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> Trying a Free Spirit, Because I'm enamored with the concept and a glutton for punishment
FlashbackJon
post May 5 2009, 05:22 PM
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I've read all the posts in the recent search history on the topic of Free Spirits. I understand they're just one giant ball of liabilities, but I'm committed to making this work - possibly because my GM is new to SR and not very harsh, generally speaking.

As you can see, I've borrowed basically every element from the threads in question:
[ Spoiler ]


I like the end result, but it's sort of schizophrenic. He was initially intended as a backup caster, and his stats suggest that, but I really like the idea of a bruiser golem now, too (thematically appropriate, yay!) and his physical stats DON'T back that up (10/1/1/10 in his homunculus). The other benefit is the GM is playing a GM character in case someone else wants to take over (we've never had any of the problems most people associate with GM characters) - to make his life easier, I can always simply possess him.

I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations (OTHER than "don't play a free spirit" or "use karmagen") for either balancing this guy out to specializing him further. Attributes, spells, powers, etc. Any way to make him better.

P.S. I included the "group contact/karma factory" thing, but I won't be abusing it. I just like the added story elements and the safety net. I thought maybe a Loyalty roll at the end of each adventure for a little extra Karma or something.
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Maelstrome
post May 5 2009, 06:10 PM
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one thing i would talk to your gm about is the money/karma exhange. i played a free spirit, i used karamgen so he was a little better off than yours. another thing you might want to ask(most likely to be shot down though) is to be able to gain a metamagic/power that allows you to either drain karma from people or to absorb the magic from focuses and turn it to karma.

all the luck in the world to you.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post May 6 2009, 12:41 AM
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QUOTE (Maelstrome @ May 5 2009, 11:10 AM) *
one thing i would talk to your gm about is the money/karma exhange. i played a free spirit, i used karamgen so he was a little better off than yours. another thing you might want to ask(most likely to be shot down though) is to be able to gain a metamagic/power that allows you to either drain karma from people or to absorb the magic from focuses and turn it to karma.

all the luck in the world to you.


As a note... The Life Pact is particularly Useful (page 108, Street Magic) as it will allow you to "Heal" those with whom you have the Pact, and gain a Karma point for doing so each time it is invoked...

Thsi is the one that I use... Along with the Friendship Pact...
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FlashbackJon
post May 6 2009, 07:05 PM
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Wow, that Life Pact is pretty phenomenal.

I did actually end up going Karmagen as it allowed to eek out a slightly more well-rounded spirit that (mostly) can't be killed by a stiff breeze. (I still paid 500 Karma for being a spirit, but 250K got me further than 150BP.)

More questions related to the concept that are slightly less rules-related:
1) We also have an AI in the party - how is the best way for the spirit and AI to keep in touch? I mean, are we talking something as simple as earbud and microphone mounted on the homunculus or are we relying on friendship pact'd members acting as go-betweens?
2) Free spirits and AR. Is there any reason a free spirit possessing a vessel couldn't use AR gloves, goggles with image link, and a standard commlink to interact with the Matrix? Could such a spirit eventually learn Matrix-related skills?
EDIT: Found it.
QUOTE
Note, however, that spirits are unable to see or interpret simsense, electronic projections on screens, or AR displays.


I'd really prefer to keep my very astral character out of the matrix, but I'm just thinking practically here.

Finally,
3) We're playing Missions (although not officially) - any thoughts how this character might realistically be considered for the purposes of NYPD and the fascist corporate state interests there?
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Starmage21
post May 6 2009, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE (FlashbackJon @ May 6 2009, 02:05 PM) *
Finally,
3) We're playing Missions (although not officially) - any thoughts how this character might realistically be considered for the purposes of NYPD and the fascist corporate state interests there?


Depends on the people in charge. Some nations, and some corps grant citizenship, and thus SINs to Free Spirits. Some dont recognize them at all.
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The Jake
post May 6 2009, 11:31 PM
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My understanding was that spirits could interact, if they are possessing a body or similar. I assumed that its only while manifesting there is no way for them to interpret simsense because they have no internal organs.

