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Okay, I hope I'm not too much of pest spamming my ideas here biggrin.gif
Though I probably am ... wink.gif
Well, nevermind. nyahnyah.gif

Here we go ... as I originally registered here to discuss some of the stuff I'd written down (or yet have to) in the process of tweaking SR4 to what I want it to be. So here is another one, more or less randomly selected.

The fluff parts of SR (a.k.a. the parts I like most biggrin.gif) and the novels always gave me the impression that most magic-users tended to always bind (re-bind) the same spirits, even developing some relationship to them over time. Technomancers, too, seem to me to treat their registered Sprites more like friends than cannon fodder ...

Thus, I changed/extended the rules to better have them represent this. Feel free to comment ... Feedback welcome, that is.

Yes, I know, it's a little bit harder on the characters as RAW is, but I think it helps with Balance™, too.

Bound Spirits and Registered Sprites (Optional Rule)

To encourage characters to treat their Spirits/Sprites like allies and friends and not temporary servants or slaves, a few changes are in order.
With this rule in force, expect Spirits and Sprites to develop nicknames and personalities soon wink.gif

Rule Change :

A Spirit/Sprite stays bound/registered (from now on : Entity/bonded) even if its services run out. The character may ‘refill’ these services any time using the same way the Entity was originally bonded. The new bonding Roll may be subject to a Dice Pool Modifier depending on how the character treated the Entity – from +6 (Unquestioning Friendship) to -6 (Boundless Hatred). Note that any Entity with a negative relationship to the character and/or a rating higher than the character’s Magic/Essence will probably use Edge to resist and break free.
If the character scores at least one net hit, the Entity now owes the character a number of services equal to the number of net hits or any remaining services owed from earlier bonding, whatever is more. Characters can then buy additional services at one Karma each. An Entity can never owe more services than its rating.

In addition, the character can try to ‘upgrade’ the Entity. This requires a the same procedure as a normal bonding attempt, and Karma equal to the new rating of the Entity. The character rolls as normal, the Entity can only resist but not help the process (it rolls up to its rating additional dice and might use Edge).
If the character achieves at least one net hit, he spends the Karma and the Entity is upgraded one rating. If it would gain any additional powers at its new rating, it will do so, at the character’s choice. Upgrading an Entity should normally result in an improvement in relation with the Entity, too.
If no net hits are scored, the process failed and nothing happens. Of course no Karma is spent in this case.

To get rid of an Entity and free up the Charisma Slot again, the character has to go through the whole process again as if originally bonding the Entity. The Entity can only help but not resist this process (it can withhold up to its rating dice).
If the character scores at least one net hit, the Entity is banished back to where it was originally summoned from.
Attempting to get rid of a bonded Entity will forfeit any remaining services with the Entity whether it is successful or not.
I like the idea of rewarding characters for giving good working conditions to Spirits, but why on Earth would you make Bound Spirits cost Karma? In the basic rules, the problem is that you can't even reliably survive binding a spirit of even medium size while you can reliable summon an unbound spirit of actually titanic size.

The ones that are off the hook crazy-go-nuts are the unbound spirits, not the bound ones. Everything you do that makes binding more difficult just makes summoning and binding more ungamebalanced.

That's because the GM has FAR more control about Spirits and Sprites summoned up on the spot - they are reliable or not as the GM wants them ... at that time ! biggrin.gif
Doing this with bonded entities is not so simple - no character would bond one that is unreleiable.
The Karma represents gifts and energie the character funnels to the entity. I use the samy system with contacts, if characters ask too many favours, they can get away with it if they pay - in Money and Karma in that case. In addition it makes 'when to use a resource, when not to' more of an issue, as you can either buy a larger number by spending Karma, or save those services you got through the dice rolls.

I tend to give out Karma graciously anyway, instead making sure that the characters spent enough of it on the way - rebuying burned Edge, feeding Spirits, Sprites and Contacts ... so, if they are good at what they do they still grow fast enough, but if they fuck up ... all their Karma will probably go into 'survival'.

Some advice on keeping 'normal' Summoning under control :

- Remember that any spirit summoned is probably at home where it is summoned - and will reflect his environment. Example : Character summons up a Spirit of Man in a corporate facility. Now, what do they get - a Spirit looking like some Corp Exec, asking them to stick to the rules of his domain ... presenting their ID when asked, walking in line, not shouting, of course not damaging the property ... biggrin.gif
- Remember that any spirit has its own goals. Have the spirit ask them to help them shape its domain in some way the spirit would like it in exchange for sevices. Maybe they have to remove garbage, or relocate a person the spirit does not want in its domain. Or a fire elemental wants the whole facility turned into a bonfire ... so much for sublety biggrin.gif
- Remember that spirits can misunderstand commands ... deliberately or not. 'You didn't say I shoulnd't trigger the alarm first thing I went in there' is always a good one from a bit more malicious spirit biggrin.gif

All the rules say is that the spirit owes the summoner some services - it does NOT mean it can't try to bargain, demand or cheat.

Don't use this all time, only if you feel characters are using spirits (or sprites for the same matter) as a cheap way to bypass the adventure. Face them with such a problem in a harmless situation first, turn that into a mini-adventure .... just for summoning ONE spirit. That gets the player's attention that you as a GM have more power over what the spirits do and won't do then them ... and if they missed the message ... well, it's always fun to bargain with a spirit in the midst of combat.
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