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evil_bacteria
Being a huge SR fan since second edition, last year I bought 4th and got my friends to play (though sadly, we almost never RP any more). One of the players wanted a magician, but not a "regular, boring ol' mage," so he got his hands on Street Magic and made a voodun. I glanced over the rules and said, "Go with it."

The problem is, it seems Possesion is incredibly powerful. By conjuring up a Force 5 or 6 spirit, then letting it posses him, his character basically becomes invincible: the spirit gives him Immunity to Normal Weapons, so even machine guns bounce off of him while he's possesed. According to the rules as I read them, you don't even have to bind the spirit, so he doesn't even have to spend nuyen!

So, what do I do? I hate telling someone they can't use a rule (because I love as much variety as I can get), but how do you challenge someone like that? Other than putting a couple of mages with Panthers in every group of bad guys, do you guys have any ideas how to put a damper on Possesed vooduns?
Kyoto Kid
...FAE? Orbital Bovine Strike? Thor Shot? grinbig.gif
DocTaotsu
Won't manastatic still totally ruin his day?
Jackstand
Banishing certainly would.
Jaid
the only difference between your possessed magician and a magician who conjures a manifesting spirit, is that the possessed magician doesn't get to take his own actions, use his own skills, or do anything really other than giving orders to the spirit that is possessing him.

so in other words, if you think *that* is bad, just imagine that spirit being able to take it's own set of actions plus the magician being able to take his own actions.

now of course, if your magician has the channelling metamagic, it gets a little better... at least he gets to use his own skills. of course, now the spirit doesn't use it's skills unless you burn a service every time, and a manifesting spirit would still be able to use it's own separate actions rather than just the magician getting whatever actions.

seriously, possession has it's upsides (especially if all you care about is keeping someone alive via immunity to normal weapons, for example) but it has drawbacks too (such as the spirit takes up someone else's actions, it uses up a service to possess somebody, and it may not even succeed at possessing somebody). really, given a choice between most 400 BP shadowrunners and a force 5 spirit (or even a force 8 or 9 spirit for that matter, unless it's a free spirit maybe) i would choose the 400 BP shadowrunner to join my team.
hyzmarca
I prefer the low-tech and low-magic approach. Elemental attacks half armor. Electricity, fire, acids, bases, high pressure water, pitfalls, deep pools, extreme cold, high-pressure air, vacuum chambers, and similar weapons would be extremely effective.
Fortune
As Jaid said, keep in mind that with normal possession, the Spirit actually takes over the character. The character himself has only limited control (if any) over his body, and hence the Spirit's activities while being possessed.
kanislatrans
How do you beat a Hogan? Well ,first, I'd rake his eyes and hit him with my famous"flaming fist of doom" maneuver. Then while he's reeling from that Id jump out of the ring and grab chair....Oh thats Houngan. wobble.gif

i don't have street magic so I'm not much help on rules. but seems to me a spirit is still a spirit and could be hit from the astral. again I don't have the rules here and haven't really had time to read up an all the traditions.

Personally, I'd be scared to run a character that the GM gets to run alot of the time. of course I'm the GM at the moment and would just love to have a character that I could play with in all sorts of devious and horrible ways. grinbig.gif

"hmm ,Mogwie,Lord of battle,has decided that he will go into battle naked exept for a jelly donut hat and a neon condom. The better to strike fear into his opponents."

* I gotta get a copy of SM just in case I can use that* wobble.gif wobble.gif
evil_bacteria
Jaid: Yes, the possesing spirit uses its own skills, not the magician's, until he gets Channelling. Then, it's a fraggin' free-for-all, with the Invincible Mage with all his skills and magic spells and whatnot. So it's a 400 BP runner with Immunity to Normal Weapons. How is that not insane? biggrin.gif

With a manifesting spirit, it's still ridiculous, because the spirit is unstoppable, but at least the mage is in some danger. The bad guys can still shoot at him, even if his spirit is running amok through and over everyone else. I can deal with that. It's the fact that the character has nothing to fear from even tough NPCs who don't happen to have magic or missile launchers at hand that bothers me.

hyzmarca: The way I understand it, you don't get to "halve" Immunity to Normal Weapons. It's not armor, it's magical immunity, thus fire and electricity and such are (I assume) no more dangerous than a handgun.

