Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Free Spirits as PC's in SR4
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4
Irion
QUOTE
As for your solution... If it takes a decrease in the Karma Gen Starting Allotment to get the points down to something that I already get with the BP system, why would I want to do that? BP covers me quite nicely, thank you.

Because the one taking the 6 instead of twice 3 won't be rewarded.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 18 2011, 10:57 AM) *
Because the one taking the 6 instead of twice 3 won't be rewarded.


I disagree...
kzt
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ Apr 18 2011, 12:35 AM) *
Drakes pay in Qualities, but the only Dragon PCs are from the April Fools Day rules, which some people seem to think aren't unbalanced and use them, seemingly unfamiliar with why it's funny.

The Dragon PC rules are not any more broken than free spirit PC rules. Or any less broken.
kzt
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 18 2011, 08:18 AM) *
Never forget that Skill ratings of 3 are PROFESSIONAL rated... How many people that you deal with, on a day to day basis, even have a 5 Skill (ELITE) in any thing that they pursue? I would bet none.

The skill table in SR4 is worthless, has always been worthless and will never be anything other then worthless. Skill doesn't matter in SR, dice pools matter in SR.
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
So he will be rewarded? How exactly?
Makki
QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 18 2011, 01:49 PM) *
The Dragon PC rules are not any more broken than free spirit PC rules. Or any less broken.

I'd go so far and say, the Dragon PC rules are slightly better

QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 18 2011, 01:49 PM) *
The skill table in SR4 is worthless, has always been worthless and will never be anything other then worthless. Skill doesn't matter in SR, dice pools matter in SR.

sad but true. I will try to convince my table to go with max dice pool = skill x4 once we start a new campaign
Yerameyahu
*nods sagely* Very inscrutable, kzt. biggrin.gif Are you saying the Dragon rules are good, and/or the spirit rules are bad, or what?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (kzt @ Apr 18 2011, 10:49 AM) *
The skill table in SR4 is worthless, has always been worthless and will never be anything other then worthless. Skill doesn't matter in SR, dice pools matter in SR.

That is an opinion that I disaree with (and always have)... we use it quite well at our table... Skill measures how much you know about the particular subject. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 18 2011, 10:51 AM) *
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
So he will be rewarded? How exactly?


6 vs. Twice 3?

What exactly does that mean? It makes no sense...
kzt
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 18 2011, 10:55 AM) *
*nods sagely* Very inscrutable, kzt. biggrin.gif Are you saying the Dragon rules are good, and/or the spirit rules are bad, or what?

The dragon rules are just as good as the totally awful spirit rules. smile.gif
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
In BP it cost the same about to get one skill to six or two skills to 3.
If you look at the karma costs it is 28 vs 44.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 18 2011, 12:08 PM) *
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
In BP it cost the same about to get one skill to six or two skills to 3.
If you look at the karma costs it is 28 vs 44.


Ahhh... I see.

So what... They are completely different Character Generation Systems...

The guy with a Skill of 6 (Exceedingly rare at our table to start with, by the way) has 1 skill, while the other guy has 2. I would think it is obvious from that alone. The guy with a 6 Skill is better at that skill than the other one with the skill of 3. The other one has a skill the first likely does not, and both of his skills are at professional rating. Higher skill results in higher dice pool. In this case you have a guy with 6 dice from skills, and a guy with 2 skills, each with 3 dice bonus. same 6 dice as far as I am concerned.

What is your complaint at that point?
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
My point is, they both will increase with karma later on. And after a while it will look like:
4/6 to 3/6.
Yerameyahu
And they'll be different by one skill point?! Nooo! biggrin.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 18 2011, 01:54 PM) *
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
My point is, they both will increase with karma later on. And after a while it will look like:
4/6 to 3/6.


Indeed, whatever shall they do?
Turing
This conversation is all well and good, but it has digressed from the original questions about Free Spirit PC's and the generation thereof.

As the OP, I was wanting to know if there had ever been a resolution to the shit-poor wording of the Free Spirit rules, and whether or not that resolution was generally accepted.

From what I've seen, this forum is split about 50%/50% on these rules. Some agree with my interpretation, others see the opposite.

I think I'll be sitting down with my GM and discussing a version that suits us, our play style and the rest of our group.

The many comments (both pro & con) have shown me things I had not previously considered about Free Spirit PC's and their design (at least within the BP system), and I'll be incorporating these insights when I speak with my GM.

