[Top 10] D&D Best Familiars That Are Excellent

Familiars can be great to have in RPGs to serve as companions, confidantes, and additional party members. They can also add fun to a role-playing adventure, especially if they misbehave. Although Familiars are independent, they do obey the wishes of the PC (within reason.)The classes that traditionally have familiars are Artificers, Bards, Paladins, Warlocks, and Wizards. However, if your character is multiclass and/or if your GM is open to it, other spellcasting classes may be able to conjure up a friend to take on the road. 

When I think of familiars in popular culture, I think of Hedwig, the famous owl from the Harry Potter series, or Salem, the cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (If you want to be specific, Salem’s full name is Salem Saberhagen.) Obviously, the owl and the cat will make this list, but what other familiars can be used in your next adventure? Read on to find out. 

10. Bat

Bats will make great Familiars if the campaign takes place in darkness and wide spaces, because they can fly and navigate darkness well. They also have acute hearing and have a bonus on wisdom checks that rely on hearing.

What makes Bat Great

  • Bats are nearsighted but have what is called blindsight up to 60 ft. This is great if there is minimal light in an encounter. 
  • Bats also have a +2 Proficiency Bonus. 

Bat details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Bat

9. Cat

Cats make excellent familiars because they are the fastest climbers and travelers on land. Like dogs, cats have a keen sense of smell and can detect scents that others miss. Despite their reputation for aloofness, cats, like other Familiars on this list, are loyal and compliant. 

What makes Cat Great

  • In combat, cats can use their claws to inflict slashing damage. 
  • Cats are perceptive (+3) and stealthy (+4).  
  • Cats can climb up to 30 feet. 

Cat details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Cat

8. Hawk

Hawks are strong Familiars for several reasons: flies fast, high armor class (13), highest perception in the air, and strong talons to slash opponents. Read on to find out why hawks are amazing Familiars!

What makes Hawk Great

  • Hawks have keen sight, meaning they have a Wisdom advantage on Perception checks. 
  • This creature also has +5 to strike with their talons. 
  • Hawks can fly up to 60 feet. 

Hawk details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Hawk

7. Lizard

Lizards are small and mighty creatures that would make for a good familiar. Since they are tiny, they may be unnoticeable to enemies during an encounter. Read on to find out why lizards are good companions and familiars!

What makes Lizard Great

  • Lizards have Darkvision and can see up to 30 feet. 
  • These creatures also have a +2-proficiency bonus. 
  • Lizards can also climb up to 20 feet.

Lizard details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Lizard

6. Owl

Based on the stats, if I could choose the best familiar in this bunch, I would go with an owl. They fly, have both excellent eyesight and hearing, and move deftly. Based on its heightened senses, not much will get past an owl. Do be careful to protect them, because with a Constitution of 8 (-1), they are delicate creatures.

What makes Owl Great 

  • Not only are owls wise (12), but they are dexterous (13). They have Stealth (+3) and Perception (+3) Skills that would be useful to detect enemies. 
  • Owls can use their razor-sharp talons and a +3 bonus to slash. 
  • Since owls have Darkvision, they can see up to 120 feet. This would be useful in a dark cave or dungeon.  

Owl details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Owl

5. Rat

Rats would make excellent Familiars because they can blend in with their environments and are not as noticeable. Their senses are heightened and move at about 20 feet per round. Read on to find out why Rats made this list!  

What makes Rat Great 

  • Rats have Pack Tactics, meaning that they have advantages on attacks if allies are within 5 feet. 
  • The sense of smell is strong with Rats. They enjoy an advantage on Wisdom Perception checks that include smell. 
  • Darkness is a rat’s friend, as they have Darkvision and can see up to 30 feet. 

Rat details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Rat

4. Raven

If you would like to channel your inner Edgar Allan Poe, the raven is the way to go. They can be helpful in combat or tricking opponents. Read on to find out why the Raven would be a great Familiar to have!

What makes Raven Great

  • One of the best tricks a raven can do is imitate (mimicry) to distract opponents. They can recognize that it is a raven if the PC makes a Wisdom save. 
  • Ravens have sharp beaks and enjoy a +4 advantage when attacking their targets. 

Raven: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/5e_SRD:Raven

3. Snake

Unless you’re a Horcrux named Nagini (Voldemort’s pet snake in Harry Potter), snakes can be beneficial to a PC and a campaign. Snakes can see well in the dark, they can slither on land, and swim quickly. Keep reading to find out why snakes are a good choice for Familiars 

What makes Snake Great

  • Snakes would be a useful familiar if part of the campaign takes place near or on a body of water like a lake or sea. 
  • They have a +5 on attack, and since snakes are poisonous, the bitten target must make a Constitution save or suffer 2d4 poison damage. (The character takes half damage on a save.) 

Snake details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Poisonous_Snake

2. Spider

When I think of spiders in fantasy, two characters come to mind: Charlotte from the children’s book Charlotte’s Web  or Aragog, one of Hagrid’s familiars in Harry Potter.  Spiders make decent familiars because they are dexterous, have a poisonous bite, can climb walls and high spaces without problems, and can see in the dark. Read on for more reasons to choose a spider for your next Familiar!

What makes Spider Great

  • Spider has Darkvision and can see up to 60 ft. 
  • This familiar has exceptional Stealth (+4). 
  • Spiders cannot be restricted by web movement and if in a web, can detect anyone’s location in the same web. 

Spider details: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD5:Phase_Spider

1. Weasel

The weasel is not a well-known familiar but would be useful for diversion and detecting enemies. They also have a high armor class (13), so they may fare better if stuck in combat. They are also among the fastest familiars on the list if the party needs to make a quick getaway. Read on for more reasons why the weasel is a great choice for familiars. 

What makes Weasel Great

  • The weasel has acute hearing and smell and has advantage on Perception checks. 
  • Because the weasel is dexterous (16), it has  a +3 to hit its target. 
  • Weasel has a high armor class (13 AC), so it may do better in combat. 

Weasel details: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/5e_SRD:Weasel

More on this topic:

As a Pokemon Trainer by day and a bard or cleric by night, I enjoy the spoken and written word by candlelight.
Gamer Since: 1983
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: D&D
Top 3 Favorite Games:Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Resident Evil HD Remaster

More Top Stories