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> Possessed by a spirit...
Elve
post Oct 27 2006, 08:16 PM
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If a mage is ummoning aspirit and orders it to possess himself, does teh spirit have to roll the check in order to do so? Or can he do so automatically? What about other voluntary targets?
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James McMurray
post Oct 27 2006, 08:23 PM
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Is it an opposed check? If so you can decide not to resist it. I would still have the spirit roll though, just to make sure he didn't get a (critical) glitch.
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knasser
post Oct 27 2006, 08:31 PM
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It's an opposed check so I would normally allow the "victim" to fail. In this instance however, the RAW suggest it might not be the case as it states explicitly that magicians count as Prepared Vessels for any spirit they have conjured. Prepared Vessels has a specific meaning and effect - an +6 dice pool modifier to the spirit's possession attempt.

So I would require a check as normal, though expect any spirit of Force 3+ of having a good chance of pulling it off.
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James McMurray
post Oct 27 2006, 08:54 PM
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What else do those successes give you besides overcoming resistance? If there's some sort of exorcism possible and it works like banishing the +6 bonus still matters whether you roll resistance or not.
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knasser
post Oct 27 2006, 09:13 PM
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Nothing, I'm afraid. You succeed in possessing or you don't and that's it. And if someone tries to exorcise it, you just get a regular old banishing test with nothing carried forward. I guess vessel preparation is mainly useful in the case of low force spirits or if you want to possess an unwilling and particularly strong willed victim.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 27 2006, 09:40 PM
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It also makes creating True Form inhabiting spirits that much easier. It isn't as useful for the normal possessing traditions but the Insect tradition gets a lot of mileage out of it.
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Slithery D
post Oct 28 2006, 07:06 AM
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Requiring a test that might fail to be possessed by one's own spirit is an important balancing mechanism. That's why the prepared vessel bonus is there - big spirits with real drain risk are pretty much a sure thing, but you can't go for a dead certain cheapy Force 2 bonus to your attributes and 4 free armor points for usually no drain.
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fool
post Oct 29 2006, 08:47 PM
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those extra six dice are also useful for possessing nonliving vessels that have a high OR.
I couldn't find anything that said a mage was automattically considered a prepared vessel for any spirit he summons, but it would make sense.
The hard thing I have with possession is being able to take over un involuntary subject so easily. A force 5 (relatively easy to summon) spirit is going to be able to possess most shadowrunners without too much stress. Then, it can't be dislodeged in any way except banishing. Seems like a pretty easy way to get a bunch of slaves (my character can bind force 5 spirits with relatively little sweat so she can have 7 slaves for life.)
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knasser
post Oct 29 2006, 09:10 PM
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QUOTE (fool @ Oct 29 2006, 03:47 PM)
those extra six dice are also useful for possessing nonliving vessels that have a high OR.
I couldn't find anything that said a mage was automattically considered a prepared vessel for any spirit he summons, but it would make sense.
The hard thing I have with possession is being able to take over un involuntary subject so easily.  A force 5 (relatively easy to summon) spirit is going to be able to possess most shadowrunners without too much stress.  Then, it can't be dislodeged in any way except banishing.  Seems like a pretty easy way to get a bunch of slaves (my character can bind force 5 spirits with relatively little sweat so she can have 7 slaves for life.)


Magicians counting as prepared is under Spirits and Vessels, SM, pg.95.

As to the rest: yes and no. A force 5 spirit will take over on average any character whose Intuition + Willpower is seven or less. Remember, it's an opposed roll and if the spirit doesn't get net hits, i.e. it's a tie, then no possession. And the attempt itself costs a service. And you have to bear in mind that the right sort of Force 5 materialised spirit is normally going to be able to kill a non-magician character if that character doesn't have magical backup, anyway. And there's 100% chance of a spirit succeeding in materialising. If you're worried about PCs getting taken over easily, then I can't imagine many players wouldn't spend even their last edge point in this circumstance and that will make a big difference. I'm not saying that possession isn't powerful - it is. But in comparison to a Force 5 materialising spirit, there are checks and balances. You should also bear in mind that no mage can summon both materialising and possessing spirits (allies may or may not be an exception depending on GM ruling). That means that the possession mage has more or less given up the possiblility of getting any use out of spirits less than force 4 / 5.

