Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lizard, Monkey & Owl

All right class, settle down.  I know we had a big night last night, what with all that distracting stuff on TV and landmark civil rights victories.  But it’s time to focus on…

Familiars!  Symbols of wisdom, owls are perfect for you Hogwarts fans, not to mention rangers and druids.  (At the same time, they’re also good for nocturnal and/or nefarious spellcasters who don’t want their companions to be blatant signposts of evil the way that snakes, bats, vipers, and arthropods tend to be.)  Lizards and monkeys are distinctly more exotic—perfect for travelers, foreigners, sorcerers, and more uncommon PC races.  All three animals come in endless varieties and species, from tiny tamarins to long-eared owls to spiky thorny devils to fantasy creations of your own.

Named for his lizard familiar and his fondness for spider climb, Gecko Stripes is a gnome wizard known more for his eccentric personality than for any singular accomplishments.  Still, he tends to get regular work as a trapspringer and support spellcaster.  He has a knack for having just the right useful spell or potion close at hand, particularly darkvision, gust of wind, shatter.  Meanwhile, his darting lizard familiar makes an excellent scout.

Bok-Tar is a vain but thrill-seeking vanara sorcerer notorious for the rate at which he goes through monkey familiars, as well as his insistence that they look exactly like him.  Halfling Jemma Foretops is allergic to her macaque companion, but thrills at the facility with Acrobatics he offers her in the riggings.  Not all monkey familiars are tropical—Tashi Miyamoto is a wu jen with a snow monkey companion who handles snow with the felicity of a bobcat.

The inscrutable face of the barn owl is emblematic of the North Country.  It is customary to give any ranger who asks a night’s lodging in the barn—the wood wardens are highly respected here for their skill fighting goblinoids and trolls—and many a ranger has bonded with her first owl companion in the lofts of one of these rustic hostels.  At the same time, barn owl and screech owl masks and companions are common among the North’s sickle-wielding druids and witches—who occasionally demand blood sacrifices.  These owls are trained to deliver touch spells in utter silence.

Pathfinder Bestiary 131–132

Previous familiar installments here and here.  We also covered the lion way back here.

After a lull, a bunch of new followers have popped up in the past few days—hi all!  One I’ll be curious to occasionally peek in on is Thomas at gms-blog, who’s aiming for an Arabian-style campaign and is collecting images to match.  Anybody else blogging your campaign lately?

PS: One more video.  This is not political, just “f---ing awesome.”

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