[RPG] Do familiars cast from Find Familiar need to eat and sleep


The spell find familiar conjures a celestial, fey, or fiend spirit that takes the form of a beast. Do these special beings need food, drink, and sleep? If so, how much of it?

Best Answer


Creatures that do not need sustenance have that called out in their stat descriptions. The Undead Nature trait for skeletons, zombies, etc., grants the ability to survive without food.

A familiar “has the statistics of the chosen form,” and all of the listed forms are natural animals that would need to eat.

That is, if we are to assume that the statistics that a familiar gains from its form include traits such as a bat’s Echolocation and Keen Hearing then we also have to take a zombie's Undead Nature trait is a statistic — and that is a trait no familiar form has.

The familiar has the type of celestial, fiend, or fey, but these types (listed on MM p. 6) make no mention of not needing sustenance.

It’s another matter when the familiar is dismissed — then it is arguably not in animal form, and would just be a spirit that might not need to eat.

Well, do spirits eat or not?

There are no statistics for a “spirit” creature in the official rules. The only description I’ve found of a spirit comes from Unearthed Arcana’s Spirit Totem druid power: “The spirit…counts as neither a creature nor an object.” If we were to (1) accept this description from the unofficial UA rules, and (2) assume familiar spirits are similar to this one, then not being creatures, they would not need to eat like one.

Otherwise, whatever a spirit needs would be up to the DM. I would suggest it wouldn’t be much, since the spell says you can summon a dismissed spirit again, without listing any limitations or conditions.