If all else fails, read the friendly manual, they say. (IBM tell me the "F" stands for "friendly". Really. This time, they're right.)
P 137. About fetishes.
"A practice spirit can be released from its fetish to grant a greater bonus... hero performs a short ritual... unrelated action." (Which therefore isn't instant.)
"The spirit leaves at the end of the contest. It goes back first to its natural home, then returns to its fetish. This journey takes some time.... It will always be back and available to the hero at the beginning of the next session..."
The contest rules are at the top of the RH column of p137. You use your friendship with the spirit to release it. Victory, it gets released and helps. Complete defeat, it gets released but can't help, and has to be re-bound. Other results, it stays put.
I hadn't looked at spirit allies before, but they're down the bottom of that page.
"It can release itself from the fetish whenever desried, with no resistance and witout taking an unrelated action. It can work its magic and, when done, automatically return to its fetish as described above."
Looks like there's a delay before it returns, still, but as long as you only want to use it once a "session", you're fine.
> They get an augment of +3 all the time (plus maybe a
> couple of other augments - Spirit Allies generally know a few
> different things I think) and can bump up to Flaming Lance
> Combat 1w4 for one scene.
Sounds about right to me. And while the spirit's away, they lose *all* the augments it was providing, not just the Flaming Lance.
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