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JongWK
I know that the thread's title is begging for a few jokes, but oh well... nyahnyah.gif

It's a bit weird, but in all these years of running SR I've never had a player summon an ally spirit. Now I have one who is saving a large amount of Good Karma for it. I'm guessing Force 4-6.

How did you handle ally spirits in your campaign? If you have any interesting war stories, I'm all ears (er, eyes). smile.gif
PBTHHHHT
I had sex with it! After it's been dikoted of course!

Actually, the groups I've been in never saved up for an ally spirit either.
Crusher Bob
One nifty thing to do with your ally spirit is to have them tie your astrally projecting maeg into the teams normal radio communications. The ally is materialized and wears a radio, the mage goes out the astral project, the mage communicates with the ally, who then relays over the radio. Communications from the team are handled the same way.

emo samurai
What do ally spirits do? I have SR4, and only SR4, so I of course didn't buy Magic in the Shadows.
Platinum
Handle it in the same way that you handle an NPC that you have fill in when the team is missing something. (for most people this is the token NPC decker) You define the personality yourself. Go through the 20 questions and flush out a personality. The PC invests the karma and the time, but in reality it is your NPC that they create the stats for. The Ally will be thinking of freedom, the degree is up to you, whether they are a cruelly treated slave or yearning for freedom like a teenager/child. They also have the knowledge that they are basically eternal, and have a parent/guide to show them the ropes and can bide their time.
Crusher Bob
They are spirits that can act as a power focus, have instant telepathic communications wtih the summoner, don't have the normal 'services' limitations (or course, they also miss out on several spirit powers too), and tend to be smarter than the average summoned spirit or, at least, more proactively helpful. They cost a huge buttload of karma though, and can cost a point of magic as well, depending on how you summon them.
Crusher Bob
AS for handling the actions of ally spirits in play, the ally spirirt is not an excuse for the GM to screw the summoner. The player just dumped 20-60 karma on the spirit, they should be almost as hard to loose as the same amount of karma sunk into the sorcery skill (or whatever).
Dawnshadow
Haven't tried the sex or dikoting
  • Scout.
  • Relay messages. ("Sorry guys, I'm running for my life at the moment. I'll let you know when I'm back in the area")
  • Save my miserable life with the heal spell I gave it. (Repeatedly)
  • Rescue me from the priests who want to burn me out. (cut me free, distract them long enough for me to take them down)
  • Magical-combat drone. ("Yes, my ally has strength 10, skill 8, and force 5." "Yes, my ally has skill 8 in heavy weapons." and so on)
  • Act like a power focus. (You'd be amazed how helpful force 4-5 allies are in that regard..)
  • Motivate me to not get myself hospital bills. ("Boss, if you get yourself maimed like that again, I'm going to kill you.")
  • Prepare a spare lifestyle for emergency guests (Hide anything valuable elsewhere, for one thing)
  • Data storage and retrieval (Sit at home and take notes, look up things when needed)
  • Help research (Give them the skills, they can dedicate a bunch of time to things too..)

Edit: One of my characters is an aspected conjurer. There are currently 2 allies, with more on the way when I get the karma. Magical equivalent to a rigger.
Platinum
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Apr 3 2006, 02:32 PM)
AS for handling the actions of ally spirits in play, the ally spirirt is not an excuse for the GM to screw the summoner.  The player just dumped 20-60 karma on the spirit,  they should be almost as hard to loose as the same amount of karma sunk into the sorcery skill (or whatever).

Agreed, they are not just something that should be blown off ... treat them as a level 5++++ contact. But you can lose even those if you are a mean enough.
Edward
Some GMs screw you over with your ally even if you donít treat it badly.

Personally I have never saved the 50+ karma it takes to summon a worthwhile ally. You want to summon it at its final force to get the free physical stats. You want to give it descent sorcery, defiantly at least one language. Probably a bunch of other skills and spells as well. You really should wait until you can spend 100 karma. The problem with that is that the run before you summon it you have 90 karma unspent so your way behind the pace in abilities.

