Companion Utiltiies and Racials

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Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:28 pm

As the Title said, let's put all ranomd musings about what fun racials and utilties to build for the Companion Tree.


To start off here's a repost form the Errta Discusion topic:
Zarhon wrote:
Philadelphus wrote:Also, I like the idea of some Pet-Only racials. Maybe some weaker, cheaper versions of some of the 2 and 3 point ones. Smile
Indeed. In its current form, you need to invest two talents or more, just to get some of the typical domesticated animals with their natural traits. Maybe make some 1-point, pet-only racials, that allow the pet to fill the role of some "archetype" animals (e.g. cats, dogs, birds...)? It can work similar to familiars in D&D.  

Feline Agility - Companion only
This companion is immune to fall damage, and receives a +10 bonus to climbing and jumping.

Enchanted Fish Bubble - Companion only
This companion has gills, allowing it to breathe in water (but not outside of it). At will, the pet may create a special bubble of water, allowing it to move or be transported within, outside of static water sources.* The bubble doesn't break from damage, but both the liquid and pet within it can be influenced and pushed out of it.

*The bubble is treated like a hamster ball: Rolling or bouncing around the ground. It can be lifted with magic or manually, and if the pet can fly, the bubble flies with it.

Amphibious Reptile - Companion only
This pet can breathe above and under water, and can use the "Leggo" utility talent at will.

Canine Hunter - Companion only
This companion can "see" and detect scents, odors and fragrances, allowing it to track and identify such, and has the "Call Out" ability.

Oviparous Avian - Companion only
This companion can fly at will, without penalty to skill checks (Cloud Chaser). Once a day, it can lay an egg. This egg can be eaten, thrown at another creature (causing 10 seconds of blindness), or kept warm and safe for three days, after which a baby/chick of its species will hatch. Baby/chick born this way are treated as companions without racial points, and cannot be resurrected.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:56 pm

I think Oviparous Avian's infinite spawnlings might cause issues.

Here's another suggestion:

Made In My Image - Companion only
This companion has the Mechanical racial trait & may use one of your utilities that you choose when you select this trait, sharing uses of that utility talent with you.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:10 pm

Permanent versions of the Shapeshifter utility talents is probably a quick and easy way to get a few categories out of the way.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  kajisora on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:27 pm

The fish bubble probably needs to explain that you need water around to create the bubble:
as-is, it's a source if endless water. I'd take the pet just for that.

The oviparous thing can probably be fixed by setting a maximum amount, or a time limit before they leave the nest and strike out on their own.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Enchanting Fish Bubble probably also needs some reason to take it aside from just flavor. As is, it's just flavor + an easy way to get your pet killed.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Zarhon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:44 pm

Ramsus wrote:Enchanting Fish Bubble probably also needs some reason to take it aside from just flavor. As is, it's just flavor + an easy way to get your pet killed.

Dead pets are hardly an issue, since you can revive them. Best bet would be to give it something akin to the "waterborn" utility I suggested, or swimming improvements, neither of which are a thing yet.

And there's plenty of amusement/utility to be had from carrying around a big bubble of liquid around - For instance, combining "flight" and "acidborn", then letting the fish make a bubble out of the stuff it's immune to. Very Happy Gonna clarify that part to allow for any liquid it can swim in...

Enchanted Fish Bubble - Companion only
This companion has gills, meaning it can only breathe within any liquid it can swim in* and swim at no penalties. When fully immersed in a liquid, the pet may create a special bubble around itself, filling it with the liquid and allowing itself to move or be transported on solid ground**. The bubble doesn't break from damage, but the liquid and pet within it can be influenced / removed out of of the bubble.

* Any liquid that is not inherently deadly to be in / drink (acid, toxins wouldn't qualify), and fluid enough to move through without difficulty (no pudding or molten metals, for example).
** The bubble is treated like a hamster ball: Rolling or bouncing around the ground. It can be lifted with magic or manually, and if the pet can fly, the bubble flies with it.


Last edited by Zarhon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:47 pm

It might be more interesting/useful if you said substance instead of liquid. Then it could just be a hamster in a ball for example. If you couple that with an ability to always have enough for the ball, at least water would be of some use. Or whatever. Something that makes having just that feature alone do something of actual use aside from "is amusing".
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Zarhon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:04 pm

Ramsus wrote:It might be more interesting/useful if you said substance instead of liquid. Then it could just be a hamster in a ball for example. If you couple that with an ability to always have enough for the ball, at least water would be of some use. Or whatever. Something that makes having just that feature alone do something of actual use aside from "is amusing".

