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Are Sphere requirements for Summoning too high?

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  • Are Sphere requirements for Summoning too high?

    It's some combination of Correspondence, Spirit and Life to summon a creature that has a physical body from the umbra, which is where you would think most summonable beasties would come from. If it's a spirit, you need Prime 2 as well to create a body for it. Summoning is such a big part of magic, as it is often imagined, that it would be cool if it could be done more easily using Ascension's rules. I could be wrong. What do you think?


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  • #2
    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
    It's some combination of Correspondence, Spirit and Life to summon a creature that has a physical body from the umbra, which is where you would think most summonable beasties would come from. If it's a spirit, you need Prime 2 as well to create a body for it. Summoning is such a big part of magic, as it is often imagined, that it would be cool if it could be done more easily using Ascension's rules. I could be wrong. What do you think?
    Wait, you're doing several different things here. Corr and Spirit is the actual summon. For that you'd need only Corr 2 Spirit 2.

    What you're talking here is a forceful materialization of the spirit. That's not a necessity for a summoning.

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    • #3
      Typically speaking you don't really need to give them material form since you can interact with them with spirit. You want them to manifest to do something physical you can also use matter or their also the option of having them possess something or just manifesting themselves depending on what you summon.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kakost View Post

        Wait, you're doing several different things here. Corr and Spirit is the actual summon. For that you'd need only Corr 2 Spirit 2.

        What you're talking here is a forceful materialization of the spirit. That's not a necessity for a summoning.
        Forceful Materialization is mainly what I'm thinking of (too bad you can't edit post title).

        Originally posted by Ragged Robin View Post
        Typically speaking you don't really need to give them material form since you can interact with them with spirit. You want them to manifest to do something physical you can also use matter or their also the option of having them possess something or just manifesting themselves depending on what you summon.
        What I'm thinking is not a multi-step process, but a single round action that puts an active creature, capable of independent movement, in the immediate vicinity and ready to act on the next round. As I understand the rules, it would take Prime 2 and Life 3+ for something like a small dragon or Prime 2, Matter 2/3 for something like a mud golem, all in addition to the Corr 2, Spirit 2 requirements. It would obviously be vulgar in most circumstances. With Forces. you could do this.

        Also, I know the Life entry talks about Forces as a requirement for giving a something like small a dragon flight and fire breathing ability, which reinforces my impression that Forceful Materialization is something most players are not going to be able to realistically aspire to until late in a chronicle.
        Last edited by HorizonParty2021; 11-16-2022, 06:32 PM.


        Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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        • #5
          I think you're underestimating creating supernatural creatures out of thin air (like a dragon or the Elder Scrolls example). Prime + Pattern sphere is rarely enough. Without Mind, they're only going to be as smart as they would naturally be without any preexisting training. If you use Life + Prime to make a dog, and don't use additional/higher level magic to make it more than a dog.. it's just a dog that will then do dog things (which doesn't inherently include being loyal to you in anyway).

          Forcing spirits to materialize is relatively simple because most of them can already do that. You just need to order them to do it, which conveniently also means having the power to bind them to any other orders you want to give them. It's all in the Spirit 4 package. How late in the game that is, depends on your group, but if you just want to summon a fire-elemental spirit, you don't need to muck about with anything other than Spirit, Correspondence if necessary for range, and potentially Prime for Gauntlet manipulation in combo with Spirit. All the rest of it is what you do if the spirit can't materialize on its own, or you want to give it a custom body instead of the one it makes for itself.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            I think you're underestimating creating supernatural creatures out of thin air (like a dragon or the Elder Scrolls example). Prime + Pattern sphere is rarely enough. Without Mind, they're only going to be as smart as they would naturally be without any preexisting training. If you use Life + Prime to make a dog, and don't use additional/higher level magic to make it more than a dog.. it's just a dog that will then do dog things (which doesn't inherently include being loyal to you in anyway).
            All true (Mind 4), which is why I was thinking in terms of summoning over creating.

            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            Forcing spirits to materialize is relatively simple because most of them can already do that. You just need to order them to do it, which conveniently also means having the power to bind them to any other orders you want to give them. It's all in the Spirit 4 package. How late in the game that is, depends on your group, but if you just want to summon a fire-elemental spirit, you don't need to muck about with anything other than Spirit, Correspondence if necessary for range, and potentially Prime for Gauntlet manipulation in combo with Spirit. All the rest of it is what you do if the spirit can't materialize on its own, or you want to give it a custom body instead of the one it makes for itself.
            In whichever book on Spirits I read last, their powers are described in a long alphabetized list. They were not grouped into categories of similar powers. I found it hard to commit to memory. Having the ability to manifest predates the Gauntlet as it is now. Otherwise, it would not make sense that they can materialize on the other side of a barrier most can't penetrate without the aide of a Spirit-Mage.

            The entry for Spirit at level 4 in both M20 and White Wolf Wiki says you can open or close gates with no mention of Prime. Is Gauntlet Manipulation something more sophisticated than just weakening or strengthening it? What level of Prime is required?