Two other points, you can budge the possessing spirit with Stun damage, although you'll have one groggy character when he comes round.

The other is that I don't know how the heck you figure you get seven slaves for life. In return for the cost of binding those seven Force 5 spirits, at least one of them will fail to possess and of the remainders, you'll burn through their services quite quickly. As a GM, I would give you a day per service at best, but you'd use up much more if there was combat involved or power use.
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fool
post Oct 30 2006, 06:25 PM
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the day per service thing was mentioned as a house rule for all bound spirits sustaining a power, but it isn't raw.
That possessing a character whether voluntary or not is not spelled out as requiring a service, though I would certainly agree that doing so against an unwilling target requires a service.
There are other uses for spirits lowere than force 4/5 just not for taking over invountary vessels.
My biggest beef (and don't get me qwrong I'm not one of these people who think magic is overpowered) is that you can possess the opposing mage or sammy, and have him go on a rampage amongst his own forceswhile superbuffed.
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Mal-2
post Oct 30 2006, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE (knasser)
That means that the possession mage has more or less given up the possiblility of getting any use out of spirits less than force 4 / 5.

I don't think that's quite true. Low force spirits will have trouble possessing people, but they can still possess items and use their powers from there. For instance, a Houngan could summon a force 3 water spirit and have it possess a string of beads or a gris-gris bag. From there, the spirit can affect physical targets with its confusion of engulf powers.

It's true that these low force possessing spirits can't just manifest and go slug it out with an opposing ganger, but I don't think they qualify as useless.

Edit: Engulf was a bad choice of example, since it's a Touch ranged power. Use Accident or another LOS ranged power instead. Alternately, if the target happens to be wearing something with a low object resistance have the spirit possess that object and then Engulf the wearer.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 30 2006, 07:24 PM
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You can have a spirit perform physical services at the cost of 1 service each. The spirit will become physical, perform the service, and depart. When a materializing spirit does this you scarcely ever think of the fact that the spirit is using several powers before it even becomes physical (astral form and materialization). For a possession spirit it's much more obvious since there's an opposed roll in the middle. But the setup is the same.

You give a spirit a service such as "go beat the crap out of those gangers", and then it will attempt to take over appropriate critters or objects until it succeeds, and then it will go on a rampage agains the gangers. And that costs 1 service. And yes, that's very powerful (if potentially time consuming).

Alternately, you could give it the command to utilize a single power and maintain it for a long time. That power could be Possession just as it could be Materialization. However, while there's no real reason to order a spirit to maintain Materialization for days on end, but you could find a use for having a spirit simply camp on someone in possessed form - that could be a service as well. One you might actually use.

-Frank
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knasser
post Oct 30 2006, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (Mal-2 @ Oct 30 2006, 01:39 PM)
QUOTE (knasser)
That means that the possession mage has more or less given up the possiblility of getting any use out of spirits less than force 4 / 5.

I don't think that's quite true. Low force spirits will have trouble possessing people, but they can still possess items and use their powers from there. For instance, a Houngan could summon a force 3 water spirit and have it possess a string of beads or a gris-gris bag. From there, the spirit can affect physical targets with its confusion of engulf powers.


Good point. I was talking about possession pretty much in terms of a substitute for materialisation. Just because your spirit is too weak to possess one of the enemy, doesn't mean you can't get use out of its powers. And I suppose concievably, a houngan could have a few pets, ravens or what have you, for the possessing spirits to use as needed. In fact I really like that image. But it is the case that a possession mage can't whip up a Force 3 spirit to attack the guards in the same way a materialisation magician can, or to go get the magkey from the sleepin prison guard's belt. ;)

@fool Counting a full day of low-level obedience (fetch this, carry that, impress my mates) is an optional guideline. I'm so used to it that I'd forgotten. But it's one I'd deeply recommend to prevent abuse of bound spirits.

