Browser Spirit/Familiar?

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Browser Spirit/Familiar?

#1 Postby Onymous » Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:54 pm

I've finally sat down with The Junkman Cometh and started to read these wacky Junker rules and, no matter how many times I go over this section, I'm not quite clear on a few things with Familiars and Browsers. Mostly the difference.

Alright, so Familiars are browser spirits, right? Just really awesome ones. So, does that mean that Familiars provide all the same bonuses as a browser spirit? Can they power objects and give you chip abilities? Or when you buy them are you really just getting an animal companion with +2 to occult engineering and a small stockpile of powers in its body?

It says they're similar but it seems like a whole different animal and I can't find anything to confirm or deny their similarities.

Also, can you get more than one familiar? Would it have to be of a different type or do they even fall under categories?
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#2 Postby oddtail » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:33 pm

From what I (vaguely) remember, familiars double as Browser Spirits. And no, I don't think you can have more than one, I don't recall where it was said, but I'm pretty sure it was, somewhere.
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#3 Postby Fuzyfeet » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:00 pm

I've played Junkers, and have read and reread the book more times than I should have, and he is how it seems to me. There are three categories of tech-spirits (I don't count tainted as a separate category cuz a tainted would still fall into one of these, just in a bad way):

Garden-Verity: The ones that make it to the Net and make up the bulk of the tech spirits are just plain and simple. That can't provide any extra power (even for a device) and any other spirit their size. Like all most all tech-spirits they want out of the hunting grounds and back into a device, and that usually means jumping at the chance when a Junker calls.

Familiars: While not very powerful, they are willing to bargain more with a Junker to come back, even linking their souls to one another. They have enough power to provide juice for a device (aka their body) and a cuby-hole in space for more junk, but that's it. The bond with the spirit makes the Junker more "in-tune" with the craft, granting them a +2 bonus. The link is powerful and exclusive, so a Junker can't have more than one familiar, and neither can just cut the thread willy-nilly.

Browsers: These spirits have kicked some specter booty and reaped the rewards. They are the Clint Eastwood's, John Wayn's or Jackie Chan's of the tech-spirits. They have gained power and can share it with the physical world like some of the more powerful nature-spirits and manitou. Being tech-spirits they share these powers with Junkers, and sometimes even occupy device. They form no link other than an admiration for the Junker's work so they can refuse to help a Junker just as a Martyr to a Templar.

That's just as I interpret it.

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#4 Postby Jack_Spade » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:45 pm

From my understanding, Familiars are Spirits like Browser spirits but way more powerful. They are generic in design, so I wouldn't be banking on getting a computer browser X-Familiar. They provide their own abilities and bonuses, and require you to build them a body. meanwhile browsers (like the previously mentioned computer browser) can be built into a device related to their sphere of influence, but not into any old robo-animal (well maybe a car-browser, but only because locomotion is related).

Make sense?

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#5 Postby Fuzyfeet » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:58 pm

Now the book says Browser Spirits are no longer just Tech Spirits, but it also says Familiars are "a different sort of tech spirit". So which one is more powerful?

The Familiar isn't limited to a "tool type" and can provide power to all the device/abilities built into it (which if your a good enough Junker can be a lot). They are mentally linked to the Junker and provide +2 to all Science: Occult Engineering rolls. Then there is the extra-dimensional space that only Familiars and the Chamber (or Junkers in my games that take the power Transdimensional Space) have access to. That is a really nice thing to have (especially when a min/max-er like me does something shifty like builds a size 2 reactor in it).

Browsers can provide a plus equal to their level to Science: Occult Engineering but only when a roll falls within it's sphere of knowledge. So while this can be more than double a Familiar's bonus, it is limited in its use. The Browser can provide juice for the Junker's toys (and doesn't need to be built in to the device), but again only those that are in its sphere and personally used by the Junker. That last power a Browser has is what makes me think they are the more powerful of the two: Chip Powers. These abilities are have kick-@$$ uses (personally I love the Appliance Browser's red and blue abilities). The down side is that you have to use Fate Chips to activate the power, but that is more a balance issue to me.

So which one is more powerful? In my mind (which is a scary place, and not always reliable), Browser Spirits.

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