The experienced lab rat I mentioned before is interested in getting himself a familiar. Being rather on the 'I never leave my lab â€“ unless to go to the library or dinner'-side he is considering to sire it himself in a manner of speaking. CrAn(Vi+further requisites) does the job, but that guideline there is rather unspecific. I wonder whether anybody else has already spent some thoughts on this. here are mine:
- The creature created by the base effect looks like a perfect specimen of a mundane animal of size+1 or less. It has a magic might of 5 and doesn't have any special powers, but due to its being closer to perfection than mundane equivalents it gains one point in Presence above the ususal level for the mundane species.
- Size can be increased in the ususal way: By increasing the magnitude of the spell one level the size can be increased up to 3 levels.
- Increasing the spell for one magnitude and adding a Mentem-requisite results in a creature of human like intelligence â€“ its Cunning-attribute is replaced by Intelligence at the same level.
- Each power the creature is supposed to have increases the magnitude of the spell by one. Calculate the power as a hermetic spell. The technic and form used become requisites of the creation spell. Using the power costs the creature (magnitude of the effect) points from its Might Pool. No power may have a higher level than the creature's Might. Calculate any power that is permanently turned on like a spell with sun duration and subtract the resulting might points permanently from the creature's Might.
- Each aditional magnitude of the spell increases the Might of the creature by five points.
- Any Virtue or quality beyond those of the base animal increases the results in a further increase of the spell's magnitude by one.
- Hermetic Magic can't circumvene its own limits by creating a creature that isn't affected by them. The creature can't have any powers that couldn't be replicated by hermetic magic.
- The art of Creo can only create things that do 'naturally' exist. So a magus is somehow limited to those kind of magical creatures that do exist in ME (or are at least known there). There are Beasts of Virtue for any kind of animal, but their abilities should fit to the specialities of the mundane version. More bizarre creatures should exist in myth (e.g. Phoenixes, Harpies...)
- If the creature is supposed to follow the orders of its creator, this results in another level increase of one magnitude, and naturally a Rego-requisite is needed. This also results in a creature completly unsuited as a familiar, as the freedom of its will is significantly restricted.
- If slain the creature's body contains about one pawn of vis for every 10 points of Might or fraction thereof.
Basically these rules mean that the creation of magical creatures is nearly unheard of in the order: To create a useful creature a ritual well beyond the 20th magnitude is needed and many Arts are needed as requisites - hardly a magus is capable of developing such spells. And even for small and insignificant creatures the minimum ritual is of the 11th magnitude â€“ hard to develop, quite risky to cast (12 botch dices) and very expensive (11 (6 for Mercurians) pawns of Vis) â€“ nothing you go through just for a useless party gag.
Of course a dedicated Creo specialist might try to create a spell with 'Target: Group' and start breeding the creatures. Perhaps this pays of in the end.
I'm waiting for your comments (or alternative thoughts).
Alexios ex Miscellanea
Firstly, nice train of thought.
Nevertheless I would add a couple notes of mine here. Firstly, unless you intend that the created familiar is some form of humanoid, it is CrAn(Vi, +other requisites depending on what you wish to achieve), not CrCo.
Secondly, the creation of mythic beasts is already accounted for within the RAW guidelines under CrAn and is indeed a ritual which clocks in at a base level 50+.
Other than that it seems you have given this matter a great deal of thought. Bravo!
Maybe it is rare in your saga.
I think the size limits are good but nothing else. E.g.: magic might is equal to the general might these animals have.
I suppose you thought on CrAn(Vi).
I would not let the magus to create a familiar. There is nothing mystic in this process. Give him obscure dreams about his familiar who waits to him somewhere. If you don't want to bother with his familiar roll something but never let the player to create his familiar.
Again, thanks for the fast answer - I really love this forum.
'CrCo' was of course a mistake, and I hope I have managed to correct it with my last edit of the original post.
I know that spell guideline in the core rules, and my problem was that it is rather unspecific.
So I tried to work it out, working under the assumption that the basic effect only provides for the most lowly of magical creatures. I wondered whether other players think so as well or if there are other thoughts on this as well.
So, I'll go in waiting
Alexios ex Miscellanea
Well yes, the base of the guideline wouldnt give a Dragon. For that you'd need added mags for size (2-3 depending on type of dragon you wanted, for example), additional mags for Vim-based powers (and additional forms for such where necessary, i.e. Ignem for fire, Aq for acid, etc.) which would likely result in the sort of levels avievable only by the rarest and most powerful archmagi or requiring some form of group ritual precasting like Wizard's Comm in order to lower the CrAn target total.
Level 50-60 might get you an mythical wolf, Lynx, Fox, Badger, Owl, Hawk, etc (noble's Parma) But Im not inclined to do the calcs to confirm it.
