Daimons as familiars

I have read through the daimon threads on this forum but not really found the answers I have been looking for. Now a player in my group is about to bind a daimon as a familiar and we need some rules and boundaries. In this post I list some questions and also suggested answers that I would like to have your opinion on.

Question 1
Are the daimons listed in all the source material the actual daimon or just sample aspects of daimons?

My thoughts
Players rarely interact with daimons themselves so for me it makes sense that it is aspects that are listed in the official books.

Question 2
In Hermetic Theurgy you need to know the magic might of a daimon to summon it and bind it as a familiar. Does this refer to the might of the aspect being summoned or the magic might of the actual daimon?

My thoughts
The only way I can fit all available information about daimons is if the actual daimon has a lot more magic might than its aspects. The stat we see in the books is the magic might of the aspect and normally also the limit of how powerful aspects a daimon can create. This would also mean that if you would actually visit the daimon in its domain in the magic realm it would be a much more formidable entity than the stat blocks in the books indicate.

Question 3
If a magus forms a contract and binds a daimon as a familiar. Is the contract for a specific aspect or can other aspects of the daimon be called upon at will? More specific - can a player have any amount of stat blocks for his familiar suitable for different situations, assuming that he can only change aspect once per day as per the limit in the rules?

My thoughts
No, this should not be allowed. There is no limit on how much work this might cause for the story guide.

Question 4
Per the rules daimons are unchangeable. If I understand that correctly there is no way to teach a daimon familiar Magic Theory and that means that it cannot be used as a lab assistant. What is then the payoff for a character that has invested his entire career in learning the relevant virtues and art prerequisites only to gain a familiar that is more limited than a normal spirit familiar? Moreover, if a daimon can’t acquire new experiences how can it even remember the deal it made with the magus? Is it groundhog day every time a new aspect is summoned?

My thoughts
I can see two solutions to this problem:

One solution is to have daimons be unique in some way superior to other spirits. For instance they could have powers not available to other spirits or other spirits could be limited in how much magic might they have. The problem is that this isn’t supported in the books. There are many examples of spirits more powerful than the sample daimons and the only practical advantage of a daimon is the one mentioned in Question 3 and I hesitate to make that possible.

The other solution is to give daimons some way to gain new knowledge. What if knowledge is transferred from an aspect to the daimon when it is recalled? Normal rules would apply so vis would have to be expended to overcome the magic might of the aspect etc. but that way daimons could slowly gain new knowledge by sending aspects into the world, providing them with a new set of motives to interact with the mundane world.

Personally I lean towards the last suggestion but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Bit of a mixed bag, but I think the main bulk of what we got are Daimons themselves, rather then their aspects. Particularly the ones in Mysteries Revised since they're the ones you're most likely to be summoning. While it is stated that Daimons have a lot more might than their aspects, imo the easiest way to go about it is to either assume Aspects can match the Might Score of the whole thing, or take the statblock you're given and reduce the might score of an Aspect that manifests.

The main Daimon where we see clear distinction and differences between the Aspect and the Daimon...is Loki. We are told that he is a Kosmokrator of Might 75. We are introduced to 2 different aspects of him at different Might Scores, for different purposes. Its also implied to be the case for the She-Wolf from the Wolf's Court, Mythic Locations. Which, I don't know, it feels like its just gonna be a headache for the storyguide / trope that wants to deal with Daimons a lot.

If I wanted to bind Lasa Vegoia the Matron I'd just take the path of least resistance and assume the combination of my binding arts has to be 60 or so (Might 30).

I'd agree. For same reason why I think you should look at the aspect and the main daimon statblock as the same thing. This is what the Daimon can offer you: period. It'd be like splitting Lasa Vegoia's portofolio / powers into the theurgist, diviner, teacher and water-based aspects. Just don't feel the need for it.

Your contract is with that one Aspect you called upon. You don't get others is how I would run with it. At least, no different abilities?

I'd play it like this: The Aspect that the Daimon sends to attend the Magus enjoys same benefit as other familiars, it can now be properly taught new abilities without Daimonic Points. Perhaps this extends only to the Aspect the Daimon creates for the Magus, perhaps it also confers said benefits to the Daimon itself as part of the Familiar Bonding? Alternatively - when said Aspect is dismissed, the Daimon can simply recreate the aspect with the specific knowledge it has accumulated from the Magus, but it can only do so for that Magus?

Even if you decide that neither is the case in your saga and the Daimon's unchanging nature gets in the way of both instances despite the specialized Theurgical Familiar method, the payoff is still there. Firstly you get all the updated cords, same as a Spirit Familiar. Second, you get an immortal familiar that can never actually die. Lastly, you potentially get a very, very powerful familiar with strong abilities and powers, some very likely non-Hermetic, or difficult to replicate in such regard. I mean, going back to the example of Lasa Vegoia, have you seen those abilities and powers? Just having that at your disposal? Yes, please!


I would agree. However, note that in some cases, the fact that what you are dealing with is an aspect is made explicit (e.g. An Aspect of Zelos, HoH:S, p.100).

Again, I agree it's the aspect. This is sort-of-explicit in the Theurgic familiar section of TMRE:

If a maga binds a Daimon, she only binds a single Aspect of the Daimon,
If the Daimon is encountered in its place of power outside the world then this is its one true form, and no Aspect of it may appear in that place – except when returning to the place to merge with the true spirit. Daimons frequently encounter other Daimons and spirits in their true places, but almost never encounter mortals. It may even be that the Hall of Heroes is beyond the Lunar Sphere, which might explain why magi cannot find it.

Let's be clear. A daimon may have different aspects (each with its own stats), and each aspect may exist in multiple places simultaneously. A daimonic familiar will only make one aspect available to a magus, but that aspect can exist in multiple places simultaneously, which you can think as having multiple "copies" in existence - see TMRE p.100:

[a] Daimon Aspect [familiar] does retain the ability to manifest in more than one place, and it can use this in cooperation with the maga

A daimon (and similarly "unchanging" spirits) do remember stuff. It's just that their "stats" are generally unchanging - they cannot learn, at least not the usual way. However:
a) there are ways in which they can improve their knowledge - see Immortal Magi p.133, and RoP:M p.51. Yes, it's much easier to have your toad familiar learn Magic Theory, but a familiar is not just a lab assistant, and a powerful daimon can benefit the binding magus in ways unavailable to your average toad.
b) some daimons - e.g. ascended heroes from the Order of Hermes - may already know Magic Theory.


My take has always been that these are the aspects, since teh true might of a daimon is essentially unknowable unless you travel into the magic realm and specifically the portion of the magic realm between insulae in order to confront the Daimon personally. Given that a Daimon is apparently typically too powerful to exist in an insulae or to fully manifest in the material I would assume that for anything but a recently ascended magus the true Might is incalculable.

Since you are binding a Daimon by its summoning formula, would have to assume you are binding one particular aspect, and correspondingly that aspect's might.

Again, just the one aspect

Daimonic aspects are generally unchangeable, in part because each aspect is simply one "face" of the Daimon and how they present themselves. There are rules under ascended magi for "fixing' new abilities they have learned. My rule (which is not RAW) would be that a Daimon familiar can learn so long as it is manifested as your familiar. It can use the rules for ascended magi to bind what it has learned, and that will apply only to what is essential a unique aspect which is your familiar- those using the formula for the aspect you started with will not get the benefit of those abilities. If the aspect you have with you is destroyed if banished and your familiar returns then only the lessons it has "bound" will remain. If you wanted to pass on the aspect-familiar perhaps as an inheritance you would have to create a new formula for your ally that represents the original plus everything the have learned.