Thank you all for your feedback and commentary, it is much appreciated.

darthmord
QUOTE (Turing @ Apr 27 2011, 01:54 AM) *
This conversation is all well and good, but it has digressed from the original questions about Free Spirit PC's and the generation thereof.

As the OP, I was wanting to know if there had ever been a resolution to the shit-poor wording of the Free Spirit rules, and whether or not that resolution was generally accepted.

From what I've seen, this forum is split about 50%/50% on these rules. Some agree with my interpretation, others see the opposite.

I think I'll be sitting down with my GM and discussing a version that suits us, our play style and the rest of our group.

The many comments (both pro & con) have shown me things I had not previously considered about Free Spirit PC's and their design (at least within the BP system), and I'll be incorporating these insights when I speak with my GM.

Thank you all for your feedback and commentary, it is much appreciated.


The way I intend on doing it is like so:

Cost: 100 BP (or karma under Karmagen)
Starting Force: 2
Starting Attributes: 2
Max Attributes: Force
Force Increases do NOT increase the minimum attributes.
If Materialized/Possessing, they can see normally like any other character.

I've probably forgotten a few things but that's what I can remember off the top of my head.

This is what I gather from several comments and such about what the author had originally intended (though my cost is a bit higher than the author originally submitted). I'm probably going to start up a new gaming group as I've had a few people ask if I would run Shadowrun for them.

I agree with you though. The wording was very poorly done. I suspect the Force & Attributes were supposed to only be linked on starting attributes and on the caps, not the minimums.
redwulf25
QUOTE (Makki @ Apr 17 2011, 02:57 PM) *
well, with the correct errata at hand, you have to pay for them. Karmagen is also preferred by most other players once they tried. and GMs. No min-max chars. what a wonderful day.


Re-edit: The only advice on finding this errata was search the forum. I used the search function, searched for "runners companion errata" and the search results were the entire forum. Does anyone have a link to this errata, in English? Also can we start a fund to slap the company until they publish all the errata and books in ENGLISH as well as German?
kzt
QUOTE (Turing @ Apr 26 2011, 10:54 PM) *
I think I'll be sitting down with my GM and discussing a version that suits us, our play style and the rest of our group.

That's probably the best option.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Glyph @ Apr 12 2011, 02:15 AM) *
I don't think so. The general consensus seems to be that it is just incredibly poor wording, though. Because going purely by that interpretation of RAW would make free spirit PCs completely unbalanced.

Then again, you'd be paying 315 BP for metatype + attributes, leaving very little for skills and gear. Not to mention none of your maximums will be impressive out of the gate. You'll be middling in most areas.
Yerameyahu
And you're a free spirit, an incredible being with unique and amazing powers, that doesn't rely too much on skills (and especially not on gear!). Give them karma as normal and be done with it. smile.gif
Starmage21
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 28 2011, 01:49 PM) *
And you're a free spirit, an incredible being with unique and amazing powers, that doesn't rely too much on skills (and especially not on gear!). Give them karma as normal and be done with it. smile.gif


Except the powers available to free spirits are neither special nor amazing. Most of that 250 bp is a horrible "snowflake tax".
Yerameyahu
… they are. I can't imagine what you're talking about; we've spent a good chunk of the thread on that.

Personally, and as I've stated before, I don't think either of these two options is the right choice. However, I don't think that the 'weak' version is so bad that our *only* recourse is to use the 'crazy strong' version instead. If you're aiming for the middle, you have several choices. Two of those are: you can either reduce the cost of the 'weak' version *a little*, or you can increase the cost of the 'strong' version.
Sephiroth
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Apr 28 2011, 03:56 PM) *
Except the powers available to free spirits are neither special nor amazing. Most of that 250 bp is a horrible "snowflake tax".

Compared to what other spirit powers, exactly? Energy Drain (Karma)?

These powers are immediately identifiable as extremely useful both to the spirit and to its fellow PC's:
Accident
Concealment
Divining
Fear
Guard
Influence
Movement
Regeneration

These powers are not so directly helpful, but have enormous potential if used intelligently:
Aura Masking
Confusion (example: When being chased by some gangers/yaks/lone star/whatever, head onto the highway. Then the FSPC can use Concealment and Confusion to hide the exits from the team's pursuers while the team takes a now-Concealed exit)
Mutable Form
Psychokinesis
Realistic Form
Spirit Pact
Weather Control

How exactly are these powers "neither special nor amazing," particularly in comparison to the abilities of most other character archetypes (mages don't count, since free spirits aren't meant to fulfill a mage role)?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Apr 28 2011, 02:09 PM) *
Compared to what other spirit powers, exactly? Energy Drain (Karma)?

