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blakkie
What language do Spirits speak? Can a garden variety summoned Spirit "speak" at all? Are their linguistic abilities related in some way to the native tongue of thier conjurer?

How have you played this in the past? I don't ever remember it coming up in games i've played in.
Dissonance
Watcher spirits are able to speak. It's one of their suggested uses. However, it might be that they're only ambulatory tape recorders.

Out of all the spirit types, I figure that spirits of man and spirits of beast are the most likely to actually speak in Human Language. However, I imagine that all spirits are at least capable of telepathic or metaphysical communication between themselves and the summoner, even if it's on a sort of empathic thing. I figure a spirit can tell you that it can't do something, but I don't think that it'll be a big conversationalist unless it has the sentient characteristic.
mintcar
I have gone from imagining spirits being mute ghosts to seeing them as more of appearing to be actual physical beings when they are materialized. That means also able to speak perfectly clear, although they propably have little understanding for human concerns. This is because over the years, the sourcebooks and novels have made me think more of the eastern or native image of a spirit as for example a fox that speaks, or a mountain that speaksórather than the western ghostly, otherworldly image of what a spirit should be like.

I've had a lot of trouble as a GM of giving a clear presentation of what spirits are like. Now I try to make them solid and real, with a clear personality, although obviously not part of modern culture in most cases.
nick012000
That latter way of seeing them seems to be the correct way of seeing them, especially when you consider that in SR4, only Spirits of Air and of Fire can fly when materialized.
mintcar
<edited away because of missunderstanding>

(ps. never noticed that only certain spirits can fly now, interesting)
nick012000
Well, I suppose Spirits of Man can fly too, if you give them the Innate Spell (Levitation) power. wink.gif
hobgoblin
edit: never mind, should have checked the wording.

they are unaffected by gravity in materialized form. but most prefer to stay close or on the ground. (177)

both the air and fire spirit have flight as a skill...

i guess the rest can allso fly, but default to force-1 when doing so wink.gif
nick012000
Which seems to be contradicted with the text on the pages with the spirit's stats on it, where only the Spirits of Air and Spirits of Fire as explicitly given flying speeds (implying that the others can't fly).
Red
The text on 177 that Hobgoblin points to is pretty explicit. It is just that the placement leaves room for ambiguity.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (nick012000)
Which seems to be contradicted with the text on the pages with the spirit's stats on it, where only the Spirits of Air and Spirits of Fire as explicitly given flying speeds (implying that the others can't fly).

or that they can fly but will not move any faster then when they are not flying (if that made any sense).

look at the dragons. only the leviatan is given a swim speed, but does that indicate that all the other dragons cant swim at all?
Dissonance
I can't imagine any circumstance in which a dragon, other than an aquatic one, would ever need to swim.

And now I've got the silliest mental image of Ghostwalker with giant water-wings.
Ophis
Lofwyr in a big rubber ring?
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Dissonance)
I can't imagine any circumstance in which a dragon, other than an aquatic one, would ever need to swim.

And now I've got the silliest mental image of Ghostwalker with giant water-wings.

when visiting a leviatan maybe?

or maybe they want to be realy sneaky?

if noone expects a swimming dragon, that can be the best way to attack wink.gif
Eryk the Red
(It's sometimes hard to tell if anyone's actually interested in the original topic of conversation in a thread once the jokes start flying, but, what the hell, I'll say something anyway.)

Should be noted that (as I recall) spirits are listed as having the sapience power, which would mean they are capable of language. To me, this means they are native speakers of whatever language I deem dramatically appropriate. And the language of the summoner, probably. But wouldn't it be funny if your Earth spirit simply preferred to converse in German, because he just likes the language?
blakkie
Just letting the hijack run it's course. I'm still interested. But it seems that besides Sapience, which is not a guarantee of ability for spoken language muchless any given human spoken language, there isn't much on language in canon. Summoned spirits aren't specificially assigned any Language (or Knowledge) skills. The only guarantee seems to be the ability to communicate, leaving that open to telepathy or speech except for the noted Watcher task on page 181 (which as pointed out might be more like a tape recording playback).

All in all it seems fairly open, and apparently uncommonly an issue. I'm going to try to find that translation thread mentioned to see what i can see there. I'll post the link if i can find it.
Eryk the Red
Oh, I know that sapience does not guarantee the capacity for speech. I just meant that it does mean there is a capacity for the comprehension of language. So that means it's possible. Then you have to determine if: 1) The spirit is capable of hearing and speaking and 2) If the spirit knows any particular human languages. Personally, I say yes to both because it's just plain easier and more interesting to me if there isn't that language barrier.
fool
interestingly I'd say no, it seems to me that a spirit to some degree is an extension of the summoning character.... ie the summoning characters mana is what creates them in the act of summoning so the spirit is giong to reflect that character. I like having the language barrier because it keeps everything from being too easy want universal language? get a datachip and some linguasofts oh you're a mage so sorry you'l lose some essence going that route.
As far as dragons swimming, I see no reason a dragon might want to go for a swim, its a hot day lets go play in the surf.... I've got my rubber ducky and ajax soap.
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