Conjuring Companions: a Find Familiar 5e Guide

Written by: Staff



Time to read 17 min

Are you a wizard in search of the perfect mystical companion? Look no further than our comprehensive guide to Find Familiar 5e in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. In this article, we delve into the magical world of conjuration, uncovering everything you need to know about summoning and bonding with a familiar. Whether you seek a helpful sprite, a mischievous imp, or a wise owl, this guide will walk you through the process of finding and choosing the right familiar for your character. Learn how to perform the intricate rituals, decipher the cryptic incantations, and navigate the intricacies of contract negotiation (yes, familiars have employment terms too!) with ease. We'll explore the various options and abilities that familiars offer, from assisting in combat to aiding in spellcasting. Discover how these loyal companions can enhance your gameplay and help you overcome challenges with their unique abilities and special senses. Join us as we explore the vast and fascinating realm of familiars and embark on a mythical journey like no other. With our guide, you'll be conjuring the perfect companion in no time. Stay tuned for an enchanting adventure ahead.

Core Rules Benefits of using Find Familiar 5e

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the spell Find Familiar 5e is a unique and versatile option available primarily to wizards, though other classes can access it through feats or certain class features. Here's an overview of the core rules and description of the spell:

  • Level: 1st
  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: 1 hour
  • Range: 10 feet
  • Components: V, S, M (10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs that must be consumed by fire in a brass brazier)
  • Duration: Instantaneous


Find Familiar 5e allows the caster to summon a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form chosen by the caster. The familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (caster's choice) instead of a beast.

The forms that can be chosen typically include but are not limited to:

Familiar Type AC HP Speed Special Abilities
Bat Beast 12 1 5 ft., fly 30 ft. Echolocation, Keen Hearing
Cat Beast 12 2 40 ft. Keen Smell, Stealth
Crab Beast 11 2 20 ft., swim 20 ft. Amphibious, Blindsight
Frog (Toad) Beast 11 1 20 ft., swim 20 ft. Amphibious, Standing Leap
Hawk Beast 13 1 10 ft., fly 60 ft. Keen Sight
Lizard Beast 10 2 20 ft., climb 20 ft. -
Octopus Beast 12 3 5 ft., swim 30 ft. Amphibious, Ink Cloud (recharges after rest)
Owl Beast 11 1 5 ft., fly 60 ft. Flyby, Keen Hearing, Keen Sight
Poisonous Snake Beast 13 2 30 ft., swim 30 ft. Poisonous Bite
Quipper (Fish) Beast 13 1 swim 40 ft. Blood Frenzy
Rat Beast 10 1 20 ft. Darkvision, Keen Smell
Raven Beast 12 1 10 ft., fly 50 ft. Mimicry
Sea Horse Beast 11 1 swim 20 ft. Water Breathing
Spider Beast 12 1 20 ft., climb 20 ft. Spider Climb, Web Sense
Weasel Beast 13 1 30 ft. Keen Hearing, Keen Smell

  • AC (Armor Class): Determines how hard it is to hit the familiar with attacks.
  • HP (Hit Points): Indicates how much damage the familiar can take before it disappears.
  • Speed: Shows the movement capabilities of the familiar, including special movement types like flying, climbing, and swimming.
  • Special Abilities: Unique traits or capabilities of each familiar, which can be leveraged for various tactical and role-playing purposes.

Abilities and Characteristics

  • The familiar acts independently of the caster but always obeys the commands of its master, communicating telepathically with the caster over a distance of up to 100 feet.

  • In combat, the familiar rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn. A familiar can't attack, but it can take other actions as normal.

  • The familiar can serve as a scout, messenger, or guardian. It can also deliver touch spells cast by the wizard.

  • If the familiar is within 100 feet of the caster, the caster can see through the familiar's eyes and hear what it hears until the start of the caster's next turn, essentially using its sensory organs.

  • As a bonus action, the caster can temporarily dismiss their familiar into a pocket dimension from which it can be summoned back to any unoccupied space within 30 feet of the caster.