At the very least, I would have thought possession would fall into the murky grey waters of GM fiat.

- J.
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kzt
post May 7 2009, 03:34 AM
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I think you missed a big part of the description. Free spirits can materialize and form a body that seems perfectly real. This is one of the things that makes them horribly powerful. They can go astral, walk through a wall, materialize and open the door for the rest of the team. The fact that a magic 8 free spirit can't be hurt on the physical plane by anything short of an antitank rocket or a mage makes it even better. Then the fact that you can't kill them and their ability to do metaplanar shortcuts....

The 250 points is not an absurd cost.
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Mordinvan
post May 7 2009, 06:02 AM
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QUOTE (kzt @ May 6 2009, 08:34 PM) *
The 250 points is not an absurd cost.


With only 15 BP for stats and skills it essentially produces and unplayable character.
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kzt
post May 7 2009, 08:05 AM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 7 2009, 12:02 AM) *
With only 15 BP for stats and skills it essentially produces and unplayable character.

You run 265 BP games?

The character will be limited, but you can start with 12 pts of hardened armor (hence no need for body) and make a decent mage. You are not going to build a great street sam, but can do other clever tricks. Being nearly impossible to kill by mundane means is one of those clever tricks, as is the fact they they can fly.
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Prime Mover
post May 7 2009, 01:19 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ May 7 2009, 04:05 AM) *
You run 265 BP games?

The character will be limited, but you can start with 12 pts of hardened armor (hence no need for body) and make a decent mage. You are not going to build a great street sam, but can do other clever tricks. Being nearly impossible to kill by mundane means is one of those clever tricks, as is the fact they they can fly.



We played an alternate game one weekend when we were missing a few players. One of our newer players needed an alt and rolled up a free spirit. Gotta agree with KZT play style makes a huge difference when playing an out of the box FS. Flight,astral travel speeds and movement used on the team are just scratching the surface. Three different times during the mission my planning had to be thrown out the window. Even more then usual with a FS on the team, the team had the advantage.
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FlashbackJon
post May 7 2009, 01:45 PM
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Two separate but important points here.
QUOTE (kzt @ May 6 2009, 10:34 PM) *
I think you missed a big part of the description. Free spirits can materialize and form a body that seems perfectly real. This is one of the things that makes them horribly powerful. They can go astral, walk through a wall, materialize and open the door for the rest of the team. The fact that a magic 8 free spirit can't be hurt on the physical plane by anything short of an antitank rocket or a mage makes it even better. Then the fact that you can't kill them and their ability to do metaplanar shortcuts....

Well, that would be true if I had not intentionally chosen a possession tradition for flavor. Although I could theoretically possess the physical lock/handle and open it.

QUOTE
The 250 points is not an absurd cost.

While I agree the advantages of a free spirit are pretty phenomenal and I agree that 250 points is not in itself unreasonable, the sad fact is that you're still trying to build an entire magician on 150 BP. That barely produces an automated spellcasting unit, must less a versatile character.

You practically have to take minimums in most of your stats to do anything other than your handful of spirit powers (not that I'm suggesting those aren't cool or incredibly powerful - just not especially interesting since a summoned spirit could do the same thing, only better). And at that point, you can be capped by a punk with a heavy pistol or SMG.

I don't mean to sound like I'm down on free spirits - obviously, I wouldn't be trying one if I didn't think they could work.

I was just able to eek a little bit more out of karmagen for versatility so he was less of a one-trick pony.
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kzt
post May 7 2009, 06:52 PM
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I'd bet that 250 was just a number pulled out of the air. You could adjust it to fit your game. The trick is to avoid having it be overpowering up-front. Clearly a NPC style spirit where you bought force for 10 points and ALL your stats went up is insanely powerful, but there are other ways you could do it.

