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> Creating ally spirits, Are their forms independent from the creator's tradition?
Angier
post May 14 2009, 12:07 AM
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The second step of creating an ally spirit for a magician speaks about choosing forms for an ally spirit.
The wording seems a bit unclear to me: Is the choice of what form an ally spirit can have limited to the form the spirits of the ally spirit's creator's tradtion have or are you free to choose one of those three (inhabitation, materialization, possession)?

eg: Can a voodoo priest have an ally spirit with the materialization power even if his basical conjurable spirits are given the possession power?
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Ancient History
post May 14 2009, 12:31 AM
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The rules assume you're using a Materialization tradition as default, and offer two choices for the form of your ally spirit: Materialization or Inhabitation. As usual, members of a Possession tradition would replace the Materialization power with Possession, so their options for the form of their ally spirit would be: Possession or Inhabitation.

This could probably have done with some clarification in-text.
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SCARed
post May 14 2009, 06:36 AM
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wouldn't it be VERY strange for any "normal" magician to have an ally with inhabitation? the only traditions using this power are a little .. evil.

plus: ally spirits can only have powers out of the pool, conjurable spirits of the tradition, the ally conjuring mage belongs to, can have.
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Ryu
post May 14 2009, 07:28 AM
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QUOTE (SM Errata 1.2)
p. 103 Step 2: Choose Form(s)
The first line should read:
“The ally spirit may have one (and only one) of the following
powers: Inhabitation (p. 100), Materialization (p. 289,
SR4), or Possession (p. 101).?
Also add the following line: “Possession allies have no material
form of their own (though vessels are often prepared for
them).?

The magician currently has free choice. And it is certainly interesting to have a spirit of "the other" type. I´d guess that inhabitation is for "golems"?
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Dumori
post May 14 2009, 11:45 PM
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Inhabitation is not evil it just can be. However a nice inhabited troll would do nicely with a high power spirit or if you sick abd an elf how about inhabiting a troll from conseption.
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Ancient History
post May 14 2009, 11:53 PM
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From a fluff angle, "familiar animals" or "familiar spirits" inhabiting animals or in the form of animals is fairly common in European magical lore.
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SCARed
post May 15 2009, 06:32 AM
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sure. just concerning the fluff, some inhabtitaion is imaginabele. but considering the crunch, it is very unlikey in SR4 to have a magician using inhabitation.

and btw: all these things (familiar animals etc.) can also be done with possesion, IMHO.
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Pendaric
post May 15 2009, 09:00 AM
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Golems, both hermetic and Kabala/middle eastern; zombies for voodoo and the traditional folk lore hebrew golem, woud require inhabitation.

The option to use possession as you have pointed out, I think is a good thing for magic, it blurrs the line as there are several ways to 'have a cat familiar', to paraphase the proverb.

Personally, I do believe paradigm is the only indicator you should reference when choosing you type/style of ally spirit.
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The Jake
post May 15 2009, 09:22 AM
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So how would the average GM feel about said mage and his running mates finding the biggest, nastiest troll they can find and using Stick-N-Shock, Stunbolt and Stun batons to club the poor sod unconscious, throwing him into the boot of a car and then preparing him for a vessel for Inhabitation... ? ("Guys, trust me, its for the benefit of the TEAM!").

- J.
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Ryu
post May 15 2009, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ May 15 2009, 11:22 AM) *
So how would the average GM feel about said mage and his running mates finding the biggest, nastiest troll they can find and using Stick-N-Shock, Stunbolt and Stun batons to club the poor sod unconscious, throwing him into the boot of a car and then preparing him for a vessel for Inhabitation... ? ("Guys, trust me, its for the benefit of the TEAM!").

"You want something with solid Int/Wil, so that you can get a fleshform. Well-trained guards are "perfect" for this, special operatives even better. Hell, you could likely send your "undercover agent" steal the best stuff from OpsCentral..." ( (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ork.gif) )
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Dakka Dakka
post May 15 2009, 11:36 AM
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Probably the same way as he would, if the characters would sell their dead comrade's organ to Tamanous. Shadowrunners are criminals, so chances are there are some sick freaks among them.
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Pendaric
post May 15 2009, 03:04 PM
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There is always going to be sick puppies but a magician that would use a living metahuman to permanantly inhabit an ally spirit are usually the kind or sick puppy that even most runners think have gone too far.

More importantly, however, is that you have to look passed the game stat. Yes the rules say you can but your magical tradition says you cannot. The ritual is for a properly prepared statue, corpse or specific animal only.

Now if you are a twisted/toxic path follower you can use the bad juju and think in a manner necessay to the action of inhabiting sentient beings. In fact this kind or action and thought pattern is what defines you going over the line.
Of course that comes with it own set of disadvantages, like hipocritical moral outrage, nabby pamby do gooders trying to stop you or mercenarys trying to kidnapp and sell you to the DIMR. The cheek, the gall! More fools you must crush in the path of your ascention to"fill blank with agenda".
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Screaming Eagle
post May 15 2009, 08:38 PM
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In the event that a PC tries this kind of... horror... yes, horror, and the group is willing to let them do 'it', it would VERY likely be the kind of group to then subue the mage in question and sell him the the DIMR for the cool million and use the Troll/Spirit as a kind of negotiating chip for more money.

