Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Binding free spirits
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Edward
I have been reeding books and a character Consept hit me.

Hermetic mage racist. Human supremacist metahumons get rights dragons get only fear spirits are slaves. Rather than (or as well as) summoning elementals he would bind free spirits to his service. (using the true name).

For safety I would mostly have force 3 spirits, force 4 being acceptable. Force 6 would not even be attempted. And spirit that I fail to bind or that breaks free will be destroyed immediately.

The true name can be found with an appropriate astral quest but how can you get enough knowledge about a free spirit to go on that astral quest.

Who should I be marking down as enemies?

Edward
Herald of Verjigorm
Assensing may give a clue as to what plane to go to. Even if you pick the wrong plane, the citadel there will tell you where you should've been questing (I think, haven't read that bit in the rules for a while).

As for enemies, every metahuman, every paranormal, every free spirit, half the breeders, the other PCs, and most likely the GM.
Cain
QUOTE
Assensing may give a clue as to what plane to go to. Even if you pick the wrong plane, the citadel there will tell you where you should've been questing (I think, haven't read that bit in the rules for a while).

Right on the first one, wrong on the second. If you assense a spirit and see it's astral true form is a great big thunderbird with lightning wings, it's a safe bet that it's a sky spirit. However, you won't know you guessed wrong until you hit the citadel; and once there, all you'll learn is that you guessed wrong.

And to forestall the obvious-- no, there's nothing stopping you from questing on each and every metaplane until you find the right one. It's such a hassle, though, that I wouldn't think it'd be worth it. IIRC, you can't go "fishing" for true names, though-- you have to have a specific spirit in mind to quest for its true name.
Kremlin KOA
okay not every meta, as metas get rights... also most people don't go out of their way to hurt racists so not every metA. given the level of subtle racism in RL and in SR most "breeders" would be secretly friendly to the character, only activists would not. reality is not nice.


Knowing Edward's access to SR GMs that would most likely make the GM me and half mygames are meta light so the other PCs may not be enemies also if he modifies it to (meta)human supremacist he will have only one real enemy listed (tutor)


as to the metaplane thing you find out about spirit, you assense spirit, you roll knowledge: spirits with magic theory as a complimentary tn force to determine home plane and then quest there then use name to make spirit yourt B1+CH


Edward
QUOTE (Cain)
you can't go "fishing" for true names, though-- you have to have a specific spirit in mind to quest for its true name.

This was what I had in mind. How do you suggest I research the free spirit so I have one in mind. I have only played in a couple of SR games but I donít think we ever encountered a free spirit (other than the one I let free recently).

Edward
BitBasher
QUOTE (Edward)
QUOTE (Cain @ Nov 18 2004, 02:21 PM)
you can't go "fishing" for true names, though-- you have to have a specific spirit in mind to quest for its true name.

This was what I had in mind. How do you suggest I research the free spirit so I have one in mind. I have only played in a couple of SR games but I donít think we ever encountered a free spirit (other than the one I let free recently).

Edward

That's a big problem, free spirits are rare and many (most) low force ones would stay hidden for this very reason until they were high enough force to make this not very feasable IMHO. It's possible, but bery very unlikely.
Kanada Ten
Yeah, what you have to do is fin d a bunch of weak shamans all with conjured spirits (city spirits if you're lucky) and then knock them all unconcious while astrally perceiving. So go find some kiddie shaman training camp and go crazy.
Bigity
And hope one of them doesn't blow up something while learning.
BitBasher
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
So go find some kiddie shaman training camp and go crazy.

For some reason that line made me about spit out my drink laughing! biggrin.gif
Ol' Scratch
"Rare" is also a relative statement. Sure, free spirits are rare compared to metahumans and even magicians, but they're not exactly "rare" to the point your context is implying. For crying out loud, one actually owns the world's oldest megacorporations, and there were enough in Aztlan alone to warrant passing a law that allowed them to become citizens.
Cain
QUOTE (Edward)
QUOTE (Cain @ Nov 18 2004, 02:21 PM)
you can't go "fishing" for true names, though-- you have to have a specific spirit in mind to quest for its true name.

This was what I had in mind. How do you suggest I research the free spirit so I have one in mind. I have only played in a couple of SR games but I donít think we ever encountered a free spirit (other than the one I let free recently).

Edward

Okay, let's do the rundown. You conjured a spirit, and released it with services still owed. The spirit, instead of returning to its native metaplane, decided to become a free spirit and stuck around. Presumably your character is aware of this, and the GM has had you interact with said spirit at least a little.

The advantage here is that your character, having summoned the spirit in the first place, knows the current force and native metaplane of the spirit in question. You can simply do an astral quest of the appropriate rating to discover the true name. The disadvantage here is that the spirit knows this, and will likely take steps. It may hire runners to come after you (especially if it managed to develop the Wealth power) or might just make a bunch of fast deals to gain enough Karma to raise its force.

Most of the time, a spirit that is released will return to its native metaplane. If they do go free, for the reasons mentioned above, it'd be odd for it to let the original summoner know. But if your GM has told your character, in game, all of the above-- then you're in the clear.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
Most of the time, a spirit that is released will return to its native metaplane.

