Designer’s Notes: A Familiar Path

Pyramid75This started off life as a outtake from the already monstrous “Alternative Ritual Path Magic” and eventually grew into a article all its own. Not counting the time it took me to write the few chunks I excised from Alternative Ritual Path Magic this one took a surprising amount of time to incubate and write – around 80 hours total. Having a familiar is like asking someone what their favorite movie is – you’re going to get a lot of different answers and arguments about what parts are best even when the answers match. Because of this I thought about what should be represented for quite a while and ended up chucking a few things I had wanted to include. Being able to include the squirrel template was one of the highlights of this article for me. (I love squirrels – they are awesome). I’d also added at last minute some notes on how to use the powers I’d made for other purposes and the box on “weird familiars.” The latter having come straight from one of my campaigns where one player character was the familiar of another player character. The request was too cool to pass up and I figured out the rules pretty easily. Also, who wouldn’t want a ninja as their familiar? I mean that’s just too damn cool. One thing I wanted to put in there was a example of a sentient sword as a familiar, but I just ran out of space. I might do that as some support later on down the road for the article on my blog. A couple of outtakes:

Granular Costs for Allies and Dependents
GMs wishing for a finer “grain” for the point total of allies or dependents may allow the following, highly optional progression:

Points Built on…

Point Cost as Ally
Point Cost as Dependent:
0% or less of your points
-15 points
5% of your points
0.2 points
-14 points
10% of your points
0.4 points
-13 points
15% of your points
0.6 points
-12 points
20% of your points
0.8 points
-11 points
25% of your points
1 point
-10 points
30% of your points
1.2 points
-9 points
35% of your points
1.4 points
-8 points
40% of your points
1.6 points
-7 points
45% of your points
1.8 points
-6 points
50% of your points
2 points
-5 points
55% of your points
2.2 points
-4.5 points
60% of your points
2.4 points
-4 points
65% of your points
2.6 points
-3 points
70% of your points
2.8 points
-2.5 points
75% of your points
3 points
-2 points
80% of your points
3.4 points
-1.8 points
85% of your points
3.8 points
-1.6 points
90% of your points
4.2 points
-1.4 points
95% of your points
4.6 points
-1.2 points
100% of your points
5 points
-1 points
105% of your points
5.5 points
-0.8 points
110% of your points
6 points
-0.6 points
115% of your points
6.5 points
-0.4 points
120% of your points
7 points
-0.2 points
125% of your points
7.5 points
130% of your points
8 points
135% of your points
8.5 points
140% of your points
9 points
145% of your points
9.5 points
150% of your points
10 points
155% of your points
11 points
160% of your points
12 points
165% of your points
13 points
170% of your points
14 points
175% of your points
15 points
180% of your points
16 points
185% of your points
17 points
190% of your points
18 points
195% of your points
19 points
200% of your points
20 points
Bonus Familiar Ability
I had quite a few powers I cut, either they didn’t work the way I wanted or they just weren’t good enough or too “out there.” The following is a good example of “useful,” but not “gotta have it.” 
Share Energy
30 points/level
Prerequisite: Mana Collector.
You can supply a mana reserve of 10 per level (up to three levels) to one person of your choice within 2 yards of you (which can be your master or one of his allies). This is an external source and takes the usual amount of time to tap (Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic,p. 21).
Statistics: Each level is Energy Reserve 10 (Mana Reserve; Affects Others, 1 person, +50%; Area Effect, 2 yards, +50%; Cannot Use Reserve, -100%) [30].
Posted in Designer's Notes and tagged , , , .


  1. Ah nice, this finer grade break down might come in handy for a campaign that I'm working on since having the option to recruit allies might be a major thing based on what the players end up doing.

  2. (I will try posting this one last time as I keep having trouble with Google.)
    How would a familiar recharge the Mana Pool. It's hard to imagine a black cat with the skills and abilities to Gather Energy RPM style.

  3. So there are a couple of ways: You can purchase Draw Energy or Mana Collector. The first is a steady, no-rolls required trickle of energy. The second requires your familiar to make an IQ roll. Remember, refilling a reserve is just a Lesser Create Magic effect and Mana Collector would totally allow you to refill your reserve using those rules.

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