Finding Find Familiar

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Metroknight
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:16 am

Just my two cents on the familiar.

When I used the familiars in my games, they would gain hp and hd increase by gaining experience like their master (I used their master's level chart) since most familiars were 1/2 hd if they were normal animals (it was all I allowed in the games). This made them have to gain two levels to get 1 hd. That means if a spellcaster gained a familiar at first level then at 10th level the familar would be classified as 5 hd and if the spellcaster reached 20th level then it would be 10 hd.

I allowed the spellcaster to cast their spells through the familiar if they were within a specific range of the caster usually a caster's level times 2 ft and it also depended on the familiars hd in what spells could be casted through them. I added that rule in to keep spellcasters from using their familiars as remote launching platforms for high level spells. Towards the end of my allowing familiars in my games I also put in the ruling that all spells casted through a familiar was treated as if the familiar casted it in terms of damage, range, etc... refer back to the comment about remote launching platforms.

In one game there was a pc spellcaster that was bound to a wall and was able to cast a knock spell through his familiar on his manacles and release himself. Another time in another game, an npc magic user sent his familiar around a corner and casted a fireball through it. The look on the player's faces was priceless when they saw a small cat belching a fireball at them. This was prior to the rule addition about the familiar's hd being used as the spells power base.

I also allowed a spellcaster to see and hear through their familiars eyes and ears but they had to be in a trance to do so. Again this would be based on the distance allowed for spell casting.

If a spellcaster's familiar was killed or released the caster would take severe damage. They would lose 1 INT and 1 CON point with no save. This is akin to losing part of their essence, their being, their soul. In the way I ran it, spellcasters were soulbonded to their familiar. That is why the familiar grew in strength and power as the spellcaster did.

It worked well in my games but to each their own.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:53 am

LibraryLass wrote:
SmootRK wrote: Well, my intent was to make something much more substantial than simply gaining x bonus hp and something like +1 surprise... The thing is, for the bulk of players this means 1 or maybe 2 (after 6th level) such bonus spells. In my mind, hardly game breaking. But, I am flexible to other opinions on the matter.

Still working out how devastating the loss of a familiar is going to be... to hear of additional precedence for potential death is interesting.
Well sure, but at upper levels that gets to be quite a few more spells. I'm not necessarily against it, and you've definitely got a leg up on me as concerns design experience, I'm just saying that it has potential to be pretty formidable, and if you want that much reward it seems to me that it should be balanced with a substantial risk.
Well, it requires 18th level to get the equivalent of a 6th level caster, and that is a grand total of 5 spells (if clerical) or 7 spells (if MU). While this might seem big, the spells are only of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels (adventuring against foes that a 18th level character is facing), and the spell caster likely has a small arsenal of magical items that bolster his power regardless (wands of whatever, staffs of whatnot, rods of other stuff, and perhaps countless scrolls of stuff). I don't really see the over-powered nature in the grand scheme, especially since in my version here, the familiar remains relatively weak physically (it actual HD remains the same, but is only bolstered by 1hp per master's level, along with some perks to AC and Saves).

That said, and also according to Metro's post, I am going to make the consequences of death very drastic. The INT and WIS drop (both) will be substantial and incremental as the bond is strengthened with time (levels). 1d3 points at levels 1 through 5, 1d6 at 6th to 10th, 1d10 at 11th to 15th, and 1d12 at 16th to 20th. Also, the character may actually die from damage (but he may be raised); damage equal to the familiar's full hp is incurred by the master (likewise for the familiar if the master is killed, usually resulting in its death without extraordinary circumstances).

Death a familiar will likely effectively "feeblemind" the caster. Though I would probably allow Restoration spells to restore such losses. Perhaps all but one such point is temporary in nature, being heal-able at the rate that CON heals in the core rules.
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:04 am

Oh yes... I truly appreciate all the input from everyone. It helps in my thinking process to solidify ideas and make sure I address the various aspects (even when I don't necessarily utilize some aspect directly, it still helps to address the concern).

Thanks and keep the ideas coming.
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LibraryLass
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:26 pm

SmootRK wrote:
LibraryLass wrote:
SmootRK wrote: Well, my intent was to make something much more substantial than simply gaining x bonus hp and something like +1 surprise... The thing is, for the bulk of players this means 1 or maybe 2 (after 6th level) such bonus spells. In my mind, hardly game breaking. But, I am flexible to other opinions on the matter.

