Magical Familiars

Here is an idea for a talent that describes familiars. Some of a familiar’s abilities are keyed to caster bonus rather than level bonus; this is deliberate, the intent being that characters who prioritise magical training will naturally have better ties to their familiars. Depending on how spell-like abilities tie into caster bonuses, this might need adjusted?

Tier Benefit
Basic Your familiar provides a +3 bonus to a certain skill (within 1 mile). It uses its master’s saves and BAB if greater than its own. It and the master have an empathic link (out to 1 mile), and it can share personal-effect spells cast by the master. A familiar’s Intelligence score is equal to (2 + master’s caster training bonus).
Expert The familiar can deliver touch spells for its master, if it was in contact with the master at casting time. The familiar can speak with its master.
Heroic The familiar can speak with others of its kind. It acquires a spell resistance bonus equal to its master’s caster training bonus.
Master The master can spend from his Intelligence pool to scry on his familiar. The familiar can speak any language known to its master.
Champion The familiar can turn into a creature of the same species as its master’s natural form; treat as an Alternate Form ability.
Legendary The master can turn into a creature of the same species as the familiar (same terms as above). He can communicate with others of that kind, in either form. The familiar can act as a “walking spell slot”; its master can prepare a number of spells with levels totalling at most his caster training bonus into the familiar. The familiar can cast these just as if it were a caster itself.

Alternative progression

This version moves things up slightly at the lower tiers so that a Basic familiar is less obviously magical.

Tier Benefit
Basic Your familiar has Intelligence 2 and is unswervingly loyal to you, but is otherwise a normal animal of its kind.
Expert Your familiar provides a +3 bonus to a certain skill (within 1 mile). It uses its master’s saves and BAB if greater than its own. It and the master have an empathic link (out to 1 mile), and it can share personal-effect spells cast by the master. A familiar’s Intelligence score is equal to (2 + half master’s caster bonus). The familiar can speak with others of its kind.
Heroic The familiar can deliver touch spells for its master, if it was in contact with the master at casting time. The familiar can speak with its master. It acquires a spell resistance bonus equal to its master’s caster bonus.
Master (as above)
Champion (as above)
Legendary (as above)

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