Today I got to use some content from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness. That’s right! And what content, you might be asking? A nifty little archetype for familiars. And why? My son.
My kids are young, only five and six, but they play a lot of Pathfinder. Usually, we play verbally, on the half hour walks to and from school. But on the weekends or the holidays, we have a chance to pull out the battle mat and play a proper game. Quite a while ago, my daughter decided she wanted to play a campaign for only the two of us. Something to play on the walks home from kindergarten, when my son’s still at school. Girl’s only.
“That’s great.” I told her. “What kind of characters should we make this time?”
“Oh, Mom,” she told me. “I do NOT want to be a hero this time. I have a lot of heroes. I want to be… a villain! A really, REALLY evil girl!”
So we created two horribly evil females. And my son’s been jealous ever since.
Today, as my daughter was trying to convince me to play a session of ‘evil girls’ with her, my son decided he’s finally had enough. He too would make a villain, and join us on an adventure.
But what kind of villain? Who would really want to hang out with a blood kineticist who feeds on the souls of others, and a doctor who’s more fond of the undead than the living? A mad scientist of course!
“Mom, I want to make a scientist, who is really good at making things, and knows about peoples bodies and things. And he likes to take things souls and stick them in special bodies. Maybe dead ones, or live ones, or ones he made! And he has a secret lab! Oh! And he’s nice and friendly!”
A nice and and friendly mad scientist who meddles with souls? Sure, why not! And so Professor ‘Bigpants’ McMaan was born. Why the nickname ‘Bigpants’? He was inspired by this amazing artwork we discovered on Pinterest. He even made himself old and sucked up the age penalties in order to be true to the image.
My son decided he would make an investigator. And, after some time spent glancing through archetypes he decided upon a bonded investigator. Giving up all of their poison capabilities for a familiar which gets better over time, my son was thrilled to find this little gem in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Intrigue. And what’s the perfect familiar for our soul-meddling Frankenstein-inspired investigator? A pig with the soulbound familiar archetype! Thank you Ultimate Wilderness! By giving up the familiar ability alertness, his adorable little pig gets a soul gem stored inside it with the spirit of a humanoid trapped within. This grants his pig skill focus in any one skill his soul excelled at in life. Choosing skill focus (craft constructs), my son decided Professor McMaan’s pig was enhanced with the soul of his rival, Professor Piggs, making his familiar capable of helping him out in the laboratory with his many experiments.
To make his quirky little pig even more thematic, he chose to take evolved familiar as a feat, allowing him to scientifically enhance his pig’s body — in this case, to give it a swim speed, “cause pigs are real good swimmers, Mom!”
With his familiar ready we settled in to finalize the rest of Professor ‘Bigpants’ McMaan himself. With an old, frail body, but a powerful brain, my son decided to equip the good professor with a nifty sword cane (topped with a silver skull!) and a host of acid and alchemist’s fire. But, starting as he was at level three, he had a lot more wealth to go around. He insisted we check into crafting constructs, despite that I promised him that required being level five, only to discover ‘craft poppet’ on d20pfsrd. Apparently, poppets are tiny and small, weak constructs which you can make right off the hop, at level one, and are relatively affordable. In addition, each poppet can be modified with enhancements. Recently published in Pathfinder Player Companion: Adventurer’s Armory 2, a sourcebook which I do not own, but seriously wish I did, these poppets made his day. He happily spent the rest of his three thousand gold coins on building a combat poppet, modifying the small sized wooden doll with armour, extra health and strength improvements; and a sneaky poppet, modifying the tiny doll with enhanced agility, stealth, and a faster move speed.
Thrilled to pieces, Professor ‘Bigpants’ McMaan and little Professor Piggs are ready to take their miniature poppet minions out on an adventure with some seriously bad girls. Now, if only I could decide what that adventure would entail…
Have a great night, everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading about my sons new character as much as he enjoyed making it.