Can you show me a rule that even suggests that if you release spirits they even have a chance of becoming free? My understanding is that spirits can only become free if the summoner is killed or knocked unconscious.
BitBasher
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE
Most of the time, a spirit that is released will return to its native metaplane.

Can you show me a rule that even suggests that if you release spirits they even have a chance of becoming free? My understanding is that spirits can only become free if the summoner is killed or knock unconscious.

AFAIK by canon those are the only 2 circumstances in which that happens.
toturi
QUOTE (BitBasher)
AFAIK by canon those are the only 2 circumstances in which that happens.

There is one more. And you can deliberately fail a test, hence freeing the spirit.
Edward
The way my GM ruled the freeing of the spirit was as follows.

Whenever a mage looses control of a spirit (by D stun or worse) the spirit roles force dice target 4 of it succeeds it doesnít return to the meta plains. This is listed in one of the books. He showed be but I forget witch one.

As a house rule you can voluntarily relinquish that control giving a spirit a chance to go free. Further you can bargen with a spirit to perform some greater service in exchange for this chance. There is no role for this RP it (or use negotiation in conjunction with RP).

I summoned a force 9 spirit and let it go even if it was a character that would enslave a spirit I would not try one that big.

Edward
spotlite
Its not in the rules but I see no reason why you couldn't set a spirit free voluntarily. I'd say that just like if you are knocked out that doesn't mean it sticks around, or that if it does stick around it will be friendly towards you.

However, if any of my players made a habit of doing it, I think there would be several interested parties, of the dragon, elven and magical group kind who may come knocking to say 'what EXACTLY do you think you're playing at, you dangerous fool?' or words to that effect. The point about a spirit becoming free is that it is FREE, to do what it wants, for good or ill.

I get that you're planning on questing to get true names and control them so that you can have some free spirits at your beck and call, and at low force that will be possible. But those spirits are going to get more powerful, and you're going to have to deal with them. And if you've done it to a few there's nothing stopping them working together behind your back to get you either directly (depending on how you've worded your commands) or indirectly (by hiring/bargaining with someone).

On that note though, I would've thought simply forbidding any of your controlled spirits to work in any way toward your downfall or failure would do the trick.

In short, I think your character concept would work, and even be quite fun. But I think you'd be taking an awful risk that could eventually quite easily get you and the entire team geeked, either by the spirits you've freed (the ones that stick around, anyway), or by other parties who are not terribly impressed with either the idea of a bunch of extra free spirits hanging around or possibly just a faction who doesn't like the fact that some mortal is going around enslaving free spirits.

Fwiw, I think the type of spirit will affect how likely it is to stick around. I think the force would affect it too. E.g. a low force Elemental would be much less likely to go free and hang about (mainly because largely they are sort of enslaved to start with and I reckon would be wanting to get back to their nice fire pit/lake/cloud/mountain. If they did stick around an Elemental is imho much more likely to only do so for as long as it takes to smite the last mage who tried to control it...) when compared to a high force spirit of man, which is comfortable hanging out near metahumans and their creations anyway. Just my opinion of course, not canon, but it makes sense to me.

As for how to research it, certain free spirits are documented in magical journals, ancient texts and so on. That could be a good start. I suggest you do some research on one called Tutor... (sorry, that's very mean. Don't. Although if you're intent on hunting down and destroying evil spirits, destorying Tutor could be a campaign goal). Aaaaanyway, you could also try asking tribal shaman for legends and so on, hiring a decker to break into a magic corps' systems and seeing if they have any research papers, cutting a deal with a dragon or sucking up to Ghostwalker and hoping he doesn't suck you up, do a metaplane quest with the specific purpose of providing inspiration as to how to research free spirits, or perhaps one to gain the knowledge of where to look for spirits so you can assense them... all manner of things I would've thought.

As an alternative approach what do people think the chances are of getting away with doing a metaplane quest to get 'the True Name of any inhabitant of a particular metaplane, no greater than force x'?

I'm thinking so instead of going with a particular free spirit you take a pot luck approach - in these circumstances you will always do a quest of the maximum rating you specified but may get any spirit (or 'inhabitant'... be careful what you wish for) of that plane up to that force. It might be a force 1 salamander, it might be a force 6 fire elemental, the GM decides, and obviously gets to mess with your head if they feel like it too.

The way I see it, at the citadel you will be granted the true name of something from that plane, and if only free spirits have true names then that is all you run the risk of getting. If 'other' things (things that man should not wot of, for example) have true names, then you could be in serious trouble - but do people think its a reasonable proposition?
Edward
We are having a misunderstanding.

There are 2 characters we are considering hear.

My current character is a reasonable man and a wuyen and would be no more likely to bind a spirit than he would enslave a (meta)human. I only mentioned him in this thread because he summoned and then released the only free spirit we have ever interacted with in our games.

Then we have the far less sociable hermetic mage concept that I am considering adding to my pile of character concepts ready to be played. He would never voluntarily let any spirit go free and I was hoping to find advice on how to track down random free spirits, get a good look at them, quest for there name and bind them.

