What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Discussion of all things magical for DCC RPG -- "Let the Phlogiston take you where it will..."

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, michaelcurtis, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
robinmotion
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:46 pm

What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by robinmotion » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:48 am

So, the spell/description says that the higher you roll, the more powerful your familiar and the greater impact it has on your magic ...

But let's say a Lawful wizard rolls medium, and gets a Focal familiar.
A Chaotic wizard rolls really, really, really well, maxing out the spell, and gets ... a Focal familiar.

I don't mind the randomness, but that line about it being more powerful makes me think something got removed in an edition update or was just never added, or something.

I'm tempted to just let the caster pick the type of familiar, since they all have different pros and cons. I mean, even the guardian seems tasty, with those bonus hit points! Can anyone with experience talk about if any are significantly more powerful than the others?

User avatar
GnomeBoy
Tyrant Master (Administrator)
Posts: 3813
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:46 pm
FLGS: Bizarro World
Location: Left Coast, USA
Contact:

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:58 pm

I think you're right, it must be something left over from the draft version of the game, that slipped into the printed version.

BTW, there have been no "edition updates". It's one edition all along. Many printings (we're up the 8th!), but just one edition.
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com - The Home of Inner Ham

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2990
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:10 pm

As a general rule, the higher you roll, the more powerful the familiar.

However, alignment has an effect on what you get.....or, rather, what gets you.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

robinmotion
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by robinmotion » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:46 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:10 pm
As a general rule, the higher you roll, the more powerful the familiar.
That's what I mean, though. In the book, they're ... not.

robinmotion
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by robinmotion » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:51 pm

I think I'll replace the chart with as follows:
12-17 = all aspects of the familiar are randomly determined
18-23 = you get to pick the physical configuration (limited to your alignment)
24-29 = you get to pick the physical configuration and type
30+ = you get to pick the physical configuration and type, and it has an additional 1d3+1 HP, +1 AC, and +1 to saves

User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2990
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by Raven_Crowking » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:56 am

I see. The 4th printing spell description reads:

This lengthy ritual prepares the caster to bond with a familiar. The familiar makes itself known during
the ceremony 50% of the time; otherwise, the caster makes its acquaintance sometime in the weeks following
the ritual. The spell check is made upon completion of the ritual, and a minimum spellburn of 10
points is required to cast this spell.

The caster gains hit points equal to the familiar’s and other powers as well, depending on the creature
summoned. Once the caster has summoned a familiar (whether having met it or not), he cannot summon
another until the current one dies and a full moon passes.

If a familiar dies, the caster immediately keels over in intense pain, loses twice the familiar’s hit points
permanently, and suffers a -5 spell check penalty until the next full moon.

The judge will provide more information (see page 316).
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

User avatar
GnomeBoy
Tyrant Master (Administrator)
Posts: 3813
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:46 pm
FLGS: Bizarro World
Location: Left Coast, USA
Contact:

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by GnomeBoy » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:48 am

Raven, the "higher" part is on pg 316. It pretty plainly says the higher the roll the more powerful the familiar.

But then the chart just gives you different types of familiars, and they are assorted differently by Alignment.

I can't detect anything that makes them "more powerful" based on higher rolls. For example, if "Arcane" is the most powerful type (Lawful roll of 30+), why then does the Neutral result give Arcane at 18-23?

There's nothing in the procedures for stating up the familiars that is based on the spellcheck. If say, they got bonus hp equal to 1/3rd of the spellcheck, then you could reasonably say the higher the spell check the more powerful the familiar.

It very much looks like a stray remnant from the development days...

A simple houserule to make that statement on 316 true could be as simple as you get a spellcasting bonus of x/day equal to 1/10th of your spellcheck (rounded down) when your familiar is in physical contact with you.
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com - The Home of Inner Ham

robinmotion
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by robinmotion » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:56 am

I like the idea of providing choice based on the spell check result, because:
A) Choice is so rare in this game! It makes a familiar special
B) A guardian familiar to one caster might be boring, but essential to another; I think choice might be even more valuable than a numerical bonus, and more fun
C) The personality is always random, because that is KEY ; ).

Jim Skach
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 287
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: Crystal Lake, IL

Re: What am I missing about Find Familiar?

Post by Jim Skach » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:26 am

There might be some confusion here. The higher result is more powerful refers to the spell check - not any of the table used to generate a familiar.
A wizard can summon a familiar with the spell find familiar. The resulting familiar is determined by his spell check and alignment. The higher the spell check, the more powerful the familiar and the greater effect it has on the wizard’s magic.
(emphasis mine)

So the higher=better is not about the Familiar Type (Table 7-4)*, or the Familiar Physical Configuration (Table 7-5), or even the Familiar Personality (Table 7-6). It's about the spell check itself.

Now, having said that - the spell check results are useless from this standpoint because they just say, for each result, "Per judge." What is really needed here is some guidance on how to make any of the possible combinations rolled on the three aforementioned tables more powerful as the spell check increases. Like, some cool random tables or something (which is kinda my default position).



* I understand that Table 7-4: Familiar Type implies that the higher=better is instantiated therein. However, this would lead to endless disagreement as to why a Focal Eagle is the best familiar to have...

Post Reply

Return to “Magic and Spells”