Shamanic Circles and Other Animism Questions (Was: Spirit Travel)

From: Andrew Dawson <asmpd_at_...>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 22:09:46 -0400

All of these questions have the word canon in them in the hopes that they will be answered by Roderick or some other official representative; however, I still always like to hear what other narrators are doing in their games.

At 04:47 PM 05/20/2000 -0700, Roderick and Ellen Robertson wrote:
>> That's my main problem. Is the Circle a help, or just a necessary
>> minimum requirement?
>It's not even a minimum requirement - if you are a good enough shaman you
>can open a path to the spirit world without a circle, but you are at the
>mercy of whatever happens to be around on the other side. The circle is a
>Protective magic that keeps those within it safe. (See "Peeking Past the
>Shamanic Circle", HW pg 204 and "The Spirit World" NB pg 25).

  1. Canonically, is a successful use of Draw Summoning Circle intended to help (augmenting, adding APs, etc.) the shaman's attempt to breach the barrier between the Inner World and the Spirit Plane? If so, what is the preferred mode of help?
  2. The circle so created is stated to be a protective barrier. Canonically, does this mean that the circle is impervious to unwanted spirits or is it intended to be a barrier, either with a number of AP or in a simple contest, that resists the entry of unwanted spirits?
  3. What I haven't seen said in the discussion of the Praxian animistic traditions is that the shaman can create the summoning circle around a number of fellow tribesmen and that they (the other tribesmen) can use their spirit combat on spirits that have been drawn into the Summoning Circle by the shaman as part of the act of drawing the circle and breaching the barrier. Canonically, is this a correct interpretation?
  4. Canonically, can a shaman refill his fetishes by interacting with spirits who happen to be available in the Inner World? Example: Can a Kolating bind a wind into a fetish by extracting it from a breeze that is blowing past him?

This would make the refilling of fetishes with Tradition Spirits at no cost between scenarios much more plausible because it eliminates the dubious ability of the shaman to cross to the Spirit Plane at any time and any location as long as it is between gaming sessions.

5. Canonically, what is the usual ability used to bind Tradition Spirits into fetishes? Is it Spirit Combat, Tradition Knowledge, or something else? I have been using Tradition Knowledge with the relationships given in the tradition keyword used to augment. The examples seem to only use Spirit Combat.

6. Is Spirit Combat considered to be an inherently hostile ability to use against a spirit? This ties in with the last question; if it's inherently hostile then it probably shouldn't be used to interact with otherwise friendly Tradition Spirits.

7. In RQ, the shaman's spirit left his body, which was then guarded by his materialized Fetch. This no longer seems to be the case because the shaman bodily enters the Spirit Plane. Is this an official change from RQ, or are there currently known circumstances where the shaman's spirit will leave his body?


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