Everybody: My real problem is not, "How do I hurt the character?", but rather, "How do I put the character in danger in plausable ways?" Sure, I could give every go-ganger a Striker, and make every other CorpSec a mage, but that's a rather absurd answer, isn't it?
Johnny Jacks
QUOTE (evil_bacteria @ May 19 2008, 07:34 PM) *
Everybody: My real problem is not, "How do I hurt the character?", but rather, "How do I put the character in danger in plausable ways?" Sure, I could give every go-ganger a Striker, and make every other CorpSec a mage, but that's a rather absurd answer, isn't it?


Well, according to page 94 of Street Magic, even mundanes can attempt to make an Attack of Will against a spirit. I can't find anywhere that says it doesn't work against possessing spirits, so that should work.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (evil_bacteria @ May 19 2008, 10:34 PM) *
My real problem is not, "How do I hurt the character?", but rather, "How do I put the character in danger in plausable ways?"

Splash Grenades loaded with Freeze-Foam? Pretty much standard anti-riot gear by the 2070s and while not directly dangerous to the possessed they go a long way to neutralizing the threat.
Muspellsheimr
It looks like your problem is that you do not understand how Immunity works. Immunity to Natural Weapons gives the creature Hardened Armor (Magic x 2) against everything non-magical (excluding it's Allergies, if any), and follows the same rules for Hardened Armor.

If the modified DV of an attack (Base Damage + Net Hits + Called Shot) does not exceed the modified Hardened Armor, it does no damage. Yes, this means AP and Elemental Attacks work normally in regards to the armor. If it does enough to risk damage, the Hardened Armor (aka Immunity) essentially turns into normal armor in all respects. Also note that Burst Fire & Full Auto, although great, does not come into the calculations for modified DV until after you have determined if the immune creature risks damage or not.

All Immunities, except Age, work this way as well. So, vampires for example will be unfazed by lower power toxins, but all but the most powerful (Magic 12+) will still take a nasty hit from Ringu.
WearzManySkins
A high charisma Elf Mage/Adept with Tai Chi martial arts gets a very high chance to use his force of Attack of Will against the possessing spirit.

Kiai (Tai Chi Ch’uan) can add +3 to the DV of Attacks of Will, so a elf can have a Charisma of 8 fairly easily so the DV of the Attack Of Will will be 11DV, with a Will Power of 6 and an Banishing Skill of 6 gives 12 dice to the dice pool for the attack at a DV of 11.

Some here can tweak that even higher both in DV and in dice pools.

Against Attacks of Will Spirits do not get Immunity to Natural Weapons.

WMS
hyzmarca
QUOTE (evil_bacteria @ May 19 2008, 09:34 PM) *
Jaid: Yes, the possesing spirit uses its own skills, not the magician's, until he gets Channelling. Then, it's a fraggin' free-for-all, with the Invincible Mage with all his skills and magic spells and whatnot. So it's a 400 BP runner with Immunity to Normal Weapons. How is that not insane? biggrin.gif

With a manifesting spirit, it's still ridiculous, because the spirit is unstoppable, but at least the mage is in some danger. The bad guys can still shoot at him, even if his spirit is running amok through and over everyone else. I can deal with that. It's the fact that the character has nothing to fear from even tough NPCs who don't happen to have magic or missile launchers at hand that bothers me.

hyzmarca: The way I understand it, you don't get to "halve" Immunity to Normal Weapons. It's not armor, it's magical immunity, thus fire and electricity and such are (I assume) no more dangerous than a handgun.

Everybody: My real problem is not, "How do I hurt the character?", but rather, "How do I put the character in danger in plausable ways?" Sure, I could give every go-ganger a Striker, and make every other CorpSec a mage, but that's a rather absurd answer, isn't it?


