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Puckohue

Spirits in the Material World

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I now have a Shaman among the adventurers and need to learn more about spirits, the spirit world etc. Please help me.

There are many examples where spirits are encountered in the Middle World. They can engage the adventurers in Spirit Combat. Page 366 of the rules says Spirit Combat can occur

"...between a discorporate entity and an embodied entity (such as a human being) in the Middle World."

It seems to me there's an overlap of sorts between the Middle World and the Spirit World, where a discorporate person (like a Shaman who's cast Discorporation) is not entirely "gone away" to the Spirit World. Can the discorporate Shaman "hang around" the Middle World (like an invisible ghost), having one foot in each world, so to speak. That's a great spy, only visible to other spirits (or defences against spirits).

For MGF I will of course play it the way I want to, but I'm curious to hear how it's intended to work.

Edited by Puckohue
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The Mundane World and Spirit World are separate, as they were separated during God Time, when Daka Fal separated the living from the dead.

Most spirits cannot interact with the Mundane World, except in certain circumstances. That is why we are not bombarded with spirits wherever we go.

To break through to the Mundane World, spirits need an ability, normally using a Visibility spell or effect. Without that, they are confined to the Spirit World.

Ghosts and Wraiths are special cases, as they are usually bound to a certain place or object and can become Visible at will.

Many temples have spirit places that hold cult spirits. These cannot always break through but can be easily summoned.

Some areas have Spirit Places (RQG p 375) where the barrier between the Mundane and Spirit Worlds is thin, or where they overlap. Spirits here can become Visible at will, as they are effectively on both planes. This allows Adventurers to visit them and to bind spirits, or to contact spirits and ask them questions.

1 hour ago, Puckohue said:

It seems to me there's an overlap of sorts between the Middle World and the Spirit World, where a discorporate person (like a Shaman who's cast Discorporation) is not entirely "gone away" to the Spirit World. Can the discorporate Shaman "hang around" the Middle World (like an invisible ghost), having one foot in each world, so to speak. That's a great spy, only visible to other spirits (or defences against spirits).

Discorporate beings are entirely in the spirit world, even Shamans. They can see other spirits and interact with them, but are not in the Mundane World. 

A Shaman who wants to spy should use Visibility to interact with the Mundane World, then the Shaman appears as a ghost. Once Visible, the Shaman can be seen and can be targeted by spells. Of course, a shaman with a good Hide, or with special hiding magic, could become a reasonable spy.

 

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Being "confined to the Spirit World" sounds to me like they can't see the Middle World, as the Spirit World is separate. So how would the shaman know when or where to cast visibility? How would the shaman act in order to engage in Spirit Combat with the enemy in the house next door?

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21 hours ago, Puckohue said:

Being "confined to the Spirit World" sounds to me like they can't see the Middle World, as the Spirit World is separate.

Yes.

21 hours ago, Puckohue said:

So how would the shaman know when or where to cast visibility?

Good question.

I guess the shaman could work out roughly where they were from the type of spirits around, then cast visibility at an appropriate point.

Maybe a spirit Travel roll would be needed to get to about the right spot.

21 hours ago, Puckohue said:

How would the shaman act in order to engage in Spirit Combat with the enemy in the house next door?

That is easy. Discorporate, become Visible, walk through the wall, attack the enemy.

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Shaman have automatic Second Sight as well as being able to see both worlds at all times due to their fetch residing in the Spirit World. 

 

Pg. 355-356 Core Rules 

Through their relationship with the fetch, a shaman lives in and is aware of both the Middle World and the Spirit World at the same time. Both worlds impinge on them. This duality is both a blessing and a curse. When the shaman is wholly present on this plane (i.e., not discorpo-rate), the fetch is present in both worlds, and the fetch and the shaman are fully aware of everything the other is doing.

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15 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Shaman have automatic Second Sight as well as being able to see both worlds at all times due to their fetch residing in the Spirit World. 

That is while they are not discorporate.

When they discorporate, they can see the spirit world but not the mundane world.

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Their fetch is in the mundane world guarding their body while they are discorporate. 

 

Fetch and Discorporation
The fetch inhabits and protects the shaman’s body as the shaman goes into the Spirit World to find spirits to bind or control. When the shaman discorporates, their Fetch becomes visible in spirit form in the Mundane World and inhabits and protects the body awaiting the re-emergence... The fetch is in constant 
communication with the shaman’s spirit in the Spirit World...  pg 356 core rules.

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22 hours ago, Puckohue said:

Being "confined to the Spirit World" sounds to me like they can't see the Middle World, as the Spirit World is separate. So how would the shaman know when or where to cast visibility?

