Enchanting Familiar Bonds

Am I missing something with adding effects to familiar bonds? Any number of effects, any effect up to your lab total in one season, and no warping? Is there any reason not to be constantly covered in permanent wards against everything, huge permanent bonuses to recovery rolls, a half dozen intellego effects up all the time, and all the stat boosts you can manage at sun duration? The only downside is that you have to keep your familiar happy and safe, but since it works at any range the familiar could just chill out in your lab all the time without causing any problems. There has to be some catch that Im missing.

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Only half your lab total. Its no real improvement over invested items in that regard. Otherwise yeah, its awesome.

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You still have to invest the Vis and time to create the enchantments, but yes.
Familiars are absolutely awesome in this edition.
I'm glad someone's noticed.

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The immunity to warping is what makes it really killer. "Why yes, I'm immune to fire, air, water, and earth. Also humans, and plants. Oh and I can fly."



Downsides that I can think of:

  • Everytime you install an enchantment in the familiar bond, you and your familiar gain one of the other's traits as a cosmetic effect. Depending on the trait (which you're unlikely to have much control over unless your SG is feeling particularly kind), this might cause problems. The impact tends to be bigger the more powerful the enchantment.
  • (Judging by the sample of effects you listed, I think you've already caught this one, but just in case...) There are limits on what type of enchantment you can build in - they have to affect either yourself or your familar.
  • (Definitely already caught this one). If the familiar dies, or the cords are cut or degrade (if for some reason you're enchanting the bond to a faerie familiar), you lose the lot.

But yes. Basically, the lack of warping is lovely. Pity the poor Bjoernaer.


Its also worth noting that certain permanent magical protections aren't actually things you necessarily always want.

Having a permanent ward against blades is going to be a real pain if you need surgery.
Having a permanent ward against people is going to cause so many extra problems... no shaking hands, no accepting gifts, no being able to be shaken awake, etc.

Even a permanent ward against fire could get you into some trouble, though those ones are situational enough that those kinds of wards are probably worth it.

And, of course, your familiar represents a hole in your defenses - and anyone who has a good idea of how to wizard's war will take into account if you seem to have a familiar and a whole bunch of potent permanent wards.


Just to add my 2p, if you add a Rego requisite (+1 magnitude), you can have wards/spells that are suppressible at will. However, you will want to protect your familiar too, and all of this adds more levels so the effectiveness of your spells will be lower. And then, as your Arts increase, you will want better spells to be enchanted... all of this takes time to achieve, and time is power after all!


I think that many of the power issues come about from the existence of personal wards as implemented in this edition (an issue that disturbs many of us).

As far as a rego requisite and the accompanying magnitude to have effects suppressible at will, I don't like it as much as the core book legal option of having duration concentration item maintains concentration. If you use 3 levels for 5 (6?) (serf's parma) uses per day it comes in at exactly the same level as a constant effect. You'd just have to activate it every dawn and sundown (which I see as more story potential and is why I like it).

What enchantments have people put into the bonds in actual play as opposed to munchkin dreaming?


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One of the tricky little caveats about bond enchantments is the fact that the opposite partner controls the effect. If an effect wards the familiar it's the magi that has to raise and lower it. A flying effect on a Magus it seems his familiar will be steering.

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My favourite Familiar bond spells are:
Turn the Magus into a bird (Allows for an easy escape and scouting)
Turn the (bird) familiar into a human (Allows them to do things like read books and usefully help out in the lab)
Mental Communication (On both the mage and the familiar. Allowing the familiar and mage to check in with each other at any time and prevent miscommunications.)


In the style of Maleficent?

Precisely like Malificent.

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A notable difference to previous editions is that there is no reason not to go for a familiar as soon as you can, since you can always reforge the bonds. Sure it takes time and resources, but the familiar evolves with your magus. Earlier editions had the bond be permanent and unchangeable, so youd have the constant naggign feeling that now may not be the time to bond, because what if you get better?
Also, the bond used to depend on the Intellego Animal Mentem scores, so magi operatin goutside those foci had poor familiars. Now, you use what arts you want sinde it depends on the animal found or sought after.


Unless you want one with a good size and might, of course.

Even then, if you can bind it, there is little reason not to.

My whole point was there are things which require a high lab total to bind, Erik, so sometimes you want to wait because while you could get an interesting familiar, it's not the specific king of familiar you would want.

I both appreciate and don't appreciate the specifics of binding big familiars. No reason to avoid the best you can get, which somewhat ruins the 'true friend' aspect.

If you have a TeFo lab total of 60, and can bind a Might 30 Size +1, there's no mechanical reason to bind a Might 13 cat who you have been friends with for the last few years, other than RP. I don't believe that binding the 'lesser' creature should be the mechanically best decision, but there is actually zero bonus to binding below your maximum. I feel like there should be SOME kind of balance, even if a token one.

The main bonus for a smaller, low Might familiar, is that you can generally bind them just out of Gauntlet, giving it more time to help you in the Lab, and increase it's Magic Theory. And more time to enchant the bond.
And the higher MT of the familiar allows you to do other Lab activities faster.