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Spirits 101

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  • Spirits 101

    Hey guys,

    I've read a -lot- about spirits and the umbra in the last two editions in more than two settings but I still don't really get the basics. Hopefully you can help me out. W20 here btw.

    1. The 'Awaken Spirit' ritual has this example with the VW bus. I awaken a VW bus and in gets an umbra equivalent. Okay. Fine.
    So does everything in (pen)umbra has an awakened spirit? If I have a house in the umbra does this mean it is awaken? Can I talk to it?

    2. When a spirit goes dormant it is said it goes to the near umbra and sleeps. I get perfectily a deer spirit fading out in the penumbra to go to sleep in any safe near umbra forest realm but what about that said house? Or the VW bus? Does it "fade out" too or remains the "spirit body" in the penumbra? Or does that deer literally leave the penumbra und lay to sleep? Does that mean that spirits bound to actual individual things in the penumbra can't get dormant as long as the thing exists in the real world?

    3. If I awake (with the ritual) anything does it get an individual spirit? Like if a awake a car does it get a car spirit or is it possible that it gets "assigned" to a city father spirit who already exists in the umbra. Or traffic spirit. Or whatever. I hope you get the point.

    There is a beautiful long passage about spirit awakening in the W20 Umbra but this is totally left out.

  • #2
    1. No. Most of the Penumbra is just landscape, and while it represents the "soul", so to speak, of the corresponding material landscape the objects, ground, and what not, are made of inert epherma (aka "spirit stuff"). Some of the objects there are are dormant spirits (that once were awoken), or don't have a spirit at all (yet). The Rite could make them awake a spirit. At least that is my take.

    2. With the VW Bus, or any spirit that is tied to a material couterpart, I would think they do their slumber in the Penumbra, being domant there. I case of the deer, iirc, I would think that, if reduced to Essence/Power 0, it falls to the ground where it is (in penumbra) and after some time kind of sleepwalks to a suitable resting place for the slumber. Alternatively, it reforms to that place.

    3. Individual spirit. However, if the spirit is a weak one, like a gaffeling, then there isn't much personality that makes it discernible from other equally weal spirits of it's kind. That said, the individual spirit might be integrated into spirit hierarchy somehow. But Garou usally don't know and don't care and STs don't need to either. Obviously, one could argue, that a spirit for that individual object has already existed somewhere within the object and is now only awoken for the first time, not born.

    To clarify, this is what I believe to be true within the Setting, from playing and reading various sourcebooks over the last 20 years and running an LARP chronicle that has to explain all this stuff
    Last edited by heinrich; 08-27-2018, 02:20 AM.

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    • #3
      Okay, thank you!

      So there are essentially three "stages".

      1. A physical object in the real world. Like that unawakend VW bus.
      2. That said object with a "spirit body" with a dormant spirit. Like that landscape house.
      3. An awakend spirit.

      But the ritual always goes either from 1. -> 3. or from 2. -> 3.

      If I use that ritual in the real world does the spirit manifests in the real world or in the umbra?
      And if a spirit steps through the gauntlet is it "bound" inside its material equivalent and its vicinity or is my awakend beer can spirit free to roam the city?


      Another question:
      I had a (not-so-got-right) kami a few years back in one of my stories. (Btw. the W20 Umbra kami chapter is awesome!)
      Because kami are rare and I want them stay that way I now want a prophecy spirit possess a human and impersonate a kami. I've got plausible reasons and all but very little knowledge on non-bane spirit possessions. All I have is the spirit charm 'Possess'.
      Possession itself seems to be a very puppeteering/manipulating/corrupting wyrm-like power so how should I imagine such possession by a non-bane? Like how looks and acts a glade child possessed bear?
      Does it still warp the bears body like a fomor? Does it act bear-like or does it glade child stuff in a bear body?

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      • #4
        If you use the Rite in the physical world, the spirit emerges in the Umbra. However it might, if it has access to them, use the Charms Appear or Materialize to see what's going on. It really depends on the story and what serves the scene.

        Also, normally, the spirits of objects are within the penumbra representation of said object. But here it becomes very uncertain. Basically do what feels right.
        For example, you don't want the PCs to drive with their awakened VW Bus to drive over an perfectly leveled parking-lot to be, having the spirit of said bus run over weaver spirits in the penumbra, simultaneously. Also, the spirit of a VW Bus, especially should not accidentally wander into a spirit gate and find itself torn apart in a Wyld realm, while the Bus is still in the material plane.


        ----------

        Wasn't a Glade Child a spirit of a tree? Not sure if I have my English names for the spirits right. Anyway, I would Imagine, the spirit (if it has Possession as a Charm) and is able to mege/melt into a new being, it would be akin to a kami or gorgon, if the spirit was gaian, or wyld. Therefore creating a new being merged of spirit and matter. If the possession is only short term, then there wouldn't be any transformation. In any case, I guess, there would be some body alteration involved, however not on the level of a fomori.

        -----------

        Again, that is from my experience and subtext of WtA sourcematerial. I haven't read the newest books, though.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by heinrich View Post
          Wasn't a Glade Child a spirit of a tree? Not sure if I have my English names for the spirits right. Anyway, I would Imagine, the spirit (if it has Possession as a Charm) and is able to mege/melt into a new being, it would be akin to a kami or gorgon, if the spirit was gaian, or wyld. Therefore creating a new being merged of spirit and matter. If the possession is only short term, then there wouldn't be any transformation. In any case, I guess, there would be some body alteration involved, however not on the level of a fomori.
          Und ich kenne nicht die deutschen Bezeichnungen.

          The Glade Child was a possible example.

          I maybe can create a more fitting example:
          We have a rabbit spirit that "represents" a rabbit population in a local park. It's a jaggling or a gaffling is on the verge to get a jaggling and "decides" to possess a real world fox to save the rabbit population from a rat plague. What would happen? Would that fox still act like a rabbit or would it use the whole fox arsenal it now possesses (pun intended).
          Also the possession charm said it's permanent so I don't think there are short term possessions.
          It's one of the problems I have understanding this condition. It is said that a spirit is what it represents so a rabbit possessed fox would also adopt fox behavior like a mix of both.

          I'm not sure how it was before W20 but now kami are entirely un-spiritly. A kami in W20 is a being infused with the will and dedication of gaia. Not a being possessed by a gaian spirit. It's a while since i've read the rev. material so I'm not sure if it changed.

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          • #6
            Well, I guess it would be uncharacteristic for the rabbit to do so, but it would have the body of a fox and therefore all its abilities. That said, a jaggling is a must I'd guess, for a gaffling would not be enough of a personality to transcend its role in such a way.

            "Possession" is permanent, in regards to the Charm with the name, but within the broader context of abilities spirits should have within the genre limited possession is certainly possible.


            Kami weren't that specified in former edition. They were featured in the Possessed Sourcebook however.

            EDIT: Meaning, that I had the impression that they were "things" being made alive by some means. Not necessarily because a spirit possessed them, but it wasn't impossible either. But I never got into detail with them in any case.
            Last edited by heinrich; 08-28-2018, 09:58 AM.

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