Finding Find Familiar

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SmootRK
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Finding Find Familiar

Post Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:44 pm

NEW EDIT 2/15/2013: File Now Located in Showcase: http://www.basicfantasy.org/showcase.cgi?sid=45


I could have sworn that there was a BFRPG version of the Find Familiar spell and/or rules for both mundane and special familiars (imps, psuedo-dragons, etc)... but now I don't see it. Perhaps it was just a discussion topic (probably over at Dragonsfoot)?
It is certainly a supplement waiting to happen, if only somebody put some details down... hint hint.
I wasn't looking to add another topic to my list of things to do.

EDIT: later in this thread (raised by thread necromancy), I restarted efforts to get some good Familiar Rules in place. I am putting the pdf of my latests drafts here for now, until I am satisfied with them enough to move them to Showcase or have Solo put them in the standard downloads area.
I have added my take on the idea of "Item Familiars" and did a little bit of re-organization of the headers/sections. Still need to iron out ideas for what happens when familiar is killed, voluntary break of the bond, extreme separation, planar travel, and whatnot along those lines.

If anyone knows of some comprehensive tables or lists of familiars I can reference, that would be great. But I can always use constructive commentary/critque and other review of my ideas to help me fix any holes in my logic or errors of my thinking process. Your thoughts are welcome.
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LordPasty
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:34 pm

I'm not seeing it in the book or in any of the supplemental stuff. ?
Mhogrymm
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:02 pm

How about this. Maybe too much for a first level spell?

Find Familiar
Level: 1
Duration: See below
Range: 10’ per level
When a magic-user cast this spell he beckons a familiar. Find familiar takes 24 hours to cast and requires the expenditure of 100 gold pieces worth of herbs and ingredients. The components are burned as part of the summoning. The character rolls on the table below. Any die roll that results in an animal that is not within the range of the spell will cause the spell to fail. Find familiar can only be cast once per year. All familiars grant their master certain benefits according to the type of familiar. Animals summoned as familiars gain enhanced intelligence and are able to communicate in their master tongue. Familiars will always follow their master’s orders without question even unto death. Familiars start with an AC 7 and 2d4 hp. Armor class and hit points improve by +1 for every 2 levels of the caster. A familiar that is within 120’ of its master grants the master bonus hit points equal to one half its total rounded down and the familiar is able to use its masters saving throws instead of its own. Familiars further than 120’ from their master save as monsters of less than one hit die. Should a magic-users familiar ever be slain the master must subtract the familiars hit point total from his own, permanently. Also any magic-user loosing a familiar has to wait 1 year to summon another one.


Die Roll Familiar Beneficial Trait bestowed
1 Bat Sonar - same effect as 30’ dark vision but is auditory
2 Cat Improved reflexes – add one to initiative rolls
3 Dove Non-threatening - +1 on monster reactions.
4 Hawk Improved distance vision - missile weapon ranges doubled
5 Owl Improved night vision - 30’ dark vision
6 Raven Improved smell - same effect as 30’ dark vision but is olfactory
7 Rat Improved fortitude – immunity to most normal diseases
8 Snake Taste the Air – same effect as 30’ dark vision but gustatory
9 Toad All around vision – surprised on surprised on 1 in 6
10 Weasel Stealthy – 20% chance to move silently
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Solomoriah
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:43 am

I published my own "Familiar" spell at one point; it may have gotten dropped in the site revisions. If you have the last copy of the Almanack, it's probably in there. I need to add it to the spells supplement, if it's gone missing.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:36 pm

Solomoriah wrote:I published my own "Familiar" spell at one point; it may have gotten dropped in the site revisions. If you have the last copy of the Almanack, it's probably in there. I need to add it to the spells supplement, if it's gone missing.
That must be it. I may work with this (and/or Mohgrymmn's) to build upon.
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:03 pm

Just for the record, I avoided doing it the same way as 1E to avoid the random silliness of it. Normally I'm in favor of randomness, but with something as important as a character's familiar, random generation can lead to hard feelings.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:31 pm

Solomoriah wrote:Just for the record, I avoided doing it the same way as 1E to avoid the random silliness of it. Normally I'm in favor of randomness, but with something as important as a character's familiar, random generation can lead to hard feelings.
Good Idea. I would think most players have a particular familiar in mind.

