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> Spirit Skills as services
Daedelus
post Apr 8 2010, 04:25 PM
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We recently came across a situation that I need some feedback on. I alloed in the session with the caveat that it may change before our meeting next week. While I appreciate and welcome all feedback, I would like to hear from a developer as to thier intent at the time of design.

A new character recently came into our game as a conjurer. Last night he summoned a force 7 guardian spirit and gave it the command to provide counterspelling to the group as an extended service. The guardian spirit has the counterspelling skill.

The question is if players are allowed to have spirits use skills on thier behalf as a service? The rules are vague as to what constitutes a non-magical service. They imply that skills can be used because combat requires the use of skills and is a legitimate service. Thank you ahead of time for any help you can provide on this matter.
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LurkerOutThere
post Apr 8 2010, 04:35 PM
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I guess my question would be why wouldn't they be? It's disgusting I know but remember anything the players can do so can the opposition.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 8 2010, 04:46 PM
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You don't technically ask a spirit to use one of their powers, skills, or abilities as a service. Well, you can, but it's a waste. Instead, you ask them to perform an actual service -- what to do, not how -- and they go about doing it however they see fit. "Protect us from magic" as an extended service, for example, would be the way to go in your scenario. The spirit would use counterspelling by default and would likely go out of his way to help against other hostile spirits, astral threats, or attack enemy mages as part of that service unless you specifically requested him to stay back during a particular encounter (see below).

Similarly, you don't ask a spirit to "use Elemental Attack on the guard." You'd instead request the service, "please help us kill those guys." Youthen have the option to suggest ideas to the spirit to aid it in the actual service, such as suggesting it use Elemental Attack or any of the spirit's other capabilities. In the case of a guardian spirit, for instance, that could include the use of their various weapon skills in addition to their powers. All as part of a single service.
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D2F
post Apr 8 2010, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE (Daedelus @ Apr 8 2010, 04:25 PM) *
We recently came across a situation that I need some feedback on. I alloed in the session with the caveat that it may change before our meeting next week. While I appreciate and welcome all feedback, I would like to hear from a developer as to thier intent at the time of design.

A new character recently came into our game as a conjurer. Last night he summoned a force 7 guardian spirit and gave it the command to provide counterspelling to the group as an extended service. The guardian spirit has the counterspelling skill.

The question is if players are allowed to have spirits use skills on thier behalf as a service? The rules are vague as to what constitutes a non-magical service. They imply that skills can be used because combat requires the use of skills and is a legitimate service. Thank you ahead of time for any help you can provide on this matter.


Not sure about the skils, but since that Guardian Spirit has "Magical Guard", he has a Spirit Power to do just what the player asked of it. While this is not a general answer, what your player did was perfectly legal according to the RAW.

Technically you could even order the Guardian Spirit to "Protect us!" for a single service and the Guardian Spirit would use all his powers and skills available to fulfill that command.
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Daedelus
post Apr 8 2010, 05:37 PM
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I had overlooked the magical guard power. Thanks for that. But the question still holds merit for skills such as Assensing, and Arcana. They could be used to bypass the player ever needing those skills. they effectively trade karma (to gain the skill) for cash (paying for the rituals. and only if they bind the spirit).

I think the question still merits a dev response if possible.
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Ol' Scratch
post Apr 8 2010, 05:45 PM
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Eh?

Ask yourself this: Why on earth would these spirits have skills if they weren't usable? Your argument is also kind of weak considering that spirits have powers like Concealment (all but eliminating your need for Infiltration), Movement (removing your need for Running), Innate Spell (eliminating your need for Spellcasting), Psychokinesis (eliminating your need for Strength), and etc. Nevermind that the usefulness of any of those abilities, or any of the ones you cited, aren't actually eliminated. For example, spirits can't use Psychometry (a metamagic specialization of Assensing) or summon and bargain with powerful free spirits using Occult Knowledge (a specialization of Arcana).

This is one of those cases where someone is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Apr 8 2010, 05:53 PM
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Funkenstein's right on this one. You ask a spirit to do something and it uses everything it can, powers, skills and attributes, to do it. Someone could certainly use a spirit's power of Assensing as part of a service, that's what security spirits around corp installations do. A Task spirit can be made to use any Technical or Physical skill and a Guardian spirit can use any combat skill as part of a service and as an optional power. By RAW what your player did was totally legitimate. You can say no if you want, it's your game after all, but he's perfectly within his rights.
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