Character viability and advices

I'm considering a Flambeau magus concept which would be a mix between the School of Ramius and the School of Sebastian with a focus on canine as an exemple.

It relies on taking a canine for exemple a wolf as a familiar that would benefit from the focus (If I read the familiar rules right, you get the benefit of the focus on any enchantement while empowering the bound)
So he could enchant part of his defensive spells on the bound instead of casting them all before the combat. He could use his familiar as a fighting partner.

Assuming the magus :

  • has appropriate communication with his Wolf familiar,
  • has inoffensive to animal virtue
  • has an intangible tunnel to his familiar that stands with his pack

Questions :
-Would It be possible to use a ReAn to teleport the whole wolf pack (ReAn base 35 +1 touch +2 group) and have them fight as a trained group where the familiar (with boosted defense from the bound 's empowerment and trained leadership) is the the vanguard, and leader while the magus fights independently.
-Can you see pro/cons for this approach compared to the classic Ramius Magus ?
-If the magus changed himself into a wolf, could he be the vanguard of the trained group ? (assuming he spent at least a season training with the pack )

Pros :
-The familiar and the magus share the damage.
-Lots of defense can be make permanent or activable without any risks of botch, nor warping this reduces the risk of being caught by surprise defenseless.
-The benefit of a trained group in combat

Cons :
-Needs a lot of virtus for enchantement and some suboptimal virtues
-Weak normal animals could die easily
-Familiar needs to stay with its pack a lot and is less in the lab helping the magus
-More conspicuous
-A simple ward against mundane animal makes the whole pack worthless (could probably still force concentration rolls though)

Comments ?


Correct. Any enchantment in the Bond benefits from a Focus that includes the familiar.

Yes. And he doesn't Warp either. Note that the familiar casts such effects on him, so the magus might find himself without access to the effect if the familiar is in a bad mood or unhappy with the magus for some reason. This will occur rarely, perhaps never. But it does need pointing out. A group effect on both magus and familiar can be cast by either.


Suppose your magus had a Group/Voice ReMe spell, and can only see one person, but knows that person is among a group of people. Can he ReMe the entire group? If you rule not, this should not work either.

Only if they would normally fight as a trained group, and only after coercing or persuading them to do so, unless the familiar is pack leader, in which case the familiar does the coercing and persuading.

That's up to the animals, unless your magus can coerce them.

Sure. But the animals will also fight independently, and are not mere extensions of the magus' will.

Even if the familiar is pack leader, if working with the magus is too weird for the rest of the pack, the whole thing won't work.

Animals are not extensions of the magus, but have their own agendas, desires, fears and antipathies. This will and should provide unexpected benefits but also challenges. A Ramius with a sword does not have to worry about his sword fleeing from a dragon. A pack of wolves will almost certainly refuse to engage the dragon. On the other hand, a pack of wolves can engage multiple foes, can sense things the magus cannot, can stand guard over the magus to the extent that they can normally do so, and provide other benefits that derive from initiative and agency.

Also, animals can die and get hurt. A sword can break, but RAW doesn't really deal with that much, whereas the wolves will explicitly be placed in harm's way.

If his stats are within the parameters allowed by the rules, and the other wolves are ok with it, why not?

You'd want to protect the pack with your PM, certainly, because if you're worried about Wards, you'll worry about ReAn, CrIg, etc.

It's probably best to bind the pack leader of a bunch of magical wolves. These might be immortal. Immune to mundane wards. Bring powers to the table.

Another approach is to choose magical animals that prefer to stay in the lab. (lab rats ftw! :slight_smile: ) Put lots of enchantments in the Bond, leave the familiar safe at home when you venture forth, and create a device that lets him teleport stuff to you as you need it. What every Ramius-ish Flambeau needs: A fully staffed operations control center! If you're using the Covenants lab rules, you now also qualify for a few very good lab enhancements.



Make sure your wolf familiar has the power Pack of One from page 193 of the core book?

I've always found the group targeting rules confusing, I don't see how you could target any group at arcane connexion range if you don't allow this.

That was more or less the idea, when choosing a familiar It seems natural to select the "best of his kind" individual, that would be the pack leader probably.

NIce catch, but they would be resisted by parma :cry:

Very good advice


By having ACs to each member of the group, such as a bunch of grogs. You can teleport them out of battle, cast defensive spells on them from afar, and so on.

If I create an AC to them as a group by twining stands of hair from each of them, one might even argue that when using this AC they are automatically a Group, even if not standing right next to each other. That can be very useful.

Yes. Of course, too much weirdness might give rise to challengers or even disrupt the pack.

If you want obedience, dogs might be a better choice than wolves.



Here is a thread from way back in January 2006 that might prove helpful.

Nice indeed.

That original batch of spells looks good, except for the one with a "restriction." Such spells are not part of Hermetic Magic design, and for very good reason.

added them to the Grimore thread.