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> Game breaking spirits, Help me?
Bandwidthoracle
post Oct 3 2005, 06:27 PM
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Allright, observe the following facts:
Spirits look however the mage's tridation says they look.
Spirits can materilize.

Doesn't this make on the fly summoning the cheapest ability in the game? Since I can make a spirit that looks like anything and people won't know any better.
(for example, I summon a spirit of man, and say it looks like a police officer)

One of my players is trying to argue this.

I say it doesn't work because 1) All your spirits of the same kind look the same
2) People immediatly know it is a spirit.

Please help me settle this, am I wrong or is my player?
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 06:30 PM
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Spirits can look like whatever you want, but they always look spirit-like.

There's a canon quote that says that, but I don't have the opportunity to look it up for ya. In any case, you're safe. :)
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maa01
post Oct 3 2005, 06:32 PM
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There is no need for that.

QUOTE ("BBB page 177")
As a rule, spirit forms are metahuman-sized or smaller
and tend to have an obvious ethereal or otherworldy nature
(there is no mistaking them for real people). Materialized
physical forms are not subject to gravity, though most spirits
(except air spirits) stay earthbound or close to it (perhaps
fl oating or hovering).


EDIT: Azralon was faster.

Anyway, spirits are more gamebreaking with theyr superspeed and imunity to anything.

This post has been edited by maa01: Oct 3 2005, 06:33 PM
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Bandwidthoracle
post Oct 3 2005, 06:32 PM
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Ack, I should say we are using SR4, and so it kinda needs to be SR4
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 06:33 PM
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I take it back; I did have time. Page 177:

"As a rule, spirit forms are metahuman-sized or smaller and tend to have an obvious ethereal or otherworldly nature (there is no mistaking them for real people)."

EDIT: Now look who's faster! maa01 FTW :)
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calypso
post Oct 3 2005, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle @ Oct 3 2005, 01:32 PM)
Ack, I should say we are using SR4, and so it kinda needs to be SR4

The quoted text is from SR4. Page 177, as Azralon said.
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Fortune
post Oct 3 2005, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle @ Oct 4 2005, 04:27 AM)
Spirits look however the mage's tridation says they look.

This means that they look the way the summoner's Tradition expects them to appear, not necessarily how each individual summoner desires at the time. A Water Spirit summoned by a hermetic would appear as an Elemental, whereas one summoned by a Shark Shaman would appear in a different form (more akin to SR3's Sea or River Spirits).
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Bandwidthoracle
post Oct 3 2005, 06:51 PM
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So is that hard fixed per each tradition? or is this GM cavet?
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NightRain
post Oct 3 2005, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle)
So is that hard fixed per each tradition? or is this GM cavet?

No, it's heavily influenced by the tradition, but is also going to be affected by the personality of the spirit as well.

Basically, the GM decides :)
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 07:00 PM
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I'd say it's up to the GM's interpretation of the character's tradition and personal outlook.

A shaman might summon a spirit of Man by specifically asking for a nearby trashcan to go attack his enemies. If the gamemaster is cool with that, then an ethereal trashcan might rise from the physical one and go raise a little ruckus. Or, if the GM thinks it's more appropriate, maybe a little green fuzzy monster named Oscar would hop out and go get 'em.

Someone with the "Dark Lord" mentor spirit might get ghosts when summoning spirits of Man. The character might even think they're actually the deceased souls of specific people.... who's to say they aren't?

Hint: Their initials are "G.M." :)

I'd suggest that, for sake of thematic consistency, hermetic spirits should look the same according to the "formula" the mage used to summon them. Shamanic spirits should have a more situational look.

But, the overall point is that it's between the player and the GM to decide the artistic representations. The question is along the lines of "are all trolls green?" The quick answer is "if you want."
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 3 2005, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle @ Oct 4 2005, 04:27 AM)
Spirits look however the mage's tridation says they look.

This means that they look the way the summoner's Tradition expects them to appear, not necessarily how each individual summoner desires at the time. A Water Spirit summoned by a hermetic would appear as an Elemental, whereas one summoned by a Shark Shaman would appear in a different form (more akin to SR3's Sea or River Spirits).

And one summoned by a tradition that I'm not going to bother coming up with the name of would have all of their spirits look like some variety of Lone Star officer.

Since the cap's been blown off of traditions, this solves nothing.

~J
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calypso
post Oct 3 2005, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Oct 3 2005, 01:47 PM)
QUOTE (Bandwidthoracle @ Oct 4 2005, 04:27 AM)
Spirits look however the mage's tridation says they look.

This means that they look the way the summoner's Tradition expects them to appear, not necessarily how each individual summoner desires at the time. A Water Spirit summoned by a hermetic would appear as an Elemental, whereas one summoned by a Shark Shaman would appear in a different form (more akin to SR3's Sea or River Spirits).