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            • #7
              The Materialize Charm (accounting for some variation between editions and WtA vs Mage) has a hurdle in that the spirit in question has to deal with the Gauntlet as part of using the Charm. In M20, spirits need Gnosis > Gauntlet rating to use the Charm. So if they need a mage or not is largely on that alone.

              Also... spirits don't like materializing because that subjects them to physical harm. They'd much rather speak through intermediaries, peek through the Gauntlet, or use Charms like Appear, to access the physical world without risking massive Essence loss.

              Manipulating Gauntlet strength is a lower level Prime/Spirit effect though I don't recall the specifics at the moment.

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              • #8
                All good to know. Thanks.


                Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                  Manipulating Gauntlet strength is a lower level Prime/Spirit effect though I don't recall the specifics at the moment.
                  Gauntlet manipulation is Spirit 4. There's no Prime involved nor needed.

                  The process of creating fetishes is in fact a kind of Gauntlet manipulation. As is the process of creating a "gate" or opening into the Penumbra (adding Corr 4 allows creating gates to other realms in the Umbra directly)


                  Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post

                  Forceful Materialization is mainly what I'm thinking of (too bad you can't edit post title).

                  What I'm thinking is not a multi-step process, but a single round action that puts an active creature, capable of independent movement, in the immediate vicinity and ready to act on the next round
                  There's no way this kind of thing would ever be a single round effect; you are talking about creating a material body out of thin air and forcing a spirit into it; it's not gonna be an effect that needs a single success, nor 2 or 3. It's gonna require several, and an extended ritual to accomplish.

                  There is a way around it, and a much easier one either - just use Spirit 4 to rip to "fissure" in the Gauntlet, and "pull" the spirit over it.

                  A spirit that is thus pulled across the Gauntlet, immediatly materializes once it cross into the Material plane. You dont need to build a body for it if you just do that.

                  Building a body for a spirit to inhabit is useful for creating familiars - a cat is a lot more "stable" than a Minotaur. That's about the only reason I could think of to actually craft a body to a spirit.

                  But if your intent is to just point a red cloth at your enemies and have a minotaur chase them, Spirit 4 is the way to go.

                  Anyway, ripping a hole (or making a "gate") in the Gauntlet aint gonna be a single round effect regardless, except perhaps in places where the Gauntlet is so thin that there's probably a natural fissure already that the spirits can already cross on their own in which such a case you wouldnt need to bother anyway.

                  Best case scenario, you can do this in 2-3 rounds. In the middle of a Techie lab, a bit more effort will be needed.

                  And obviously, ripping the Gauntlet is always vulgar.
                  Last edited by Kakost; 11-17-2022, 08:41 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I think you can do some low level Gauntlet manipulation with Spirit 2. I'm pretty sure lowering/increasing the difficulty to cross was 2 (from 3/4 to 10, I think, but that may vary between books)

                    Prime 2/Spirit 2 , if I remember correctly, could be used to do stuff like create weapons that would specifically harm denizens of the other side. Like, you can have an enchanted empty sword handle, that on the other side it's a complete sword that can harm inmaterial spirits.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                      I think you can do some low level Gauntlet manipulation with Spirit 2. I'm pretty sure lowering/increasing the difficulty to cross was 2 (from 3/4 to 10, I think, but that may vary between books)

                      Prime 2/Spirit 2 , if I remember correctly, could be used to do stuff like create weapons that would specifically harm denizens of the other side. Like, you can have an enchanted empty sword handle, that on the other side it's a complete sword that can harm inmaterial spirits.
                      I think this is getting in semantics a little bit. Spirit 2 encompasses "calling" spirits and touching them; it basically means yes, affecting the "other side". So, if you talk, the spirits will hear; and if you punch, they feel.

                      In a way... Yes, it would be a kind of manipulation of the other side.

                      I think an analogy would be better.

                      Imagine a wall of metal.

                      With Spirit 2, it's like sending sonic waves or an electrict bolt over it, both capable of hurting people on the other side, but without affecting the wall.

                      With Spirit 3, there isnt a good "realistic" analogy, but it would be like The Flash (DC Comics) do sometimes to walk over solids (reverberating his molecules so fast that they dont touch the atoms of the wall, or any such lame excuses). You can "walk over" the wall, without touch it.

                      Spirit 4 is where you actually affect the wall directly. It's like having a flamethrower that melts the metal wall away, possibly ripping a hole into it, if you burn it long enough.

                      You dont need Prime 2 to attack spirits, with Spirit 2 you could punch them, but that would cause more tickles than damage. That's the reason to use Prime 2, to really put the hurt on day. Using Prime 2 to create an "ephemeral" weapon is like slicing the spirits with a lightsaber instead of fists or sticks.

                      And lowering or strenghtening the Gauntlet is Spirit 4.

                      As a matter of fact, creating a Fetish involves "inviting" (willingly or otherwise) a spirit to enter a physical object, and then sealling it into the object, wrapping it up with "pieces of the Gauntlet". At least that was the process of creating fetishes described in 2e and rev (I'll confess that I dont remember if in M20 it was also described this way or not, but the rest of the functions of Spirit 4 remains the same, of that Im sure)

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