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> Inhabitation and conjuring
Dentris
post Oct 30 2006, 02:31 AM
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Ok, conjuring skills are impossible for spirits and free spirits to learn, street magic is pretty clear about it. But what about flesh forms inhabiting spirits. They keep the original's host abilities, memories and skills. What if this "host" was a magician with conjuring skills? Does the spirits keep these skills? Is he able to use them?

Another question, whay happens with skills both the vessel and the spirit have? They add one to the other? You only keep the highest one? You add half the value of the lowest to the highest?

What do you think?
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Jaid
post Oct 30 2006, 03:49 AM
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RAW, the spirit gains conjuration skills and can use them. my personal assumption is that they are not intended to be able to conjure, but that's what the rules say, iirc.

if both host and spirit have the skill, i assume they end up with two overlapping skills. there's nothing that says the spirit doesn't gain the skill if they already have it, to my knowledge, and there's nothing that says they lose the skill if they gain it from inhabitation. generally speaking, this overlapping skill won't be terribly useful, however. (i suppose it could theoretically allow the spirit to dual specialise, but i'm not sure if any current spirits actually specialise in any skills in the first place. i suppose also that someone could develop a "reduce skill" spell, theoretically, which would presumably need to be cast twice on a spirit who has the skill twice, but that's purely guesswork on my part)
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WhiskeyMac
post Oct 30 2006, 04:20 AM
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Wouldn't just the greater of the 2 be used? That's always been the basis for most stuff in Shadowrun, i.e. Armor and Increased Reflexes spells, Skillwires, etc. That makes more sense and it fits in with the rules.

Maybe the flesh-form spirit "knows" how to conjure but can't actually do it. Sure, he can tell you how to conjure but the mana just doesn't respond. Keeps them from popping out more insects and ruling the world.
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Fortune
post Oct 30 2006, 04:24 AM
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QUOTE (Dentris)
whay happens with skills both the vessel and the spirit have? They add one to the other? You only keep the highest one? You add half the value of the lowest to the highest?

I would rule that you only use the highest Skill rating in this case.
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Chandon
post Oct 30 2006, 04:29 AM
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As for inhabiting spirits picking up conjuring from their hosts, I don't really see the problem. The world loses one conjurer and gains one conjurer. The magical tradition is probably kept, so this probably means insect spirits being able to summon air elementals - again, not really worrying. This isn't the infinite-spirits exploit that the no-spirit-conjuring rule exists to avoid.
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Jaid
post Oct 30 2006, 05:01 AM
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QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Wouldn't just the greater of the 2 be used? That's always been the basis for most stuff in Shadowrun, i.e. Armor and Increased Reflexes spells, Skillwires, etc. That makes more sense and it fits in with the rules.

sure, only the greater of the two would be used. that doesn't mean they aren't both there though.

as far as it goes, however, insect spirits can already summon more insect spirits once they have a queen/mother spirit around, can't they? so it's not so much a concern about insect spirits being able to create more of themselves (which they can already do anyways), it's more about the fact that (for example) ally spirits are supposed to be unable to conjure, and that having a spirit who can conjure makes magicians even more powerful than they currently are (which, of course, just makes them even more powerful than they need to be).

now, if there were constant complaints about magic being excessively weak, i might consider allowing this, but i just don't see it being needed with the current state of things.

if, in comparison, someone were to suggest something to make technomancers stronger... i might be interested in that. i'd still say it was against the spirit of the rules if it was (and indeed, probably against the letter of the rules also), but i might at least consider using it, simply because making TMs more powerful brings merely means bringing them closer to playable, whereas making magicians stronger merely makes them overshadow everyone else (there's already enough arguments about magician vs sammy, so i won't go there... but i don't think i've seen anyone argue that magicians need more power, other than possibly emo samurai, but then he makes everyone and everything more powerful, so that's different).
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Fortune
post Oct 30 2006, 05:33 AM
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QUOTE (Jaid)
as far as it goes, however, insect spirits can already summon more insect spirits once they have a queen/mother spirit around, can't they?

