Familiars in light of RoP:M

Just wanted to poll the group about familiars.

How has you magus used it (them) over time?

My concern lies in the fact that you need to subtract the Might from the Source Quality for any learning experience UNLESS the familiar also consumes vis (and it would be a LOT of vis).


Assume a Might 10 critter. If you want them to learn, say, Magic Theory, you can teach them. If you have a COM+0 magus who hasn't had an apprentice yet and aTeaching ability of 1, teaching them magic theory would mean you are able to impart (0(COM)+6(single student)+3 +1 (Teaching) = 10) - Might of 10 = 0 xp. If you throw vis at the problem, you can get them to level 1 with five pawns. Pretty expensive.

So, given the rules from RoP:M, is it even reasonable to expect that a Familiar is really teachable? What use is a familiar (beyond cord scores)? Is it worth the expense in vis?

Just wondering?


It has been a long time since I've read the RoP: Magic manuscript, as in probably 18 months before it was released, but I thought there was an exception for Familiars and the vis cost for learning did not apply to them. I can look at the book when I get home to confirm. If it doesn't exist, it should.

PS. In any event, it doesn't matter. Verticius will be long dead before he has the chance to bind, much less teach his familiar. I've got my Tempestarii wizard all generated. He's ready to play when (not if) Praecisus gets killed. You might want to start working on a replacement character rather than worrying about teaching your familiar.

  1. I think you are overlooking some things vis-a-vis familiars learning:

What about books? For example, get a professional teacher to teach the familiar Artes Liberales so it can read Latin. Buy a Magic Theory primer, say level 5 and quality 15, if your covenant doesn't already have one. Most likely the covenant would want to have such a book on hand. (The medium covenant example has level 5 / quality 20 and level 6 /quality 15 summas, so level 5 / quality 15 is really not pushing it. After 15 seasons with the book your familiar will be at level 5 in Magic Theory. While far from immediate, it can certainly happen.

What about improving your teaching? Hire a professional teacher to teach you teaching. You ought to be able to get to Teaching 6 in a reasonable time. With a specialty in familiars, that allows you to give your familiar 6 points in a season.

What about transformation? With the access to Vis provided by the magus you ought to be able to get your familiar to pick up Apt Student or Book Learner or Independent Study after some adventures. Any one of those would put a big dent in the penalty, the former two much more than the last.

  1. Also, don't forget about the value of enchantments in the familiar bond. I'm currently working on a character whose primary method is to enchant the familiar bond. I have lots of constantly acting powers (Moon duration) without Warping.


This has come up on the board recently.

IMS, we don't subtract MM when the familiar is gaining his xp with the magus. That gets rid of the No Fatigue 6-seasons of reading books tricks without penalizing high-MM familiars.

Yes, high-MM familiars are heavily penalized. Take the standard MM3, give it 5 Qualities and 2 Reduced Might Inferiorities. Now you have a MM1 familiar. Have it consume vis for a year in an aura 5 regio, it will gain 4 Qualities and 2 Inferiorities for the low cost of 4 pawns of vis. Do it in an level 10 aura and you only gain the 4 Qualities. After 5 years, your MM1 familiar has 25 Qualities and 2 Reduced Might Inferiorities. You do one last Transformation where for 0 xp you replace some Qualities with Improved Might and replace Reduced Might by some other Inferiorities. There you have a MM5 familiar with 20+ Qualities, as powerful as a MM12 familiar but much easier to advance.

Maybe I missed it somewhere in RoP:M, Transformation should increase MM or at least make further Transformations harder. The study penalty for Transformation should be Qualities - Inferiorities. This way, by the time your MM1 has gained as many Qualities as a MM5, it will advance as slowly.

Thanks, all, for the answers. I'll look into it.

Pshaw! Verticius is going to live forever! The Devourer is just a minor hiccup! No way is he going to d ... (squish)