Elemental effects have always halved Immunity to Normal Weapons. In previous editions, this was explicitly stated in the description of the immunity power.

If you want to challenge a PC who uses this tactic, start by making heavy use of Background Count. Many areas should have a low-level BC of 1 or 2. This effectively reduces the force of the spirit and thus reduces its Immunity. The second is to apply strategically located Wards. These environmental obstacles will force a possessed PC to expend services (depossess, metaplane shortcut, repossess) to get past without tripping the alarm.
evil_bacteria
Muspellsheimr and hyzmarca, thank you so much. Obviously, my encyclopedic knowledge of 3rd edition is not as great as I thought, and 4th is still pulling tricks on me.

Thanks for eveyrone's input!
Cthulhudreams
Yeah, as you've discovered guys with APDS in rifles or just stick and shock 'pwn' spirits. Hardcore. Break out the snipers.
weblife
Just a quick addition, regarding the use of Channelling. It does not take a service for each use of the spirits power.

If I had summoned a spirit and ordered it to follow me around and strike down my enemies, it would be 1 service and it would use any required power to complete its task. Only caveat would be how you describe your enemies.

Other common uses, destroy all persons who carry arms in this building (except me and my friends *point to each*) is also just 1 service and it'll use all powers in its disposal to complete the job.

Having the spirit possess you, with the service being "Assist me in destroying my enemies, as defined by those I attack or point out" would be 1 service. Having the spirit also use Guard or Magical Guard on your team would be another service though.

The true benefit from possession is the increased protection to the mage, typically the combat troll can match or surpass this though.

Other counters are Mana Static or simply background count. Remember the latter can be aspected by the corp mages, to be a benefit for them, while penalizing invaders not of the same tradition.

Finally, all things are good in moderation. Posession with 4-6 Force spirits is not bad, but if you have someone able to actually call a Force 12 spirit, then the power level of your game is already way beyond what most facilities are built to withstand. I'd assume such a powerful character is not working for a few measly thousand nuyen, but rather is invading Renraku Arcologies and killing dragons as a day-to-day business.
Blade
The problem with possession is that the mage is... possessed. Which means that it has a spirit with its own agenda controlling his body. That depends a lot on the tradition of the mage, but for example a houngan doesn't exactly bind the lwa to his will. He's ridden by the lwa, and doesn't have much control over what the lwa does, especially if it's a high rating spirit.
Also the lwa might not like to be summoned each time the houngan faces some opposition.

So that's why I think a houngan would/should probably summon a lwa only when necessary. And when something like that happens, it probably means that the opposition has something dangerous enough to threaten it.
Ryu
QUOTE (weblife @ May 20 2008, 10:49 AM) *
If I had summoned a spirit and ordered it to follow me around and strike down my enemies, it would be 1 service and it would use any required power to complete its task. Only caveat would be how you describe your enemies.

SNIP

Having the spirit possess you, with the service being "Assist me in destroying my enemies, as defined by those I attack or point out" would be 1 service. Having the spirit also use Guard or Magical Guard on your team would be another service though.


"One service" is one activity that is not interrupted. You get one combat per service if you let the spirit decide which powers to use.

A use of Guard (or Conceal or whatever) would interrupt the previous order - it´s either combat or stealth.
Metatron
Don't forget that the mage when possessed is dual natured, so wards are a problem. (unless they have masking, and even then...)

It might not be mortal danger, but it's something to remember wink.gif
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Ryu)
A use of Guard (or Conceal or whatever) would interrupt the previous order - it´s either combat or stealth.


This is not correct. Spirits don't have to do anything to provide Guard or Concealment. While sustaining Guard on you and yours is a service, a spirit is quite capable of using additional services while continuing to maintain that function. Indeed, going to battle without benefiting from Guard is kind of stupid, especially if you're bringing explosives or monowhips to the fight.

