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Dr. Mabuse

[RQ3] How does a Shaman travel in the mundane world?

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Something has been troubling me for quite some time, and I was wondering how others handle it (or how I have misinterpreted the rules :) ). 

In RQ2 and RQ3 the Shaman has a fetch. It is almost allways active on the Spirit Plane.

The Spirit Plane exists parallel to the Mundane World. One of the examples liken it to being above and below the surface of a lake.

Does that imply that if a shaman travels his Fetch will be dragged thru countless spirit areas like bait on a fishing line? And probably get attacked by lots of nasty spirit stuff?

It's not that big a problem for Blue Face with his 143 point fetch - but how does a beginning shaman with a fetch with less than 20 POW leave his home turf whithout getting eaten?

Edited by Dr. Mabuse

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Generally speaking no. The fetch will do as you say, but most spirits are neutral, not hostile. The fetch doesn’t need to be conspicuous in the spirit world. So unless part of a storyline I would ignore this. The shaman is always with the fetch and it will alert him to any issues. In real world shamanism this isn’t perceived as a problem unless you go to places that have hostile spirits. Spirits are not wandering monsters.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Mabuse said:

One of the examples liken it to being above and below the surface of a lake.

And here we have Strangers Things Upside down...

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[RQ3] How does a Shaman travel in the mundane world ?

My most stupid answer should be "by foot ?" XD... As a master, I probably made all existing mistakes with my first half-apprentice shaman player ! So this question is a very good one and both a simple and difficult to answer.

9 hours ago, Dr. Mabuse said:

.... but how does a beginning shaman with a fetch with less than 20 POW leave his home turf without getting eaten?

First, not doing what I permit my PC to do : Learn discorporation before second sight, believing having 18POW instead of 12 make you strong, wandering in a forest without fetch nor protection and finally insist to fight any spirit he may encounter to develop his power. After 3-4 fumble : finding the worst place of a forest and being beaten, he got back almost safely

Such shaman, as a PC, must walk on tip-toes, staying away from dangerous entities (spirit or not) and runaway as soon as he fumble. You, as a master, must remember a few things : Like a hunter in a forest who won't find a bear behind each tree, a wandering (apprentice) shaman should not encounter a lot of dangerous spirits; he may not attract a lot of them either, unless they have a great rune affinity with him or are really hungry ... XD

8 hours ago, David Scott said:

1/ The shaman is always with the fetch and it will alert him to any issues.

2/ In real world shamanism this isn’t perceived as a problem unless you go to places that have hostile spirits.

3/ Spirits are not wandering monsters.

As David Scott, say (1) A shaman, even dumb, can count on his pikachu (fetch) to identify a foe or a friend. On unexpected situations, a master must cool down and change is perspective (seeing pc as pokemon hunter is a good idea). The first time someone made an analogy between spirits magic with pokemons, I found it hilarious but it's probably one of the clever idea.

A master should also remember a few things : a PC may be a reckless but finding hellions or a demon lair is not easy nor a daily shaman activity (2) and stronger spirits don't usually lost their time on catching a tiny prey (3) they may play with you like cats do with mouses but if the shaman is not a threat, he cannot become a prey (he is not worth the pain).

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My gut-check suggests that a spirit in a medicine-bag (or in a familiar-animal) is "incorporate" and no-more-visible-or-notable from the Spirit Plane than is any other mortal/material being.

Is this incorrect under the RAW?

If I am correct, then when going through "spiritually hostile" territory, the Fetch simply "incorporates" and rides through safely; or at least, as safely as any other mortal being does.

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19 hours ago, David Scott said:

Generally speaking no. The fetch will do as you say, but most spirits are neutral, not hostile. The fetch doesn’t need to be conspicuous in the spirit world. So unless part of a storyline I would ignore this. The shaman is always with the fetch and it will alert him to any issues. In real world shamanism this isn’t perceived as a problem unless you go to places that have hostile spirits. Spirits are not wandering monsters.

Sure spirits can be 'wandering monsters'.  If we postulate the Spirit plane as an alternative ecosystem, there must be predatory spirits and benign spirits. I don't see why predator spirits wouldn't be attracted to a fetch floating around (from their perspective).

