Genuine divergence: "Familiars"

Old School Revival at its best?

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Genuine divergence: "Familiars"

Postby LimeOdyssey » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:01 am

With no Find Familiar spell and no accompanying provisions, Dark Dungeons has definitely forked from other retroclones, and I think this is a difference to be embraced.

The easy "fix" (to something that doesn't really need to be fixed) is to simply add a Find Familiar spell.

However, LARPing it out as though it's decades ago and there is no other Dark Dungeons rule set on which to rely outside the one big book, what Dark Dungeons actually has is:

Immortals
Animal Trainers
Speak spells

Immortals can give a faithful follower (or a non-follower Magic-User who serves their purposes) some sort of bespoke pet, companion or familiar. An Immortal could do this by making a new species of life form and sending one to the character or create a single unique critter and send it to the character.

Animal Trainers can domesticate "unusual" animals, which by luck or design includes all the typical "familiars" from other branches of the OD&D family with the exception of Enchanted and Exalted ones. Enchanted and Exulted critters would most often have intelligence and thus not really strictly be "familiars" anyway, more like allies serving the same cause or nonhuman apprentices or something similar.

Speak spells let a caster talk to other life forms within the limit of the other life form's intelligence. Right there, this is the gateway to Arneson style roleplaying out the recruitment of a nonhuman ally or pet.

I suggest it is more in keeping with Dark Dungeons "this one book is all you need" to press the rules into service for spellcasters who want special pets or familiars, rather than add in a Find Familiar spell.

"In real life" a Familiar was a servant of the Devil who was sent to aid a witch or warlock on their nefarious business, and although it was more or less subservient to the spellcaster it was also a devious, supernaturally intelligent and evil minded little snitch that did nastiness on its own as well as informing on the mortal back to the Devil. That is utterly unlike the Find Familiar type creature anyway.
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