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WotBS 4th Adventure: Getting a Familiar to betray the group

Salicus

Villager
Hello People, its me again :D

I have a question again, this time about some input on how to let a familiar betray his owner.
The following happened: The group was arrested in Bresk. After that they escaped the prison with some interesting ideas and when they got out, the Ranger said, that he still needs to save his Animal Companion. He uses the new Subclass from the Players Guide and therefor can't dismiss the familiar.
After a discussion between the PCs he pretty much made clear not to run to gallo without his familiar. Later he told me in a private message, that it just would be better if his familiar would be killed. And he is actually right, for going on with the story it would be easier for them and I understand why he asks that, since it pretty much removes his Subclass from him. I don't want to tell him, that they might get there later again. So I thought about a way to give them the familiar back but give Madness some kind of advantage because of that. I thought about something like always knowing where they are. Maybe if they do something like trying to break into the castle again later, they will actually have some kind of trap waiting for them there.
Is there any other thing that any of you could think of as a means to give them the familiar back at a cost?

Thanks for any input in advance =)
 

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It's been 14 years since we published that adventure, so I'm trying to remember what the timeline is.

Maybe the night after the party escapes, the ranger PC senses that his familiar is dead.

What has happened is that Madness got hold of the familiar and vivisects it in a ritual to let her slip into the ranger's dreams and torment him, wearing the shape of his dead companion. Maybe you just narrate some spooky horror where the familiar blames the PC for abandoning it. Or maybe the PC needs to make a Wisdom saving throw or else wake up with a level of exhaustion. Maybe the familiar attacks the PC in his sleep and he wakes up feeling injuries (and having HP damage) that he took in the dream, though his body is intact.

If you want to make a big ordeal of it, maybe the PC keeps getting assailed each night, but with the option to get help from another PC, or someone on Gallo's staff. Maybe if the PC defeats the projection of his familiar, he can draw its spirit into himself, then recreate the familiar by using find familiar again. Or maybe he just has to get a new one, and the old one is tormented by Madness.

Whatever you do, when the party goes back into the dungeons, Madness has left a 'watchdog.' The familiar's skin has been animated with psychic energy, and it talks and condemns the ranger. It's not necessarily a strong enemy in a fight, but it could help set a creepy mood.

Maybe when the ranger calls a new familiar, it somehow bears the scar of madness, and it can shift into a semi-dreamlike state, granting it the incorporeal movement trait for a round once per short rest. (I think the party ought to be around 7th level here, right, so it's a good excuse for why the familiar's attacks will now count as magical.)
 

Salicus

Villager
It's been 14 years since we published that adventure, so I'm trying to remember what the timeline is.

Maybe the night after the party escapes, the ranger PC senses that his familiar is dead.

What has happened is that Madness got hold of the familiar and vivisects it in a ritual to let her slip into the ranger's dreams and torment him, wearing the shape of his dead companion. Maybe you just narrate some spooky horror where the familiar blames the PC for abandoning it. Or maybe the PC needs to make a Wisdom saving throw or else wake up with a level of exhaustion. Maybe the familiar attacks the PC in his sleep and he wakes up feeling injuries (and having HP damage) that he took in the dream, though his body is intact.

If you want to make a big ordeal of it, maybe the PC keeps getting assailed each night, but with the option to get help from another PC, or someone on Gallo's staff. Maybe if the PC defeats the projection of his familiar, he can draw its spirit into himself, then recreate the familiar by using find familiar again. Or maybe he just has to get a new one, and the old one is tormented by Madness.

Whatever you do, when the party goes back into the dungeons, Madness has left a 'watchdog.' The familiar's skin has been animated with psychic energy, and it talks and condemns the ranger. It's not necessarily a strong enemy in a fight, but it could help set a creepy mood.

Maybe when the ranger calls a new familiar, it somehow bears the scar of madness, and it can shift into a semi-dreamlike state, granting it the incorporeal movement trait for a round once per short rest. (I think the party ought to be around 7th level here, right, so it's a good excuse for why the familiar's attacks will now count as magical.)
Wow that are really good ideas. That will totally help me get a good thing put together. Thank you Very Much for your input =)
 

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