The fact that a free spirit has access to things that no other character type has makes it a lot more difficult to balance, particularly given different play styles. Metaplanar shortcuts and materialization are huge. Influence can be FAR more effective than mind control. And you could make an argument that aura masking allows the dual natured free spirit to walk through wards as if it isn't dual natured....
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FlashbackJon
post May 11 2009, 04:09 PM
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So we ran our first session. There was some ambiguity with SINs and passes for the spirit, but mostly we let the truck carry the body past checkpoints while I floated overhead.

QUOTE (The Jake @ May 6 2009, 06:31 PM) *
My understanding was that spirits could interact, if they are possessing a body or similar. I assumed that its only while manifesting there is no way for them to interpret simsense because they have no internal organs.

In this case, I spend most of my time possessing a homunculus.

QUOTE
At the very least, I would have thought possession would fall into the murky grey waters of GM fiat.

Normally, this is straight where I'd go, but our GM is very inexperienced with SR and would just turn it over to me or another player in the group. This other player recommended just going the mic/speaker route, so that might be the consensus.

As an aside, my newb GM hates my use of Influence, so I'll be limiting my use of that until he learns to better counter it (I've given recommendations), but that's probably a discussion for the "control thoughts" thread.

More questions.
  • Discretion! The text mentions plasteel homunculi passing as anthroform drones - any suggestions on how one might roll this?
  • Concealment! If a spirit activates this on a group of runners while in full view of a squad of corpsec guards - how do you determine whether or not they are still seen? Do you just roll Perception immediately? Does that roll apply for the whole encounter (guards who don't pass never pass)? If they start shooting, are they simply subject to the Blind Fire modifier?
  • Concealment 2! The power mentions being used to make a dual natured entity NOT look dual natured. Would a possessed, inanimate homunculus look like a non-living target under the power - or simply a statue with a mundane aura (which would be a pretty big give-away anyhow)?
  • Dualnaturedness! Can a spirit possessing a body (being thusly dual natured) attack astral targets? Do the aforementioned possessed fists of fury count as "normal weapons" against materialized spirits?
  • Dualnaturedness 2! If I'm attacked on the astral while possessing something, do I use my possessed stats or my astral stats? (I'm sure this is in the book now that I think about it...)


I had more but I'll remember them eventually.
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Neraph
post May 11 2009, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ May 6 2009, 06:31 PM) *
My understanding was that spirits could interact, if they are possessing a body or similar. I assumed that its only while manifesting there is no way for them to interpret simsense because they have no internal organs.

At the very least, I would have thought possession would fall into the murky grey waters of GM fiat.

- J.

Hybrid form inhabitation merges are the only way spirits can utilyze AR or the 'trix.
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Neraph
post May 11 2009, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ May 6 2009, 10:34 PM) *
I think you missed a big part of the description. Free spirits can materialize and form a body that seems perfectly real. This is one of the things that makes them horribly powerful. They can go astral, walk through a wall, materialize and open the door for the rest of the team. The fact that a magic 8 free spirit can't be hurt on the physical plane by anything short of an antitank rocket or a mage makes it even better. Then the fact that you can't kill them and their ability to do metaplanar shortcuts....

The 250 points is not an absurd cost.

Stick-n-Shock ammo, stun batons... All you need is 3 net successes and the F8 spirit needs to roll damage resistance.
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Neraph
post May 11 2009, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (FlashbackJon @ May 7 2009, 08:45 AM) *
Two separate but important points here.

Well, that would be true if I had not intentionally chosen a possession tradition for flavor. Although I could theoretically possess the physical lock/handle and open it.


While I agree the advantages of a free spirit are pretty phenomenal and I agree that 250 points is not in itself unreasonable, the sad fact is that you're still trying to build an entire magician on 150 BP. That barely produces an automated spellcasting unit, must less a versatile character.

You practically have to take minimums in most of your stats to do anything other than your handful of spirit powers (not that I'm suggesting those aren't cool or incredibly powerful - just not especially interesting since a summoned spirit could do the same thing, only better). And at that point, you can be capped by a punk with a heavy pistol or SMG.

