Upon gaining a new level, Magicians may opt to form an Arcane Bond with a creature or object rather than gain a new spell slot. Magicians may only have one Arcane Bond at a time.

Arcane Bond

During the course of their travels, Magicians often form special bonds with a creature or unlock powers hidden deep within objects. A Magician who chooses this level benefit has merely done the proper rituals necessary to create this bond and must still find a suitable creature or object to gain any benefit. As with spells, your Mentor can provide one or you may test Circles to find someone in town who can.

Sample Familiars

2 Brain in a Jar: +1D to Lore Master
3 Chameleon: Reduce the amount of Nature taxed by 1
4 Crow: +1D to Scavenger
5 Dog: +1D to Pathfinder
6 Eagle: +1D to Scout
7 Toad: Increase disposition of caster by 1 during a conflict
8 Fox: +1D to Criminal
9 Owl: +1D to Hunter
10 Pseudodragon: +1D to Arcanist
11 Rat: +1D to Dungeoneer
12 Spider: +1D to Alchemist

The benefits that grant +1D to a skill are neither help nor wises and therefore are not affected by conditions. Additionally, if the Magician is using Beginner’s Luck on a skill, this die is added after reducing the number of dice by half.

Losing a Bonded Creature/Item

If a creature is killed as part of a twist or compromise or if the item is lost or stolen, the bond is broken. Tax the Magician’s Nature by their current level.

Nice. I like it. Magicians only, or Rangers too?

Magicians only.

I’m working on a bigger list of familiars at the moment, ones that help with the grind a little more. Will update the thread once I have something more substantial.

I’d love to see a ranger try to work with a brain in a jar. XD

• Inventory slots?
• Chameleon seems way over-powered
•*Familiar death rule seems weird

I think the only one that would be a slot would be the Brain in a Jar, which is more of a Arcane Foci than familiar. I’d say Pack/1 or Hand/Carried 1 for that. The others are so small or have their own methods of getting around that I do not think they should burden the character.

Regarding the Chameleon, I was afraid of that. Nature is already pretty potent. Let me tinker around some more.

What’s weird about the familiar death rule? I’m going to dig into the AD&D books tonight, but I know the more modern editions had some painful rules for when you lost a familiar.


Pretty cool! Seems like, in AD&D at least, death of a familiar resulted in permanent Constition loss by the Magic User. If you wanted to softball it you could make it apply the sick condition. Rougher would be lose a Health die and wipe the slate. I’d lean towards the latter.

Sick with Heartache!

The rule seemed weird because most magicians are going to have natures of 4-5, which means at level 6+ the penalty is diminished because you can’t tax past 0 (then it resets to nature-1).

Can the brain wear a helmet? J/k.

That was kind of the point of that rule. Losing something you have such a strong bond with makes you less of yourself. I guess it just scales badly (level 2-3 being a big hurt but the higher stuff being overtly punishing).

I like the idea of Sick with Heartache. I would maybe caveat that with a player may not take a new familiar until they become fresh again.

I love the caveat. Seems like there was some similar hurdle for acquiring a new familiar too.

For the caveat, I think it’s built in to your description: you need to level up before you can opt to gain a new familiar.

Ah yeah, I missed that! That’s even better.