c Hi, my name is James and welcome to Code/Switch, today I want to talk about the spell Awaken. In the wake of Starfinders Uplifted Bears, I started thinking about how I could “creatively use” Awakened animals in my Pathfinder games, taking into account the cost and how to convince someone to let me take the Leadership feat. Looking for inspiration I couldn’t actually find a ton of references to Awakened creatures in Golarion, which seems bonkers to me. We put animals to work already, imagine what kind of jobs they could hold with a positive intelligence score modifier!
Even without human-like intelligence, many animals have been trained and participated in human jobs and playtime. Wojtek was a bear who was purchased by member of the Anders Army which went on to become the Polish II Corp during the time of the Second World War. After initial difficulties dealing with feeding Wojtek eventually grew up to he an actual strong bear who would help move ammo crates, wrestle with soldiers, and even salute superiors. Wojtek even developed a taste for beer, and enjoyed eating the odd cigarette. Wojtek actually survived the war and died at the ripe age of 21 at the Edinburgh Zoo.
Now Wojteks a cute story during a terrible war, but, imagine if the company had access to magic like the spell Awaken? Reading reports of soldiers who served with Wojtek, the soldiers thought of the bear like another member of their unit, and the bear was even officially enlisted and promoted in the Polish Army. I don’t hesitate for a second to believe that those soldiers wouldn’t give their bear-pal the gift of intelligence, to you know, smoke cigarettes instead of eating them.
Now, the awaken spell doesn’t guarantee gratitude or obedience, but on the first casting does encourage the Awoken creature to try to complete tasks requested by the caster of the spell. A second casting fully frees the Awoken creature from any attachments that the spell itself may initially create. This doesn’t necessarily mean the Awoken creature won’t still like you if it did so pre-Awakening, it keeps its memories and experiences.
I use Wojtek as an example because he’s dope, but I’m sure we all have an animal that we’ve heard of or known personally who’d you think would benefit from Awakening. The fact that Golarion has such a lack of Awoken creatures is amazing to me, because even if they’re animals, not even bear wants to continue to crap in the woods once it knows cities have beer and 2-ply.
Any questions, ideas, cool Awakening stories? I’d like to hear em, you can throw em in the comments below or find me and all the other KD authors at our Discord server! Just remember, don’t awaken cats, it really just makes things harder for everyone.