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> Need help figuring out the rules for a character, A demonic sword, armor and horse - how?
Triggerz
post Nov 11 2006, 10:52 PM
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One of my player has a character concept loosely based on old Elric novels (by Michael Morcook). Essentially, his character's magical tradition is similar to Black Magic, but not really built so much against Christianity. He hasn't really fleshed it out much, so it's tough for me to say more, but if any of you has some Earth Dawn suggestions that you think appropriate, I'd be happy to hear them. (He plays a rather aristocratic elf. It'd be ok for him to have connections to weird, old stuff.)

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DISCLAIMER: I am aware that some of you will be absolutely revolted by some of the stuff below. It isn't exactly a typical SR character, but my gaming group tends to enjoy "elite", epic stuff more than street-level action, so please go along with it if you can. I'd like to see how much of this is possible in SR4 and what kind of SR magic the character could use to get the desired results. I don't need people whining about how it doesn't fit their particular gaming style: I just want to know if the rules allow it and how.
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Basically, the character wants three spirits at his service all the time for three specific uses: 1-) a sword, 2-) an armor, and 3-) a horse. I'm not sure what the best way to create those is, so any help will be appreciated. Originally, in SR2 and SR3, the ally spirit rules seemed the most appropriate, but I was told that the intent was never to allow for more than one ally per magician, so I'm trying to figure out what else I could use to achieve the desired results.

The sword: Ideally, a Weapon Focus, but it does not need to be if it has enough other kick-ass features. It should be able to levitate (or "fly") and do melee attacks on its own whenever needed (so that the magician can direct his attention elsewhere during that time). It should be able to inflict some kind of elemental damage and attack both physical and astral opponents. Ideally, it should accompany the magician on his astral journeys (and metaplanar quests). The ability to cast a few spells would be great too.

The armor: Essentially, instead of having Armor/Astral Armor spells sustained, he wants to have a spirit wrapped around him - bonus points if tied to/inhabiting a sort of dark hooded robe - that would "get in the way" of spells, astral attacks and physical damage of all kinds. It does not need to protect against everything, but it should be decent as it will be the character's only armor. Ideally, the armor would have various protective powers such as Concealment and Fear, and could cast a heal spell every now and then if the mage gets badly hurt (although the armor might die before the mage if it's working properly). Oh! And it should ideally accompany the mage in astral projection and perform in astral the same protective job as it does in the physical world.

The horse: Ideally, a spirit that can materialize when needed, be hopped on and riden away without concerning yourself too much with stuff like gravity or traffic. It should be fast enough to replace a car. It should make itself useful in combat - physical and astral. (And it should be relatively replaceable if it happens to be killed in combat. :P )



What type of spirits would you use? What kind of spells? Metamagical techniques? etc. I'm giving the character some karma to burn, so don't worry too much about that part of the equation. ;-)
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Fortune
post Nov 11 2006, 11:34 PM
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Personally, I don't think a Spirit (of any kind) would work the way you want in relation to Armor.
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 11 2006, 11:47 PM
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It sounds like you want to follow a Possession Tradition.

The Sword is simply a prepared vessels that bound spirits are possessing indefinitely. The armor is more problematic, because creatures don't really provide "armor" in the manner he's hoping for. In SR2 a spirit could use its attacks to battle incoming spells but this was scrapped because the rules for it were way too complicated - now you'd be better off just getting yourself a spirit with Magical Guard to protect you.

Still, you could quite plausibly model the armor as a series of sustaining foci woven into some kevlar. A good "Increase Body" and "Combat Sense" is a good replacement for body armor, and if the suit happens to provide some decent armor to begin with you're cool.

So the Sword is just a Bound Water Spirit that happens to have a service tied up in "possess this sword until I tell you to stop". The Horse is an Ally Spirit that has Materialization and happens to look like a Horse.

The Armor is made of a number of protective enchantments and is a giant neon astral sign that points to this guy's head.

-Frank
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Triggerz
post Nov 12 2006, 12:15 AM
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Can he have an ally with the Materialization power if he follows a Possession Tradition? The rules for allies seems to suggest that he can (and your comments too).

