Hi, everybody!

Here's my first set of (real) notes from SimuCon. The most important thing to remember is that they're, um, totally better than Kynevon's. Yup. Anyway, a lot of this has to do with familiars, but I'm posting it here because I'm kind of behind on reading the familiars folder. Besides, the meeting was technically on general Warrior Mage topics. Any transcription errors are due to the godawful plot holes in the movie "Timeline."

Warrior Mages - Valdrik & Chakram
Friday, 6/4/04, 12pm

Valdrik's voice is hoarse, but he'll yell for the Plat folks sitting in back. He introduced Chakram "of the war sheep." Valdrik was going to do a seminar on weapon enchanting, and one on familiars. But there wasn't enough time, so we'll talk about familiars at this meeting. Smitty created familiars, and kept them after companions left his control. Then he left, and they went to Rottcloar. Then he left, and they went to the WM team. So it's all Valdrik's work to do now. Valdrik looked at the existing plans and progress, and it will now be updated to Familiars 2.65, if you're keeping track.

Valdrik wants everybody to be able to continue playing with their fams according to their existing concepts of what they are, but some definitions have been developed. A familiar is a singular aethereal being that you can summon onto the Plane of Abiding into a particular shape. The shape retains the intelligence of the aetherial being and it grows with you. A talisman is the focus utilized by the Warrior Mage to summon the familiar. Valdrik informed us that he and Chakram "are ninjas today," because of all the GM info he has on his laptop.

There will be more fantasy oriented creatures. To support that, the fir fams are moving down to 35th circle, and a new set are being created for 50th. Chakram has the list of player suggestions from the boards. Looking down at the list, down around 200th circle, most definitely not approved at this time, he sees things like, "dragon hatchling, hippogryph, gorgon." In my best Elmyra voice, I asked if I could have a unicorn so I could hug it and kiss it and comb its mane and put pretty ribbons it in. I was told that I may not ask any more questions. Elriic asked if we would have combat fams, and the answer was a resounding "yes."

The talisman code is going to be reworked, and all of your fams will be summoned from one talisman, because it's one being. You'll have more control over what animal you carve. Higher level fams will engage in full combat, including magic casting. There will be a more fluid progression with fewer gaps. Someone asked if the talismans would be usable with no hands free. Valdrik told us that DR2 rocks. We should be able to slap our talisman onto a sword and summon our fams that way. There will be more robust commands, like telling the fam to defend. Also, the "lame" monetary cost associated with the fam quests will be removed. Each level of fams will have two quest-only types that will preview an ability from the next higher level. Spellcasting will be at 50th circle. Familiars will have demeanor.

The new familiar will be developed simulatenously with weapon enchanting. The first thing that will be done will be to make them combat ready, but that will be invisible to us, so he'll try to also work on things that we'll see. The fur fams should be moved down to 35th pretty quickly. Creating the 50th level fams will take longer. The preview creatures need to be added to the lower levels. Small fams will stay at 1st circle. The preview fams, hummingbird and dragonfly, preview flying. Large fams will stay at 10th circle. The preview fams, hedgehog and flying squirrel, will preview enhanced commands. At 20th, the dark fam preview fams, wolves and hawks, will preview combat. The 35th circle fur fam preview fams, hobgoblin and sylph, will preview magic and innate spells. The 50th circle fams are tentatively called "ebony." The addition levels for new fams are charted out as 75, 100, 130, 170, and 200. Valdrik wanted to put in succubi and incubi, but he was denied by the higher-ups. Higher fams might possibly cast blackfire.

Then Valdrik opened it up to a Q&A.

Q: Will spellcasting fams only cast your own spells?
A: That would be boring. It could have some enchantment like dire charm or something. Valdrik isn't approved on using other guilds spells, but it's something he'd like to do.

Q: Will fams have their own mana pool?
A: Yeah, they won't eat your attunement.

Q: Can they be rideable?
A: Valdrik has not asked for mountable fams, and Rangers are getting mountable companions, but he sees no reason why there can't be overlap there.

Q: Blackfire should move forward for roleplay purposes.
A: We will roleplay it out. Valdrik wanted to see what would happen with incinerate. The next Blackfire spell will probably kick it off. Bear in mind that a lot of the guild's history was written in 1996/1997, and needs to be assessed. It needs to be playable for all sides.

Q: What about the new AP abilities and quests?
A: The early quests were designed to get young WMs moving around in game. Later ones are more in depth. An area has been built but needs mechanics. It won't be out before DR2. Valdrik has a lot on his plate. He's going to be reviewing all our spells. AL does nothing. Um, no spell does nothing.

Q: Elemental specialization?
A: Elemental Attunement. Come to the weapon enchanting seminar.

Q: Is the guild focus still being the masters of TM?
A: Every guild has a niche. WMs are combat are blowing stuff up. But we won't ignore defense.

Q: Will ethereal pathways do more?
A: Come to the weapon enchanting seminar.

Q: Will we get a shield ability?
A: Valdrik asked last year, and has gotten no response.

Q: Can flying fams land and go indoors?
A: It sounds complex, code-wise. He'll look at it.

Q: Can the smaller fams land on us?
A: Will look into it.

Q: Will high level fams drag the dead? Can they work with consent?
A: Doesn't have a problem with that. Will look into it. It can maybe guard your dropped stuff and/or your grave.

Q: What about new spells?
A: New spells usually depend on who wants to do one.

Q: Will the fam morph forms, now that it encompasses all of them? Like can it fly around as a hawk until it finds someone, then land and turn into a dog and go inside?
A: Valdrik has written this down with three asterisks.

Q: Could fams eating fams be a demeanor option?
A: It's more likely to be an actual command.

Q: Will fur fams still be elementally attuned?
A: That's moving to Elemental Attunement.

Q: Will there be any way to get rid of fams or affect them with spells?
A: Yeah, if it's going to beat on Valdrik, "It's on." Killing a fam will not make it be completely gone.

Q: What about multi-fire?
A: That will be addressed when all the spells are reviewed.

Q: What about the "Elemental Othersight" ability that was referenced in that book about the Zaulfung Stones, and came up on the boards recently?
A: Come to the weapon enchanting seminar.

Q: TM learning?
A: Spells might need reworked. It does get lame around 25th circle.

Q: What happens if a fam "dies?"
A: It goes * poof *, and there will be some downtime.

Q: Will fams be in some way healable?
A: Don't know. By the way, did you know that everybody is getting animal lore? But fams aren't really animals.

Q: What about fam vs fam combat?
A: Sounds cool. There could be issues involving the law and consent, would be interesting.

Q: What skills will be involved in carving talismans?
A: Woodworking, maybe. Not decided.

Q: Will talismans be bondable, and prevented from loss upon death?
A: We could probably make some sort of Knyugugu'chagana Oil that will do that.

Q: Will we keep our existing fams?
A: Yeah, you'll combine the old talismans into the new one.

Q: Can you give a talisman to someone else and let them summon "your" fams?
A: Don't know.

That's all for now. But that Weapon Enchanting seminar just sounds more and more interesting...

David (Jolebin Swordstaff, Elemancer of Riverhaven)

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