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Got myself a pair of new players from the land of Demons and Dinobanoids and one wanted to be a Druid type Shaman. I thought about it and helped her out. Basically made a shaman with a slightly altered nature totem that gives +2 to healing +4 to Animal affecting spells.

Her next question was if she could use some of her resource money and spell points to have an Animal Companion type deal. Thats where I got stuck. I said sure but I'll work on how to make it work. Now I'm not quite sure how to treat it. Seperate NPC under her control? does it gain karma? command it and so on?

It's not really so much of a balance or power issue, but how to impliment it without making it too awkward.

Secondly the new guy wants to make a Face type that has a Lurch like manservant. Troll Sammy type

Once again not really a problem overall. But does the Manservant get karma for doing his job? should I advance him? or should the PC? At this point what I'm afraid of happening is that everyone with the cash to spare will hire 3rd level Contacts and bring all sorts of extra folk with them.

P.S. New game to New players. And I want to avoid having an army of goons like what happened in the other campain but still not squash creative concepts or backgrounds and ideas and so on. smile.gif

Animal companion is easy enough, a force 1 ally spirit inhabiting a wolf. just take it out of her spell points and magic attribute. All rules are automatically handled because they exist.

The troll sammy level 3 contact is a little harder. I would award him a little less karma unless the player does an excellent job playing him.
The druids type might be better served with a Path of Magic Phys-ad with a few low power healing spells and some of the new stuff from SOTA:'64 such asthe connection to animals that is available through a power I don't remember.
As shamanic background awakened types can still have the shamanic mask this can still fit into the other categories while covering some of the other abilities they are looking for
+4 to animal spells is insane. Just make her use custom spells that have the Limited Trarget modifier.

Animal companion: either a pet, which I'd give for next to nothing. Nothing outlandish about a person having a pet wolf or whatever. If she wants it to have extra kick, go with an Ally spirit. Easy as pie.

For the Lurch, yup, make him buy a level 3 contact. At the price they're at, I'd let him do what he wants with him. However, he is NOT under the PC's direct control, and the PC does not manage his stats.
Also, lackeys and such tend to have lives, desires, and goals of their own to accomplish. They can be as much of a drawback as an asset. Don't be afraid to have lurch the troll manservant draw attention to the runner (Hey, we don't serve their kind in here!) while he's trying to keep a low profile. Not to mention the fact that he could have a wife/child/family that show up at the worse possible moments.
QUOTE (Backgammon)
+4 to animal spells is insane. Just make her use custom spells that have the Limited Trarget modifier.

Actually there are very few spells that target animals at all, so +4 isn't a problem. I really don't think she'll start creating a whole line of spells devoted to affecting animals, and it's no where near as bad as some of the other totems.

Thanks for the idea of how to handle or at least limit some of the limelight for Lurch The Troll Sam. Having him have a family, or start one and is just doing the manservant thing as a job.

I considered the Animal Companion type deal with a familiar spirit but it ends up making a very weak virtual animal, or a very very powerful and bullet proof possessed real animal. I was thinking of keeping it as a normal animal but it being well trained. Still fall into the problem of if it should advance on it's own accord, or gain karma at 1/3rd of her rate which she applys to teaching it various things. Stealth, advanced fang fu, athletics? Would trained skills be in addition to it's base attributes since all critters default without penalty? Do I bother with figuring out species modified stat limits?

I think training/improving animals is one of the things that the upcoming Running Wild book is supposed to cover.
Crimsondude 2.0
Yeah, but most of his questions are answered in SOTA64.

Physads can attune to animals, and... there's stuff about druids. My question is: What's wrong with the existing druidic "totems?"
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
What's wrong with the existing druidic "totems?"

