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Animism revisited

posted Feb 26, 2013 16:43:12 by AmazingOnionMan
So it seems I've been ..ehrm, assuming something about this dicipline.
Only Animists of Shaman-rank can draw a spirit into the physical world? And unless a spirit is shifted into the physical world, it can't affect it?
Meaning that lower ranking Animists(Spirit Worshippers in particular with their "spirit-summoning"-abilty) cannot convince a local nature-spirit to anything but sit down for a chat and a cup of coffee? The worshipper cannot attempt to gain any powers from the spirit(even if it agrees) without actually drawing it into the physical world(unless the spirit can manifest or discorporate on it's own)?

Is this correct? Until one is initiated into the deeper mysteries of the cult(gaining Shaman-rank), one is wholly dependant on being given already-fetishbound spirits from your hopefully benevolent superiors?

I had(perhaps wrongfully) assumed that a summoned spirit could be persuaded, but not forced, into granting a non-Shaman it's powers.
Anyone?
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10 replies
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RangerDan said Feb 27, 2013 11:19:25
I believe that this is indeed how it works with Animists of Spirit Worshipper or lower rank.

I admit that I have also wondered about this. It seems that an Animist of Spirit Worshipper rank working alone is not able to do some of the 'cool stuff' that Theists of comparable rank (Initiate) are able to do, because even a willing spirit cannot manifest in the physical world without a Shaman's help. (I don't mention Sorcerors or Mystics because for them rank makes no mechanical difference).

As I see it, a willing spirit could do the following for a Spirit Worshipper:

* Any: Engage in Spirit combat on the shaman's behalf. Could be useful in the right set of circumstances.

* Ancestor Spirit: Give knowledge and advice. Very useful.

* Haunt: All kinds of stuff, as Haunts exist on the physical plane.

* Nature Spirit: Dominate Species or Dominate Region powers. Perhaps not strictly as per RAW but I don't see why this influence could not be exerted from the Spirit World.

* Any Spirit with Discorporate (Death Spirit, Sickness Spirit, possibly Ancestor Spirit): Discorporate the spirit worshipper's enemies for general mayhem. Discorporate the spirit worshipper for any number of goals.


So while there are some options the more spectacular abilities like embodying Nature Spirits or Elemental Spirits or what have you seem to be limited to Shaman rank or higher or to be given fetishes with the right spirits already bound.

If you want to change this you could give (all?) spirits the ability to Manifest as per Fetches on p. 405.
For 1 MP they could enter the physical world to aid the Animist for POW minutes. Spirits cannot regenerate MP on the physical world and - as MP are also effectively their hit points - they may not want to burn them up to the limits of their endurance. This would give Spirit Worshippers some way of doing limited 'fun stuff' through negotiation with spirits.
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AmazingOnionMan said Feb 27, 2013 17:20:52
Well, I fear I have to do -something-, as my sales-pitch for the Animist last weekend seems to be built on shaky foundations:-)

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jjwdrake said Feb 27, 2013 17:56:21
If the spirit is in a fetish - put there by the shaman - and the fetish is given to a follower (assuming its POW/intensity is not too high for the follower's skill), then the job of putting the spirit into the munade world is already done (or am I being all Legend and not RQ6)? Hence the follower has a spirit he can use that gives him abilities on a par with a theist initiate at least.
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AmazingOnionMan said Feb 27, 2013 19:20:57
Yes, fetishes are indeed powerful. But the follower is, by RAW, unable to persuade* a spirit -on his own-: He can't persuade a riverspirit to offer safe passage by keeping the crocodiles at bay(which is one of the examples I used to illustrate the Animist to the player)

RangerDan's suggestion of letting a spirit manifest by it's own power is perhaps the solution.. Sacrifices and pacts are the way to go, I think.

Even if I loosen up abit and allow starting Animists a bit more leeway, Shamans are still scary... I guess I have to start thinking about some spirit-quests soon.

*edit: or he can persuade them, of course. But the spirit can't do much, which leaves the animist stranded.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2013 19:23:41]
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Alfonso_García said Mar 01, 2013 09:41:54
If your rank is Spirit Follower, enough to converse with spirits, you always can use Trance to locate that river spirit on the Spirit Plane and asking it to manifiest himself or discorporate you to negociate.
You'll depend on the spirit's good will until you are a chaman.

