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Author Topic: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.  (Read 3638 times)

WingsOfStardust

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Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:05:15 PM »
I've been reading a little here and there, and nowhere have I seen explained exactly HOW you bring forth your familiar.
Where are they meantime, when not summoned?

If we go by the WYSIWYG rule of NWN and PoTM overall, then they are clearly being 'summoned' into existence.
But, what I want to know is; what happens really? Is there any source for this?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 10:54:41 AM by WingsOfStardust »
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WingsOfStardust

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Re: The artistry of summoning your familiar (How does it work?)
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 10:53:59 AM »
Seeing as nobody has any answer, on Arawn's suggestion; why don't we discuss what kinda meta do we want for summoning wizard/sorc familiars?
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Meridian

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 11:28:13 AM »
I'm not entirely sure myself, when I was on my wizard I had an owl and use to emote it flying down from a tree or such,
when in a cave I just wouldn't summon it. But I'm not sure if that is right or if you just summon it, I got it from watching
others emote their familiars. Would be good to have clarity on it though.

Exordium

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 11:46:48 AM »
For some years now, I've tried to RP both familiars and animal companions as always present in the game world. When I "summon" them, it's really just calling them over from near by.

Consequently, I never summoned my druid's wolf when deep in a dungeon since I figure the wolf wouldn't follow there unless asked and if it was called, it'd take a bit to even get there. I also typically had my wizard's familiar present when taking say, Vistani wagon trips, to enforce the idea that the familiar is really always present and needs to travel with the Vistani to get through the mists.

Sometimes the wacky wizard forgot his familiar to the previous place and couldn't summon him over in the next place without going back to fetch him.. ;)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 11:48:35 AM by Exordium »

Dumas

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 11:53:34 AM »
I really wish that we didn't have the summoning circle effects present. Animal companions certainly shouldn't appear with such a magical looking visual, and I think to a lesser degree, that familiars should not have it either.

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 12:01:52 PM »
Isn't it part of the Ravenloft world mechanics that anything summoned there remains there?

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 12:09:51 PM »
I've been reading a little here and there, and nowhere have I seen explained exactly HOW you bring forth your familiar.
Where are they meantime, when not summoned?

If we go by the WYSIWYG rule of NWN and PoTM overall, then they are clearly being 'summoned' into existence.
But, what I want to know is; what happens really? Is there any source for this?


For me when ever I summon Yvette's Fox Vivienne, I usually rp it as Yvette whistling for her or calling for her in some fashion to explain the summoning of her familiar. Like wise I rp I usually rp tossing food away or sending it to hunt for rabbits or mice or other delicious things foxes like to eat when i unsummon it.


Isn't it part of the Ravenloft world mechanics that anything summoned there remains there?

I believe so.

Jeebs

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 01:29:47 PM »
Isn't it part of the Ravenloft world mechanics that anything summoned there remains there?

That is my understanding as well, so I've always assumed that any familiar/companion is either native to the setting or was trapped there when their master entered the demi-plane. I don't think there's anything wrong with someone emoting that their familiar is actually flying down from the sky or emerging from nearby trees in lieu of actually summoning them. It all depends on your RP and what you prefer. My own companion doesn't normally leave the Svalich Woods ICly, so I only "summon" him when I'm in that area (in my case, he just walks up rather than getting summoned). For some it might make more sense that you're summoning your friend from wherever they hangout when not with you and returning them there when you release them.

Exordium

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 01:45:01 PM »
Isn't it part of the Ravenloft world mechanics that anything summoned there remains there?

Summoning spells can't cross planar borders and instead call in a creature from the surrounding regions. When the spell ends, the creature is returned whence it came from. So if you used the SRD Summon Creature I to summon a celestial dog, you'd instead wind up with an ordinary stray dog from a near by city. Unless there happened to be a celestial dog somewhere in the domain you are in.

Calling spells can cross planar borders and can call in a demon or an elemental. These creatures are indeed trapped to the Domains of the Dread. When the spell duration ends, your control over them is voided and they are likely to be pretty pissed at you, especially if evil-alignmented!

