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> PC Free Spirits, A few questions
bobbaganoosh
post Dec 26 2011, 08:10 AM
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As Dual Natured beings, free spirits should be able to perceive both the physical and the astral planes. As such, it does not make much sense that they are unable to perceive AR. Is there any good reason for this, other than "we can't have spirits that can hack"?
Secondly, why can't free spirits take the Mentor Spirit quality? What about being a free spirit prevents one from having another spirit, or mythological figure, that acts as a mentor?
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Loch
post Dec 26 2011, 08:18 AM
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Spirits can't experience AR because AR is simsense, and thus reliant on neural pathways which a being of pure Phenomenal Cosmic Powah ™ does not have.

What self-respecting free spirit would subjugate itself to the restrictive bond of a mentor spirit?
"Oh, the "Great" Crow Spirit? I roomed with that guy back in Divinity School. Always trying to put one over on me. What a jerk!"
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bobbaganoosh
post Dec 26 2011, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE (Loch @ Dec 26 2011, 12:18 AM) *
Spirits can't experience AR because AR is simsense, and thus reliant on neural pathways which a being of pure Phenomenal Cosmic Powah ™ does not have.

What self-respecting free spirit would subjugate itself to the restrictive bond of a mentor spirit?
"Oh, the "Great" Crow Spirit? I roomed with that guy back in Divinity School. Always trying to put one over on me. What a jerk!"

I thought that AR was simply data added on to one's vision, whereas VR was simsense, and thus needed a sim module. No sim module is needed for AR.
The second point, though, does not sound very good, because "subjugate" does not seem like the proper relationship for a mentor spirit and magician. Would not "influence" or "inspire" be a more appropriate verb?
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Loch
post Dec 26 2011, 09:53 AM
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Last I heard, AR also requires a sim module to experience it fully.

And a mentor spirit isn't just a guiding hand on the path of magic, it's more like an intermediary between the magician and her belief source of magic. You agree to follow the teachings of a mentor spirit in exchange for certain boons. Sounds pretty Faustian to me.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Dec 26 2011, 10:23 AM
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AR Requires a display link OR a direct neural connection (which requires a sim module). I do not understand why a free spirit can't see the contents of a display, that just makes no sense to me.
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Garou
post Dec 26 2011, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (NiL_FisK_Urd @ Dec 26 2011, 11:23 AM) *
AR Requires a display link OR a direct neural connection (which requires a sim module). I do not understand why a free spirit can't see the contents of a display, that just makes no sense to me.


I thought it was because Spirits only seen through assensing (in a way similar to what ghouls do), and that makes them not able to see what's in screens in a general sense.

By the way, when a spirit goes to the metaplanes and comes back in another place, does his gear travels with him?

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bobbaganoosh
post Dec 26 2011, 10:09 PM
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I know that astral perception is perception with a different "filter" applied to it. When astrally perceiving, one can see auras and such, but other forms become harder to see due to some information being "filtered out". Some of the information that is filtered out is AR. That much I can work with. However, spirits that materialize or possess vessels are considered dual-natured, and therefore are able to perceive both the physical and the astral, and without the -2 penalty on all other actions that is normally associated with astral perception. So, what makes free spirits' dual-nature any different from the dual-nature of any other sapient? Do pixies, sasquatches, and dragons have the same difficulties as free spirits when it comes to AR? And where does it say that a sim module is necessary to view AR? Or is a sim module merely sufficient to view AR? Does an image link require a sim module? Can a free spirit benefit from vision enhancements applied to goggles or glasses?
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Loch
post Dec 26 2011, 11:26 PM
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Astral perception is not visual perception with a different "filter" applied to it. Astral perception is a psychic sense that is separate and distinct from the other senses, and when viewed through astral perception, non-living objects appear opaque. Whether that means Spirits can't watch TV or use goggles is a GM call, but I'm of the opinion that if you play a spirit character you have necessarily given up certain privileges, namely augmentation and tech, for your greater magical abilities and spirit powers.
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Yerameyahu
post Dec 26 2011, 11:32 PM
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Ditto. Whether the rules clearly say so or not (the whole issue of AR, electronic displays, and simsense really confuses people), you should get native Astral Perception as your normal sense. No objects can be read at all, electronic or otherwise; AR is just an example of what you miss, not a special case. There is nothing special about AR.