Also, concerning spirits in general, when they materialize, how material are they? It may sound silly, but I'm wondering whether spirits are sort of "ghost-like" or if they get a more traditional physical body when they materialize. In other words, could he sit on the horse and fly away?
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Mal-2
post Nov 12 2006, 12:17 AM
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Sounds like a good application of Spirit Pacts (from Street Magic) to me. As for the spirits themselves, the sword and armor spirits might work best with Possession instead of Materialization. That would let them do most of the things you described. The mount could use possession too, but might be better as a materializing spirit.
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fistandantilus4....
post Nov 12 2006, 12:21 AM
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armor: spirit either is an ally with oen form as armor, or inhabitation - armor

sword: maybe bust out the whole spirit binding rules from ED. Spirit is trapped within a weapon foci, and the wielder can attempt a contest of wills to force it to use it's powers. Sword can take over at times if it wins the contest. Sounds about right from what I remember about Elric.
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Wakshaani
post Nov 12 2006, 12:44 AM
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For the Sword, a simple Weapon Focus, combined with Magic Fingers, would do fine. It could then go fight (Tho, admitedly it'd require teh magician to sustain teh spell) and, otherwise, do everything needed.

The armor, likewise, is best done as a simple Sustaining Focus or three. A cape-clasp for the Concealment and a breastplate of some kind for the Armor spell. (Alternatively, a headband, which would 'become' a helmet once Armor was cast.)

Teh Horse, tho, would be an actual spirit. An Ally would work, but a simpl Summoned one could also suffice.
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James McMurray
post Nov 12 2006, 12:55 AM
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If the spirit inhabiting the armor has counterspelling would that work?
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hyzmarca
post Nov 12 2006, 02:29 AM
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Stormbringer eats souls, so make a a Free blood spirit with inhabitation strapped in a sword. Give levitation or Magic Fingers and it can wield itself, albeit with a penalty. And be sure to cap its force, dammit.

The horse, as they say, a simple ally.


For armor, I'm going to suggest a unique familiar spirit, like an ally but far weaker and more limited. Maybe make it a possession spirit and make him use channeling to get the armor bonuses. Maybe tie it to to physical armor. Maybe both. (Yes, I know that you can't channel a spirit that is already inhabiting something, but we're making unique and overpowered things here.

However, the simplest suggestion would be a standard ally spirit with counter spelling, a version of Armor that doesn't glow, astral armor, combat sense, and several stat-boosting spells inhabiting a robe. The ally itself provides the spells which provide the protection. You might also want to make the robe
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ixombie
post Nov 12 2006, 04:41 AM
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I think all three of your artifacts could be created by a spirit with the inhabitation power entering them. The horse would become ultra tough and likely gain the movement power, the armor would grant you an armor rating as well as immunity to normal weapons, and the sword could fly around cuz why the hell not?

The problem is, only free spirits have inhabitation. You'd have to convince your GM to let you find three free spirits and convince them to become tools, all for your own benefit and not at all for theirs.

I'm not suggesting you give up but... I think Elric might be a little more powerful than SR4 player characters generally become. He's more like a canon character who happens upon inivincible god artifacts and can't be stopped thereafter. He has an unfair advantage of the variety which generally throws a tabletop game out the window.
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Triggerz
post Nov 12 2006, 09:46 AM
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Ok, thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! As I said, I'm usually the GM and I'll allow my player a couple of weird things if they sort of make sense magically and aren't really game-breaking. The character has a tradition similar to that of Elric in the novels, but the character itself is not based on Elric - nor is the sword Stormbringer, although I do like the idea of a free blood spirit as well.

@Wakshaani: Thanks for the suggestions, but he really wants to use spirits for the sword and armor as it would reinforce his image as a spirit slave-driver. He's only nice to spirits when he can't enslave them and boss them around. The sword, armor and horse should be (mostly, although not necessarily always) under his control. It's going to bite him in the ass eventually, but that's how he wants to play the character and I like the idea.

@fistandantilus3.0: I like the idea, but I don't have anyy ED books, sadly. What happens if the spirit wins the contest of wills? It controls the magician? Now that could be funny... [Evil GM laughter]

I'll look into the various options today and post more comments and questions later on. :-)
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Triggerz
post Nov 12 2006, 11:32 AM
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Ok, I'm looking into vessel preparation, but I have a few questions:

1-) Can one use a (weapon) focus as a vessel?

2-) If the sword is possessed/inhabited by a spirit of fire (or an ally), can the sword use Energy Aura without burning the mage weilding it?
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Triggerz
post Nov 12 2006, 03:27 PM
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Inhabitation Merges - True Form...

