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> Adepts and Mentor Spirits
The Dread Polack
post Dec 16 2012, 06:48 AM
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I've never been clear on whether physical adepts are allowed to take a mentor spririt. There seems to be a few that could provide benefits without drawbacks to non-casters and non-summoners. Do people tend to allow this? Do you allow only certain mentor spirits? Or, do you modify them to make them fair?
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Falconer
post Dec 16 2012, 07:14 AM
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Yes they can... I think cat spirits give bonuses to stealth. There's some others which give bonuses to some skill tests.

Or something like bear spirit... with a bonus to soaking physical damage and the ability to go berserk.

Rat...

Dragonslayer and a few others come to mind. You just aim for the ones which give bonuses to skill checks. Moon madin for example... +2 dice for negotiation good for a social adept... -1 die for combat spells... you don't cast'em what do you care? Though you won't get the +2 dice for illusion either.

Really the spirit is a RP choice... it's 5BP out of your limtied positive quality max of 35. And normally you'll only get +2 dice to a single skill with a drawback to boot. So it's better to say that mentor spirits are normally sub-optimal picks for adepts but there is nothing wrong with them taking them. No real need for modification.
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The Dread Polack
post Dec 16 2012, 07:29 AM
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I initiated with a group that follows Anubis. I haven't really talked about it with the GM, but he said that it would likely be either:

QUOTE
Dark King
Advantages: +2 dice for Perception and Assensing Tests, +2 dice for spirits of man.
Disadvantages: 1 die to resist Physical damage.


or

QUOTE
Owl
Advantages: +2 dice for Perception and Assensing Tests, +2 dice for spirits of man or guidance spirits (player must choose one).
Disadvantages: 1 die for Combat spells.


Now, the second is the obvious choice, since I don't cast spell. That's 10 karma to gain a +2 in two skills, and no penalties, other than the roleplaying factor.
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Falconer
post Dec 16 2012, 07:53 AM
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It's still expensive... compare to 2 karma for specialization... 4 for both skills. Also requires special permission from the GM... generally you're not supposed to be able to gain positive qualities after play begins. They're supposed to be big deals.


As far as the two skills... the two skills are actually the same skill, sort of. Perception is used for normal physical plane stuff... assensing is trained only and replaces perception for all purposes when you use astral perception.

Ghouls are a little wierd becuse they're dual-natured. Basically it only means they don't take penalties for acting in the real world while astrally perceiving like mages do. You also perceive both at the same time. But you're also blind without cybereyes... so most of the time you'll be running on astral perception.


But yes it's essentially a RP decision...
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Critias
post Dec 16 2012, 09:08 AM
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Yes, it's certainly book legal for Adepts to take Mentor Spirits. It doesn't happen terribly often because so many MS's offer so many Adepts very little...but the option is there.
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Lionhearted
post Dec 16 2012, 10:10 AM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Dec 16 2012, 08:14 AM) *
Really the spirit is a RP choice...

Imho qualities should always be RP choices. It's one of the most fun aspects of SR chargen and taking qualities solely for power gain ruins that aspect.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Dec 16 2012, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Dec 16 2012, 12:53 AM) *
It's still expensive... compare to 2 karma for specialization... 4 for both skills. Also requires special permission from the GM... generally you're not supposed to be able to gain positive qualities after play begins. They're supposed to be big deals.


No where does it say that you are not supposed to be able to get Positive Qualities in Play. In fact, it says quite the opposite. See SR4A, Page 270 for the relevant rules. You should not be allowing it willy nilly, but there are rules that allow the awarding/purchase of Positive Qualities once play starts.
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Achsin
post Dec 16 2012, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Dec 16 2012, 07:53 AM) *
It's still expensive... compare to 2 karma for specialization... 4 for both skills.


Not quite so expensive. A specialization gives you +2 to one aspect of the skill, the mentor spirit gives you +2 to all aspects of the skills. Going just off of the example Specializations in the book, you get the equivalent of 3+ specializations for Assensing (the Psychometry by aura type is rather open ended), and 5 specializations for Perception. Totals 16+ karma for the cost of 10, not to mention that you can still stack a specialization on top of it.

