Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Familiar: Pig

I want to make a pig familiar. I am kinda disappointed that Dungeon Fantasy 5: Allies didn't have one, but I can understand why. Pigs are kinda silly, usually. I mean there are some down right terrifying pigs in legends and myth. But I mean a domestic pig. It took a lot of thinking and brainstorming, but I think I came up with something maybe useful.
Using this one a lot here.

Some Fundamental Mechanics

So first off we want to conform to the standards laid out for us in Dungeon Fantasy 5. The pig can have a total of 62.5, rounded down to 62 points, and will cost 9 points as an ally, and always require that the master has 5-point Special Rapport as well. Basically, a minimum package deal of 14 points.
First off, I want to give a shout out to a really useful website. This site right here has a bunch of mundane animals statted out with some parameters we can modify. Note, it gives us mundane, realistic style animals, and not magical familiars but that's a start.
Screenshot for reference.
I filled out the form for a 100 kg domestic pig, and chose the template format to get point values. This gave us a pig with -66 points. In addition, all familiars need the meta-trait Familiar, which is overall a disadvantage that brings it to -88 points. On the flipside, familiars aren't exactly beast, so we need to fix its IQ, Will, and Per. Lowering Will down to 5 will give us -113, and Per down to 7 will give us -138. Re-adding the five points of IQ gets us to -38. We now have a pig of human intelligence. I personally don't like the custom traits of Bad Sight and Short Lifespan, or the custom Reduced Endurance disadvantage so taking those off brings us to -11. Wild Animal also needs to go because it overlaps with the Familiar meta-trait, besides the fact that it conflicts with what a familiar pig is capable of doing. It also comes with the Meta-trait domestic animal, which is weird because domestic and wild overlap; maybe the generator has a small bug. With that chaff taken away, we are now at a pig of 49 points. After double checking the math, it comes out to 51 points somehow, and I noticed one more micro-optimization. We can lower basic speed to .25 to give us an extra 5 points, bringing us to 46/62 points.

Figuring out the point gap

So from a regular pig to a magical familiar pig we have a balance of 16 points to help with this guy. First thing I add to this guy is some points in brawling to give him a fighting chance. I give him another point of HT, and knocked his speed down again, giving him 7 more points to spend. I don't know what else to add to him, so I give the pig increased dexterity, again knocking off the increase to basic speed and finally getting a maxed out pig. Our pig looks something like this in GURPS Template formatting:

ST: 11[6]HP: 11[0]Speed: 5[-15] 
DX: 11[12]Will: 10[0]Move: 5[0]
IQ: 10[0]Per: 12[10]
HT: 12[20]FP: 12[0]SM: +0
Dodge: 8Parry: N/ADR: 0
Bite (13): Reach C, 1d-1 cutting
Hooves (11): Reach C,1, 1d+1 crushing
Advantages: Acute Taste & Smell 3 [6], Discriminatory Smell [15], Enhanced Move (Ground) 1/2 [10], High Pain Threshold [10], Hooves [3], Night Vision 4 [4], Peripheral Vision [15], Parabolic Hearing 2 [8], Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast Iron Stomach, -50%) [2], Sharp Teeth [1], Temperature Tolerance (Cold) 1 [1], Terrain Adaptation (Undergrowth) [5], Ultrahearing [5]
Disadvantages: Familiar [-22], Gluttony (CR 12) [-5], Quadruped [-35]
Quirks: Likes Wallowing in Mud [-1], Red-Green Colorblindness [-1]
Skills: Brawling (E) DX+2 [4]-13; Intimidation (A) Will+0 [2]-10; Swimming (E) HT+0 [1]-12; Tracking (A) Per+3 [1]-15*
Class: Animal
*Includes +4 from Discriminatory Smell.

Abilities Granted By Familiar

The other important component of a familiar are the required advantages when buying it, and the other advantages that a familiar allows you to buy. First off, it looks customary for all familiars to give an ER 6 (Drains Familiar, -50%) [9]. Earlier we said the pig would cost 9 points for ally, plus 5 points for special rapport, and now we add another 9 for the Energy Reserve which brings us to 23 points. Most familiars have a cost in the range of 30 to one extreme of over 40, so let's see if we can give a few more abilities to bring us up to 30ish points.
What special abilities are associated with pigs? Let's See:
  • Pigs are incredibly good at hearing and smelling apparently, so a lot of abilities granted by a rabbit or dog seem appropriate
  • Folk-lore wise, pigs are associated with wealth because of piggy banks and peppermint pigs, so a type of serendipity limited to wealth related happenings might be appropriate for a more supernatural approach
  • Along with that, pigs are well known for their ability to find truffles. Extrapolating a little bit, a Detect (Fungus) power might be a bit limited, but another possibility
  • Pigs are known for their cast iron stomachs, so that is another advantage that makes sense.
  • In the Chinese Zodiac, people born in the year of the boar are said to be empathetic, so Empathy is another possible advantage.

Putting that Together

Putting it together, a pig familiar could be stated something like:
Pig Familiar: Ally (Pig) [9]; Discriminatory Smell (GBF, -40%) [9]; ER 6 (Drains Familiar, -50%) [9]; Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast Iron Stomach, -50%; GBF, -40%) [1]; Special Rapport (Familiar) [5]. 33 points.
And then followed up with the following extra options that a master of a pig familiar may learn at any time:
  • Serendipity (GBF,- 40%; Accessibility, Financial benefits only, -10%) 1 [8] or 2 [15]
  • Detect Truffles (GBF, -40%) [3], or Detect Mushrooms (GBF, -40%) [6]
  • Sensitive (GBF, -40%) [3] or Empathy (GBF, -40%) [9]
  • Terrain Adaptation: Mud (GBF, -40%) [3]

Other Notes

I like the idea of familiars, and I kinda wish I could see more varieties. What's in DF5 is a great start, but I'd like to see some more. If it helps anyone, the CER of this pig is OR = 8, PR = 5, for a total of 13. It is not a very strong helper in fights, but it does have some interesting potential for a spy with its excellent hearing and sense of smell. With some points invested in maybe camouflage (mud) or Traps (smelling gun powder or acid) it could be pretty good support. Some far our abilities might be a bag of holding like capability with a limitation like "riches and money only".

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