The subject says it all. If I make a hedgehog automaton using the Verditius Craft Automata Mystery, can I bind it as my familiar?
The Mystery description doesn't seem to say.
However, anima based on Heron's work explicity cannot be so bound.
The base rules specify a beast or animal with inherent magic. So an automata doesn't seem to qualify.
There are various other Mysteries or methods that allow faeries, spirits, daimons, demons, etc. to become familiars, though.
I'd be inclined to say no barring explicit RAW to the contrary, with the possible caveat of discovery/original research? That's a wishy-washy no - a good sell of a cool idea that leads to an interesting/good saga/story might change my mind, anyway.
I would say no, by default. It's not an animal. OTOH, a minor breakthrough or a benefit result if the automaton were developed using experimentation should suffice, as would a Verditius Mystery Virtue.
Actually, they explicitly can be: "Awakened Devices can be made into familiars but this requires the magus to awaken the device himself." Just a nitpick that has no impact on the rest of the discussion.
Yes, Heron's work is the way to go. You cannot bind any sort of Automaton as a familiar. But, given that we have rules to create "Automaton" like creatures with Heron's rules, certainly such creations would be a path to doing so as Original Research. Given how flawed Automatons are, I would say 10-15 points. Something as good as an Awakened device? Probably 25-30. And Wow, the status you would get in the House!
I was looking at the end of page 78. Hit that and stopped skimming. Was in a hurry.