...

How exactly are these powers "neither special nor amazing," particularly in comparison to the abilities of most other character archetypes (mages don't count, since free spirits aren't meant to fulfill a mage role)?


But a Free Spirit CAN fulfill the Mage roll, as they are all Magicians. With no actual Quality Cost even.
Yerameyahu
And they don't have to buy Magic.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 28 2011, 02:57 PM) *
And they don't have to buy Magic.


Indeed... The Only Drawback is they get no Conjuration Skills. frown.gif
Sephiroth
I was referring to the fact that metahuman mages are very often stronger in the magician role than free spirits, since they tend to have more dice for spellcasting and can summon spirits noticeably stronger than a free spirit PC. I'm not saying FSPCs can't serve as a magician, only that they tend to be a lot weaker than traditional magicians unless they hyperspecialize.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Apr 28 2011, 03:16 PM) *
I was referring to the fact that metahuman mages are very often stronger in the magician role than free spirits, since they tend to have more dice for spellcasting and can summon spirits noticeably stronger than a free spirit PC. I'm not saying FSPCs can't serve as a magician, only that they tend to be a lot weaker than traditional magicians unless they hyperspecialize.


The only bonuses a Free Spirit cannot use are from Foci. They can use any other bonus out there, Including Specialization, Initiation and the Mentor Quality. The ONE free spirit I created had a 4 Casting Skill, and a 6 Magic. 10 Dice to start with. About typical for a Starting Mage. I agree that Foci give the Metahuman the potential to outstrip the Free Spirit given a bit of time. But that does not have to be the case. And, I think that Free Spirit Powers make up for that quickly as well.
CanRay
There's also Focus Addition that Free Spirits don't have to deal with. nyahnyah.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (CanRay @ Apr 28 2011, 03:24 PM) *
There's also Focus Addition that Free Spirits don't have to deal with. nyahnyah.gif

There is that...
And with the right Pacts, A Free Spirit will quickly outstrip the PC's in Karma Gain. "Life Pact" for the Win.
Starmage21
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Apr 28 2011, 04:09 PM) *
Compared to what other spirit powers, exactly? Energy Drain (Karma)?

These powers are immediately identifiable as extremely useful both to the spirit and to its fellow PC's:
Accident
Concealment
Divining
Fear
Guard
Influence
Movement
Regeneration

These powers are not so directly helpful, but have enormous potential if used intelligently:
Aura Masking
Confusion (example: When being chased by some gangers/yaks/lone star/whatever, head onto the highway. Then the FSPC can use Concealment and Confusion to hide the exits from the team's pursuers while the team takes a now-Concealed exit)
Mutable Form
Psychokinesis
Realistic Form
Spirit Pact
Weather Control

How exactly are these powers "neither special nor amazing," particularly in comparison to the abilities of most other character archetypes (mages don't count, since free spirits aren't meant to fulfill a mage role)?


Except that most of these powers are available to any magician PC for an investment of far less points, because he can summon a spirit who has them.
Sephiroth
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Apr 28 2011, 06:47 PM) *
Except that most of these powers are available to any magician PC for an investment of far less points, because he can summon a spirit who has them.

Which is irrelevant, because those spirits are NPC's controlled by the GM. We are not talking about how much stronger NPC spirits are to equal-force PC spirits (which is a fair bit), we are talking about how FSPC's have some very significant advantages over most other PC's. You just can't play a FS like a normal character.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Apr 28 2011, 05:34 PM) *
Which is irrelevant, because those spirits are NPC's controlled by the GM.

Isn't it more like: those spirits are PC's controlled by you, unless you run out of favors?
Sephiroth
QUOTE (longbowrocks @ Apr 28 2011, 07:55 PM) *
Isn't it more like: those spirits are PC's controlled by you, unless you run out of favors?

Not really. Summoned spirits (not free spirits, at least most of the time) are obligated to do things that you ask them to do, but they are not PC's under your control. They are still NPC's. For one thing, only they decide whether they use Edge on any given action or not; you have no control over how they use their Edge. For another thing, the books strongly encourage GM's to play spirits as fully intelligent beings who are persons in their own right (a.k.a. they are NOT the magical equivalent of an Agent).
phlapjack77
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Apr 29 2011, 10:58 AM) *
Not really. Summoned spirits (not free spirits, at least most of the time) are obligated to do things that you ask them to do, but they are not PC's under your control. They are still NPC's. For one thing, only they decide whether they use Edge on any given action or not; you have no control over how they use their Edge. For another thing, the books strongly encourage GM's to play spirits as fully intelligent beings who are persons in their own right (a.k.a. they are NOT the magical equivalent of an Agent).