As to the possibility of them growing in power until they are a threat I donít see how but then I didnít see how for ally ether. In the case of n ally spirit it only gets more powerful when you perform a ritual of change. In the case of a bound free spirit it only gains power when I allow it to gain karma (I can order it not to). It looks to me as the mage is the one in total control of the spirits growth. Donít allow it to grow and it will never grow powerful enough to threaten you. Of cause when they do break free they will be that much more motivated.

Edward
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
It looks to me as the mage is the one in total control of the spirits growth. Donít allow it to grow and it will never grow powerful enough to threaten you.

As a word of caution, do not assume you know all the ways and mysteries of the spirits. An enemy might well discover a way to empower a slaved spirit, such as through possession or power sites, perhaps even mana surges. The spirit itself may find ways to trick you into empowering it. However, it should be noted that slaves who are treated well and on a reward based system can become loyal beyond comprehension. I suggest using the first spirit you bind to help you in finding more and then give that original spirit greater rewards and less duty for such aid. You could even sell off the spirit in either services or trade in true names.
Edward
If I as a human being was going to be binding spirits I would be being nice to them. I know that rewards make loyal servants and excessive punishment will lead to a slave revolt.

It did however occur to me that of my previously played characters in SR all where based around who they where nice to. I think it would be fun to play the spirit slaver as nasty and short sighted even if I know it will get me into trouble. Although binding them as loyal slaves would be fun as well.

Edward
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE
Most of the time, a spirit that is released will return to its native metaplane.

Can you show me a rule that even suggests that if you release spirits they even have a chance of becoming free? My understanding is that spirits can only become free if the summoner is killed or knocked unconscious.

As mentioned in a previous discussion, magicians can release any of their spirits at any time. At that point, they are uncontrolled. They can choose to return from wence they came (which is the default choice) or they become free and do whatever they like (rare except in the case of more powerful spirits). Death and unconsciousness simply forces the magician to release their spirits without their consent. In each case, the spirit is uncontrolled since, by definition, they're no longer under control.

Regardless, it's always the GM's choice whether or not a spirit goes free, though they are supplied with a mechanic if they would prefer to leave it to chance.

Page references...

SR3 p. 186, Binding Elementals: "If a mage is at the limit [of the spirits he can bind at one time] and wishes to conjure an additional elemental, one of the currently bound ones can be released from its obligations. The spirit simply depart."

Note that the last line is superceded by the rules in MitS, where Free Spirits are introduced into 3rd Edition.

MitS p. 113, Born Free: "Whenever a spirit becomes uncontrolled, the gamemaster may decide whether it becomes free. In general, however, most spirits with a Force greater than 6 become free, as well as spirits that have a long history of association with mankind, such as elementals who have been bound for more than a few weeks and spirits of man."

Once again: Free spirits aren't "rare" in the context BitBasher was using it. But note also that free spirits aren't forced to stay in the Physical World. I'm sure many return to the metaplanes, but now are self-aware and sentient beings as opposed to the nebulous composition of mana they were before their summoner shaped them into existance through their will.
Kanada Ten
I don't see how "released from its obligations" becomes "uncontrolled" by anything but sematic hammering. My reading of it is that a spirit can only become uncontrolled in the sense they mean when it specifically states the spirit becomes uncontrolled. Released from service is not uncontrolled in my interpretation, but I can see how some people would really want it to mean that.
Ol' Scratch
<just shrugs> Regardless, it's always the GM's decision whether a spirit goes free. If a player roleplays the scenario well and the GM likes the idea, bam, free spirit. If not, bam, a released spirit.
tisoz
Sorry for the thread necromancy. I was searching for an old topic about commands to give when binding a free spirit to avoid it killing the binder or plotting the binder's demise in any way. If anyone has a good command or commands, feel free to add them.

Along the way, I came across this thread. There is some discussion if releasing a spirit gives it the opportunity to become free. Good enough discussion on its own, but consider a character under the effect of an increase Charisma spell, then conjuring spirits up to the limit of the increased Charisma. The spell ends and now the magician has more spirits on hand than his Charisma. Alternate scenario, a Mage with increased Charisma spell and full complement of spirits is in a battle and an opponent removes the increase Charisma spell by Dispelling or destroying something that sustained it.

1. Do the excess spirits depart?

2. If so, which spirits depart? GM choice? Or highest/lowest first, or fewest/most services remaining? Some other determiner?

3. If so, do the departing spirits have a chance to become free spirits?

4. If so, what keeps magicians from spending 1 karma to learn Increase Charisma at Force 1, cast it on their self, summon their limit of spirits at say Force 3, then drop the Charisma spell and hope a spirit goes free, repeating the process until successful. Upon seeing it go free, assensing it, questing for its true name (or finding it since it is supposed to be present at the time the spirit goes free) and binding it. Then repeating the process until they have an army? Or, finding a magician of another tradition and using the ploy on them so the first magician now has bound spirits he normally has no access to.
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