As to how many services can be used up in an attack, that's highly variable. A single attack on a structure may be from some points of view multiple combats, but from other points of view it will be one combat. It doesn't stop being the same combat just because you took cover behind a dumpster and tried to buy time while your friend snuck around the side to catch your enemies in a crossfire. It doesn't stop being the same combat just because you took down the guards in this room if there are more guards in the next room and so on.

The definition of a service is highly and deliberately variable. But assistance with fighting the guys in that building does not end as a service until you have defeated everyone in the building, been killed, or safely escaped the area and pursuit from the facility. The fact that you take some time to catch your breath Die Hard style while your friend hacks the wall mounted gun turrets doesn't make your attack finished and the spirit doesn't leave.

Just because you rolled initiative again doesn't mean it's a new combat, it just means that it's a new combat round. Spirits don't stick around for a scene, they stick around for a task - and that is frequently many scenes.

-Frank
Drogos
Blade most definately has the right of it. The loas are not to be used as tools, humans are tools of the loa. I suggest you remind him of that. Read up on some of the mythology of Voodoo and you'll get some rather devious ideas.
Sir_Psycho
Spirits in general are powerful. But remember that if a tradition is a Possession Tradition, then the spirits can't actually materialize and fight FOR you, they can only fight IN you.

If you want to balance it a little, I'd suggest Possession being a bound service, so they have to spend a little money preparing the vessel and such.

Personally, I think I'd prefer a non-possession spirit, materialized, using guard on me and with it's free IP's, attacking the enemies for me, and then I can still make my own actions.
weblife
QUOTE (Blade @ May 20 2008, 11:10 AM) *
The problem with possession is that the mage is... possessed. Which means that it has a spirit with its own agenda controlling his body. That depends a lot on the tradition of the mage, but for example a houngan doesn't exactly bind the lwa to his will. He's ridden by the lwa, and doesn't have much control over what the lwa does, especially if it's a high rating spirit.
Also the lwa might not like to be summoned each time the houngan faces some opposition.

So that's why I think a houngan would/should probably summon a lwa only when necessary. And when something like that happens, it probably means that the opposition has something dangerous enough to threaten it.


Channelling. If you go Posession you will get this as soon as you have 13 karma and a suitable magic group on hand. Its effectively a little like a true merge, where you use whatever ability set is better for the task, yours or the spirits.

Even if you do not have Channelling, you can order the spirit just like a rigger in captains chair. It even says so in the description somewhere. The spirit, while having its own agenda, is not free to follow it. You summoned it, you control it, you OWN it until its services are out.

Also, having it manifest is not a service. Having it move around, as in, go to door, open door.... *time goes*... place suitcase, press red button, get up, run... Would all cost NO services, since you've nicely broken all its actions into simple actions by running a commentary from inside your skull, with the spirit performing each step within the capacity of its skills. As long as no powers are required, and you keep the actions simple, no service is spent.

Combat would not be simple however, so going into combat would cost a service, but wisely worded the service can cover several combats until your task is completed.

All that, without channelling. Channelling is just like gravy. More is better. smile.gif
Apathy
In my view of things, a corp's magical security would include:
  • Aspected background count 1.
  • Wards all over the place. Blocking corredors, doorways, and elevator shafts. They're cheap and effective, at least for detecting astral and/or dual natured intruders.
  • Randomly patroling watchers. Once again, cheap astral detection.
  • There's an awakened plant in SM (can't remember the name right now and don't have it with me) that projects a local background count up to level 4. These clusters of potted plants would be artfully arranged at important junctures and choke points.
  • Security using stick-n-shock and neurostun. More effective, and less likely to cause collateral damage on their own facility and employees.
  • If security mages show up, a quick manastatic spell makes spirits relatively unimpressive.

So a possessing mage is dual natured, and can't walk through the front door, the secondary corredor, or up the elevator to the 53rd floor without notifying security, unless he releases and recalls the spirit. Each one of those uses up a service, and the mage won't have many services with a high force spirit.
Blade
QUOTE (weblife @ May 20 2008, 03:08 PM) *
Even if you do not have Channelling, you can order the spirit just like a rigger in captains chair. It even says so in the description somewhere. The spirit, while having its own agenda, is not free to follow it. You summoned it, you control it, you OWN it until its services are out.