I don't mean to sound like I'm down on free spirits - obviously, I wouldn't be trying one if I didn't think they could work.

I was just able to eek a little bit more out of karmagen for versatility so he was less of a one-trick pony.



QUOTE
I'd bet that 250 was just a number pulled out of the air. You could adjust it to fit your game. The trick is to avoid having it be overpowering up-front. Clearly a NPC style spirit where you bought force for 10 points and ALL your stats went up is insanely powerful, but there are other ways you could do it.

The fact that a free spirit has access to things that no other character type has makes it a lot more difficult to balance, particularly given different play styles. Metaplanar shortcuts and materialization are huge. Influence can be FAR more effective than mind control. And you could make an argument that aura masking allows the dual natured free spirit to walk through wards as if it isn't dual natured....


If you try to get all the 5 core spirit powers at a rating = your force, and keep your stats basically in line with your force, you end up being a Force 2.5 spirit. You're pretty much as cool as a standard Force 3 Spirit that has a lot of "F-1" and few "F" stats, and not nearly as many spirit powers. That's why I prefer to think of Free Spirit PCs as Wild Spirit PCs. You have to be really clever for them to work for you, such as being a Materialization tradition and taking Shapechange.

I've been toying with the idea of having a 350 BP free spirit base cost, starting at F2 like normal, but gaining the 5 core spirit powers at a rating = your force and having your stats = your force, allowing you to raise stats over your force as desired (lots of spirits have "F+3" stats)(and possibly not Edge-having to raise that one from 1 to a max of your Force), and gaining one spirit power per point of force (as opposed to Spirit Points as written). That way you're pretty much playing a real freaking spirit, or at least an Ally Spirit lookalike that went free.

[EDIT] Theoretically, if you have a spirit with Realistic Form, he should be able to use at least AR [/EDIT]

QUOTE
In this case, I spend most of my time possessing a homunculus.

The problem is homunculi don't have the "internal organs" needed to use AR either. Think of a homu as a glorified statue. They don't have eyes, ears, sensors, or anything else.

QUOTE
Normally, this is straight where I'd go, but our GM is very inexperienced with SR and would just turn it over to me or another player in the group. This other player recommended just going the mic/speaker route, so that might be the consensus.

I'd agree. And you could try getting like an oldschooll LCD/LED display screen hooked up to your 'link to see it. Or your GM could be nice and allow it to appear just fine on Electronic Paper.

QUOTE
More questions.

Discretion! The text mentions plasteel homunculi passing as anthroform drones - any suggestions on how one might roll this?
Concealment! If a spirit activates this on a group of runners while in full view of a squad of corpsec guards - how do you determine whether or not they are still seen? Do you just roll Perception immediately? Does that roll apply for the whole encounter (guards who don't pass never pass)? If they start shooting, are they simply subject to the Blind Fire modifier?
Concealment 2! The power mentions being used to make a dual natured entity NOT look dual natured. Would a possessed, inanimate homunculus look like a non-living target under the power - or simply a statue with a mundane aura (which would be a pretty big give-away anyhow)?
Dualnaturedness! Can a spirit possessing a body (being thusly dual natured) attack astral targets? Do the aforementioned possessed fists of fury count as "normal weapons" against materialized spirits?



Discretion! You'd do a "Spotting Spirits" section on page 95, Street Magic. If they fail to notice you're actually a spirit, they'll prolly assume you're a drone.

Concealment! I'd say they have to make a new Perception check, with the "Active Looking" +3 DP modifier (which they'll likely still fail). I'd allow them to re-check as needed, and yes, they'd suffer Blind Fire if they could point their guns in the correct direction.

Concealment 2! I've never seen that anywhere. I know you can use other powers/metamagics to appear mundane/awakened/dual natured, but Concealment simply subtracts dice from Perception tests.

Dualnaturedness! ... Dual Natured creatures can attack astral forms. Dual Natured creatures count as magic weapons.