Agreeing with you here, except that even Agents are still mostly NPCs. It's why they introduced the "Adaptability" autosoft in Unwired and have tests for the GM to roll to see how well the Agent interprets the PCs commands and all that.

The only example of "NPC controlled by the PC" that I can think of is when a mage is possessed by a spirit the mage summoned, and SM suggests that the GM let the PC control the spirit's actions in this case.
pbangarth
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 28 2011, 06:22 PM) *
The only bonuses a Free Spirit cannot use are from Foci. They can use any other bonus out there, Including Specialization, Initiation and the Mentor Quality.

Minor detail here: the Mentor Spirit Quality is not available to Free Spirit PCs. (Runner's Companion, page 93.)
Yerameyahu
Cuz it would be ridiculous. smile.gif Not as in OP, but as inů mentor spirit-spirit.
phlapjack77
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Apr 29 2011, 01:41 PM) *
Minor detail here: the Mentor Spirit Quality is not available to Free Spirit PCs. (Runner's Companion, page 93.)


QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 29 2011, 01:46 PM) *
Cuz it would be ridiculous. smile.gif Not as in OP, but as in… mentor spirit-spirit.

Strange...I'm not seeing why a spirit PC shouldn't have the Mentor Spirit quality. What harm does it cause?. Aside from the ridiculous wording of mentor spirit-spirit smile.gif

I mean, mentor spirits aren't actually spirits, right? More like ideas, templates, eidos, arche, etc...

"Each mentor spirit embodies an ideal, a mythic image or archetype."
CanRay
Someday I have to come up with the Toaster Mentor...
longbowrocks
We need more toasters in the world.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Apr 28 2011, 09:41 PM) *
Minor detail here: the Mentor Spirit Quality is not available to Free Spirit PCs. (Runner's Companion, page 93.)

Apparently I missed that... Apologies.

But thematically, I think it is appropriate. A Free Spirit of Death could be beholden to The Dark King, for example.
pbangarth
I don't understand it either, but it is clear in the text.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Apr 29 2011, 08:07 AM) *
I don't understand it either, but it is clear in the text.

Indeed... frown.gif
Seth
QUOTE
he only bonuses a Free Spirit cannot use are from Foci. They can use any other bonus out there, Including Specialization, Initiation and the Mentor Quality. The ONE free spirit I created had a 4 Casting Skill, and a 6 Magic. 10 Dice to start with. About typical for a Starting Mage. I agree that Foci give the Metahuman the potential to outstrip the Free Spirit given a bit of time. But that does not have to be the case. And, I think that Free Spirit Powers make up for that quickly as well.


Having played a free spirit for nearly 6 months now, I feel without doubt the mage is MUCH better at magic. Lets look at why:

Mages can sustain spells by: foci, bound spirits, ally spirits and concentration. The concentation sucks as its -2 on almost everything per sustained spells
Mages can boost their spells by foci, bound spirits, ally spirits, the magic attribute and skill. The attributes and skills are hard to increase as they require huge amounts of karma
Mages can access all spirit powers by summoned spirits, bound spirits and ally spirits. They can change which ones they have access to.

So now lets compare that spirits
Spirits can sustain spells by: concentration (which as stated previously sucks)
Spirits can boost their spells by the magic attribute and skill.
Spirits have to pick a small subset of the spirit powers and cannot change them

A starting mage could have a mentor spirit, a foci rank 4, and a bound spirit rank 4 a total of 6 die for most spells, and 10 die when they want to use a service better off
Experienced mages are even better: a mentor spirit, an ally spirit rank 4, a bound spirit rank 4, and a rank 4 foci a total of 14 die better than the spirit.

The inability to sustain spells easy is probably the biggest pain: I don't think I have played a mage that could not easily sustain 2 spells. Sustain foci cost 30K, and 3 bp for a total of 9 bp.
The combination of all of the above basically makes the spirit a second class spell caster

Having said all that I love playing my spirit, probably more than I like playing mages.
Badmoodguy88
Do spirits just do (Str/2)stun damage and (Str/2) physical damage with natural weapons.
And what about in astral space? Do they do (Cha/2)stun or (Force/2)stun.
And is that then upped by natural weapons in astral to be physical condition track damage?
Regardless I figure the attack counts as a non normal weapon for bypassing armor.
Irion
What is the main advantage of a free spirit?
Quickening spells!!!
You do not get any disadvantages from doing so.
You are dual natured, you shine like a chrismas tree so what the fuck.
The best spell is increase attribute by the way. (This is actually the case, because the attributes of a free spirit go down, as his force goes down)

