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Spirit Search Power - Some Questions

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CyberKumiko

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« on: (15:17:29/06-14-18) »

Hoi Chummers

Some Queries R.E Search Power

1.) Can the spirit only search it's domain ?

2.) Once located e.g a person, does the spirit have to return to convey the location ?

3.) Does the spirit know exactly where the target is ? Does it understand addresses ? Can it communicate this to the Magician?

4.) Does the magician have to be guided, say through astral, to the location?

Arigato

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: (16:01:24/06-14-18) »
We do not even have domain rules so no.

Spirits have a mental link to their summoners. Use that. But I do not think you need to actually walk there to find them.

They do not understand addresses. But they can send a mental explanation.

Guiding would help if it is a complicated location and you lack Survival. But I expect that normally the mental picture suffices for a basic location. Fine details no.
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Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #2 on: (23:37:00/06-14-18) »
Pretty much what Michael posted. Communication through the link they form is effortless for them both. Again, I'm big on 'flavor' so I'll describe it as appropriate to the spirit, while still conveying the meaning.

For example: The shaman in my last campaign used a Water spirit to track someone, and spoke to it through a glass of ice water. When the spirit returned with the info, it shaped the ice in the water and condensation on the glass into a delicate 3 dimensional picture of the location, and a sense of where it was. Basically the information was revealed more or less, but I like adding descriptors like that for a more 'personal touch' on how spirits and mages communicate.

That said, sometimes I don't have anything clever to add, or don't have the time, and it is just a sense of where they're at and a 'pull' to the spirit's whereabouts (though actually guiding the caster there is likely another favor ;) )

Crunch~


Kiirnodel

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« Reply #3 on: (05:12:24/06-15-18) »
Here's something that'll throw you for a loop. The Search Critter Power never says that it requires the critter to move. The entire power is structured a little oddly when you think about it.

It uses an extended test to determine if the critter (spirit) finds the target, but getting part way there (4 out of 5 hits) doesn't indicate anything. Failure means you are still at square zero. And yet, if the target is behind a barrier and/or magically concealed, you could know immediately because you drop to no dice left.
If the spirit was required to physically (or astrally) move to the target, then things like Wards would force the spirit to push through, which is a whole other can of worms.

One of the ways that I have handled it was the spirit doesn't need to move and is reaching out with "spritual senses" and then can lead you the target if it succeeds.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: (05:54:30/06-15-18) »
Don't forget a spirit is an npc so the gm rolls. Penalties can be kept a secret.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #5 on: (07:01:29/06-15-18) »
Don't forget a spirit is an npc so the gm rolls. Penalties can be kept a secret.

True, but it's still a serious indicator when the spirit turns to you after just 10 minutes to let you know that they failed (as opposed to an hour or two later).

« Reply #6 on: (08:26:16/06-15-18) »
Don't forget a spirit is an npc so the gm rolls. Penalties can be kept a secret.

Since the conjuring character's edge can be used on spirits' tests, the players in my (admittedly small) pond all expect to perform their own spirits' rolls.  And even though I'm in favor of a strong GM paradigm, I gotta say I agree with them.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #7 on: (08:56:02/06-15-18) »
Yeah, the rules are a bit funny like that. But even funnier is that you can use triangulation to close in on your target: You just have to move a few kilometers to find out if it took longer or shorter for the spirit to fail.

As it stands, the spirit seems to send out some kind of pulse and waits for the return ping from the target.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: (09:02:32/06-15-18) »
Don't forget a spirit is an npc so the gm rolls. Penalties can be kept a secret.

Since the conjuring character's edge can be used on spirits' tests, the players in my (admittedly small) pond all expect to perform their own spirits' rolls.  And even though I'm in favor of a strong GM paradigm, I gotta say I agree with them.
As long as you still don't let them dictate a Spirit's actions, that's fine. But you have every right as GM to roll for the spirit.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

« Reply #9 on: (09:08:48/06-15-18) »
Yeah, the rules are a bit funny like that. But even funnier is that you can use triangulation to close in on your target: You just have to move a few kilometers to find out if it took longer or shorter for the spirit to fail.

As it stands, the spirit seems to send out some kind of pulse and waits for the return ping from the target.

It's an interesting interpretation... and the "true" nature of a search is not without consequence.  If the spirit leaves your side, it's a remote service.  If it can stay by your side while performing a search, you don't lose extra services...

« Reply #10 on: (12:04:01/06-15-18) »
Been doing more thought on whether a Spirit actually leaves the mage's side during a search.

While the Search critter power description (SR5 pg 400) never says the critter physically starts going around looking for the target and neither does it say it stays at your side during the use of the power.  I honestly suspect this omission is only because it's assumed one "obviously" must move around to search for something.  The rules never say you have to point the barrel of your gun at the target in order for the bullet to have any chance of hitting your target.. omissions like that are just evidence that "patently obvious" things needn't be explicitly said.

To support this notion, I submit that the search power is by default NOT describing an astral search because it calls out a purely astral search as an alternative possibility.  So, if a critter without the ability to enter astral space (e.g. a non-spirit critter) uses Search, I don't think anyone would say that the critter sits at your heel and just magically knows where the target is at the end of a successful search.

Furthermore, for a purely astral search, it gets problematic if you're NOT presuming the astral form zooms off.  What if the mage moves during the search?  Is the distance to the target based on the beginning of the search, or does it "live update" as the mage moves around?  The search power gives a penalty based on the distance to the target, but doesn't say whether that penalty is calculated once or constantly varies as the mage moves around.  Particularly with great impact, if the mage is in a fast moving vehicle...  OTOH if the Spirit has to search in a (meta)physical sense and has to leave the mage once the immediate area doesn't turn up the subject, the distance to target doesn't matter once the mage starts moving around.

« Last Edit: (12:23:01/06-15-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #11 on: (17:02:58/06-15-18) »
As I said, I kind of let the nature of the spirit involved, and how the mage addresses them to determine whether it needs to actually 'search' out a target or not. I also think the rule was purposefully vague for that reason as well. Let's the GM have a little leeway on what's required for any given search.

A water spirit *could* just be in connection with any pool of water in its range limit, so the hunt could be considered a success if the target is standing near something dealing with water (a fountain, a sink, a glass of water, etc.) so it wouldn't have to move... OR it could travel through the city's water pipes so if they're near a sink or toilet or something, they can be found, and the spirit had to actually follow a trail of some kind. This could also translate into why that particular spirit failed to find the target (must not be near water, or around a water pipe). Granted, it's more about the rolls and what is story appropriate- the rest is just flavor in how I gauge the mechanics, and interpret it to the player.

Leaving it up to the GM to determine the nature of *how* the spirit does it, also allows them to make a search easier or harder depending on the needs of the story (or the creativeness of the player in how they contact the spirit). The rest is just flavor in how I gauge the mechanics, and translate it to the player.

For Astral search, I agree with SSDR. The implication is that it is actively moving around the Astral looking for something. Being spirits, I don't consider them as (thematically) constrained as in physical reality, and they can just move around as they wish within range.

In either case, I personally calculate the range at the start based on where the mage had them begin the search. The bond between the summoner and the spirit will allow it to keep in contact with the mage regardless of where the mage goes after that, but once the favor is requested at X location, that area is where it focuses on.

Unless the mage wants them to stay in range of them while they search, but that's a whole different set of modifiers in my mind...

Crunch~