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Spark
probably a real obvious question, but, as I dont have Mits, I'll ask it anyway;

what are the rules for summoning familiars/ allies and can Pc's have them at creation?
anything else I should know about them?
Herald of Verjigorm
The rules are complex, taking 5 or so pages of MitS. Many things to note, many karma costs, you're probably better off not taking one until you can read the whole section and decide if they are worth the expense.
Jrayjoker
It may be possible to have one at chargen, but it would nerf you for quite a while unless you did everything with with spirits until you had enough Karma to learn spells.
fistandantilus4.0
just to give you an idea, an ally costs 5 karma/force rating. ou can give it the sorcery skill for free. Any other skills cost you karma to teach it. It gets one random spell from your list for free if it has the sorcery power. Every other spell costs you karma. It gets one form free. Every other one after that costs you one karma. And if it's force is higher than your charisma, it can check to go free every time you get knocked out. Otherwise, it only checks every time you take a deadly wound. And if it goes free, you lose a point of magic (assuming you made it during initiation, otherwise it already cost you a magic point).

But on the plus side, they have a number of good powers. Like Aid spell power equal to their force, and the ability to give you more spell defense if they have sorcery (and they should). For 1 more karma (might as well) you can also see through their senses. And it's always nice to have someone watching your back.
Edward
.although you can have an ally t char gen (subject to gm approval) you conjurers are the only ones likely to find it advantages, sharmanic conjurers may as well because there is very little else they can spend there power points on.

Edward
Jrayjoker
Very true. In fact, I feel that an aspected conjurer should have an ally at chargen, you can always negotiate summoning materials from the Johnson on your first run...
pragma
It seems to me that an ally is significantly less useful to an aspected conjurer: no sorcery and no aid spellcasting. All it winds up being is a shapeshifting buddy. On the other hand, it beats have pre-summoned nature spirits.
lollerskates
you can also make it produce foci for you.

edit's edit: nevermind!
fistandantilus4.0
well, if you give it enchanting, you can have an ally just sit and make orichalcum all day long for months on end. It might not like you though. But they have to spend karma to make foci, and not a lot of ally spirits have spare karma.
Edward
The biggest use a conjurer will have for an ally is astral scout, being inspected you donít have astral projection take sens link and telepathic link with your ally and you can watch and direct its astral scouting.

If you where starting the game with foci you would spend your power points bonding those, although I believe spirit power and weapon foci are the only ones that are useful.

Edward
Fortune
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Jun 25 2005, 03:12 AM)
just to give you an idea, an ally costs 5 karma/force rating.


Actually, it is more expensive than that. While the first point of Force is basically free (if summoned as an Ordeal, or costs a point of Magic otherwise), the second cost 5 Karma, the third cost 10 more, and the fourth costs 15 more (for a total of 15 Karma for Force 3, 30 Karma for Force 4, 50 Karma for Force 5, 75 Karma for Force 6, 105 Karma for Force 7), etc

QUOTE
And if it goes free, you lose a point of magic (assuming you made it during initiation, otherwise it already cost you a magic point).


I could be wring, but I don't believe that you lose a point of Magic if the freed Ally was summoned as an Ordeal.

QUOTE
For 1 more karma (might as well) you can also see through their senses.


Sense Link costs 5 Karma.
fistandantilus4.0
guess that's what I get for not having my book handy. I'll check on that in a sec. You sure it's that expensive for force? Where the hell's hahnsoo when I need him!? Haven't seen him in forever!

I'll doublecheck my books and get back to you in a bit (lunch break coming up! biggrin.gif )
Come back with some page references and such
Fortune
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
guess that's what I get for not having my book handy. I'll check on that in a sec. You sure it's that expensive for force? Where the hell's hahnsoo when I need him!? Haven't seen him in forever!

I'll doublecheck my books and get back to you in a bit (lunch break coming up! biggrin.gif )
Come back with some page references and such

I'm sure about the Force costs.