@FrankTrollman I suppose it's a GM call as to whether or not possession counts as a service and in what circumstances. "Go beat the crap out of those gangers" is viable. Still, the main thrust of what I was saying was that there are significant balances to possession's power against materialisations. If a GM is cruel enough to have that ganger spend edge on his resistance test, then you'll need a Force 5 spirit on average to pull off a possession. (I've assumed Int and Will of 2 and an edge point for a re-roll of failures). That's quite a waste when a Force 3 or even 2 elemental could take him out. If a red samurai does the same, then your spirit is going to need to be Force 7 for success on average. He'll keep trying, but every round of failure is a round when a mighty materialised spirit could be wreaking havoc.

Now again, I'm not saying possession isn't powerful. I'm simply addressing the original opinion of a poster that it doesn't have big drawbacks.
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fool
post Oct 30 2006, 09:51 PM
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one thing to consider; when that spirit finally does manage to possess the victim, when he runs out of edge, after 2-3 ip (assuming the spirit doesn't use its edge in the possession roll) is that the resulting vessel is going to have forcex3 in extra dice to resist damage and much damage will just bounce (yeah I know the thread about immmunity to normal weapons was dicussed ad nauseum.) I'm thinking of the troll mage my screen name comes from who if he summoned a force 6 spirit would be rolling 35 dice for damage resistance. Even my elf with a relatively wimpy body of 4 would be rolling 30 dice for an physical damage rolls. (with armor jacket of course.)
My thing I can't wait to try out is the monofilament whip as a prepared vessel being occupied by a relatievely low level spirit, about force 3 will do, then summoning the force 6 guardian spirit with the optional power of exotic melee weapon skill 6, which means I can attack the spirits without astral combat at a massive damage level whether they're manifested or astral.
QUOTE
@fool Counting a full day of low-level obedience (fetch this, carry that, impress my mates) is an optional guideline. I'm so used to it that I'd forgotten. But it's one I'd deeply recommend to prevent abuse of bound spirits.

I only read about this as an optional rule for sustainung a power recently. i think it's a good house rule.
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fool
post Oct 31 2006, 06:25 PM
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my new idea.... magic bullets. They may not add to your dp but they can hit purely astral targets.
Simply have your bound spirit possess a bullet; the dv is the same as for the weapon so maybe you want to use those panther assault cannon rounds, but hey a hold out with a good skill will do alot of damage. My only question is can you use burst fire on them?
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knasser
post Oct 31 2006, 07:38 PM
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QUOTE (fool)
my new idea.... magic bullets. They may not add to your dp but they can hit purely astral targets.
Simply have your bound spirit possess a bullet; the dv is the same as for the weapon so maybe you want to use those panther assault cannon rounds, but hey a hold out with a good skill will do alot of damage. My only question is can you use burst fire on them?


:rotfl: You crazy person!

I'd say no, you can't burst fire with them because quite frankly, when you've got a maximum of six bound spirits all possessing those bullets, you're going to want to make them last. ;)

Now if you had watcher spirits possessing them. ;)

But in all seriousness, there is a problem with this. If a spirit could do that much damage just by ramming its astral form into another spirit at super-speed, it would be able to do it already without needing to ride along on a bullet. Astral travel is fast. We also don't know what form immunity to normal weapons takes. Sure - with an Earth Elemental, maybe the bullets just bounce off, but an air elemental might less them pass through and a water elemental might just fill the holes in again without much caring. Tying an astral form to the bullet might make no difference at all.

QUOTE (fool)
one thing to consider; when that spirit finally does manage to possess the victim, when he runs out of edge, after 2-3 ip (assuming the spirit doesn't use its edge in the possession roll) is that the resulting vessel is going to have forcex3 in extra dice to resist damage and much damage will just bounce (yeah I know the thread about immmunity to normal weapons was dicussed ad nauseum.) I'm thinking of the troll mage my screen name comes from who if he summoned a force 6 spirit would be rolling 35 dice for damage resistance. Even my elf with a relatively wimpy body of 4 would be rolling 30 dice for an physical damage rolls. (with armor jacket of course.)
My thing I can't wait to try out is the monofilament whip as a prepared vessel being occupied by a relatievely low level spirit, about force 3 will do, then summoning the force 6 guardian spirit with the optional power of exotic melee weapon skill 6, which means I can attack the spirits without astral combat at a massive damage level whether they're manifested or astral.


