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The Jopp
The problems and fun with possession spirits

I've just realized a rather odd angle to the whole possesion spirit thingy.

A spirit lacks physical sensations as they themselves lack a body with its complementary nerve endings, chemical composition and pheromone receptors.

How do they handle unvoluntary emotions, addictions and very very human behavior?

No, this is not the 101 ways to have sex with your ally/free spirit...

How easily would someone who have never experienced human emotions and reactions from a personal POW be affected by such very new sensations?

The unvoluntary reaction of laughter due to humor? The adrenaline rush of combat? Actual fear stemming from a release of endorphins...

These are things that spirits know nothing about as they LACK the very concept and are so very alien.

A bodyjumping spirit might have a thrill for the adrenaline rush prior to death and jump into bodies just to hav them commit suicide and leave them a second before impact...

Talk about a new plethora of options when playinga free spirit...

Heck, you could even have a suicide bombing one who leaves the boy seconds prior to detonation (the twisted way free spirit)

Then you have the problem witha spirit being forced out of the body...

How batshit insane is someone who has been trapped inside their body for YEARS and their captor is suddenly gone...?

Or just a week for that matter...

crizh
According to Synner Possessing Spirits do not again any access to the host body's senses at all.

The Spirit merely 'animates' the vessel it does not 'become' it in any meaningful sense.

It only has it's own senses, which often means it is incapable of reading, watching tri-d, etc, etc unless it has an appropriate Enhanced Sense as a Power.

This sucks ass and is, in my not very humble opinion, a stupid retcon on Synner's part but it remains the current 'cannon' position.
The Jopp
Actually it only says "hosts Knowledge skills and experience" in Street magic when telling about what they cannot use. And i cant find anything in Runner Companion that they cannot use the hosts bodily sensors as they can use cybereyes for example...

So they should experience what the body experiences as they are a dual natured being.

It also says that they cannot operate AR - but what about seeing a basic computer screen - not AR but a flatscreen? Especially when perceiving through a hosts eyes.
crizh
Yes I know the books don't say that but Errata probably will shortly.

Peter has made a number of stupid retcons of Spirits here on the boards. That one is probably in the thread which he claimed Spirits were immune to the entire Health Category of Magic. That thread got so embarrassing that he had it deleted. I may have some bits of it saved locally if you're interested.

I noticed this morning that they have slipped the phrase 'electronic projections on screens' into RC, so no LCD's or CRT's either...
Synner
Regarding the questions above (note that most of them apply to both possession and materializing spirits)

QUOTE
A spirit lacks physical sensations as they themselves lack a body with its complementary nerve endings, chemical composition and pheromone receptors.

While spirits apparently lack a physical biology, thaumaturgic theory has not conclusively explained what they are "made of" and how they emulate metahuman (and non-metahuman) senses and process the environment around them. The mechanisms that allow them to replicate certain senses while lacking the organs necessary are probably the same involved in providing physical sensations. Possession spirits infuse a vessel with their energies puppeting them so indeed it is possible they could feel second-hand emotions and reflex reactions from the host - in effect functioning like the dual natured being they are.

QUOTE
How do they handle unvoluntary emotions, addictions and very very human behavior?

Note their behavior is not necessarily human. It is human-like. But addiction exists in other animal species too and a component of addiction is its mental aspect anyway.

QUOTE
How easily would someone who have never experienced human emotions and reactions from a personal POW be affected by such very new sensations?

It really depends on how the spirit feels about the experience of physical existence in general and whether it is even interested in these new sensations. Some will be, some won't. Those that enjoy

QUOTE
The unvoluntary reaction of laughter due to humor? The adrenaline rush of combat? Actual fear stemming from a release of endorphins...

Some of these elements are not entirely physical but rather mental as well. One could also suggest that in the same manner a magician's mind subconsiously shapes the spirit's physical form to a certain extent it could also be imprinting thoughts, reactions, beliefs and expectations on the spirit's mind.

QUOTE
These are things that spirits know nothing about as they LACK the very concept and are so very alien.

This is correct. Insect spirits and shedim qualify in various regards.

QUOTE
A bodyjumping spirit might have a thrill for the adrenaline rush prior to death and jump into bodies just to hav them commit suicide and leave them a second before impact...


QUOTE
Talk about a new plethora of options when playinga free spirit...

Look for a surprise regarding these subjects in upcoming books.

QUOTE
Heck, you could even have a suicide bombing one who leaves the boy seconds prior to detonation (the twisted way free spirit)

Funny you should mention that. Something similar came across my desk recently.

Regarding spirit senses. After much discussion among the devs, the next FAQ update will clarify that spirits on the physical plane (whether possession or materializing) replicate the five basic/metahuman/unaugmented senses (ie. essentially those that the magician who summoned them had). Free and Wild Spirits are up to the GM. However, as with all dual natured beings their astral sense is permanently integrated with their remaining senses. This is a result of the same process which shapes and imprints their material form (which in turn is an ectoplasmic metamorphic energy field of sorts). This ruling (which contradicts my earlier post on DSF) was ultimately taken so as not to generate a cascade of tweaks in multiple books.

That said, I will reiterate what I've said previously on the subject: were I developing the spirit rules today (or sometime in the future), as astral/non-human beings with no natural physical bodies, spirits would not possess "human" senses by default, just their innate astral sense. "Normal Senses" (defined as whatever unaugmented senses the original conjuring magician possessed or the GM cares to give the spirit if it is Free or Wild) would be an Optional Power some spirits might possess.

