1- The Worm
The helminthoid form of your familiar spirit fills you with disgust and the stench it gives off causes most creatures with a sense of smell to give you a wide berth (apart from cats, who tend to show an interest in eating the thing). It rudely subjects your efforts at sorcery to mockery. You can communicate with it telepathically, but you dont particularly like the way it thinks. On Levydays it tends to go missing and when it returns it is bloated and sluggish.
2- The Twisted
Much like a small child in figure, but it has the wizened face of a veteran alcoholic, your familiar is kind, garrulous and sociable, but with a tendency to forget even simple instructions and an irritating habit of interrupting conversations with irrelevant non sequiturs.
3- The Puppy
This creature resembles a bulbous puppy, with wrinkled skin covered in crude stitch work. It tends to weep river water from these stitches- particularly when distressed. It gets worked up about small things- rituals that take a long time, changes in diet and other such minor annoyances. It can whine and trail you about, but properly motivated it can do some fearsome magic. It likes playing catch too.
Made of pure energy, your familar usually hides in candles and other open flames. Capable of speaking in a
tiny voice, heard only when almost in your ear...
5- The Frog
The Companion resembles a wide mouthed frog, carved from bronze. It likes warmth in all forms, and also small gleaming objects. You have had to tell it off several times for snagging jewellery with its long tongue, and surreptitiously eating it. When frightened, it tends to stand stock still, which makes it appear like an ornament.
6- The Replica
Your familiar is a small homunculous that is the perfect copy of you at the time you created it. It doesn't age, growing more perfect and beautiful as you become ravaged by time and the sorceror's lifestyle.
7- The Abomination
The Abomination is a sulky fat dwarf with the head of a wild boar and square shaped feet. It resents its creation and its sole joy in life is to remind you of the fact. There some things it takes a particular satisfaction in loathing though: dogs, children and better made familiars amongst them.
This familiar spirit appears as a small pile of delicate bones, that can be kept in a bag and thus disguised as a fortune telling device. When called upon to assist in magic the bones form a tiny skeleton, who assists ably until the task is finished, whereupon it breaks into its component bones once more.
This creature is a brilliantly glowing ball of pearlescent light. It obeys your instructions with a reasonably competent level of understanding but has yet to exhibit anything in the way of personality.
10- The Imp
The companion spirit is a slim ebony skinned imp with the pale blue eyes and blonde hair. Whilst your familiar treats you with an almost embarrassing level of veneration its insightful remarks about the nature of of magic often make you wonder if it knows for more about the subject than it willingly divulges.
11- Ten Toes
Your familiar is a magpie with ten toes on each foot. It has an intuitive grasp of simpler spells, but fails to understand more complex ones and can get very frustrated if asked to assist with one. It treats you with respect and is generally enthusiastic. It has a high regard for individual property rights and will be very offended if someone accuses it of kleptomania.
12- The Raven
The familiar is a Raven of the old school. Loyal and able it will nevertheless fail to fulfil its true potential unless its creator is an necromancer or a dark mage. It instinctively knows the doom of anyone it spends time with, and its dry ponderings on the nature of mortality can become unnerving.
13- The Socialist
A green pipistrelle bat with tiny horns. Your familiar takes great umbrage at the excesses of the nobility, and often rants at length about how the workers of the kingdom should rise up and fight to establish a more egalitarian regime. It expects to be paid a wage of a brass penny a day and if you want it to perform a task outside of normal hours it will complain of working to live, not living to work.
This familiar takes the form of a furless cat, with a strange floral aroma to it. Whilst ugly, it doesnt provoke too much suspicion from ordinary folk - which is handy, for it insists on leading a rather independent life of its own amongst the cats of your neighbourhood. It can often be heard yowling under some window or other, chasing small creatures and fighting the biggest, meanest Tomcats it can find. You suspect it is trying to compensate for something.
15- The Beetle
This familiar is much like a large black hornet. It is quite friendly, but its creepy manners make you feel a little uncomfortable. It is an ardent haruspex, and is bad about cleaning up the mess.
