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Mordinvan
The realistic form power of spirits indicates they appear to be 'real' for all intents and purposes. So does this mean they have 'brainwaves' and so could use trodes and Skinlink? Or is this not going to work because of *cough, cough, handwaving, magic* which seems perfectly reasonable to anyone who knows what they are talking about?
Adarael
Note that realistic form "appears to be real for all intents and purposes." The key word is appears. They appear to have organs, they appear to bleed and breathe, they appear to be warm-blooded. But that doesn't mean their blood can be used in a transfusion, or that their liver processes toxins, or that they are actually breathing.

If you're familiar with Mage: The Awakening, look at it like Prime-created Phantasms. Phantasms have weight, texture, smell, sound, heat, all of that... but they don't conduct electricity, they aren't magnetic, the heat doesn't actually warm you.

It appears to be human, but is not.
FrankTrollman
"What I want now is gentleness, and joy, and love. .. From you Data, you are fully functional, aren't you ?"
"Of course, but .."
"How fully ?"
"In every way of course. I am programmed in multiple techiques. A broad variety of pleasuring."
"Oh, you jewel, that's exactly what I hoped."

-Frank
Pendaric
What the realistic form parameters are is ultimatly up to you as the ref, defined in regards to the best story and fun experience.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 27 2008, 12:38 PM) *
"What I want now is gentleness, and joy, and love. .. From you Data, you are fully functional, aren't you ?"
"Of course, but .."
"How fully ?"
"In every way of course. I am programmed in multiple techiques. A broad variety of pleasuring."
"Oh, you jewel, that's exactly what I hoped."

-Frank


While it is fun to be reminded of the lighterside of dying in space, that doesn't really help me answer my question.
I think you had a hand in writing the rules for this section, and was wondering if you could tell me what you or the other devs had planned for the power? ie, could the spirit use a trode net? if not why not? or is the why not "magic"
FrankTrollman
Realistic Form is a simplification of the old Human Form/Animal Form powers. A spirit with realistic form can, assuming that it has the appropriate form, be plugged into the wall and make toast. So I would assume that yes, it should be able to operate a trode net (as could a flesh form inhabited spirit).

Where it gets fuzzy is when people want their spirits to take the form of super computers, missile silos, or other expensive modern items. I would give a thumbs down to that. I left it intentionally vague however, as a certain someone wrote in to a novel a character whose ally took the form of an operable motorcycle - something which in the current rules is now arguably possible (as opposed to flat out impossible like it was in the edition for which that novel was officially written).

I tried to keep as many of the novel events as I can possible in the stuff I wrote. Heck, the cybermancy chapter in Augmentation is even compatible with Dragonheart.

-Frank
Mordinvan
I was wondering about how to deal with a spirit becoming an object, and figured it might work to have them make a forceX2 roll, or in the case of an ally spirit the mage make a magic+arcana roll against the object resistance of the thing they are trying to become, in the mages case to simply see if they can program the shape into the spirit formula.
The Jopp
Well, realistic form to me is that they LOOK like the form they are told to mimic.

Say that your ally spirit LOOKS like a toaster but that doesn’t mean that it is healthy to plug in the extension cord into the wall socket (Elemental attack anyone).

They LOOK like something and do it well, they don’t have the function of the object.

My favourite list of forms for a possible ally spirit (And I would give it ALL of them).

For 10 karma at creation:

1.House cat
2.Stray dog
3.Nude male metahuman
4.Nude female metahuman
5.A Sasquatch
6.Gigers alien (Materialize in a drivers lap and say BOO!)
7. A crow
8. A copy of the summoner (More of me!)
9. A potted plant (For those stealthy ambushes)
10. A flying carpet
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
Say that your ally spirit LOOKS like a toaster but that doesn’t mean that it is healthy to plug in the extension cord into the wall socket (Elemental attack anyone).


This is directly contradicted in the text of the power.

QUOTE (Street Magic @ p. 102)
A spirit that appears as an object mimics the object's normal functionality; for example, a toaster could be plugged into the wall to toast bread


-Frank
The Jopp
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 28 2008, 09:59 AM) *
This is directly contradicted in the text of the power.