And one summoned by a tradition that I'm not going to bother coming up with the name of would have all of their spirits look like some variety of Lone Star officer.

Since the cap's been blown off of traditions, this solves nothing.

~J

Except that spirits still always look like spirits. They CANNOT be mistaken for metahumans. So there's nothing to solve.
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 3 2005, 03:47 PM)
Since the cap's been blown off of traditions, this solves nothing.

You're right. If someone comes up with a cosmetically perfect tradition that allows for an army of ghost cops, then they become unstoppable. The GMs are powerless against them.

:please:
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 3 2005, 07:59 PM
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Why do you buy rules?

~J
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 08:01 PM
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Why do you seek problems that do not exist? :)
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calypso
post Oct 3 2005, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Why do you buy rules?

~J

buh?

To have a set of guidelines to run a game.

Pg. 169: "The gamemaster and the player should work together to create a tradition that makes sense within the scope of their specific game and the Shadowrun universe as a whole."

Would you, as a gamemaster, allow your fictitious "Lonestar" tradition? If so, then that is your problem, not ours.

Calypso
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Veggiesama
post Oct 3 2005, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (calypso)
buh?

Why does everyone keep arguing?
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Azralon
post Oct 3 2005, 08:16 PM
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QUOTE (Veggiesama)
QUOTE (calypso)
buh?

Why does everyone keep arguing?

It's the internet, silly.
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Nikoli
post Oct 3 2005, 08:22 PM
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Honestly the only time someone might confuse a spirit as a person is a critically botched perception test. Man those are fun.
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mintcar
post Oct 3 2005, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Why do you buy rules?

~J

Funny that you feel the need to fundamentalisticly obay nearly every rule in the game to the letter, yet keep ignoring that one of the first things any rpg mentions IN the rules is that little disclamer saying basicly: "We can´t make rules for any situation, these are guidelines and you need to use them in coherence with your own judgement to make them work in individual circumstances".
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mintcar
post Oct 3 2005, 08:37 PM
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QUOTE (Nikoli)
Honestly the only time someone might confuse a spirit as a person is a critically botched perception test. Man those are fun.

Or if we´re talking a highly powerful free spirit, maybe?
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 3 2005, 08:53 PM
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QUOTE (mintcar)
Funny that you feel the need to fundamentalisticly obay nearly every rule in the game to the letter, yet keep ignoring that one of the first things any rpg mentions IN the rules is that little disclamer saying basicly: "We can´t make rules for any situation, these are guidelines and you need to use them in coherence with your own judgement to make them work in individual circumstances".

I ignore it because it's a cop-out. It's telling people what they already know.

It's absolutely correct that a GM can house-rule anything into being playable. This does not mean that "GM oversight" clauses are an acceptable answer to easily-abusable or broken rules. The correct answer to this particular problem was posted by Azralon and maa01—this is, in fact, something the designers thought of and took steps to forestall. The incorrect answer is "it's governed by the tradition so it doesn't appear like that", since now traditions are not enumerated—if there isn't one that has it, you can make one that does.

Making houserules is effort. After some threshold, the effort of making the system myself is outweighed by the effort of fixing a broken system. This is why "you can houserule it!" is not an acceptable answer to broken rules.

~J
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mintcar
post Oct 3 2005, 08:59 PM
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I know we wont agree on this, but what you view as "easily exploitable" can also be viewed as flexible. It is not a cop-out, it is the way the game works.
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NightRain
post Oct 3 2005, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
The incorrect answer is "it's governed by the tradition so it doesn't appear like that", since now traditions are not enumerated—if there isn't one that has it, you can make one that does.

No you can't. You still need to get GM approval for any home brewed traditions, and I don't think convincing your GM that the 5 spirits you've chosen that all just conveniently happen to look like police and corporate security guards counts as "easily abusable". The rules do not state or even imply that you have carte blanche to make your traditions spirits look like what you want.

To quote the exact rule

"The gamemaster and the player should work together to create a tradition that makes sense within the scope of their specific game and the Shadowrun universe as a whole."

So if spirits that looks like cops makes sense in your campaign, then it's allowed but it's obviously not a problem. And if they don't make sense, then it's not allowed, so there is no problem
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mintcar
post Oct 3 2005, 09:10 PM
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There can be more or less rules in a game, but as long as we´re talking rpg, were all imaginable (and unimaginable) situations can possibly turn up, there will always be situations were you have to wing it.

This is not hard-lined rules we´re talking here. These are clearly general guidelines. You can´t view these rules in the way you seem to be doing, Kage. You seem to be suggesting anything that isn´t written as forbidden is allowed. That just isn´t true.
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