Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unfamiliar Familiars, Part II

So why look at the strange, the bizarre, and the unlikeliest of the animal (and monster) kingdoms for familiars?

I consider that in Fantasy RPGs, those that use magic are not normal anymore. Like those that worked with radioactive materials in the past of the real world, the powers they use can twist and deform them, mentally and physically. Add to that the intense competition between peers and rivals, and you must admit that their perceptions will most probably change.

For some, any benefit, or any special or unexpected benefit, might suffice. Others will bond with purpose, or perhaps with the one animal that does not fear, or perhaps, scare, them.

More on this later. For now, a brief explanation of what I'm trying to achieve here, and some more beasties;

Whatever system you use will probably have a system for familiars. If not, improvise. The animal gains hit points with their master, perceptions, health, and magic can be shared, and special abilities either become apparent, or perhaps controllable, at certain levels.

The Rust Monster

These monsters are cute, and purposeful. Although the low level mage is likely to have much in the way of fighter companionship, there are advantages. Good for a druid?
  • At low levels, this will not be fun, and you will not be popular. It may eat the weapons & armour of your foes. It will definitely eat your metal objects, and those of your friends.
  • At the mid levels, you will have some control over it's metal eating issues. Not control, more like a naughty puppy that will try and get away with anything. But better than before. It will also pause when it first detects metal, kind of like a bird dog.
  • At high levels, you can tell it which metals to eat, or not eat, although if it's hungry, and there is nothing else...
At this stage, it seems that a rust monster familiar is more 'trained' than 'bonded with', although the mage may notice a metallic taste to most foods, and will sometimes be found sucking on small pieces of ironwork...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sloth Familiar

This is a test, but we'll see what happens...

So, you want a familiar for your mage, and the other, more active animals don't appeal. Why can't you choose one of nature's more relaxed beasts?

You'll probably want a pygmy sloth, that can ride on your shoulders, or in your pocket, as lugging a 7 kg animal through a dungeon would tax the fittest spellcaster.

But what advantages or powers could bonding with nature's most active vegetable give one, aside from the ability to sleep well at night?

Here's my suggestions for generic powers given by your sloth familiar;
  • At low levels, the sloth can cause one target creature to fall asleep, or 1-6 targets to feel drowsy and tired, at the mage's level of magical ability.
  • At medium levels, the sloth can shield it's master with its ability to ignore poisons and resist spells and effects that cause one to act in a frenzied or panicked manner.
  • At high levels, the familiar can change to a Giant Ground Sloth, and engage any opposing foes with great power and force.
That's it for the first test post, and the strangest topic I could cover. Start as you mean to continue.