Folks seemed to like the misplacer beast last time, so he gets a return appearance. It seems that he’s not universally popular though. Like the aurumvorax and the cockatrice before him, something tells me that this tentacular tabby won’t be a permanent addition to Team Bounty Hunter.

When you’ve got an animal companion, NPC cohort, or otherwise keep a roster of hangers-on about, they’re going to take up a bit of screen time. That just comes with the narrative territory. Figuring out how much attention to pay to your groupies (animal and otherwise) is easier said than done though. If you give ’em too little then you risk winding up with a Skitters situation. The character in question fades from reality, disappearing into the weird pocket dimension of oh-hey-are-they-still-here. Give ’em too much attention though and you get a Thuna situation instead. It’s bad enough when you get upstaged by your own familiar. If an overabundance of screen time steals the narrative spotlight from your fellow PCs though, then you’ve got bigger problems. And if by chance you’ve seen Your Highnessyou know exactly where I’m coming from (and you also have exceptional taste).

It’s unconventional, but my latest attempt at cracking this conundrum is playing out in my group’s Dungeons and Doggies campaign. Laurel’s chain pact corgi warlock has a pixie familiar, and I’ve taken it upon myself to treat the little guy like a full team member. Being a bossy wanna-be alpha dog, my barbarian cane corso makes it a point to order the little fae about. The corgi gets territorial in turn, an ongoing character conflict develops between the two PCs, and (when everything is working as intended) the familiar becomes an interesting thing to roleplay around rather than a focus of attention in its own right.

And so for today’s discussion, I have a question for you guys: Do you have a relationship with your party members’ familiars and companions? Or are they just kind of there? What kind of interesting dynamic could you form? Maybe the paladin’s horse is always narcing on the rogue. Perhaps the barbarian seeks counsel from the wizard’s raven. What if you actually named the T-rex the summoner keeps summoning and greet it like an old friend? Sound off with options for RPing with all those oft-overlooked party members down in the comments.


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