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Alright, my group as been doing well since my last post needing help with Astral Space. Now I need some information on Nature Spirits.

Nature spirits have not come up in play at all, but they may shortly. I played a hermetic mage briefly for 3 modules several years ago, but never a shaman. How would a nature spirit fight on the physical plane? I know they'll use accident, fear, and other such powers, but can they dish out damage like an elemental? Obviously a storm spirit can with electrical projection but what about the others?

What would a spirit of man do if the shaman said "Scrag that guy"? Would they melee using the standard unarmed combat rules doing STR(L) damage with a skill equal to their force? Is there a section somewhere in the book that explains how a manifested nature spirit would duke it out? I know they can fight on the astral just like an astral mage using the damage table in the book for astral entities, but what about real space?

Are nature spirits intended to have an indirect combat role, or am I just completely overlooking something obvious?

Thanks again for the help guys, I appreciate it.
Hm... my experience lies mainly in third edition... but i don't think that there is much difference. Well i would go for the accident power. Softening the intruders up first, confuse them... maybe they will lose their friends in the thick fog/woods. When they are seperated and such it can strike.

I always played nature spirits cleverer, not as "brutish" as elementals. Have them observer and wait, then strike, first with their powers and only physical to finish somebody off. They are significant weaker than say a fire elemental... but have a lot more powers. (True in second edition???). That said they of course CAN just manifest and go to work... and high-force ones can dish out too.
Professor Evil Overlord
Agreed. Nature spirits are less useful for direct damage. They are more about disruption. Accident can be very annoying, even if it won't normally do direct damage. Confusion is great - you get to apply a penalty to every action an opponent takes. Concealment is basically a poor man's invisibility.

Also realize the other advantage of nature spirits - you can summon them as an action without any prep work, unlike elementals that require an hour per force point and cash to bind before being useful. You can literally just decide to call up a nature spirit at any time, even in the middle of combat. It only takes an action (complex, IIRC). The downside is that they won't do many of the services that elementals do like aiding sorcery, sustaining spells, etc. They also cannot cross domain lines, which can severely limit their mobility.

Of the two, nature spirits are probably more useful because of how many things they can do besides just inflicting direct damage. Their powers are also get really scary for great forms because they can suddenly cross domain lines (see the Grimoire (SR1&2) or Magic in the Shadows (SR3))

Hope that helps.
I can only remember my SR1 and SR3 books, but there should be a section like 'Spirits and Dragons' towards the end that has the combat stats for all the spirits, including nature spirits. Nature spirits are indeed pretty minor in combat, however.
Shinobi Killfist
Some of the editions have nature spirits having a attack damage some don't. In 1-3e considering how ridiculously versatile nature spirits are compared to elementals I prefer when they don't have the attacks as well.
Friends in Melee is a nice way to knock someone around after someone has been hit with a confusion power. Send off your charisma in spirits. Then attack. Also you can remember that a location can have multiple domains. Might want to mix and match powers.

New question!

I'm probably overlooking the obvious here, but when a spirit uses a power, say Flame Projection in SRII, does it roll dice or does it just automatically do Force(L)?

I would assume that it rolls its force (or maybe reaction?) dice as a standard ranged attack starting at Force(L), and staging up from there.

I remember reading something at some point about it rolling its force, but for the life of me I cannot find the reference.

I don't have the old books but if i remember correctly all critters, spirits and such use their reaction value as a skill for melee and natural weapons. I think the powers are in there too. But Force(l)?. I am pretty sure they start at (m) and count as normal elemental attacks. But don't rely on me... Why am i posting if i don't know for sure? NO IDEA.
In 3rd, reaction was their skill for everything. Never got far enough into 2nd to use spirits, but should be the same.
Next question,

If a rigger is directly controlling a drone, and he want's to shoot a spirit, I assume that he'd roll his willpower with all the standard drawbacks for firing a "gun" at a spirit?