Example:
A elf shaman has a quickend attribute spell to increase his charisma from 5 to 12.
The spell has a Force of 8.
Now he is entering BC.
BC1: Force of spell:7 Charisma 12
BC2: Force of spell:6 Charisma 11
BC3:Force of spell: 5 Charisma 10
BC4: Force of spell: 4 -> Spell fails! Charisma 5.
Spirit with same attributes and magic 8:
BC1: Charisma 10 (augmented max)
BC2: Charisma 9 (augmented max)
BC3: Charisma 8
BC4: Charisma 6
BC5: Charisma 5.

The only real Problem for quickend spell (if you have extended masking) is to be broken by a ward. For that you have to walk trough a ward without noticing it. Ever walked throug a wall without noticing it? I do not thinks so. Even the elevator driving through a Ward ain't a Problem. You just go astral.

(To Free spirits and Mentor spirit: I would houserule this section anyway. )

What do you get for beeing a free spirit:
Armor raiting equal to Force*2! (And you may wear additional armor if you like)

Since the rules for realistic form are insanly broken the combination of realistic Form and multible Form is just great.
1.5 Power Points for the wet dream of every Face in the book. Look like anyone or anything you want in just a sec. Race (actually species), Gender, cloth. No problem at all. You get anything at any time. (And thats the part, thats not broken. Turining your Hand into a Lasercannon is)
(Well, your GM could disallow you from using your Foms as weapons by housrouling the part about spirit toasters working (stupid thing to begin with)
But you still can pick up natural weapon and turn into a mosikto and sting someone for Force damage.
(Finally I know what the white rabbit was I way you needed a holy handgranade to kill it.)

Ability to hide inside of solid matirial. What kind of Security team is looking IN the ground?

Ability to travel at the speed of thought. (Combined with "I do not need any kind of equipment...)
Oh, and you do not need food. Or even sleep.
Since your Astral vision is always on you get no mali for it.

Immunity to most pathogens and toxics. (Since you do not have any nerves)
Immunity against any kind of nanobots. (Yeah I am looking at you cutters)

Leaving NO DNA, blood etc.

Yeah spirits are comming out under in BP gen. (On the other hand they are able to make rediculas amounts of Karma in a month (1000 would be the lower end).
So yeah if you want to run with free spirits you have to houseroule them.
I would take a look at the friendship pact.
(As a matter of fact, I would just use the formular pact for that. You may earn Karma but stops you from using any other form of Karma source.
Nobody wants a free spirit to spend two power points for getting drain and life pact. A life pact with a shadowrunner and the Secs he is fighting is just a great thing.
It is the day when nobody dies. And since Karma of NPCs is unlimited and useless for them...)


You have to get to know how you want to fly with the perception of free spirits. (I would disallow trode nets but allow them to read from a display. Since reading a display is not different from reading a book.

Then there is all this funny stuff. Like getting the group mage to bind you using invocation.
Ah yeah and you can fly.

Yes, free spirits are weaker in points. Put their diversity makes up for that on the long run.
getting a Magic/Edge 9/8 spirit is power to be considered.
A mage has to be incredible powerfull to bind a spirit of this force.
Espacially if the spirits decides to use edge... The mage could easy end up with about 30 possible boxes of drain.
And since a free spirit is able to make use of the increase attribute spell with ease he will have attributes to match his force. (12 Karma for 9 points of an attribute is a very good deal!)
Then you could apply the optional rule for adepts (taking geasas to reduce the costs of powers) for spirits two. Since it is mentioned, that spirit powers are similar to adept powers. You could also allow
Badmoodguy88
I think realistic form when combined with multiple form still needs aura masking to still be that useful. Anyway in street magic it says that if a spirit materializes with a weapon, that weapon still has no more reach or damage than just being unarmed. So you could shift your from to be holding a laser rifle, but it would still be just as good as, use the same skill as, and have the same range as being unarmed. Then again your elemental attack if you have one might take on the look of you shooting some strange weapon. It is all style at that point.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 30 2011, 03:12 AM) *
BC4: Force of spell: 4 -> Spell fails! Charisma 5.

The BC reduced the spell's force to 4, not 0. Why would the spell fail?
Yerameyahu
Badmoodguy, that's the thing about Realistic Form, as opposed to merely Mutable Form.

Longbowrocks, the spell has to beat their normal attribute to be effective.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012