Actually I was more talking about flavor than rules...
Fortune
The point about the Spirit having its own agenda is that, unless you want to micromanage the Spirit's every move (thus using up Services faster), the Spirit is free to carry out any Service requested in the way it best deems fit. This might not necessarily coincide with the summoner's plans, or may very well cause unexpected and unwanted side effects.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Fortune @ May 20 2008, 10:06 AM) *
This might not necessarily coincide with the summoner's plans, or may very well cause unexpected and unwanted side effects.

Unsurprisingly, the probability of this correlates very strongly with the GM's level of annoyance at the character's ongoing invincible bullshit. grinbig.gif
Ryu
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 20 2008, 11:53 AM) *
Spirits don't have to do anything to provide Guard or Concealment.


Concealment is a simple action, Guard a complex action. Do you only need to spend those once?

The way we play it, using those powers is something a spirit would be doing on his own accord in combat, but an explicit "conceal us" takes up an action.

I really don´t see "help us fight in that building" as taking only one service. Taking cover certainly does not interrupt combat, and if contact is never broken one combat can last pretty long, but once all current opposition is finished off, combat is certainly over.
Nightwalker450
Number of Services is actually very loose. It all depends on the spirits mood. Spirits that you have treated decently could provide bonuses while carrying out their services. Spirits that are irritated, or you have wronged might hold you to the letter of what your asking, or work to provide loop holes that get them out of service earlier. Most tasks with a well defined start/stop point I only have a spirit take one task (ie Scout this area and report back, neutralize that target). Other indefinate tasks, the spirit might decide its well beyond the price of one task later on. Telling a combat spirit that he must assist you in fighting everyone in the building... If he's not happy with you, his idea of following this might be pulling the fire alarm then standing in the hallway and trying out the endurance of his Immunity to Natural Weapons.

Spirits are entities with their own minds, the tasks are up to what they feel it is worth. Basically tasks are a form of currency you use to pay your spirit with. But its up to them of what to charge you, and if you try to cheat them they could get nasty in how they provide their services.

Usually when mages with spirits get too powerful, is when the GM forgets that the spirits are NPC's and starts treating them as gear.
evil_bacteria
While the target of the conversation has shifted, it's now on something else that's always interested/bothered me. Spirits are more powerful than ever in SR4 (well, technically, Immunity to Normal Weapons has received a much needed nerf), and the definition of services (as in, what will the spirit do for one service) has always been vaguely defined, so I'm reading this thread with great interest.

Keep it up guys, you're providing me a new level of understanding of this game.
fool
the same way you'd deal with any other spirit....stunball. It's resisted with will which for spirits is 4-6 generally. hit him with a couple of stunbolts/balls and he'll pop then you hit the mage with whatever you normally would.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Ryu @ May 20 2008, 12:31 PM) *
Concealment is a simple action, Guard a complex action. Do you only need to spend those once?


Yes. They are sustained powers, which means that they "may be maintained over time at no effort or cost." (SR4, p. 286)

There is even an example of this in the opening fiction for the Street Magic spirits chapter. Jimmy No gets 3 services, and he asks for Guard, Magical Guard, and a physical service to defend him if he came under attack.

-Frank
hyzmarca
One of my favored antagonists types is the Witchhunter or Witchkiller, a mundane specialized in defeating magical threats.
In particular, I have a group of fanatic free-spirit-worshipers who are empowered by their pantheon for the purpose of freeing spirits from oppression by metahuman magicians. Such characters, though mundane, possess a wide variety of spirit powers via Pacts and Endowment and hey can be suicidally fanatical.

Imagine, for a moment, an axe-wielding troll with energy-aura, max strength, and further strength enhancements from application of the Essence Drain stat enhancement rule, and engulf.
Jaid
QUOTE (weblife @ May 20 2008, 03:49 AM) *
Just a quick addition, regarding the use of Channelling. It does not take a service for each use of the spirits power.


funny, because
QUOTE (Street Magic page 55 @ "Channeling")
Control is still shared, however, and the magician is unable to tap the possessing spirit’s powers without expending a service.

seems to disagree with you.