If the inhabitation of an inanimate vessel - let's use a sword inhabited by an ally in this example - results in a true form spirit, what happens? With insect spirits and human hosts, it's pretty obvious, but does the same thing happen with inanimate vessels?

The way I read the Street Magic rules - and I'm really not convinced it's the right interpretation! -, the sword gets destroyed and the ally's true form (which, here, is also a sword?) shows itself. The sword is a normal spirit, except that it is shaped like a sword. It can materialize or move on the astral plane. I assume that it could be wielded by the magician (or anyone the magician orders the spirit to obey?) and, of course, it could wield itself as it would not be limited by the original physical sword's form.

I'm seriously confused here because parts of the text suggest that living and inanimate vessels follow entirely different rules (i.e. inhabitation of inanimate vessels would never result in a true form spirit). Yet, parts of the text seem to point the other way.

Page 101 of Street Magic says:
QUOTE
If the spirit is attempting to inhabit an inanimate vessel, the spirit rolls Force x 2 versus the vessel's Object Resistance threshold (p.174, SR4). To determine the results, compare the net hits with the Inhabitation table and check the Inhabitation Merges sidebar (p.100).

The sidebar in question describes Flesh Form, Hybrid Form and True Form spirits.
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 12 2006, 05:19 PM
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A focus can definitely be possessed, that's what Imps do.

Anyhow, if you don't need the Sword to actually change the weather, it doesn't need to be possessed by a Water Spirit. You probably want it possessed by an Air Spirit because they can fly quickly.

---

The reason that Inhabitation sometimes looks like it can only affect living creatures is because it's a merging of two suggested rulessets, one in which all forms of inhabitation were one set of rules, and another in which there was a separate set of inhabitation rules for every single thing. Insects, for example, only use living creatures for inhabitation hosts. Whether hey only can or only do isn't particularly important, but that's why it often talks about the creature rather than the vessel.

:shrug:

Anyway, Inhabitation isn't even helpful for anything you want to do. You don't care if the spirit sword can pass for a normal sword, in fact you want it to be an obvious demon blade every time you draw it. What you want is Possession for the Sword. A true form result from an inhabitation of a swod, while possible, is a complete waste of time - at that point it would just be a spirit and retain none of its sword characteristics. Beating people with it would be just like beating them with any other spirit.

The Horse wants to be a materializing spirit. If you are a possession tradition, you can still get a materializing spirit by taking an ally. Or you can use Banishing to steal annd bind a spirit from some other tradition.

The armor is just plain hard to do, because having a spirit (or a monkey) ride piggy-back on your shoulders does not provide any armor to you in Shadowrun game mechanics.

-Frank
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Triggerz
post Nov 12 2006, 05:24 PM
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Hmmm... I was thinking of something along the lines of shooting through a barrier, with both the spirit and the magician taking damage from each hit. Which is why I was inquiring earlier about the materiality of spirits. Are bullets stopped by their "hard skin" or do they just pass through without affecting the spirit much?

Also, a possessed sword would be dual-natured, but couldn't accompany the magician in astral projection.
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hyzmarca
post Nov 12 2006, 08:00 PM
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A possessed sword could accompany a magician on the astral plane if it were a weapon focus and SR3 Imp rules were used.

As for the Obvious Demon Blade issue, True form and Flesh form would not work but Hybrid form certainly would.
Picture it: a rugged man in a long cloak grasps (human) leather hilt of his blade and draws it, but what he draws is not a sword like any crafted by mortal hands. Where most swords would have a guard this weapon ha a large gaping maw with uncountable rows of razor-sharp serrated teeth. Looking inside the damned mouth, you are bewildered by a cavernous volume far greater than the external size of the thing. From this maw extends a writhing three-foot-long tongue with edges just as sharp as as its teeth. The tongue is moist with a constant flow of blood which drips onto the carpet even as the ravenous mouth sucks the miniature Phlegethon into itself.

A plain ole ally in the shape of a sword wouldn't work well. It would cause (STR/2)S in physical combat and (CHA/2) in Astral combat using the spirit's stats and skills under normal rules. It would cause stun damage based on its body if used as an improvised weapon by the magician. Remember, it just looks like sword, it doesn't act like one.