Making it work on "substance" and "always have enough" would give you freedom to create infinite "substances" of choice. Infinite molten gold, anyone?  It's liquid to avoid sillyness, and needs something to fill it with (enough to immerse the pet completely in it), but you don't need to "refill" it unless you empty it manually (or force the pet through something that would make it lose the liquid). You could, for instance, make a bubble of booze to carry around, or mix up a potion into the bubble, or simply have the pet extinguish a fire by moving into it, or the previously mentioned acidborn + acid bubble combo. Or just simply a ball of water for when you get thirsty. Water is generally easy to acquire in most settings/situations, so it's not a huge problem obtaining any.

The feature is already more useful/fun than "one with the oceans" and the drawback of the pet can be rectified if you carry around a bottle of water for emergencies, or don't put it in dangerous situations.
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:16 am

Ethereal (1) - Companion only
You are constantly under the effects of Phase Step and may not physically interact with any physical objects.

Adorable (1) - Companion only
Your critical failure range is now 1-3 but, your critical failures are never harmful to anyone (unless you count your pride)*. Additionally you may twice per day treat a nat 20 as a Cutie Mark Critical.

*Unless you possess the Derp utility talent.

Nuisance (1) - Companion only
You gain a +5 bonus to annoy, frustrate, enrage, and/or distract any one being at a time. You also get a +5 bonus to staying outside of a creature's grasp or escaping any creature's grasp you are in.

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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Zarhon on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:17 pm

Adorable is stupidly overpowered for a companion (1) racial, plain and simple. For one, it can have the companion outperform the entire party, twice a day! That would have to cost more racials, or lose the cutie crits, and probably one of the daily uses. Secondly, the whole "critical failures are not harmful to anyone" (including you, by that wording!) isn't a drawback, since it nullifies itself into a super-benefit (it acts as a regular failure since crits suddenly don't affect it/others badly, and the regular failure is completely expected with its 5 in all stats, on a roll of 1-3. It is only a drawback if you beef up its stats so it doesn't "fail" on such a low roll).

You can thusly a pet that can freely and completely inconsequentially spam skill checks until it either succeeds normally, or gets a nat20 that then lets it break *any* situation, no exception (other than truly impossible tasks), up to twice a day.

Ethereal looks good in theory, but I'm fairly certain the not being able to physically interact with anything (along with the vagueness of the fact of how are they standing/not-falling-through-the-ground, if they can't fly or levitate, which Phase Step doesn't have thanks to allowing physical interactions or at least having it be silently agreed upon by most DMs) would make a lot of its other racial / utility choices either broken (through "ethereal ability" abuse) or useless.

For instance, does it being ethereal make it immune to any non-magical and "physical" effects, such as fire, lightning, acid, etc...? Can it use the "X-born" racials to spit stuff like acid (or have that acid be non-ethereal)? Can it do assist checks for any non-verbal skill application? Can it drown / needs to breathe? Can it take damage from falls? Weather-crafting with any "physical" skill like athletics or acrobatics? Damaged from Personal Project?

Nuisance seems okay, though I'm not sure if it would be viable for a creature that can't do combat at all (since skill checks might not be allowed to avoid combat being initiated against the companion, a hostile creature would then be free to KO/kill the stat-less companion).


Last edited by Zarhon on Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:22 pm

Ramsus wrote:Nuisance (1) - Companion only
You gain a +5 bonus to annoy, frustrate, enrage, and/or distract any one being at a time. You also get a +5 bonus to staying outside of a creature's grasp or escaping any creature's grasp you are in.
"HEY LISTEN!" - Navi

That was the first thought from reading that suggestion. And I love it! XD
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Re: Companion Utiltiies and Racials

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:46 pm

@Zarhon: You're probably right about Adorable.

As for Ethereal, I would imagine some of those details would be up to the GM. I'm not currently aware of anything super broken this allows someone to do. I would generally imagine that it couldn't use Xborn on anything physical and could similarly not be effected by such things.

Companions don't even exist in combat technically so, it can't really be engaged in combat. It's not as if Nuisance allows it to do anything it couldn't do before, it's just giving a bonus.
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