QUOTE
Having the spirit possess you, with the service being "Assist me in destroying my enemies, as defined by those I attack or point out" would be 1 service. Having the spirit also use Guard or Magical Guard on your team would be another service though.


if the spirit likes you, maybe. but remember, spirit's don't like to manifest or possess, they like to stay on the astral. if you tell them to protect you and your friends, they might possess something, use guard, sustain the power, and then go astral again. having a spirit actively possess you (or anyone else, for that matter) is a service.

as for whoever pointed out that the nice thing about possession spirits is that they keep the mage safe while possessing as compared to manifested spirits? umm... right... i can send my manifested spirit out from behind cover. as in, i can be sitting down the hallway 50 meters, and send my spirit after someone on the other side of a structure 20 armor 20 wall, for example. darn, i feel so much less safe than the mage who has to actually go to where the enemy is. [/sarcasm]
evil_bacteria
Fool: When a spirit posseses someone, physical damage for spirit and vessel are maintaining jointly, so you can't just target the spirit. Does anyone know if stun damage works differently?

Jaid: What makes you think I'd let the mage hide behind a wall? There's always the possibility that one of the bad guys comes up from behind and finds the spellcaster cowering behind cover biggrin.gif
Apathy
The point is still valid, though. Possession makes the mage much tougher, but comes closer to requiring the mage to be 'on site' to wreck havoc (you can send the spirit off to possess someone or something else, but those possessions are much more prone to error). Materialization mages can send spirits off to wreck havoc remotely without leaving relative safety.
weblife
"Control is still shared, however, and the magician is unable to tap the possessing spirit€™s powers without expending a service."

See, the way I read it, it says powers, plural, and service, singular. Which nicely sustains my argument. And is also in accordance with Frank's version of understanding, and he helped make the book.

The last part you mention, does not exactly harm the cause of the possession mages... You rather make it out as it having distinct disadvantages, which are indeed the case. In other areas, it provides benefits.

But its a very valid problem, that you, as a normal summoner, can summon a spirit, send it on remote service "kill anyone in that room", and then call up another and another, as long as you point out their task and let them do it.

The possession mage has to bring prepared vessels if his spirits are going to affect the physical, and once possessed himself, its arguable if you can call that a "remote service". You can't by book lore, but that definition really harms flexibility, so in my group we have houseruled, that as counting as a remote service, since its task has a finite definition.

Moon-Hawk has it very nicely summed up. if you enrich the story and do not "break" the cardinal rule of fun, then much leniency can be given by the GM and no issues will come of it.

If on the other hand, you are milking every arbitrary interpretation to roll 20+ dice and summon super monsters all the time then GM's will take you down a notch by being increasingly subversive when it comes to playing the spirits.

Which in my book looks fair, as a more powerful spirit will definately have other stuff it would rather be doing. Here is where roleplaying and offerings come in, to stay in their good graces. But once summoned, you still own their asses, even if they do not like it.

Someone above said spirits prefer the astral, and it by definition is a service to ask them to materialize and possess. The firt is maybe true, but has no source I know to back it up as a blanket statement. The second is not true. Having a spirit materialize or possess is not a service.

Thus you could pass barriers by asking it to "step-out" for awhile, since the service you asked was "aid me in grabbing what I need and getting back out and away safe" (again reaction variable depending on spirit mood and GM's whim). However, it would have to go to its meta-plane and come back once you've passed to the other side, and That costs a service. (as I understand it).

But if you are being squashed against the floor of an elevator passing a barrier, having the spirit step out on its own volition is not a service, since being unconscious in the lift and itself disrupted is not working towards fulfilling the service asked. Again subject to spirits ambition and loyalty.

