Mythos Familiars

Sorcerers, wizards, and witches who delve into the mind-bending secrets of the Mythos often find that mundane familiars like ravens or owls make for poor companions along their journey. They choose less mundane creatures to aid them in unraveling these eldritch mysteries.

Brain Cylinder: See brain cylinder familiars, below.

Brazen Head: A brazen head is an intelligent item designed to serve as a familiar for anyone who takes the Improved Familiar feat and has an arcane caster level of at least 5th. A minor brazen head is generally found under mysterious circumstances (GM's discretion) and has its own agenda. Higher level spellcasters can bond with more potent brazen heads, but must purchase such a potent item, win it from a foe as normal treasure, or pay to improve a found minor brazen head.

Dreamlands Cat Familiar Sorcerer: Cats are a notable exception to the above, especially for those spellcasters who seek to explore the Dreamlands, and indeed a cat familiar can be a character on its own (see the familiar sorcerer archetype on their page). A player character can have an NPC Dreamlands cat sorcerer with the familiar sorcerer archetype as her familiar only if she has the Improved Familiar feat and at least caster level 5th, or if she has the cat as her cohort from the Leadership feat or a similar ability. If she gains the Dreamlands cat familiar using the Improved Familiar feat, the cat's sorcerer level is equal to her caster level –3.

Outer Mutant: Arcane spellcasters with the Improved Familiar feat can apply the mutated animal template (see Mythos Animal Companions) to a standard familiar if they are at least caster level 5th.

Brain Cylinder Familiars

Some spellcasters have developed a particularly unusual form of familiar—a mi-go brain cylinder. This eerie alien invention contains a living, thinking humanoid brain, one that can observe and interact with the world through a series of lenses, speakers, microphones and other devices built into the cylinder. For more information see its bestiary entry.

In most cases, when a spellcaster decides to take a brain cylinder as a familiar, the caster has discovered the cylinder during exploration of a sinister laboratory or mi-go outpost. The creation of the fluid within a brain cylinder is beyond the ken of humanity, but the ritual to form an arcane bond with an existing and fully functional brain cylinder is not.

A spellcaster who wishes to select a brain cylinder as a familiar must first take the Improved Familiar feat. Brain cylinder is a template, and as such, each one must be custom-created by the GM. The example brain cylinder presented on page 300 of this book should be taken as a typical cylinder, and is usually the type of brain selected for a familiar. The spellcaster’s alignment must be within one step of the brain cylinder’s alignment, and the brain in the cylinder must not be one capable of casting spells on its own (this interferes with the ritual that allows the arcane bond to form). The spellcaster must be of a level at least equal to the level of the brain in the cylinder to take it as a familiar; for the sample human scholar brain, this translates to a minimum caster level of 4th.

A brain cylinder has no method of moving on its own and is dependent on its bonded spellcaster for locomotion and protection. This also impacts some of the abilities it gains, as detailed below.

Sensory Link: If the master is within 30 feet of the brain cylinder, it can observe the world using all the master’s senses.

This ability replaces empathic link.

Master Telepathy: The brain cylinder gains the ability to communicate with its master via telepathy at a range of 100 feet.

This ability replaces improved evasion.

Augment Concentration: If the familiar is within 30 feet of its master, the master gains a +4 bonus on all concentration checks. In addition, the duration of any spell that includes concentration as part of the duration persists for an additional round after the master ceases concentrating.

This ability replaces deliver touch spells.

Mental Fortitude: When the master reaches caster level 5th, his telepathic and sensory link with the brain cylinder improves. Both master and brain cylinder gain a +2 insight bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects. In addition, when subjected to an attack that normally allows a Will saving throw for half damage, a brain cylinder familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

This ability replaces speak with master.

True Telepathy: The brain cylinder now has telepathy with all targets within 100 feet.

This ability replaces speak with animals of its kind.

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