RE: Shameful confusion about Fetish/Spirit Ally rules

From: Mike Holmes <homeydont_at_...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 12:06:20 -0500

>From: "Jane Williams" <janewilliams20_at_...>

>No, I think we just checked that. "As described above" - with a
>significant delay. There's a fair amount of text about that, but the
>idea is that by default it's back by the next session, and if you want
>it faster, use "open spirit world" to go looking.


>It isn't quite explicit, but it seems to be implied that they can. P137.
>With a lot of back-references.

That seems to be a coherent picture of Spirit Allies in terms of reading - my question becomes what, then, makes them any different than other spirits in fetishes. If they come back over the same amount of time, can be released similarly, etc. The only difference I'm seeing at this point is that they can come out without an action to get them to do so, and that one can make one into a sidekick. Are these the only differences?

If, so, then I don't see a power problem with them at all. Beyond the "normal" question of how powerful Practitioners are, overall.

Other questions this leaves me with are whether or not the spirit is still potentially "tempermental." That is, sans the roll, is it the player who gets to decide when it comes out? That is, are allies always willing to perform no matter what (I suppose that is a considerable advantage, if true). Or can the narrator still call for a roll? Or just say that the spirit doesn't want to play?

Also, what's the "automatic" all about? That is, is this just extra verbiage, or does it imply that other spirits might not come back? That is, did I miss something, and normal spirits have to be "rebound" or something? Or just an additional roll to see if the spirit is predisposed to coming back? Or are they "automatic" as well in returning?

>Though I believe (never checked) that a starting character can't be a
>shaman anyway. So given the amount of effort you have to take to become
>one, maybe having them powerful is fair enough?

Technically, no, starting characters can't be shamans (because they can't attain the required virtues). It's implied, however, that narrators may want to allow this, it would seem along with other starting characters. Not sure about that. Anyhow, this would be a simple application of Advanced Experience (which I think people should use lots of, generally).

Given the interpretation of instant return, I'd say that they're overpowered. But assuming you're correct, then they're not really all that much more potent than practitioners.

Of course, that's all relative. I'm on the record as saying that the "special release" ability makes animist characters really attractive. IOW, they're only slitghtly (if at all) overpowering, but they are very, very attractive to players (players not wanting only pure power). Spirit allies that return instantly would be way more powerful than anything else, but, fortunately, that's doesn't seem to be the case.


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