  • If the familiar drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. The spell must be cast again to summon the same familiar or a new one.

Having a familiar by your side can provide numerous benefits to your wizard character. Familiars are magical creatures that serve as companions, aides, and trusted allies. They offer unique abilities and special senses that can greatly enhance your gameplay.

One of the primary benefits of having a familiar is their ability to aid you in combat. Some familiars have the ability to deliver touch spells on your behalf, allowing you to keep a safe distance from your enemies while still delivering powerful attacks. Additionally, familiars can provide valuable assistance by granting advantage on ability checks, helping you succeed in important skill checks or saving throws.

Furthermore, familiars can serve as valuable scouts and spies. With their small size and stealthy nature, they can easily navigate through tight spaces and gather information for you. Their special senses, such as darkvision or keen hearing, can provide you with vital information about your surroundings, giving you an edge in exploration and avoiding potential dangers.

In addition to their practical benefits, familiars also add depth and flavor to your character's story. They can be roleplayed as loyal companions, trusted confidants, or mischievous troublemakers. Whether you're seeking a familiar for their practical advantages or for the storytelling opportunities they present, choosing the right familiar is crucial.

Strengths of Find Familiar

  1. Versatility in Role-Playing and Combat: A familiar can perform various tasks such as scouting, spying, and assisting in combat by delivering touch spells or helping with skill checks like Perception. This adds a layer of tactical depth and versatility to gameplay.

  1. Sensory Extension: The spell allows the caster to see through the familiar’s eyes and hear what it hears, making it an excellent tool for gathering information without putting the caster in harm's way. This ability can be crucial in avoiding ambushes or reconnoitering enemy positions.

  1. Remote Action Capability: Since the familiar can act independently and follow complex instructions, it can execute tasks in distant locations while the caster remains safely hidden or engaged in other activities. This can include triggering traps, carrying messages, or distracting enemies.

  1. Enhanced Communication: The telepathic link between the caster and the familiar works over a distance of up to 100 feet, enabling silent communication. This can be invaluable in situations where stealth is necessary or where verbal communication is otherwise impaired.

  1. Resummoning Flexibility: If the familiar is killed or dismissed, it can be resummoned with another casting of the spell. This flexibility allows it to be a recurring resource, unlike many other summoned entities that require new resources each time they are summoned.

Weaknesses of Find Familiar

  1. Fragility: Familiars have very few hit points and weak combat abilities, making them extremely vulnerable in direct combat situations. They can be easily killed by area-of-effect spells or by any direct attack.

  1. Cost of Casting: The material components required for Find Familiar are relatively expensive (10 gp) and are consumed by the spell. This cost can add up, especially in low-resource campaigns or if the familiar is frequently killed and resummoned.

  1. Limited Combat Actions: Familiars cannot attack, limiting their direct utility in combat situations. Their role is more supportive, focusing on aid, distraction, or the delivery of touch spells, rather than dealing damage.

  1. Dependency on Proximity: While the familiar offers excellent sensory extensions, this capability only works within 100 feet of the caster. If the familiar moves beyond this range, the caster loses the ability to communicate telepathically and use its senses, reducing its effectiveness for long-range scouting.

  1. Risk of Intelligence Gathering: Using a familiar for scouting or spying can be risky. If the familiar is captured or killed, it can give away the party's plans or intentions. Additionally, enemies might recognize the presence of a familiar as a sign that spellcasters are nearby, potentially compromising the element of surprise.

Choosing the Right Familiar for Your Character

When it comes to choosing a familiar, there are a variety of options available to suit different playstyles and character concepts. The Find Familiar spell offers a range of creatures to choose from, each with their own unique abilities and traits.

The first step in choosing the right familiar is to consider your character's personality and goals. Do you prefer a familiar that complements your character's strengths, or one that compensates for their weaknesses? Are you looking for a familiar that matches your character's alignment or one that provides an interesting contrast?

Next, consider the specific abilities and traits that each familiar offers. For example, an owl familiar provides the ability to fly, granting you excellent mobility and the ability to scout from above. On the other hand, a cat familiar offers keen senses, making it adept at detecting hidden enemies or traps.

