More Familiar

New and different ally spirits for Shadowrun

Ally spirits offer magicians an opportunity to greatly extend their powers at the price of becoming responsible for keeping their ally under control. Some allies become loyal companions while others are dangerous servants at best, always looking for a means to escape their master.

This article offers some ideas for different ally spirits, some of them drawn from the mythology while others are unique manifestations of the Sixth World’s blend of magic and machine. Each type of ally also has some sample spirits that can be used as ally spirits or as the basis for some unique free spirits that have already escaped their summoner’s control.

All of the spirits described have the following powers: Sorcery (equal to their creator’s skill), Telepathic Link and Three-Dimensional Movement. Some allies have additional powers listed in their descriptions.

Animal Familiars

Perhaps the most common type of familiar in legend is the spirit that takes the form of a small animal pet that accompanies the magician. Black cats, mice, bats and toads were all considered to be classical familiars of the witches of the middle ages and other animals accompanied mages and shamans of different traditions around the world.

An animal familiar may simply be an ally spirit that manifests in animal form, or it might be an ally with the Inhabitation power that allows it to possess and control a living animal body. Some animal familiars can be incredibly powerful, their natural abilities increased by the Force of the spirit inhabiting them.

Recheep the Mouse: Recheep is an ally spirit that takes the manifest form of a small gray mouse. Although his manifest appearance is quite unassuming, Recheep is as powerful an ally as any. His small size allows him to go almost anywhere even in manifest form and hide easily on his master’s person. He communicates telepathically with his master and has a somewhat high-pitched, squeaky voice. He enjoys the affection of those humans who think he’s cute and likes to terrorize people who are (for some strange reason) afraid of mice.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Realm of the Land, Powers: Immunity to Normal Weapons, Manifestation, Sense Link, Skills: Sorcery 6, Stealth 4, Spells: None, Karma Cost: 27

Bastet: Bastet normally appears as an attractive black house cat. She can also assume the form of a large black panther when desired. Her abilities in either form are the same. Bastet is a vain and luxuriant spirit. She needs a great deal of attention and praise to keep her happy. Despite her fickle nature, she is a loyal and capable companion.

Force: 4, Native Plane: Plane of Earth, Statistics: Quickness 6, Powers: Immunity to Normal Weapons, Manifestation, Skills: Sorcery 5, Stealth 5, Spells: None, Karma Cost: 50

Nag-lesh: Nag-lesh was summoned by a voudounista to serve as her ally. He inhabits the body of a king cobra, the spirit’s presence making the snake’s hide a pure ivory color in addition to enhancing it’s natural abilities. Nag-lesh lacks the invulnerability of most spirits and as such is more subtle and cautious. He operates stealthily, from the shadows.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Guinee, the Island Beneath the Sea, Statistics: Body 4, Quickness 6, Strength 4. Nag-lesh is venomous, his bite doing 4L damage plus 8S poison damage if the bite penetrates, Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Sorcery 6, Spells: Sleep 4, Paralyze 4, Silence 3, Shadow 3, Karma Cost: 29

Stormwing: Stormwing is an eagle spirit that serves as an ally and messenger for his master, an Eagle shaman. Stormwing is both a fierce combatant and a swift messenger, able to fly through astral space at the blinding speed of fast movement. He also serves as the eyes and ears of his master in distant places.

Force: 4, Native Plane: Realm of the Sky, Statistics: Quickness 5, Powers: Immunity to Normal Weapons, Manifestation, Sense Link, Skills: Sorcery 5, Spells: Thunderclap 5, Karma Cost: 44

Garm: Garm’s master calls him a “hell hound” and the appellation is not far from the truth. Garm is an ally spirit inhabiting the body of a great dane, which gives the dog phenomenal physical abilities. Garm’s master is a nature magician following a Nordic tradition. He uses Garm as a tracker and hunter as well as a magical companion.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Realm of the Land, Statistics: Body 8, Quickness 8, Strength 7, Intelligence 4, Willpower 5, Charisma 5, Reaction 6 (+2D6), Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Sorcery 5, Tracking 4, Spells: None, Karma Cost: 23


Some ally spirits with the Inhabitation power might be summoned to dwell within objects rather than living creatures. Generally the spirit inhabits and animates an enchanted statue, a homunculus, but the spirit might inhabit a different object according to the wishes and whims of its summoner. This technique is used to create “intelligent” weapons and other items.

Spirits bound to objects gain considerable physical resilience from the merger, but are far more limited in their astral abilities.

Darkfire: Darkfire is an ally spirit bound into a weapon focus, a double-edged broadsword carved with mystical runes and symbols. The spirit’s presence makes the sword sentient and gives it additional magical abilities as well as improving the focuses defenses in astral space. The focus is Rating 4 and while the spirit is Force 3. Any attack against the focus in astral space must first overcome the spirit. The spirit can also act as a Power Focus for its master and provide Sorcery dice for spell defense, making the wielder highly resistant to hostile magic. The sword-spirit will also use its various spells at the wielder’s command to improve his abilities in combat.

