Not every wizard wants a familiar. Some don’t have the time to care for a living companion. Others enjoy a more custom designed servant. A few wizards want a second partner, but don’t want a second familiar or animal companion. The homunculus offers all of this and more.
The homunculus is a creature created of magic and alchemy.
These tiny constructs can fulfill duties similar to those of a familiar, but without suffering many of the familiar’s weaknesses and liabilities. Although typical homunculi are physically weak, they make excellent servants, scouts, spies, or guardians, and their vaguely humanoid shape allows them to act as an extra pair of hands for their master.
Homunculi do not age or need to eat or sleep. They do not tire or complain. A few homunculi can mimic human emotion, but they do not “feel.” They are loyal servants who complete whatever tasks their master demands.
A homunculus cannot speak, but the process of creating one telepathically links the creator to it. This telepathic link has a range of 1,500 feet. The homunculus can (and will) tell its master everything that it experiences as long as it remains within this range. In addition, a homunculus never willingly leaves this range, and –if forcibly removed –will do everything in its power to regain contact with its master.
Lastly, an attack that destroys a homunculus deals 2d10 points of damage to its master.
If its creator dies, a homunculi dies too, and its body swiftly melts away into nothingness.
A character can have as many homunculi as she wishes.
Creating a Homunculus
Each ritual to create a homunculus is unique to the wizard constructing the creature. These rituals all bear certain points in common, however:
Each ritual has a cost in gold pieces. Part of this cost is for the familiar’s body, while the rest is consumed by the magical regents necessary for the ritual.
The body of the homunculus must be created. This usually requires an Intelligence check (DC 20).
Certain homunculi can only be created by spellcasters of a minimum level (though the level required for a typical homunculus is 4th).
The ritual required to create a homunculus always takes 1 day per 1,000 gp of market price (the typical homunculus costs 1,050 gp to build, meaning it takes just over 1 day to construct). The creator must labor for at least 8 hours each day in a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemist’s laboratory and costing 500 gp to establish.
If the creator is personally constructing the creature’s body, the building and ritual can be performed together.
A creator not actively working on the ritual must rest and can perform no other activities except eating, sleeping, or talking. If they miss a day, the process fails, and the ritual must be started anew. Any gold pieces spent on the failed ritual are lost. The previously crafted body can be reused, as can the laboratory.
A homunculus with more than 2 Hit Dice can be created, but each additional Hit Die adds 2,000 gp to the cost to create.
Wizards need not be restricted to the basic homunculus. It may be possible to modify the creation to add any number of special features to the final product; the exact nature of these is left to the discretion of the GM and player. An exhaustive list of these homunculi is neither necessary nor germane; it would result in a dozen stat blocks with very minor variations among them. The GM should closely monitor such creation to ensure that the resulting creation does not unbalance the game or tip the scales in the favor of the wizard.
A homunculus may be taken as an improved or greater familiar, in which case it is treated as normal for such a creature (type changes to magical beast, increases in power per the standard or greater familiar lists of the appropriate class, etc.).
Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christofferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.