QUOTE (SR4 FAQ)
Do dual-natured characters/critters (including assensing characters) use their Physical or astral attributes when fighting an astral opponent?

Dual-natured characters are limited by their physical bodies. In astral combat, they move at meat body speeds (use regular physical Initiative) and use their Physical attributes for any tests. They engage astral opponents, however, using Astral Combat skill (+ Willpower).

Can't find a quote where they count as magic weapons, but they are magically active. That should be a huge clue.
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FlashbackJon
post May 11 2009, 04:48 PM
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Awesome, it's great to have that kind of feedback. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

QUOTE (Neraph @ May 11 2009, 11:42 AM) *
Concealment 2! I've never seen that anywhere. I know you can use other powers/metamagics to appear mundane/awakened/dual natured, but Concealment simply subtracts dice from Perception tests.

Looking again, this is the quote under Concealment:
QUOTE
Concealment also allows dual natured critters to conceal themselves and others from astral detection.


On second read, I think it's just fluff for "the penalty applies astrally too" but I guess that leads to another not-strictly-free-spirit-related question. Other than Assensing a specific target, how does Perception work in the astral? If you're astrally perceiving a plain room and a spirit enters through one wall, shouldn't it be glaringly obvious? Do you even roll perception/assensing just to "notice" something in the astral? Is there any way, other than masking, to "hide" in the astral?
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Neraph
post May 11 2009, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (SR4, page 287, Concealment Power)
This power refers to a critter's ability to mystically hide itself or others, or alternatively to hide something that people are looking for. Concealment subtracts a number of dice equal to the critter's Magic from any Perception Tests to locate the concealed subject. Concealment can be used on a number of targets simultaneously equal to the critter's Magic; concealed subjects can see each other if the critter allows it.

I don't see your sentence anywhere. Can you quote a source?

[EDIT] That sentence is probably from the FAQ, and it's adressing whether or not the power works against Astral Perception Tests as well, which it does. [/EDIT]
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FlashbackJon
post May 11 2009, 05:14 PM
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Ah, the differences with Anniversary Edition come forth! SR4A, pg.293. It comes directly after the description of Concealment you posted - nothing else was changed.
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Larme
post May 11 2009, 05:45 PM
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I've tried to wrap my head around making a good free spirit character, and it just can't be done. Like Neraph says, you're basically a very weak version of what mages can summon all the time. You have the potential to become brokenly powerful, but at least to start, you're terrible.

IMO, the way to make a free spirit work staring out is to have help in-character. Have a mage prepare an uber vessel for you. Not a plasteel haemonculus though -- that's just too open and obvious, as well as being pretty limited in what it does for you. Possess something beefy, like a troll! If your GM allows it, the PCs can capture a big burly metahuman, bring him to an enchanter, and have the enchanter prepare the vessel for the spirit, and in exchange the spirit gives spirit pacts to members of the team. Ideally, it would be a vessel with high stats, and passive cyber such as bone lacing and orthoskin. Then you go from being a dumb little ghost to being a tank troll with immunity to normal weapons (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) The problem is, of course, that the GM has to OK that. You'd basically be getting two characters, both yourself and your vessel, which would be like having a lot more than 400 BP... But honestly, even if they have a powerful vessel, free spirits aren't that great -- they can be disrupted by magical and elemental attacks pretty easily. A GM should allow a free spirit to possess a good vessel just for the purpose of them being useful to the team, instead of a spectral friend who plays cheerleader and uses a few supporting powers.
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Neraph
post May 11 2009, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE (Larme @ May 11 2009, 11:45 AM) *
I've tried to wrap my head around making a good free spirit character, and it just can't be done. Like Neraph says, you're basically a very weak version of what mages can summon all the time. You have the potential to become brokenly powerful, but at least to start, you're terrible.

