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Calling Ritual issues, aka, taking Assensing and Arcana as primary skills

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FST_Gemstar

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« on: <05-18-16/1113:32> »
Has anyone had experience hammering out some rules on how Mundanes (and I guess awakened without skills in or access to ritual spellcasting) learn the Calling Ritual?

  • Do you need to buy it with karma?
  • Do you use Arcana instead of Ritual Spellcasting to learn it?
  • Do they use Arcana + Logic to cast it? If not, what?
  • Do you need a lodge (and how would that work)?
  • How do you determine paraphernalia choice for spirit types and their cost (especially if those who can't make their own paraphernalia)?
  • While the ritual notes you can bargain with spirits using the Negotiation skill, other parts of the book note that there is no real bargaining with spirits - you want something, they give a price, take it or leave it. How do you reconcile this?

I am thinking of a new build of a home game, or at least a concept piece, that attempts to make a not so happy "bound" spirit(s) by learning their "True Name":
  • Using Calling of the kind of spirit you are looking to "bound".
  • Designing a Formula:
    a) Directly observing the spirit and beating a 5 threshold assesnsing test.
    b)Designing from scratch a spirit formula with an extended Arcana test.
    Summoning such an unhappy spirit using that formula

Rules are odd from hereafter: It is noted that" Anyone who possesses a copy of a spirit formula can command the free spirit that the formula represents." (p. 203 SG)
But then has rules about summoning free spirits that notes they don't have services and presumeably won't do anything for you. And while noting that "The inherent power of a true name allows anyone, even mundanes, to summon and bind a free spirit," there are binding rules for such spirits that presumed knowledge of the binding skill.

So assuming that just having a spirit's formula is not enough to basically turn it into an ally spirit (though that would be nice), but mundanes seem to be able to have power to bind spirits, how would you rule in this situation?

  • Can a character default on the Binding + Willpower test (pg 204) as it is not technically a Magic associated test?
  • Can a character without Binding replace Arcana with the test?

I am just really unclear about how to handle this, but there are a lot of listed rules about it. Just kind of incomplete and contradictory...

Given the above has a way of working, I would also be interested in seeing about:

Let's say an aspected sorcerer WITH ritual spellcasting, initiated into Invocation, and learned how to summon an ally spirit...
Could they call a spirit, create a formula from that spirit, calculate the karma cost of making an ally spirit from that formula, then do the mundane summon (with formula)/bind (with way mundanes are supposed to be able to), and then pay the karma to turn said spirit into an ally?
Lots in that statement. Perhaps it would be an ally with a low loyalty rating too as it was not "designed" to be loyal.



I think I would prefer an aspected sorcerer or full magician for this concept (if the forced ally spirit is an option), and if the character NEEDs access to ritual spellcasting skills to learn rituals. Othewrise,  If the "mundane" skill replacements work, than an adept or aspected alchemist might fit the bill.

The full magician/aspected magician build  would also probably learn divination due to their high Arcana and Logic (and ritual spellcasting).


Lots of text I know, but I would definitely appreciate any rules clarifications people have come up with!
« Last Edit: <05-18-16/1122:31> by FST_Gemstar »

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #1 on: <05-18-16/1257:27> »
Below are two templates (no knowledge skills of NQ yet, both will need 25 karma worth of nqs), the first a lightly-cybered full Magician, the second a poor aspected sorcerer that can still shoot a pistol. This is assuming that you need Ritual Spellcasting as part of the concept.

Magician:
Very focused, but has the Calling basics and spirit formula creating down. (Some alchemy for Paraphernalia. Ritual spellcasting for the ritual, Assensing for a good observation of called spirits, and Arcana to turn that knowledge into a formula). Drugs and Foci and 'Ware help with key tests. Character has dreamlink installed so that s/he can recreate astral visions or divining impressions. 
 
