Spirit combat

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superc0ntra
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Spirit combat

Postby superc0ntra » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:38 am

I'm running a Legend campaign i Glorantha and wonder how you guys handle spirit combat.
I'm running the old Chaosium and AH adventures where spirit combat i fairly common and the players are hopelessly outdone since they lack the Spirit Binding skill (none of them are shamans).

Would it unbalance things to give everyone this skill, but not Spirit Walking, in order to better resist evil spirits?

My other option would be to allow them buy Spirit Binding with improvement rolls if they survive their first spirit combat.

Thoughts, suggestions?
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby strega » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:04 am

Page 8 of my copy of Legend Spirit Magic says "those uninitiated in spirit magic must rely on half their raw Persistence skill" when combating spirits with damage being 1D2 or 1D4 according to the table on page 4.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:11 am

I dunno. I like the option of allowing them to purchase the Spirit Binding skill at the base chance if they survive their first spirit combat. In many cultures, shamanic powers are "awakened" by a dangerous encounter with a powerful spirit, so this certainly fits genre expectations. To give the adventurers a chance, you might give them a single-use talisman or amulet that provides a temporary bonus to their raw Persistence skill when resisting the power of the enemy spirit entity for a round or two. Perhaps a friendly shaman can warn them about the dangers of the entity that they are about to face and provide them with something that provides partial protection from it - but only for a round or two.
superc0ntra
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby superc0ntra » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:22 am

strega wrote:Page 8 of my copy of Legend Spirit Magic says "those uninitiated in spirit magic must rely on half their raw Persistence skill" when combating spirits with damage being 1D2 or 1D4 according to the table on page 4.
It's here my problem is. Since they regularly are attacked by evil spirits (or at least will be) they will be hopelessly outgunned unless I keep all spirits at a base score in their Spectral Combat skill.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby strega » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:26 pm

If the heroes are going to be regularly attacked by spirits then they'v either got to get proper training to deal with the attacks (see Training rules) or they aren't well suited to adventuring in that area.

Did you set expectations in session zero of them having to deal with spirits? If you did then there's nothing for them to complain about. If you did warn them and they chose to ignore your warning life sucks and then they die.

If you failed to tell them that the game would involve spirits then the issue is at your end and how you fudge it to allow them spirit combat is your problem.

It's almost like running an undead-heavy D&D game and not giving the cleric the choice of Turn Undead.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby Fonso » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:41 pm

I think that problem is due to the different mechanics.
I killed several characters accidentally in this way.

MP vs MP offered a more balanced combat for the unskilled character. Other factors, such as the inability to escape spiritual combat without Binding, increase its letality.

My advise is use spirits with lesser POD than the Chaosium's original adventure and, like Strega says, introduce a shaman that can teach them spiritual basics, or at least, some protection versus Discarnation.
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superc0ntra
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby superc0ntra » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:51 am

I'll go with lowering the POW of the spirits in the adventures and also allowing those who survive to take the Spirit Binding skill using their next improvement roll.
Thanks all for advise.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby alex_greene » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:12 am

In the absence of learning Spirit Binding skill, the GM has to make available certain technologies - enchantments, amulets, even fabric woven from certain types of plants - which provide protection from the spirits.

Examples: Common Magic Second Sight and Spirit Bane spells, Sorcery Attract (Spirit), Banish, Mystic Vision and Spirit Protection spells, and perhaps access to an enchantment which acts as armour against physical damage inflicted by spirits, though not possession.

Perhaps hawthorn wood, or the bark or berries of rowans protect against spirits, meaning that characters can routinely enter into situations where they could face hostile spirits, knowing that they can access full protection from their Resilience and Persistence skills, thanks to hawthorn or rowan amulets they are wearing. Perhaps the characters can work out how to construct such amulets if they purchase the Lore (spirits) or Lore (apotropaics) skills.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby superc0ntra » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:27 am

alex_greene wrote:In the absence of learning Spirit Binding skill, the GM has to make available certain technologies - enchantments, amulets, even fabric woven from certain types of plants - which provide protection from the spirits.

Examples: Common Magic Second Sight and Spirit Bane spells, Sorcery Attract (Spirit), Banish, Mystic Vision and Spirit Protection spells, and perhaps access to an enchantment which acts as armour against physical damage inflicted by spirits, though not possession.

Perhaps hawthorn wood, or the bark or berries of rowans protect against spirits, meaning that characters can routinely enter into situations where they could face hostile spirits, knowing that they can access full protection from their Resilience and Persistence skills, thanks to hawthorn or rowan amulets they are wearing. Perhaps the characters can work out how to construct such amulets if they purchase the Lore (spirits) or Lore (apotropaics) skills.
Excellent idea, thanks!
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby alex_greene » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:41 pm

superc0ntra wrote:
alex_greene wrote:In the absence of learning Spirit Binding skill, the GM has to make available certain technologies - enchantments, amulets, even fabric woven from certain types of plants - which provide protection from the spirits.

Examples: Common Magic Second Sight and Spirit Bane spells, Sorcery Attract (Spirit), Banish, Mystic Vision and Spirit Protection spells, and perhaps access to an enchantment which acts as armour against physical damage inflicted by spirits, though not possession.

Perhaps hawthorn wood, or the bark or berries of rowans protect against spirits, meaning that characters can routinely enter into situations where they could face hostile spirits, knowing that they can access full protection from their Resilience and Persistence skills, thanks to hawthorn or rowan amulets they are wearing. Perhaps the characters can work out how to construct such amulets if they purchase the Lore (spirits) or Lore (apotropaics) skills.
Excellent idea, thanks!
Lore (apotropaics) (INT x 2)
This is the Lore skill specifically dealing with the various charms, wards and amulets, herbs and natural phenomena reputed to be able to ward off or even harm supernatural creatures such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves and spirits. The knowledge of such wards as drawing symbols in fresh lamb's blood on the door of a house to be protected, putting down a line of salt in front of a vampire to force it to count every grain, or painting an evil eye on the front door to ward off hungry spirits, among other such charms and protective gestures, is covered by this Lore skill.
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:18 pm

And sometimes they even work! :twisted:
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Re: Spirit combat

Postby alex_greene » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:45 pm

The RAW (p. 42, "Augmenting Skills With Other Skills") actually allow for adding the critical range of the Lore (apotropaics) skill to the Common Magic or Sorcery skills for casting anti-spirit spells.
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