In my Glorantha, there's a notion of being "near" the Middle World, and being fully within the Spirit World. Shamans can see stuff going on which is near the Middle World, but don't see the full-blown Spirit World in their day-to-day lives. The Spirit World is a strange and weird place which they can go to, but they aren't just staring at it all the time. I treat Discorporation as like being ethereal in D&D, unless a shaman's explicitly traveling to the Spirit World, or if the Discorporate entity finds a Spirit Vortex to pass through and visit it themselves.

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Session ended in horror after a failed Spirit Travel, a fumbled Spirit Dance, and a Spirit Combat against a ghost that first rolled a Critical and then a Special. The shaman apprentice's possessed body is now gagged and tied to a tree.

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19 minutes ago, Puckohue said:

Session ended in horror after a failed Spirit Travel, a fumbled Spirit Dance, and a Spirit Combat against a ghost that first rolled a Critical and then a Special. The shaman apprentice's possessed body is now gagged and tied to a tree.

In other words, a resoundingly successful RPG session.  Congratulations!

10 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Shaman have automatic Second Sight as well as being able to see both worlds at all times due to their fetch residing in the Spirit World. 

Yeah, I was going to point this out.  It's sort of like Sense Chaos, only expressed as an ability instead of a skill or spell so the shaman isn't merely confirming (or not on a failed roll!) what they already suspect or know.

Ah, shamans.  I really need to make time to write that RQ:Ghostbusters scenario I've been mulling over.

!i!

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Just to rock the boat, I believe that there are places where the Spirit World overlaps the Material World. Spirts can use these to view through the veil, and likewise a Shaman can use these to access specific places beyond. I also play that spirits and discorporate Shaman can sense the material world like a double exposure; and creatures with POW are bright objects. However traveling to another place in the material world via the Spirits World is fraught with danger especially as neither time or geography are consistent, You may eventually get to the enemy camp, but the 'when' may not be certain.

There are occurrences from WBRM where enemy spirit are sent behind enemy lines to attack Commanders. So I defiantly think it falls under MGF. There is far more to the Spirit World than the souls of the dead...

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12 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

I really need to make time to write that RQ:Ghostbusters scenario I've been mulling over.

Ooh, please do. I'd subject my players to it play it.

11 hours ago, Psullie said:

Just to rock the boat, I believe that there are places where the Spirit World overlaps the Material World.

I don't think that rocks the boat too much. :) That's basically how I understand RQG's "spirit places" and "spirit vortices."

11 hours ago, Psullie said:

There is far more to the Spirit World than the souls of the dead...

Totally agree. I think the Spirit World is more like a "second Glorantha" than like an afterlife.

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My understanding is that traveling in the Spirit World is basically happening along a different "dimension" than the three dimensions of the Middle World. So as you discorporate, you can somehow recognize your immediate surroundings, as they are loosely "correlated with the Middle World" (RQG p371). A discorporate shaman would be able to see the spirit of nearby people and animals, which makes it possible to effectively use this the same way modern soldiers would use infrared to scout a location (but depending on the shaman's POW perception, the other people/animal POW, and the distance between the two... p357).

You have to get pretty close (in the Middle World) before discorporating however, and it takes a long time (1 hour) so it's hard to abuse for combat scouting... but with the shaman being aware of both worlds, I allow a shaman character to be vaguely aware of spirits and people nearby -- although of course enemy shamans can do that too. And depending on the place, it could be hard to differentiate between nearby hovering spirits, and actual people, so the shaman might over-estimate. And undead are invisible to this.

Once you're in the Spirit World and start traveling, you get further away from the Middle World and any correlation is quickly lost. Spirits that are linked to a Middle World place (a fresh corpse, a haunted place, etc.) are easy to find if you discoporate near that place that they're linked to. Otherwise, finding them from farther away is tricky and requires rolls to navigate the Spirit World correctly. As the shaman travels further outwards in the Spirit World, they might aim for/be sucked in by vortices -- these tend to have a stronger Middle World correlation, so the shamans gets back to a place where they can vaguely make out the mundane features of the place. But most likely there are so many spirits overlapping that it's difficult to sort it all out.

So as a result, to answer the OP, I don't think there's any point in a shaman attacking an embodied entity unless that entity is also nearby in the Middle World (but then the body of the shaman is also nearby and potentially vulnerable), or near a spirit vortex for which the shaman knows the corresponding physical location, knows the desired target is physically there, and can recognize that target among all the POW-signatures there (which requires several successful rolls before even attacking, but might work). It might be easier for the shaman to get one of their allied/controlled spirits to attack for them. Either way, the spirit or discorporated shaman needs to become visible in the round prior to the attack.

Other than at these specific locations, traveling through the Spirit World and becoming visible would be like coming out of hyperspace randomly in your space ship (so most probably ending up in the middle of nothing, but possibly inside a star or near a black hole). It's dangerous and, therefore, probably super fun.

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