Adventures In Familiars III – More Templates

Eclipse includes a variety of ways to pump up a Companion (Familiar, Mystic Companion or Mount, Animal Companion) – but by far the most efficient (well, after just waiting while you go up in levels) is to buy it a Template. Most commonly, of course, Templates include a variety of stuff that your familiar really doesn’t care about – but, oh, if you can talk your game master into letting you use Eclipse to design your own, you won’t have to waste a single point.

Well, if you can talk the game master into letting you get away with this. If you can… well, here are a few examples.

Spirit Of Magic (+2 ECL Companion Template / 12 CP Familiar):

Few have the talent for high magic. The intelligence and determination to learn the arts, to reach into the burning heart of the cosmos and seize it’s power, the imagination and clarity to forge that primal force upon an anvil of will and bind it in a cage of words, ready to be unleashed upon the material world. Many call upon gods and spirits, or the elemental planes, or the magic bound in arcane components and alchemy, or a thousand other intermediary sources – but the soul of a potential archmage is a rare treasure. One well worth exerting an effort to claim. Quasits and Imps attempt to claim such a soul for the lower realms – but a Magic Spirit ensures that any Wizard who bonds with one will eventually enter the service of the Gods of Magic, whoever they may be in a setting.

  • Dream Of Magic: Improved Returning. If a Magic Spirit is “Slain”, it will manifest again the next day as it’s master meditates upon preparing spells, Specialized / while the only way to permanently get rid of the Familiar is to kill off its master, everybody knows that and – when your boss is an adventurer – a lot of things try to kill him or her (6 CP).
  • Spell Researcher: Action Hero/Invention, Specialized (for increased effect) and Corrupted (for reduced cost) / only for Inventing Spells (at 2 AP per level of the spell, half that for existing spells for which descriptions and references can be found), only during downtime (4 CP).
  • Font Of Lore: Assistant / Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only to assist Intelligence-Based Skills, only applies to magical matters (for example, the Spirit can help answer queries about historical mages, but not architectural styles, or help appraise magic items, but not non-magical jewels) (2 CP).
  • Efficient Secretary: Spell Shorthand and Encryption, Specialized / only for recording spells in their Internal Spellshard (4 CP) plus Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted / only to bestow the Encryption ability on their owner so that he or she can freely use the spells recorded in the Spellshard (2 CP).
  • The Lesser Arts: Innate Enchantment (11,500 GP Value, 12 CP):
    • Aureon’s Spellshard (Holds 500 Pages of Spells as per a Blessed Book, 6250 GP).
    • Handy Haversack (2000 GP).
    • 3x L1 Pearl Of Power (3000 GP).
    • 3x Spell Component Pouch (15 GP) (One for it, two for it’s Master).
    • Alchemists Lab (200 GP).
    • Light Crossbow (35 GP). This allows the Spirit to toss crossbow bolts/darts as if it was using a light crossbow. That’s not a large power, but it’s occasionally useful.
  • Spark Of Wizardry (12 CP):
    • Inherent Spell/Greater Arcane Invocation (L3, minimum level of five to use, produces any one Cantrip Effect, with +3 Bonus Uses (4 Total), Specialized and Corrupted / Requires normal components (although all verbal and somatic components are suited to the Familiars form), can only be used to replicate spells the Familiar has recorded on its Spellshard (4 CP).
    • -II (for first level spells), with +2 Bonus Uses (3 Total), Minimum level of seven to use (3 CP).
    • -III (for second level spells) with +1 Bonus Uses, Minimum level of nine to use (3 CP).
    • -IV (for third level spells), Minimum level of eleven to use (2 CP).
      • This package allows the Familiar to cast 4L0, 3L1, 2L2, and 1L3 spells from amongst those recorded on its Spellshard each day – although this requires a minimum level of 5/7/9/11 on the part of it’s bondmate to allow it to use the L0/1/2/3 spells.
  • Magical Amplification (22 CP).
    • 3d6 Mana with Spell Enhancement, Specialized / only for Spell Enhancement (9 CP).
    • Metamagical Theorem / Extension, Specialized and Corrupted / only to add +1 Range Category for 1 Mana (2 CP).
    • Metamagical Theorem / Easy, Specialized and Corrupted / only to make a spell Still and Silent for 2 Mana (2 CP).
    • Metamagical Theorem / Amplify, Specialized and Corrupted / only to Maxamize a spell for 3 Mana (2 CP).
    • Blessing, Specialized / only to bestow the Mana and Metamagical Options above on another character (3 CP).
    • Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore the pool above, only between encounters (4 CP).

