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> Ally Spirit Initiation, How much karma is it?
Snoof
post Jan 27 2005, 10:42 AM
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Ok, this is another rules question. I've checked the official errata and FAQ, no dice.

What I want to know is, when initiating with the Familiar ordeal, how much karma do you have to spend? Say Joe Q. Shaman is initiating on his own, and decides to take an ally spirit (the Familiar ordeal) in order to reduce initiation cost. Does he have to spend 15 Good Karma on the initiation and a minimum of 15 Good Karma on the ally spirit, or can he get both the initiation and the ally spirit for a total of 15 Good Karma?

While I'm at it, the rules state that an ally conjured as part of the ordeal doesn't cost a Magic point. Would I be correct in assuming that the mage would also gain another Magic point (or a loss of a geas)?

I look forward to any help offered. Thanks.

Snoof
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RedmondLarry
post Jan 27 2005, 12:55 PM
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15 Good Karma for the Initiation. 15 (or more) Good Karma for the Ally.

Yes, an ally conjured as part of an ordeal doesn't cost a Magic Point when you conjure it. You may, however, lose that magic point if/when you lose the Ally spirit.
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 01:14 PM
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Exactly.
15 for the initiation.
15 minimum for the ally.
And yes, you still gain a magic point for the initiation, IIRC. But if the Ally hoofs it on you, you lose the point gained for the initiation.

(And I as a :vegm: card-carrying bastard GM would have you lose another point for losing your ally to boot... But I don't believe that latter ruling would be canon)
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fistandantilus4....
post Jan 27 2005, 02:46 PM
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But even a low force ally is well worth the risk of the magic point. A permanently on-call spirit that also acts as a power focus is going to carry it's weight well. If you have the karma, I definitely recommend. If you don't, I suggest you save up!

By the way, is there technically any limit to the number of ally spirits one mage can have?
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 02:52 PM
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Can't remember off hand. In grimoire 2nd Ed and Awakenings it was one Ally only, I think.

I believe you can only have 1 ally at a time. Of course, having loads of allies in sequence opens you up to accusations of being a bizarre pervert on this board, as well as costing you loads of magic points... :grinbig:

Importantly, you can only benefit from the "Summon an Ally" ordeal once, so all other allies you may summon will cost 1 magic point + Karma...

Unless some strange weird ruling lets you summon multiple Ally Spirits at one and the same time (which would seem to be impossible, since Conjuring is an exclusive action, IIRC...)
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes @ Jan 27 2005, 08:14 AM)
But if the Ally hoofs it on you, you lose the point gained for the initiation.

Where does it say that? You don't invest a point into the Familiar, therefore you don't lose the point invested. It never explicitly states that the point you gain from initiation is invested into the familiar, and in fact, it says that you do not lose a point of Magic Rating at all. I agree that the concept behind the investure of the magic point for initiation makes sense from a mechanics standpoint, but the only rule that applies canon-wise is the fact that you have to check for Magic Loss (just like taking a Deadly Wound) if the familiar is killed or goes free. You don't lose the point of Magic automatically.

Also, the magic point invested in a regular Ally is permanently gone anyway. You don't get that magic point back unless you banish your own Ally spirit.

You are allowed multiple ally spirits. Technically, there is no limit other than your own magic rating. I don't believe there ever has been an entry in canon saying that the limit is one, and the Great Dragons (most notably Dunkelzahn) have several.
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Demosthenes @ Jan 27 2005, 08:14 AM)
But if the Ally hoofs it on you, you lose the point gained for the initiation.

Where does it say that? You don't invest a point into the Familiar, therefore you don't lose the point invested. It never explicitly states that the point you gain from initiation is invested into the familiar, and in fact, it says that you do not lose a point of Magic Rating at all. I agree that the concept behind the investure of the magic point for initiation makes sense from a mechanics standpoint, but the only rule that applies canon-wise is the fact that you have to check for Magic Loss (just like taking a Deadly Wound) if the familiar is killed or goes free. You don't lose the point of Magic automatically.

I'm not sure where it actually says it. I might be having flashbacks to a previous edition, or I might just be pulling it out of my @$$, not having my books with me at work.

Could someone with access to MITS have a look?
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 03:10 PM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes)
I'm not sure where it actually says it. I might be having flashbacks to a previous edition, or I might just be pulling it out of my @$$, not having my books with me at work.

Could someone with access to MITS have a look?