What if the rigger commands the drone to attack anything that moves and a spirit then manifests, and the drone sees it. Would the drone just roll its pilot / sensor skills to attack, or would the "willpower-less" drone's bullets just bounce harmlessly?
Going off memory and SR3 - the rigger cannot use his willpower 'through' the drone like that. The drone can fire normally, but it has to overcome the spirit's resistance to normal weapons.

(On the flip side, the drone, being vehicle, is pretty immune to spells, and highly resistant to most other physical attacks. So it's a stalemate unless one side or the other has much bigger guns.)

Also note that manifesting and materializing are different. I always get them swapped too. However, a manifested spirit would be invisible to the drone. The materialized drone would not be.
(Double post)
I assume you mean attacks of will? They can't be made with a projectile weapon and a drone can't attempt it anyway. Neither can a rigging rigger in a drone body. Only things that are alive can attempt them and only in melee.

The rigger and the drone with command to attack just pump the spirit full of lead, or hack away with its arms. Normal rules. The imunity just means it has hardened armor according to its power. You can crack them with normal weapons too.

EDIT: Hm, got ninja'd... twice...
Hmm. I don't think materialization was a mechanic back in SR II. I know that astral mages can manifest in SR4, but that ability did not exist in SR II as far as I am aware.

Anyways, if that is the case that a rigger cannot "willpower" through a directly controlled drone, it could actually be advantageous to shoot at a spirit through a drone. If a 1 willpower rigger has gunnery 6, he'd be better off shooting through a drone instead of using his own weapon, even if they're the exact same weapon. That seems to be against the spirit (hehe!) of the rules.

I seem to remember (I could be way off here), that in SR II spirits were immune to explosions from things that weren't triggered by a living attacker. For example, if you threw a grenade, the spirit would simply have the "immunity to normal weapons" effect. If the spirit was sitting in a warehouse when a fire went up and triggered the dynamite he'd be completely unharmed because there was no "will" direction the explosion.

Edit: The relevant section I am referencing says that willpower is always used versus spirits, unless you have a magic weapon such as a focus or killing hands.

"When attacking a spirit in manifest form using a mundane weapon to strike or shoot the character uses willpower instead of the normal combat skill."
Spirits definitely could materialize. One of the problems of 2nd edition was a mage would conjure his spirit, go to the astral, have the spirit materialize in the center of a room of physical bad guys, then ground a high-level fireball through the materialized (dual-natured) spirit to hit the bad guys. However, they could have mixed up the terms between 2nd and 3rd, which would explain why I always mix them up too.

"Immunity to normal weapons" was based on the force of the spirit. A spirit is immune - until the weapon is just too big to ignore (you can still take out spirits with battleship cannons, for instance). For force 8+ spirits, they really were basically immune, but for weak spirits, using high-power weapons could sometimes be powerful enough to knock them down anyway. But that all may be corrupted by playing SR3 so much now. There were a few changes between editions, but I don't think that one was one of them.

Right. I believe that manifest and materialize were changed between 2nd edition and 3rd. In SR II manifesting means to go from being astral to fully realized and physical. I believe in SR 3 and up "manifest" simply means to appear in a corporeal form similar to how a watcher manifested in SR II.

The problem I have is that if riggers use gunnery when using drones to attack a spirit, is that it can be better to use a drone to hurt a spirit than to attack it "more directly" with your gun. If you're holding a gun and have willpower 1, but gunnery 6 it would behoove you to pilot the drone to kill the spirit. The spirit's damage resistance would be the same, but now you've got way more dice to work with.
Upon second thought, it's not too weird that a rigger can actually hit a spirit more easily when piloting a drone as opposed to shooting one using a gun held in his own hands. Sometimes technology can screw with magic in a way that's beneficial to the tech side of things. The biggest example would be someone using the mana version of invisibility. I'm there in person, and I can't see them, but if I switch to some form of electronic imaging I'm just fine.

I suppose using gunnery instead of willpower would be allowed as his weak will is simply no longer an issue. The remote control has circumvented it much in the same way that electronic imaging would allow someone to circumvent regular mana based invisibility.

Of course, if someone can chime in with the actual and correct ruling from SRII, I'm all ears.
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