[SR5] Rules Clarifications and FAQ

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1695 on: <07-07-19/1824:36> »
I have a rules confusion concerning binding.  In the core book, page 301, it says that “additional net hits beyond the first add to the number of services the spirit owes.”   Does this add to those services generated by the summoning test?  I thought so, but a friend pointed to page 302 where it says “the number of services a spirit owes you is equal to the number of net hits you get on your summoning OR binding test” suggesting that they do not add.

I think page 302 is an example of vague writing and the rule on page 301 applies - but he is certain it is the other way around.  Since we both are playing mages for this season of missions, we need clarification if possible on which of us is right.

I'm not empowered to give official clarifications, but in my view:

The Short answer:
They stack.

The Long answer:
So the reference on page 301 is quite clear for everyone? The dispute seems to be not only whether pg 302 is in contradiction but also that pg 302 trumps pg 301 for some reason?

If so, the "they stack" reading on pg 301 wins by invalidating either leg the other argument relies upon. For "they don't stack" to win it needs both- losing either leg means "they stack".

1st leg: the two citations are incompatible.  Now, there are cases where this happens in SR5 with other rules, so it's a legit concern.  In this case, I believe that there's sufficient syntactic ambiguity to read pg 302 as simply meaning the same thing as "summoning and/or binding" despite using "or" in place of "and/or".  And since you CAN reasonably read pg 302 to be in complete agreement with pg 301, I wouldn't agree there's a solid case of conflict between the two.  You CAN read there to be a conflict, granted.  You can also choose to not read it as a Boolean statement.  If there's only a conflict because you choose for there to be one, then there's not a valid conflict. Ergo, "they stack" > "they don't stack".

2nd leg: even if we were to assume the first leg passes, errata has not addressed the theoretical issue of whether 302 trumps 301 or not. Now this isn't lethal to the argument, as there are STILL some legit conflicts that have never been formally errata'd, but this hypothetical ambiguity ends up just meaning it'd come down to your particular GM.  Anecdotal arguments are inherently weak, but still I've never encountered anyone who played that binding services did NOT stack.  Odds are good that a SRM GM you encounter won't either. But on the off chance you get a GM who's not in agreement about services stacking, then at least you know how it'll be at that GM's table.
« Last Edit: <07-07-19/1827:11> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #1696 on: <07-08-19/0042:53> »
There is no distinction between services from the summoning and services from the binding, a spirit simply owes a number of services. The distinction comes from what a spirit can do; when a spirit is bound it can perform additional types of services that it couldn't do as an unbound spirit.

Pg. 302 states that the general case, number of services is derived from net hits on Summoning or Binding tests. This is the general statement.

Pg. 301 states that net hits on the Binding test beyond the first add to the number of services the spirit owes. Since the spirit can already owe services previously from the Summoning, this would qualify as the specific trumps general. The more specific ruling of what exactly the results of a Binding test do, is still the specific rule, even if it happens to come first in the rulebook.