I'm not trying to ride your ass here, I'm just saying that in MitS and the Grimoire, it does not state that the Ally Spirit conjured for the Familiar ordeal uses the Initiation Magic Point for investure. It simply states that you do not lose a point of Magic Rating for the familiar, and that you check for Magic Loss if the Familiar is killed/goes free. I'll type out the actual entry here:
QUOTE
Familiar
This ordeal requires the character to summon an ally spirit (see Ally Spirits, p.107). It is only available to magicians able to summon ally spirits.  The ally spirit must cost a minimum amount of Karma equal to the Karma cost of the initiation with an ordeal.  The ally conjured for this ordeal does not cost a Magic Point.  If, however, the ally is banished, goes free, or is destroyed at any time in the future, the character must make an immediate check for Magic Loss


As an addendum, they never state that this ordeal cannot be repeated, but I'd imagine that most GMs would not allow it to be repeated due to the cheese factor.
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 03:12 PM
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Cool beans. I don't have the book here, hence it's good to have someone to fact-check.

I seem to recall a passage from earlier in the initiation chapter stating that the only ordeal that can be repeated is the Deed ordeal (and possibly the Asceticism one, if you're a masochist...). Could be wrong, though.
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes)
I seem to recall a passage from earlier in the initiation chapter stating that the only ordeal that can be repeated is the Deed ordeal (and possibly the Asceticism one, if you're a masochist...). Could be wrong, though.

Heh, I'm at that page right now (obviously, since I just typed out the Familiar ordeal), and it says that ordeals may only be repeated by GM permission, and some ordeals can never be repeated (using the Oath ordeal as an example). I do believe that the Grimoire (not with me at the moment) stated something to that effect, though, but I'd have to check. MitS takes precedence in 3rd edition, obviously.
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 03:21 PM
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Well, I was sort of right. :)
GM permission only, eh?

Well, in the games I run, that will never, ever, ever be a problem. Hell, the one player I have who always plays mages has never conjured a spirit in his playing career. But aspected magicians aren't versatile enough, he tells me...
:please:

Aye well. I'll go away now.
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fistandantilus4....
post Jan 27 2005, 03:31 PM
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The way I work it in my campaign, you cannot repeat an ordeal until you have done all of the others, with two possible exceptions.
1) Oath- if they're not in a group, I don't require it. If they are, a some point I do. If they really want to go through all those grades with a group, at some point they have to make a commitment to the groups ideals.
2) Geas- just because it's so damn restrictive, I only require it for magic loss. To me it makes more sense that something so restrictive should only be taken if you want it (for some strange reason), or it's forced on you from magic loss.
3)of course, since there are 8 ordeals, minus geas (I think, don't have a book in front of me), it doesn't come up a lot having 2 allies.
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Oath- if they're not in a group, I don't require it. If they are, a some point I do. If they really want to go through all those grades with a group, at some point they have to make a commitment to the groups ideals.

If a group has the Oath restriction, I make my PCs take Oath as their ordeal for the next initiate grade after they join the group. No magical group would be dumb enough to let in a member without making them swear the Oath if they had that as a stricture. If the PCs choose to create their own initiate group, and they choose Oath, then they follow the same rules... their next initiation must have the Oath ordeal. By the way, from personal experience, having Oath as a stricture for a newly formed PC-only magical group is a very bad idea... you can't disobey your peers, even if you want to (or you are booted out of the group). Fraternity is almost as bad... you can't leave your chummers behind, even if you want to (again, you can if you want to be booted from the group).
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE
By the way, from personal experience, having Oath as a stricture for a newly formed PC-only magical group is a very bad idea... you can't disobey your peers, even if you want to (or you are booted out of the group)


That would depend on the wording of the oath, neh? :|
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 04:12 PM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes)
That would depend on the wording of the oath, neh? :|

We interpret the Oath stricture in our group to mean "complete obedience to other members of the group according to the hierarchy of the group". I guess more liberal-minded groups (i.e. PCs) can make Oaths to mean "I swear fealty to the holy Sock of Ask'ente" or "To serve the public trust" or something like that. Maybe a Librarian-centered group would have an oath stating "to seek out knowledge". The magical groups in our games all have the obedience clause in it, however, simply because no group with that stricture would be stupid enough not to include it... magical groups are, after all, mostly about influence and power.
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Demosthenes
post Jan 27 2005, 04:15 PM
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I see.
I've always interpreted the Oath stricture to mean literally that: you swear a magically-binding oath. That means, of course, that you need to know exactly the text of the oath... :cyber:
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elbows
post Jan 27 2005, 04:15 PM
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So let me get this straight. Say my mage is a Grade 1 Initiate with Magic 7.
If I summon an ally spirit, I lose a point of magic, so I now have Magic 6 (can I geas this magic point, btw?)

On the other hand, if initiate again with the Ally spirit ordeal, I pay less karma for my initiation, and I end up with Magic 8, and an Ally spirit.

