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Crel

Bound Spirit Questions

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I know this has come up on and off on the forums, but honestly I still feel confused about how spirits are bound by adventurers, and what abilities they can do.

It's clear to me that:

  • You can release them to do one thing.
  • You can communicate mentally (if no language barriers) while holding their binding.
  • Control (Entity) and Command Cult Spirit always works on a bound spirit, and lets you order them around outside the binding (and put them back inside).

It's not clear to me:

  • If you need to beat a spirit in Spirit Combat to use Spirit Binding.
  • What abilities can be used while the spirit is within its binding (RQG 247, "Those in physical contact with a binding enchantment can ... command the entity to use its abilities.") if most abilities require it to be released.
  • If Control (entity) or Command (Cult Spirit) can be used to bind a spirit, removing the need for Spirit Binding.
  • If Spirit Binding must overcome POW (I assume so?).
  • If Spirit Binding can just be cast at any random spirit, if you've got a valid binding enchantment. It's not ritual, after all.
  • If only Shamans can draw on bound spirits' spells and magic points. (To explain, it notes explicitly that shamans can do so on p.357 and refers to 249 on bound spirits, but 249 doesn't give a lot of information on what you can actually do with a bound spirit.) P.366 answers this that yes, anyone can. Leaving this line because it might help if someone else finds 249 unclear.
  • If a spirit in a binding can be commanded to cast a spell upon someone holding the binding, without use of a Control (Entity) spell. I.e., do spirits need to be released to cast spells?
  • If allied spirits count toward the CHA/3 bound spirit limit.
    • Also, do allied spirits start with Rune points? P.277 says they are initiates (which I understand as being mechanically defined as having 1+ Rune points) but doesn't specify starting RP.
  • If a fetch's captured spirits count against the shaman's CHA limit of bound spirits (I believe so?).
  • What exactly a Control (Entity)'d spirit can do, since it must be beaten in Spirit Combat and have 0MP first.

More subjectively/less rules-oriented...

  • Do Daka Fal worshipers bind ancestor spirits? If so, I assume with permission? Unless maybe they bind malign ancestors whenever cuz screw creepy Uncle Charlie?
  • Are most bound spirits cult spirits? I.e., do most worshipers with a bound spirit summon up and bind a servant of their god, or is it the "how dare you suggest that!" attitude more common? Probably cult by cult?
  • If a Waha initiate has a bound spirit in his favorite riding animal, what happens when he becomes a Khan and applies for an allied spirit?

Sorry for the probably repetitive questions, but these are things I've been kinda bashing my head against for some time now, trying to find what RQG says rather than memories of other-RQ. Appreciate the answers/advice!

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

More subjectively/less rules-oriented...

  • Do Daka Fal worshipers bind ancestor spirits? If so, I assume with permission? Unless maybe they bind malign ancestors whenever cuz screw creepy Uncle Charlie?

There are a lot of spirits that are not the ghosts of dead people and I think that is what most Daka Fal bound spirits are. Some might be enemies.

1 hour ago, Crel said:
  • Are most bound spirits cult spirits? I.e., do most worshipers with a bound spirit summon up and bind a servant of their god, or is it the "how dare you suggest that!" attitude more common? Probably cult by cult?

I think so, most but not all.

1 hour ago, Crel said:
  • If a Waha initiate has a bound spirit in his favorite riding animal, what happens when he becomes a Khan and applies for an allied spirit?

Maybe that spirit will become his ally, otherwise it would be kicked out. Or the animal would be sacrificed and a new mount would come to the Kahn (and kill his old mount?)

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19 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

There are a lot of spirits that are not the ghosts of dead people and I think that is what most Daka Fal bound spirits are. Some might be enemies.

So game-mechanically, either results of Summon Cult Spirit or ones encountered while traveling the Middle or Spirit Worlds, rather than binding a ghost from Summon Ancestor Spirit. That feels likely to me; there's something weird to me about binding an ancestor, even a malign one.

19 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Maybe that spirit will become his ally, otherwise it would be kicked out. Or the animal would be sacrificed and a new mount would come to the Kahn (and kill his old mount?)

Becoming ally or getting kicked out was kind of what I was thinking, yeah. Now that I look back on it I think the "favorite animal" bit is actually from HeroQuest not RQG but still seems applicable; it feels weird that a favorite animal with a personal sentience (bound spirit) would be sacrificed just to get a new allied mount.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

Becoming ally or getting kicked out was kind of what I was thinking, yeah. Now that I look back on it I think the "favorite animal" bit is actually from HeroQuest not RQG but still seems applicable; it feels weird that a favorite animal with a personal sentience (bound spirit) would be sacrificed just to get a new allied mount.

The most potent sacrifices are the best ones. There's an encounter in KoDP where you meet an intelligent fox, and one of the options is to catch it and sacrifice it to the hunting god. It's either very hard or impossible to catch though.

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Heh, reading the wiki, sacrificing the fox used to increase your clan magic, but in the iOS version (and I assume Steam as well, which I think is the same data set) it decreases your magic. I wonder if it actually might depend on your clan's background, or the composition of your clan ring.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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On 8/5/2019 at 12:39 PM, Crel said:

If allied spirits count toward the CHA/3 bound spirit limit.

I would say no. For me, they are not 'bound' stricto sensu, but a gift of a god to a loyal thane, not a spirit you have bound forcibly.

On 8/5/2019 at 12:39 PM, Crel said:

Also, do allied spirits start with Rune points? P.277 says they are initiates (which I understand as being mechanically defined as having 1+ Rune points) but doesn't specify starting RP.

I would say yes, they should have at least one, being initiates.

