Author Topic: Familiars Roleplay Resources  (Read 8337 times)

EO

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Familiars Roleplay Resources
« on: June 05, 2010, 04:51:12 PM »
Familiars Roleplay Resources

Below, you will find a list of Ravenloft-themed familiars we have in the module along with descriptions for each of them. Below this list, you will find a short guide to familiar roleplay.


General Familiar Guidelines
A familiar is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a hexblade, sorcerer or wizard. It retains the appearance, Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skills, and feats of the normal animal it once was, but it is treated as a magical beast instead of an animal for the purpose of any effect that depends on its type. Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. An animal companion cannot also function as a familiar.

Empathic Link: The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiar’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated. Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.

Speak with Master: If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.

Speak with Animals of Its Kind: If the master is 7th level or higher, a familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks and owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 11:32:39 PM by EO »

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 04:59:36 PM »
Assassin Imp

Assassin imps are tiny creatures, weighting 5 pounds and seldom standing over 1 foot in height. Their coloration, normally black, varies in some individuals to as light as slate gray. They sport four small shiny black curved horns on their head. Two batlike wings fan out from the creature’s back and enable it to fly, while a long, slender tail dangles behind it. The tail, which is almost constantly in motion, ends in a scorpionlike stinger. Its keen eyesight is augmented with 60-foot darkvision.

Assassin imps are able to communicate with others of their kind by means of a language that some describe as purely evil in sound and expression.

Habitat/Society
The imp serves its master faithfully, but cannot leave Ravenloft. If its lord leaves Ravenloft causing it to remain behind, it is instantly slain (invoking the normal penalties for losing a familiar). As with a normal imp, however, the assassin imp will attempt to lead its master into greater and greater acts of darkness. Its final goal in all this is to cause the master it serves to fall to the dark powers and (with luck) to become another lord in the Domains of Dread.

The assassin imp will ruthlessly kill those that it feels are a threat to its master-whether or not its master desires it to do so. Thus, the creature will often act on its own in "defending" its lord and may actually draw unwanted attention to its master. Thus, a caster may well find that everyone (including his loved ones) who has dangerous information about him has become a target for the murderous attentions of his familiar.

Ecology
The assassin imp is a tool of the dark powers of Ravenloft that seeks to lead the already evil into acts that will eventually trap him in the Demiplane of Dread forever.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 11:33:23 PM by EO »

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 05:08:17 PM »
Carrion Bat

Description
The carrion bat inhabits caves and tombs consuming the vermin and carrion that feed off freshly dead corpses. Rather than wait for naturally occuring food sources, however, the carrion bat provides its own dinner by killing creatures and enjoying the carrion eaters who arrive for the feast thus provided.

Combat
Once a pontential victim is located the carrion bat makes a flyby attack, using its sonic attack to paralyze the creature. Utilizing its razor sharp wing claws, it slashes the throat of the victim, who bleeds to death while the carrion bat waits. The bat stays near the corpse until no more carrion feeders visit it. The carrion bat does not eat flesh nor does it drink bodily fluids. Its fondness is for maggots and grave scarabs.

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 08:11:28 PM »
Death Dog

Description
Thought by some to be descendants of the mythical threeheaded dog Cerberus, death dogs certainly don’t take well to guard duty. The dogs recognize the disconcerting effect their two heads have on would-be prey and use that fear to their advantage. Nighttime or underground hunters, death dogs are roughly the size of large wolves, covered in thick black or dark gray fur that enables them to blend into the dark. Death dogs are ruthless predators. Those who travel in their territory learn to listen for the double bark that heralds a pack’s approach.

Combat
Death dogs prefer to attack with overwhelming numbers. They tend to pick a single opponent to harry, attempting to trip that foe so the rest of the pack can leap in and finish the fallen victim. Even when they’re not hungry, death dogs can strike briefly to infect a victim with the disease they carry, which is characterized by a yellowing of the victim’s skin and swelling around the eyes and throat. The dogs then withdraw and follow from a distance until they grow hungry enough to finish the victim off.

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 11:42:21 PM »
Shadow Asp

In all of Ravenloft, no place reveres the tombs of its dead more highly than Har'akir. Over the centuries, crypt builders there have sought to protect the precious bodies of their ancestors with traps, undead guardians, and cleverly hidden and concealed compartments. The priests of this desert realm have found an even more deadly warden for the tombs of their pharaohs: shadow asps.

Appearance
Shadow asps appear to be slender snakes composed of pure darkness. They seem to have no physical form, but look as if they are nothing more than an extension of the shadows that give them their name. Although these creatures are barely intelligent, they instinctively lash out at those who intrude upon the tombs they live in.

Shadow asps make no sound, not even a hiss or slithering, as they move.

Combat
Shadow asps are very hard to spot as they slide silently through the darkness of a tomb or temple. They make no sound, are utterly black, and thus often surprise their victims when they strike. To reflect this, shadow asps impose a -5 penalty on their victims' surprise rolls. It is important to note that shadow asps do not radiate body heat and are thus well hidden from all infravision.

