Familiars...and forced to write longer thread titles is stupid, there I said it

Is there any mention (in 2e only please) of wizard familiars?

It does not appear to be part of the lore, despite being allowed by the rules.

Have you seen examples in adventures or whatever?

Denning writes nothing about it. Maetan of Lubar does create an homunculus on the fly, but not the same thing.

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In Terrors Beyond Tyr, the psionocus is specifically said to usable ad a familiar. Find Familiar (and a table of them) is a spell in the Revised Boxed Set. There might be more, but meh.

So, yeah, its totally a thing.


I think Pennarin is asking about an example of an NPC with a familiar instead of tables and whatnot. I asked a similar question about elemental advanced beings in the past. There are rules for them in Dragon Kings, but as far as NPCs in the setting goes, they do not exist.

redking has it

Rules aside, have you seen one mentioned?

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Brax, in a 3e product, added the one instance of an elemental advanced being. In Faces of the Forgotten North, in Egendo’s backstory.

But in 2e, none.

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I remember. Egendo’s cohort. The 3.5e version of elemental apotheosis was not quite the transformation into an advanced being.

Anyway, I can’t think of any examples of familiars in relation to NPCs. Since they most certainly exist, I’ll suggest that many (most?) Athasian wizards take ACFs (in 3.5e terms) that eschew a familiar in favour of some other benefit.

How about this.

Eschew Familiar (ACF)

You give up having a familiar in order to conserve spell components.

Benefit: You do not get a familiar at 1st level. Instead you get the Eschew Materials feat.

Wasn’t he the guy that killed the previous Butcher of Dwarves? Than later sacrificed himself to imprison Egendo?

Yep, what I suspected: familiars, despite being a staple of vanilla D&D, are not part of the Dark Sun theme(s), so much so the novelists and gamebook writers did not include a single example.

As far as I know, he is Sunspot, Egendo’s cohort.

I wouldn’t say familiars go against the theme, they just don’t do much to advance the Dark Sun themes.

In the campaign setting, perhaps Athasians do not like familiars because the death of a familiar imposes costs on the master

There’s a guy in…the Year of Priest’s Defiance adventure (i think) that has a Jarbo that accompanies him. I don’t recall what he is mechanically, but the Jarbo definitely fills a familiar/ animal companion-type roll.

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Found it. Faces, page 30. Unamed Earth King of Hogalay, imprisons Egendo.

“A cleric of incredible power, the dwarf was more stone than living being, having made a powerful pact with the elemental lords of Earth.”

I found one! The founder of Urik’s Veiled Alliance was a preserver named Vintalus. The Veiled Alliance book says he was one of the council members of Tyr’s Veiled Alliance whose familiar tipped him off that he’d been identified by Kalak’s guards. So Vintalus fled to Urik and established an alliance there. No details on what creature it was though but a canonical reference to someone having a familiar! (VA, p. 79)


Well done. I’d say that puts this matter to rest.

Good catch!

This thread being laid to rest, sure, but not the discrepancy. The thread has demonstrated that, out of those that participated in the discussion, there is no clear explanation for their general absence.

Cost is a factor, inconspiciousness is another.

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Cultural or other factors. Perhaps outside the Tyr region they are more common.