It's like (but not the same as, of course) the pure 'thermal' vision you get in some videogames; shapes, no 'real' colors. As far as I'm concerned, you can't smell, hear, etc. either. Free Spirits are only Dual-Natured in the way that all Materialized Spirits are Dual-Natured; Dual-Natured doesn't mean you necessarily have all normal human senses + Astral Sense. It *only* means that you're 'active' on the physical and astral planes at the same time in the same body.

If you don't like this restriction, you can buy physical visions and other senses as Spirit Powers. The GM should add the ones that aren't already on the list, and they should be fairly cheap (if the GM wants Spirits to be able to avoid that restriction at all). Beast Spirits (normal ones, not Free) certainly have Smell, Hearing, and Low-Light Vision (which includes normal-light vision, to me), for example.
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3278
post Dec 26 2011, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE (bobbaganoosh @ Dec 26 2011, 10:09 PM) *
I know that astral perception is perception with a different "filter" applied to it. When astrally perceiving, one can see auras and such, but other forms become harder to see due to some information being "filtered out". Some of the information that is filtered out is AR. That much I can work with.

I'm not sure that's exactly the case. It's not that some things are filtered out, but that one thing is completely replaced by the other. When you're physical - just standing about being you - and you use astral perception, you don't see a composite of the two realms, or a layer of one over the other: you see what you'd see if you'd actually gone astral. You, astrally-perceiving mage, can't read a street sign until he shifts back to physical perception. So when perceiving astrally [whether from being astral, or just using astral perception], you definitely can't read screens of any kind. Or even books. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE (bobbaganoosh @ Dec 26 2011, 10:09 PM) *
However, spirits that materialize or possess vessels are considered dual-natured, and therefore are able to perceive both the physical and the astral, and without the -2 penalty on all other actions that is normally associated with astral perception. So, what makes free spirits' dual-nature any different from the dual-nature of any other sapient?

That's a good question, because this inability to read screens, perceive simsense, or use AR [use AR how? Image link glasses? e-ink displays? LED tablets?] seems to be unique to the nature of the spirit. In the case of materialization, I can understand: a spirit looks like a physical thing, and acts like a physical thing, but it's not. It's mana made solid, not a person [or a Buick, or whatever].

So I can sort of understand how, whatever, polarized holography doesn't work with a materialized spirit [although that begs the question of why AR made out of, say, rotating blocks, wouldn't work; seems like a badly-written add-on to an existing rule], but what about possession spirits?

QUOTE (bobbaganoosh @ Dec 26 2011, 10:09 PM) *
Do pixies, sasquatches, and dragons have the same difficulties as free spirits when it comes to AR?

Nope, because they have normal dual-natured sight, which is an overlay of astral and physical vision, which is why they don't suffer the -2 penalty for trying to drive a car while astrally perceiving or whatever.

QUOTE (bobbaganoosh @ Dec 26 2011, 10:09 PM) *
Can a free spirit benefit from vision enhancements applied to goggles or glasses?

Optical ones, I would rule, but not [apparently] electronic ones.
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Stahlseele
post Dec 27 2011, 01:12 AM
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Am i the only one who immediately imagined a horribly clichee stereotyped minority free spirit?
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Dec 27 2011, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE (bobbaganoos @ 26 2011, 10:09 PM)
Can a free spirit benefit from vision enhancements applied to goggles or glasses?

QUOTE (3278 @ Dec 27 2011, 12:41 AM) *
Optical ones, I would rule, but not [apparently] electronic ones.

If you can use binoculars, you can also see things on a TV screen or a book.
(Otherwise, the mage could use optical vision enhancements to boost his astral sight)
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Stahlseele
post Dec 27 2011, 03:05 PM
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A Free Spirit HAS NO PHYSICAL EYES or Central Nervous System.
A Mage using Astral Perception IS NOT USING physical eyes or Central Nervous System.
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3278
post Dec 27 2011, 03:10 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Dec 27 2011, 03:05 PM) *
A Free Spirit HAS NO PHYSICAL EYES or Central Nervous System.