It's also important to consider the familiar's size and shape. A smaller familiar, such as a sprite or imp, may be more discreet and easier to conceal, while a larger familiar, like a raven or hawk, may have a more imposing presence.

Ultimately, the choice of familiar will depend on your personal preferences and the needs of your character. Consider how the familiar will fit into your character's story and how they can contribute to your overall gameplay experience.

3 wizard companion choices find familiar 5e

Find Familiar 5e Spell Mechanics

The Find Familiar 5e spell is a fundamental aspect of conjuration magic that allows wizards to summon and bond with a familiar. Understanding the mechanics of the spell is crucial for successfully harnessing the power of these magical creatures.

To cast the Find Familiar 5e spell, a wizard must have the spell prepared and spend an hour performing an intricate ritual. During the ritual, the wizard must consume a small amount of charcoal, incense, and herbs, which are consumed by fire. The process creates a mystical bond between the wizard and the familiar, allowing them to share a telepathic connection.

Once the ritual is complete, the wizard can choose the form of their familiar from a list of options provided by the spell. The familiar appears in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of the wizard and takes on the chosen form. The familiar remains until it is dismissed by the wizard, killed, or until the wizard performs the ritual again.

It's important to note that the familiar is an otherworldly spirit, rather than a physical creature. It takes on the form of the chosen creature, but it is not considered a creature itself. This has implications for certain spells and abilities that target creatures, as well as for the familiar's ability to interact with the physical world.

How to Cast the Find Familiar 5e Spell

Casting the Find Familiar 5e spell requires careful preparation and a deep understanding of the arcane arts. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully cast the spell and summon your familiar.

1. Prepare Find Familiar 5e: Before you can cast the Find Familiar spell, you must have it prepared. Wizards have a limited number of spells they can prepare each day, so choose wisely.

2. Gather the materials: The Find Familiar 5e spell requires specific materials to cast. You will need a small amount of charcoal, incense, and herbs. These materials are consumed by fire during the ritual.

3. Perform the ritual: Find a quiet and secluded area where you can perform the ritual undisturbed. Light a small fire and place the charcoal, incense, and herbs on it. As the materials burn, focus your mind on the desired form of your familiar.

4. Establish the telepathic bond: As the ritual progresses, you will begin to feel a connection forming between yourself and the familiar. Concentrate on this connection and open your mind to the telepathic link.

5. Choose the form of your familiar: Once the bond is established, you can choose the form of your familiar from the options provided by the spell. Visualize the chosen form clearly in your mind and project it onto the spirit.

6. Complete the ritual: As the ritual comes to a close, the familiar will materialize in the chosen form within 10 feet of you. Take a moment to bond with your new companion and establish your expectations and boundaries.

7. Maintaining the bond: To maintain the bond with your familiar, you must regularly spend time with them and take care of their needs. This can include providing food and shelter, as well as showing them affection and appreciation.

By following these steps, you will successfully cast the Find Familiar 5e spell and summon your loyal companion. Remember to treat your familiar with respect and care, as they are not mere tools, but living beings with their own thoughts and feelings.

Enhancing Your Familiar's Abilities

While Find Familiar 5e have inherent abilities and traits, there are ways to enhance their capabilities and make them even more valuable to your wizard character. Here are a few strategies for maximizing the potential of your familiar.

Invest in their training: Familiars can learn new tricks and abilities through training. Spend time teaching your familiar new skills that align with their natural abilities. For example, if you have an owl familiar, teach them to scout ahead and report back to you with valuable information.

Equip them with magical items: Just like your character, familiars can benefit from magical items. Consider equipping your familiar with items that enhance their abilities or provide useful bonuses. For example, a collar of protection can increase their AC, while a ring of spell storing can allow them to store and deliver spells.