-Frank


I stand corrected

So, what happens if a spirit takes the form of a BULLET?

Spirit form panther cannon shell?

I mean, IF they have the "ability" of said item then you CAN make an awakened Commlink.

I can buy that a car has wheels and rolls but really...how far does the spirit form ability go?
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 28 2008, 02:22 AM) *
Where it gets fuzzy is when people want their spirits to take the form of super computers, missile silos, or other expensive modern items. I would give a thumbs down to that.


A quick and dirty way to curtail the worst abuses is to only allow the spirit to assume the form of items that have an Availability of less than or equal to the spirit's force. Sure, it's flat-out metagame logic, but many quick and dirty GM solutions are.
Chrysalis
Most devices have a device rating of 3 would that be acceptable instead that a spirit can only take the form of a device with a maximum of a device 3? Of course then having a spirit who (which?) is a motorcycle is not possible.

-Chrysalis
Samba
QUOTE (The Jopp @ May 28 2008, 05:05 AM) *
I can buy that a car has wheels and rolls but really...how far does the spirit form ability go?


Herbie was a free-spirit nyahnyah.gif
Cain
Note that it says it mimics the normal functionality of the item, not that it perfectly duplicates it.

My ruling is that the form can't do anything more than what the mundane version could. For example, a spirit in the form of a computer couldn't surf the matrix by itself; you'd need to load an agent onto it. A spirit in the form of a dikoted AVS could fire itself if smartlinked, but it can't aim itself.
The Jopp
I have a serious problem with that they have the “ability? of an item, and the toaster is a good example.

The spirit have the ability to create heat to warm bread – I can buy that. But I don’t believe that it will like that someone puts in the power cord into an outlet as the spirit most likely does not need electricity.

Plugging the spirit into a wall socket would most likely induce an electric shock and damage the spirit.

I mean, IF a toaster can have immunity to electric powered attacks then we have a problem.

Flying toaster ally spirits that ignore electric attacks?

I have no problem that it uses the form as a camouflage but where do we draw the line of what is considered a ability.

Below are a few examples that makes me go HMM… due to the toaster scenario.

Toasters heat bread (right, but plugging it into wall socket should hurt)

Commlink has matrix connection (what, can the spirit use the comlink except VR and have constant watch over your shoulder as you hack VR)

Cars can move, at what speed? Like a real car?

A bullet, ok, a magical bullet, will the spirit die when I fire it?

A loaded pistol, can it shoot, have unlimited ammo?

Laser pistol with micro fusion bottle generator, have unlimited laser ammo?

Large Tiger, natural weapons?

An invisible metahuman body, right, constant invisibility on the physical plane, while affecting it.

A tiny fusion bottle generator, ok, my place in the barrens have unlimited energy


HOW and WHERE do we draw a realistic line without it all becomes a GM’s choice of what is good and what is bad.

Personally I would say it can LOOk like something but not PERFORM like it. It is a camouflage not a magical ability pool, at least not without cost.

IF a player wants a FORM to have a FUNCTION then one should have to pay extra for it.

Look like specific car: 1 Karma
Function like specific car: 1 more karma

Look like toaster, ok
Ability to NOT take damage while plugged into electric socket: 1 more karma
The Jopp
QUOTE (Cain @ May 28 2008, 11:13 AM) *
Note that it says it mimics the normal functionality of the item, not that it perfectly duplicates it.

My ruling is that the form can't do anything more than what the mundane version could. For example, a spirit in the form of a computer couldn't surf the matrix by itself; you'd need to load an agent onto it. A spirit in the form of a dikoted AVS could fire itself if smartlinked, but it can't aim itself.


But where does one draw the line?

I can have my mage create an ally spirit named Thunderbird and it takes the shape and ability of a thunderbird.

Ok, I now have my own personal transport that can go faster than the speed of sound, have unlimited fuel and (might) have armament…Just like the "mundane" version would

At the same time there should be a way to actually GET the spirit those abilities they are supposed to be able to mimic, it’s magic after all.
Cain
QUOTE (The Jopp @ May 28 2008, 02:25 AM) *
But where does one draw the line?