16- The Naughty Boy
It is hard to make out the form of your familiar, but in the dark people can perceive a small faintly green glowing boy with a mischievous expression. Your familiar is loyal and dependable and treats you with affection. It does fancy itself as a raconteur however, and enjoys telling your acquaintances all about your latest efforts in wizardry particularly the accidents.
17- The Doll
The doll-like form of your familiar is topped off by a large pale head bearing a shock of black hair and a pair of ancient looking eyes. Whilst generally helpful and intelligent your familiars habit of communicating solely with yourself in a conspiratorial whisper puts others at their unease. People who meet your familiar tend to report the death of a friend or relation shortly afterwards.
18- The Piglet
This creature takes the form of a small pink piglet, with beady glass eyes and a slight smell of camphor about it. Loud, friendly and fond of ales, it enjoys singing as well as delving into the more obscure magical writings of magical lore. It likes you well enough, but expects you to take it out for laughs and ale every so often
19- The Second Cat
Were it not for the two delicate human hands that take the place of its front paws your familiar would look like a mundane tabby cat. It behaves in a catlike fashion and can sometimes prove hard to keep track of, which can cause problems due to its strange appearance. The familiar treats you with lukewarm regard but can warm to a person who regularly offers it tasty treats.
20- The Second Doll
This strange companion is stitched together from cloth and velvets, with rough buttons for eyes. It looks like a crude doll, and can be rather unnerving. It has a ragged voice and a foul mouth. You have no idea where it learnt its extensive vocabulary of dockside language, but you certainly encourage it to remain silent when other folk are around.
21- The Third Doll
This doll-like companion seems to be the perfect toy. With delicate china hands and face, it takes the form of a well dressed noble lady - and had the voice to match. Half amused and impish in tones, this familiar will lovingly attend you in magic that seems exciting, but has no time for long rituals or other such bores. It can be charmed with flattery and hand stitched clothing.
22- The Rat
This companion takes the form of a rat like skeleton, fused with silver and lead. The metal seems to run liquid across the bones, holding them together and acting in the place of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. It is not so much intelligent as cunning, and whilst not friendly, does at least acknowledge you as an equal. The familiar asks to be paid in silver coin every moon, though what it does with them, youve no idea.
23- The Sprite
The charming sprite you have created as your familiar has skin like the shoots of young plants, pale green and easily bruised. It is a helpful and optimistic creature with a particular knack for assisting with the creation of potions. It loves to doodle on spare pieces of paper, including the leaves of any grimoires you leave within its reach.
24- The Puppet!
This spirit companion looks like a puppet or doll, carved from Oak and inlaid with gem eyes. Its teeth are formed from ivory and tend to clack together when it speaks. It loves music in all its forms, and encourages you to include it in all the magic you do. Other than this, the familiar lacks much in the way of personality, provoking rather wooden conversation.
25- The Poor Thing
Your spirit companion has the form of small finch, though it lacks eyes and panics if it thinks you are about to leave it alone. Its condition often leaves it terribly depressed, and it likes to twitter maudlin songs that describe its lot in life. Earthworms cheer it up. It considers nature magic to be the epitome of the craft which could annoy you if you are not a druid or a nature wizard.
This demon companion has no obvious bodily form, rather it can be seen only in mirrors, as an amorphous grey cloud, inset with a wide tooth filled mouth. It exudes the smell of burning books, which allows you to tell where it is. It loves fire in all its forms, and whispers to you in a low voice of the beauty found in destruction. It is distant, but serves you exactly.
27- The Toad
This fetid familiar takes the form of a squat toad with brilliant jewelled eyes. It sweats a rather smelly black fluid, not unlike ink in consistency. It speaks in a deep bass voice some what at odds with its small size. Fond of flies, blotting paper and waking you up in the middle of the night, this familiar is at least rather helpful - if a little slow.