None of them come with an animal companion, not even at high levels.
Crimsondude 2.0
None do, though. Why should this one?
Because the player wants one, mate, to enhance his roleplaying experience. He wants the pet his apartment contract obviously prevents him from having. smile.gif
I'm going to allow Druidic-type characters access to Attunement (Animal) in my games. I don't really see the reasoning behind its Adepts-only restriction.
I would make the druid pay for the spell control animal or translate and the appropriate sustaining focus and then treat it as if the animal was the focus. Most of what I could see someone wanting to do you could do with spells and a sustaining focus, and if the focus doesn't fit the character concept just use the rules without the actual focus. They might also want to consider a version of the eyes of the pack spell done the same way. Let the character use their karma to raise the attributes of the pet using the same rules to raise character attributes.
For the "racial limit" of the animal, what would you suggest? 2* the Animal attribute? (Derived by assuming a human average of 3, 2*3=6.) Animal attribute+3?
Most spells can affect animals. They are living creatures after all and thus subject to most of the spells that affect meta humans. +4 dice to cast such spells is unbalancing in a game where animals make up a large portion of the opposition witch unusual in an SR game.

A pet wolf would need to be fed housed and such like. A high or better lifestyle could cover this but otherwise bill the 10% of lifestyle cost for additional mouth to feed. Also keeping a wolf is probably a violation of some regulation and people on the street will defiantly be weary of it and donít forget the animal training skill. I recommend 5(7) (wolves). Or it could be an ali spirit that takes the form of a wolf witch would be very expensive at char gen and I would recommend getting it in character.

Any existing druidic totem could acquire an animal companion in any of the ways discussed previously so you donít need to make a new one.

As to lurch what dose he want to use him fore. I would say no to an NPC that comes on every run (and have him charge money if he was). If it is just a man servant with his luxury lifestyle then he guards the house no problem doesnít even need to be a high level contact but if he cant maintain the lifestyle any more he will leave.

Herald of Verjigorm
Be careful with the definition of animal. Scientifically, it will apply to most targets a runner mage wants to affect. Only plants, drones, spirits, and possibly a debated grouping or two would be exempt.
Crimsondude 2.0
I can understand the animal companion. Hell, that's (I assume) why there are (some) rules for them now--if you're a physad.

I'm just wondering why a totem should give any modifier to an animal companion.
Imagine a Leviathan Shaman... Or a Unicorn or Phoenix or Thunderbird.
Having a animal companion is a good thing but to get an animal to do your bidding then I would say go with an Ally. There you have a second to do your bidding.

As far as your Lurch is concerned, giving karma I have a system which I use with my players.

Level 1 gets 1 Quaters the Karma of a Character
Level 2 gets 2 Quaters
Level 3 gets 3 Quaters

EG Character get 8 Karma for a run.

level one would get 2 Karma
level two would get 4 Karma
Level Three would get 6 Karma.

It works especially in Campaigns
what I mean by animal spells are like. Control Animal. or even specific target like Slay (Dog) Any non sentient mammal or reptile. So humans and ghouls and so on don't apply.

Thanks for the amount of Karma payment advice Johnson. I think I'll do that.

What I mean by Lurch the Troll Sammy Manservant as in... You ever watch Venture Brothers? Think of Brock Samson. Or if you watched Johnny Quest, think of Race Bannon.

Trained killer put in the service of the Face man to keep him alive. Much like a team member but more underspoken and probably a little more volitile.

And Namer18 thanks I think I'll do that make the spell points and cash she spends from generation into a control animal collar focus, a little house rule on it to make it more durable to being dispelled or broken by wards.

I'm not sure if Animals should learn skills though or should the karma be put to just raising attributes? Fang Fu? or just improve Int and Quickness for the higher Reaction for more combat prowess.
I've had experience with allowing level-3 contacts to go along on runs. It works well if there are only two players, and can be terrible if there are four or more. At 4 its more trouble than its worth, because the team can, or should be able to, stand on its own AND look out for each other. If the addition of a contact makes it tougher to challenge the team in Combat (most play groups seem to like combat) then you may just be forcing things to take longer.

In terms of a companion animal, I suggest a trained Barghest (Critters page 22). You might think it adds too much power to the character, but I think of it more as a "flaw", as a character will often risk their life to protect their unarmored animal. I would provide it to the character at only modest cost, as part of the character background, but make it clear that it can't be replaced. No spells or spirit will magically provide a replacement.
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