Yeah, if you rule [as I'm pretty sure I do, as I'm pretty sure the game does!] that spirits are always using Astral Perception and never using physical perception [meaning they can't read the expression on your face, or the title of the book you're reading], then even the light-gathering optics of optical lenses aren't going to do anything useful, because the spirit isn't looking with those eyes, any more than they're looking with their legs or sticks or fender or whatever: they only perceive psychically. My bad!
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Xahn Borealis
post Dec 28 2011, 05:36 AM
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QUOTE (RC, p.92)
Note, however, that spirits are unable
to see or interpret simsense, electronic projections on screens,
or AR displays.


They cannot perceive screens, unfortunately. However, I like to think electronic paper would work.
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Yerameyahu
post Dec 28 2011, 07:00 AM
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By that sentence, probably. However, there's no interpretation of why that sentence exists that allows reading signs or paper, assuming anything makes any sense. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Good old SR rules. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) Luckily for the literalists, that line doesn't technically say they can read books (or anything else), just that they *can't* see screens/etc.
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Loch
post Dec 28 2011, 07:04 AM
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All this talk about spirits being unable to read books makes Dunkie's bequest to Buttercup seem really...mean-spirited.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)
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Udoshi
post Dec 28 2011, 07:20 AM
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QUOTE (Loch @ Dec 26 2011, 02:53 AM) *
Last I heard, AR also requires a sim module to experience it fully.


False. That is VR you are talking about.

Sim modules are just incredibly convenient because they are 1) cheap, and 2) hit all your physical senses at once for the minor, minor price of needing some form of DNI. If you ever wondered where the source of those giant hologram-ey interfaces are, well, look no further than the humble sim module.

The system is rife with ways to experience AR without a sim module, such as Image Links, Touch Links, contact lenses, headphones, feedback clothing, etc.

QUOTE (bobbaganoosh @ Dec 26 2011, 01:10 AM) *
As Dual Natured beings, free spirits should be able to perceive both the physical and the astral planes. As such, it does not make much sense that they are unable to perceive AR. Is there any good reason for this, other than "we can't have spirits that can hack"?

No, that is literally the only reason. That ruling is basically the developers having an arguement about 'NO SPIRITS ON THE MATRIX' and printing it before resolving it and letting customers pick up the pieces.

Anyway. Spirits don't have eyes, but they DO have access to normal sight(a majority of spirit types have low light/thermal/etc vision).
Basically, in our game, we make a distinction between ELECTRONIC(which free spirits cannot see) an Physical projections.
Anything else is a descent into madness, in which spirits cannot even open their commlink to check the time, and cannot use the matrix at all, ever - even to place phone calls. Which i'm fairly sure is contradicted in other shadowrun materials, like the novels dealing with buttercup.


Some general clarifications that people may wish to read: Assensing, Street magic 114, heading Other Senses
Free spirits are pretty explicitly given the 'can see the physical and astral at once and not take the -2 dice penalty' power. Keep in mind that basically every spirit has Perception built in, and most have an option of some form of expanded vision, whether it be thermal, low-light. You would think this means they have eyes, or a similiar ability to see light to begin with.
It makes a lot more sense when you realize they have to have SOME humanlike sense when they make regular old Perception tests - very definitely NOT assensing or astral perception - that they have the ability to see and hear and talk to people.
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Xahn Borealis
post Dec 28 2011, 07:31 AM
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I agree with Udoshi, that there is evidence, or at least the implication, that spirits can perceive exclusively physical objects as well as astral, without having eyes or any kind of light-sensing organ. Possession on inanimate objects. Your katana doesn't have eyes, but if a spirit possesses it, he can certainly see you, even if he can't cut you on his own.
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Yerameyahu
post Dec 28 2011, 07:32 AM
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Nothing weird about spirits not having a commlink or any matrix access, ever. The rules are clearly contradictory; if they have physical senses, which ones? And why can they read a book and not a screen? It makes no sense, so you have to just house rule it into working.

I think I share a common view when I say I couldn't care less about spirits having non-VR matrix access, so that's an easy choice: give them normal metahuman senses, and explicitly say so.

Still, there's nothing wrong with the other position (Astral Sense only), and it's probably more fun that way; certainly, less of a total convenience cop-out. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) You just have to choose one or the other, which the RAW fails to do.

