Familiar (Dungeons & Dragons)
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A familiar is a fictional creature in the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game. A familiar is based on the concept of the familiar spirit or familiar animal, and serves spellcasting characters as a magical companion and servant.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
In both first and second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, a familiar was summoned through the use of the spell find familiar.
Third edition Dungeons & Dragons
Familiars are companions of wizards and sorcerers. A Druid or Ranger cannot summon a familiar, but can summon an Animal Companion instead. Familiars can be summoned once per day. Multiclass ranger/druid with arcane user can summon both a familiar and an animal companion. These can be normal animals like panthers and pigs, but they can also be the strange creatures (Imps, Mephits, pixies, giant spiders, eyeballs, small dragons, etc.) Unlike creatures summoned by arcane or divine spell (Elementals, Planar Allies, Undead...), familiars do not unsummon while player is resting. They remain summoned until they are killed or unsummoned by player. When familiar is killed, his summoner receives some damage but he can summon new familiar, if he rested before combat.