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Elfenlied
So, which spirit (among the 10 standard ones) do you consider best to specialise in? Gaining bonus dice for spirits is rather easy, but requires some commitment on the conjurers part (Mentor spirit+Skill specialisation). So, assuming you were to optimize a conjurer, which spirit would you specialise in, and why? Assume, for the moment, that you can freely choose from the traditions in SM or create your own one, and the tradition is materialisation based (otherwise, Guardian spirits would be too obvious).
Belvidere
Fire, plain and simple. Just because, everything burns eventually. That and I have a habit for playing Christian Theurges and Black Magicians, both of whom use fire for combat.
Summerstorm
I am the GM in a game with a hyper specialized mage which does nearly all actions by proxy of spirits: And i can just say: AIR. Their engulf is very nasty AND nonlethal. Also to ruin the best laid plans of the bad guys: Ancestor spirits. They have access to the metamagic "Divination". A very nice tool to gather information and pretty much predict parts of the future (as long as they can see the aura of a important person in the story - yourself for example).

Back to combat: In all forms, ENGULF is just nearly unavoidable. You HAVE to to be very melee-specialized to not get taken out of the fight. And you have to be imune to poison, crushing air to not be smothered by an air spirit in 1-2 rounds. Fire is a close second (a nice +mod in physical form to agility helps in the attack - just like air), but it kills the victim.

But overall ALL spirits have great uses. Guardian Spirits have a weaponskill of choice as well as GUARD (insanely overpowered), Ancestors have some great utility (and guard too). Beasts and plant can get regeneration, which is nice. Earth is a nice combatant if you have low-skilled but hardy adversaries. But really: All spirits are better than unaugmented people.
Bull
Depends on the character and what you want to do.

Guardian have some fun toys. Guidance can be very cool. Earth and Fire can both be powerhouses in combat.

For my money, Air. Movement, Concealment, Engulf, and as an optional power, Fear. Those are the tools you need to dominate, control, and kick 32 flavors of ass.

Bull
Tomothy
I like spirits of man, innate spellcasting, fear, confusion and influence. Closely followed by air spirit.
HappyDaze
I tend to avoid Fire Spirits in Seattle-based games, as their Allergy can be a real bitch to them in the rain or in a building with a fire suppression system (which is most of them).
Omenowl
I am going to exclude invoking in the list

Man because of the ability to have any spell the spellcaster knows. A force 6 spirit of man can get you 2 spells that it can sustain on you for 2 tasks. Unlike other spirits that would lose force over time

I also like beasts for animal control.
Faraday
QUOTE (Summerstorm @ Jun 7 2010, 06:09 PM) *
I am the GM in a game with a hyper specialized mage which does nearly all actions by proxy of spirits: And i can just say: AIR. Their engulf is very nasty AND nonlethal. Also to ruin the best laid plans of the bad guys: Ancestor spirits. They have access to the metamagic "Divination". A very nice tool to gather information and pretty much predict parts of the future (as long as they can see the aura of a important person in the story - yourself for example).

One trouble with air spirit engulfing: What if he has an internal air tank/gas mask?
Whipstitch
Plant spirits are excellent for Invokers who want cheap but hardy muscle. There's better spirits for raw damage potential, but Plant Spirits have no allergies, they have ready access to many of the bread and butter non-combat utility Powers while Magical Guard, Fear and Regeneration gives them a bit more staying power if you just need someone to cover your exit or to provide the the friends in melee and defended against multiple attack modifiers. I prefer more specialized Spirits for on the fly summoning, but Plant Spirits are excellent generalists and it really makes them great binding candidates.
Saint Sithney
Whiskey is my favorite spirit by far.. nyahnyah.gif
Nyost Akasuke
Obviously, a Great Form Nuclear spirit is the best choice. Kidding aside, I'd agree with going for a Spirit of Man, for the reasons already mentioned. Guidance makes a close second for me. Fun with divination.
Elfenlied
Hmm, seems like Man, Air and Guidance seem to be the runner-ups. Lucky for me, my current character's tradition has access to all three of them. smile.gif
TommyTwoToes
I favor Guardian. If you carry around a backpack with a few heavy weapons, the Guardians can turn into "WTF, where did those spirits get Assault cannons from" goodness. If you are being non-stealthy, gernades aren't really going to bother F6 spirits, so they can run around dropping gernades at their feet.
Tyro
The Guidance Spirit's version of Engulf is just nasty.

Overall, Plant. Noxious Breath is a nice mook clearing ability, Fear rules, Regeneration if you can Invoke, etc.

