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> Spirit of Man, Overpowered?
Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 01:58 AM
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In reference to this one critter Power when used in conjunction with a sustainable spell:

Innate Spell
Type: A • Action: Complex • Range: per spell • Duration: per spell
A creature with the Innate Spell power has the instinctive
ability to cast one spell. The critter must possess the Spellcasting
skill in order to use the power eff ectively. Innate Spells cast by
a critter are the same as those cast by magicians, and magicians
can use Counterspelling against them as normal.

When this is taken into consideration:

Powers, pg 286

Duration: Powers have a duration that indicates how
long the effect lasts: Always, Instant, Sustained, Permanent,
or Special... Sustained powers may be maintained over time at no effort
or cost
. Because these powers are innate, the critter is not subject to any strain or modifiers for keeping the eff ect going. Even taking damage will not disrupt these powers’ ability to sustain. Also, line of sight does not have to be maintained after the power takes hold of its target. Critters may sustain a
number of powers equal to their Magic at one time.

Combine that with health and detection spells... Overpowered? Maybe. But I bet every magician in the world is going to have atleast one bound spirit of man remote serviced in his apartment, while materialized, left to play video games forever (or some other random never ending task), while told to continue to sustain X number of health and detection spells indefinately. Note that when it' remote serviced, it no longer counts against the magician's spirit max.

Blah, I wrote more, but, I misread something so I deleted it. :grinbig:
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FrankTrollman
post Feb 2 2006, 02:31 AM
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You don't have to maintain line of sight while sustaining any spell. But Innate Spell is not a "Sustained" power, it is a power whose duration is "per spell." That means that it follows the rules for sustaining spells, not the rules for sustaining spirit powers.

So the spirit has to suffer a -2 penalty on everything it does and its Drain doesn't go away for as long as it sustains that spell.

---

Which is not to say that it isn't a good idea to summon up some Force 3-4 Spirits of Man every morning and put them on the Remote Service of casting a buff spell on you and then sustaining it while they go site see-in Novoscotia. It most definitely is. It's just not quite as good of an idea as you are making it out to be.

-Frank
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 02:37 AM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
So the spirit has to suffer a -2 penalty on everything it does and its Drain doesn't go away for as long as it sustains that spell.

Your take on it does take it down a notch, but only so far as the spirit gets a -2 dice penalty for each spell sustained.

I still think it's overpowered, especially when combined with remote service.
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 02:58 AM
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I read it the same way as Frank does, and that helps some.

But the problem isn't issolated to the Spirit of Man. It is a general problem of Skill rating equal to Force. Bring it down to Skill rating equal to 1/2 force, which has been suggested here several times, to clear up a lot of these problems.
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 03:02 AM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Which is not to say that it isn't a good idea to summon up some Force 3-4 Spirits of Man every morning and put them on the Remote Service of casting a buff spell on you and then sustaining it while they go site see-in Novoscotia. It most definitely is. It's just not quite as good of an idea as you are making it out to be.

The GM portion of my brain is whispering to me that there are some very nasty awakened critters in Nova Scotia. Awakened critters that have the ability to track back from a spirit to it's summoner.

Awakened critters that hunger for Magician braah-aaaainnnss! :vegm:
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 03:06 AM
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Yeah, that would help... suck some dice away from it...
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FrankTrollman
post Feb 2 2006, 03:23 AM
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The big problem of course is the Remote Services, even without buff spells from Spirits of Man (remember they can only cast spells you know), you can layer Guard, Movement, and Concealment on everyone you know every day for free.

-Frank
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JoelHalpern
post Feb 2 2006, 03:55 AM
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If you use an unbound spirit this way, then until it finishes its remote service (ending the spell maintenance), it uses up your one unbound spirit.

However, it looks like you could use a bound spririt, and it would maintain the spell until something disrupts it. Your order would be "cast and hold ththis spell you know."

Yours,
Joel M. Halpern
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 04:36 AM
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QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Feb 1 2006, 10:55 PM)
If you use an unbound spirit this way, then until it finishes its remote service (ending the spell maintenance), it uses up your one unbound spirit.

FrankTrollman is right, the remote service rules for unbound spirits are also part of the issue here. Once you send out the spirit on remote service it does not count for your spirit limit.
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 04:41 AM
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Powers like Movement, Guard, and Conceal I and the people I play with have always treated them more as actions that require the presense of the spirit. So they aren't spells that can be maintained at a distance, the spirit is actually there pushing you, counteracting whatever is causing the potential accident, or causing it to be more difficult for someone to spot you.

