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Watcher spirits are implied to short lived and too puny to escape and become free spirits. This is generaly due to their low intellegence and short lived existence.
However as a technical experiment I have an NPC summon a powerful watcher spirit for a year. Yes and entire year. This is specifically done to test the boundries of academic knowledge and thaumaturgological experimentation.
So over a long enough time line, do you believe a watcher could learn? Perhapes even become a free spirit?
Personally, no, I don't. That's because I've always liked the 2nd edition explanation that Watcher spirits aren't 'true' spirits - they're shards of the summoner's personality. They're eidolons of the summoner in a very literal sort of sense, which is why Watchers always end up having a particular flavor and generally similar style for each magician.


I'm sorry, I'm still trying to wrap my head around "Powerful Watcher Spirit".
In 3rd Edition, Watcher spirits have a force you determine upon summoning them. Consequently, you can have a force 6 watcher spirit.
A pack of those is mean is astral combat.
Don't think SR4 CanRay, think SR3 Watchers with a force 4+.

I like the idea behind this experiment. but tbh, I can't see free watcher spirits for the same reason Adarael posted.
Then again, it's your NPC, and it will make an interesting story - so go for it.
Thanks for the heads up.

"Better to be thought an idiot, than post on ShadowLand/Dumpshock and remove all doubt!", right?
Revisiting my earlier statement, I'd like to suggest that it MAY be possible, but only possible for individuals with severely fragmented senses of "self" or severe dissociative disorders. Such that the watcher, as an eidolon of the creator, is capable of taking on the creator's ego to the point where the creator becomes the automaton ordered about by the astral entity.

I.E. "Maybe, but that would be the focus of a story unto itself."

Shit, I might have to run an detective story style run based around that.
OK, only with one more suggestion...

This test would probably be good for a Government Grant for Magical Research if said NPC is at a University.
A Free Watcher Spirit is one that didn't cause drain. wink.gif
Revisiting this idea, witha little thread raising. all the spirits that to date have the potenial to become free , have a connection to a meta plain. So this is where they go when distrupted to recoalesce their energies.

Watchers, formed from raw mana of the gaiasphere do not have this connection and perhapes lack the magical resources to be come free.

This theory neatly sidesteps the issue that a watcher is or is not a fraction of the summoners psyche or lesser servant of a totem or spiritual higherachy, as prefaced by some paradigms.

Alternatively, while a theoritical possibility that a watcher could become free; the statically probibility may be so extreme as to practically impossible.
Improbable is like impossible which = not likely to happen anytime soon.

That being said it would be very interesting to do a run against a Magic Corp that succeed in creating a Free Watcher Spirit. A rival company wants to steal it to study it and the methods on how it was created. You could even have the twist that the spirit isn't really free just autonomous via some new spirit foci that forces it to not dissipate back into astral space.
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