I thought they were allergic to fire?
Whipstitch
Nope. And honestly, it makes sense that they aren't since healthy plants are roughly as vulnerable to fire as they are to everything else: not very. Grasses reclaim territory quickly and trees survive forest fires all the time by just standing there. Eucalyptus trees actually have oils that are highly flammable and if anything encourage fires, yet everything else about them is quite resistant to fires. They are actually able to support short growth periods even in the absence of photosynthesis, allowing them to regrow their leaves. The theory is that for eucalyptus trees the trait of actually encouraging fires turned into an evolutionary advantage, since they can survive fires a lot of competitor species and plants cannot. You can seriously find a plant out there that's adapted to just about anything.
Tyro
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ Jun 9 2010, 11:14 AM) *
Nope. And honestly, it makes sense that they aren't since healthy plants are roughly as vulnerable to fire as they are to everything else: not very. Grasses reclaim territory quickly and trees survive forest fires all the time by just standing there. Eucalyptus trees actually have oils that are highly flammable and if anything encourage fires, yet everything else about them is quite resistant to fires. They are actually able to support short growth periods even in the absence of photosynthesis, allowing them to regrow their leaves. The theory is that for eucalyptus trees the trait of actually encouraging fires turned into an evolutionary advantage, since they can survive fires a lot of competitor species and plants cannot. You can seriously find a plant out there that's adapted to just about anything.


Very nice.
Whipstitch
I'm admittedly kind of a gigantic nature nerd despite being deathly allergic to hippies and new agey types.
Tyro
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ Jun 9 2010, 11:37 AM) *
I'm admittedly kind of a gigantic nature nerd despite being deathly allergic to hippies and new agey types.


What is it about hippies that bothers you?
Whipstitch
Patchouli.
Caadium
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ Jun 9 2010, 10:48 AM) *
Patchouli.


Seconded!

Apathy
What about task spirits? Doesn't being able to summon a high-force task spirit make you an uber-generalist with access to almost any skill?
Tyro
QUOTE (Apathy @ Jun 9 2010, 03:30 PM) *
What about task spirits? Doesn't being able to summon a high-force task spirit make you an uber-generalist with access to almost any skill?

You have a point there.
Udoshi
Task spirits are pretty excellent, becaues they give mages access to something almost all Technomancers(through machine sprites) get - access to nearly any technical with a snap of their fingers.

Plus, you know, task spirits with Artisan(i think its a technical skill), movement, concealment and spray paint make for hilarious spray-tagging pranks.
Elfenlied
Guardian spirits for non-possession based traditions are kinda lackluster at our table, since we tend to rule that any gun counts as a "technological device", and hence cannot be used by spirits.

Agree with the others, is Task really worth speccing into though? Their interactions with computers etc are limited due to their vision, after all.
HappyDaze
QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Jun 10 2010, 02:25 AM) *
Guardian spirits for non-possession based traditions are kinda lackluster at our table, since we tend to rule that any gun counts as a "technological device", and hence cannot be used by spirits.

Agree with the others, is Task really worth speccing into though? Their interactions with computers etc are limited due to their vision, after all.

Why can't spirits use technological devices? The only rule I'm aware of is against spirits using simsense tech.

And spirit hackers can still do fine with standard displays (like contacts and earbuds) - just not with simsense input.
Elfenlied
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jun 10 2010, 07:28 AM) *
Why can't spirits use technological devices? The only rule I'm aware of is against spirits using simsense tech.

And spirit hackers can still do fine with standard displays (like contacts and earbuds) - just not with simsense input.


Oh, that's interesting. Have to point this out to my group. Maybe then low Force Guardian spirits won't suck so much after all. Can you refer me to a page in the rulebooks that can support this?
Mx
QUOTE (TommyTwoToes @ Jun 9 2010, 03:52 PM) *
I favor Guardian. If you carry around a backpack with a few heavy weapons, the Guardians can turn into "WTF, where did those spirits get Assault cannons from" goodness.

Damm you for adding one more character-build on my ever crowing to do list.
General Pax
I like guardian spirits too especially for possessin traditions. Not only do they give you access to any combat skill you could want which is fantastic but they also gain elemental attack of any type you want too. Which is neat becaus its basically an indirect elemental spell that doesnt cause drain and has a force equal to the spirits force. Not so good for bound spirits but great for ones you summon on the fly. Guardian spirits let you adapt to any combat situation which suits their name and purposes quite lovely.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Jun 8 2010, 02:01 PM) *
Whiskey is my favorite spirit by far.. nyahnyah.gif

What tradition summons that?
Faraday
One must be a Drunken Master to conjure the Whiskey.
Apathy
...or in the Distillery domain.
Tyro
What about earth? Awesome on the ground floor - attack from beneath!
Gamer6432
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Jun 10 2010, 09:05 AM) *
What tradition summons that?

I thought it was Irish?
Ryu
QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Jun 10 2010, 08:35 AM) *
Oh, that's interesting. Have to point this out to my group. Maybe then low Force Guardian spirits won't suck so much after all. Can you refer me to a page in the rulebooks that can support this?

Spirits can operate mechanical triggers - or any other mechanical device. They would on the other hand not be able to operate Smartlink-only weapons. Im only aware of the "Living Vessels" rules in Street Magic. Do you have a source for the "no-simsense" rule beside of that?
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