AFAIK familiars follow the 1st rule if handled as being literally summoned, so they were already stuck in the domain. Though if you go by the more detailed specifications as in an article about summoning familiars at Wizards.com, then "summoning" a familiar is actually a binding ritual and the animal had to be present to begin with. Familiars gained in Ravenloft would take the form of Dread Companions. Familiars brought from the outside are not turned into Dread Companions and are as before.

The root issue at least to me really is that familiars shouldn't actually unsummon when you rest or anything. After they are summoned, they stick around until the mage cuts the bind or the familiar is killed; whether you deal with "Summon Familiar" as a binding ritual or as actual summon spell, the familiar was still originally an ordinary creature.

Of course we have implemented none of this (except some familiar persistence in the form of familiar corpses), but essentially this would be how it would work. :)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 04:51:15 AM by Exordium »

SanneJ

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 06:14:57 PM »
As I understand it, and has been said mostly before in this post, a familiar is not summoned from somewhere else (other plane) but a local animal is made into a magical animal for the wizard or sorcerer that calls it. in a way it's personalized magical animal, that's why there is strong link.

PH 3.5 page 52 " A familiar is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a wizard or sorcerer."
I always thought that the summoned in the line from the PH was just a way to say that it was magically lured to serve the wiz/sor.

That being said, a familiar always stays with you pc, after being lured with magic, till dead (-200xp DC fort 15 half) or dismissal. and the /summoning/, after reset or other, in NWN is just a game technical thing, it is not a IC thing.   

I have seen people play this out nicely be saying things like, "ooh, that's my cat.. she is invisible most of the time." or " I beter bring Bruno to the woods before we go in there, it might be dangerous."

 
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Exordium

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 04:57:03 AM »
As I understand it, and has been said mostly before in this post, a familiar is not summoned from somewhere else (other plane) but a local animal is made into a magical animal for the wizard or sorcerer that calls it. in a way it's personalized magical animal, that's why there is strong link.

If we go by that WotC article linked above, then the to-be familiar could be called from another plane and then had the binding ritual done. So you can have an imp for a familiar by first calling it (or buying it from your local Thayan enclave) and then having it hang around to be made into your familiar (as long as your wizard had the Improved Familiar feat).
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 04:59:54 AM by Exordium »

Hatsune

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 05:03:08 AM »
I wish we had a uniform opinion/ruling for this. I see people using it many different ways.  I've always RPed it as a 'summon' of sorts, since in NWN thats what it is. The mechanics operate that way, and I don't like to stray to far from the mechanics (as this can often leave room for cheesing). Sure, thats not what it is in standard PnP, but NWN has different mechanics.

In PNP, a familiar is not subject to a dismissal or banishment spell, but on NWN it is. (Of course, in Ravenloft Dismissal doesn't 'dismiss' it either, just out-right kills it, since we have the custom raising system).

I also see ALOT of times, when people try to use a familiar or companion in combat, that they 'dismiss' it right before it going to be killed. If its not a summon, you shouldn't be able to do this. The animal would have to stay there and die. So if we are to RP it as a non-summon, there needs to be mechanical support to enforce it, you know?

I would like to just think of it like a summon, personally. Pulling your linked animal from wherever it is in Ravenloft to your side, and then sending it back when you unsummon it. Mechanically it behaves as a summon, why not treat it that way.

In regards to this...
 
I have seen people play this out nicely be saying things like, "ooh, that's my cat.. she is invisible most of the time." or " I beter bring Bruno to the woods before we go in there, it might be dangerous."

Thats the sort of thing that I worry about when there is no concrete ruling. You can't RP abilities you don't have. A familiar doesn't have the ability to turn invisible.. where do we draw the line? Can I say my familiar's flying overhead and spying on people, since that
realistically -could- be where its at? Granted, most of the time their explanation is harmless (I.e. the whistling and calling and all that).. but once we start allowing more unique explainations, where do we stop or what goes to far?
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WingsOfStardust

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 05:58:58 AM »
I whole-heartedly agree with Hatsune's reasoning on this.