Appearing as a three foot tall foppish dandy in purple velvet with long ginger hair and straggly beard tied in a knot your familiar suffers violent mood swings and can just as easily be helpful and insightful, depressed and withdrawn or violently angry. It is lecherous towards women, craves tobacco and flatulates unrepentantly. It has an appreciation for jewellery and a gift of such will keep it happy for days on end.
29- The Fantasy
A fantastically enthusiastic and vibrant familiar full of vigour and vim. It takes the form of a small horse with wings and gives off a pleasant odour. Whilst you hone your mystic arts it will be both helpful and supportive, but if you go for a lengthy period without studying or practicing magic it will begin to drone on in an interminable fashion about how you are squandering your gift and missing out on all the glories that tend to come to more ambitious wizards.
Other wizards are often jealous of your brilliant familiar, it looks a lot like one of those long sinuous dragons you see in eastern art pieces and it enjoys curling round your chest and peering over your shoulder at your fellows, fixing them with its intelligent eyes and charismatic smile. It is astonishingly helpful and loves you.
Thanks go to Valadaar for coming up with number 4- Energy.
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? Responses (19)-19
Bizarre. In fact you should rename this, "30 Bizarre Wizard Familiars" :D
These were fun to read. My favorites are: Dandy (haha), Socialist (A green pipistrelle bat with tiny horns. Wow), Puppy (thats just...I dont even know what to call it), Rat (The familiar asks to be paid in silver coin every moon, though what it does with them, youve no idea), Frog (brass), and of course, Abomination, which features the funniest two lines in the entire sub;
"It resents its creation and its sole joy in life is to remind you of the fact. There some things it takes a particular satisfaction in loathing though: dogs, children and better made familiars amongst them"
Maybe, "30 Dysfunctional Wizard Familiars"?
Some of these are quite amusing indeed. Bravo. I especially love the Socialist.
Darkly humorous. Some of them seem just a bit too cutesy for the sort of wizards and sorcerors I usually portray, but just the same, a great list. The Puppy, The Bones, The Raven, and The Replica (probably my favorite) are all quite spooky and astonishingly good ideas.
I should also add that I enjoy that it is implied that a sort of relationship beyond that of master and servant might exist between the familiar- in particular, the phrase in Whispers: "it is distant, but serves you exactly". More like a co-worker or a significant other!
Well, they pretty much beat me to all the good comments. I like the expanded relationship between master and familiar. Nicely done.
Damn, that got out fast!
Good job MJS!
My favourites are the Socalist (which could end up getting it's master in trouble) the Perfect (I want one of those) the Raven "Nevermore!" the doodleing Sprite, and Bones, that could be smuggled through magic unfriendly areas. 5/5
"haruspex: a man trained to practice a form of divination, by inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals"
A great collection of spirit familiars! The rest has been already said.
Wow, sure got something unexpected when I hit this one. Very bizarre is right and I feel sorry for the poor wizard stuck with most of them. Fun reading and an interting new vision of the familiar.
Aye, tis' a beaut!
Linked to Other 30s and added 30 freetext.
I will be expanding one of these for the Quest, if i don't run out of time! :)
Mike as always, I enjoy what you have written.
The Replica and the Twisted are probably my two favorite. Adding the creep factor of having a duplicate of you walking around as well as the dirty old uncle who is an alcoholic that you don't want to leave with your kids comes to mind.
The Worm is disgusting and would be a rather interesting issue on your dungeon delving treks I wager.
Your Energy familiar brings memories of a series of books from Jim Butcher where the wizard had an energy like familiar that always stayed in a crystal skull that was into drinking, partying, and the appetite of the opposite sex. It was however like a personal computer and new how to brew amazing potions and the history of the magical world.
Kudos to you.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment Mourn, energy was actuallyValadaars idea. A conversation we had inspired me to write this sub, credit where creadit is due:)
So much better than the standard options offered in 3ed! You give enough variety to suit the personality and needs of most any aspiring wizard. I may add to this, if the inspiration ever strikes.
Well this is great.
Updating the vote. There is nothing about this that drops it from a 5. Love it.
Golden yes vote