Familiars for Savage Worlds
Companions for mages and those with the Arcane Background Edge
What Constitutes a Familiar?
That depends on the game world.
For example, in a fantasy world (such as Evernight, it could be a standard black cat, raven or dog.
However, when I asked about this on the listserve, Shane Hensley, the games designer commented
"They're not in Evernight--not really the focus and they'd just get eaten anyway. ;)
Maybe in the next fantasy setting"
So..maybe not in Evernight. However, the idea is a general one (much like Savage Worlds!). These could be useful for things like black cats, lesser golems, robotic minions for weird science, etc.
Gaining a Familiar
Familiars can be taken as an Edge, with an AB as a prerequisite.
It has a permanent Power Point Cost while the familiar is alive.
The charecter may not always get all the points back when it dies, representing the very real impact the loss of the familiar has on the mage's spirit and power. On the other hand, if the familiar peacefully dies of old age, the mage gets all the points back, and will have no problems attracting another familair if they wish (but how often's that going to happen? :-).
Abilities are the ones they come with (flight for a raven, looking good for cats, you get the idea...)
At the time of creation thay can be imbued with additional Powers as follows;
Familiars can be improved, later on in the game, by taking the "Improved Familiar" Edge.
Take the cost of the power/spell to cast be the reduction in power points of the ability for the familiar. So if you want them to have natural armour, reduce your mage's Power Point total by 1 (the cost to cast the spell initially), and they have armour equivalent to the power, depending on the spellcasting roll at the time the mage imbued his familiar with that power.. The initial outlay of power points also determines any options. There is no sustaining cost - that is paid for by the magic of the familiar (see? its not all costs! :-)
For example, say Myrdnn the mage has a firedrake as a familiar. He gives the drake the blast power, with the trapping of fire, to represent flame breathing, for 2 points. If he was to pay 4 points, the drake would be able to breath fire for 3d6 damage, or affect the area of a large boom template. He decides to do this, and picks the higher damage (the drake may be small, but he's fiesty!)
To continue the example of Mydnn and his firedrake, the mage has increased in levels a few time sand picks the Improved Familiar Edge. He choses to give the familiar the Armour power, and Raise Trait on its Agility. He pays the 1 point for Armour, and 2 for the Raise Trait. He rolls very well on his spellcasting, and gets a raise on both rolls, granting the familiar 4 points of armour and a two die increase to its Agility!
The firedrake has cost him two edges, and a reduction of 7 power points from his permanent pool, but its a capable companion for him as he battles evil - able to breathe blasts of fire at thier oponets, tough and fast. A friend indeed!
New Edges List
The familair edge gives the mage (or whatever) a loyal animal companion. The familiar gains the ability to understand all the languages the mage could when he gained the familiar. It doesnt gain the ability to talk though - take the telepathy power for that (unless its, say, a parrot, which would have its vocabularly increased remarkably!). The familair isn't blindly loyal to the charecter though - abuse it and it will leave - and he doesnt get another one until that one dies!
Upon gaining this edge, the mage can choose to reduce his power points permanenlty to give the familiar powers that he has access to (So, if Mydnn had access to Raise Trait, Bolt and Armour, he couldn't give it the heal power). This must be done at the time the edge is selected. To add powers later, take the Improved Familiar Edge.
Gives the familiar additional powers, or two selections from the charecter improvement table for the familiar.
The familiar can be given an additional selection of powers, as many as the mage wants and can afford to lose the power points for.
They powers must be added all at the same time, so you cant take this edge then add on the cool "invulnerability" power you just got access to a few levels down the road..
With thanks to Brent Wolke , for some initial suggestions when I mooted the idea to the Savage Worlds Listserve.