I think only the Queen can use Conjuring, but I'm not sure.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 30 2006, 06:10 AM
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According to Street Magic, Queens use the Astral Gateway power to bring more bugs over. This is actually worse than conjuring since A)There is no limit on the number of spirits they can bring over at once and in total and B) they take no drain.
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Fortune
post Oct 30 2006, 06:48 AM
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Ah right, thanks.

The point is though, that non-Queen Insect Spirits do not have the ability to use Conjuring, whether a Queen is actually present or not.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 30 2006, 09:07 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
Ah right, thanks.

The point is though, that non-Queen Insect Spirits do not have the ability to use Conjuring, whether a Queen is actually present or not.

Well, technically only critters with the Magician quality can use Conjuring. Furthermore, Free Spirits can't learn Conjuring skills, and Ally Spirits can't use skills from the Conjuring group. And of course, Conjuring skills cannot be defaulted to. Free Spirits have the Magician quality (rather than the Sorcery Power I originally requested).

So what does that mean? It means that if your Free Spirit Fleshform inhabits a body that happens to be a character who already knows Summoning, then your Free Spirit, by the RAW is a Magician with the Summoning skill and no prohibition on using that skill. So yes, it can use Conjuring, by the RAW. And no, that wasn't intntional, and no I don't know why they have the Magician quality instead of the Sorcery power. Editting run amok I suppose.

An Insect spirit on the other hand doesn't have the Magician quality and so when it fleshform inhabits a character with a summoning skill there is still nothing it can do in that regard.

-Frank
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hyzmarca
post Oct 30 2006, 10:41 AM
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Well, we can assume that any character who knows conjuring has a quality that allows him to use that skill (Magician, Mystic Adept, Spirit Knack), although burnouts are an exception. We may also assume that qualities count under the amorphous headings of "abilities" and "natural and augmented abilities", which are explicitly retained by the flesh form. I would presume that "augmented abilities" at least includes adept powers which means the Adept quality, as well. If you can justify retaining the Adept quality then Magician isn't very far away.
Certainly, it isn't impossible to justify the loss or retention of any quality using IC fluff or the rules as written, but the rules seem to lean toward the retention of qualities just as skills and stats are retained (in fact, the loss of qualities certain could result in the loss of stats and skills, as well). Retaining qualities can make certain merges even more unbalanced in one direction or another but it can also be used by the GM as an IC way to reign in certain abuses of the Inhabitation rules.
Most bug spirits will be pretty annoyed to find out that they're inhabiting a body that has a severe allergy to insecticides that actually stacks with their own weakness. Likewise, picking bums up off the streets seems far less useful a tactic with those bums have 30 point BTL addictions and your fly spirits are too busy getting their next buzz to actually follow your commands. That bugs could feasibly gain conjuring is just a small problem that can be corrected by ruling that spirits can't use conjuring, period. But, it really depends on what kind of flavor you want.
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laughingowl
post Oct 30 2006, 11:03 AM
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I would have to re-read a couple of time to determine the actual RAW:

But the question that would need to be answered.

"Ok, conjuring skills are impossible for spirits and free spirits to learn, street magic is pretty clear about it"

Is this an inherent 'flaw' of being a spirit. Or is it just a skill they dont have.

IF they have the flaw(s): Incompotent Conjuring, Incompotent Binding, Incompotent Banishing.

Then even if they gain the 'skills' they can't have above rank 0 and as they are skill you cant default to, couldn't use.

If it is not the case that the have a flaw that 'prohibits' them from doing the acitivites, rather it is they have no native ability to learn/use the abilities then possesion would be a means to work around it.

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knasser
post Oct 30 2006, 07:39 PM
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As regards skills, the SR4 way would seem to be use the greater of the two. This is how it works for most stacking situations.

As regards inhabiting spirits conjuring, the RAW would seem to allow it, but I think that's an oversight. Spirits are universally unable to conjure other spirits except for this one small loophole. I think it's best closed with a houserule until something shows up in errata.

My take.
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