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Spirit Services, Binding and Increases Critter Powers

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kla060365

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« on: (16:10:10/11-20-16) »
I've added a first draft of some Anarchy rules bringing in:
  • Services for spirits
  • Binding
  • More spirit powers[/i]
I've loaded the PDF into my Anarchy shared Google drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-n6nKyxWfIPVkRqT3ZmV0FTSkk

Any comments/criticisms?

Gingivitis

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« Reply #1 on: (16:46:27/11-20-16) »
Net successes translating into spirit services:  In Anarchy, you can succeed by matching the opposed roll, i.e. succeed with zero net successes.  How would you handle that?

Greater spirits are very much more powerful than an already powerful average spirit.  I would recommend 12 dice for the Opposing Dice.

Lesser spirits I would keep at 6.  They are still very powerful compared to their cost.

I was thinking about re-introducing Watcher Spirits, which would basically act like level 1 Shadow Amps.  They have a narrative effect but have no stats and no powers.  Easy to conjure (4).

I like the Bound Services but I think the Binding Shadow Amp might be toned down.  Spirits are so powerful that having 3 for (basically) free would be un-balancing.  You might go: Each amp level grants the use of a pre-bound spirit for one Scene. Level 3 gets you the use of the spirit for 3 Scenes (most Contracts).

This is good stuff.  Thanks for putting it out there!

[Edit]  I just ready your Watcher Spirit rules from "Sins of the Father"  Those are really good too.
« Last Edit: (16:58:37/11-20-16) by Gingivitis »
Shadowrun: Anarchy Resources (GM Screens, Character Sheets, New NPCs, House Rules) at: www.surprisethreat.com

Tecumseh

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« Reply #2 on: (01:24:46/11-21-16) »
I agree that the Binding shadow amp is too powerful for the reasons that Gingivitis states. Also be very mindful of potential impacts to gameplay and flow: it would be very unbalancing if a player had to narrate and roll for not only the magician but three extra spirits as well. That gives the player too much to do to the detriment of the other players, unless the character has the Spirit Trust amp and is using it to share spirits with the other players. That's a potentially fun scenario, but I'm not sure I would build a rule specifically for it.

As for the rest of the proposed rules, I understand the desire to make spirit powers more consistent between SR5 and SRA, but the net effect is to add powers and functionality which make spirits even more formidable than they already are. Per my post in the House Rules thread, I still think spirits are ridiculously good, so much so that average spirits are basically free Prime Runners, with attack pools and dodge pools that mirror maxed-out PCs. (Between attribute points, racial bonuses, and attributes starting off at rating 1, Primer Runners have 27 attribute points. An "average" spirit has 31-33. Great Form spirits would have 41-43.)

Let's look at the sample characters. Coydog rolls 15 dice to summon air spirits. That should be enough to regularly summon Great Form air spirits if they are rolling 10-12 dice to resist, especially if - as Gingivitis points out - ties go to the summoner. Plus, since there's no drain mechanic, there's basically nothing from stopping rerolls until the character succeeds. So, that gives Coydog a great air spirit with 15 dice to attack, 20 dice to dodge (!), and immunity that shrugs off the first 5 boxes of every non-magical hit. That's the current state, and to that these rules suggest adding Accident, Concealment, Movement, and Search powers.

Honest feedback: these rules are too generous without some major limiting mechanic - either Drain or only one summoning attempt per scene - to help keep summoning in check.

kla060365

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« Reply #3 on: (15:16:14/11-21-16) »
Thanks for the feedback - I have to admit I didn't really look at the numbers!

The idea of adding more powers to the spirits was to try and move them away from just being combat monsters by giving options for concealment, movement etc.

I agree after reading your feedback that spirits in general are very powerful even without adding my Binding amp. I did wonder if anything could be done with a Shadow Amp for conjuring but couldn't think of anything that didn't reduce spirits to mana-based drones.

Perhaps the difficulty for summoning spirits is too low? Assuming the "standard" spirits are Force 6 in Shadowrun terms perhaps we could allow spirits of any force to be summoned with an opposing dice pool equal to Force X 2 so a Force 6 spirit would oppose its summoning with 12 dice? Or to avoid the Force issue just increase the opposing pools for Lesser 8 dice, Standard 12 dice and Greater 16 dice?

Or perhaps we should adjust the base-line standard spirits - down grade them to the equivalent of a force 4 Shadowrun spirit so a Lesser becomes a force 2 and a Greater force 6?

I'm keen to get a working version of Binding as I think my players will probably want to play in the world back in the day when Shaman summoned and Hermetics bound. One thought is to drop the Shadow Amp all together and allow the Conjuring skill to be used but with a Karma cost say 2 Karma per Standard spirit (1 for Lesser and 3 for Greater) - I'd probably allow othe runners to donate Karma to the mage for this purpose - throwing in a few thousand nuyen for ritual components.

None of the above limits the number of spirits that can be in a single scene unless you add a rule as suggested that only one spirit may be used per scene.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #4 on: (00:34:15/11-22-16) »
I think those general guidelines for dice pools to oppose summoning (8/12/16) are good.

Adding in some 3E flavor - a hermetic can only bind and shaman can only summon - is an interesting twist. I like the idea of hermetics spending karma on enough reagents to bind a spirit. I might say 1 karma for an average spirit and 2 karma for a greater spirit, although that amount would also depend on what the contracts are paying at your table. 1 karma would buy enough reagents to pay for two (2) lesser spirits.

To extend the 3E logic to shamanic summoners, I also like the idea of limiting a shaman's summoningby their domain, which both adds flavor (to fuel narrations) and some constraints (to help keep summoning in check).

Gingivitis

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« Reply #5 on: (17:21:47/11-26-16) »
If you wanted to add non-combat powers to spirits to keep them from being used solely for combat, you can do that.  Just make them choose between powers... like I did with Gangers, Enemy Mages, etc in Anarchy Threats (http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=25126.0)

Give them a (short) list of Shadow Amps and make them choose 2 (or 3 for a greater spirit).  So they can have Concealment OR Elemental Attack, etc.  I would keep the powers very spirit-specific so that there are little to no overlaps though.  Make a spirit of water very different from a spirit of air in utility.

- Air: Movement
- Water: Concealment
- Earth: Binding?
- Fire: Nox Breath?
- Beast: Fear?
- Man: Wearing Pants!
Shadowrun: Anarchy Resources (GM Screens, Character Sheets, New NPCs, House Rules) at: www.surprisethreat.com

kla060365

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« Reply #6 on: (15:38:58/11-27-16) »
As another thought I've just uploaded a Word document, Spirit Revisited, to my shared Google drive with the idea of treating spirits in a similar way as drones i.e. they do not have full statistics just Armor and powers. Whenever a roll is required for a spirit the conjurer's attribute and skill are used - the idea being that a spirit's capabilities are dependent on how skilled its conjurer is.

I've quickly knocked together some statistics for the six spirit types but they need some more work - probably trying to get at least one unique power per spirit as per Gingivitis' suggestion.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-n6nKyxWfIPVkRqT3ZmV0FTSkk

Any thoughts?