Is that correct? And if so, is there any drawback to the ordeal that I'm missing? Or is it just a really good idea if you can afford the karma cost?
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE (Demosthenes)
I see.
I've always interpreted the Oath stricture to mean literally that: you swear a magically-binding oath. That means, of course, that you need to know exactly the text of the oath... :cyber:

Well, it came about as a long and bitter argument, mostly from the magicians in the group arguing in favor of coming up with their own oath and the non-magicians in the group in favor of saying that the oath must have certain requirements/restrictions in order to count as a magical oath (the mages wanted to create a one sentence oath that they would follow anyway, like following their own totem). Eventually, we settled it as the oath in-game is a certain length, by necessity includes the strictures of the group, and has that "obedience clause" in it (because no magical group would make an Oath without some form of hierarchical obedience clause), and in terms of game mechanics, means that the character must obey the requests of his/her peers and superiors and breaking any stricture will count as a double whammy (because you break Oath as well... Oath by definition includes the rest of the strictures as part of the Oath).
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hahnsoo
post Jan 27 2005, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (elbows)
So let me get this straight. Say my mage is a Grade 1 Initiate with Magic 7.
If I summon an ally spirit, I lose a point of magic, so I now have Magic 6 (can I geas this magic point, btw?)

On the other hand, if initiate again with the Ally spirit ordeal, I pay less karma for my initiation, and I end up with Magic 8, and an Ally spirit.

Is that correct? And if so, is there any drawback to the ordeal that I'm missing? Or is it just a really good idea if you can afford the karma cost?

You cannot geas the point of Magic, because it is being invested as part of the cost of the Ally spirit. You permanently lose the point and it cannot be offset by any means.

Your example is correct. It's a really good idea if you can afford the Karma (and that's a BIG if, since Ally spirits plus initiation is a hell of a lot of Karma). This is assuming you even want an Ally spirit in the first place.
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elbows
post Jan 27 2005, 05:10 PM
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Cool. One of my players was just about to take an ally spirit for her character, so I'll have to let her know about this. She's only a grade 1 Initiate now so the costs shouldn't be too bad.
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BitBasher
post Jan 27 2005, 05:42 PM
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Remember a lower force ally (3 or 4 or less) is really risky to keep around, as it doesnt get a whole lot of dice to resist with and IIRC if it gets hit with physical damage on the astral plane it's destroyed if it hits deadly. One astral manabolt and it's toast, and that's a lot of karma down the drain. It's also a pretty big target for that since it acts like a power focus, and being so easy to kill it's usually high on enemies to-do list.
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fistandantilus4....
post Jan 27 2005, 05:56 PM
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The way I see it, not all groups that have strictures are going to require an oath . Say you have the magical equivalent of the Dead Deckers Society. Basically a group of drinking buddies that run the shadows.Little less likely to require an oath of obediance. In my view, the oath can be obedience to superiors, a moral code (or lack of), a certain philosophy, etc. More than group strictures it's basically a code they have to abide, and can break (so that they can lose magic!_. Of course a lot of groups are going to make codes that are within their normal world view, wouldn't you? The only groups that are going to have obedience type oaths are more secretive or power hungry types (of course, isn't power the point of initiation?).

As for Ally's it's definitely better to make them as strong as you can afford (w/o going over your charisma). If you cant' do ti right away, up grade! Ally spirit v3.0!
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Fortune
post Jan 27 2005, 06:29 PM
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Of course, Ally Spirits have the Sorcery skill, which means they can use Spell Defence against those Astral Manabolts.
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Cain
post Jan 27 2005, 06:58 PM
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The thing to remember is, Oath is not the same as the Obedience stricture. Hansoo's more accurately describing the Obedience stricture, with a bit of fraternity tossed in for good measure.
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KeyMasterOfGozer
post Jan 27 2005, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Demosthenes @ Jan 27 2005, 11:06 AM)
That would depend on the wording of the oath, neh? :|

We interpret the Oath stricture in our group to mean "complete obedience to other members of the group according to the hierarchy of the group". I guess more liberal-minded groups (i.e. PCs) can make Oaths to mean "I swear fealty to the holy Sock of Ask'ente" or "To serve the public trust" or something like that. Maybe a Librarian-centered group would have an oath stating "to seek out knowledge". The magical groups in our games all have the obedience clause in it, however, simply because no group with that stricture would be stupid enough not to include it... magical groups are, after all, mostly about influence and power.

Yes, I have to disagree with you here, hahnso. Obedience is not a REQUIREMENT of an Oath. That is Swearing Fealty as you say. Take for instance, the Scout Oath from Boy Scouts here in the US, the Oath only promises to do one's Duty, and to Obey the Laws of the Pack.

Unless you are joining a Fascist type Organization, or a Religious one, I would think your Oath would be more like that... A Plegde to Uphold the Tenets of the Group, not to Obey every command of the Groups Members.

I have to disagree that a group with the Oath stricture would be stupid not to have the Obedience clause, because only a loser who needs help, or a fool would pledge unrestrained Obedience to a group, and that means the group would be full of weak, useless members.
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