Edward
langolas
QUOTE (Edward)
The problem with that is that the run before you summon it you have 90 karma unspent so your way behind the pace in abilities.

I have yet to have a mage get enough Karma to even think about that. I mostly work on boosting spells or initiating, though one day I would like to get an ally.

I liked the one that the hero had in Burning Bright . . . nice flavor and feel. I doubt my GM would be that cool about it though wink.gif
nick012000
Which is why Aspected Sorcerers are so good- because you start out with at least 35 spell points to spend on summoning the thing. wink.gif
Kremlin KOA
aspected conjurers ya mean
emo samurai
How do you burn someone out?

And how do you screw someone over with his ally spirit in good conscience?
nick012000
Yes. That is indeed what I meant.

Also, for the truly nasty: An Elven Aspected Hermetic Conjurer with 1 million nuyen.gif starting resources. Spend the money on a Control Rig, assorted drone-ware (all of which is geased), and lots of drones and summoning materials. You then throw out 8 Force 6 spirits along with a gaggle of drones at your enemies. I call this guy "The Puppetmaster". nyahnyah.gif

You're only going to be making the Magical Skill tests in private anyways, so the geasa aren't an issue, and you have loads of awesome minions.
emo samurai
Dude... lightning elementals!!!
Dawnshadow
QUOTE (emo samurai)
How do you burn someone out?

And how do you screw someone over with his ally spirit in good conscience?

Tie'em up and enter into a scorching duel.. repeatedly.. with a nicely set up area aspected towards you and with power foci while he's got nothing, and is a magician's way adept.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (emo samurai)
Dude... lightning elementals!!!

Aren't canon.


Give it the form of you for when you have to be in two places at once. It can act as a decoy on dangerous missions. It can go to the bank and buy groceries when you want to sleep in late. You can date two mundane people at the same time with a minimum amount of juggling.
ShadowDragon8685
It's a hell of a lot easier to burn someone out by just having 5 or so headware radios installed in him. They only cost like 2000 nuyen.gif for the whole deal, and hell, you can have them ripped out later, anyway. Then he's got a huge essense hole and nothing to geas (as I understand it) into.


Your only worry, of course, is that he's going to do something really stupid like bargain with a dragon to get enough magic back to start initiating like a sucker, and come hunting your ass. Or worse, he'll become a cybersammie (if you're lucky) or a decker (if you're not), or a drone rigger (then you're fragged.)
Crusher Bob
Or you can just give your prisoner a smoke and a beer. The SR3 drug rules will then insure that he will be magicless (and dead) in 3 months or less
Dranem
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
QUOTE (emo samurai @ Apr 3 2006, 08:54 PM)
Dude... lightning elementals!!!

Aren't canon.

Things that aren't canon haven't stopped Emo before, why stop now?
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
Or you can just give your prisoner a smoke and a beer. The SR3 drug rules will then insure that he will be magicless (and dead) in 3 months or less

biggrin.gif grinbig.gif rotfl.gif
Arkelias
I've never understood why people think you need to dump 100+ karma into an ally spirit to make it worth having. My current character has a force three ally spirit. She cost 15 karma and a geas for the lost point of magic and is incredibly useful in a number of ways.

* Even a force three manabolt can be ugly with her having a six sorcery. Someone with a 3-4 willpower is going to be in a world of hurt if not dead

* A force three heal spell can mean the difference between life and death

* Force three increased reflexes works just fine

* She can scout astrally

* She serves as a super watcher spirit in that she is far more intelligent

* She can capture and hold enemy watcher spirits

* She can serve as a distraction on a run. If she manifests behind a guard and says, "Boo" you can rush them when they turn to face her.

And of course the most important use:

* You can Dikote her and then have sex with her
Dawnshadow
For the longest time, my force 2 ally had been a lifesaver. Literally. Spent I think 15 karma (force 2, couple forms, decent edged weapons skill).

