Table Talk - Development

okay, here is the catch:

The main rule book says familiars die when the magi dies or if it survived, it is devistated. This means that things are changed from the standard unaging of magical animals by the familiar bond.

That isn't house rule. Marko's house rule just lets familiars learn faster than normal as benefit of the price. This is a nicer boost than just it dying without any offseting benefit.

The main rules clearly weren't written in light of Magic. Under the main rules, the life of a familiar is extended by the bond, not shortened--therefore, yes, I think that is a house rule.

In any case, it's not really important to me whether it's a house rule or not; Viola simply would not take a famliar if it meant shortening that creature's life--it's just cruel, and she's not cruel.


Looking over the familiar rules in the main book, I've found a couple of interesting and relevant things.

First, the familiar not only typically dies with the magus (else "is reduced to a pathetic, devastated condition ever after"), but ages with him--which means unless the magus dies young, there's a cost to the familiar even if it doesn't die.

Second, I found this peculiar sentence I've never noticed before, in first paragraph under "The Familiar in Play" on pg. 165: "Over the years, your familiar learns what you know, provided that you keep the familiar with you when you study and that you share your knowledge with it." Does that mean anything in game terms, or does it just imply that the magus and familiar can learn together from the same book at the same time, and that the magus will probably teach the familiar things?


Maybe this shortening of the life for familiars should be taken to the main board and this is something the writers of magic overlooked.

It was discussed on the main board, in the thread about how familiar advancemenet works with Magic. I'm not sure I can say there was a consensus on it, but here's a link to the thread:


Have a look at this one, too:



I guess Viola will have to look for a familiar that had Age Quickly, and Susceptible To Deprivation as flaws.

I know that Ameline probably would do the same. It would not be act of true affection (such as needed for the bond) to make an immortal to become mortal. Although the Caladrius might not die, it dies have to worry about food, shelter, breathing and such as well as magic aura that living with a mage might be worth the price to it.

So, she'd put her values, her choices, over another people's values and choices?

What is your character had the choice between staying as she is, or becoming an immortal cripple, paralised from the neck down. What would she choose? And what if, whatever her choice, the being she faced deciced for her, just like you are?

It's cruel only because you only see one end of the equation.

If I understand correctly, you'd deny achilles the Glory he sought in order to have him live longer, even though such a life would be hollow and worthless to him?
Do viola values quantity of life over quality of life?

Well, this looks like a lot like marko's ruling. So, yes, a familiar can learn from or with the magus (if the magus learns MT, so can the familiar if the magus shares its enlightment with him)
It also goes well with the RoP: M rules, presenting this as an advantage of the familiar condition.

IIRC, in christian mythology, some immortal beings were jealous of humanity's state. I can't remember if this is because of free will or anything else.
Just to say that, then again, immortal doesn't mean better.

That is an interesting point of view. I will examine it further later on. As for Familiar mortality, I reccomend not being over anxious about it. Every magical animal you have ever met has Age Quickly, if that eases your conscious.

No. And you have to twist what I said pretty hard to get that.


Well, that potentially screws up another character, Astrid's pet rook.

Why don't we just say that immortal familiars don't age and aren't generally killed or crippled by the death of the magus? If the magus does die, they're affected, but no worse than a magus whose familiar dies.


LOL, I think he is referring to the Familiar's choice. What if the creature wants to become a Familiar, form a close bond with you and gain Intelligence the ability to learn? I think tht is the point he is trying to make.

Yes, I realize that, but familiarization is a mutual decision, meaning that the magus bears as much responsibility for the decision as the potential familiar. Yes, the potential familiar is making his own choice, but the ethical problem is that his choice might be influenced by his affection for the magus, that he might make the decision not simply because he wants to do it, but because he thinks that pleasing the magus is necessary to maintain their friendship.

To you, that may sound silly, but to someone who deals with the ethical issues of undue influence on a daily basis (I'm a professor, and this is why getting too close to students is a problem), it's an issue I perceive quite keenly.


I think perhaps you are worrying too much. Of all of us, Viola has the least fear of mortality. She could easilly achieve Immortality through the "Becoming" Mystery (though none of they mystagogues she currently knows of would be able to teach her that, it is a possibility for the future).

However, I do have a set of optional "Familiar Quality" rules I wrote up, based off of the ArM4 Familiar rules, combined with RoP-Magic and the current edition's rules. I wasn't planning to use this ecaue I really hate Hose Rules (and they are starting to creep in on us). It was an abandoned article idea. Scott, I will send this to you as a PM for your feedback.

:laughing:, this is why I can never become a professor. I can't be trusted around college girls!

You can't be trusted around any of us girls!


I would like to see them. However, I'm actually OK with most of what we've discussed, except for the mortality thing.


"ignore the man behind the curtain"......


If you don't worry abbout it, it will never become a concern :smiley:
But I sent you that thing anyways. I never developed the idea any further than that. Perhaps you could help me refine it and we can jointly submit it to SR?


As marko said, you can have a creature ready to trade bleak immortality for a few bright years, but still, as YOU deem preferable to live forever, you decide to deny it to him, based on your choice. Then again, just as you could say to a paralitic "I choose for you to live forever in this state, instead of being whole and dying in 10 years". Their life, their choice.

Franckly, to me, the biggest problem here is that you see immortality as eminently desirable, and can't conceive that there might be trade-offs.

And sure, this choice might be affected by their affection for the magus, but maybe not in the way you think. If clara dies, wirth will die, although he plans to live forever... With her. But life without her is nothing to him. And there's no familiar bond in it :wink:
In fact, he would see such a bond like a blessing if the death of his wife would mean death for him. Don't you think some familiars might think along similar lines? Such degree of commitment can also explain why it is so difficult to find one, instead of taking the magical cat next door.

Moreso, to think that the familiar would do this to keep the magus affection means, IMO, that it is not a suitable familiar, since true friends don't feel the need to do anything to keep the friendship of their companions. There need to be real trust and friendship between a magus and his would-be familiar, and this precludes such feelings.

On another subject...

My girlfriend is curious about this role-playing stuff, and I suggested maybe she could make a character and play with us--a companion, since she's not big on rules (I don't have any tabletop games going on, so I have no other way to involve her). She wants to play a faerie, and has an interesting character concept--I thought we could make it pretty easily with the Magic rules. Would anyone object to having her play?