[RPG] Does a Warlock receive the benefit of their familiar’s Magic Resistance trait


The Warlock has access to special forms for their find familiar spell through the Pact of the Chain feature. I'm wondering if these special forms, the Quasit, Imp, and Pseudodragon in particular, allow the player character to share the familiar's Magic Resistance feature. In the Monster Manual each of these creatures has a sidebar that states that the familiar shares its Magic Resistance feature with the companion they are bonded to, but the PHB doesn't mention this in any of the creatures' stat blocks.

For example, in the Variant: Pseudodragon Familiar sidebar on page 254 of the MM it says:

"While the pseudodragon is within 10 feet of its companion,
the companion shares the pseudodragon's Magic Resistance trait."

This feature seems clear in the MM but I'm led to believe that it wasn't intended for Player Characters since mention of it is absent from the stat blocks in Appendix D of the PHB (pages 307-309).

Would a 3rd level warlock who chose one of these familiar forms through the Pact of the Chain feature benefit from advantage from saving throws from spells and other magical effects due to these special forms, or was this feature only meant for powerful NPCs and enemy spellcasters who had made this link with these familiars themselves?

Best Answer

No, a Warlock with the Pact of the Chain feature does not receive Magic Resistance if they choose a Quasit, Imp, or Pseudodragon. In the first place, a variant rule is only in play if the DM chooses. However, even if the DM decides that pseudodragon familiars (for example) are a thing, it still doesn't benefit the Warlock.

Some pseudodragons are willing to serve spellcasters as a familiar. Such pseudodragons have the following trait.

So "some pseudodragons" will be familiars who share Magic Resistance with their masters. The Warlock, however, gets their familiar from the find familiar spell, which says:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form that you choose: [...]

The Pact of the Chain says that:

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

In other words, the Warlock's familiar isn't any sort of pseudodragon, let alone one with the variant. It's a spirit that takes the form of a pseudodragon (and can take a different form anytime the Warlock chooses). The spell does say that:

[...] the familiar gains the statistics of the chosen form [...]

However, the statistics of a creature are defined on pages 6-11 of the Monster Manual. The short definition is that, if you look at a creature's entry, it's everything in the yellow box. This doesn't include variant traits like the Familiar trait - those are in green boxes off to the side.

All of that aside, a generous DM could, of course, allow a Pact of the Chain familiar to provide its master with Magic Resistance. It must be pointed out, though, that this is making the Pact of the Chain vastly more powerful than it normally is, so DMs thinking about it should consider carefully.

An even more generous DM could allow any player to gain the service of a creature with the familiar variant. This, too, should be considered carefully - it's effectively giving the player a more powerful version of the Pact of the Chain feature for free.