Familiar and experience


I think this topic has already been talked about in this forum, but the search engine gives me no answer when i search about "Familiar".

How do you manage familiar experience in game?
More specificaly, do you give them an experience penalty equal to their might? Or no penalty at all? Or maybe another value?

Point is that RoP: Magic introduced rules for magical creatures experience.
Yet, rulebook states, p105: "Over the years, your familiar learns what you know, provided that you keep the familiar with you when you study and that you share knowledge with it".
Also, same page: "Familiars can learn Abilities in the same ways as humans. They cannot, however, learn magic, although they can learn Magic Theory and serve as laboratory assistants".

Thank you for your answers :slight_smile:

We do penalize their learning by their Magic Might, if they have it. As a result, we find teaching them Artes Liberales very important. Then they can study from our books, which generally have qualities well over the familiars' might scores.


As you say, there are three ways (per RAW) to treat things.

I used to go with the second core-book method, allowing the familiar to learn explicitly. I think it works well-enough, but you tend to end up with a familiar with very high Magic Theory, as long as the SG is permissive.

I think I actually prefer the first option - to just let the familiar have your scores. Makes life simpler, and is not unbalanced.

I don't really like the involved math of the RoPM method. It's there to limit the XP of immortal beings anyways, not to hinder the learning of familiars. So I tend to ignore it.

I calculate something I call "Bond Potential". You have your required Bond Level, and your full Lab Total equals your Bond Score. I calculate Bond Potential as being the extra spave left over; Lab Total - Level. Whatever this score is, I allow the player to subtract this from the normal advancement penalty due for magic might, but only if the source quality comes directly from the magus (teaching, studying a book he wrote, assisting in the lab, adventure, etceteras).

Or, the easy way is simply t say that there is no learning penalty for a Familiar if the source quality comes from the magus. No math involved, and it keeps the spirit of the rules intact.

Sorrry to dedge up a old(ish) thread, but figured its easier than starting another thread on this...

Q: Do familairs have the opportinuty to study for whole seaons at a time? I guess that they gain exposure whenever you use their bonus to your lab totals, but when your studying from texts, vis etc, can your familiar being studying something else?



Yes, just like anything else. The familiar is an intelligent being, though it has its own limits.

I think the disagreement about how to use the rules stems from having ArM5 well before RoP:M (and RoP:F). Clearly familiars can learn Magic Theory to help in the lab. Prior to the RoP books, there is little reason to expect things to work differently. Once the new rules come out, how do you merge what you have been doing with the new rules? In our case we had a break between games so we're just using the new (RoP) rules.


Ok, thanks for the clarification. Now i just need to get my hands on one or both of those books to read the update stuff then




I'm not a fan of RoP:M, for this and other, similar reasons.


Here's what I do in the saga I don't run:

  1. Any entity that can die from aging is considered mortal, even if it has a Might score, and gains xp as though it did not have Might.

These beings benefit from being bound as familiar to a worthy magus, because the bond usually defers aging and death.

  1. Any entity with a Might score that is bound to a suitable magus gains the following benefits:

a) It can always gain 2xp/season from Exposure. These xp can be used without vis or rituals or "fixing" or any other encumbrance, for any purpose otherwise legal for the entity. (Daimons also benefit from this, which is why they are happy to bond with suitable magi rather than be summoned as needed.)

b) In a saga where the acclimatization rules are used, a familiar need not worry about it; the bond to a magus maintains it.

  1. The rules for Aura fluctuation, acclimatization, advancement through consuming vis and so on are not used.