Animal Companions, or familiars, are creatures that travel with, or are summoned by the characters. Drones are unmanned vehicles or remote controlled vehicles that are piloted by the characters, and are also considered companions by the system.
There are two basic types of companions in the game: Statted and Unstatted
- Unstatted Companions are basically non combat pets, they are just something for flavor and can not perform any actions or have any other effect in the game.
Statted Companions have their own Stats and skills. These stats and skills can be rolled to perform actions that have an impact or do something beyond being flavor.
Both Statted and Unstatted companions are subject to Setting review and approval.
This is due to the need to see if such a companion is suitable and exists for a setting as well as to make sure it is appropriate for it to be a companion type pet. For instance, fairies exist in the world of Vaxia but are deemed inappropriate to have as companions, given their status as a playable race and having free will.
No other requirement or skill is needed to have an unstatted companion.
Statted companions are only if you want a pet that can do stuff in the game. Generally a piloting or handling skill may be needed to ensure commanding the companion will be successful, as well as improve how well the companion will perform the action. There are two kinds of statted companions: Permanent and Temporary.
Permanent companions will need to be made into an item, but this means you can completely customize it. Temporary companions are essentially whatever the A/SH has at hand at the moment and does not need to be an item.
Companion Stat and Skill Rules
Statted companions use the same rules as player characters and NPCs for their creation.
- Uses the same 7 stats
- Skill creation follows the same rules. See: Skill Guide
- Companions only get 150 build points starting out.
- The limits are the same - no stat or skill above 40.
These stats will Overlap the owner's stats when used to represent that it's the companion performing the action.
Some companions may have in features like weaponry use additional rules for the weapon in question (such as having guns which overlap their STR stat with the weapon's power). Similarly, companions may have armor or items has been purchased that alter their stats or skill score. Be sure to let the ruling A/SH know if your companion has any of this so that they can adjust the mights accordingly.
In game play there is no difference between permanent and temporary/summoned companions. They all use the same rules.
The main differences between them is that permanent companions are completely customizable, however they can be destroyed or killed and lost forever. You could lose a permanent companion and have to build or re-train a new one.
Temporary/summoned companions have a predetermined spread of stats and a skill relative to their role type. Nothing can be customized, but it will be able to adequately perform its intended function for you when you summon or take control of it for the moment.
Getting a Companion
There are a variety of ways of getting a companion:
- SH Request: If your character has a companion handling or drone piloting skill, the character gets one companion for free to start with. You can request a suitable companion at creation and determine its stats and skills to customize it. The companion will be created as an item on your sheet. The request can be made on the SH Request forums of the appropriate setting.
These are any kind of companion that was conjured, found, convinced, etc in the moment to come to aide a character.
There are many ways a companion can be summoned, but these are the most common:
♦ By a character that has an appropriate skill with a conjure aspect for conjuring companions.
♦ Use a companion handling skill with a convince aspect to get one to help the character for the moment.
♦ Scrounging up or repairing a found one to help the character for the moment.
There are 8 basic types of Summoned Companions a player can chose from. A player can try to summon a stronger companion by going against a higher difficulty. The stats and skill of the companion can not be changed, but the description of the companion is completely up to the player so long as it is within the rules of the setting.
Commanding a summoned companion comes with the same rules and same costs once it's summoned.
These companions are temporary and only last for the duration of the scene/session unless they are destroyed.
See Also: Summoned Companions
- Crafting: Some companion can be built such as drones and constructs. These may use INT and DEX with an appropriate skill for drone design or construction creation. More magical based types may use INT and SPIR. During the building you can determine the companions stats and skills to customize it.
- Through RP:
You can attempt to befriend a companion on a character during roleplay, which may prove difficult without an appropriate handling skill of some sort. SPIR and CHA are used to try and convince a creature to join you as a companion.
This works just like crafting a companion and will follow those rules. The main difference is the stats used and instead of actually building one out in the RP, the character is seeking a companion to convince them to join them.
You can purchase a drone or construct built by someone else, or an animal trained to serve as a companion by someone else. When making the purchase you can request particular stats and skills to customize it. A purchase request can be made in the SH Request forums.