Still working out how devastating the loss of a familiar is going to be... to hear of additional precedence for potential death is interesting.
Well sure, but at upper levels that gets to be quite a few more spells. I'm not necessarily against it, and you've definitely got a leg up on me as concerns design experience, I'm just saying that it has potential to be pretty formidable, and if you want that much reward it seems to me that it should be balanced with a substantial risk.
Well, it requires 18th level to get the equivalent of a 6th level caster, and that is a grand total of 5 spells (if clerical) or 7 spells (if MU). While this might seem big, the spells are only of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels (adventuring against foes that a 18th level character is facing), and the spell caster likely has a small arsenal of magical items that bolster his power regardless (wands of whatever, staffs of whatnot, rods of other stuff, and perhaps countless scrolls of stuff). I don't really see the over-powered nature in the grand scheme, especially since in my version here, the familiar remains relatively weak physically (it actual HD remains the same, but is only bolstered by 1hp per master's level, along with some perks to AC and Saves).

That said, and also according to Metro's post, I am going to make the consequences of death very drastic. The INT and WIS drop (both) will be substantial and incremental as the bond is strengthened with time (levels). 1d3 points at levels 1 through 5, 1d6 at 6th to 10th, 1d10 at 11th to 15th, and 1d12 at 16th to 20th. Also, the character may actually die from damage (but he may be raised); damage equal to the familiar's full hp is incurred by the master (likewise for the familiar if the master is killed, usually resulting in its death without extraordinary circumstances).

Death a familiar will likely effectively "feeblemind" the caster. Though I would probably allow Restoration spells to restore such losses. Perhaps all but one such point is temporary in nature, being heal-able at the rate that CON heals in the core rules.
Hm. That sounds about the right amount, then. What about item familiars, same backlash for letting them be destroyed?
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:33 am

Yep... death of master pretty much guarantees death of familiar.

FYI - I have been updating the Field Guide specifically with an assortment of Special Familiars that follow a sort of formulaic approach... they vary in some details HD, attacks, etc. but have powers and 'familiar aspects' that are pretty standard across the board.

We now have:
Brownie
Flederkatze (completely new creation)
Imp
Quasit
Pseudodragon (but I might need to tweak this to follow the basic system I am applying... as it was already there, imported from SRD)

and Homunculus (another import that might need a review)

Still want to make:
Cu-Sidhe (I like the name) Elf Hound
some sort of minor feathered serpent like a coutl
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:23 am

SmootRK wrote: some sort of minor feathered serpent like a coutl
Call it a Quetzl.
8-)
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Nightwulf
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 am

Joe the Rat wrote:
SmootRK wrote: some sort of minor feathered serpent like a coutl
Call it a Quetzl.
8-)
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Dimirag
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:43 am

I would limit the familiar to animal or magic animal types of small size and limit the HD so the MU's are limited to the classical familiars and don't end up having a mastodon, tiger or bear as a familiar, a "simpler but bizarre" method is using the MU's HP (or part thereof) for the familiar, this represents the magical bond and makes that if the Familiar receives damage that damages goes to the MU. If using part of the HP this can be applied:
-Whenever the Familiar takes more than 50% of HP the MU must save vs Paralysis or be stunned.
-Whenever the Familiar is reduced to 0HP the MU must save vs Death or go to 0HP and die.

Benefits of having a Familiar:
-Shared Senses: The MU can use his familiar senses (Limited to an area based on the MU level).
-Channeled Spells: The Familiar can cast the MU spells (limited to the same area as above and probably to HP value).
-Own Spells: The Familiar gets its own spells (just a few).
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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SmootRK
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:53 am

Dimirag wrote:I would limit the familiar to animal or magic animal types of small size and limit the HD so the MU's are limited to the classical familiars and don't end up having a mastodon, tiger or bear as a familiar, a "simpler but bizarre" method is using the MU's HP (or part thereof) for the familiar, this represents the magical bond and makes that if the Familiar receives damage that damages goes to the MU. If using part of the HP this can be applied:
-Whenever the Familiar takes more than 50% of HP the MU must save vs Paralysis or be stunned.
-Whenever the Familiar is reduced to 0HP the MU must save vs Death or go to 0HP and die.

Benefits of having a Familiar:
-Shared Senses: The MU can use his familiar senses (Limited to an area based on the MU level).
-Channeled Spells: The Familiar can cast the MU spells (limited to the same area as above and probably to HP value).
-Own Spells: The Familiar gets its own spells (just a few).
While I generally agree with you, I have specifically left in wording that allows the application of the rules to potentially include "animal companions or special mounts" (ie for Druids, Paladins). Purposefully left these aspects vague for GM to develop if necessary or wanted.

I will update the file soon so everyone can see the revised information.

Also check the soon to be updated draft of the Field Guide (several special familiar possibilities added).
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Dimirag
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Re: Finding Find Familiar

Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:14 pm

Ok, I use different rules for different companions... I'll wait to see the updated files...
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