Improve their combat capabilities: Familiars can be valuable allies in combat, especially when utilized effectively. Consider using spells or abilities that can buff your familiar's combat capabilities, such as enhancing their damage or granting them additional attacks. Additionally, positioning your familiar strategically can provide tactical advantages, such as flanking or distracting enemies.

Utilize their special senses: Familiars often possess special senses, such as darkvision or keen hearing. Take advantage of these senses during exploration and combat encounters. Familiars can detect hidden enemies, traps, or secret doors, giving you an edge in dangerous situations.

a weasel wizard companion from find a familair 5e

Find Familiar 5e - Best Uses for Familiars in Gameplay

Familiars can serve a variety of purposes in gameplay, depending on your character's needs and the situation at hand. Here are some common uses for familiars that can greatly enhance your gameplay experience.

1. Scouting and reconnaissance: Familiars excel at scouting and gathering information. Their small size and stealthy nature make them ideal for infiltrating enemy territory or exploring dangerous areas. Use your familiar to gather intelligence, detect traps, or search for hidden treasures.

2. Delivering touch spells: Familiars can deliver touch spells on your behalf, keeping you safe while still allowing you to deliver powerful attacks. This can be especially useful if you're a wizard with low hit points or if you want to maintain a safe distance from your enemies.

3. Assisting in skill checks: Familiars can provide advantage on ability checks, increasing your chances of success. Whether it's a perception check to spot hidden enemies or a stealth check to remain undetected, your familiar's assistance can make a significant difference.

4. Providing support in combat: Familiars can aid you in combat by distracting enemies, providing flanking opportunities, or delivering helpful spells. Their small size and agility make them difficult to hit, allowing them to provide tactical advantages. Additionally, some familiars have special abilities that can debuff enemies or heal allies.

5. Serving as a messenger: Familiars can deliver messages or items to allies or contacts, even over long distances. Their ability to fly or move quickly can make them invaluable for delivering urgent information or retrieving important items.

snowy owl companion from 5e find familiar

Advanced Strategies for Utilizing Familiars in Combat

To get the most out of your familiar in combat, it's important to employ advanced strategies that maximize their effectiveness. Here are a few tips to help you utilize your familiar to their fullest potential.

Coordinate with your familiar: Establish clear communication and coordination with your familiar before entering combat. Develop a set of signals or commands that both you and your familiar understand. This will allow you to seamlessly direct your familiar's actions during combat.

Use your familiar's mobility: Familiars often possess excellent mobility, such as flying or high movement speed. Utilize their mobility to your advantage by positioning them strategically on the battlefield. They can flank enemies, provide advantageous positions for spellcasting, or distract foes to give you an opening for attack.

Leverage their special abilities: Familiars have unique abilities that can greatly impact combat encounters. For example, familiars with the ability to turn invisible can provide excellent opportunities for surprise attacks or scouting. Familiars with the ability to deliver spells can be used to debuff enemies or provide healing to allies.

Protect your familiar: Familiars are vulnerable creatures, and their loss can be a significant setback. Take steps to protect your familiar during combat, such as positioning them out of harm's way or using defensive spells or abilities to keep them safe. Remember that losing your familiar does not mean the end of your character, but it can have a significant impact on your capabilities.

Best Familiars for each class.

Choosing the best familiar from the Find Familiar spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition can significantly enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of different character classes. Here's a guide to selecting the ideal familiar based on your character's class and role:

1. Wizard

  • Owl: Due to its Flyby ability, which allows it to avoid opportunity attacks, an owl is perfect for safely delivering touch spells in combat. Additionally, its keen sight and hearing aid in reconnaissance and maintaining a watch during rest periods.

2. Warlock (Pact of the Chain)

  • Imp: For Pact of the Chain Warlocks, an imp offers superior invisibility, resistance to fire and cold, and the ability to shape-shift. This versatility is invaluable for spying, scouting, and even attacking in combat scenarios.
  • Pseudodragon: Another great choice for its telepathic bond and poison-inducing sting, providing a blend of utility and combat support.

