I mention this because, in issue #86 of Dragon (June 1984), the article "Familiars with a Special Use" appears. Written by Stephen Inniss, its basic premise is in "fixing" the find familiar spell, which the author says "suffers from a lack of completeness, resulting in an unbalanced (if not unfair) game." He makes his judgment based on the fact that
The alignment of a special familiar does not always match the alignment of its master. The creatures differ in origin and strength,and evil magic-users seem favored with the most powerful familiars. True, the evil M-U stands to lose more if his familiar is destroyed, but his animal's superior hit points and special powers (especially regeneration) give it a much stronger grip on life, compared to its good-aligned cousins.Inniss brings up several issues here, but many are rooted, at least in part, on alignment. For instance, he takes issue with the fact that, as written, there are no specifically Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil familiars. Likewise, the good-aligned "special" familiars are weaker than the evil ones. From my perspective, these aren't problems in need of solution, but that's probably because I don't see them as lapses in the logic of AD&D. That evil special familiars are more powerful seems only right to me, since a big part of those familiar's job is in ensuring that their masters remain permanently under the sway of Evil à la Doctor Faustus. The rewards of evil in mortal existence should be great; otherwise, why would anyone choose evil over good?
However, Stephen Inniss doesn't even consider the possibility that find familiar isn't broken. His solution is to introduce a large number of new familiar types, divided according to alignment and to make them all roughly comparable in terms in power. Thus, we get the Galadur (good-aligned cherub-like beings), the Lomendur (neutral-aligned animal spirits), and the Burzugdur (evil-aligned monsters of which imps and quasits are but two examples). Inniss also adds several new "natural" familiars to round out the alignment list. The result is a thorough overhaul of find familiar that follows reasonably from a certain set of premises, but it feels, to me, too schematized and lifeless. As I've said since the start of this blog, I like "rough edges" and no longer see their existence as an opportunity for me to "fix" the game. Instead, I accept them as they are and use them as springboards for my imaginations. To my mind, pounding smooth those rough edges is a process D&D has been undergoing since 1974 and it's almost always resulted in a less appealing -- less mythic -- kind of fantasy.