However, a spirit or a unique astral construct would work. (An astral construct sword with the materialization power would be annoying to keep around, though).
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Fortune
post Nov 12 2006, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (Triggerz @ Nov 13 2006, 04:24 AM)
Which is why I was inquiring earlier about the materiality of spirits. Are bullets stopped by their "hard skin" or do they just pass through without affecting the spirit much?

It really would depend on the particular Spirit. Some, like Air Spirits, would be insubstantial, with weapons passing right through them, while others like Earth Elementals might be solid enough to stop bullets completely.

As has been said though, Spirits just don't work as worn armor in canon Shadowrun.
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hyzmarca
post Nov 12 2006, 09:39 PM
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Like the ancient hydra, Malebranche is an unnatural monstrosity created by a moral man tampering with those things that mortal men were not meant to tamper with. A mad magician whose name has been lost to time believe that he could hybridize certain unique types of spirit to create a being with the powers of all and the weaknesses of none. To this end, he spend years exploring the deep metaplanes and collected the True Names of the most alien and malicious of spirits.

He bound to his service Imps, Shedim, Invae, and things which should never be spoken of. And we he had all of them together with the collection of powers that he wanted, he Blood Invoked them. This wasn't the blood invocation that we know, but an sinister and perverse ritual of his own design. Rivers flowed red with the blood of his sacrifices and the pile of bodies was a small mountain in its own right, so great was the effort required to power this magic. In the end, where there were once many spirits there was one, Malebranche. Weak and confused from the merger, the deranged amalgamation retreated into the nearest Focus that it could find and used its unique power to merge with it.

Force 3 (Essence)
STR Force (Force +1)
REA Force (0)
AGI Force (0)
BOD Force (Force +2)
WIL Force
CHA Force
INT Force
LOG Force
Magic Force
Edge 1 (Force-2)
Base Essence: Base Force

Positive Qualities
Magician

Negative Qualities
Cursed 2

Powers
Occubation*,Energy Drain (Essence)**, Spirit Pact***, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Sapience, Mind Link (binder only), Fear, Regeneration, Aura Masking, Compulsion (Homicidal Rage) [Touch range only]

Weaknesses
Evanescence^, Allergy (mothballs, moderate)

Active Skills
Blades, Sorcery, Counterspelling (Self), Negotiation, Con, Assessing, Perception, Dodge, Astral Combat, Arcana

Knowledge Skills
Foci, Metahuman Psychology, Random Stuff

Spells
Magic Fingers, Levitation, Shatter, Raven Form

*The Occubation power is an amalgamation of the Imp's Occupation power and the Invae's Inhabitation power. It allows Malbranche to slow (but not halt) his Evanescence by permanently merging with any focus. The result is always a grotesque Hybrid Merge.

**Malbranche may gain one point of essence for every victim that he slays, up to his maximum essence of 6. In order to use this power his blade must be driven through a victm's all the way to his ravenous maw, which consumes a part of the dying victim (This uses the spirit's next complex action). This counts as a called shot on the part of the wielder and must be executed as part of the killing blow.
This power works on both living beings and spirits.
Augmentations to Force and Edge gained via increased essence do not grant Malbranche new powers. New powers can only be gained by increasing his Base Force.

***Malbranche automatically has a Formula Pact with anyone who binds him as a focus. This is nonrevokable so long as the bond exists but immediately terminates it the bond is broken. This is the only way to learn Malbranche's Formula for he does not have a home metaplane.

^Malbrance loses essence every sunrise if his essence is greater than his Base Force. If his essence is equal to or less than his Base Force then he loses 1 point of essence every Month. He never loses Essence at sunset and his current essence may not drop below 1 unless his focus is destroyed.

Personality
Malbrance is, at his core, a selfish liar. But, he is so confused and mixed-up that he might accidently tell the truth once in a while. He hungers constantly, even when his essence is maxed out, and he will attempt to push anyone who wields him into a homicidal rage. If bound as a Free Spirit using his spirit forumla he will attempt to twist the words of his master in order to violate the intent of the service and will always feed if allowed to do so. His nature leaves him deranged and conflicted, the conflicting natures of this spirits that he was made from threaten to tear him apart but they never quite do. This instability makes him a dangerous ally. Aside form his unrelenting desire to feed, his goals are capricious, arbitrary, and often self-opposing.