Bonding with a Magic Spirit is obviously extremely useful to a Wizard, especially so if they happen to be in a world where spell formula and magical items are difficult to obtain. It also neatly enables the game as it is often played – pretty much ignoring the vulnerability and expense of a spellbook and any difficulties inherent in gaining new spells. Occasional non-casters may want one too, if only because getting a spellcasting familiar with a wide choice of spells to use is probably worth a couple of feats – especially given that the Magic Spirit Familiar grants it’s master a bonus like any other familiar.

The Mysterious Mentor (6 CP)

Companion with +2 levels of Template, Specialized for Reduced Cost / the Mysterious Mentor never goes on adventures, he or she only appears between them (although the location does not matter) to offer advice and supplies, does not grant an ability bonus (6 CP).

A Mysterious Mentor never goes adventuring, although they may appear at any break in the action to offer wise advice, mysterious missions and clues, and various support services – including a variety of charged magical devices of considerable power. Mysterious Mentors are at their best early on, before the growing powers of the characters overshadows them too much – but should remain reasonably useful throughout a character’s career. – quite a bargain for a single Feat.

  • Returning (6 CP). If slain, the mentor will vanish mysteriously, only to reappear later on as long as it’s student survives.
  • Arcane Gadgeteer: A Mysterious Mentor can supply a party with an assortment of limited-use items to help them on their adventures.
    • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
    • Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides four floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above (x2, 8 CP).
    • Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted / only to temporarily lend out items created as above (2 CP).
  • Artificer: A Mysterious Mentor has his or her own sources of funds and can help a mage craft magical items.
    • Create Item, Specialized / only as a prerequisite (3 CP).
    • Harvest of Artifice (200 XP per month) (12 CP).
    • Transmutation, Specialized and Corrupted for Double Effect/only for XP from Harvest Of Artifice, only to produce cash (6 GP per XP),
    • Double Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted / only to have any one item creation feat (6 CP).
  • Occult Sense / Quests (6 CP). A mysterious mentor always knows where adventure is waiting, and can tell the party something about what they’ll be up against if they go.
  • Wise Advisor:
    • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (8 CP) / only for skills, only for use when offering advice, providing cryptic mystic clues, making stuff, acting as an advocate, and so on.
    • +1 in each seven knowledge skills and Spellcraft, Corrupted for Reduced Cost (5 CP) / only to allow a roll as if skilled.

Having a Mystic Mentor hanging about gives a group a never-ending source of handy magical trinkets, missions, clues, and useful advice. It’s a good thing that nothing ever happens to them when the party isn’t around to keep an eye on them. While any character may profit from a Mystic Mentor, classes without spellcasting of their own will profit the most from the magical gadgets they provide.

Shoulder Imp (6 CP):

6 CP, since the ability it bestows is to upgrade itself with the Shoulder Imp template – stealing for itself the power it ought to grant to its master:

  • Witchcraft III (18 CP) with +3d6 Power (6 CP), Advanced Shadoweave (6 CP), Advanced Glamour (6 CP), and Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore Witchcraft Power Pool (6 CP). Duties Pact (A Shoulder Imp will always encourage it’s master to operate beyond the law, take advantage of the naive, and use it’s tricks to promote thievery and minor corruption in those nearby, regardless of it’s master’s wishes, -6 CP).
  • Cloaking (Always appears innocent of any wrongdoing to divination) (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment (6 CP): Handy Haversack (2000 GP), +3 Competence Bonus on all “Thieving” Skills (Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Sleight Of Hand, and Stealth, 2000 GP), a Healing Belt (750 GP), and a Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (500 GP).
  • Blessing: Corrupted for Increased Effect / A Shoulder Imp can share the benefits of its template abilities with it’s “master”, but cannot share other abilities. Thus, if it uses Shadoweave to conceal itself, it’s master may share in that concealment (6 CP).
  • Immunity to Being Perceived (Common, Minor, Major, Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only to help it hide in plain sight and be overlooked in favor of people paying attention to it’s master (+6 to Stealth Attempts, may hide in plain sight). Obviously enough, this ability cannot be shared with its master (6 CP).
  • Returning, Corrupted/This ability cannot be shared with its master (4 CP).

A Shoulder Imp constantly encourages unethical and exploitative behavior, usually starting with a teenager – who will almost certainly soon become a minor plague upon whatever settlement is unfortunate enough to host him or her.

Fusion Elemental (Companion with +4 ECL Template, 18 CP).

This exotic familiar has a major template, such as the Half-Celestial Template – but can access it for no more than six rounds at a a time, and no more than three times per day – rendering it Specialized, although this may replace other limitations since it negates most long-term problems with most templates.

