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Familiars Anyone?

posted Aug 27, 2012 00:57:42 by Sunwolfe
Greetings All!

My brother and I are having a great time digesting RQVI and look forward to giving it a live go in the near future. We've spent the past few weekend afternoons highlighting, underlining and discussing how the new version might impact our players and change the timbre of play.

We noticed that the RQIII sorcery spell "Create Familiar" hadn't been included in the new rule set. I'm wondering what thoughts any of you who are more knowledgeable with the game and its mechanics might have on the subject of creating a RQIII-like familiar using RQVI?

Cheers,
Sunwolfe
Nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem
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18 replies
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ArthurReyes said Aug 27, 2012 13:32:12
At this time of the morning (with little sleep or coffee), I would use the rules for a fetch, but unlike a shaman's, a sorcerer's familiar must be bound to the physical body of some creature.


School of Grizell and Gridigut
Mystic Sight (Spirits, Daemons, etc), Awaken (Fetch), Hide Life, Project Sight, Store Manna, Trap Soul

Awaken is a combination of Summon and Bind, but only works to create a Fetch.
[Last edited Aug 27, 2012 14:11:34]
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dreamer_prophet said Sep 16, 2012 16:43:34
Just found this on my odyssey through the Spirit Magic rules:

Totemists are avid practitioners of creating such living fetishes, placing spirits into the bodies of their totem animals who then act as animal companions. Sorcerers may seek out animists to create spirit familiars in a similar way. (p.219)
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Pedro said Sep 16, 2012 20:47:59
So only animists can create familiars?
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RudyBoe said Sep 17, 2012 07:02:46
As long as a familiar is an animal inhabited by a spirit of some sort, I'd say only animists can create familiars. It's definitely the animist's turf. No law against a grimoire with a spellset to summon some kind of familiar though, something along the enchant line, with a part of the sorcerer's being (INT? POW? HP?) being bound into the familiar of choice.

For theists reaching priesthood, in Glorantha at least, there is often the award of an allied spirit - again a spirit - in a cult weapon or cult animal, so that would be the theist version of a familiar, in case of an animal. I guess these would be summoned by a shaman as well.

And if sorcerers may seek out animists... then I suppose everybody with enough dedication, conviction and funds could try to talk an animist into creating a spirit familiar? Another nice hook for a hard quest to get the shaman something he wants in return.
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Pedro said Sep 17, 2012 08:24:31
I don't think that a sorcerer seeks out an animist to get a familiar reflects well what happens in most fictions about sorcerers and familiars.
For theists, I guess your god could make a spirit to get inside an animal/object directly, without the need for an animist. This would be a direct gift form your god.
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DavidCake said Sep 17, 2012 08:26:40
The idea that sorcerers create familiars by finding animists to do it for them sounds crazy! Similar for theists - unless there is some reason to believe the sorcerers or theists already rely on shamans, it seems a very bad idea to introduce this just to rectify a lack of rules. Much better idea to create a sorcery spell that has roughly the same game effect etc.

Or just make sorcerers acquire familiars as Gifts from their order, just as theists acquire allied spirits.
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AlbanDeRostolan said Sep 17, 2012 09:40:55
In RQ6, the closest equivalent to Create Familiar is a spell combining Enchant(Species), Telepathy and Dominate(Species).

What is missing, apart from the fact Create Familiar must be cast on incomplete creatures and must turn them into complete ones ?
[Last edited Sep 17, 2012 09:41:06]
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dreamer_prophet said Sep 17, 2012 16:59:55
I suppose it all depends on the role played by familiars in a campaign. I'm not all that clear about what they are for. I suppose that rather than poring over a grimoire, sorcerers from some traditions could be taught their magic by an imp in return for being succled on the magicians blood. I think this sort of idea is represented in folklore.
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RudyBoe said Sep 18, 2012 06:06:57
Well, it is a bit of a stretch, but in our campaign at least every primitive / nomad / barbarian tribe has a shaman and some students. Also, a brotherhood like the black fang is in fact a spirit worshipping organisation. So they will have to have some animist skills as well, even if the guy doing these things will not look the part, with chains of bones and shrunk skulls and so on. Maybe we need to mentally adapt to spirit worshippers that do not look or act as 'traditional' shamans. I would prefer that to having spells in every magical discipline that do the same things as shamans, animism would lose a lot of its appeal in that manner.

I can perfectly see some civilised sorcerer performing a quest to get some shaman - who can rarely leave his clan / tribe - some item he really wants, in return for a sprit summoning service and help with binding. For an bound / allied spirit in a familiar the price would be quite high.
[Last edited Sep 18, 2012 06:07:59]
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ArthurReyes said Sep 18, 2012 14:38:00
If a shaman has to bind a sorcerer's famimiar, wouldn't that count against the shaman's bind limits? Therefore it seems that a very permanent alliance must exist between the two spellcasters. Interestijg. RQ6 doesn't seem to adhere to the idea that each magic tradition can be a mutually exclusive world view. Not sure how I feel about that.
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dreamer_prophet said Sep 18, 2012 17:28:02
Strangely enough there are real world precedents for this. The relationship between the Elizabethan Neo-Platonist Dr. John Dee and his spirit medium Edward Kelly could be characterized as collaboration between a sorcerer and an animist, and I seem to recall that Alistair Crowley used spirit mediums as “scarlet women” in his ... um.... performances.
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PeteNash said Sep 18, 2012 22:23:56
"If a shaman has to bind a sorcerer's famimiar, wouldn't that count against the shaman's bind limits? Therefore it seems that a very permanent alliance must exist between the two spellcasters."

It could be a reciprocal arrangement with the sorcerer granting an Enchantment in return. Nothing prevents the creation of settings or traditions where two types of magic are learned. For example a necromancer cult should really be represented by sorcerers with animism skills.

"Interestijg. RQ6 doesn't seem to adhere to the idea that each magic tradition can be a mutually exclusive world view. Not sure how I feel about that."

Nope, deliberately so. Most historical civilisations and even modern religions are a melange of different traditions which have woven together over time. In Republican Rome for instance the average citizen would perform ancestor worship, give sacrifices to the gods, and visit witches to get curse scrolls written.
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DavidCake said Sep 19, 2012 04:56:10
@dreamer_prophet I think that is more an artifact of how RQ separates magic in the rules than anything - Dee and Kelly were both clearly working in the same system of magic, just with different abilities. Similar with Crowley etc. It is notable that a lot of modern magical practice is far more syncretic and mixed than RQ magic is, though.
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DavidCake said Sep 19, 2012 05:07:40
Pete, I think it is very interesting that the RQ6 rules not only allow for mixed cultures, but given the way the rules are written mostly in terms of skills, there really isn't any reason why the rules wouldn't allow for mixed traditions very nicely - cults/traditions whose adherents may use more than one kind of magic.

While at first glance this has a lot of potential for disrupting game balance, I think in practice it is easy to do deal with - you can easily restrict the actual abilities available to a given cult/practice, and the requirement to maintain multiple skills etc probably holds things back.

For Glorantha at least there already are quite a few established traditions that either mix things up a little (eg Urox/Storm Bull, Arkati) or have active cooperation between traditions (eg Odayla/Kolat) established as a regular part of practice too.

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dreamer_prophet said Sep 19, 2012 05:15:01
@DavidCake YGWV

Coming back to the subject of familiars and my earlier question: what are familiars for?
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