Familiar Club (Greyhawk 4E)
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A social club for familiars and other small covilized non-humanoids.
Background: Familiars all live their lives as the servants of arcane mages or other powerful characters. While on adventures and missions, familiars are fully occupied serving their masters. But in the long weeks or years that the master spends researching spells and conducting business, the familiar needs something to do. Enter the Familiar Club, a lodge and fraternity for familiars with too much time on their hands.
The guild arranges meetings, speeches, sing songs, concerts, gambling, debates, liaisons, and generally caters to the social needs of members. On very rare occasions, it might act as a regular guild or union, speaking up for an oppressed or mistreated member, but this is rare and often draws unwanted attention.
Members: Anyone willing to socialize with familiars for extended time can become a member. Of normal folk only children and some gnomes tend to be willing. But other small intelligent creatures such as homonculi, elementals, mephits, awakened animals, and certain outsiders are also welcome. Basically, the requirement is that you can and will socialize with familiars as equals and have free time to spend. Members wear a piece of formal attire, adapted for a non-humanoid form. A small animal wearing a hat, vest, skirt, shawl or umbrella is a sure sign of membership in the club. As these symbols are not in any way uniform, masters often indulge their familiar's desire for such items without knowing their significance.
Most familiars take after their master's academic interests. Familiar Club meetings are like a parody of an academic gathering, with a chorus of tiny animals wearing the odd piece of formal attire and often carrying a small bag with a few morsels and often a few scribbled notes such as a speech, poem or piece of music. The odd imp or tiny dragon adds even more color to the gathering.
The masters of many familiars takes a snide attitude when their wards mention that they need some diversion. Most familiars have learned that the best way to get time off on their own is simply not to ask. Other enemies include the enemies of their masters and of arcane magic, such as witch-hunters or inquisitors. Still another group are misguided citizens such as janitors and rat-catchers who do not realize that the circle of small animals in the church attic are playing a civilized game of whist. But the main difficulty of the familiars' guild is to keep the rivalries of their masters out of the guild. A master who discovers his familiar is in the guild inevitably wants him to use the guild to learn the secrets of his enemies, which is a surefire way to lose standing in the guild.
Services: The guild can provide many magical services and much information, as well as most items usable by a typical member.
Scale: 16, Multicontinental. The Familiar Club is widespread, but it lacks much influence.
Affiliation Score Criteria:
Familiars are all intelligent, but suffer from a lack of people to talk to. A rat familiar might be able to speak to other rodents, but few of them can offer intelligent conversation. Rodent familiars can converse with each other, but communication skills beyond this level is highly prized.
|Criterion||Affiliation Score Modifier|
|Effective character level. Familiars use their master's level||+1/2 levels|
|Medium size or larger||-2|
|Is a familiar||+1|
|Has a familiar||-2|
|5 or more ranks in, and the body to use, Perform, Sleight of Hand or Tumble skill||+1|
|10 or more ranks in any Knowledge skill||+1|
|5 or more ranks in Diplomacy||+1|
|Able to speak Common||+1|
|Able to understand all languages or communicate through telepathy||+1|
|Keeps lodge membership secret from master and others outside guild||+1|
|Able to socialize for several hours at least once a week||+1|
|Arranges some very special and entertaining diversion (cost 500 gp and must be arranged for)||+1 Max 1/3 months|
|Able to socialize for several hours almost every day||+2|
|Can provide a safe and comfortable meeting place||+1|
|Interact with the familiar of an enemy in a civil and non-hostile way||+1|
|Gives a familiar significant help||+1|
|Saves a familiar||+2|
|Resolves familiar-master conflict||+2|
|Discusses club secrets with outsiders or master||-1|
|Rats out on another member||-2|
|Draws the guild into the limelight||-4|
Titles, Benefits, and Duties: A member of the familiars' guild becomes a socialite in a very well-informed social circle, with access to first-hand gossip and information on high-level arcanists. As you progress in the guild, you also earn a certain freedom, and become able to take more and more liberties in regard to your master.
|Affiliation Score||Title: Benefits and Duties|
|3 or lower||Stranger: Not yet trusted.|
|4-10||Hanger-on: You are a known face at familiar gatherings. +2 on Knowledge (Arcane) and Gather Information checks for gossip and information on arcane spellcasters.|
|11-20||Socialite: A well-received visitor at different gatherings, the socialite can communicate with familiars, regardless of their type. +2 bonus on Streetwise and Arcana.|
|21-29||Trendsetter: A ringleader among familiars, you are expected to provide entertaining diversions to other members, and can expect a large number of familiars to join any event you initiate. A trendsetter is able to partially block the telepathic link to their master, giving the impression they are doing something harmless. +4 bonus on Streetwise and Arcana.|
|30 or higher||Idol: The idol is a role-model and lifeline for downtrodden familiars everywhere. At this rank, the familiar can manipulate the link to the master, falsifying sensory impressions and generally ignore the master's command. They can also help block other familiars' link within 30 ft., like a Trendsetter can. You can actually make a familiar betray its master on your account with successful Diplomacy rolls and the use of this ability. +6 bonus on Streetwise and Arcana.|