Companions can be purchased for 300s (either a store-bought drone or a trained creature) at any time.
- Session Reward: A/SHs will, at times, reward a creature during a session, where appropriate. Non-statted companions are entirely fine (and often fun and interesting) session rewards. Any statted animal companion or drone awarded needs to follow the build guidelines and be submitted for approval as an item. These rewards must follow the companion rules and can not go beyond the limits in place.
In sessions you will not get to narrate or play out any of the companions reactions and actions after a command, the A/SH will do that. So during its creation if there is something particular in how you want it to act or have a distinct personality include that in the description so A/SH’s have something to base the narration on.
If you wish to narrate the companion in casual play it must follow the same rules as characters do.
Using Your Companion
Companions are treated similar to NPCs when it comes to them performing actions in a session. Meaning the A/SH will be the one to describe the resulting actions of the companion.
In casual RP you will be able to play the companion so long as they are not doing any actions that require a ruling from a A/SH, much like playing an unstatted companion.
Most of what you will be doing with your companion is giving them orders or commands to perform an action as well as roll the proper stats/mights for the companion's action. A handling or piloting skill will make such commands more effective as they will help increase the chance of a successful command, as well as assist the companion in performing better.
If the command roll is successful it also grants the companion a bonus to its action PP generated. This bonus is equal to the command PP/7.
Example: If you rolled well enough to generate 21 PP, your companion has a +3 to its PP to perform the action you asked them to do.
Commanding a biological or similar companion requires an INT + CHA roll with an appropriate handling skill (if you have one).
Commanding a companion that is piloted requires a DEX + INT roll with an appropriate piloting skill (if you have one).
For companions that have been made an item there is a dice roller just for them. For summoned/temporary companions you will still have to use the main dice roller to roll the dice for their actions.
The companion roller can be found under the Using items box. You will see the text Using companion and a drop down box. Just select the companion you wish to use and then another dice roller will appear allowing you to select the companion's stats and skills to roll.
Companions follow the same guidelines as characters in what to roll for actions as well as when to roll for actions.
You only need to roll to command your pet if you want them to do something complicated or dangerous, or communicate in secret/use telepathy. Asking them to follow you, or to stop performing a command you gave them earlier, requires no roll and no action, assuming you're still within range to signal them at all. Similarly, if you want them to continue performing the same action you commanded them to do previously, no additional command roll is required.
Commands are limited by what the companion can do and understand.
For example no matter how much you command a dog to perform complex calculus it isn’t going to be able to do nothing more then look at your funny. Simple commands like "go there," "attack that," "guard this" or "track that smell" are all viable. How well you communicate them (or enter the commands for them) is dependent on your roll. The more complicated the command, or the more dangerous or unpleasant it is to perform, the higher the difficulty the owner will be rolling against.
Commanding a companion counts as an action for the character in a session.
Meaning if you want to do something else and command your companion in the same round you will have a Multiple Action Penalty. The same is true whenever the pet acts, even if they're continuing to do something you commanded them to in an earlier round. That means each attack your pet performs is an action that counts against your total that round, and standard Multiple Action penalties will apply.
Each action is still your choice as the player, so if you wish for your companion not to attack that round to give yourself the full might for your action, no special roll is needed.
Because commands cost actions, newer companion owners are encouraged to limit themselves to either acting directly or commanding their companion in a given round. Splitting actions between the two to double up is best left for when either you're attempting something very simple or you have the higher mights to sump the Multiple Action penalty.
"Leveling Up" Companions
Once obtained, companion numbers are static, just like any other item. What this means is that the companion can not be directly leveled up like a character can be.
Instead the "growth" of a companion is illustrated by the growth of the owner's relevant skill (handling or drone piloting), which helps grant a larger and larger bonus to the companion each time commands are given. In other words the higher your handling/piloting skill the more powerful your companion will be.
We do it this way because this means the XP stays on the character, so that if the companion is lost or the player wishes to change to a different companion later, they have lost nothing numerically in the exchange.