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Spirits of Man and Sustained Spells

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« on: (14:47:11/04-03-18) »
Spirits of Man appear to be unique in SR5 in being PC-summonable spirits that have the ability to cast spells (I only have Core and SG available for reference to "Magic Drek" in this edition).

Sustaining a spell is ordinarily a service that requires a Bound Spirit to perform (SR5 pg 302).

However the first rule appears to render the second meaningless.  The two most popular magical traditions (Shamanic and Hermetic) are both allowed to summon Spirits of Man.  So why ever use a Bound Spirit to sustain one of your spells for you when you could otherwise just have the unbound Spirit of Man know the spell you'd have cast upon yourself, and then have that Spirit cast the spell on you (instead of you casting it yourself on you) and then sustain it..

If unbound Spirits of Man are allowed to sustain spells on you, what's the point in ever using a bound Spirit to do the same?  Would unbound Spirits of Man be able to cast any spell you impart to them but only be able to sustain Health/Manipulation spells as appropriate for bound Spirits of Man of the Hermetic/Shamanic traditions?

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #1 on: (15:19:33/04-03-18) »
The difference is that the spirit of Man must be summoned with a single spell pre-selected. You can't change what spell it is. Additionally, when you ask them to cast it they are limited on Force (equal to theirs), and they suffer drain for it. If the spirit is disrupted, the spell is gone.

On the other hand, bound spirit sustaining can be any spell that you have cast, and they can take over any time after you have cast it. Essentially the service just moves the sustaining penalty from you to the spirit. If the spirit gets disrupted the spell just passes back to you, not lost.

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #2 on: (15:24:15/04-03-18) »
While Kiirnodel is correct in the why you would do that, let me point out that using bound spirits of man to buff is a legitimate character build and a powerful one as well.

One other reason not to use an unbound spirit of man for long duration buffs is that the unbound slot is kind of a flexible slot for a mage, if you plan your build to use spirits of man to buff and give up that slot to do it, you're giving up a portion of your flexibility.

« Reply #3 on: (15:44:25/04-03-18) »
Thanks for the input.

It's not much of a restriction on the unbound Spirit because F6 still gets you 2 spells, so you impart Increase Attribute for the two drain-relevant ones for your tradition.  Or Armor + Increase Reflexes... whatever combo is the most advantageous for your plan.  Force 6 is usually enough to hit the augmented limit, and if not the PC can use edge to ensure it does.  Who cares if the Spirit suffers any drain: you leave it behind where it won't be in harm's way while you go do the action phase of your shadowrun.

I find it a problem not in of itself, but coupled with there being no apparent way for opposition to forcibly remove such sustained spells outside of the Dispelling skill available only to Full Magicians/Sorcerers.. it seems a bit "OP" to get attribute augmentations that are more or less equally reliable (barring potential BGC's and the headache/time sink of getting spells through barriers) as augmentations paid for through essence, nuyen, and/or power points.

Although, point taken about the single unbound spirit "slot" being a finite resource. 
« Last Edit: (15:47:10/04-03-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #4 on: (16:27:35/04-03-18) »
Two spells is debatable. There isn't anything that indicates you can select the same optional power twice. And the entry explicitly says "any one spell known by the summoner"

« Reply #5 on: (16:31:27/04-03-18) »
Two spells is debatable. There isn't anything that indicates you can select the same optional power twice. And the entry explicitly says "any one spell known by the summoner"

Sure the power only gives one spell, but arguably it's one spell per time you pick the power.

Very interesting thought as to what may allow a player to select the same power 2 (or even 3) times.  If nothing allows it, you may be right in that it's not possible.

Marcus

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« Reply #6 on: (16:33:43/04-03-18) »
IIRC the core emphases that spirits don't like sustaining spells. Spirits of man whom are summoned for using their own powers on the other hand don't seem to carry the same issue. I do think it's a powerful build, but it seems like it's working as intended.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #7 on: (16:45:36/04-03-18) »
Two spells is debatable. There isn't anything that indicates you can select the same optional power twice. And the entry explicitly says "any one spell known by the summoner"

Counter point: Different spells are different powers.
The Imp in Howling Shadows has "Innate Spell (Mental Manipulation spells)" as optional powers, which doesn't sound like he can get this power only once.
talk think matrix

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« Reply #8 on: (16:48:37/04-03-18) »
Two spells is debatable. There isn't anything that indicates you can select the same optional power twice. And the entry explicitly says "any one spell known by the summoner"

Counter point: Different spells are different powers.
The Imp in Howling Shadows has "Innate Spell (Mental Manipulation spells)" as optional powers, which doesn't sound like he can get this power only once.

Counter counter point:  That could just be a case of specific trumping general, where that specific spirit is allowed to duplicate Innate Spell power more than once whereas generally you don't/can't.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #9 on: (17:11:32/04-03-18) »
In absence of a defining general rule, extrapolating from precedence seems to be the best option.
I'm not saying it's proof, just that it gives the argument for "different spells are different powers" a higher probability to be true.
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

« Reply #10 on: (17:30:36/04-03-18) »
In absence of a defining general rule, extrapolating from precedence seems to be the best option.
I'm not saying it's proof, just that it gives the argument for "different spells are different powers" a higher probability to be true.

Perhaps... but if that's the only example of its type I'd say it's more likely to be specific trumping general rather than the only clarification of how general is supposed to work being found in an expansion book rather than the core rulebook (or even the "primary" magic expansion book in SG).

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #11 on: (19:42:33/04-03-18) »
All of that is why I said it was debatable, and didn't try to say it was outright wrong. It's possible that it could go either way.

Tarislar

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« Reply #12 on: (22:12:40/04-03-18) »
Hasn't it been pointed out previously that spirits are quite visible when doing this?

Don't they have to be on the same plane as you?

Good luck sneaking with the 2 glowing men following you around.

Sure your fine for mid combat, then again, enemy spellcasters, or even just MG Gunners should be targeting the clearly obvious Mage &/or the spirits themselves.

Maybe good as an ambush option but Binding is kind of expensive to loose them all as someone kills them with concentrated fire.




Not sure how I'd rule the whole take same power 2-3 times based on force of the Spirit.

Do we have any canon examples of a Spirit of Man from this or previous edition with more than one spell known?

Marcus

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« Reply #13 on: (23:05:33/04-03-18) »
Obviously it does depend on the spell. Some spells are more visible then others. But straight buffs, are visibly detectable at casting based upon force, but not after that, and as far as I know they can hang out astral. Now of course the spirits are visible in the astral and of course sustained spell are visible in astral, so yea from the Astral point of view this is very not subtle.

As to the mod question I think there is one in 4th, a bad guy mage packing pistol with alternating dmso/viper poison rounds and something else who also had some spirits. But I could totally be wrong about that, it's been long time sense i read any of those mods, and they weren't always rules accurate.

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #14 on: (00:26:56/04-04-18) »
Note that spirits (and spellcasters) need line of sight to cast the spell but not to sustain it.