Mostly what I would like to come up with is a more tangible benefit (in the magic department) to having a sidekick sitting on your shoulder... something like increased caster power (as in caster level, not number of spells) or ability to deliver spells via familiar (instead of touch), or perhaps something like being able to store spells (like the magic item).

I do like the idea that the familiar is tougher and more canny, getting more powerful according to its master's level, so that should factor in there somewhere.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:35 am

I want to put forth some new (or innovative) ideas for Familiars. Not only do I want to provide for increasing the general toughness and usefulness of animal familiars, expand options for choice of familiars, but I also want to provide for 'other sorts' of familiars... stuff like binding items (such as a signature staff, special hat, or similar ideas).

I have a few ideas, but would like to see other folk's ideas without trying to influence the discussion too much. Of course, I want these sort of things to stay very "basic" while providing some interesting ways to expand play for spell casters.

Some of my ideas (heavily influenced by various sources):
Expanded lists of animals (a d20 book called 'The Bestiary - Predators' has loads of normal animals to expand lists.
Bound Items such as Staves, major difference with living familiars is that they are more durable (don't die and harm the MU).
Option for Clerics to have such 'familiars' but choice is guided by Deity (bound items included)
Likewise Druid can have an animal (apart from (in addition to) Animal Friendship spell)
some mechanic to determine how much Familiar improves with caster-level.

Powers:
increased Caster Level with respect to spell effects (but no other level related change like number of spells)
increased Save versus Magical Effects (either blanket save bonus, or against certain types of spells)
bonus spells (perhaps one extra spell per spell-level)
increased (by one) chance to avoid Surprise (extra pair of eyes/ears/nose/extra-sensory)

Anyone with more or different ideas to explore? Thoughts? I would love some input.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:34 pm

Re-visiting this topic...

OK, so my basic idea is that a Familiar enhances the spell caster in a couple of ways.

+1 on Surprise checks (additional and often enhanced senses from the familiar).
+1 caster level on personal affecting spells so long as cast upon oneself (such as Invisibility, Shield, etc.) The Familiar gets the benefit of such spells as well so long as in contact with caster when spell is cast (and may subsequently leave contact keeping the spell effect (on both of them independantly)).

Familiar also acts as somewhat like a "ring of spell storing". The spells 'stored' by the familiar are chosen by the caster, and a quantity of spells may so be held as if the familiar has 1/3th (33.33%) of the caster rounded down. For instance, a 3rd level magic-user's familiar has the spell assortment of a 1st level MU, and when the MU reaches 6th level the familiar would be able to hold spells as a 2nd level MU. When the familiar is in contact with the MU then the MU can call upon the spells as bonus spells (using his own caster level); otherwise the familiar, being exceptionally smart for such animals/creatures can cast the 'stored' spells themselves, but only at the appropriate caster level the familiar possesses.

Any such normal animal may become a familiar, with a basic limit of 1/3rd level of the caster in Hit Dice.
A 1st & 2nd level Caster can have up to a 1/2 HD creature such as squirrels, rabbits, toads, birds, cats, etc. Pretty much the standard bunch.
a 3rd level Caster can have a full 1 HD creature (anything beyond +3 on the HD counts as another HD)
a 6th level Caster can have a full 2 HD creature
a 9th level Caster can have a full 3 HD creature... etc.

Some special familiars may be acquired such as Psuedodragons, Homunculus, or others, but these all have special requirements and powers that may go beyond these rules and are up to the individual Game Master to decide upon.
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jackel
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:47 pm

Hey Smoot,
I am kind of late to the game here and I haven't had much XP with familiars, but I had a though that a familiar could 'spy' something and 'report' back to the magic user. Maybe something like a commune with animals, but only with his/ her familiar. They maybe already able to do that, not sure. I didn't see it in the post above, but I may have missed it.
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