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Fancy Familiars for 5E D&D

D&D Ideas -- Tragedy
Take Shelter from the Frostmaiden Inside Wizkids 5E D&D Icewind Dale Papercraft Sets

Most of us know when it comes to fifth edition Dungeons & dragons usually you cannot directly pick your familiars. The familiars more or less choose you. This mystery and gamble so to say offers a lot of suspense and curiosity to the general game play. The great thing about any 5E D&D game is you can always expand and allow for more options of course within the agreed upon terms with your Dungeon Master and fellow adventurers.

Flock of familiars ftw

Can you really have them all? This amounts to even more mayhem of Fancy Familiars in my mind. I would be the player who would have a zoo behind me!

Personally I have only played a handful of magic users so my list of familiars is relatively restrictive to an orange tabby cat named Peaches, a weasel named Terri and one flying snake named Steve. The process of each of the familiars was a unique and fun experience and a great opportunity for roleplaying. Steve was quite sassy and this made for quite a bit of fun roleplaying to see a necromancer type wizard seemingly talking and screaming to presumably no one.  Peaches, however regrettably, was played during in an earlier edition and unfortunately he perished in a fireball incident.

Regardless of the unfortunate outcome Peaches did have a custom made bag for the orange tabby to travel inside comfortably. This begs the question of dressing up familiars or adding fancy familiars to your game. Ridiculousness and creativity always adds another layer of fun to any game of 5E D&D!

I offer you some easy alternate styles of in place familiars making them fancy familiars. My previous DMs have always had me roll for a successful choice. Instead of slapping a bowtie and top hat onto your crab maybe you get super lucky and the crab actually has some toxic poisonous ability, so the crab is green. Or another option would be a mood color changing sprite. If it is red don’t touch it!

Obviously I am a big fan of the almiraj and the tressym. These creatures are unique and make playing a magic user all the more fun with unique interesting familiars. I for one have never had one of these but I did try for the almiraj a couple of times!

Fancy familiars of 5E D&D — pugicorn

Going off the unique and exciting creatures that could be a wonderful addition to potential familiars ideas off the top of my head include minitaur, a skeletal dog, an aggressive chicken, zombie kobold and a cute plump french bulldog.

In 5E D&D each of the familiars has its own set of skills and stats. When looking at creating your own for a homebrew addition you could either copy stats and slightly tweak them or start from scratch.

Much to my husband’s horror I made a homebrew Pugicorn for 5E D&D. I love the almiraj so much I started to think what about a pugicorn? The idea behind this fancy familiar is it is so cute and unique it shocks NPCs or characters meeting it for the first time. Pugs are all the rage right now and it is very common even in real life for people — especially kids — to see a pug and go, “AWWWWWWWWWWWWW a pug!!”

I for one have almost walked into a mailbox looking at a cute pug before. The pugicorn in natural pug fashion also has a keen Perception for food. In theory the pugicorn could probably spear someone with its little horn but the sheer physics and mental image of it trying to manage an intentional stab is more comical than practical. Maybe it has a higher to hit or a major fumble. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: I can’t think of a creature with a horn without remembering the fun variations we created for 5E D&D unicorns back in the day.]


Tiny beast, any good alignment

Armor Class 8

Hit Points 3 (1d4 +1)

Speed 5 ft.

  • Strength. 2 (-4)
  • Dexterity. 6 (-2)
  • Constitution. 13 (+1)
  • Intelligence. 10 (+0)
  • Wisdom. 8 (-1)
  • Charisma. 16 (+3)

Skills Persuasion +5

Senses passive Perception 9

Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Aura of Cute. Awww! The pugicorn is just so cute. NPCs and creatures within 15 feet of the pugicorn that can see it are distracted by its cuteness and have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

Food Sense. The pugicorn has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks when edible food is involved.


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.

Familiars are great additions to 5E D&D gaming and can be useful. So let us know what sorts of Fancy Familiars do you have in your homebrew games? Which of the familiars is your favorite?

*Featured image — Cute French Bulldog dog dressed up with Halloween costume in shape of pink knitted unicorn hat from Adobe Stock.

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