"Honest he's a Toxic! Look what he did to this poor guy! Now wheres my rutting money?"

Ok either that or you are playing a WAY different game of shadowrun then I am. "Bad" (moral) Shadowrunners are loyal to the team, to a point. That point is usually well before the "High lifestyle forever" line.
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Dumori
post May 15 2009, 10:14 PM
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Yeah but on sentient inhabitation is far form toxic. It might be for some traditions completely opposing but toxic is more than just actions its a mind set as well.
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Screaming Eagle
post May 16 2009, 02:44 AM
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Taking the role of the people turning the mage in:

"Well dey gots to Start getting Toxic some place right? Don't you'z want to investigate dat? Say 500, 000? And we toss in the poor possesed Troll man for anotther 200,000. Or do you'z want us to let him out in da wild for a bit? Bring him back when he is good an courrupt? Cause it's just time now ya see'z?" - Negotiation test?

Joking... mostly. This would be the kind of crime hardened killers would have trouble shaking off, its F&*%ing creepy. The DIMR would probably pay something for the guys capture, if only to stop him being on the street doing... ew, and giving Magicians everywhere a worse name. But I digress.

I've got to agree with Pendaric, anything that can fit the Mages paradigm is fair game for Ally spirit, and in most cases that will be any of the three options within restrictions. I espesially like a Voodoo priest with a materialising spirit crow that "Comes freely to and for the other side with messages from Ghede! All heed his words! The lord of Graves speaks!"
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Mordinvan
post May 16 2009, 04:17 AM
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I'd just buy a medical clone of someone who was big and strong... and use that.
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HappyDaze
post May 16 2009, 04:20 AM
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Inhabitation of living metahumans can also be used as a death sentence. Imagine the use in certain Awakened nations as an alternate to cyberzombies...
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Screaming Eagle
post May 17 2009, 01:50 PM
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QUOTE (HappyDaze @ May 16 2009, 12:20 AM) *
Inhabitation of living metahumans can also be used as a death sentence. Imagine the use in certain Awakened nations as an alternate to cyberzombies...

Ew... I'm so doing that in my game next chance I get, but ew.
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Neraph
post May 17 2009, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE (SCARed @ May 14 2009, 01:36 AM) *
wouldn't it be VERY strange for any "normal" magician to have an ally with inhabitation? the only traditions using this power are a little .. evil.

plus: ally spirits can only have powers out of the pool, conjurable spirits of the tradition, the ally conjuring mage belongs to, can have.

A kannushi can totally summon inhabitation Ally Spirits to bring the spirits of his blades alive. Or a hermetic doing the same for his staff (a-la intelligent mage's staff), or some other trinket (a-la Bob the skull from Dresden Files).

Don't forget to do metaplanar quests for spirit formulae of spirits with the powers you want. See the link in my sig for some ideas.

EDIT: My Chaos Mage (posession) in my group are roughing it in a Z-zone, and we killed a couple organleggers (troll and human) harvesting some chipheads. My guy worked up the troll's body for posession and now has a F6 Fire Spirit zombie using the average-stat troll's body.
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The Jake
post May 17 2009, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (Ryu @ May 15 2009, 12:05 PM) *
"You want something with solid Int/Wil, so that you can get a fleshform. Well-trained guards are "perfect" for this, special operatives even better. Hell, you could likely send your "undercover agent" steal the best stuff from OpsCentral..." ( (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ork.gif) )


You add the caster's Conjuring + Edge to the flesh form's roll for a starters. Not counting focii. It wouldn't be that difficult unless you're talking Force 10+...

That aside, if I had a player try that I'd probably tell them that is a Twisted/Corrupted use of magic (kidnapping and using a living sentient being for inhabitation that is). It would certainly make him no better than the Bugs.

- J.
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Dumori
post May 17 2009, 10:13 PM
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I don't see the corrupted view of this. Toxic magic is much more destructive than taking some one and inhabiting them as a PC steeling that troll that was knocked out or hit with a slab round seams perfectly reasonable and I could even have RP fluff to justify it.
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Pendaric
post May 18 2009, 07:36 PM
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Bit of thread mancy, tisk real life keeps getting in the way.

There are some good stories and hence RP in going to the darkside. I am fairly sure we have all played monsters before but for the less experenced amoung us let me clarify.

In SR magic is more than a tool, it is an art. A collection of beliefs on how the universe works which also requires a specific lifestyle from the practistioner within its philosophy or theology. Consequently it also provides a moral code with which a magicain must act.

As there is a code of ethics inherant in each path of magic, actions opporsite to these are considered wrong, destructive or evil. These are the paths of the corrupted and toxic magicains. A fact that the magicain accepts in their belief within a paradigm that allows them to wield magic.