If Darkfire goes free (probably with the death of its summoner in battle) it will try and develop a relationship with another wielder where it grants combat prowess in exchange for Karma.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Fire, Statistics: Force. Darkfire effectively has Body 3 and 4 points of Armor from its sword-form. It is capable of moving and fighting on its own, wielding itself using its Armed Combat skill. It can also fly to its wielder’s hand when called by their telepathic link. Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Armed Combat 5, Sorcery 5, Spells: Armor 4, Detect Life 3, Flame Aura 3 (give the sword +2 Power for damage), Increase Strength (+2) 3, Karma Cost: 40 (the focus requires an additional 20 karma to bond)

Loud Boy: A particularly deranged combat mage decided to bind his ally spirit into the focus of his favorite Ares Predator. He named the spirit “Loud Boy” (which is engraved on the side of the gun) and uses his faithful intelligent weapon in combat.

Loud Boy has developed an aggressive and violent personality that mirrors that of its summoner. Together the pair makes for a dangerous opponent. If the spirit were to go free, its disregard for the value of human life would make it a dangerous rogue, capable of starting conflicts to satisfy its desire for violence.

Force: 2, Native Plane: Plane of Fire, Statistics: Force. Loud Boy’s gun form effectively gives it Body 2 and 4 points of Armor. It is capable of moving and firing on its own and can use its Magic Fingers spell to even re-load itself. It will fly to the hand of its master whenever it is summoned. Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Firearms 6, Sorcery 5, Spells: Influence 4, Flamethrower 5 (allows the gun to shoot flames), Magic Fingers 3, Karma Cost: 35

Talos: Talos was created by a magician working with the Atlantean Foundation to be his personal bodyguard and assistant. The spirit inhabits an iron statue some three meters tall, molded in the form of an ancient Greek warrior. A faint reddish light glimmers in the statue’s eyes and it can speak is a deep, booming voice. Talos is quite loyal to his master and protects him fanatically.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Fire, Statistics: Strength 8, Quickness 3, Body 6, Intelligence 5, Willpower 5, Charisma 5, Reaction 4. Talos has 8 points of Armor from his metal body and does 8M damage in melee combat. Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Sorcery 5, Unarmed Combat 5, Spells: Detect Enemies 3, Karma Cost: 67

Cruiser: People always thought that Jack, “the shamanic mechanic,” was a little strange. His experience with his totem seemed to make him kind of screwy. Everyone knew Jack had lost it when he told them he had summoned a spirit into the chassis of his favorite Eurocar, until they found out that it was actually true.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Man, Statistics: Cruiser is a Eurocar Westwind (late model) with the following stats: Handling 3, Speed 73/213, Body 5, Armor 1, Signature 5. The Body and Signature ratings are increased by Cruiser’s Force, making the car truly amazing. The spirit can “drive” itself, using its car skill with a Control Pool equal to its Force (3). Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Car 5, Sorcery 4, Spells: Vehicle Mask 3, Karma Cost: 30

Archimedies: As part of a radical experiment in artificial intelligence, Dr. Stanley Sorenson of MIT&T conjured an ally spirit into a specially prepared computer unit. The spirit “possesses” the computer and is able to interact with the outside world via the system’s output devices. It is also learning to interface with and work within the Matrix through the computer’s I/O system. Dr. Sorenson has been monitoring the progress of the spirit he has dubbed “Archimedies” thought their mutual telepathic link. Some of his colleges have commented that the good doctor seems to be increasingly obsessed with his work, spending more and more time alone in his lab with Archimedies.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Air, Statistics: Archimedies is actually fairly delicate, with a Body of 2 and 1 point of Impact Armor. It has no effective Strength or Quickness, but does have Intelligence and Willpower 6. Powers: Inhabitation, Skills: Computer 4, Sorcery 6. The computer system Archimedies inhabits is equivalent to a Fuchi-4 cyberdeck with a good selection of utility programs. The spirit operates in the matrix like any other decker save for the fact that it is immune to ice that targets human neurophysiology and cannot jack out. Any damage done to the computer system also affects the spirit and crashing the system can disrupt it. Spells: Analyze Device 4, Catalog 2, Mind Probe 3, Trid Spectacle 3, Barrier 5. Karma Cost: 40


Many magicians prefer for their ally spirits to take on (meta)human form so that they can interact with other humans normally. This may be out of a desire for human-like companionship or because of tradition.

Humanoid allies can appear in an almost infinite variety of forms, but many tend to reflect traits of their summoner’s personality and mannerisms. Some humanoid allies are outlandish or exaggerated in appearance while others are quite plain.

Lilith: Lilith was summoned by a mage to be his personal sex toy as well as his magical assistant. She is a classical succubus, taking the manifest form of a lushly figured woman. She can vary her appearance in minor ways (hair/eye color, clothing, etc.) to please her master. She is often sent out as a pawn to seduce those men her master wishes to control, blackmail or eliminate.