As a note to other possession mages, carpentry, or the Artisan skill, is nice to have when it comes to building mini-toys that can fly with small mechanical wings and little hands and claws. They can be made cheap with relatively good movement speeds and means you can send spirits on remote-service instead of mostly carrying them around.

Think R/C cars, mini aeroplanes of balsa wood, note that without preparation, it has to beat twice OR to possess, not getting the +6 dice for a prepared vessel, but if you have several toys it gets a try on each. (costing no service! nyahnyah.gif )

As a backup, bring a potted plant or pieces of wood, anything the GM agrees has low OR.
Jaid
weblife, asking a spirit to explicitly manifest or possess something is a service. if you ask it to use the guard power on someone, or to attack someone, and it uses possession or manifestation in the process of doing so, then it is all 1 service (much like if you ask it to attack someone and it engulfs multiple times, that is one service). but it is nevertheless a service for the spirit to manifest or possess something specific.

you may interpret that passage on channeling however you wish also, but it has always been (and continues to be) the case that if you wish to use one spirit power, you use one service. you do not just expend a single service and then get to use all of the spirit powers as often as you want for as long as you are channeling. you could, of course, use a service to get a use of concealment and then sustain said use for as long as you channel, but if it takes a service for the spirit to change the parameters of concealment, then it is just blatant rules abuse to try and claim that changes when you channel the spirit.
weblife
QUOTE (Jaid @ May 20 2008, 11:54 PM) *
weblife, asking a spirit to explicitly manifest or possess something is a service. if you ask it to use the guard power on someone, or to attack someone, and it uses possession or manifestation in the process of doing so, then it is all 1 service (much like if you ask it to attack someone and it engulfs multiple times, that is one service). but it is nevertheless a service for the spirit to manifest or possess something specific.


But if I ask the spirit to "please open the door", and the door is otherwise non-locked and unbarred, the spirit will materialize walk over to the door and open it. For no service at all. That being the case, I do not see Materialize and Possession as service costing powers, IF you are wise about wording your request. If the command is simply to Materialize, you would be correct and it would cost a service.

You are correct about the second part though.

QUOTE (Jaid @ May 20 2008, 11:54 PM) *
you may interpret that passage on channeling however you wish also, but it has always been (and continues to be) the case that if you wish to use one spirit power, you use one service. you do not just expend a single service and then get to use all of the spirit powers as often as you want for as long as you are channeling. you could, of course, use a service to get a use of concealment and then sustain said use for as long as you channel, but if it takes a service for the spirit to change the parameters of concealment, then it is just blatant rules abuse to try and claim that changes when you channel the spirit.


I agree with the second part of this as well, but you in the first part, you are assuming that the channelling mage requests each power on a blow by blow basis. A possessing spirit is limited in its movement, if I requested a "normal" spirit to assist me in combat for a given break-in, then it would do so, for 1 service, within in its abilities and intellect.

If you run by your strict interpretation, the posession mage would be severely hindered. As I see it, I can give my spirit the same command, but since I have to carry it into combat and split my combat actions with it, it makes good sense to me that it can and will use its powers multiple times during the break-in, as more specificly defined on a case-by-case basis, for just 1 service.

The Service is "assist me in combat", when combat comes, asking the spirit to do something in a specific way is not altering the parameters, or a second service, its still assisting me in combat. Fx asking it to "stay at range to fire" or to "close to melee now" is not services, its assisting me in combat.

Its less relevant to explore this borderland if the spirit is materialized, since it more or less indifferent how it acts to perform the task, but for the possessed its much more relevant to keep the spirit reined in and doing things a step at a time.
FrankTrollman
A good rule of thumb is that asking a spirit to possess anything specific that isn't you (or other provided prepared vessel) costs a service.

-Frank
Fortune
QUOTE (weblife @ May 21 2008, 05:13 PM) *
The Service is "assist me in combat", when combat comes, asking the spirit to do something in a specific way is not altering the parameters, or a second service, its still assisting me in combat. Fx asking it to "stay at range to fire" or to "close to melee now" is not services, its assisting me in combat.