Edit: On topic, my GM tends to modify the mentor spirits slightly for adepts so that there is still a slight drawback when the usual disadvantage (or a different benefit in the case of the advantage) is something entirely spell related, for example the Owl mentor spirit gave someone a -1 die to all Combat Active Skills. He works it out with the player and comes to something that both think is fair but fits with the description of the mentor spirit. Another example was the Raven mentor giving a +2 to Con (for the trickster aspect).
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Falconer
post Dec 16 2012, 06:38 PM
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Yeah I rethought that afterwards... and after a good nights sleep instead of posting in the wee hours of the morning.

Yeah 10 karma is a great deal, even if you're not getting the full benefits of the mentor. If you have the skill at 1... 10 karma is enough to take a single skill from 1->3. Two would be 20 and only gets more expensive the higher those skills go! So it's a powergamers efficiency play for sure. Especially since it stacks on top of specialization, and it's so hard to add dice to assensing in particular unless you're an adept.



And TJ, I did not say it shouldn't be possible. I said it should be rare and special. Positive qualities are normally much better ways to spend karma than many other buys. They're generally cheap... and give big bonuses point for point. That's the reason they're limited to 35BP in chargen! It's the reason they absolutely require your GM's permission and the book DOES NOT encourage them as buys. I suggest you reread page 270 Positive qualities under karma.

One small snip... "Players will undoubtedly lobby their GM's to "award" them with qualities, but the GM should only award them RARELY and after significant effort/events;"

So TJ I believe the rulebook just asserted the exact opposite of what you said. Just because it's on the list of things to 'buy' doesn't mean it's always available.
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Halinn
post Dec 16 2012, 08:56 PM
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For adepts, perhaps your GM will allow you to follow the Totem's Way from Way of the Adept, rather than doing that via a mentor spirit. It's a bit more expensive, but the bonus for it is better suited for adepts.
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The Dread Polack
post Dec 17 2012, 01:19 AM
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I already follow the Invisible Way. When I made my character, I knew I wanted to initiate ASAP, and I wanted a group to join for the discount and additional story hooks. I bought a 1/1 contact as an undefined "magical group member" that we could nail down after play began. Our most recent mission had us combing the desert of Egypt, and so the GM had the idea of an Egyptian tradition mage contact me. After a home-brewed ordeal, I now have a contact in the group, I'm a full member, and I have initiated to Grade 1. While he hasn't required me to take Anubis as a mentor spirit, the group is called the "Cult of Anubis" and I think the option might be open if I am interested in making it a fairly major part of my character. It could be an interesting development. Otherwise, it's been made clear I'm still a sort of probationary member, and might not ever be let into the inner circle. I might not want to go that route after all.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Dec 17 2012, 02:45 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Dec 16 2012, 11:38 AM) *
Yeah I rethought that afterwards... and after a good nights sleep instead of posting in the wee hours of the morning.

Yeah 10 karma is a great deal, even if you're not getting the full benefits of the mentor. If you have the skill at 1... 10 karma is enough to take a single skill from 1->3. Two would be 20 and only gets more expensive the higher those skills go! So it's a powergamers efficiency play for sure. Especially since it stacks on top of specialization, and it's so hard to add dice to assensing in particular unless you're an adept.



And TJ, I did not say it shouldn't be possible. I said it should be rare and special. Positive qualities are normally much better ways to spend karma than many other buys. They're generally cheap... and give big bonuses point for point. That's the reason they're limited to 35BP in chargen! It's the reason they absolutely require your GM's permission and the book DOES NOT encourage them as buys. I suggest you reread page 270 Positive qualities under karma.

One small snip... "Players will undoubtedly lobby their GM's to "award" them with qualities, but the GM should only award them RARELY and after significant effort/events;"

So TJ I believe the rulebook just asserted the exact opposite of what you said. Just because it's on the list of things to 'buy' doesn't mean it's always available.


Except that because it is on the list to purchase with Karma (at 2x BP) it is explicitely available. Yes, the GM has his say on the matter, but they are available to purchase. Which is the exact opposite of your original statement.
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