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Ok I need some help and clerifiction on the spirit classifications for the traditions (including Street Magic traditions).

The combat sub-type is the easiest one, because everyone knows why you summon your combat spirit.

But lets say you choose to summon one under your manipulation sub-catagory, what would you have it do? Open a door, solve your rubics cube? Does that mean you can't give it an attack order? Or to conceal someone (since that's the spirit that has a conceal power, and your illusion spirit doesn't have anything to do with illustions)?

Or better yet the Health sub-type, I don't think any spirit has the heal spell. Some can be given noxious breath so you could poison people maybe (this would be more reverse healing I guess) but why would you summon one?

Any help would be greatly appreciated since I just can't seem to get my mind around this concept.
Eryk the Red
The categories only define what types of spells the spirit can help you with for certain types of services. It does not limit what types of other commands you can give them.
Categories have nothing to do with what kind of orders you can give a spirit.
That being said, how your tradition views the spirit/element correspondences should be relevant to the fluff. Stuff like how you and the spirit treats each other, how the spirit looks, the trappings involved in summoning said spirit, etc.

So for two different traditions lets say that one has Fire for Combat and one has Fire for Health. Let's call them 1 and 2.

For tradition 1:

Appearence: the fire spirit would be represented as a column of flames as a representation of the destructive forces of fire.
Behaviour: this spirit would be aggressive and difficult to handle. Since fire is represented as chaotic and energetic the spirit would be like a berserker. A free spirit would be a dangerous force of destruction.
Handling: the mage might goad or entice the "berserk" fire spirit into doing what he wants.
Trappings: would almost always involve the presence of an open flame. In summoning it would be something as simple as a lighter whereas for bonding it might require a bonfire.

For Tradition 2:

Appearence: the fire spirit would be represented as a fire scarred tree or a pile of ashes. This represents the healing aspect of fire, cleansing the old to create noursihment for future growth.
Behaviour: this spirit would be rather serene and introspective. The flame has died out and all that is left are ashes. It would likewise represent chaos and energy but it would be focused on creative endeavours as opposed to violence. A free spirit might become an artist of some sort or be drawn to art.
Handling: it would be easier to handle this spirit as opposed to combat fire since it is generally more docile (but prone to violent mood swings--i.e. the forest fire resparking). However, the means might not be what is desired. Cleansing fire would be used to heal the subject causing temporary discomfort but restoring the patient.
Trappings: telesma gathered in areas of recent wild fires, a poultice of ashes, poppies, maggots, anything really that symbolizes new life being born from destruction of old. Pheonix mages would especially take to a Health Fire spirit.

Hope this helps.
Yes that all makes much more sense. I guess I missed a few sentences in there.

Thank you all very much.
You can order any spirit to fight, though some have advantages in some situations. If you just wanted to run someone off without hurting them, summon a spirit with the Fear power. Need to cover ground faster, summon one with movement, one appropriate for the terrain. Conversely, you could use movement or binding to slow someone following you: good for provoking control checks in pursuing vehicles. They might not be stopped, but the sudden change in speed would be jarring.

The elemental spirit attacks are also varied. Use fire for outright damage and the innate fear most creatures have of fire. Use water to stun opponents into submission (I think water is one that does stun damage initially).
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