I can have my mage create an ally spirit named Thunderbird and it takes the shape and ability of a thunderbird.

Ok, I now have my own personal transport that can go faster than the speed of sound, have unlimited fuel and (might) have armament…Just like the "mundane" version would

At the same time there should be a way to actually GET the spirit those abilities they are supposed to be able to mimic, it’s magic after all.

Who says it'd have unlimited fuel? It mimics an ordinary T-Bird. The form doesn't grant it any special abilities beyond what a normal item would have.

QUOTE
Commlink has matrix connection (what, can the spirit use the comlink except VR and have constant watch over your shoulder as you hack VR)

The spirit *is* the commlink. Since when can computers use themselves? You could install a program or Agent on the thing, but that's not the same.
QUOTE
Cars can move, at what speed? Like a real car?

Yes, why not? It's not broken.
QUOTE
A loaded pistol, can it shoot, have unlimited ammo?

Smartlinked pistols can shoot themselves, so yes. Do normal pistols have unlimited ammo? Then no to that part.
QUOTE
Laser pistol with micro fusion bottle generator, have unlimited laser ammo?

Do normal laser pistols come with micro fusion bottle generators? No? Then they just duplicate a normal laser.
QUOTE
Large Tiger, natural weapons?

Why not? You can get the Natural Weapon power for an Ally for free, anyways.
QUOTE
An invisible metahuman body, right, constant invisibility on the physical plane, while affecting it.

Are metahuman bodies naturally invisible?
QUOTE
A tiny fusion bottle generator, ok, my place in the barrens have unlimited energy

AFAIK, there aren't portable fusion generations in 2070. Since it's not a normal item, you can't duplicate it.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Cain @ May 28 2008, 11:00 AM) *
Are metahuman bodies naturally invisible?


No, but what exactly IS a "Realistic Form"

IS there a clear limit on WHAT the summoner can choose his ally spirit to look like?

IS realistic form limited to "real" objects and critters? I can find no clear wording of that so if a mage chooses Gigers Alien it should then have acid blood and be a bitch in close combat.

Cain
QUOTE
No, but what exactly IS a "Realistic Form"


Well, according to the rules:
QUOTE
A spirit with Realistic Form can be mistaken for a normal
physical creature or object when it materializes, or it appears
unremarkable when joined to a vessel.

So, if it can't be mistaken for something mundane, or otherwise looks unremarkable, it's not realistic. Your Geiger alien would never be accepted as a mundane thing, so that's out; although a spirit could indeed Materialize in that form.
Fuchs
The "A spirit can be a toaster you can plug in" is not in my game - I prefer to separate magical creatures like spirits and technology.
last_of_the_great_mikeys
Heh...talkie toaster...
Crusher Bob
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ May 28 2008, 02:38 AM) *
"What I want now is gentleness, and joy, and love. .. From you Data, you are fully functional, aren't you ?"
"Of course, but .."
"How fully ?"
"In every way of course. I am programmed in multiple techiques. A broad variety of pleasuring."
"Oh, you jewel, that's exactly what I hoped."

-Frank


"I see," says Zan, and bows his icy head. "SISTER, TO ME!"

They touch, one last time. "Form of . . . a world-drowning ocean."

"Shape of . . . the Midgard Serpent!"

"The lie of human form is past," murmurs the rising sea. "The lie of hearts and minds recedes. Ah! Batman, thou were wise and cruel, to bind us so."
Particle_Beam
Ah, the good old "Realistic Form"-power...

Can such a spirit with that power bear children? One could argue that this might be possible, as seen with the toaster-example. Also, perhaps they are the source from where awakened humans and animals come from. Perhaps the Imperial Japanese Family did indeed originate from Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who was frolicking in human form around. Others might ask about the relationship of the Virgin Maria and the Holy Spirit, and how then Jesus might be related to that.

Let's not forget the possibility for Spirits to become melee weapons with that power. If you ever wanted your +1 Flame Tongue Sword with own sentience, just convince a friendly spirit with Energy Aura (Fire) and Realistic Form to become your favorite hack'n'slash-implement. nyahnyah.gif
FrankTrollman
Is it within the normal properties of a shower of gold or a mystical swan to be able to impregnate a human female?