The only problem I see with the official base guideline is that it encourages creating high-Might creatures. The minimal level you can create a creature is level 55; even not counting the range-related level increase, you can create a Magic Might 50 creature. That's a very powerful creature.
I would have preferred the guideline to say "half the level". This would suffice for a Magic Might 25 creature, which in ArM5 seems to be about right the "average joe" of magical creatures, while keeping things like Might 75 outside the reach of Hermetic magic. It also means that the casting magus wields magic on a scale that is twice the creature's Might and above 50, which is probably enough to kill/dominate such creatures, so it is sort of balanced (in contrast, under core you could create creatures you cannot or can barely Penetrate).
Otherwise, about your guidelines...
-The idea of adding +1 to Pre is nice. I think limiting the creation to Might 5 is excessive, but Might 50 is too high.
-I agree regarding size increases.
-The Mentem requisite is probably required to create an Intelligent beast, and I suppose the magnitude increase is in order.
-I don't think it is necessary to increase the level by +1 per power. I wouldn't, since the magus isn't just piling powers onto an imaginary creature. I would allow the magus to create the creature as-is, without further increases in magnitudes; level 50 is high enough. No need to reduce Might for permanently created powers, or so on - you create what already exists, not something that doesn't exist in Mythic Europe.
-I agree the guideline should be interpreted along the lines of the "General" ones, i.e. that the "level of the spell" should not take into account boosts to size, range, and so on; increasing Might requires increasing the base level of the spell. I would say that it makes sense to increase Might by +1 magnitude per two increases in magnitude in the spell's level. This way you convert two pawns of raw vis into one. And I think it limits Might to something more reasonable.
-I would generally not allow any increase in a Virtue or quality beyond that of the base creature you're recreating. Whatever virtues or qualities it has, however, come at no extra cost.
-I certainly agree Hermetic magic can't create a creature that has powers that break the limits of magic.
-I agree that the magus can only create things that already exist, and add that he furthermore needs to have some idea of what he is creating.
-I agree a Rego-controlled beast is totally unsuited as a familiar.
-And I agree with the Might and pawns.
Now the idea of creating a familiar for yourself by magic is interesting. I would consider it doable, since the player wants it. However, I am tempted to require an adventure nonetheless. Perhaps it is possible, but only through a Minor Breakthrough - a Bonisagus magus has already invented such a process, to create what he calls a "homunculus", but the work hasn't been disseminated throughout the Order; a trip to Durenmar or a neighboring covenant that happens to hold the relevant Folio is required to obtain his results. [Creating a homomculus is a CrCo effect, methinks, but I would either follow the CrAn guidelines replacing An with Co or allow CrAn if the player prefers it.]
hmm, not being presently inclined to create magical creatures nor having taken time to really read the RAW on it, I am somewhat surprised to hear that the guideline base level would generate a creature with equivalent might. This just sounds completely wrong and out of keeping with the idea of "Base" levels.
If necessary then, my previous comments would be House ruled as so. I simply cannot see anyone coming even close to Dragon Might level with a mere 55-60 level ritual. 100+ and we can talk.
shudders at the casual mention of level 100+ spells
Sure I understand and one should shudder at such, thats why they should be the domain of very ooooooooold Archmages.
That said, even a level 100 ritual becomes a casting target 20 ritual as soon as you get 4 other sodales to agree to cast a Wizard's Comm with you first. So for the truly enterprising and determined PCs that isnt much of a deterrent.
Familiars are more than byunches of "Kewl powerz, alkaline batteries and lab bonuses". They are a partner. More akin to a soul mate than a lab and adventure helper. As such, I do not believe that you can CREATE a familiar. You have to FIND one.
If you remove the trust and companionship aspect and simply have a brainless chunk of meat that acompanies you, you have a golem/slave, not a true familiar.
So I would say you can easily create a magical creature with spells, but you are unlikely to be able to create a familiar.
If you want a good animal, earn the trust of a regular animal that you resonate qwith. Then, use a similÃ±ar process to that of bringing out the mythic properties of the animal (akin to the C&G or verditius process) to turn your familiar into a perfect specimen. And I would look cautiously at this, since the final result might nopt resonate with yourself anymore and you might find yourself attached to a piece of your soul that you hater and that hates you back.
The story you develop wityh your familiar: that is the true value of the whole process. A generic "+4 familiar" is so poor I think it would be killed by accident by a bunch of playing children IMS.
Familiars can't have alkaline batteries??? Darn and I so wanted the the Energizer Bunny for a Familiar
One suggestion for finding a good familiar that follows on from the rest of what Xavi just said might be to persue the Merenita nature mysteries and learn the mystery of Awakening. Then once you've found a suitable animal you can Awaken it and choose to bind it as a familiar rather than empower it with mystical effects.
This would certainly work for a magus with an Animal Companion.