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Terrestrial Spell: The Binding of Beasts

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  • Terrestrial Spell: The Binding of Beasts

    Terrestrial Circle Sorcery

    The Binding of Beasts
    Cost: 10 sm
    Keywords: Psyche
    Duration: Indefinite

    Letting out a mighty roar, the sorcerer asserts the primacy of her will upon the mind and heart of a natural beast, entwining their fates together. Upon casting the Binding of Beasts, the sorcerer rolls (Charisma + Occult), at a difficulty of the target animal's Resolve. If successful, she instantly binds the creature as a Familiar. Animals gain a bonus to their Resolve equal to the number of familiars the sorcerer already has.

    A sorcerer who learns the Binding of Beasts as her control spell may select one general type of animal, such as wolves, apes, or birds of prey. She does not increase her difficulty when binding the selected type of animal to herself, regardless of how many familiars she already has. Such sorcerers are inevitably marked in some fashion by their choice; a hawk-souled sorcerer may sprout feathers behind their ears, while a master of horses may find her feet replaced with hooves.

    ---

    Because Radagast the Brown is a thing, and sorcerers who command the beast of the earth, or whom turn every raven into their spy are also things.


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  • #2
    I like it, it definitely fills a niche. One suggestion, in line with the "turn every raven into a spy" idea, would be to allow extra powers for casters with an essence pool, a la Wood Dragon's Claws, to allow binding a whole group of animals at once, and treating them as a single familiar for purposes of numbers, but the caster has to treat them as a unit. So Twilight Saruman can bind a Size 5 group of crebain, but he has to give them one order, "Search the land for the Fellowship", and can't send them off one-by-one on different missions.

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    • #3
      My first thought is that it feels more like a Survival Charm than a spell, but it does seem like the kind of thing a sorcerer should be able to do.

      (I just checked; Dragon-Blooded have a Survival Charm (Beast-Taming Aspect) that allows them to gain a new familiar at no XP cost, but Solars do not. Weird.)

      Maybe the spell should let you take control of animals and communicate with them, but not directly interact with the familiar system?

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      • #4
        I think it needs a caveat that it cannot be used on trained animals or animals that are already someone's familiar.


        Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
          I think it needs a caveat that it cannot be used on trained animals or animals that are already someone's familiar.

          Hm. How about:

          Trained animals gain a bonus to their Resolve equal to their strongest Intimacy towards their owner, and an additional one for each trained ability.
          The Binding of Beasts automatically fails when called against an animal already bound as a Familiar, but the sorcerer gains a brief impression of who has claimed the animal's loyalty.

          That way, you can have dramatic moments of 'my loving pet is sorcerously turned against me!' and 'my pet loves me so much that it ignores the sorcery!', and using the spell on a Familiar isn't a complete waste.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
            I like it, it definitely fills a niche. One suggestion, in line with the "turn every raven into a spy" idea, would be to allow extra powers for casters with an essence pool, a la Wood Dragon's Claws, to allow binding a whole group of animals at once, and treating them as a single familiar for purposes of numbers, but the caster has to treat them as a unit. So Twilight Saruman can bind a Size 5 group of crebain, but he has to give them one order, "Search the land for the Fellowship", and can't send them off one-by-one on different missions.

            (I had totally forgotten that Tolkien used fantasy-crows instead of just... like, crows)

            I'm not wild about this- it feels like it's going a step too far. But I can't articulate exactly why that should be the case.


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            • #7
              Probably because “Summon and command a whole bunch of animals” is already a Celestial spell (albeit one not updated to 3e yet)?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                Probably because “Summon and command a whole bunch of animals” is already a Celestial spell (albeit one not updated to 3e yet)?
                .... ain't that terrestrial?

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                • #9
                  I love the idea but If there is not some limit to it it could get out of hand. Given enough time a sorcerer could literally tame a herd of buffalo etc. I would offer the recommendation of either a time limit or essence as a cap. Or possibly if they exceed essence cap then xp has to be paid to keep them? I play a sorcerer and a spell that I gather 10 motes for on average can be done in one turn. There is not once a day limit of anything on it. No 2wp cost to make it where it has a limit. I could sit on an edge of a herd of animals and in a day or two possibly have a literal army of thousands of familiars. Also would this apply to ox dragons and other larger animals like yeddims? Even if they are poor at combat a herd of yeddim stampeding would be devastating to a troop formation. The idea is great and there is definitely a spell to be filled in. Hope some of these suggestions and points help. Thanks for sharing a really neat spell idea !

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wastevens View Post


                    Hm. How about:

                    Trained animals gain a bonus to their Resolve equal to their strongest Intimacy towards their owner, and an additional one for each trained ability.
                    The Binding of Beasts automatically fails when called against an animal already bound as a Familiar, but the sorcerer gains a brief impression of who has claimed the animal's loyalty.

                    That way, you can have dramatic moments of 'my loving pet is sorcerously turned against me!' and 'my pet loves me so much that it ignores the sorcery!', and using the spell on a Familiar isn't a complete waste.
                    Honestly I'd play it the same as Friendship With Animals approach "This [Spell] does not work on sentient animals or familiars, animals that are trained to attack, or animals that are maddened by pain, hunger, or disease."


                    Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                      Honestly I'd play it the same as Friendship With Animals approach "This [Spell] does not work on sentient animals or familiars, animals that are trained to attack, or animals that are maddened by pain, hunger, or disease."

                      That's definitely the easiest way to approach it, but I feel that also undercuts what the spell is doing. Friendship with Animals is being a ranger, you're just so in tune with nature that you understand the birds and the beasts.

                      The Binding of Beasts is a heavy chain that enslaves the mind of the beast, *forcing* the issue. It is psychically violent imposition of will.



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by drakor View Post
                        I love the idea but If there is not some limit to it it could get out of hand. Given enough time a sorcerer could literally tame a herd of buffalo etc. I would offer the recommendation of either a time limit or essence as a cap. Or possibly if they exceed essence cap then xp has to be paid to keep them? I play a sorcerer and a spell that I gather 10 motes for on average can be done in one turn. There is not once a day limit of anything on it. No 2wp cost to make it where it has a limit. I could sit on an edge of a herd of animals and in a day or two possibly have a literal army of thousands of familiars. Also would this apply to ox dragons and other larger animals like yeddims? Even if they are poor at combat a herd of yeddim stampeding would be devastating to a troop formation. The idea is great and there is definitely a spell to be filled in. Hope some of these suggestions and points help. Thanks for sharing a really neat spell idea !

                        Well, you can really only bind All The Things if this is your control spell, in which case you're loudly proclaiming that this is Your Thing (tm). Otherwise, the rising difficulty will rapidly outpace the ability to control more than six or seven familiars. And if this is Your Thing, I'm... pretty okay with Teris the Wolf-Wizard having All The Wolves.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wastevens View Post
                          (I had totally forgotten that Tolkien used fantasy-crows instead of just... like, crows)
                          I don't think crebain were "fantasy crows" in the sense of having magic powers or anything. I think "crebain" is just a local name for the type of corvid that lived where Saruman called them up from.


                          Originally posted by wastevens
                          I'm not wild about this- it feels like it's going a step too far. But I can't articulate exactly why that should be the case.
                          Well, one thing that should probably be specified is that familiars in flocks, herds, etc. aren't valid targets for the Solar familiar-enhancing charms. Binding an army of ravens and then hitting them all with Saga Beast Virtue would get gross.

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