Now, that being said, I've fallen into the dark side and started dumping 50-100 karma into ally spirits, but that's because the game is quite nicely high powered.
emo samurai
Is there a way to decrease the karma costs? Can ally spirits gain karma themselves?
Dawnshadow
Minimize Ally Spirit costs:
Give the ally spirit every skill you ever intend to when you create it.
Give the ally spirit spells at the highest force you ever intend to when you give them to it the first time.
Force as close to the goal of physical stats as possible at creation.
Do as much sorcery and mental attribute training as possible before conjuring the ally.

No, they can't earn karma.
emo samurai
Oh... that's what people would do anyway if they were smart min-maxers.
Dawnshadow
Oh.. you mean you wanted something like initiation ordeals, on something that can be an ordeal?

No. The only cost reduction for ally spirits is by building them with cost control in mind. You can't just throw one together and go through an astral quest (anything else) to reduce the cost.
Arkelias
Ally spirits can't, but Free spirits can. If you want the ally to get stronger on their own...just free them =)
Straight Razor
ok questions.

1. can you give you ally meta magics? possession would be great. have him jump in you meat body when you out.

2. i thought allys automaticaly counted as power foci. There for you didn't actualy "lose" the magic rateing, unless the ally goes free, or what-not.
Crusher Bob
In SR3, there are two ways to summon an ally:

The good way:

As part of an initiation ordeal, you don't lose your magic point, your initiation costs less, and your ally is supposed to be 'more loyal'. The ally just has a minimum cost of the karma you paid for the initation (~15 karma, which is usually nothing when it comes to ally costs)

The bad way:
Just summon your ally anytime, and lose 1 point of magic. You can get your point of magic back if your destroy your ally, though then you lose all the karma involved in summoning it.

Allies can act as power foci, but they are typically much more expensive (in karma, not Y) than getting a power focus of the same rating. However, as you'll notice, many of the cool uses of allies require them to be elsewhere, thus you couldn't use them as a power focus at those times.

Allies don't get metamagic. You can bind them into a hamonculous, which is a bit like possession, but the ally loses a lot of its powers (3d movement, materialization, etc) so I don't think it's a worthwile trade off.
hyzmarca
Ally Spirit abuse 101.

Step 1: Create a basic force 1 ally spirit with no extra abilities whatsoever.
Step 2: Look in the mirror and cast a deadly Stunbolt at yourself. If you cannot cast Stunbolt then simply ram a wall with your head or strangle yourself untill you pass out.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 untill the ally goes free
Step 4: Quest for its True Name and bind it
Step 5: Initiate and repeat until you have one with the Wealth power.
Step 6: Buy a AAA Megacorp with your unlimited funds.

Actually, it works best with Zombies since you don't have to invest a point of magic in them.
Crusher Bob
Bah, if you want unlimited money, then enchanting is much easier, and requires no hitting yourself on the head.
fistandantilus4.0
One of my favorite uses for my ally was to teach it the rotor craft and vector thrust skills as well as gunnery (expensive but worth it). When we occassionally took to long on a run and the scary heavy response teams were showing up, after the teams dropped, he'd materialize inside the vehicle, scrag the rigger, and take control (assuming there are normal controls) and of the vehilce and turn it on the assault team. Good for buying time.