Not surprisingly, Lilith resents her servitude. She might try and convince one of her paramours to eliminate her master in order to free her.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Fire, Statistics: Force. Lilith has Intelligence 4, Willpower 5 and Charisma 4, Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Seduction 5, Sorcery 6, Spells: Death Touch 4, Detect Desire 3, Control Emotion 4, Karma Cost: 38

Proxy: Proxy’s mistress has an eye for intrigue and summoned her (the spirit’s personality is primarily female) to serve as a spy, doppelganger and servant. The spirit uses illusion to mask her appearance and move among normal people. Her astral abilities allow her to move freely and quickly and her mistress can see and hear everything the spirit does. True to her name, Proxy sometimes serves as a surrogate for her mistress on shadowruns, sometimes even hiring runners to get her past difficult magical security.

Force: 4, Native Plane: Plane of Water, Statistics: Force, Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Sense Link, Skills: Sorcery 6, Spells: Mask 5, Karma Cost: 40

Kurt: Kurt was conjured as an ally by a shaman with an obsessive fascination with the music and life of 20th Century musician Kurt Cobain and his band, Nirvana. The shaman gave his ally the form and mannerisms of his idol and the spirit has even started to wonder if maybe it is the spirit of Kurt Cobain, brought back from across the great beyond into the Sixth World. To most people, the spirit looks like nothing more than a short, scruffy blond human with a soulful, depressed look. Kurt is a reasonably capable musician and is trying to convince his master to let him try and play a club show rather than just private performances for his summoner.

If he were to go free, Kurt might try and stage a Nirvana-style revival, which could succeed or flop depending on which way the wind blew.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Realm of Man, Statistics: Quickness 4, Intelligence 3, Willpower 5, Charisma 6, Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Musical Composition 4, Singing 5, Sorcery 5, Spells: Control Emotion 3, Karma Cost: 30

Otherworldly Allies

Some ally spirits are drawn from the magician’s tradition of otherworldly beings: sprites, faeries, imps, ghosts and the like. These spirits take on forms chosen by the magician’s mythic tradition. They can often be quite capricious, sometimes playful others malevolent with their pranks.

Mephit: Mephit is a small imp-like creature about .75 meters tall. It looks like a scaly humanoid figure with small bat wings, horns and a forked tail. It was summoned by a mage with a “wicked” reputation to maintain, so he molded his familiar to suit his style. A scent of brimstone and wisps of smoke accompany Mephit’s manifestation.

The possibility that Mephit is a “real” demon has begun to nag at his master’s mind. The spirit thus far has done nothing to soothe these concerns. If you’ve got the name, may as well play the game, it figures.

Force: 2, Native Plane: Plane of Fire, Statistics: Strength 3, Quickness 4, Body 3, Intelligence 4, Willpower 4, Charisma 5, Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Sorcery 6, Spells: Ignite 4, Agonizing Pain 4, Stink 4, Shadow 4, Karma Cost: 30

Blip: This unusual ally was summoned by a young mage with an interest in video games. Blip manifests as a strange collection of glowing pixels, usually in a vaguely humanoid shape, like a computer-simulated image. It is a playful spirit is a strong sense of fun, not unlike its summoner. It like to play games and “have fun.” It can enjoy a good fight if it’s “all for fun,” but if things get serious, Blip is likely to run away unless its master orders it otherwise.

Force: 3, Native Plane: Plane of Air, Statistics: Quickness 5, other stats equal to Force, Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Sorcery 5, Spells: Stunbolt 5, Trid Spectacle 3, Karma Cost: 30

Light-On-The-Waves: Light-on-the-Waves is the ally of a Dolphin shaman from California’s Big Sur coast. She is a playful sea spirit, with a strong love of her native waters and a sense of loyalty to her summoner, who is working to protect and clean up the toxified shoreline.

Light-on-the-Waves can assume three manifest forms: a dolphin, a seagull or a young Elf woman with silvery green hair and eyes. She is something of an innocent with regards to human society and has a very black-and-white view of morality, much like her summoner.

Force: 4, Native Plane: Realm of the Waters, Statistics: Manifest physical statistics equal to Force. Intelligence 5, Willpower 5, Charisma 6., Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Sorcery 6, Spells: Detox S Toxin 3, Clean Water 3, Mist 2, Shape Water 4, Water Blast 4, Karma Cost: 48

Shard: Shard is a spirit that manifests as a bizarre collection of broken glass and crystal in a roughly humanoid form. Shard’s master considers it to be proof of the existence of a “glass elemental” from the metaplanes, but that may simply be his desire impressed upon the form of the spirit. Shard’s touch is like a handful of razors, making it a dangerous opponent in physical combat.

Force: 4, Native Plane: Plane of Earth (Glass?), Statistics: Strength 4, Quickness 6, Body 4, Intelligence 4, Willpower 6, Charisma 4, Reaction 5. Shard’s manifest attacks do 6M slashing damage. Powers: Manifestation, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Skills: Sorcery 5, Spells: Shardstream 5 (elemental attack spell using shards of broken glass), Karma Cost: 57