3. Sorcerer

  • Cat: Cats are nimble and have a high stealth bonus, making them excellent at undetected exploration and gathering information in urban and densely populated areas.
  • Raven: Offers mimicry skills which can be creatively used for deceiving enemies and gathering information.
a wizzard looking through his books with his lizard compaion

4. Ranger

  • Hawk or Owl: Both are excellent for rangers, enhancing their natural scouting abilities and providing aerial perspectives of the landscape.
  • Snake: Can be thematic for a ranger, useful for its stealth and ability to deliver poisonous bites, adding an extra layer of defense or subterfuge in natural environments.

FAQ for Find Familiar in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

How to get find familiar 5e?

To get the Find Familiar 5e spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, you typically follow one of these routes:

  1. Wizard Class: Wizards have access to Find Familiar 5e and can select it when choosing their spells. It needs to be inscribed in their spellbook.

  2. Warlock Pact: Warlocks can gain access through the Pact of the Chain feature, which offers an enhanced version of the Find Familiar 5e spell.

  3. Feat: Any character can gain access to this spell by taking the Magic Initiate feat, choosing Wizard, and selecting Find Familiar 5e as one of their spells.

  4. Magic Items: Certain magic items, like a scroll of Find Familiar 5e, can also grant you the ability to cast this spell, typically once, unless you have the means to copy it into a spellbook (for wizards).

How to use find familiar 5e?

To use the Find Familiar 5espell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the Spell: Ensure you have the spell Find Familiar 5e in your spellbook if you are a Wizard, or otherwise have access to it through your class features or a magical item.

  2. Gather Components: Obtain the material components required for the spell, which include 10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs. These must be consumed by fire in a brass brazier during the casting.

  3. Cast the Spell: Spend 1 hour casting the spell, at the end of which your familiar appears in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of you. You can choose the form of your familiar from the specified list (e.g., cat, owl, bat, etc.).

  4. Command Your Familiar: Once summoned, your familiar acts independently but always obeys your commands. It can move and take actions on its own turn in combat, but it cannot attack.

  5. Utilize Special Abilities: Use your familiar for tasks like scouting, delivering touch spells, aiding allies in combat, and gathering information. You can communicate telepathically with your familiar if it is within 100 feet of you, and you can also see through its eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn.

  6. Resummon if Needed: If your familiar is killed or you wish to change its form, you can recast the spell to either bring it back or summon a new one in a different form.

Can I have more than one familiar at a time with this spell?

No, the Find Familiar 5e spell only allows you to have one familiar at a time. If you cast the spell while already having a familiar, you instead cause it to adopt a new form or reappear at your side if it was temporarily dismissed.

Does my familiar have its own turn in combat?

Yes, your familiar has its own initiative and acts on its own turn. While it cannot attack, it can move and take other actions as normal, such as using the Help action to aid you and your allies.

Can I change the form of my familiar when I resummon it?

Yes, each time you cast the Find Familiar 5e spell, you can choose a different animal form for your familiar, allowing you to adapt to new situations or simply change your companion for role-playing reasons.

What happens if my familiar is killed?

If your familiar's hit points drop to 0, it disappears, leaving no physical form. It can be resummoned with another casting of the Find Familiar 5e spell. The material components required for recasting (charcoal, incense, and herbs worth 10 gp) are consumed by the spell.

How does my familiar deliver touch spells?

If a spell has a range of touch, you can cast it and have your familiar deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it.

Can my familiar attack enemies?

No, a familiar cannot attack. However, it can perform other actions on its turn such as Help, which can provide tactical advantages to you and your allies in combat, such as granting advantage on attack rolls.

What kinds of animals can I choose for my familiar?

You can choose from the following forms for your familiar: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, quipper (fish), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel. Each form has unique abilities and stats that can be tactically advantageous.

What is the Find Familiar spell?

Find Familiar 5e is a 1st-level conjuration spell used primarily by Wizards, though it can be accessed by other classes through certain features or items. It allows you to summon a spirit that takes an animal form of your choice from a specified list. The familiar acts independently but follows your commands and can serve various roles such as scout, messenger, and helper in combat scenarios.