Karma spent: 15 on PQs, 10 on Strength, 10 on Charisma,  15 on Foci , -25 TBD NQs.
[spoiler]== Info ==
Street Name: Calling 1
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement: 6/12
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0
Human
Composure: 7
Judge Intentions: 8
Lift/Carry: 5 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 12
Nuyen: 2080

== Priorities ==
Metatype: D(1) - Human or Elf
Attributes: C(2) - 16 Attributes
Special: A(4) - Magician or Technomancer
Skills: E(0) - 18 Skills/0 Skill Groups
Resources: B(3) - 275,000

== Attributes ==
BOD: 3
AGI: 1 (3)
REA: 2
STR: 2
CHA: 2
INT: 6
LOG: 5 (7)
WIL: 5
EDG: 5
MAG: 5

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   5.00
Initiative:                8 + 1d6
Rigger Initiative:         8 + 1d6
Astral Initiative:         12 + 2d6
Matrix AR Initiative:      8 + 1d6
Matrix Cold Initiative:    6 + DP + 3d6
Matrix Hot Initiative:     6 + DP + 4d6
Physical Damage Track:     10
Stun Damage Track:         11

== Limits ==
Physical:                  3
Mental:                    9
Social:                    5
   Ballistic Mask [+1] (Only for intimidation, Must be visible)
   Mortimer of London: Berwick Dress [+1] (Must be visible)
Astral:                    9

== Active Skills ==
Alchemy                    : 3 [Paraphernalia ]     Pool: 10 (12)
Arcana                     : 6 [Spirit Formula]     Pool: 15 (17)
Assensing                  : 6 [Aura Reading]       Pool: 14 (16)
Perception                 : 1 [Visual]             Pool: 9 (11)
Ritual Spellcasting        : 6                      Pool: 13
Sneaking                   : 1 [Urban]              Pool: 4 (6)

== Knowledge Skills ==
English                    : N                      Pool: 0

== Contacts ==
; Fixer (Magical Supplies) (4, 2)

== Qualities ==
Magician
Mentor Spirit (Oracle)
Perceptive II

== Spells ==
(Tradition: Zoroastrianism, Resist Drain with WIL + LOG (12))
Ball Lightning (Alchemical) DV: F-1
Calling [Spirit Type]      DV: Special
Detect Enemies, Extended (Alchemical) DV: F
Fling (Alchemical)         DV: F-2
Heal (Alchemical)          DV: F-4
Homunculus                 DV: Special
Increase [Attribute] (Alchemical) (REA) DV: F-3
Levitate (Alchemical)      DV: F-2
Manabolt (Alchemical)      DV: F-3
Watcher                    DV: Special

== Lifestyles ==
Medium  1 months

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Cerebral Booster Rating 2
Dream Link
Muscle Toner Rating 2
Narco

== Armor ==
Armor Jacket                        12
   +Auto-Injector
   +Drag Handle
   +Fire Resistance 3
   +Radiation Shielding 3
   +Thermal Damping 3
Ballistic Mask                      2
   +Respirator Rating 6
Chameleon Suit                      9
Mortimer of London: Berwick Dress   8
   +Concealability
   +Custom Fit

== Weapons ==
Survival Knife
   Pool: 2   Accuracy: 5   DV: 4P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 2   Accuracy: 3   DV: 2S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
MCT Blue Defender (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 1, FWL: 5)
   +Fake SIN Rating 4 [Fake License 4 (Mage License), Fake License 4 (Driver's License), Fake License 4 (Pharma License)]
   +Micro-Transceiver
   +Sim Module
   +Subvocal Mic
   +AR Gloves

== Gear ==
Alchemical Focus (Bonded Foci) Rating 1
Backpack (Good)
Contacts Rating 3
   +Image Link
   +Low Light
   +Camera, Micro Rating 1
Cram x25
Enchanting Gloves
Govi Rating 5 x3
Magical Lodge Materials Rating 5
Medkit Rating 6
Medkit Supplies x6
Power Focus (Bonded Foci) Rating 2
Psyche x25
Reagents, per dram x250
Refined Reagents x10
Survival Kit
Tool Shop (Alchemy)
Zen x25

== Vehicles ==
Chrysler-Nissan Journey (Car)
   +Sensor Array Rating 2[/spoiler]


