Using find familiar in campaigns
The table provided in the AD&D Player's Handbook implicitly assumes the spell is being cast in temperate and semi-rural area (in other words, Medieval Europe). One of the tiny bits of annoying realism in my many AD&D campaigns through the years has been the creation of alternate tables for alternate evironments (I even have an "Underdark Familiars Table" for Drow characters to use). The alternate table provided here is for use in AD&D Spelljammer campaigns.
Of course, casting find familiar aboard a ship travelling through wildspace or the Phlogiston is almost certainly doomed to failure, as neither environment holds many small creatures suitable for use as a wizard's companion (if the PC is lucky, he gets a rat). Spacefaring wizards who desire such a companion usually wait until they're on an asteroid city (such as the Rock of Bral), where the ecosystem supports at least some animals. Space city ecosystems are usually a little different from planetary ecosystems (very few swamps, for instance), but the always adaptable find familiar spell does work, using the table below.
|d20 Roll||Familiar||Notes||Sensory Powers|
|1||Airfish,Trout||1,2||Excellent olfactory power|
|2-4||Cat, black||1||Excellent night vision & superior hearing|
|5-9||Gullion||1,3||Excellent distance vision|
|10-11||Hamster||1,4||Superior sight and olfactory power|
|11-12||Rat||1||Superior sight, hearing, smell|
|13-15||Slinker||1,5||Superior olfactory power|
|16-20||No familiar available within spell range.|
- All familiars are the darkest color possible for their species (as in the original spell's "Cat, black") because it's more medieval that way.
- The airfish is a new monster from Polyhedron® Newszine #69. Don't whine -- you could have gotten the goldfish.
- The gullion appears in the Monstrous Compendium, Volume 9.
- Actually, that's a black Miniature Giant Space Hamster; see Volume 7 of the Monstrous Compendium for an explanation, and be aware tinker gnomes will all think your familiar is adorable.
- The Slinker appears in MC7 as well.