- This article is about the creature; for the feat, see Summon familiar.
A familiar is a special type of associate for the primary arcane spellcasters (sorcerers and wizards). It is a creature that is magically linked to its owner and able to assist in combat or scouting. If the creature dies, the caster loses 1d6 hit points, but the familiar will be available to summon again the next day. Familiars gain levels as their master gains sorcerer or wizard levels. Most familiars gain additional abilities every 5 levels, but there are a number of exceptions to this guideline. See the articles about the individual familiars for details.
A familiar can be summoned once per day, but unlike a summon, familiars are not unsummoned upon resting. They are, on the other hand, unsummoned upon taking a new level (even if not in a class that has a familiar). Like animal companions, a familiar can be restored to full hit points by talking to it and choosing the option to feed it.
Familiars — unlike all other associates — can be possessed by their master. This possession causes the master to stand motionless while the summoner controls the familiar. Any interaction with the master by a third creature ends the possession.
A player has full control of a familiar while possessing it, allowing for effective scouting and application of the familiar's abilities (such as the pixie's disarm traps skill). The familiar's inventory, however, is still inaccessible. While possessed, a familiar's spell-like abilities can be found in the "More Special Abilities" (top-left) subradial of the "Special Abilities" (leftmost) option in the radial menu.
Possession is initiated through the radial menu, with the option appearing in both the summoner's and the familiar's menus. In the summoner's menu, the option appears where "Summon Familiar" had been (unlike a quickslot assigned to "Summon Familiar", which becomes "Unsummon" while a familiar is present). In the familiar's menu, the option appears both under class "Special Abilities" (leftmost) and "More Actions" (top-left).
While possessing a familiar, the master is immune to mind-affecting effects.