Feats

Improved Familiar [General]

This feat allows spellcasters to acquire a new familiar from a nonstandard list, but only when they could normally acquire a new familiar.

Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below).

Benefit: When choosing a familiar, the creatures listed below are also available to the spellcaster. The spellcaster may choose a familiar with an alignment up to one step away on each of the alignment axes (lawful through chaotic, good through evil).

Familiar
Alignment
Arcane Spellcaster Level
Shocker lizard
Neutral
5th
Stirge
Neutral
5th
Formian worker
Lawful neutral
7th
Imp
Lawful evil
7th
Pseudodragon
Neutral good
7th
Quasit
Chaotic evil
7th

Improved familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: If the creature's type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and improved familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate).

The list in the table above presents only a few possible improved familiars. Almost any creature of the same general size and power as those on the list makes a suitable familiar. Nor is the master's alignment the only possible categorization. For instance, improved familiars could be assigned by the master's creature type or subtype, as shown below.

Familiar
Type/Subtype
Arcane Spellcaster Level
Celestial hawk1
Good
3rd
Fiendish Tiny viper snake2
Evil
3rd
Air elemental, Small
Air
5th
Earth elemental, Small
Earth
5th
Fire elemental, Small
Fire
5th
Shocker lizard
Electricity
5th
Water elemental, Small
Water
5th
Homunculus3
Undead
7th
Ice mephit
Cold
7th
1 Or other celestial animal from the standard familiar list.
2 Or other fiendish animal from the standard familiar list.
3 The master must first create the homunculus, substituting ichor or another part of the master's body for blood if necessary.

Source: SRD 3.5 Feats