IMO, the way to make a free spirit work staring out is to have help in-character. Have a mage prepare an uber vessel for you. Not a plasteel haemonculus though -- that's just too open and obvious, as well as being pretty limited in what it does for you. Possess something beefy, like a troll! If your GM allows it, the PCs can capture a big burly metahuman, bring him to an enchanter, and have the enchanter prepare the vessel for the spirit, and in exchange the spirit gives spirit pacts to members of the team. Ideally, it would be a vessel with high stats, and passive cyber such as bone lacing and orthoskin. Then you go from being a dumb little ghost to being a tank troll with immunity to normal weapons (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) The problem is, of course, that the GM has to OK that. You'd basically be getting two characters, both yourself and your vessel, which would be like having a lot more than 400 BP... But honestly, even if they have a powerful vessel, free spirits aren't that great -- they can be disrupted by magical and elemental attacks pretty easily. A GM should allow a free spirit to possess a good vessel just for the purpose of them being useful to the team, instead of a spectral friend who plays cheerleader and uses a few supporting powers.

Very well put, but I have a couple of constructive criticisms for that.

1) You're ignoring the potential for a Manifest-based Free Spirit with the Shapechange spell. Imagine you're crappy little F5, Bod 3 (or 4) spirit all the sudden becoming a Wolf with +5 to all the stats. Or a (Troll) Form spell (more hotly debated than Pro-Life/Pro-Death).

2) Check out the thread linked in my Sig for how to uber-break spirits, and "force" your GM to allow you to play a super-powerful Free Spirit. Also described is a way to get "enchanted" weapons for mundanes.
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Larme
post May 11 2009, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (Neraph @ May 11 2009, 01:12 PM) *
Very well put, but I have a couple of constructive criticisms for that.

1) You're ignoring the potential for a Manifest-based Free Spirit with the Shapechange spell. Imagine you're crappy little F5, Bod 3 (or 4) spirit all the sudden becoming a Wolf with +5 to all the stats. Or a (Troll) Form spell (more hotly debated than Pro-Life/Pro-Death).


I'm not ignoring it. Shapechange is limited to +/- 2 body of your regular body. A spirit could certainly shift from a materialized spirit with body 3 into a critter with body 5, but that's still pretty meh. Especially because they wouldn't be wearing armor -- their one main advantage is ITNW, but you can't really put armor on a wolf, everyone would know something was up! As for (Troll) form, the RAW pretty clearly says critters. Critters means non-metahumans. It's not a philosophical matter of whether metahumans are animals, but a definitional quesiton. The term "critter" is defined in Shadowrun as anything that isn't human, and isn't spectral. That's all there is to it. Now, Shapechange can't make you shift into a metahuman, but there's no rule that you couldn't design a new spell to do that. If it allowed you to exceed the Body +2 limitation, however, the Drain would be prohibitive, easily more than a free spirit could handle with their crappy casting ability coming out of chargen. No, I'm convinced that your best bet is to kidnap a good vessel and possess them, that gives you the attributes that you simply can't afford, but which you need to be useful.

QUOTE
2) Check out the thread linked in my Sig for how to uber-break spirits, and "force" your GM to allow you to play a super-powerful Free Spirit. Also described is a way to get "enchanted" weapons for mundanes.


For one thing, it might be kinda hard to justify why a mage wants to die and be merged with a spirit. It's true that part of them remains after an ally spirit merging, but the host is effectively no longer himself. The real problem is that you might easily roll a True Form or Flesh Form, and not a Hybrid Form. You can't control it, so there's a very good chance that either the mage simply dies, or the spirit inhabits his body but doesn't take any of his knowledge or skills. Not to mention the fact that you need a ton of karma to make a good ally spirit, which makes this impractical as a character concept, it would have to be done after significant play time.