Also handy to give them spells that you'd like cast in a pinch, like barrier, armor, and heal of course, as well as a sterilize , in case you don't have the time to 'clean' a crime scene on your own.
Kremlin KOA
Screw that

step 1: Summon force 1 spirit of man (City spirit or hearth recommended for street savvy)
Step 2: Say 'You are Free'
Step 3 watch as spirit gets a force (TN4) test to become a free spirit instead of going home
Step 4: Rinse and repeat steps 1-3 until you get one with the wealth power
Step 5: Quest for true name and bind
Step 6: Feed it karma using the ritual for half price (You will succeed, it is force 1)
Step 7: Get it to feed the karma back to you (Karmic Arbitrage)
Step 8: Rinse and repeat steps 6-7 until you have more karma than Lofwyr
Step 9: gift a third of that karma to the spirit using the half price trick. You each end up with roughly 2/3 of the amount of karma you created
Step 10: initiate, a lot
Step 11: Watch as spirit grows but is still your bitch
Step 12: Make sure spirit uses Karma to learn the cybersurgery skillset to ridiculous levels
Step 13: Abuse the 0 essence Cyberware trick in M&M your spirit can do it and give you all the cyber you could ever want, along with all the bio you can imagine all for 0 essence or bio index
Step 14: use the Wealth power of the spirit to fund step 13, then to fund a corporate takeover
Step 15: get your spirit buddy to learn the Hidden life power and make sure he is force 75
step 16: Become his Phylactry, be immortal, tougher than Ghostwalker, and Able to take Vergigorm in single combat


Minor note, you want a 'Player' or 'Anima' type spirit for this trick
fistandantilus4.0
one little 'iffy' spot. It does state the in 'Hidden Life' , the spirit has control of the 'receptacle', mentioned in the case of the receptacle being a living creature. So yeah, the ball gag goes in the other mouth now.
Kremlin KOA
turn the page
a metahuman receptacle is not controlled
and order that spirit to always increase force when increasing spirit energy
fistandantilus4.0
I'll turn the page when I get home, that's what I recalled from looking it up previosuly. But hey, if you're right, I know a player at my games that's going to be much happier.

Since you seem to have the book handy, how much karma does it take to increase a force rating for a free spirit? IIRC, it's 3x the new rating plus a point of spirit energy which is also rather expensive I believe. DOesn't seem a very effective way to bring a character along, dumping all of his karma in to a spirit. Personally, if I was running the spirit, I'd wait until it was good an beefy, then hire some runners to off the weak mage.
emo samurai
So why wouldn't you summon an ally spirit while initiating? I don't understand.
Crusher Bob
Summoning an ally without intiating is rather like reading F.A.T.A.L, your time could more productively be spent hitting your nutsack with a tackhammer.
emo samurai
Could you link to F.A.T.A.L.? Google doesn't recognize periods.
Kremlin KOA
ya got the karma right but ya missed my infinite karma loop
what weak mage

the karma the spirit gives me adds to karma pool
what I give it at half price also adds to karma pool
so not only do I have thousands of karma, but because I swapped most of that back and forth dozens of times I have a 4 digit karma pool
fistandantilus4.0
Nothing personal, but I'd kill you on principal.

Got a reference for reverse karma donation BTW?
Kremlin KOA
yeah but not sure where to get my hands on it, was a run where a free spirit was the j

kill me?
Um that is excessive, and I would take it personal... killing the character is understandabe tho
Crusher Bob
Get your tackhammer ready
hyzmarca
I'm pretty sure that the familiar ordeal can only be taken once, limiting you to a single free ally.
fistandantilus4.0
sorry, not you, defintely your character though. biggrin.gif At least a stern warning first. Really I just wouldn't allow that, but a character that tried that is going to try all other sorts of loop holes on for size. That just bugs.

hyz: the book suggests that repeating ordeals is up to the GM's discretion. I usually allow players to repeat an ordeal only after they have completed all of the other, excluding geas. So it's usually pretty rare to get two ally spirits this way in my games.
Kremlin KOA
funny I would as GM just walk over ot the player, watch them spend all the karma and beef themselves up

then take out my pen and write NPC on the sheet
fistandantilus4.0
rotfl.gif
Dranem
QUOTE (emo samurai)
So why wouldn't you summon an ally spirit while initiating? I don't understand.

If you bothered reading the rules on Initiation then you would find out now would you. As a note, Initiation in 4th edition is not only insanely expensive, they haven't put in the rules for magical groups and such yet....
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