Now as we are dealing with moral ambiguity, there is a vast spectrum of grey in the circumstance and intention of these acts and the path that leads to becoming corrupted. However there is and always will be, an objective line to be crossed, deliniated by the enviromental factors within the context of the game: simply due to how a paradigm works.

Be it by design, misfortune, insanity or good intension gone astray, that line can be crossed as descerned objectively by the players/ref. Whatever the reason this corruption of world view, there is then only redemption, death, torment or aquecence to this metaphysical state.
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The Jake
post May 18 2009, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ May 14 2009, 01:31 AM) *
The rules assume you're using a Materialization tradition as default, and offer two choices for the form of your ally spirit: Materialization or Inhabitation. As usual, members of a Possession tradition would replace the Materialization power with Possession, so their options for the form of their ally spirit would be: Possession or Inhabitation.

This could probably have done with some clarification in-text.

The way I read it, it is the magician's choice, period.

E.g. A voudoun houngan decides he wants his ally spirit to have Materialisation can do so.

Yes this section of the book is particularly vague.

QUOTE (Pendaric @ May 18 2009, 08:36 PM) *
Bit of thread mancy, tisk real life keeps getting in the way.

There are some good stories and hence RP in going to the darkside. I am fairly sure we have all played monsters before but for the less experenced amoung us let me clarify.

In SR magic is more than a tool, it is an art. A collection of beliefs on how the universe works which also requires a specific lifestyle from the practistioner within its philosophy or theology. Consequently it also provides a moral code with which a magicain must act.

As there is a code of ethics inherant in each path of magic, actions opporsite to these are considered wrong, destructive or evil. These are the paths of the corrupted and toxic magicains. A fact that the magicain accepts in their belief within a paradigm that allows them to wield magic.

Now as we are dealing with moral ambiguity, there is a vast spectrum of grey in the circumstance and intention of these acts and the path that leads to becoming corrupted. However there is and always will be, an objective line to be crossed, deliniated by the enviromental factors within the context of the game: simply due to how a paradigm works.

Be it by design, misfortune, insanity or good intension gone astray, that line can be crossed as descerned objectively by the players/ref. Whatever the reason this corruption of world view, there is then only redemption, death, torment or aquecence to this metaphysical state.


There is no moral ambiguity about having a sentient being's soul consumed as a side effect of using the Inhabitation power.

- J.
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Apathy
post May 18 2009, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ May 18 2009, 03:48 PM) *
There is no moral ambiguity about having a sentient being's soul consumed as a side effect of using the Inhabitation power.

- J.

SR allows moral ambiguity in just about anything.

SR neither confirms nor denies the existance of the soul. And even if it did, it never clearly states that the soul is destroyed (just that the person is gone and can't be brought back) - maybe it is just permanently displaced from the body and sent on to it's final reward. In that case, death by inhabitation would be no worse morally than death by bullet.

And some people would argue that there are particularly bad folks out there whose souls are contaminated beyond redemption and don't deserve another turn of the wheel.

We could use Cheney's "ticking time bomb" example. A good merge has all the memories of the host, so by inhabiting the terrorist you could gain access to the location of the bomb that he hid in the city. Some people would argue that it's immoral to let the millions of people die just so one bad guy doesn't get "de-souled". A Christian theologian might argue that one eternal soul was more important than a million mortal lives (or not, don't know) but I'm sure that there are some out there who would disagree.

Combine this with people's infinite capacity to justify their own actions ("Think of all the good I could do with this ally spirit." "You've got to break a few eggs to make this omlet." "He was a blight on society and an abomination to all right-thinking people - at least now some good can come out of his existance...") and you can certainly make an argument that it's ambiguous.
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The Jake
post May 18 2009, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (Apathy @ May 18 2009, 09:57 PM) *
SR allows moral ambiguity in just about anything.

SR neither confirms nor denies the existance of the soul. And even if it did, it never clearly states that the soul is destroyed (just that the person is gone and can't be brought back) - maybe it is just permanently displaced from the body and sent on to it's final reward. In that case, death by inhabitation would be no worse morally than death by bullet.

And some people would argue that there are particularly bad folks out there whose souls are contaminated beyond redemption and don't deserve another turn of the wheel.

We could use Cheney's "ticking time bomb" example. A good merge has all the memories of the host, so by inhabiting the terrorist you could gain access to the location of the bomb that he hid in the city. Some people would argue that it's immoral to let the millions of people die just so one bad guy doesn't get "de-souled". A Christian theologian might argue that one eternal soul was more important than a million mortal lives (or not, don't know) but I'm sure that there are some out there who would disagree.

Combine this with people's infinite capacity to justify their own actions ("Think of all the good I could do with this ally spirit." "You've got to break a few eggs to make this omlet." "He was a blight on society and an abomination to all right-thinking people - at least now some good can come out of his existance...") and you can certainly make an argument that it's ambiguous.


Yeah you're right. "He had it coming."

Sorry but the SR books actually do make a reference to a soul. Very specifically, it says under Inhabitation that 'the host's soul is consumed in the process' (words to that effect). I don't think it gets more literal than that I'm afraid.

- J.
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