Evil Claw
Weapon Focus (Sword)
Force 3

Reach 1
Damage (STR/2)+2P
AP 0

Where most swords would have a guard this weapon ha a large gaping maw with uncountable rows of razor-sharp serrated teeth. Looking inside the damned mouth, you are bewildered by a cavernous volume far greater than the external size of the thing. From this maw extends a writhing three-foot-long tongue with edges just as sharp as as its teeth. The tongue is moist with a constant flow of blood which drips onto the carpet even as the ravenous mouth sucks the miniature Phlegethon into itself.


(Augmentations to Malbrance's Force do not increase the Force of the weapon focus)
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PlatonicPimp
post Nov 12 2006, 10:31 PM
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For the spirit that provides Armor:

First, the spirit has the power of immune to normal weapons. If it materializes, it still has this power separate from the power that comes with materialization. This is important.

Second, it has the endowment power. It endows the immunity to normal weapons onto it's wearer.

Third, it has counterspell dice that it uses on itself, the wearer, and others as the wearer commands up to it's capability (Your character will want his other 2 spirits under this protection, probably. )
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hyzmarca
post Nov 12 2006, 10:50 PM
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Parasite Cloak


STR 10
BOD 15
AGI 6
REA 5
WIL 9
LOG 2
INT 5
CHA 6
Edge 3
Magic: Essence
Essence:

Powers
Hardened Armor (equal to magic), Astral Armor (equal to magic), Mindlink, Temporary Essence Drain*, Shift Plane**, Attach***,

Weaknesses
Evanescence

Skills
Unarmed Combat (Subdual) 6 (+2), Assessing 3, Perception 3, Infiltration Skill Group 2, Counterspelling 5, Flight 3,


The Parasite Cloak is some sort of creature from the Deep Metaplanes. It would not be proper to refer to this creature as a spirit because it does not behave like an known spirit. It as no force and it cannot be bound. It is not dual-natured but can shift between the physical and astral at will. The parasite cloak is a dark grey, brown, navy blue, or black (reports vary) leathery creature with large wings, no discernable face, and two large hollow fangs on its underbelly. It flies around the Astral Plane searching for dual-natured targets that it may feed upon. It then shifts to the physical plans and wraps itself around that target using its unarmed combat (Subdual) skill. A successful Subdual test means that the Parasite has wrapped itself around the target and driven its fangs into the target's neck on either side of its spine.
It them proceeds to suck in a tiny portion of the target's blood (if any) and use its Temporary Essence Drain power to augment its essence.

The Parasite Cloak is a naturally instinctual being, but it will use its mindlink power to communicate its intent to its host. It simply wants to survive. If it leave its host then it will rapidly loose essence and die. It has no way to permanently regain essence lost to Evanescence. Therefore, it will stay with its host an protect its host as best as it can. To this end it will provide its host with counterspelling and its powers in exchange for essence.

This is a catch 22 for the a magically active host. The more essence the creature drains the greater its protective powers will be, but temporary essence loss means temporary magic loss, as well.

If the host is damage severely and pushed into physical overflow then the Parasite Cloak will almost certainly drain that host fully and leave to find a new host.

*The Parasite Cloak must latch onto the target with its Attach Power. It may drain as many points of essence as it wishes. These essence points (and any magic points lost as a result of the drain) may return to the host at a rate of 1 per minute if the Parasite Cloak allows them to or if it is removed from the host. There is no limit to the number of essence points it may gain this way. A Host that is reduced to 0 essence by this power is simply knocked unconscious.

** The creature can shift to the Astral Plane without leaving a physical body behind and Materialize without being dual natured

***The creature attaches itself to the target and appears to be a leather cloak to any onlooker. It may extend one of its protective powers (Hardened armor or Astral Armor) to its host (never both at once) or it may instead boost one of the hosts physical stats by its current essence.
It may be removed it and only if it loses an opposed strength test or it may leave any time of its own accord.
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Triggerz
post Nov 13 2006, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Nov 12 2006, 03:00 PM)
A possessed sword could accompany a magician on the astral plane if it were a weapon focus and SR3 Imp rules were used.

As for the Obvious Demon Blade issue, True form and Flesh form would not work but Hybrid form certainly would.
Picture it: a rugged man in a long cloak grasps (human) leather hilt of his blade and draws it, but what he draws is not a sword like any crafted by mortal hands. Where most swords would have a guard this weapon ha a large gaping maw with uncountable rows of razor-sharp serrated teeth. Looking inside the damned mouth, you are bewildered by a cavernous volume far greater than the external size of the thing. From this maw extends a writhing three-foot-long tongue with edges just as sharp as as its teeth. The tongue is moist with a constant flow of blood which drips onto the carpet even as the ravenous mouth sucks the miniature Phlegethon into itself.