Designing Ally Spirits is on page 110 of MitS.
fistandantilus4.0
pg 110 (for reference)
QUOTE
Karma Cost:
      First point paid for with 1 magic point sacrificed by creator
      Per +1 to Force: 5 karma x current Force


Attributes:
QUOTE
karma cost:
Physical attributes:
          Initial attributes equal to force: 0 karma
          Per +1 to an attribute: karma equal to current attribute rating
Mental attributes:
          Initial Attributes equal to creator's : 0 karma
          Cannot be changed


Powers:
QUOTE
karma cost:
          Sense Link: 5 karma
          Other Powers: 0 karma


Forms:
QUOTE
Karma Cost:
            First Form: 0 karma
            Additional Forms : 1 karma each[/B]


Skills:
QUOTE
Karma Cost:
      Initial skills equal to creator's: 1 karma per active skill point. .5 per knowledge skill point
      Per +1 to a skill: kamra equal to current skill rating(same for active and knowledge skills)


Well, guess that's what I get for arguing with an Immortal Elf. Consider this break down my penance.

Fortune
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Well, guess that's what I get for arguing with an Immortal Elf. Consider this break down my penance.

You have been granted absolution, my son. wink.gif
fistandantilus4.0
score
Wireknight
You actually do not automatically lose a point of magic if a familiar-ordeal-summoned ally is destroyed or goes free. You instead must make a standard magic loss roll.

Oh, somewhat off-topic, am I the only one that allowed characters with Invoking to perform certain "higher powered" modifications (or take them as creation options) to their ally spirits, with metamagics and/or paranormal powers being the modifications in question? In higher powered games, no matter how badass your ally is as far as attributes, skills, spells, and homonculi go, the inability to employ Shielding or to mask its aura make it more of a liability than an asset, especially considering the price you pay if it's destroyed.
Fortune
QUOTE (Wireknight)
You actually do not automatically lose a point of magic if a familiar-ordeal-summoned ally is destroyed or goes free. You instead must make a standard magic loss roll.

I knew it was something like that.

QUOTE
Oh, somewhat off-topic, am I the only one that allowed characters with Invoking to perform certain "higher powered" modifications (or take them as creation options) to their ally spirits, with metamagics and/or paranormal powers being the modifications in question?  In higher powered games, no matter how badass your ally is as far as attributes, skills, spells, and homonculi go, the inability to employ Shielding or to mask its aura make it more of a liability than an asset, especially considering the price you pay if it's destroyed.


What is the Karma cost of these 'modifications'?
Wireknight
Karma cost tends to vary substantially. No more than 10 or 15 karma for any given modification. I think I made Masking a 10-pointer. That'd change if I had a hand in rewriting the ally spirit rules, but as it stands, the things are far too costly for the benefit they provide, such that tacking on really karmically pricey powers would add insult to injury. Allies make a good plot mechanic and have a very impressive novelty factor, but as it stands, they either cost too much or do too little.
fistandantilus4.0
what about adding spirit powers, such as confusion or accident? Ever tried it? too over powered? Are do you just use metamagics. Do you have a set system for the karma cost?

Eyeless Blond
Eh, I'd just set a rule that you can add any metamagics you yourself know. Each time you raise the Force of your ally, you can tack on one metamagic that you also know, for a flat cost of 10 karma.

No spirit powers though; otherwise there's no point in actually conjuring spirits anymore. Plus it may lead to some oddities, like hermetics getting access to nature spirit powers.
Wireknight
I figured it'd be too unbalanced to allow certain powers (Confusion is just plain unbalanced wherever it might appear. A penalty equal to the spirit's Force to all target numbers, unresisted?) The only critter/spirit powers I ended up having the character in question grant to the ally were Search and Aura Masking (though neither the Free Spirit version nor the Metamagic works particularly well for spirits without spirit energy; I ended up just deciding that both Magic Rating and Initiate Grade for purposes of the effect were the spirit's Force). It also had the metamagical technique of Shielding.

However, I never did manage to get the time to sit down and write up a unified system for it. I figure I'll save that for when I write up a system for free spirits employing metamagics, tackle the spirit issues at the same time. I mean, you can learn most metamagics from a spirit, but despite being conversely able to teach those metamagics, the spirit itself possesses no capacity to use the techniques.

I'm kind of saved the effort for the time being, as the rules are being entirely rewritten for SR4. Until the main book and magic book are in my possession, I won't have the material to work on any rules extensions, if they're even needed in the coming edition.
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