Again, referring to the WYSIWYG model on PoTM, it's clearly a summon capable of appearing and disappearing at command (a limited amount of times / rest).
I think the DEVs need to make a ruling on this and if needed implement the necessary mechanics to support that ruling or there'll simply be little consensus on this.

I've a worg familiar which I've always RPd as appearing from a black mist that my sorceress conjures (since summon is a conjuring spell and conceptually, black fits worgs).
Perhaps I've been doing it wrong all this time and I'll gladly change my RP depending to what ruling there is to be had.
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Exordium

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 06:10:49 AM »
No one's done anything wrong here, as there are no hard rulings about this.

I share the opinion that we should only set down specific rules if we have the mechanics to back them up. Far as I know, at this time, no one is working on redoing the familiar and animal companion systems and I doubt it would even be very practical with NWN.

Therefore I'd say that people can either try to RP it in line with the PHB or the Wizard's article or as it appears in NWN itself.

Night of Reod

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 05:41:56 PM »
I don't remember there being anything about familiar logistics back 3.5 books, but they are regular animals who are bound to a wizard which implies that they just hang around the wizard like Ash's pikachu. That is sadly not very useful for NWN. I think 5th edition familiar fits quite well with NWN mechanics however, and even though it is not the edition the game and server is based on, it is official content nevertheless and that can count for something. Following bit is from the description of "Find Familiar" spell of 5th edition core rulebook, and it is the relevant part to us:

"As an action, you can temporarily dismiss your familiar. It disappears into a pocket dimension where it awaits your summons."

To my knowledge, pocket dimensions are not independent of the plane they are in. There is also the possibility that the pocket dimension is in the ethereal plane, which would mean that the familiar is virtually under the effect of a greater sanctuary spell until it is summoned. I feel that the idea of pocket dimension or ethereal plane works with NWN mechanics and does not violate any of the server or setting rules. 



BahamutZ3RO

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2016, 06:10:32 PM »
Familiars are separate from summons. Familiars are creatures that wizards/sorcs bind to themselves via a ritual. The creature never actually vanishes or unsummons, that's just a limitation of the NWN engine.
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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2016, 06:11:44 PM »
Familiars are separate from summons. Familiars are creatures that wizards/sorcs bind to themselves via a ritual. The creature never actually vanishes or unsummons, that's just a limitation of the NWN engine.

To be honest, given that the critter would just dash into combat and die, I like it better this way.
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BahamutZ3RO

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2016, 06:13:00 PM »
Familiars are separate from summons. Familiars are creatures that wizards/sorcs bind to themselves via a ritual. The creature never actually vanishes or unsummons, that's just a limitation of the NWN engine.

To be honest, given that the critter would just dash into combat and die, I like it better this way.

Yeah, as far as I'm concerned the act of unsummoning is just the familiar exiting the scene.
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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2016, 06:18:03 PM »
Pocket dimensions I think would be within the Mists, and becoming pocket domains.

That is my guess, based on the description of rod of security in PHB 3.0
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dark_majico

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2016, 03:19:47 PM »
Or maybe there is a ruling on this, just the game masters are being quiet until now.  :think:
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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2016, 04:17:17 PM »
There's no ruling; it's one of those things that are up to players to RP.

Pagliacci

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2016, 08:26:52 PM »
My sorcerers pet lives in his robe.

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2016, 09:31:45 PM »
I have a shadow themed sorceress whose asp lives inside her stomach.

WingsOfStardust

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2016, 06:12:32 AM »
I have a shadow themed sorceress whose asp lives inside her stomach.

That's pretty damn metal. \w/
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Jeebs

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Re: Let's discuss the meta of summoning wiz/sorc familiars.
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2016, 10:47:58 AM »
I have a shadow themed sorceress whose asp lives inside her stomach.

That's pretty damn metal. \w/

It's also very Roger Zelazny... though the story I'm thinking of borrows from a lot of other classic horror fiction, so I guess I could be wrong.