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Tanegar
I was rereading my copy of SR2 the other day when I chanced upon the rules for nature spirits and spirit domains. This is a very interesting idea to me. I have long been uneasy with the fact that hermetics and shamans, two groups with vastly different views on the nature of magic, are now mechanically identical (or at least far more similar than they were). I understand why this is so: to better balance multiple traditions and to make it possible for players to create custom traditions. But I still think it detracts from the flavor of the game.

What does Dumpshock think? Could spirit domains be reintroduced in a way that makes sense and is balanced? Should the concept be tied to tradition, having "domain" traditions vs. "summon anywhere" traditions, or should summoning a spirit in its home domain merely offer a bonus of some sort? Or would you care to take a third option?
Ol' Scratch
I never cared for them. They were overly restrictive and open to too much interpretation when it came to being in more than one domain, which in turn made certain spirits (Sky and Man in particular) way too powerful compared to others.

If they were to be introduced in SR4, I'd only be open to them as a limitation to where you can summon one, but not where you can take them or order them to go. So you'd need a bush, a tree, or at the very least a potted plant in order to summon a Plant Spirit, but you could take him anywhere you wanted once summoned.
Dragnar
Spirit domains were annoying to keep track of while not actually doing anything to really restrict shamans to power them down.
Getting rid of that and streamlining the way magic works is one of the reasons SR4 is superior mechanically.
Do you really need a rule telling you that 3 |= 4 to be able to roleplay the vast differences in worldview of a shaman and a hermetic?
When the dice hit the table, you're OOC anyways, so what does it matter if another different character would potentially roll the same dice, apart from making it easier to remember which dice to roll?
Mantis
Also in previous editions mages couldn't summon on the fly anyway. They always needed ritual materials and a circle to summon their elementals. Shamans could summon anywhere but were limited to only one spirit at a time. Mages could summon as many as they had charisma points. Two different ways to handle and balance spirits/elementals but in practice all it did was cost mages more money to summon with the advantage they could have more spirits on call than a shaman. The shaman got spirits with more powers but could only have one at a time and and had to be within the domain to summon/use it.
I like the current system better. More streamlined and balanced. Everyone who wants to bind spirits pays for it and everyone can summon on the fly. The domain thing was always more of a RP thing than a rule thing I think. It gave a game mechanic for something that should/could have been role played anyway.
How do you see domains being added in and balanced? Mages and similar traditions wouldn't pay any attention to it so they would stay as is. Shamans and similar traditions would end up being limited in what they could summon when they needed it and where they could use their bound spirits (if they were allowed to bind them).
Anyway, my 2 worth.
knasser
I liked the old domains. I think the new rules are very good, but playing Hermetics and Shamans was very different back in 1st and 2nd and it was fun. I played a shaman back in 2nd whilst another player had a hermetic. We were always sniping at each other (but that was more player-based) and our different abilities worked nicely together. One of the things I've always liked about Shadowrun is it's not a scale of Low Power ------> High Power, but about having the right tool for the job.

I ticked "interesting" for the second part of the poll. I don't know whether it would be good or bad, but I'd be interested to see anyone's take on it.

K.
Tanegar
QUOTE (Dragnar @ Mar 27 2010, 06:28 AM) *
Spirit domains were annoying to keep track of while not actually doing anything to really restrict shamans to power them down.
Getting rid of that and streamlining the way magic works is one of the reasons SR4 is superior mechanically.
Do you really need a rule telling you that 3 |= 4 to be able to roleplay the vast differences in worldview of a shaman and a hermetic?
When the dice hit the table, you're OOC anyways, so what does it matter if another different character would potentially roll the same dice, apart from making it easier to remember which dice to roll?

I think there's something of a false dichotomy in the "fluff vs. crunch" debate. The two should reinforce each other. IMO, if the mechanics and the flavor conflict, if one makes no sense in the context of the other, or if one renders the other irrelevant, one of them should be changed. I do agree that SR4 is mechanically superior to previous editions, but I don't think the simplification of summoning is one of the reasons for that.
Red-ROM
I liked the domains, I think It could be reinvented as an aspect negative quality or something. Maybe spirits could gain a bonus in their domain, or you could apply a background type modifier to the summoning roll. of course, all this just makes things more complicated. I just liked the link spirits had to the real world with shamans. and the images of the spirit of man forming out of the garbage or whatnot
AngelisStorm
Now that would be interesting. Some version of the "home ground" quality for spirits. Balance it against a penalty when out of their territory? (Or simply can't go out of their territory.)

But then I also think spirits need to have more alergies.
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