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2/12/2018 7:55 pm  #1


Magician's Familiar

Here in Cincinnati OH we will be starting AS&SH 2E this Thursday!  I was considering a magician, however the permanent 1hp/level penalty if the familiar is slain makes me think despite the benefits the ability is not worth it.  What do you all think of this penalty?  Worth the risk?  Any way for a magician to get the hit points back once lost?

Why is a replacement spellbook so much more expensive than a starting spellbook?
 

 

2/12/2018 8:58 pm  #2


Re: Magician's Familiar

Lemmakinen wrote:

Why is a replacement spellbook so much more expensive than a starting spellbook?
 

Because you're not supposed to lose them! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png

And welcome to the board. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

 


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

2/13/2018 12:09 pm  #3


Re: Magician's Familiar

It's worth it if you want to play a magician. Familiars are like spellbooks: you're not supposed to lose them!

 

2/13/2018 2:53 pm  #4


Re: Magician's Familiar

Generally speaking, Old School games are about tough choices. You can gain the benefits of a familiar or you can be safe from the penalties. You can leave your spellbook safely locked in a bank or you can risk carrying it with you in order to rememorize spells. You can be a magician or you can use effective melee weapons. You can have your cake or you can eat it. Never both. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

2/13/2018 10:42 pm  #5


Re: Magician's Familiar

My bunny familiar in under_score's game has more hit points than my witch-man.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

2/14/2018 8:34 am  #6


Re: Magician's Familiar

Jimm.Iblis wrote:

My bunny familiar in under_score's game has more hit points than my witch-man.

And I keep forgetting to send the wolves after that abomination.

 

2/17/2018 9:15 am  #7


Re: Magician's Familiar

As others have said, the HP penalty for losing your familiar goes back, at least, to 1st edition AD&D. The familiar is a so much a part of the magician that its loss takes a bit of you with it.

As for the spell book, 1st edition AD&D suggested a Magic User carry a secondary "traveling spell book" that would contain just the most used spells while the full spell book be kept secured at home or wherever.  I imagine the extra cost for a replacement may reflect the cost of starting a spell book from scratch (without any 'starter' spells).

 

2/17/2018 4:20 pm  #8


Re: Magician's Familiar

The starting spellbook is like that trapper keeper of loose notes, xeroxes and scribblings you've had since you were 12 for DMing games. Just barely functional, but you made it yourself over a long period of time with whatever you could cobble together. Its a scrapbook pretty much. A replacement is going to be a lot of money all at once.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

2/18/2018 10:00 am  #9


Re: Magician's Familiar

Lemmakinen wrote:

Here in Cincinnati OH we will be starting AS&SH 2E this Thursday!

Exciting! And welcome aboard!

Lemmakinen wrote:

I was considering a magician, however the permanent 1hp/level penalty if the familiar is slain makes me think despite the benefits the ability is not worth it.  What do you all think of this penalty?  Worth the risk?  Any way for a magician to get the hit points back once lost?

I like this game rule. The familiar offers significant benefits (see/hear through it, add its 2-4 HP to the magician’s and memorize an extra spell at each level), so having an offsetting drawback makes perfect sense to me (if anything, merely losing 1HP per level if it dies seems cheap!). Plus, I think the potential hit point loss emphasizes the supernatural magician-familiar bond and discourages magicians from using familiars recklessly, as if they were nameless redshirt hirelings that could be replaced easily for a few gold pieces.

As for recovering the hit points, perhaps completing a challenging quest, like collecting various unusual components from across Hyperborea to be used in a special ritual, could be an option. I think the quest needs to be difficult and inconvenient enough that the far, far better option is not to let the familiar die. The hit point recovery absolutely cannot turn into simply paying a fee to a priest in town or buying some everpresent ingredients off the shelf from the local apothecary.

Lemmakinen wrote:

Why is a replacement spellbook so much more expensive than a starting spellbook?

I envision the starting spellbook as a function of the special training that a magician has undergone in order to become a magician - it’s part instructional tool and part gift after years of apprenticeship. The young apprentice slaves away for years serving the master. In return, the master uses his resources, which includes access to special materials and equipment, to train the apprentice in all things relevant, such as creating a spellbook. Should the first level magician lose the spellbook, replacing should require significant resources. Imagine a master auto mechanic training someone by helping him restore a classic Corvette perfectly to his tastes over a period of years. If the apprentice crashes that car, he’s not just using pocket change to buy a new one the next day down at Bob’s Autos, haha! Alernatively, I also like Jimm.Iblis’ idea of the starting spellbook as a jumbled scrapbook of academic notes accumulated over the years that simply cannot be reproduced. Cribbing a similar set from another, likely suspicious and protective magician would require a pretty big bribe in my opinion.

In any case, on familiars and spellbooks, do what you want and what works for your group. Personally, I view the AS&SH game and Hyperborea setting as embracing tough choices and rewarding thoughtful decisions and careful play, so it’s fine for me. I like it!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

2/19/2018 7:10 am  #10


Re: Magician's Familiar

Chainsaw wrote:

I like this game rule. The familiar offers significant benefits (see/hear through it, add its 2-4 HP to the magician’s and memorize an extra spell at each level), so having an offsetting drawback makes perfect sense to me (if anything, merely losing 1HP per level if it dies seems cheap!). Plus, I think the potential hit point loss emphasizes the supernatural magician-familiar bond and discourages magicians from using familiars recklessly, as if they were nameless redshirt hirelings that could be replaced easily for a few gold pieces.

Nailed it.

 

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