Tuesday, August 6, 2019

2019 RPGaDay 4: Share

Taking a que from a friend who is also doing this challenge, today I will SHARE another of my creations.

One of the few things I don't really like about 5e is the Find Familiar spell. I'm not a fan of it summoning a magical being that can be whatever you need it to be. For me, that takes the challenge out of having a familiar. I always liked the idea of having to figure out what your familiar should do based on what it can do.

But, since some players like it, I decided to make a simplified variation that can be inserted, and, in the spirit of older versions, brings in a real animal. I call it Animal Helper. As always, I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Animal Helper:
New Cantrip for 5e
By Tom Doolan

Quickview: Animal Helper is a cantrip that immediately attracts a random small animal to your service until the next sunset. Casting this cantrip using higher level spell slots will bind the helper for a longer period.

Animal Helper
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: 100 feet
Components: V S
Duration: Special
Classes: Wizard, Sorcerer

The cantrip Animal Helper was originally developed to teach young wizards how to use their power in harmony with nature. It has since gained popularity as a useful utility spell. When cast as a cantrip, this spell sends out a magical call into the immediate area. The following round, on your initiative, a Small or Tiny creature (cr 1/4 or less) will answer that call and be magically bound to you for the duration of the spell. To determine the type of animal that answers, roll on the table appropriate to the environs in which you cast the spell (forest, desert, urban, etc.). The animal will have the typical abilities found in the MM, with maximum hit points. Your helper is bound to you until the following sunset. If you wish to retain the same helper for a longer period, you can either recast the cantrip before sunset, which will extend the time until the next sunset, or you can cast the cantrip using a higher-level spell slot (see below). You can dismiss your helper at any time as an action. A dismissed helper will revert to its instincts and react accordingly (most often running away).

Your helper acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. In combat it acts on your turn. A helper can attack, using whatever natural weapons it has. Due to their size, helpers do negligible damage to a target. However, if they successfully hit, the target will have Disadvantage on any d20 roll for the next full round (attacks, saves, etc.).

While your helper is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can use any or all of your helper’s senses until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the helper has. During this time, your own senses are “blinded.”

When you cast a spell with a range of touch, your helper can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your helper must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll.

Casting this cantrip using a higher-level spell slot will bind the animal to you for a longer period of time, as follows:
1st level: 10 Days, ending at sunset on the tenth day;
2nd Level: One month (or moon cycle), ending at sunset on the last day of the current cycle;
3rd Level: One year, ending at sunset on the same date of the following year;
4th Level: Permanent. The helper is bound to you until it dies, you die, you dismiss it, or you cast the spell (at any level) again. Casting the spell again will immediately dismiss the helper who will flee from you, making way for a new helper who arrives per the standard rules.

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