I'd save up for a weapon focus personally - it's not going to let you down or get banished at embarrasing moments. But yes, self-possessing once you have the Channeling metamagic does lead to some awesomely tough characters. Just hope your GM isn't as cruel as I am sometimes. It's not nice to suddenly find yourself unpossessed in the middle of a combat. ;)
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 31 2006, 07:52 PM
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Striking an astral form with another astral form does the same damage as hitting a mundane target with a metahuman body: DV = 1/2 Body. That's Astral Body in this case, which is just going to be Force in most cases. A demon possessed sword or crossbow bolt is fine and all, but it's pretty limited.

You could however go to an Alchera and grab some of the dual natured rocks and load them into a shotgun. That would work.

-Frank
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fool
post Nov 1 2006, 12:49 AM
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I hadn't even thought of watchers, yesssss. :P
QUOTE
Striking an astral form with another astral form does the same damage as hitting a mundane target with a metahuman body: DV = 1/2 Body. That's Astral Body in this case, which is just going to be Force in most cases. A demon possessed sword or crossbow bolt is fine and all, but it's pretty limited.

according to the RAW in the alchemy section, they would do the weapons damage. I'm assuming the dv=force/2 would be for nonweapon vessels.
QUOTE
I'd say no, you can't burst fire with them because quite frankly, when you've got a maximum of six bound spirits all possessing those bullets, you're going to want to make them last

yeah but, we haven't for certain determined if occupying a vessel counts as a service, and you could have all six be force 1-2 so you get a shitload of services out of them, then have them constantly reoccupying new vessels. After all the bullets are the vessels; and once they hit just have the spirits go to another vessel/bullet. :wobble:
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knasser
post Nov 1 2006, 09:33 AM
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QUOTE (fool)

yeah but, we haven't for certain determined if occupying a vessel counts as a service, and you could have all six be force 1-2 so you get a shitload of services out of them, then have them constantly reoccupying new vessels. After all the bullets are the vessels; and once they hit just have the spirits go to another vessel/bullet. :wobble:


Darn you! Now I have this image in my head of dozens of little watchers and Force 1-2 spirits possessing bullets like they were water slides and riding them gleefully at the enemy then rushing back to go again like little kids.

Heck, if you were a Chaos magician, the little buggers could even have cowboy hats and go wahoo, a la Dr. Strangelove.

It's a funny image, but I'm afraid that in my game, I still wouldn't allow it. Because an astral form is riding along with the bullet, does not make the bullet suddenly apply its physical properties to someone's astral form. But if you were sneaky with your GM, say establishing precedent by having a spirit possess a cricket bat or something else less threatening, then maybe you could get him to walk into it without realising. ;)
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Synner
post Nov 1 2006, 12:00 PM
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QUOTE (fool)
yeah but, we haven't for certain determined if occupying a vessel counts as a service, and you could have all six be force 1-2 so you get a shitload of services out of them, then have them constantly reoccupying new vessels. After all the bullets are the vessels; and once they hit just have the spirits go to another vessel/bullet. :wobble:

If you're asking the spirit to use its Possession power and just sit there in a bullet, then yes it is a service.

Generally speaking the only time use of a power doesn't cost a service is when it is required to perform another service or as part of a more general command that (such as Possessing to use another Physical power, or Materializing to perform a "beat the crap out of my attackers" service using "combative powers or abilities on behalf of its summoner [...] regardless of the number of foes involved" ).
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Heimdalol
post Nov 1 2006, 01:38 PM
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QUOTE (knasser)
a la Dr. Strangelove.

I was thinking more along the lines of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
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