---

From a strictly functional standpoint: I personally rule that a spirit can be in the form of an object and use any of its characteristics that do not require software. So you can make a boom box, but not a commlink. That's not official, and when I wrote the section it was intentionally left open-ended. But those are the criteria I use.

Spirits can appear in the form of Detroit Muscle Cars from the 1970s, but not in the form of Detroit Electric Vehicles from the 2070s.

Remember also that just because you have realistic form doesn't mean you can turn into whatever you want. You still have a single form that is whatever you the spirit happen to be. Having Realistic Form makes your physical materialization into a real physical thing, but it doesn't let you change it into crazy stuff like Plasticman.

-Frank
Mordinvan
So a spirit could turn into a comlink, it just wouldn't have the software required to use any of its functions until they were loaded onto it?
Hmmm... makes me want to make an ally spirit with hacking, hardware, software, and ECM skills.
Pendaric
Personaly there is no problem with this form as long as you use the fuzzy logic that humans excel at. The instant you have to have bold solid lines confining the idea you build in calcification to your system. Choose what works for your game.
There is no reason to maintain those boundries from game to game even. In one, a spirit can only mimic a form. In another, it is fully functioning object/being indistiguishable from the real thing. What ever make the best experience for that story.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Pendaric @ May 28 2008, 09:24 AM) *
Personaly there is no problem with this form as long as you use the fuzzy logic that humans excel at. The instant you have to have bold solid lines confining the idea you build in calcification to your system. Choose what works for your game.
There is no reason to maintain those boundries from game to game even. In one, a spirit can only mimic a form. In another, it is fully functioning object/being indistiguishable from the real thing. What ever make the best experience for that story.


The only problem with that is having players not know what to expect. I prefer to run by the rule, and have in writing any exceptions which are being made so everyone understands what is going on. Adhoc rules changes agravate me is ways our language doesn't have words for yet, cause they prevent any of the players from understanding how to play the game.
ArkonC
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 28 2008, 07:27 PM) *
The only problem with that is having players not know what to expect. I prefer to run by the rule, and have in writing any exceptions which are being made so everyone understands what is going on. Adhoc rules changes agravate me is ways our language doesn't have words for yet, cause they prevent any of the players from understanding how to play the game.

While I mostly agree with you, I don't mind not having clear rules in this case, it is magic after all, a bit of unknown makes it exciting...
Adarael
Here's a wacky question for you.

Suppose a spirit has Realistic Form: Spear. So they look like a fancy boar spear or something.
Now suppose you attack another spirit with your spirit-spear.

Does it bypass Immunity to Normal Weapons? And can the spirit-spear make an independent attack (say, Innate Spell: Flamethrower) and get a surprise action due to the "Holy shit, flame-throwing spear?!?" effect...?
CanRay
IIRC, in one of the novels an Ally Spirit had a realistic form of a Racing Motorcycle.

Apparently, it ran of Long Island Ice Teas.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (CanRay @ May 28 2008, 11:37 AM) *
IIRC, in one of the novels an Ally Spirit had a realistic form of a Racing Motorcycle.

Apparently, it ran of Long Island Ice Teas.


I remember hearing about this. Didn't actually run off them, but you needed to give it to the bike to keep it happy.
CircuitBoyBlue
QUOTE (Adarael @ May 28 2008, 01:12 PM) *
Here's a wacky question for you.

Suppose a spirit has Realistic Form: Spear. So they look like a fancy boar spear or something.
Now suppose you attack another spirit with your spirit-spear.

Does it bypass Immunity to Normal Weapons? And can the spirit-spear make an independent attack (say, Innate Spell: Flamethrower) and get a surprise action due to the "Holy shit, flame-throwing spear?!?" effect...?

