Campaign of the Month: September 2013
Summoning follows a series of three Steps:
- Make Summoning Test
- Determine Duration
- Determine Spirit Services
Make Summoning Test
The summoner makes a Summoning Test using his Summon talent. The test’s Difficulty Number is equal to the spirit’s Spell Defense. If the summoner does not have a need for a spirit with a specific set of spirit powers, a generic spirit with the characteristics described in the Gamemaster’s Guide is summoned automatically. If the spirit’s Strength Rating makes it eligible for additional powers, the gamemaster decides about the additional powers assigned to a spirit. If the summoner wants a spirit to have one or more specific powers, increase the Difficulty Number of the Summoning Test by +2 for each power specified by the summoner. For example, if a Nethermancer wants to summon a Strength 4 ally spirit with two specific powers, the Difficulty Number is 13 (9 for the spirit’s Spell Defense, and +2 for each of the two powers). If successful, the spirit arrives a moment later in astral space. It remains in astral space near the summoner, who may call on the spirit for services for the duration of the summoning. Nethermancers must use the Spirit Talk talent and Elementalists must use either the Elemental Tongues talent or Plant Talk spell to communicate with it.
To determine how long the spirit remains, the summoner makes a Willpower Test, the result of which is the number of minutes the spirit remains in his service. Adepts that receive the Summon talent as part of their Discipline may make a Willpower-based Half-magic Test. The summoner may increase this duration by using Blood Magic. By taking Strain equal to his Wound Threshold, the summoner can increase the duration to a number of hours equal to the Willpower or Half-Magic Test result. If the summoner physically inflicts a Blood Wound (p. 123) on himself, the duration is increased to a number of days equal to the Willpower or Half-Magic Test result.
Determine Spirit Services
Once an adept has summoned a spirit, he can call on it to perform services. Spirit services may include anything from helping the summoner perform a task to enhancing the summoner’s abilities. The Spirit Powers section in the Gamemaster’s Guide lists a number of typical abilities that spirits may use when providing services.
The Result Level of the Summoning Test determines the number of services the spirit will perform for the summoner. The spirit performs one service for the summoner for each Result Level achieved with the test, starting with an Average Result. A summoned spirit will perform services only for the duration of the summoning. If the summoner does not use all the spirit’s services before the summoning duration expires, those services are lost. Spirits normally perform the services demanded by their summoners with little or no resistance. Some spirits may argue or debate the merits of some services, but rarely do they outright refuse. In these cases, summoners may attempt to persuade reluctant spirits to perform services. In general, persuading a spirit to do the summoner’s bidding is more difficult than defeating a spirit in a Contest of Wills, but a successful attempt at persuasion is less likely to anger the spirit in question.
Great Form Spirits
Spirits with Strength Ratings of 15 or higher are very difficult to summon and control, and are usually summoned with ritual magic – few adepts possess enough power to summon these spirits all by themselves. The templates for Ally Spirits and Elemental Spirits only list spirits up to a Strength Rating of 15. To create statistics for spirits with even higher Strength Ratings, us the Customizing Creatures rules from the Gamemaster’s Companion and add +1 per point of Strength Rating above 15 to their Attribute Steps.