Re: what is animism?

From: L C <lightcastle_at_...>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:29:45 -0500

I think jorganos has pretty much covered it, but the basic rule is "anything that the spirit could do".

A spirit can lend its properties to you or to your target. (Send a spirit of health to heal, a spirit of sickness to weaken). A spirit of fire can burn or light the way. A spirit of horse could give you speed. A spirit of bear could give you the ability to hibernate or claws. A spirit of wolverine could give your fierceness. If you have the right rituals, rapport, or power, you can bind a spirit within something and effectively enchant it.

So basically anything you could want to accomplish is do-able if you can find the right spirit and convince it to do it for you.

Personally, I have animists learn the basics of negotiating with spirits they know. Specific traditions you initiate into give you both knowledge of certain spirits and an agreed-upon ancient rapport. Effectively, certain traditions have long-standing agreements with certain spirits, and so as long as everything's in order, it should be no problem to get these deals to hold. This may also include certain enemy spirits that the tradition teaches you to fight and subdue, as long as these battles are performed in the proper way. (Probably super risky, though.)

Shamans are powerful enough to break rules and form their own agreements outside traditional boundaries. They still have traditions and past agreements, of course, but they can flat out fight a spirit they have never met, or seek new ones, or form new deals. A powerful enough one might even be able to form a new tradition for their people with a spirit or class of spirits.

That's how I do it, anyway. As mentioned above, flavour wise I think it is important to do things in terms of negotiating and bargains and treaties, rather than power vs power beat downs. (Those can happen, but should be the domain of shamans or special circumstances with spirits).


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