In combat, a shadow asp strikes with its needlelike fangs, just as normal asps do. Although the bite inflicts only minor injuries (1-2 points of damage), it injects an insidious toxin. Those who are bitten must save vs. poison. Failure to save indicates that the victim has been injected with the essence of darkness and gradually begins to become a shadow. This transformation takes five rounds, during which time the character gradually grows darker and darker. At the end of the fifth round, the character must make a system-shock roll. Failure indicates that the victim (in the process of becoming the shadow) breaks up and is lost, with no chance of resurrection; success means that the victim has become a shadow. Shadows created by this process are bound to the area guarded by the shadow asps and join them as wardens of that place. At any time during the transformation, but not afterwards, a remove curse or dispel magic spell can be cast on the victim to halt the change.

Those who strike at a shadow asp with weapons will find it difficult to harm. Although it can be harmed by any normal weapons, the snake's agility makes it very hard to hit; a hold monster spell used to immobilize one would lower its AC. Although bludgeoning and slashing weapons inflict full damage to shadow asps, piercing attacks (such as from arrows, spears, pikes, etc.) do only half damage. Any single shadow asp can be instantly slain by the casting of a light or continual light spell that has been directly targeted on the creature (no saving throw is allowed then). Illuminating spells used to destroy shadow asps provide no additional light for vision, being cancelled out at once. Shadow asps are not undead and cannot be turned by priests or harmed by holy symbols or water. They are summoned creatures and can be held back by spells like protection from evil.

Habitat/Society
Shadow asps are magical creatures summoned by the priests of certain gods worshiped in Har'akir (Osiris, Set, or Nephythys). The ceremony by which these creatures are called into existence is a tightly guarded secret. Shadow asps are very territorial when summoned. They slither about the area surrounding the place where they were summoned and maintain a constant vigil against the intrusions of potential grave robbers or defilers. It is not uncommon for priests to place them in confined areas as traps. Thus, a hidden catch might cause the hollow base of a statue to fall open, releasing dozens of trapped shadow asps, or a trap door might drop trespassers into a pit with a number of these serpents slithering at its bottom. Because they turn their victims into shadows, there is a 40% chance of finding 1d6 shadows (q.v.) with any group of shadow asps.

Ecology
Shadow asps are not a part of the physical world. Because of their extradimensional origins, they play no part in the grand scheme of nature apart from bringing death to their victims and creating undead shadows.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 07:38:46 PM by EO »

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Midnight Cat
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 07:50:30 PM »
Midnight Cat

Little is known about these brooding creatures save that they are found most frequently in the company of evil spellcasters. While they are often sought out for their rumored ability to lift curses, they are greatly feared for their ability to bestow the same. The most dreadful and least understood power of these ebon felines, however, is their ability to consume the very spirit of a living being, leaving behind a drained and empty shell.

Midnight cats are easily mistaken for ordinary house cats with luminous coats of soft, ink-black fur. A closer examination, however, will reveal that their luminous yellow-green eyes are utterly pupilless and glow with an inner light in even the darkest of places.

Midnight cats can speak a crude form of common but generally choose to do so only when laying a curse upon an enemy. When they wish to, these creatures can converse freely with non-magical felines, although they have no power to command them in any way.

Combat
Midnight cats share all of the predatory skills of their more common cousins. In addition, their powerful eyes enable them to see perfectly well in anything but absolute darkness. They can make a standing jump of 10 feet and easily leap up to 20' with a running start.

The midnight cat can use its claws to defend itself, striking with both of its front claws for 1d2 points of damage each. If it hits with both of these, it can automatically rake with its rear claws for an additional 1d2 points of damage each.

A midnight cat is quick to take offense and will cast embarassing and frustrating curses at the least infraction. Troublesome curses may be cast on opponents that a cat is especially displeased with. Dangerous or lethal curses can be laid by a midnight cat only when it is greatly threatened.

A midnight cat can lift troublesome, embarassing or frustrating curses at will. It is very difficult to persuade them to lift any curse, however, unless they are paid for their efforts. Generally, this recompense takes the form of evil deeds done on behalf of the sinister feline.

The midnight cat sustains itself by devouring the spirits of the living. As this ability can only be used upon sleeping victims, it is seldom effective in combat. To satisfy its hunger, the beast crawls onto its victim's chest and inhales sharply near the victim's lips. If the victim fails its saving throw, a thin trail of vapor issues from the lips of the victim and courses into the mouth of the cat. A victim of this attack cannot heal new or existing damage by magical or natural means, cannot be cured of a disease, and loses the ability to employ any form of magical spells or turn undead. These symptoms persist until either the victim dies or the midnight cat is killed.

Habitat/Society
These coy, epicurean creatures insist on being waited upon by others and will only hunt for their food when forced to do so. Midnight cats usually adopt a "master" upon whom they rely for these creature comforts. As a rule, they chose spellcasters as companions. They seem to be able to detect when a find familiar spell has been cast by such people and are able to make themselves the subject of the spell.

Ecology
The midnight cat was first discovered in the domain of Tepest and is believed to be a dark strain of the elven cat.