  • Template of up to 120 CP after the Specialization given above (For example the 3.0 Half-Celestial Template comes to 119 CP after replacing the overall Corruption with the Specialization given above).
  • Blessing, Specialized, only to provide its master with the Template noted above (2 CP).
  • Inherent Spell (Time Jump, 6 Rounds Ahead, +2 Bonus Uses, Corrupted for Increased Effect, Specialized for Reduced Cost / only to automatically “vanish” as it bestows it’s Template on it’s master – apparently “fusing” with him or her for the time being (4 CP).

A Fusion Elemental is as powerful as Ridden By The Loa – and while it’s effects are very short-term, it does not carry that abilities substantial downsides.

Virtual Agent (6 CP).

  • Companion with +2 ECL Template, Specialized / only exists in appropriate computers, has no actual physical presence, 6 CP.
  • A Virtual Agent is a limited-function artificial intelligence / Computer Aide. While it only exists in the virtual landscape of the World Wide Web, within that domain it is a potent ally – and that may extend into the physical world depending on what machinery is around to manipulate.
  • Assistant, Specialized in Data Searches, Computer Operations, Programming, Mail and Call Screening, and Similar Items for Double Effect (+8 Bonuses, 6 CP).
  • Improved Returning: If destroyed, a Virtual Agent may simply be reloaded from backup or put onto another system (12 CP).
  • Minspeech (Specialized/only with people jacked in to it’s host system, 3 CP) with Mindlink (The World Wide Net or similar, Specialized / requires an avaiable WiFi or similar connection, 1 CP).
  • Occult Sense / Information from unshielded systems in the area (6 CP).
  • Stipend (6 CP). A Virtual Agent can manage your accounts, perform minor online trading, and work with cryptocurrencies better than you can (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment (6 CP).
    • Advanced Smartphone Systems (25 GP).
    • Remote Interface (with unprotected or hackable systems, 25 GP).
    • Desktop Computer Functions/Basic Programs (50 GP)
    • Weapons Functions: Tangler (33 GP), Laser Pistol (45 GP), Vibroclaws (50 GP).
    • Shielded Systems: Personal Force Shield (+4 AC, 1400 GP)
    • Firewall (Mage Armor +4 Force, 1400 GP)
    • Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2 x Con Mod HP, 1400 GP).
  • Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (6 floating CP) / only for use with Create Relic (Downloadable programs) to enhance it’s user’s online abilities / avatar or add to it’s own skills and functions (6 CP).
  • Create Relic, Corrrupted / only for use with Enthusiast, above (3 CP).
  • Four Double Occult Contacts (online entities or organizations) with the Well-Travelled Modifier (15 CP).

Pretty much any character in a high-tech world (or equivalent) may find a Virtual Agent well worthwhile – but, obviously enough, characters who are heavily involved with computers will have the most use for them.

Sadly, I’m too tired for a final edit today. That will just have to wait a bit.

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5 Responses

  1. These are some very nice templates! The Spirit of Magic strikes me as being thematically similar to a Pathfinder witch’s familiar, in how it acts like a living spellbook.

    One thing I wanted to ask about is the Spirit of Magic’s Spark of Magic ability. It uses Inherent Spell, and is specialized and corrupted for reduced cost (being 4 CP for the first instance of Inherent Spell with +3 Bonus Uses rather than 11 CP), but notes that it “only be used to replicate spells the Familiar has recorded on its Spellshard.”

    That makes it sound as though the familiar can change which spells (of the appropriate level) are prepared in the Inherent Spell slot, so long as they’re from the spellshard. The italicized note at the end of that package seems to confirm that. But my understanding was that once you picked an Inherent Spell, the spell that you set it to was fixed and couldn’t be changed. Did I overlook something?

    • Ah, that one is fairly easy; it’s using Greater Evocation Spells to produce it’s spell effects. Since that requires +3 spell levels over the effect produced, its Inherent Spell I (a L3 Greater Invocation) can produce any L0 arcane effect – but the limitation means that the magic spirit can only duplicate those effects it has recorded in its spellshard. So it’s using L3 spells (minimum caster level five) to get it’s cantrips, L4 spells to get it’s first level spells (minimum caster level seven) and so on – up to using a L6 spell requiring caster level eleven to get it’s third level effect.

      That’s a fairly inexpensive way to get a small “spell progression”, but I wouldn’t recommend it for general use. It lags badly, gets more and more expensive as you go, and will never get beyond sixth level effects. It seemed perfect for a Familiar though.

      • Ah, so it does. I’m not sure how I overlooked that. It seems obvious in hindsight.

      • It’s awfully easy to miss things like that. Your brain fills in what you expect to see to maintain consistency with whatever it picked up with your first glance. It’s the same effect that makes it so hard to do your own proofreading unless you wait a few days!

  2. […] Mentor Companion (6 CP). Mysterious mentors are always handy. […]

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