New Class -- The Greater Familiar

The greater familiar is a new core character class introduced in the NW sourcebook. The Open Game Content portion of it is reproduced below for your convenience. More information is available in the NW sourcebook.

The Greater Familiar

Game Rule Information
Greater Familiars have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Intelligence or Charisma are very important
for a greater familiar, depending on whether they will
serve a wizard or a sorcerer.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills
The Familiar’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually)(Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Humanoid familiars are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Noble animal familiars gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or defensive attitudes.

Gift of Understanding (Su): As long as you have a bonded master, you can perceive magic from his realm even if you are from the other realm as if you had the Gift of Understanding Feat. This ability goes away if you lose your master, leave your master, or begin advancing as a spell-caster of any type.

Counterspells (Sp): While unable to cast spells of your own, you can use the knowledge you have gained through your association with mages, along with your own innate magical energies, to counter a spell that you recognize as it is being cast. As a familiar, you cannot learn spells on your own, but you automatically know any spells that your master knows. You do not need prepare your counterspells in advance, but can instead counter any spell you know up to the given number of times a day. You gain bonus counterspells based on your Intelligence score. When a spell caster starts a spell, you get a chance to identify it with a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If you do, and if you can cast that counterspell (you know it and have it prepared), you can cast the counterspell and automatically ruin the other spell caster’s spell. Counterspelling works even if one spell is
divine and the other arcane.

A familiar can only counterspell magic from the realm of his master. In other words, an animal familiar with a human master can only cast counterspells against humanoid magic, and not animal magic. If the master has the Gift of Understanding feat, then the familiar can counter both types of spells.

A familiar gains bonus counterspells just like a Sorcerer or Wizard gains bonus spells based on their Charisma or Intelligence. The ability used to determine the bonus counterspells is the same as that used by the familiar’s master. If a familiar loses its master and then gains one of a different class (ie: her former master was a Sorcerer, and her new master is a Wizard), then the ability used to determine bonus spells switches to match the new master.

Bond of Partnership (Su): As a familiar, you share a powerful bond with your master. Because of this, if your master is ever killed or if he dismisses you, you must attempt a DC 15 Fort save. Failure means you lose 200 experience points per level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. If you lose your master, you cannot gain levels as a familiar until you find a new master of a level equal to your own. Without a master, most of your class features are worthless, so it is a good idea to keep your master safe.

Alertness (Ex): You gain the Alertness feat, and as long as you are within arms reach of your master, he gains the effect as well.

Improved Evasion (Ex): You gain the benefits of the rogue ability Improved Evasion.

Familiar Benefit (Su): You grant a special benefit to your master based on your species. The table below details the benefit granted by certain species. If your species is not on this table, then the benefit is either:
o +3 bonus to skill checks that your species has a racial bonus in,
o +2 bonus to a save that your species has a racial bonus in,
o +1 Natural Armor bonus if your species has a Natural Armor bonus of +4 or better,
o +5 foot bonus to base speed, if your species has a base Speed of 40 feet or more.

When choosing the benefit, go down this list and choose the first one you qualify for.

Familiar Special
Dwarf Master gains a +2 bonus on saves versus magic
Elf Master gains immunity to magical sleep effects
Gnome Master gains 1 additional 1st level spell of the illusion school per day.
Halfling Master gains a +3 bonus to Hide checks
Human Master gains a +3 bonus to Diplomacy checks
Noble Bat Master gains a +3 bonus on Listen checks
Noble Cat Master gains a +3 bonus on Move Silently checks
Noble Hawk Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in bright light
Noble Lizard Master gains a +3 bonus on Climb checks
Noble Owl Master gains a +3 bonus on Spot checks in shadows
Noble Rat Master gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves
Noble Raven Master gains a +3 bonus on Appraise checks
Noble Snake Master gains a +3 bonus on Bluff checks
Noble Toad Master gains +3 hit points
Noble Weasel Master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves
Orc Master gains a +3 bonus to Intimidate checks

Share Master’s Spells (Su): At your master’s option, he may have any spell he casts on himself also affect you. You must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell has a duration otherthan instantaneous, it stops affecting you if you move farther than 5 feet away and will not affect you again even if you return to your master before the duration expires. Additionally, your master may cast a spell with a target of “You” on you (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself.

Empathic Link with Master (Su): Your master has an empathic link with you out to a distance of 1 mile. Your master cannot see through your eyes, but you can communicate empathically with each other. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.

Deliver Master’s Touch Spells (Su): At 3rd level you gain the ability to deliver your master’s touch spells as if you had cast them. As usual, if your master casts another spell before you deliver the touch, the touch spell dissipates.

Telepathy with Master (Su): At 5th level the link between you and your master matures into true telepathy. You can communicate anything you could through speaking, at a range of up to 1 mile.

Metamagic Feats: At 6th, 13th, and 20th levels you gain metamagic feats that you can apply to spells cast by your master. In order to grant the benefit of one of these feats you must be within 5 feet of your master, and choose to let him use it.

Spell Resistance (Su): At 11th level, you gain spell resistance equal to your Greater Familiar level +5. To affect you with a spell, a spell caster other than your master must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds your spell resistance.

Master can scry on you (Su): At 12th level, your master may scry on you (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

Scry on Master (Su): At 14th level, you may scry on your master (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

Ex Familiars
If you ever take any levels in any spell-casting character class (arcane or divine), you can never again advance as a familiar. Assassins, Paladins, and Rangers are not spell-casting classes until they reach the level at which they are first granted spells.

Greater Familiar Character Class

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Natural Special Counterspells/Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 +1 Gift of Understanding, Alertness, Improved Evasion, Familiar Benefit 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 +1 Share Master’s Spells, Empathic Link with Master 3 1
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 +2 Deliver Master’s Touch Spells 4 2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 +2 4 2 1
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 +3 Telepathy with Master 4 3 2
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 +3 Metamagic Feat 4 3 2 1
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 +4 4 3 3 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 +4 4 4 3 2 1
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 +5 4 4 3 3 2
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 +5 4 4 4 3 2 1
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 +6 Spell Resistance 4 4 4 3 3 2
12th +6 +4 +4 +8 +6 Master Can Scry on You 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
13th +6 +4 +4 +8 +7 Metamagic Feat 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
14th +7 +4 +4 +9 +7 Scry on Master 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
15th +7 +5 +5 +9 +8 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
16th +8 +5 +5 +10 +8 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
17th +8 +5 +5 +10 +9 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
18th +9 +6 +6 +11 +9 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
19th +9 +6 +6 +11 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
20th +10 +6 +6 +12 +10 Metamagic Feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3

New Class -- The Greater Familiar

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