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Other Uses of Rite of Binding

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  • Other Uses of Rite of Binding

    I've only ever seen the Rite of Binding used to create Talens in an actual game. However, the rules allow for spirits to be bound for temporary service. And they may be bound to people and places as well as objects. The number of successes equaling one week of service.

    Now a talen has a single effect, which is its own thing, and not necessarily a direct match to the power of a spirit. But what happens for temporary service? I assume that means it is just the spirit as normal, and that the spirit uses its ordinary abilities and Charms to fulfill whatever temporary service it agreed to or was forced to agree to.

    But has anyone actually seen this done in game? Were the spirits bound to serve the ritemaster in general, or was it merely a very specific service? What kind of services were there?

    I am investigating this because 1) like I said, I have not seen this in game, and 2) originally I was wondering how the Gift of Exorcism would be useful since it is not best used against Fomori, and using it against other bound spirits would be a likely use. But I couldn't think of many canonical examples.

  • #2
    The other classic use was to bind Spirits to guard locations, or maybe warn you when something happens like Kinfetches. But I think another example could be binding say an Owl Spirit into an Oak giving it mice and respect and in exchange it teaches its wisdom to those who entreat it.


    It is a time for great deeds!

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    • #3
      Just thinking Can Rite of binding be used to create Talens by Kinfolk?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
        But I think another example could be binding say an Owl Spirit into an Oak giving it mice and respect and in exchange it teaches its wisdom to those who entreat it.
        You can certainly bind a spirit to an object/location like an oak tree, but it seems like the service you are asking from it is to teach werewolves who politely ask for its help/advice/knowledge. In practical terms, that might allow the ST to drop some plot information if he deems it is something the spirit knows, or provides the flavor text basis for spending XP in an appropriate knowledge category (like Enigmas).

        But that seems fairly limited. The spirit shouldn't get any additional powers it does not already have. So the spirit presumably is in the Penumbra, and does not necessarily know what is going on the other side of the gauntlet. So it can't help anyone there unless we start giving it additional Charms. Person will need to cross over to the umbra and speak to the spirit. But at least the ritemaster and anyone he tells will know where it is. But I could see that being useful to create a "baby sitter" / teacher in the Penumbra for cubs. Or perhaps to assist newcomers to the sept, if there is a big event lots of outsider Garou will be arriving for.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
          But has anyone actually seen this done in game? Were the spirits bound to serve the ritemaster in general, or was it merely a very specific service? What kind of services were there?

          I am investigating this because 1) like I said, I have not seen this in game, and 2) originally I was wondering how the Gift of Exorcism would be useful since it is not best used against Fomori, and using it against other bound spirits would be a likely use. But I couldn't think of many canonical examples.
          This is a part of a character's backstory in my ongoing game. A Cliath Shadow Lord Theurge (the player) tricked a Fostern Glass Walker Theurge (a right royal jerk) into challenging her. He had a Media Spirit bound to him, so when she won the challenge she chose to claim the spirit as her own. It was exercised from the Glass Walker and then bound to the Shadow Lord for a year and a day. Since the Shadow Lord is lupus, the Media Spirit (Zapps) has chosen to introduce her to proper human society by showing her old 1950's sitcoms (Leave it to Beaver, the Donna Reed Show, the Andy Griffith Show, etc.). Suffice to say that she does not fit in when going among humans, but Zapps has taken a liking to her since she is so eager to learn.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ThomasM View Post
            He had a Media Spirit bound to him, so when she won the challenge she chose to claim the spirit as her own. It was exercised from the Glass Walker and then bound to the Shadow Lord for a year and a day.
            Just to confirm I understand correctly, the Exorcism broke the binding (I assume performed by a higher ranked NPC), and then the PC did a new rite of binding to bind the spirit to her?

            Where did you get the "year and a day" as I don't see anything in the rules that would support such a length of time? It is a Willpower roll to determine the length of binding, and each success is only one week. So that is ten weeks maximum in the most ideal circumstances. So the duration is far, far longer than it should be. It also raises issues as most Garou (though not all) feel binding should only be done when needed, and not for excessive lengths of time. So while the general situation seems reasonable, I'd likely not allow this (in its specifics) in my own chronicles. But I'm sure you have reasons in your own chronicle, and that's OK.