I don't see how the katana possession tells us anything. It would simply use Astral Sense, just like all spirits at all times (according to that position).
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Udoshi
post Dec 28 2011, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Dec 28 2011, 12:32 AM) *
Nothing weird about spirits not having a commlink or any matrix access, ever. The rules are clearly contradictory; if they have physical senses, which ones? And why can they read a book and not a screen? It makes no sense, so you have to just house rule it into working.


Because I'm fairly sure the same arguement, applied equally to metahumans, is just as stupid.
"THEY DON'T HAVE SUPER SENSES IN THEIR CRITTER POWER LIST, THEREFORE THEY DON'T HAVE BASIC EYES"


Given that free spirits CAN make perception+intuition tests to see things in the real world....
Is it easier to
1) decide what all they can and cannot percieve with their 'spirit-dar', and adjust that on a, frankly stupid case by case basis( 'oh, the possession spirit can use your eyes, and the cat beast spirit has the usual cat things, but what the hell is a hermetic elemental using')
or
2) just assume they have the natural 5 built in?

Because that is something this thread is remarkably lax on: okay, no, a free spirit doesn't have eyes, and then completely glosses over the 'And Then What' that follows after that. but they got 5 hits on their perception test. Crap, how does that work?
That's something you need to flesh out.
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Dakka Dakka
post Dec 28 2011, 10:14 AM
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While materialized spirits may or may not have eyes, the clearly must have some organ/device to process visual auditory etc. stimuli. Contrary to astrally perceiving metahumans, dual-natured being actually perceive both planes at the same time as of SR4A.
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 294')
However, innate dual nature is different from astral perception in that dual natured critters can always sense both the physical and astral worlds without having to shift back and forth.

Still by RAW spirits selectively block out photons that have been emitted by a tv spreen (IMG:style_emoticons/default/silly.gif) . I agree with Yerameyahu, that something like this should be houseruled.
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Yerameyahu
post Dec 28 2011, 10:19 AM
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Udoshi: Except humans aren't astral natives. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Duh. I never said anything about eyes at all, either. Beast spirits get 'normal' sight because they have those Powers listed.

I explicitly said that the rules for spirits/Free spirits are contradictory, and just as clearly said that neither of the two positions I laid out is compatible with the rules (which aren't even compatible with themselves). So, no, I perfectly fleshed it out already: if you chose the 'astral sense only' side, you wouldn't let them make normal Perception tests at all, obviously. Therefore, no problem. The other position, as I just said, is that you grant them basic physical senses for no reason other than convenience. This is a perfectly good, if boring, option; however, if you choose this one, then there's no possible reason to deny them computer screens, holos, etc.

Both options are totally fine, given that it's all arbitrary. Pick one, but the given rules don't work. It's silly to pretend they do.

Dakka Dakka, I still argue that spirits aren't necessarily 'native dual-natured' at all, not like a paracritter is. They're more like 'physical-projecting', except they *could* just keep using their astral sense on both planes. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Metahumans don't have that option, because physical senses don't 'cross over' like astral does. This is all if the group chooses 'astral sense only' spirits, of course. I'm happy to have spirits gain physical senses when they Materialize, too, as long as the group picks one side and goes with it; in that case, it's probably much better and easier to let them ignore that -2.
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Stahlseele
post Dec 28 2011, 12:02 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Dec 28 2011, 11:14 AM) *
While materialized spirits may or may not have eyes, the clearly must have some organ/device to process visual auditory etc. stimuli. Contrary to astrally perceiving metahumans, dual-natured being actually perceive both planes at the same time as of SR4A.
Still by RAW spirits selectively block out photons that have been emitted by a tv spreen (IMG:style_emoticons/default/silly.gif) . I agree with Yerameyahu, that something like this should be houseruled.

OK . . so . . if materialized spirits have organs . . can they accept cyber/bioware then?
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Dakka Dakka
post Dec 28 2011, 12:08 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Dec 28 2011, 01:02 PM) *
OK . . so . . if materialized spirits have organs . . can they accept cyber/bioware then?
I did not mean organs in the traditional sense but simply that their physical form can process visual auditory etc stimuli, not only astral stimuli. How this is achieved we do not know. I doubt they could use cyberware.
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