Aspected Magician:
This aspected magician trades the extreme focus on the gimmicky Calling/Formula writing/binding for some more physicality/utility (weapon skill, counterspelling, stealth, etc.). 
Karma spent: 20 on PQs, 10 on Strength, 10 on Rituals, -25 TBD NQs.
[spoiler]
== Info ==
Street Name: Calling 2 - Aspected
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement: 8/16
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0
Human
Composure: 8
Judge Intentions: 8
Lift/Carry: 5 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 11
Nuyen: 20

== Priorities ==
Metatype: C(2) - Human, Dwarf, Elf, or Ork
Attributes: A(4) - 24 Attributes
Special: D(1) - Adept or Aspected Magician
Skills: B(3) - 36 Skills/5 Skill Groups
Resources: E(0) - 6,000

== Attributes ==
BOD: 3
AGI: 4
REA: 5
STR: 2
CHA: 3
INT: 5
LOG: 6
WIL: 5
EDG: 3
MAG: 6

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   6
Initiative:                10 + 1d6
Rigger Initiative:         10 + 1d6
Astral Initiative:         10 + 2d6
Matrix AR Initiative:      10 + 1d6
Matrix Cold Initiative:    5 + DP + 3d6
Matrix Hot Initiative:     5 + DP + 4d6
Physical Damage Track:     10
Stun Damage Track:         11

== Limits ==
Physical:                  4
Mental:                    8
Social:                    6
   Ballistic Mask [+1] (Only for intimidation, Must be visible)
Astral:                    8

== Active Skills ==
Arcana                     : 6 [Spirit Formula]     Pool: 14 (16)
Assensing                  : 6 [Aura Reading]       Pool: 11 (13)
Automatics                 : 6 [Machine Pistols]    Pool: 10 (12)
Counterspelling            : 6                      Pool: 12
Disguise                   : 5                      Pool: 10
Palming                    : 5                      Pool: 9
Perception                 : 2 [Visual]             Pool: 9 (11)
Ritual Spellcasting        : 6                      Pool: 12
Sneaking                   : 5                      Pool: 9


== Knowledge Skills ==

== Contacts ==
; Fixer (Magical Supplies) (4, 3)
; Troll Street Dealer (1, 1)

== Qualities ==
Aspected Magician
Jack of All Trades Master of None
Mentor Spirit (Oracle)
Perceptive II
Quick Healer

== Spells ==
(Tradition: Hermetic, Resist Drain with WIL + LOG (11))
Calling [Spirit Type]      DV: Special
Watcher                    DV: Special

== Lifestyles ==
Sq  1 months

== Armor ==
Armor Jacket                        12
Ballistic Mask                      2
   +Respirator Rating 6

== Weapons ==
Ares Crusader II
   +Gas-Vent 2 System
   +Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 10 (12)   Accuracy: 7   DV: 7P   AP: -   RC: 4
Survival Knife
   Pool: 3   Accuracy: 5   DV: 4P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 3   Accuracy: 4   DV: 2S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
MCT-3500 (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 3, FWL: 3)
   +Fake SIN Rating 4 [Fake License 4 (Mage License), Fake License 4 (Weapon License), Fake License 4 (Concealed Carry Permit)]

== Gear ==
Contacts Rating 2
   +Smartlink
   +Image Link
Cram x5
Magical Lodge Materials Rating 6
Psyche x5
Survival Kit
Zen x5

== Vehicles ==
Dodge Scoot (Scooter)
   +Sensor Array Rating 2[/spoiler]


I would love some help, folks!
« Last Edit: <05-18-16/1322:29> by FST_Gemstar »

Danielmulconry

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« Reply #2 on: <05-19-16/0504:20> »
First post so bare with me here.

Yes you must learn the ritual with karma if you are a mundane. If you have spell allotment from tour priority choice you may also learn it as one of those.

As a mundane or aspected (non spellcasting) you would use arcana. Adepts and all other characters would use ritual casting. For both learning and casting.

A lodge is not 100% but it does add a layer of protection from the now most likely miffed spirit you have just called to the location.

