Empathic Bonds

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Empathic Bonds

Empathic bonds are asymmetrical, reciprocal connections shared between beings that confer extraordinary benefits and abilities to both the familiar (the bonded), and consort (the bonder) that grow along with the strength of the bond.

Benefits for consorts include:

  • For non-anthropic familiars: the ability to perform standard charms, which give them some degree of control over their companion.
  • Skill bonuses and specialty access.
  • Attribute bonuses.

Depending on the type of familiar, consorts may gain a large variety of additional abilities such as:

Benefits for the familiar include:

  • A limited form of immortality, the destruction of their physical form will be only a temporary setback so long as the bond persists.
  • For non-anthropic familiars: An aura that increases their capabilities in key aspects far beyond that of ordinary examples of their race, the exact nature of this aura is dependent on the type of familiar.

The ability to form an empathic bond is a faculty, which simply means it is an ability that is not specifically tied to a guild or association.

One who possesses the faculty may think about my ability to form empathic bonds to view information about it.

There is also a book on the topic that merits a read.

Familiars

There are many types of familiars to discover, their documentation is an ongoing task by the community.

Familiar Types

Known familiar types are listed here.

Specialty Access

Specialty access by familiar type is tabulated here (for 100% bond strength). Sourced from this ooc dump.

Player Notes

  • Not all familiars are equal. Empathic bonds have powers and abilities that suit them thematically, and come with no guarantee of mechanical power in game.
  • These articles are written and maintained by players, and may not be 100% accurate. Don't hesitate to correct them or add to them if there is new information you know to be accurate.
  • Changes 6002, 6499, and 6513 state that Skills not categorized as Magickal, Psionic, or Power Control receive bonuses as follows:
    • Specialty access to skills come with a flat skill bonus from +10 (formerly 20) at 4 spec access, up to 37.5 (formerly 75) at 15 spec acces.
    • At 16 spec access, that skill receives a percentile skill bonus starting at 5% (formerly 10%) that increases by an additional 1% (formerly 2%) for every 1 additional spec access granted. This percentile growth may be small, but it is unbounded and with sufficient specialty investment, can be extremely powerful for bond strengths in excess of 100%.
    • It appears that the flat bonus is applied before the multiplicative bonus. It can be difficult to isolate buffs however so I could be wrong, if anyone cares to verify this I'd appreciate it.
    • Until someone takes the time to do it. The individual bonds pages and tables, do not yet reflect the new flat and percentile bonuses from change 6513. As they have been halved across the board.
  • Combat Meditation and Supernal Durability have a further 50% penalty to skill bonuses that may or may not be refleced in the wiki. Reducing their flat bonus range to 5-18.75 and the percentile bonus to 2.5% at 16 access, +0.5% per point of access beyond that (Note that in order to unlock the percentile bonus at all, bond strength will need to be well in excess of 200% or or possibly 400% depending on the bond).
  • Many bonds provide boosts to the combat ratings (dodge/deflection/attack/damage) of the consort. These bonuses often scale with different Skills and their associated Attributes, and may be applied to all attacks, all attacks using particular weapons, tied to specific maneuvers granted by the familiar, or even more specific scenarios such as being grounded, mounted, on fire, or in a particular environment. Unfortunately these boosts are not documented consistently here on the wiki so it is useful to ask around in game before committing to forming a bond.
  • Bond progression beyond 100% is not displayed anywhere in game, but it's possible to derive it via skill bonuses, or access totals. For this reason it's a good idea to keep a record of your character's baseline spec access prior to forming a bond.

Bond Strength

An empathic bond is not simply a means to possess a minion, or a token aspect for the purpose of attaining power. It is a connection that one shares with another. A connection that both consort and familiar draw on for strength.

Such a connection cannot be established whole and complete. It is something that must be grown. The speed at which this connection grows is determined by the consort's bond assimilativity.

Bond assimilativity is a multiplier between 0 and 1 that is determined in part by their Ego, Empathy, Enchantment, and values in other skills with particular thematic resonance to the type of familiar.

It's possible to see both your bond strength and assimilativity if your empathy, introspection and mathematics skills are high enough (195(202) empathy, 151(169) introspection and 77(81) mathematics seem to be a sufficient amount).

Example:

This bond is fulfilled by Tamamo, with whom your connection is complete (100% emotionally complete, with an additional equivalent 1%
in deeply nuanced spiritual resonance).  You can sense that your connection with her will continue to deepen at about 66% of the
speed as should be in principle possible
  • Bond assim is penalized heavily for every empathic bond beyond the first that a consort has active.
  • Bond assim can be increased artificially, even beyond 100%, while wearing a Shirt of Second Self.

The following activities contribute to bond growth and are modified by bond assim unless otherwise stated:

  • Consort or familiar gaining experience (Familiar experience gain contributes moreso than consort experience gain).
  • Consort or familiar gaining skill experience.
  • Time passing. (This may be only a side effect of some familiars granting periodic skillxp to their consort).
  • Consort completing quests, ignores assim (supplementary to the xp awarded for completing the quest).
  • Familiar completing exploration, ignores assim (supplementary to the xp gain from exploration).

In game, the following expressions are used to signify the strength of a bond when using the think about my ability to form empathic bonds command

0% to 10% : very frail
11% to 19% : somewhat frail
20% to 29% : fairly healthy
30% to 39% : very healthy
40% to 49% : robust
50% to 59% : resilient
60% to 69% : deep
70% to 79% : very deep
80% to 89% : intimate
90% to 99% : nearing completion
100% : Completed

Bond strength continues to increase beyond 100%, granting additional increases to the specialty access (and related bonuses) granted by the bond.

Other bonuses, such as the familiar's aura, and values for traits do not continue to increase beyond 100%.

Charms

Charms are arcane feats accomplished by simple mental acts. Some of them are quite simple like calling your familiar to your side, others may involve esoteric feats of mind and magic.

This scale will show how good you are at performing each charm. Basically, the more intense, the better. Each charm has its own skills it uses for strength, and will also benefit almost universally from bond strength and Enchantment.

All non-anthropic familiars grant the following charms:

Many sociable familiars grant dominion over other animals:

Many familiars also grant the ability to manipulate various energies:

There are any other more specialized charms available full list of Empatic Bond Charms

Methods of Obtaining an Empathic Bond

Ligatory affiliations are primarily concerned with the ability to form empathic bonds. Presently, only guilds grant full empathic bond faculties, different guilds are able to form empathic bonds with different varieties of creatures. They include:

Some affiliations can grant partial empathic bonds, which are lesser in terms of powers granted, but similar in nature to full bonds. Presently, these include:

Rumors say that it is possible to develop the capacity to form a partial empathic bond through the use of Fey Abilities. Though the steps to unlock such an ability are closely guarded by those who know.

Forming a Bond

To fulfill an unused bond, you must find a suitable creature and: concentrate on forming an empathic bond with <creature> via <means>.

You may size up a potential bond-mate with: imagine forming an empathic bond with <creature> via <means>, rather than concentrating on it.

Breaking a Bond

Breaking a bond is always fatal for non-anthropic familiars, and incurs a heavy emotional cost on the consort.

This cost comes in the form of Spiritual Disjunction and some temporary, or even permanent mental afflictions. The severity and duration of these effects is inversely proportional to the strength of the bond being broken.

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