Enchantments on Familiars & Lab Bonuses

In the Laboratories chapter of Covenants (highly recommended for any labrat!), it describes how appropriate magical enchantments may give bonuses to different elements of labwork. For instance, magically moving images may give a bonus to Imagonem, or levitating items might give a bonus to Rego or (if related to books) to Scribing. Further, some spells may (at the risk of turning the entire lab project into an unexpected "experiment") give similar bonuses - excellent lighting may give a bonus to both Imagonem and Texts, and so on. Great.

Is there any reason that an enchantment upon a Familiar would be any different than the same sort of enchantment on an item, with regard to creating a bonus for labwork?

Obviously, the enchantment would have to be relevant to the task - simply giving a Familiar human speech, the ability to change to human form, or razor-sharp steel claws would aid in few avenues of effort, if any. However, if a high-powered Wand of Analyze Magic could add to some task, is there any reason that the same effect via a Familiar wouldn't do the same?

Seems fine to me.

(As an afterthought, there are some practical considerations - the Familiar would have to be in the lab enough to count as "a lab item" for that Season - and the personality of some Familiars, or just some plot complications, might (at times) preclude that.)

Yes, but it's a cool idea nonetheless.


Nobles Parma, but isn't effects in the familiar bond limited to effects that target the magus, the familiar or both?
That might sort of limit it's usefulness in lab. Otherwise a cool idea.

Tellus is right.
However an addicting magic effect in the bond is a good thing since it doesn't warp.

True, so I didn't make the best choices for a familiar in the lab item examples I drew from the Covenants book.

But I was thinking of Intellego effects - which affect the senses of the familiar, so are kosher (I'd think). A familiar that can analyze magical effects as they occur might be a reasonable effect to qualify for a lab bonus of some sort on inventing new spell/item effects.

Also, some wards might work toward Safety (ala the Tireless Servant), or a bonus for specific Arts (Ignem, for instance).

Or, better yet, you have the familiar control those enchantments (Intellego effects, etc.) on you. Then your familiar doesn't even have to be in the lab.


Yes, the familiar would need to be in the lab (or at least able to target the lab remotely with suitable effects).

But he needs to be in the lab anyway, if you are using his Int + Magic Theory bonus to the Lab Total. So, it doesn't seem a particularly big problem (usually).

I think it a good idea.

I'd be careful about minor magical focus (cats), though. I'd only allow the focus to be used if it didn't feel cheesy.

Otherwise, you'd have the same problem as with the "wood" focus.

Well, Familiars already give a lab bonus. Any expansion of that should be handled like a magic item in the lab, with a bonus based on what bonus it gives and magnitude. Coming up with something more then raw numbers could get tricky.

Sorry, do you mean that an effect enchanted in the bond doesn't warp the magus? Even for a powerful effect used for most of the time (costant effect)?

See warping (page 190+-). I always forget that this rule exist, but yes, it's there.
A constant/powerful effect in the bond never warp.

p 167-8, but yeah - same idea as Aegis and Parma, and any powerful (non-constant) effect that the caster designs for themselves.

(p. 190 is Regiones - close.) :wink: