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  • Trouble with Spirits

    Hello! I don't usually write in forums. In fact, I've only created an account pretty recently, even though I play Storytelling games for some years now.
    In any case, I was having some trouble with things related to spirits in Werewolf:
    a) What exactly happens when a spirit is destroyed? I can picture a tree dying if it's spirit is destroyed, but what about, say, a knife?
    b) Is every spirit a reflection of something in the material world? Every oak-spirit on the spirit wilds, and every bear-spirit has a material counterpart? If so, how far away from it's material counterpart can a spirit go?
    c) This is minor, but I can't help but wonder, how much does a Claimed person appearence shift? Or is that up to the ST?

    Thank you all in advance, have a pleasant day!

  • #2
    Alright, lets see if I can help:

    a) Spirits and their material analogues aren't quite as linked as that. If a spirit dies nothing drastic happens to it's counterpart. It just feels a bit lifeless and dull, generally until another one starts hanging round it.

    b)Spirits can outlive their material counterparts. Younger, weak spirits usually hang around the thing that spawned them but they don't have to and more powerful ones usually don't. In fact, often a spirit is awoken by their material counterpart's destruction.

    c)A claimed's appearance is mostly a product if the dread powers they manifest. This can be as subtle or as blatant as you like, but as a general rule more powerful spirits warp their hosts more.

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    • #3
      I think I got it, thanks a lot!
      So, just to be sure, if I have, say, a dog, this dog spawned a "dog-spirit" when it was born, or it would only spawn something when someone started feeling some affection for it?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Havoc View Post
        I think I got it, thanks a lot!
        So, just to be sure, if I have, say, a dog, this dog spawned a "dog-spirit" when it was born, or it would only spawn something when someone started feeling some affection for it?
        They'd probably just be motes of dog-essence unless something happened to wake them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
          They'd probably just be motes of dog-essence unless something happened to wake them.
          I see. Thanks!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Havoc View Post
            b) Is every spirit a reflection of something in the material world? Every oak-spirit on the spirit wilds, and every bear-spirit has a material counterpart? If so, how far away from it's material counterpart can a spirit go?
            Everything has a spirit, but not everything is awake. If it's not awake, the potential for it's spirit remains bound in the material counterpart, the process of awakening tends to be gradual, sudden awakenings are traumatic.

            The Shadow is a place in which memory and symbolism takes a heavy part in it's metaphysics. You can use the Spirit Whispers Facet on a recently built computer and ask for it's login information, because it has a spirit, even if it's not awake. It's like having a thing whisper in it's sleep.

            Back to the subject of awakening, you'll often see cars without a will of their own following their material counterparts around the spiritscape of a city. The awakened ones prey on them.

            Slumbering spirit animals show up as signs of the animals presence. Birds nests, predator's dens, tracks.

            Conceptual spirits in their slumber impregnate a location with their feelings, in a natural way. Someplace feels creepy, another seems awe-inspiring, etc.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Malus View Post

              Everything has a spirit, but not everything is awake. If it's not awake, the potential for it's spirit remains bound in the material counterpart, the process of awakening tends to be gradual, sudden awakenings are traumatic.

              The Shadow is a place in which memory and symbolism takes a heavy part in it's metaphysics. You can use the Spirit Whispers Facet on a recently built computer and ask for it's login information, because it has a spirit, even if it's not awake. It's like having a thing whisper in it's sleep.

              Back to the subject of awakening, you'll often see cars without a will of their own following their material counterparts around the spiritscape of a city. The awakened ones prey on them.

              Slumbering spirit animals show up as signs of the animals presence. Birds nests, predator's dens, tracks.

              Conceptual spirits in their slumber impregnate a location with their feelings, in a natural way. Someplace feels creepy, another seems awe-inspiring, etc.
              And how exactly would one awake a spirit?
              I'm sure it says somewhere in the books, I'm sorry, I didn't really catch-up on my supplements, been focused on the 2e.

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              • #8
                Magic, or Essence.

                It gets Essence when its Resonance is acted upon or it gets attention. A few other things. A car suddenly appreciated more, polished and fixed up might awaken its shadow-self. A spirit of anger gone dormant in a house might awaken when someone inside stubs their toe, then begin a spree of anger-spurring urging in order to glut itself.

                By 'magic' I mean there are abilities throughout the supernaturals that deal with spirits that allow them to awaken or empower spirits. It's not inconceivable a once-powerful spirit might have a rite or something that would grant it enough Essence to waken it.
                Last edited by nofather; 11-27-2016, 05:16 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nofather View Post
                  Magic, or Essence.

                  It gets Essence when its Resonance is acted upon or it gets attention. A few other things. A car suddenly appreciated more, polished and fixed up might awaken its shadow-self. A spirit of anger gone dormant in a house might awaken when someone inside stubs their toe, then begin a spree of anger-spurring urging in order to glut itself.

                  By 'magic' I mean there are abilities throughout the supernaturals that deal with spirits that allow them to awaken or empower spirits. It's not inconceivable a once-powerful spirit might have a rite or something that would grant it enough Essence to waken it.
                  Wow that gives me a lot of ideas, what a cool concept. Thanks for explaining it!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Havoc View Post

                    And how exactly would one awake a spirit?
                    I'm sure it says somewhere in the books, I'm sorry, I didn't really catch-up on my supplements, been focused on the 2e.
                    Make up a rite for it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Malus View Post

                      Make up a rite for it.
                      I think I got it. Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        Mind if I add a few other questions? I also feel as though I don't quite "get" spirits... or I do, but to an extreme degree. And I'm going to reveal the depth of my ignorance here, so laugh and bear with me please.

                        My impression from reading the books is that spirits (awake ones, per thread) exist in a purely predatory state all the time--they don't sleep again, reproduce, create, etc.: they only eat and grow. Kinda like insects if they never had to stop and breed.

                        Now all this, to me, leads to several problems that I feel I'm just missing something on:

                        1. "Food" supply--wouldn't an awakened spirit consume anything and everything around itself in rather short order, in an ever-widening spiral until it can't find another spirit of any size? What keeps the spirits in any semblance of an ecology at all? Spirit-feudal arrangements tithing essence are all fine and good, but why bother? Spirits don't seem very cooperative AT ALL, so who needs the feudalism? It just seems as though the natural state of Twilight should be "blasted spirit wasteland with a few motes no-one noticed yet."

                        2. If I'm just wrong (highly possible), and spirits DO lean toward moderation in some way (they get injured and sleep, they consume mainly/only same type, etc.) then you could have a kind of ecology, of sorts, in which various spirits mill around waiting for essence of the right flavor to come along or they get hungry enough to eat something weird. But what prods them toward social organization (feudalism again)? Do they naturally order themselves hierarchically? What keeps the world from being eventually flooded by Rank 5 spirits?

                        3. Ok, essence is generated in the material when a similar resonance is acted on. Cool, ok. But even very young spirits quickly realize where essence comes from (material), that it is generated by material things/creatures/people, and that said things/creatures/people are MUCH more likely to generate the best essence if they are compelled to do so. Which spirits can accomplish. So what keeps them from just urging everything/one in sight, rolling attempts until they make it? Because as far as I can tell an urged [person] is pretty much F'ed and will eventually end up Claimed and totally under the control of the spirit--their free-will a forgotten, discarded shell to the alien intelligence.

                        So... correct me here, please.

                        Because from this perspective nothing in the CofD looks more burn-it-with-fire terrifying than the spirits and the inevitability of their plague on mankind.

                        --Khanwulf

                        PS. Ok, the answer can be "Uratha!" and that's why The Wolf must Hunt, sure, but they're relatively few in number and always were.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          1. "Food" supply--wouldn't an awakened spirit consume anything and everything around itself in rather short order, in an ever-widening spiral until it can't find another spirit of any size? What keeps the spirits in any semblance of an ecology at all? Spirit-feudal arrangements tithing essence are all fine and good, but why bother? Spirits don't seem very cooperative AT ALL, so who needs the feudalism? It just seems as though the natural state of Twilight should be "blasted spirit wasteland with a few motes no-one noticed yet."
                          Spirits are restricted in what they can eat. Essence (or other spirits) they consume must be of conceptually linked resonance to their own nature. They'll only consume incompatible Essence in extremely dire circumstances. Granted, their nature will broaden as they grow more powerful, and that does create a sort of spiral like you describe, but spirits with incompatible resonance are generally safe from each other. Also, re: spirits being pure predatory instinct, I don't think that's really true. Spirits are as their nature dictates, so Predator spirits are predatory, but like an agriculture spirit probably wouldn't be.