Also, ally spirits cost craploads of karma, assuming you can find someone to Inhabit a weapon with an ally spirit, it would be incredibly expensive. Furthermore, the ally is bound to serve the caster, not some mundane. If the caster ignores it, and keeps it trapped in a sword for all time, it may become quite disgruntled and try to break away.
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The Jake
post May 12 2009, 02:29 AM
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post May 12 2009, 05:32 AM
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QUOTE (Larme @ May 11 2009, 02:17 PM) *
I'm not ignoring it. Shapechange is limited to +/- 2 body of your regular body. A spirit could certainly shift from a materialized spirit with body 3 into a critter with body 5, but that's still pretty meh. Especially because they wouldn't be wearing armor -- their one main advantage is ITNW, but you can't really put armor on a wolf, everyone would know something was up! As for (Troll) form, the RAW pretty clearly says critters. Critters means non-metahumans. It's not a philosophical matter of whether metahumans are animals, but a definitional quesiton. The term "critter" is defined in Shadowrun as anything that isn't human, and isn't spectral. That's all there is to it. Now, Shapechange can't make you shift into a metahuman, but there's no rule that you couldn't design a new spell to do that. If it allowed you to exceed the Body +2 limitation, however, the Drain would be prohibitive, easily more than a free spirit could handle with their crappy casting ability coming out of chargen. No, I'm convinced that your best bet is to kidnap a good vessel and possess them, that gives you the attributes that you simply can't afford, but which you need to be useful.

/sigh.
You have a Body 3 spirit. You cast Shapechange to become a Bod 5 creature. You get 5 successes. Your animal form has Bod 10. With the Shapechange spell you add the successes from the Spellcasting Test to the attributes of the creature.


QUOTE
For one thing, it might be kinda hard to justify why a mage wants to die and be merged with a spirit. It's true that part of them remains after an ally spirit merging, but the host is effectively no longer himself. The real problem is that you might easily roll a True Form or Flesh Form, and not a Hybrid Form. You can't control it, so there's a very good chance that either the mage simply dies, or the spirit inhabits his body but doesn't take any of his knowledge or skills. Not to mention the fact that you need a ton of karma to make a good ally spirit, which makes this impractical as a character concept, it would have to be done after significant play time.

Also, ally spirits cost craploads of karma, assuming you can find someone to Inhabit a weapon with an ally spirit, it would be incredibly expensive. Furthermore, the ally is bound to serve the caster, not some mundane. If the caster ignores it, and keeps it trapped in a sword for all time, it may become quite disgruntled and try to break away.

1) You're assuming they die. Think Prince Arthas from the Warcraft setting.

2) Not really. For instance, for 8 karma you can get a Force 1 Ally Spirit, and for like 10 nuyen you can get a dagger. Ta-da! - enchanted dagger. Now to get one decently effective, then yeah, you need to get some karma going.

That last sentence doesn't even make sense. Where's the ally spirit stuck in a weapon going to go? And what if he's from a hermetic tradition, and was created as a living enchantment of a Wizard's Staff? Or a kannushi awakening the spirit of the katana?

Especially with that last one the spirit would just get to deal with it; that's its entire purpose of existing. And don't forget: you can go on a short metaplanar quest to get the spirit formula of the "spirit of the sword" for that katana, grabbing a F2 or F3 Inhabitation Free Spirit formula in a few short hours to complete the ritual ceremonies surrounding the forging of a new blade.
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post May 12 2009, 05:36 AM
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QUOTE (Larme @ May 11 2009, 02:17 PM) *
Especially because they wouldn't be wearing armor -- their one main advantage is ITNW, but you can't really put armor on a wolf, everyone would know something was up! As for (Troll) form, the RAW pretty clearly says critters. Critters means non-metahumans. It's not a philosophical matter of whether metahumans are animals, but a definitional quesiton. The term "critter" is defined in Shadowrun as anything that isn't human, and isn't spectral. That's all there is to it. Now, Shapechange can't make you shift into a metahuman, but there's no rule that you couldn't design a new spell to do that.

1) The spirit would still have ItNW.

2) Actually, (Critter) Form states "any non-paranormal animal", and that makes all the difference in the world. And it talks in the Dracoform section about lesser dragons having spells to change into metahuman forms.

I do agree that there isn't a philosophical question of humans being animals, but Shapechange calls for a critter, and (Critter) Form, despite the name, only asks for an animal. We've been over this.
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