But asking the Spirit for that Engulf (or any other specific Power) at any given time is another Service.
Muspellsheimr
Going to try and state this clearly, just in case someone has not 'gotten' it yet.

Asking for help in combat is a single service, for materialization or possession. The spirit will then do whatever it can to assist in combat. Anything it chooses to do during said combat is included under the "help with combat" command.

Asking for the use of a specific power at a specific time, regardless of if it is helping with a combat the spirit is already tasked with, costs another service. Each time you ask for the use of a power, you use up a service - there is no "two for one" deals.
weblife
If your interpretation is true and gospel, then a materialized spirit with the same task, is much more powerful, as it will, for 1 service, engulf each and every single guard on your path and use elemental attack on whatever flying gismo threatens you. For 1 service.

All I am saying is, the possessed needs the same flexibility by allowing them to "carry" the spirit closer to the target to be engulfed and saying, yea, now, go, do it, or whatever.

Otherwise, you can pretty much move possession to the field of "funny, but not used in games" mechanics. And forget about it being described as OP from any perspective.

They already have to give up Remote Service for their spirit, meaning, they have 1, 1 only, unbound spirit working for them at any given time. The materializer can have as many as he can withstand drain to summon. Each sent on its remote-service to make room for the next.

Truly, as I read it, there is room to be as pedantic as you choose to be, or as lenient as I describe it to be. I do not see you being able to say its like this, and no other. It will be up for interpretation in each group anyway.
Fortune
With either Materialization or Possession Spirits, you can either let the Spirit handle the task in the way it deems fit, which costs one Service, or micromanage the Spirit's actions and Power use, in which case it costs additional Services. That's canon, as far as I am concerned. You are, of course, free to play the game in any manner you choose.
evil_bacteria
QUOTE (Fortune @ May 21 2008, 09:01 AM) *
With either Materialization or Possession Spirits, you can either let the Spirit handle the task in the way it deems fit, which costs one Service, or micromanage the Spirit's actions and Power use, in which case it costs additional Services. That's canon, as far as I am concerned. You are, of course, free to play the game in any manner you choose.


Hey, I like that. Very succinct, sir.
CircuitBoyBlue
I play a possession shaman. As a player, the big problem I find is that the GM hasn't read up on all the possession rules like I have, and rarely wants to take the time to limit me. I've more or less stopped using spirits during combat because I was getting away with too much. The GM was saying he would rather I just play the spirit that was possessing me, which gets rid of the huge drawback--not being in complete control. So now I mostly just do things like summon Guidance spirits into newspapers, Watchers into paper airplanes.
Jaid
just a note, weblife read the errata. or maybe it's the FAQ. either way, you are limited to 1 bound spirit, whether it is performing a remote service or not.

and fortune, thank you; that's exactly what i've been saying.

you can order a spirit to help you out in combat, and it will help you out in combat. but if you ask it to help you out in combat, and then later tell it to (for example) engulf the troll, that is an additional service. the spirit still will finish the service of helping you in combat if the troll dies and no longer needs to be engulfed for example, but if you want the spirit to take a specific action, it costs you another service (unless the action in question is fairly insignificant). this would include telling it how to attack the enemy (which is not significantly different from asking it to change the targets of it's guard power, which does cost another service).

as far as the channelling thing, like i said: in previous editions it was for every use of a service. an individual use of a service may last a while, but the spirit isn't giving you it's spirit power via endowment, it is using it's power while you're possessed; anything that would require a new service if you weren't channelling (such as changing the parameters of how it's using a power, or requesting a specific power to be used... which in this case means any non-passive power, since the spirit can't use active ones otherwise) still costs a service.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Jaid @ May 21 2008, 12:55 PM) *
just a note, weblife read the errata. or maybe it's the FAQ. either way, you are limited to 1 bound spirit, whether it is performing a remote service or not.


1 UNBOUND spirit.

-Frank
Jaid
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 21 2008, 03:56 PM) *
1 UNBOUND spirit.

-Frank

right... that's what i meant to say anyways, thanks frank =S
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