Familiar idea - cheesy eye-roll, or fun roleplay?


Advice


So, I am toying around with making a Wizard with a Sage Familiar, who is basically a repository for knowledge checks that I don't care to buff personally as well as a second chance for knowledge which I do possess. The Sage archetype seems like a really good trade-off, as you simply lose a little bit of AC, Alertness, and share skill ranks, but gain a whole bunch of customizable skills and a higher intelligence friend.

I also really like the idea of actually role playing the familiar as a character, rather than just as a bag o' tricks; this becomes difficult when you think about improved familiars and/or the relative killable-ness of familiars.

Given the Sage nature of my familiar, I was toying around with naming him Bob and making him (purely fluff) a Spirit of Intellect that happens to inhabit a living form (in this case a Greensting Scorpion). This is pretty much a direct rip off of the Dresden Files (great books if you haven't read them, by the way), where the main character has a Spirit of Intellect named Bob who inhabits a skull. That being said, it seems like a neat idea for here, as it would allow me a justifiable reason for keeping the same personality for my familiar, even if it dies or changes form. That way I can swap my familiar out for an advanced familiar, but role play it as Bob getting a new ride. Familiar dies? Tis sad, but luckily Bob can't actually die, he just comes back in a new body after a while. Etc etc.

So anyway, my question is, if you were to encounter me in PFS play, would you roll your eyes at the ripping off of another character? I'd really rather not be THAT guy, you know?


Do what you'll have fun doing. If I caught your reference and understood it, I'd roll my eyes, and if you spend half the session talking to yourself, I'd be generally displeased with you, but when I show up for PFS, it's to roll some dice and kill some stuff. RP is a lot better when you can count on things like having the same group for two adventures in a row, or actual friends at the table.

So just have fun, and ignore the eyerollers. But also don't waste a lot of table time.


I think most of us have ripped off an idea a time or two. I'm going to be blatantly ripping off a character from a novel in the next game I play.

That said, with something well known, like the Dresden Files, I find it preferable to obscure the material a bit. Keeping the 'spirit of intellect' but changing the name for example. Especially when playing with unknown people, doing that can help them keep immersion in the game, while having 'Bob' around might make that more difficult.


The "truly original" roleplaying game character is kind of like a unicorn. If you find one, it's most likely just a horse you don't recognize that has a weird growth. I mean, even unconsciously all of our characters are influenced by stories we've consumed that inform us on "what a wizard is like" or "what a swashbuckler is like" that will invariably affect whatever characters we play. So I wouldn't worry about that. I mean "Wizard who has a real smart familiar who is a pain-in-the-butt sometimes" likely wasn't original when Jim Butcher wrote it either.

Regarding the "would I roll my eyes" thing, I generally am in favor of people having fun with their characters. If people have a weird concept and they're really getting into it and having fun, I find that sort of thing infectious and I end up having a better time. That being said though, I would urge being sensitive to how other people are reacting in the moment and be prepared to dial it back if the vibes you're getting aren't great. Just like the character who kills everything in combat while the rest of the party stands there and watches, the person who hogs the spotlight elsewhere can kind of imbalance group dynamics. It's like playing a character with an animal companion, yes your tiger could be as helpful as another PC, but your tiger (or your familiar) is not another player, it's just another character that you happen to control. So just be mindful of not taking too much of the spotlight talking to your familiar (i.e. yourself), interactions between one player and him or herself can be insufferable if others don't get to participate.

So go for it, have fun, but make sure not to step on anybody else's fun either.


It would be even more fun if Bob communicated with you via clicking his claws and tap dancing. You could even bring a pair of castanets to the table as a prop for when you're conversing.

I am in favor of interesting familiar flavoring. I had a character with a raven familiar - chosen specifically because it could talk to anybody - and I would use him to make sarcastic asides, usually directed at my character.


Change the name to something the familiar would - if he were, you know, real. He should be able to take himself seriously at least. After all, he might consider himself smarter than you.

Silver Crusade

Dave Justus wrote:

I think most of us have ripped off an idea a time or two. I'm going to be blatantly ripping off a character from a novel in the next game I play.

That said, with something well known, like the Dresden Files, I find it preferable to obscure the material a bit. Keeping the 'spirit of intellect' but changing the name for example. Especially when playing with unknown people, doing that can help them keep immersion in the game, while having 'Bob' around might make that more difficult.

I agree with changing the name. Maybe use the original name backwards, so it's completely different.


Fromper wrote:
I agree with changing the name. Maybe use the original name backwards, so it's completely different.

Definitely name your familiar Otto, Navan, or Hannah.


Anyone else remember good old Mort the talking skull from Planescape: Torment?


Morte was pretty awesome. PS: torment was awesome. One of my all-time favorite games.

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