                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          2. If I'm just wrong (highly possible), and spirits DO lean toward moderation in some way (they get injured and sleep, they consume mainly/only same type, etc.) then you could have a kind of ecology, of sorts, in which various spirits mill around waiting for essence of the right flavor to come along or they get hungry enough to eat something weird. But what prods them toward social organization (feudalism again)? Do they naturally order themselves hierarchically? What keeps the world from being eventually flooded by Rank 5 spirits?
                          Higher Rank spirits find it more difficult to cross the Gauntlet and to exist in the physical world for extended periods of time. As for why the feudal behavior, it's simply the most efficient way for more powerful spirits to fulfill their Essence needs. They're too big to cross the Gauntlet easily and require too much Essence for sustainence to get by exclusively on eating other Spirits - they would quickly end up exhausting their own food source. So, they give weaker spirits access to their territory in exchange for Essence tithes.

                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          3. Ok, essence is generated in the material when a similar resonance is acted on. Cool, ok. But even very young spirits quickly realize where essence comes from (material), that it is generated by material things/creatures/people, and that said things/creatures/people are MUCH more likely to generate the best essence if they are compelled to do so. Which spirits can accomplish. So what keeps them from just urging everything/one in sight, rolling attempts until they make it? Because as far as I can tell an urged [person] is pretty much F'ed and will eventually end up Claimed and totally under the control of the spirit--their free-will a forgotten, discarded shell to the alien intelligence.
                          Yep. That's why spirits want to enter the physical. Of course, there's this big old barrier in the way, and Uratha guarding the border.

                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          Because from this perspective nothing in the CofD looks more burn-it-with-fire terrifying than the spirits and the inevitability of their plague on mankind.
                          As well they should! Spirits are fucking terrifying.

                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          PS. Ok, the answer can be "Uratha!" and that's why The Wolf must Hunt, sure, but they're relatively few in number and always were.
                          That's why the killing of Urfarah was such a controversial decision. He was weakening, but he was still the flesh's best defense against the Shadow. If it weren't for the Gauntlet, it would be an impossible task. So, it's kind of a good thing the border marches were replaced by it. And it's implied that it may have been made by the werewolves to make their job more manageable.


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                          • #14
                            Rank 1 and 2 spirits are more like animals and children. Rank 3 and higher become more like people. Why feudalism? Why risk your neck when you can get someone else to do it for you? Especially when the hisil is littered with loci, which allow them to gorge themselves and maintain their power without doing risky things like reaching across to create a cult.

                            As for why every spirit doesn't come across, not every spirit can. Conceptual spirits are the ones most likely to come across, cause their Resonances are often temporary. A Resonance of anger might pop up in a house for an hour and never again. During that time a spirit would need to 'rank up' enough to get all the Influences, numina and manifestations required to cross and make it worth it once they did, since once they're on our side they start bleeding Essence until they get a fetter. It would be great to just jump across but not every spirit has that opportunity.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              Higher Rank spirits find it more difficult to cross the Gauntlet and to exist in the physical world for extended periods of time.
                              Not really. Higher Rank gives you more Manifestations and more dice to roll, and 2e's done away with the scaling cost of Essence bleed.

                              Generally speaking, the trouble is that spirits have to manifest to maintain their grip on the material world, they don't exist in a vacuum, and one seldom gets to Rank 5 by camping out and farming a single source of Essence even if there weren't self-evident consequences to locking the resonance of a subject into something suitable for a spirit that's almost certainly not a pure conceptual expression anymore.

                              A grove that's host to a Fettered death spirit is going to start to look like a grove that's host to a Fettered death spirit unless deliberate effort is made to conceal those changes, and sooner or later someone or something — be it werewolf or spirit or mage or mortal occultist — is going to come calling and kick the hornet's nest.


                              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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