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A familiar is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a sorcerer or wizard.

Typical examples are the cat and the owl:

Cats/Familiar power

Size/Type: Tiny Animal
Hit Dice: 1/2 d8 (2 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 size, +2 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/–12
Attack: Claw +4 melee (1d2–4)
Full Attack: 2 claws +4 melee (1d2–4) and bite –1 melee (1d3–4)
Space/Reach: 2-1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 3, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills: Balance +10, Climb +6, Hide*, Jump +10, Listen +3, Move Silently, Spot +3
Feats: , Weapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate plains
Organization: Domesticated or solitary
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement:
Level Adjustment:

The statistics presented here describe a common housecat.

Cats prefer to sneak up on their prey. Skills: Cats have a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Hide, and Move Silently checks and a +8 racial bonus on Jump checks. Cats have a +8 racial bonus on Balance checks. They use their Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for Climb and Jump checks. *In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, the Hide bonus rises to +8.  

Owl/Familiar power


Size/Type: Tiny Animal
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), fly 40 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 17 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/–11
Attack: Talons +5 melee (1d4–3)
Full Attack: Talons +5 melee (1d4–3)
Space/Reach: 2-1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 4, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 4
Skills: Listen

 , Move Silently +17, Spot *

Feats: , Weapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment:

The statistics presented here describe nocturnal birds of prey from 1 to 2 feet long, with wingspans up to 6 feet. They combine both talons into a single attack.

Owls swoop quietly down onto prey, attacking with their powerful talons.

Skills: Owls have a +8 racial bonus on Listen checks and a +14 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. *They have a +8 racial bonus on Spot checks in areas of shadowy illumination.

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