Regarding Health spells. Though it might surprise you, I had nothing to do with the thread being deleted and was surprised to find it gone when I went hunting for the relevant thread to correct myself regarding the final ruling on Health spells (which came up regarding Free Spirits and healing in Runner's Companion and not Ghost Cartels as someone mistakenly suggested at the time). As some of you will have realized by now (again via Runner's Companion), after going over things with my predecessor I ended up changing my position on Health spells for consistency's sake. Again, should this ever be tweaked or should we move on from SR4 under my watch, I will definitely handle this aspect of the rules differently (a change to the way the broad Health spell category functions rather than to Spirits).

Only printed materials and official errata are "canon," I've made it clear on numerous ocassions on this board that my opinions and tulings on these boards are not to be considered official until they are published by Catalyst.
The Jopp
Since i find the rules for free spirit characters a bit too limiting i've made some changes (This might change depending on the status on the errata).

This is mostly to create more flexible free spirits and also change spirits from being either spirit power & Force heavy to more mid/low spirits with more powers and flesh out possession spirits.

Also to change costs between the different types.

Base Attributes
Base Attributes of 1: 0
Base Attributes of 2: 80BP
Magician/Magic 1: 15BP
Edge 1: 0
Edge 2: 10

Total: 105BP

Inherent Spirit Powers:
Materialization / Possession 10BP
Spirit Pact: Free (Both a hindrance and a boon and usually a variable cost)
Astral Form 10BP
Sapience 10BP
Immunity 10BP
Banishment Resistance 10BP
Immunity: Age 30BP
Immunity: Pathogens 30BP
Immunity: Poisons 30BP
Immunity: Fatigue 15BP

Negative Quality: Cannot Read AR -15BP
Positive Quality: Flight Skill+5BP
So, what do we have then?

Total 250BP

Now we have a base to work from.

Reduce Cost by 50BP for both traditions
Add attribute: Spirit Powers
Spirit powers starts at 2 and can be bought up to 6+initiate grade like any other attribute. It is not limited by magic as the physical and mental attributes are but the effects from these powers are limited by magic (Concealment at F2 only gives a -2 dicepool modifier).

Materialization Tradition
Materializing spirits are immune to all Illusion based spells as they can plainly see the spells in use. Health spells like “Heal? work on materializing Spirits

Except for that they use the regular rules
Materializing spirits cost is then: 200

Possession Tradition
Possession spirits REQUIRE a body to live in which have their own dangers.
Possession spirits are immune to all Illusion based spells as they can plainly see the spells in use.

Although the spirit is immune to pathogens and poisons a living host is not. Nor can a nonliving host protect against magical forces as well as a living shell as the rules for Object Resistance show.

A spirit in a living body will take damage by poisons/pathogens as the shell they live in will take damage and since they are a dual natured being they both feel it and are affected by it.

Essence is reduced due to implants and affect the entire astral template which in turn affect the spirit. A possession spirit reduce their force to max that of their hosts essence.

In the case of drones/vehicles they have the problem with OR and what they can actually control (The electronics of a possessed drone might still be controlled by a hacker or rigger unless it has a manual external switch).

They are also affected by gases, pheromones that affect the living or artificial body etc as they use the mind and senses of the living body. Since they are reliant on their body and resistances dont apply to their shell they reduce the cost for Immunities by half to -45BP.

Health spells will work on a spirits astral track but must be cast once on the host and once on the spirit so regardless of how healty the body is there might still be dicepool modifiers unless both host and master is healed. Drones will need maintenance and repairs in order to be repaired. Alternatively if the vessel is a Mini/Micro drone then the “Fix? spell might work.

They use fitting skills for metahuman/animal/drone movement.
They are also subjects for fatigue for living bodies and fuel/maintenance in the case of drones or vehicles unlike regular spirits so their cost drops by an additional 15BP
Due to their reliance on their hosts senses they can read AR through the hosts eyes +10BP

If a spirit is pushed out of a host that host will most likely NOT want to experience the possession again and WILL resist even more. Make a battle of will and if the target succeeds in defending itself then it counts as a failed possession (basically forcing the spirit to make TWO tests to repossess).

Also, it might be very, very disorienting and maddening being trapped in ones own mind and the GM should play it out accordingly when the poor sap wakes up…

Even though drones/vehicles take no stun damage they are shorted out and will not function for an amount of hours equal to the spirits damage track when the spirit is disrupted.

Possession spirits must start with one of the following:
Astral Being: The spirit must find a suitable host as game begins (The GM makes up EVERYTHING about the host, including enemies)
Metahuman: Cost is 80BP+Metarace (Mental & Physical attributes at 1)
Vessel: Cost is the vehicle/drone/statue/etc in resources.

Total Cost for possession spirits:
Base Cost: 200
Read AR: +10
Fatigue: -15
Reduced Resistances: -45
End Result: 150BP plus race.

Additional Free Spirit Qualities
Vessel Obsession +15BP
Like the quality of "Fixated" the spirit have an obsession towards a specific kind of vessel. Be it a metahuman body, drone or animal. The player must choose one kind of form at chargen.
Synner
Note that Possession spirits are not intended or designed to be limited to possessing a single body, in fact one of their advantages (though spelled out in Street Magic) is that they can use Possession at any time to possess pretty much any living or innanimate vessel and interact with the physical plane.
crizh
QUOTE (Synner @ Sep 2 2008, 06:52 PM) *
Note that Possession spirits are not intended or designed to be limited to possessing a single body, in fact one of their advantages (though spelled out in Street Magic) is that they can use Possession at any time to possess pretty much any living or innanimate vessel and interact with the physical plane.



While your here and loquacious, why do the Stats of the Homunculi in Street Magic seem to based on half Barrier Rating?

If you were to just make one out of a different material and use the rules to figure it's stats it would be twice as tough as the examples.
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