Paraphernalia would depend on the spirit you have selected for you calling ritual. Eg. A wee gee board, candles, small objects relating to the type of spirit you want to summon from a wikken ghost spirit. You may also require an aspected location as part of the activation of the Paraphernalia. Eg haunted house.

Personally if a calling ritual was to be performed by a mundane i would have it require a group to perform the ritual the mundane would then have awoken or at least someone who could negotiate and study prices for Paraphernalia. But it should fluctuate as the nature of the magic is unpredictable.

The bargining with spirits should depend on the spirit and tradition or realm it comes from. A ghost would want rest so it would ask you to perform a task for it relating to its death. The spirit would then have a tether to the real world for a period of time until a certain time elapse or the task is complete. But thats a my own feeling and not a rule. In all seriousness the spirit is going to trick you into serving its needs. Its going to put you in a verbal contract that will be in its favour. On the nice side though you could gain either a cool ability or information you needed about something you ask. In return with your negotiation you could just be asked for a task to be performed in your own time like deliver flowers to a grave for it.

Bound spirit for a calling ritual. Ally spirit would be your only option here and this should not be an easy task. It should require a spacific astral quest to find the formula for the spirit. It should also require a very intimate knowledge of one spirit. Summoning one spirit more then once with the nature of the ritual it is hard to get the same spirit more then that. Mundanes would not be able to do this. They do not have the ritual casting or actual Summoning skill to perform the summong for an ally spirit. If a mundane did somehow het a hold of such a formula they would be quickly found by said spirit and killed before a ritual could be performed. If the spirit doesnt get them someone else would be after them for the valuable formula.

As a conclusion to this. Having a free spirit ally spirit should require a mundane to be not only protected by several mages to prevent the spirit from killing them. The mundane should probibly not be left alone with a possible ally spirit if they were to perform all the reqired steps to obtain one.

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #3 on: <05-19-16/1157:46> »
Thanks so much Danielmulconry!

I think I would have a character that is magical go this route, but I think understanding mundane rules for it is applicable for aspected/adepts.


Summoning/Binding Free Spirits with a spirit formula:
Still confused here. SG 204 notes that mundanes can summon/bind free spirits if they have a spirit formula, but binding them uses the binding skill (that they an aspected sorcerers, enchanters, and adepts wouldn't have). The test is Binding + Willpower instead Binding + Magic, so I wonder if this could be a defaultable test, basically trying to bind through sheer will, or if Arcana could be substituted.

Spirit Formula/Ally Spirits: 
The issue I have with astral quests is that only full magicians can easily go on them. An aspected/adept can't  do so. So it leaves them the other two ways to find a spirit formula, find a spirit's signature on a physical object (assense it and design a formula from it) or design a formula from observing a spirit directly (assense it and design a formula from it). I figured that if you can call a spirit, you usually have some time to observe it in detail, as it's probably not going anywhere for a while, using the the design a formula technique. I guess you could also try to get it to use a spell/power on a physical object and make a formula the easier way through that signature.  These two ways let a non-full magician but more than mundane character to make a formula.

Ally spirit ritual is odd to me, as it is technically a ritual, but it doesn't seem that there is any ritual spellcasting test, just a regular summoning/binding (with a particular spirit formula) with karma expense. I can see a mundane (or a non aspected sorcerer/full magician/mysad) probably can't do this because they can't learn the ritual. But if you can summon/bind free spirits in the way described (but unclearly on 204) AND initiate into invocation/learn ally spirits, you could perhaps turn a free spirit into an ally spirit (if you are able to calculate the karma costs for that spirit). 



This is all a bit convoluted, but I am interested in making a character that calls on Shadow spirits and can eventually get a shadow spirit ally (or perhaps one of the aetherology spirits like ghasts or  Tsuchigumo Warriors). It seems like a lot of extra work, especially because a a full magician who could optimize all the skills to do this would just be better off doing things regularly. So I think an aspected sorcerer would be a fun character base for this, as it can do everything except prepare their own paraphrenalia.