiar or Animal Companion: If the bonded caster gives up a familiar or animal companion, the fighting familiar gains the ability to assume the shape of that familiar or animal companion as beast shape II. This counts as the druid's wild shape ability for using it with other items and abilities. At 7th level, the fighting familiar can speak to animals of its kind, as the familiar ability. If the bonded caster is a witch, the fighting familiar inherits the witch's familiar's spells, spell-teaching, and spell learning abilities. When the caster bond is broken, the caster instantly regains her previous familiar, and a witch's familiar inherits any spells the fighting familiar held for the witch while the fighting familiar loses these spells.

Divine Caster: A divine caster doesn't actually have to give anything up to gain the following power; as long as he is within 30 ft., the bonded divine caster can cast spells and use supernatural abilities on the fighting familiar as if they were touching. The fighting familiar can assume the form of the divine caster's holy symbol, just like the bonded object above, but he cannot power spells. The bonded familiar's alignment cannot be opposed to the divine caster's alignment (or that of her patron, if she has one) on either the law—chaos or good—evil axis.

Spell Storing (Su)

At 1st level, the fighting familiar can store one spell cast by his bonded caster. This works just as the spell storing magic weapon quality, except that the spell can be of a level up to half the fighting familiar's level, must be cast by the bonded caster, and that it is stored in the fighting familiar and can be released through any melee attack. If the bonded caster is within 30 ft. of the fighting familiar when the stored spell is released, the spell works as if it was cast by the bonded caster directly, in particular its save DC.

Bonded Resistance (Su)

As he increases in level, the fighting familiar becomes more and more resistant to the spells of his bonded caster. At 2nd level, the fighting familiar gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against the bonded caster's spells, and is completely immune to any of his bonded caster's spells he succeeds on a saving throw against. This bonus increases by +2 for every four levels beyond 2nd. He gains half this bonus (but no immunity) on saving throws against spells cast by allies other than his bonded caster.

Intercept (Ex)

At 2nd level, a fighting familiar gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his class level to his CMD when an opponent attempts an Acrobatics check to move through a square he threatens, and gains the same bonus on combat maneuver checks when using the Stand Still feat.

Armor Training (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a fighting familiar learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a fighting familiar can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a fighting familiar can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

Bodyguard Feats

A fighting familiar gains the following bonus feats at the listed levels, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites:

4th—Stand Still
12th—In Harm's WayAPG

If he already possesses a listed feat, he can instead take any other combat feat he meets the prerequisites for.

Bonded Targets (Ex)

At 5th level, a fighting familiar gains benefits when attacking the enemies of his bonded caster. A creature that has attacked or otherwise harmed or penalized either the fighting familiar or bonded caster, or any creature that the bonded caster has cast a non-harmless spell on or that has been in the area of one of the bonded caster's area-effect spells becomes a bonded target for 24 hours. Against a bonded target, the fighting familiar gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls. At 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the bonus from bonded targets increases by +1.

Untiring Defender (Ex)

At 6th level, a fighting familiar improves his ability to respond to enemy action and protect his allies. He may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to his Constitution bonus (minimum 1).

Improved Aid (Ex)

At 7th level, when a fighting familiar successfully uses the aid another action in combat, the bonus on the ally’s attack roll or to its Armor Class increases by +1 (from the aid another action's normal +2 bonus to +3). At 11th, 15th, and 19th level, the bonus increases by an additional +1, to a maximum aid other bonus of +6.

Retaliate (Ex)

At 10th level, when a creature threatened by the fighting familiar attacks an ally, he may make an attack of opportunity against that creature. As usual for attacks of opportunity, this happens before the enemy's attack.

Guard Step (Ex)

At 14th level the fighting familiar can take a 5 ft. step as an immediate action. This has no effect on the legionnaire's movement or actions later in the round.

Guardian (Ex)

At 16th level, once per day as an immediate action a fighting familiar can reroll a single attack roll or saving throw, or force an enemy to reroll an attack roll made against the fighting familiar or his bonded caster after the result of the attack roll is revealed. At 20th level, the fighting familiar can use this ability once per minute.

Hold the Line (Ex)

At 18th level, if a creature takes a 5-foot step out of the area threatened by a fighting familiar, or if the creature withdraws out of that area, it provokes an attack of opportunity from him.

Preemptive Strike (Ex)

At 19th level, a fighting familiar can make an attack of opportunity against a foe that moves into any square he threatens, regardless of whether or not this movement would normally provoke an attack of opportunity. This is in addition to any attacks of opportunity that enemy provokes, such as by moving out of a threatened square. He can use this ability once per round against each opponent.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever he gains a level in fighting familiar, the following races have the option of choosing an alternate bonus depending on their race.

Dwarf: Add +1/2 to the bonus granted by intercept.

Elf: Add +1 to CMD against trip and reposition maneuvers.

Gnome: Add a +1 bonus to Intimidate checks.

Half-Elf: Increase the bonus of armor training by 1/4.

Half-Orc: Add +1/2 points of damage to attacks of opportunity.

Halfling: Add a +1 bonus on attacks of opportunity against creatures 2 or more sizes larger than you.

Human: Add +1 bonus to your CMD to resist bull rush and overrun maneuvers.

Table: Fighting Familiar

Level Base
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Caster bond, spell storing
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Bonded resistance +2, intercept
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Armor training
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Stand Still
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Bonded targets +1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonded resistance +4, untiring defender
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Armor training, improved aid +3
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bodyguard
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Bonded targets +2
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Bonded resistance +6, retaliate
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Armor training, improved aid +4
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 In Harm's Way
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Bonded targets +3
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonded resistance +8, guard step
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Armor training, improved aid +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Guardian (1/day)
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Bonded targets +4
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonded resistance +10, hold the line
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Improved aid +6, preemptive strike
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Guardian (1/minute)

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