I don't think that is in the rules specifically, it just made more sense when describing it that way.
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FrankTrollman
post Feb 2 2006, 04:55 AM
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It's actually in the rules specifically that it doesn't work that way. Those powers are Sustained, and a Sustained Power does not require the spirit to maintain LOS (or even remain on the same plane as the target).

-Frank
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Cold-Dragon
post Feb 2 2006, 06:25 AM
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Aye, it's true in pretty much all so far, however, a couple things to consider

1) Even if you send the spirit off, its service is in direct play with the summoner, hence, they are not 'on a remote service' they are simply able to keep up with their work while afar. True, it's wordplay, but so is calling it a remote service I would think. If you can send a spirit on a remote service while it sustains, in theory that works I suppose...or it might null out the spell sustaining *shrugs*. Exploitation has risks.

2) mechanically this is ideal, but in the spirit of roleplay...an unbound spirit of man might not argue with this system for good work, but if you make them do menial things too much (or else increasingly menial versus the power of the spirit) you might develop a negative relationship with future spirits of men. The unbound are without obligitation short of doing your requests, if they want to tweak their results a little to piss you off, they can and will (if they so decide).

Now if the spirit is bound....just about all I said above with the exception of obligitations just increased by a factor unknown to all but the spirit(s). involved. Think about it, would YOU appreciate being told to hold on a Charisma buff for a lifetime? Sure, they'll do it, but if they ever get free, or fellow spirits take it personally....
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 03:40 PM
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Would changing this (pg 178):

Remote Services: Spirits can also be commanded to undertake
a remote service, allowing it to leave the summoner’s
immediate area. Remote services forfeit any other services the
spirit might owe.

To read:

Remote Services: Spirits can also be commanded to undertake
a remote service, allowing it to leave the summoner’s
immediate area. Remote services forfeit any other services the
spirit might owe, including any the spirit is currently performing.

... have any unforeseen side effects other than preventing the above scenario?
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hobgoblin
post Feb 2 2006, 04:24 PM
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i would say that one do not need to change the text of the remote service like that.

why? because i belive that a remote service is a kind of service, and requesting that a spirit performs a new service basicly ends any other service that its currently performing.

only thing is that a remote service is in many ways a meta-service. in that its basicly asking the spirit to do a service outside of the presense of the summoner.

therefor you can ask it to cast a spell as a remote service. this will forgo any other current or future service the spirit is performing, but it will do the spell until its time is up (im guessing that a unbound spirit lasts until sunrise or sunset, whatever comes first). a bound spirit will last longer i guess, alltho im not sure if a remote service will remove the bond. and if so then it again will only stay around until sunrise or sunset. atleast thats my take on things.
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 2 2006, 11:24 AM)
why? because i belive that a remote service is a kind of service, and requesting that a spirit performs a new service basicly ends any other service that its currently performing.

I don't see where it implies that at all. Especially:

Remote Service
... The magician sends the spirit off to perform a particular task (or set of tasks, if more than one service is owed)...

There's nothing saying that previous tasks are ended, or that it can't do more than one thing at a time.
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hobgoblin
post Feb 2 2006, 04:42 PM
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perfect, so my mind dug up some old garbage interpetation i have about the nature of spirits and their services. figures.

or maybe they have rewritten the text covering this stuff in SR4. in any case, i cant recall the "(or set of tasks, if more than one service is owed)" from older versions of the game. to me that makes remote service way to powerfull.

edit:

crap! seems that they have highly changed the way services work when it comes to SR4. in SR3 a elemental (this is not stated for nature spirits for some reason. but then all the kinds of extra services are under elementals to) can only perform one service at a time.

and a remote service is basicly one service that the spirit will pursue until completion of destruction, breaking it from its bond and zeroing the number of services the summoner can make the spirit perform.

:please:
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 2 2006, 11:42 AM)
and a remote service is basicly one service that the spirit will pursue until completion of destruction, breaking it from its bond and zeroing the number of services the summoner can make the spirit perform.

The moment I first read that line in the rules I turned cold, for I thought I heard the whisper of a thousand dead munchkins call out we have found a portal, we are coming. Then I realized it was just my own devious mind.

There is a rule suggestion in a sidebar for GMs finding that bound spirits are being abused to have them cause a +2 penalty to their owner similar to sustaining a spell. No need to stop there, extending that to extra unbound spirits as well since whoevere was writing that suggestion probably forgot about the ability to have multiple unbound spirits on remote service.
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hobgoblin
post Feb 2 2006, 05:02 PM
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one thing, the stuff after the edit so from SR3, not SR4.

if im understanding the older post correctly, they have relaxed the rules in SR4!
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 2 2006, 12:02 PM)
one thing, the stuff after the edit so from SR3, not SR4.

if im understanding the older post correctly, they have relaxed the rules in SR4!