            I am curious as to how the Media Spirit acts in practical terms to the binding to the individual Garou. How close or far is the spirit in general to the PC? I assume it stays in the Penumbra, so how does it know when the PC moves? Does the PC have to cross over and inform the spirit? Do you rule that being bond to the person means the spirit can sense where the PC is, or provides some sort of telepathic conversation between them? What can the PC ask/require the spirit do for her? Anything that the spirit can do, or is it more specific in nature - perhaps as an agreement prior to the binding? Theoretically what happens if the PC asks the spirit to do something the spirit does not want to do? Is the spirit forced to do it with the result merely being that the spirit becomes angry at the PC and may act accordingly?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

              Just to confirm I understand correctly, the Exorcism broke the binding (I assume performed by a higher ranked NPC), and then the PC did a new rite of binding to bind the spirit to her?
              That is exactly correct.

              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Where did you get the "year and a day" as I don't see anything in the rules that would support such a length of time? It is a Willpower roll to determine the length of binding, and each success is only one week. So that is ten weeks maximum in the most ideal circumstances. So the duration is far, far longer than it should be. It also raises issues as most Garou (though not all) feel binding should only be done when needed, and not for excessive lengths of time. So while the general situation seems reasonable, I'd likely not allow this (in its specifics) in my own chronicles. But I'm sure you have reasons in your own chronicle, and that's OK.
              This comes down to me taking the player's idea and coming up with a mechanical representation without actually looking up the Rite. Seriously, I just said "this sounds about right" and then facepalmed when I read the Rite in detail. I ran a long 2nd Ed / Revised Chronicle back at the beginning of the century (I love saying that and thought I remembered everything pretty well. I was sooooooo wrong. In the end I just hand-waived the errors and it hasn't been an issue.

              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              I am curious as to how the Media Spirit acts in practical terms to the binding to the individual Garou. How close or far is the spirit in general to the PC? I assume it stays in the Penumbra, so how does it know when the PC moves? Does the PC have to cross over and inform the spirit? Do you rule that being bond to the person means the spirit can sense where the PC is, or provides some sort of telepathic conversation between them?
              While not canon I decided that the Rite:
              * kept the Spirit in the PCs vicinity in the Peneumbra / Umbra (unless asked / told to go elsewhere),
              * gave the spirit an instinctive knowledge of the PC's location,
              * and allowed the spirit to speak to the PC through a mirror in her locket (the same one she uses to step sideways).

              Being a media spirit, Zapps regularly commandeers communication equipment to speak with the PC and her pack.

              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              What can the PC ask/require the spirit do for her? Anything that the spirit can do, or is it more specific in nature - perhaps as an agreement prior to the binding? Theoretically what happens if the PC asks the spirit to do something the spirit does not want to do? Is the spirit forced to do it with the result merely being that the spirit becomes angry at the PC and may act accordingly?
              Zapps is mostly autonomous and may ignore orders. The PC's character enjoys having a spirit ally with whom she can discuss things not in her normal repertoire (since she is a Shadow Lord and Zapps is a tech spirit). They have a very cordial relationship since she is not abusive in any way. In fact, Zapps has thought of ways to help out the pack and is growing in renown for the help he has provided.

              If the PC order Zapps to do something he does not wish to do then he would decline politely at first, then strongly, and then appeal to the pack's totem for intervention (Sulis, from the 2nd Ed Player's Guide). I haven't really thought more beyond that since I know my player and she will not force another Gaian being to betray its core values.


              I agree that you should not use my outcome since I flubbed how the Rite works, but the idea is still pretty solid and has provided a good bit of fun at the table and saved the PC's hides at least twice when they would have been caught on camera. A media spirit named Zapps = lots of fried equipment.

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              • #8
                Everything you said makes sense. And it is good to compare notes on how you interpret the actions of a bound spirit, since we don't have much guidance from the materials.

                This is one of many things (like guidelines for chiminage) that deserved a prolonged section in the Storyteller's Guide, but didn't receive it.

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