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 07:53:02 PM »
Silver Fox

Description
Rarely seen beyond elven forests, silver foxes possess bright, almost luminous silver pelts in adulthood. Silver fox pelts fetch high prices, but elf spellcasters often seek out these creatures as familiars. Silver foxes are known for their cunning and quicksilver speed.

Combat
Silver foxes avoid combat with any creatures larger than themselves and are adept at throwing trackers off their secent.

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Worg
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2010, 07:54:37 PM »
Worg

Description
Worgs are sinister wolves that have attained some intelligence and an evil disposition. They sometimes associate with other evil beings, particularly goblins, whom they serve as mounts and guardians.

Worgs usually live and hunt in packs. Their favored prey is large herbivores. Although they typically stalk and kill young, sick, or weak animals, they don’t hesitate to hunt humanoids, particularly when game is scarce. Worgs may stalk humanoid prey for hours or even days before attacking, and choose the most advantageous terrain and time of day to do so (during the predawn hours, for example).

A typical worg has gray or black fur, grows to 5 feet long and stands 3 feet tall at the shoulder. It weighs 300 pounds. More intelligent than their smaller cousins, worgs speak their own language. Some can also speak Common and Goblin.

Combat
Mated pairs or packs work together to bring down large game, while lone worgs usually chase down creatures smaller than themselves. Both often use hit-and-run tactics to exhaust their quarry. A pack usually circles a larger opponent: Each wolf attacks in turn, biting and retreating, until the creature is exhausted, at which point the pack moves in for the kill. If they get impatient or heavily outnumber the opponent, worgs attempt to pin it.

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Gremshika
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2010, 08:04:26 PM »
Gremshika

Like their close cousins, the gremlins, these diminutive humanoids are parasites and nuisances. They live under buildings and steal from the inhabitants.

From a distance, a gremshika might be mistaken for a small dog or a large cat. It is furry, with pointed ears and a protruding muzzle. The fur can be of any color or pattern. The mouth is overly large for the face, as are the yellow eyes, which have vertical pupils like those of a cat. Unlike a gremlin, the gremshika has no wings. These creatures can manipulate any tool with their dexterous fingers. A gremshika rarely carries a weapon around for more than an hour before dropping it or hiding it, however. They wear no armor or clothing, although they understand the uses of both.

Gremshika speak the languages of normal gremlins as well as their own. It is not uncommon for one of these beasts to know a half-dozen or more human tongues as well.

Combat
Gremshika do not engage in hand-to-hand combat unless they are trapped or cornered. They are extremely fast and nimble, able to slip between legs or around their opponents. This speed gives them their unusually high armor class.

As a group, gremshika employ a tactic of swarming. They climb onto an opponent en masse, biting and tearing at him for 1d3 points of damage each. They must make a succesful attack roll to get a good grip, but each round after that, damage is automatic. Half the gremshika in the swarm will gnaw through straps, open clasps, or filch anything that is not tied down.

Anyone who attacks a swarming gremshika may harm the character beneath the creatures. If the character inflicts more damage than is needed the gremshika, the character beneath the swarm takes the extra damage.

The gremshika's low morale may cause them to retreat if any great show of force is made. Anything the creatures manage to filch will be taken back to their lair.

Habitat/Society
Gremshika are not fond of sunlight, but it does not harm them. They live in basements and under buildings, usually large homes. If possible, they choose a lair that gives them easy access to many parts of the building.

Gremshika keep the spoils of their raids in their lairs. Treasure is always a random collection of stolen trinkets, some with real value. They love to take things, although their taste in treasure is dubious at best.

Gremshika seem to derive extreme pleasure from the rage and frustration of larger humanoids. They enjoy playing vicious, destructive pranks on their hosts. They recognize no leaders among their own kind. They may cooperate to cause mischief, however, and follow the cue and instructions of the gremshika that suggested a prank. Some of their traps get very elaborate, owing to their high intelligence. They hide in walls and under floorboards to watch and listen for potential victims. When a victim discovers the prank or activates the trap, he often hears the gremshika's high, chittering laughter.

Ecology
Gremshika eat anything. They trap small creatures such as rats, cats, or dogs. They have been known to form a temporary attachment to children who are their size and live near their lairs. Gremshika are hunted by just about anything that can find and catch them, including large snakes, dogs, giant spiders, kobolds, and many more - especially humans.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 08:15:04 PM by EO »

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Re: Familiars Roleplay Resources
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2010, 08:11:02 PM »
Skeletal Bat

Description
Skeletal bats are created by the use of an animate dead spell and are often associated with necromancers or evil priests. They are to bats what traditional skeletons are to humans - mindless animated remains. They act as necromantic wizards', sorcerers', and hexblades' messengers and guardians of their foul lairs.

Combat
Skeletal bats attack with their bony claws and are often used as guardians by those who create them. In addition, they radiate an aura of fear that causes all creatures who view them to make a fear check.

Ecology
Skeletal bats are nothing more than puppets who will obey simple instructions given to them by their creator. These cannot be overly long (two or three concepts is the most one of these monsters can understand) and must be very clearly worded. Because of this, their assigned tasks are usually quite simple. The bones of skeletal bats can be used in the creation of bone golems (this cannot be done without DM supervision).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2024, 01:24:13 PM by EO »