A lot of the nitpicker provisos, and stipulations got cut in the bulk that was shed going SR3 to SR4. Exclusive actions are an example where this is generally for the better. But if you play with people that are prone to being dorks they do get some fresh material to work with until the GM can see through it and shut them down again.
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hobgoblin
post Feb 2 2006, 05:13 PM
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so basicly, more of the game control issues are now on the hands of the GM?

if i ever gm SR4 (yet to get the book :() then ill port over the idea that requesting the performance of a new service ends the old one, and that remote service is basicly a "long shot" service. performed until either the spirit stops existing or the service is no longer needed.

yes, that means that in theory a spirit can cast a sustained spell for ever if needed. so be it...
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Brahm
post Feb 2 2006, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 2 2006, 12:13 PM)
so basicly, more of the game control issues are now on the hands of the GM?

No, the same number of dorks control issues are on the GMs hands. The dork just has new and exciting ways to express their inner dorkness!
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hobgoblin
post Feb 2 2006, 05:28 PM
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shotgun loaded, let me at em :silly:
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 2 2006, 12:13 PM)

yes, that means that in theory a spirit can cast a sustained spell for ever if needed. so be it...

That made me think... changing the wording of the above passage concerning Remote Services to include the line about how it ends all previous services won't affect the magician who simply remote services a spirit of man to sustain a spell.

Grr... The problem really does seem to be with how the remote serviced spirit doesn't count against the maximum unbound spirits -- which I don't really have a problem with except in these two cases:

1) when the spirit is remote serviced to destroy a person or thing. (I don't like the idea of a spirit being summoned/commanded to attack every two IPs).

2) when used to sustain the Innate Spell power. (while sounding like a clever use of the power, it's to much work to GM for npcs).

I couldn't care less if bound spirits were used for the above, because there is a sensible limit.

I'll need to restrict, in my games, what types of actions unbound spirits can perform while on remote service.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I agree with Frank about Guard, Movement, etc... So, I don't like the idea of remote serviced unbound spirits are able to be used to sustain any Power.
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FrankTrollman
post Feb 2 2006, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE (Brahm)
There is a rule suggestion in a sidebar for GMs finding that bound spirits are being abused to have them cause a +2 penalty to their owner similar to sustaining a spell. No need to stop there, extending that to extra unbound spirits as well since whoevere was writing that suggestion probably forgot about the ability to have multiple unbound spirits on remote service.

This is, btw, the dumbest rule I've ever seen. Considering that one of the most powerful abiilties of a bound spirit is to maintain a spell for you, and this involves burning out the spirit, why would anyone ever do that if maintaining a bound spirit required the same expenditure of effort as just maintaining the spell yourself?

Throughout the main book there are constant enclosures on the power of bound spirits. The authors really seemed to think these guys were going to be problematic. They aren't. Unbound spirits, OTOH, are game breaking.

---

Problem 1: Drain on Unbound Spirits is generally too low (until you get to high level spirits, in which case it is too high). Conversely, drain on Bound Spirits is too high.

Solution: Change Drain on Conjuring to Half Spirit Force plus the hits the spirit gets on the resistance test (instead of zero + double hits).

Problem 2: The remote service rush is unstoppable. You can summon a spirit and tell it to wait 50 seconds and then fly across the world and attack Yakashima’s complex. Then summon another one and have it wait 44 seconds and fly across the world and attack Yakashima… Or you can tell a spirit to wander the world maintaining Guard and Movement on you while it checks out the Riviera. Or whatever. You can get unlimited amounts of whup-ass or power usage maintained indefinitely for free.

Solution 2: Close the remote service loophole. A spirit on Remote Service counts against your one unbound spirit limit. And it still comes with the drawbacks of Remote Service, so you can’t give it any new orders and you no longer have a telepathic link to it.

-Frank
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Angelstandings
post Feb 2 2006, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Feb 2 2006, 12:35 PM)
The remote service rush is unstoppable. You can summon a spirit and tell it to wait 50 seconds and then fly across the world and attack Yakashima’s complex. Then summon another one and have it wait 44 seconds and fly across the world and attack Yakashima…

It's funny because it's true... I laughed out loud when I read that :D

EDIT: Is there a topic that exists on DSF that lists the things in SR4 that REALLY should be changed for game balance purposes? If not, there should be.
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