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Find Familiar 5e D&D Guide

Find Familiar 5e D&D Guide

Find Familiar is a 1st-level spell belonging to the Wizard spell list.

Wizards don’t naturally excel at close combat, making a familiar an excellent way to influence the frontline without bombarding their party with spells.

Find the Player’s Handbook specifics below:

Find Familiar 5e

Casting Time: 1 hour

Range: 10 feet

Components: V, S, M (10 GP worth of charcoal, incense, and assorted herbs that will be consumed by fire in a brass brazier)

Duration: Instantaneous

The caster gains assistance from a familiar, a spirit that takes the form of an animal chosen by the caster. Familiars appear in an unoccupied area within range, and their statistics correlate to their chosen form.

Familiars act independently of their masters. Still, they will always follow their master’s commands.

Players can only have one familiar at a time. Trying to cast Find Familiar while a current familiar is present will instead cause the current being to adopt a new form.

The caster will then need to choose from one of the familiar types (found below) again, transforming the current familiar into their chosen creature.

Familiar Types

Bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel.

Note: Familiars are celestial, fey, or fiend (caster’s choice) rather than a beast.

Familiar Combat

Familiars in combat have their initiatives rolled on their own while acting on their turn. A familiar cannot attack; however, it can perform other actions normally.

Familiar Death

Upon dropping to 0 hit points, a spawned familiar vanishes, leaving no physical trace behind and only reappearing after the Find Familiar spell is cast.

As an action, familiars can be dismissed temporarily to a pocket dimension.

If players want the temporarily dismissed familiar to instantly reappear in an unoccupied space within 30 feet of them, then they can simply use an action to make it reappear.

Alternatively, players can also dismiss a familiar forever.

Note: When the familiar disappears or is brought to 0 hit points, all the equipment it was wearing or carrying is left behind.

Familiar Additions

Familiars within 100 feet of their caster can telepathically communicate with them on both the familiar’s and caster’s sides.

Furthermore, players can also use an action to gaze through the eyes and hear through the ears of their familiar.

Note: This effect lasts until the start of the player’s next turn.

The caster will also receive unique benefits the chosen creature possesses. However, while going into this state, the caster becomes blind and deaf, disregarding their senses.

Finally, if Find Familiar was cast with a range of touch, the spawned familiar can deliver Find Familiar as if it had cast the spell.

The familiar must be within 100 feet of the caster and must use a reaction to deliver Find Familiar when you cast it.

Note: Players should use their attack modifier if the spell requires an attack roll.

Is Find Familiar Good?

Find Familiar is an excellent early-game spell. It is great when used supportively and can be used in various ways to assist an entire party inside or outside a battle.

Advantages of Find Familiar

Low Cost

Even though Find Familiar has a Material component to be cast, the parts are relatively cheap and readily available.

Example: Feathers can be found easily in nests near trees or ridges, while players can find fur in the woods and shells of animals near their watery homes.

Low Level

Find Familiar is a level-one spell, meaning it only requires players to cast it using a level-one spell slot.

Level 2 Wizards would already have unlocked three 1st-level spell slots, meaning they can cast powerful spells while using their supportive Find Familiar spell.

Greater Party Numbers

The more players there are in a party, the less dangerous the world of D&D can be (well, mostly).

Find Familiar can support smaller parties who require someone to tank damage, distract enemies, scout, or just make them feel less lonely. Luckily for them, Find Familiar can do all of that!

Drawbacks of Find Familiar

Short Range

Find Familiar is a close-range (10ft) spell that periodically puts the caster out of action for 1-hour if cast.

Therefore, before players wish to enter a battle with their familiar, always take time to spawn it beforehand. Be careful; if it perishes in battle, it must be summoned again.

Class Availability

Find Familiar traditionally belongs only to the Wizard’s spell list. However, classes and subclasses like the Bard and Eldritch Knight (Fighter) can also use this spell.

Don’t make a mistake and pick Find Familiar when there are many other better conjuration spells like Spirit Guardians, Conjure Animals and Find Greater Steed at higher levels.

Optimizing Find Familiar

Optimizing a spell is the best way to use that spell effectively. In the case of Find Familiar, its non-combat role comes in handy in more than a few places throughout a campaign.

Scouting Advantage

Whether a party is in a bustling tavern, cold castle, peaked mountain range, dark forest, or thick swamp, scouting remains a beneficial skill.

Choose wisely, as some suit a position better than others. Bats, Hawks, and Owls are outstanding in the air.

Cats, rats, and ravens are great for stealth or mimicry. Frogs and fish are great in wet conditions.

Note: Always plan ahead of time, as it takes a while (1 hour) to cast the spell.

Help Action

Help is an action a familiar can take (as they cannot attack) to aid another target.

It gives the target an advantage on the next ability check they take, helping with the task. It can also give an edge on a target’s next attack against a creature 5 feet away.

Help is a great action that provides a party with endless benefits on and off the battlefield.

Final Thoughts

Find Familiar is a spell that can make a whole D&D campaign more enjoyable. Not only does it provide many benefits for each party member, but it also acts as an additional party member.

Who wouldn’t want an octopus familiar riding on the top of the bard’s head while he sings his song?

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