These would be excellent questions if they weren't failing to use the term "spear-it." Other than that, I want a spear-it.
WeaverMount
I am temped to draw the line at realistic form not being about to create fuel/propellants/explosives/isotopes, or anything highly energetic. Magic doesn't give a crap about conservation of mass, but most every tradition I know about in RL has a "you can't get something for nothing" clause pretty high up in its list of tenants. I feel like Realistic Form:C-4 is getting something for nothing they way getting Realistic Form: Mono-Whip isn't. That stops a lot of the cheese. So yes if you give your ally spirit the form of a APDS bullet, but you would have to crimp your ally every time, with real powder and casing. I would think that such a round out cut ItNW because a spirit possessing a bullet does.

Also about the comlink, I don't see how this would be any different from a possessed comlink. Of course it would work as a comlink, and this spirit still can't use it.

Shutting down the T-bird cheese, I would but a limit on the body/BR, of an object based on force. I don't have enough vehicals memorized to throw out a good benchmark, but this sounds workable. Also I would think that mods and weapons would come down to your tradition's "Platonic" vision of the item in question. Traditions are a world view. That implies that they are instrumental in helping the (meta-)human practitioner impose categories on the world. This should assist in drawing the line at what "one thing" is. A boat could sonar, but an APC shouldnot. have full weapon racks.

Another Idea for high res ally spirits with realistic form is that all the information on the form must be but in the formula. If the caster knows what vaugely what a skeleton looks the skeletal structure won't hold up under medical review. Similarly if a mechanic sketches out the design for there dream bike All the parts will work, but without some kind of help they can't spell out in the formula how to make the electronics to get the bike on grid-guild.
Chrysalis
Since spirit forms are photo perfect. Can I get one in the form of Damian Knight and can he perform on camera with the Dunkelzahn spirit form?

Pendaric
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 28 2008, 12:27 PM) *
The only problem with that is having players not know what to expect. I prefer to run by the rule, and have in writing any exceptions which are being made so everyone understands what is going on. Adhoc rules changes agravate me is ways our language doesn't have words for yet, cause they prevent any of the players from understanding how to play the game.


My point here, for clarification, is deliniate what is best for the story in your game. Let the players who should know, know. This definition can be changed in another game story arc. Repeat letting the players who should know, with in character knowlegdes, know. Keeps thing interesting and limits metagaming a bit too.
Pendaric
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ May 28 2008, 04:25 PM) *
Since spirit forms are photo perfect. Can I get one in the form of Damian Knight and can he perform on camera with the Dunkelzahn spirit form?


No.
But may be..
Actually, NO!
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Pendaric @ May 28 2008, 04:42 PM) *
My point here, for clarification, is deliniate what is best for the story in your game. Let the players who should know, know. This definition can be changed in another game story arc. Repeat letting the players who should know, with in character knowlegdes, know. Keeps thing interesting and limits metagaming a bit too.


Thats fine, but when GM's tell a player that powerball cast doesn't have an AOE an the target gets to dodge, and lets you know he changed the spell to work like this after you've already cast it, is a bit of an issue I seem to have with a few GM's.
Pendaric
My heart felt sympathies. May you find better refs in the future or at least only have to suffer their inexperience once.
WeaverMount
One thing that I really like to do in my games is ask players about there tricks. They generally forthcoming with their twinks if you are direct. A huge advantage this gives the ability to keep magic mysterious, because it let you know where you need to nail down rules, and where you can take licence without pissing people off. If your player's magicians plan to rock as a conjurer with ally spirt, invoking and geomancy. You can pull some monkey biz with with masking and flexible signature. Screwing with people's meta game knowledge evokes the fear of the unknown like nothing else, and eldrich magics should have that feel.
Jackstand
That reminds me of one of my favorite parts of Paranoia-- For the players to know the rules is treason!
CanRay
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 28 2008, 03:48 PM) *
I remember hearing about this. Didn't actually run off them, but you needed to give it to the bike to keep it happy.

Same difference.

Pissed off Ally Spirit *BAD*!!!
CanRay
QUOTE (Jackstand @ May 28 2008, 07:15 PM) *
That reminds me of one of my favorite parts of Paranoia-- For the players to know the rules is treason!

BTW, I'm an official Demonstrator of the current version of Paranoia. vegm.gif
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