And you'll need deal with high Intensity spirits, well above to your POD's Binding capabilities since they are the ones who must cross between the planes. Unless they are friendly to your tradition, you will not get almost anything from them.

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RangerDan said Mar 01, 2013 10:42:54
Hi Alfonso,

If your rank is Spirit Follower, enough to converse with spirits, you always can use Trance to locate that river spirit on the Spirit Plane and asking it to manifiest himself or discorporate you to negociate.
You'll depend on the spirit's good will until you are a chaman.

I believe that's Mr. Onion's point.

The River spirit as written does not actually have the ability to Discorporate you, nor manifest himself.
So even a willing allied Nature spirit cannot do much to help you on the physical plane if you are not a shaman.
Information etc. is of course still an option.

But as I said above, I don't think that giving some spirits the ability to manifest would 'break' anything. Especially if you roleplay that spirits would be very hesitant to do so (as hesitant as a shaman to enter the Spirit World unnecessarily).


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AmazingOnionMan said Mar 01, 2013 20:42:12
Yes, what RangerDan said.

I've settled for allowing spirits to exercise some more, subtle influence on the physical world.
The riverspirit will not be able to directly control anything, but might be able to calm currents etc.
Some spirits may be tempted to manifest if properly enticed. Case by case, depending on the spirit and it's outlook on things.

The one thing I'm going to play up is that spirits won't do this for free. They'll expect something in return, unless the Animist is a real slick speaker..
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Alfonso_García said Mar 01, 2013 22:07:05
The River spirit as written does not actually have the ability to Discorporate you, nor manifest himself. So even a willing allied Nature spirit cannot do much to help you on the physical plane if you are not a shaman. Information etc. is of course still an option.


Yes, of course. An Intensity 2 or 3 Nature's spirit cannot manifest or discorporate. That's why I mentioned very powerful spirits. I can't imagine a River Spirit Lord with Intensity 2. I was thinking more on Intensity 5 or 6. An spirit so powerful could have more capabilities than other spirits, even if all of them are Nature Spirits.

I've settled for allowing spirits to exercise some more, subtle influence on the physical world.
The riverspirit will not be able to directly control anything, but might be able to calm currents etc.
Some spirits may be tempted to manifest if properly enticed. Case by case, depending on the spirit and it's outlook on things.

The one thing I'm going to play up is that spirits won't do this for free. They'll expect something in return, unless the Animist is a real slick speaker..


I think that is a excellent way to imagine the Animism.
Suppose that this River Spirit Lord doesn't have the capability of manifest himself or discorporate your spiritual follower. However, the character have the capacibily to communicate with him. He can enter in Trance to locate and speech with him. Obviously neither can cross to the Other Side. Even that, the character can propiate the spirit with a ceremony, a ritual dance or other mechanism to win the good will of the Spirit Lord. If the spirit it's friendly with his Spiritual Tradition, the Spiritual Follower could know the right way to propitiate it, maybe with a Lore (spiritual Tradition). A happy River Lord Spirit will help him, even if there has been no formal negotiation or a fake spiritual combat between them.

In this case, I think we should think less in terms of "flashy magic" and more in terms of interaction between NPCs. You want to cross the river? Win over that River Lord. Make a ceremony. Impress him. When he is pleased with you, he'll help you to cross the river. You don't need to cross to Spirit World to do that. A lesser spirit could only help you if it's already bound in a fetish, but the spirit who rules the river... He can control it even from the Spirit World.
It's my way of seeing this situation, of course. Your RuneQuest will vary.
[Last edited Mar 01, 2013 23:56:32]
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RangerDan said Mar 02, 2013 09:30:35
Alfonso
Thoughts on Animism.

My apologies, I had understood from your previous post that you were not aware Nature spirits do not come with Discorporate "out of the box" while in fact you were advocating giving more powerful spirits this power.
I should have known the person responsible for translating the book is quite familiar with the rules!
I basically agree with everything else you wrote re: spirits influence in the physical world.

The one thing I'm going to play up is that spirits won't do this for free. They'll expect something in return, unless the Animist is a real slick speaker..

For a major favour or spirit not generally inclined to be helpful, you may go with what the book suggests and ask for an Improvement Roll as the 'price' for assistance. Nothing like burning 'xp' to make a player's blood boil!
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Alfonso_García said Mar 04, 2013 10:40:25
You don't need to apologize for that, man.

I usually write very short, and sometimes can be confusing.
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