A plain ole ally in the shape of a sword wouldn't work well. It would cause (STR/2)S in physical combat and (CHA/2) in Astral combat using the spirit's stats and skills under normal rules. It would cause stun damage based on its body if used as an improvised weapon by the magician. Remember, it just looks like sword, it doesn't act like one.

However, a spirit or a unique astral construct would work. (An astral construct sword with the materialization power would be annoying to keep around, though).

SR3 Imp rules?!? What book were those in? Sadly, I don't have any of my SR3 books here. They're all pretty much at the other end of the world at the moment. But if you tell me that a possessed weapon focus would work and bring the spirit along when going astral, I'll take your word for it and it answers what was probably my biggest question regarding the sword. What kind of spirits were Imps in SR3?

Concerning True Form allies with the inhabitation power, Street Magic mentions (on page 104) that they do keep the vessel's form as their primary form. I thought I could have given the sword the power "Natural Weaponry" (available to Guardian spirits) to give its blade some teeth, and allow it to be handled by the magician like a real sword (with a regular sword's damage, potentially boosted by other powers). Now if the original sword is consumed, I think the sword would not act as a weapon focus anymore, making it pointless to use a weapon focus to start with. Of course, as Frank said, a true form ally could just attack normally as any spirit can, but it's not quite as flashy, and the mage might have better sword skills. The ability to have a two-handed sword materialize at will in your hands is... interesting! :grinbig: Hmmm... Yeah, as a matter of game balance though, the sword cannot be a weapon focus if it's a true form, as everyone would start using true form possessed weapon foci that just appear in your hands when needed and the "weapon foci" part of it is just a bit too much in my opinion. (The bonuses they provided are balanced by the inconvenience of carrying them around.) [EDIT 2: Actually, considering the karma/BP cost of the weapon, I don't think it would be the end of the world to allow it to still work as a weapon focus. As long as it's relatively low Force, I think it would be ok. It will be clearer when I have some real numbers though.]

EDIT: hyzmarca, thanks for all the great ideas!!! They are much appreciated! :D
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Triggerz
post Nov 13 2006, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE (PlatonicPimp)
For the spirit that provides Armor:

First, the spirit has the power of immune to normal weapons. If it materializes, it still has this power separate from the power that comes with materialization. This is important.

Second, it has the endowment power. It endows the immunity to normal weapons onto it's wearer.

Third, it has counterspell dice that it uses on itself, the wearer, and others as the wearer commands up to it's capability (Your character will want his other 2 spirits under this protection, probably. )

That's not a bad idea. The only problem I have as of now is that the spirit can grant a power to a number of subjects equal to twice its Magic, and I'd rather not allow the spirit to endow the whole team with Immunity to Normal Weapons. The possessed armor will be the mage's only armor, but it won't be true for the rest of the team, so that could be an issue. Of course, I can arbitrarily limit the endowment to specific powers and to specific targets (e.g. the mage). At the moment, I think this is my favorite idea for the armor (although I really like hyzmarca's evil suggestions too).
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PlatonicPimp
post Nov 13 2006, 04:29 PM
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well sure, by the rules it COULD. It just doesn't.

By the rules insect spirits can inhabit computers if they wanted, but they don't.

Just make it the spirit equivalent of a geas, or say it's endowment power is unique in that it only works on the wearer.
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Triggerz
post Nov 13 2006, 04:31 PM
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Yeah, at the moment, I think that's what makes the most sense.
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Triggerz
post Nov 13 2006, 04:50 PM
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It still requires a Great Form guardian spirit though, which could be used in other ways, but I think it's ok. As of now though, the mage will still be cut in half by pretty much any adept will a weapon focus (or beaten to death by killing hands). I don't want to boost his protection against mundane weapons any more (or not much more, anyways), but I'd like him to have at least some protection against magical attacks other than spells.

Hmmm... An Astral Armor spell when going astral, I guess. Maybe an Armor spell too, but I'll have to make sure that it doesn't make him too resistant. Since the Armor spell is not Hardened and the mage will have a low body (and no other armor), it might be ok.
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