On 8/5/2019 at 12:39 PM, Crel said:

If a spirit in a binding can be commanded to cast a spell upon someone holding the binding, without use of a Control (Entity) spell. I.e., do spirits need to be released to cast spells?

No, they don't need to be released. A bound spirit that knows a spell can cast it without being released, but he can have a problem to perceive the target of the spell.

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For me, there is a difference between

  • a bound spirit, trapped into a binding enchantment, that can hold any other spirit. That's just a bottle than happens to currently containing this spirit. You can put another one into it. Bound into an animal, it controls the body only if ordered to possess it.
  • a possessing spirit, that uses a body as a vessel, trapping the initial spirit inhabiting it inside itself, or even expelling it.
  • a freed spirit, naturally inhabiting a body, whose INT has been freed and is now sapient.

I see allied spirits as possessing (the initial spirit being now hosted into the god paradise or kind of melted within the new one) or freed, but not bound. I can envision a bound cult spirit being "promoted" to an allied one. If the allied and bound spirit are not friendly to each other, I can see problems coming ...

Edited by kirinyaga

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On 8/5/2019 at 12:39 PM, Crel said:

It's not clear to me:

  • If you need to beat a spirit in Spirit Combat to use Spirit Binding.
  • What abilities can be used while the spirit is within its binding (RQG 247, "Those in physical contact with a binding enchantment can ... command the entity to use its abilities.") if most abilities require it to be released.
  • If Control (entity) or Command (Cult Spirit) can be used to bind a spirit, removing the need for Spirit Binding.
  • If Spirit Binding must overcome POW (I assume so?).
  • If Spirit Binding can just be cast at any random spirit, if you've got a valid binding enchantment. It's not ritual, after all.
  • If only Shamans can draw on bound spirits' spells and magic points. (To explain, it notes explicitly that shamans can do so on p.357 and refers to 249 on bound spirits, but 249 doesn't give a lot of information on what you can actually do with a bound spirit.) P.366 answers this that yes, anyone can. Leaving this line because it might help if someone else finds 249 unclear.
  • If a spirit in a binding can be commanded to cast a spell upon someone holding the binding, without use of a Control (Entity) spell. I.e., do spirits need to be released to cast spells?
  • If allied spirits count toward the CHA/3 bound spirit limit.
    • Also, do allied spirits start with Rune points? P.277 says they are initiates (which I understand as being mechanically defined as having 1+ Rune points) but doesn't specify starting RP.
  • If a fetch's captured spirits count against the shaman's CHA limit of bound spirits (I believe so?).
  • What exactly a Control (Entity)'d spirit can do, since it must be beaten in Spirit Combat and have 0MP first.

What I understood about these :

I think Spirit Binding is a generic version of Control (specific type of spirit), you can use only to order the spirit to enter a binding enchantment and it works with any kind of spirit. I agree it isn't clear and open to puzzling interpretations though.

a spirit can use its knowledge skills without being released, or cast a spell on you while you're in contact with the binding enchantment, or the item it is bound to, ...

yes, you can use control, command or dominate to bind it, Spirit Binding is to me the generic version (control, command & dominate works only on a specific type of spirit, you have to learn a different spell for different types).

I would guess yes.

you can even cast it on a random spirit while you have no binding enchantment to force it to enter if you have magic point to waste 😀

indeed

For the spirit to cast a spell on a target different from the item supporting the binding enchantement or the guy currently holding it, you have to use a spell or allow the spirit to go away after.

I don't think so. They are not bound. What they know depends of their own history. Maybe Orlanth will send you the spirit of Brian, king of the volsaxi as your new allied spirit (I think not😈 Brian doesn't deserve to be a mere sidekick). I think you can consider a modest 1-3RP initiate for a PC allied spirit.

I don't think they count as bound spirits. They're captured, not bound. The limit is managed very differently (using the fetch POW). A captured spirit will probably be bound if you really want to keep it.

Yes, Control is not as powerful as Command & Dominate. It is mainly useful to force spirit into binding enchantments, then cast on them while they are inside (it works automatically then and you don't need to declare a spirit combat). Note the spirit may abandon before it is reduced to 0MP (it's up to you to convince it to do so by trading something with it, probably including the promise not to bind it).

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8 hours ago, kirinyaga said:

I think Spirit Binding is a generic version of Control (specific type of spirit), you can use only to order the spirit to enter a binding enchantment and it works with any kind of spirit.

RQG p.249 "To bind the creature into the enchantment, an adventurer must have a relevant control spell (such as Spirit Binding or Command Cult Spirit)." - that is both can be used to command spirits.

RQG p.265 Spirit Binding: "This spell is used to bind spirits into familiars or magical objects" - it's not so much generic as it is the spell you need to bind the spirit into the enchanted object or the familiar in the first place. After that you use Control to request the spirit to do things and then return to the binding enchantment.  

Back on p.249 "many entities are not very effective when so trapped and must be released to be useful (e.g., wraiths, healing spirits, elementals, etc.). Without the use of a control spell, an entity can be released from an item to perform one function, and then it is free."

On 8/5/2019 at 6:39 AM, Crel said:

You can release them to do one thing.

Yes. And then they are free unless you used a Control spell.

On 8/5/2019 at 6:39 AM, Crel said:

If you need to beat a spirit in Spirit Combat to use Spirit Binding.

That's one way. But you should be able to Summon a spirit and then apply the Spirit Binding. That would be standard with a cult spirit.

On 8/5/2019 at 6:39 AM, Crel said:

If Spirit Binding can just be cast at any random spirit, if you've got a valid binding enchantment.

Yes. There are no conditions or limits noted with the spell.

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