The rules even support this, with the % of random spirit plane encounter for shamans (IIRC it's fetch's POW as % every few hours?).  No, it's not "worse" if they're moving vs stationary (the specific point of the OP), but certainly that is reasonably representative of the fauna of the spirit world 'noticing' the fetch and...investigating?

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The OP didn't talk about wandering monsters, but about the shaman straying into the mundane world territory of spirits potentially hostile. It is like passing through another clan's territory.

A shaman within reach of his own tradition's territory will be aware of the neighborhood, and will have made arrangements for travel when crossing into known neighboring areas. A shaman straying far from his responsibilities may encounter foreign territories unprepared, and I would definitely allow encounters there.

But then, even though there is a link between the mundane and the borderland spirit territory, there may be another adjacent spirit region which remains just outside of the boundaries of a dominant spirit linked to the land, some sort of anteroom plane. It may be quite narrow, though.

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Spirits can attack both other spirits a corporeal creatures, so they can "see" both. If spirits do not intend to attack a shaman, why shall they attack his fetch which is the shaman's self on the spirit plane ? Where the shaman can go without trouble, I would state that his fetch should as well.

More generally speaking, spirits and shamanism belong to the countless marvelous stories invented by the mankind to explain the World: like all beliefs, it is full of contradictions and unexplored aspects and it is vain to try to completely rationalize it. "It is like this because...it is." It is almost impossible to answer all the questions which players may ask. I'm currently facing this difficulty while developing rules for shamanism: questions arise again and again, without any logical answer, if any. If you start with too much questioning, you may have to completely invent a spirit world, with its geography, laws, and how it interacts with the mundane world. Could be a game on its own. So as David Scott mentioned, handle it as a story element when it brings something to the story line, or ignore it. It does not have to be believable, but consistent with the story and enjoyable.

 

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In RQ, spirits used the spell (or ability) "Visibility" in order to interact with beings on the physical plane. WIthout that ability or residence in a material object or host, no interaction was possible. A spirit with Visibility still was part of the spirit plane, but could reach through the veil.

The range of interaction on the physical plane might be line of sight, but on the spirit plane there are different or no obstacles for line-of-sight. A spirit that can perceive the fetch on the spirit plane may be blocked sight (or other pertinent senses) to perceive the shaman on the mundane plane. A somewhat able shaman will of course use his fetch as a spirit radar while navigating the mundane world with his other senses.

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I see a shaman's fetch as his Spirit Self, so not a separate entity, but that part of the shaman on the Spirit Plane.

So, a shaman moving on the mundane plane normally drags his fetch along, in the same way as dragging his head along. As he can see on the Mundane Plane, he can see on the Spriit Plane using his Fetch's eyes.

Spirits who see the fetch could attack, in the same way that a PC wandering through trolltown could always be attacked by trolls. However, I just treat this as the Shaman seeing what spirits are nearby and interacting with them. In a town, do the PCs talk to everyone they meet? Does everything they meet interact with them? No. In the same way, most spirits will ignore a shaman walking through the spirit plane, or will treat the shaman as just another spirit.

 

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21 hours ago, soltakss said:

Spirits who see the fetch could attack, in the same way that a PC wandering through trolltown could always be attacked by trolls. However, I just treat this as the Shaman seeing what spirits are nearby and interacting with them. In a town, do the PCs talk to everyone they meet? Does everything they meet interact with them? No. In the same way, most spirits will ignore a shaman walking through the spirit plane, or will treat the shaman as just another spirit.

I think this is a good interpretation of what the shaman sees and encounters on the Spirit Plane, even as she/he travels in the Mundane Plane.  And it should account for strange behaviors by the shaman (at least strange to those mortals traveling with her/him).  The shaman will, so to speak, avoid the 'bad parts of town', or stop to converse with 'an old friend', or simply ignore many of the spirits she/he passes.

At the same time, the Spirit World 'geography' is much more shifting.  The shaman might be walking through the Nymie Valley, and sees the Guardian Woods much as the shaman's companions do except seeing the spirits who live there looking out from the woods.  But where the companions simply see the northward trail, the shaman also sees a fog of greyness overlaying it and knows that is part of the Silver Woods, home only to lost and forsaken spirit fragments and dreams.  And where the companions see Rurik's Cave, the shaman sees a tunnel towards the Deep Earth realm guarded by fearsome Earth Demons.  But much like a lava lamp, things flow strangely in the Spirit Plane.  One moment the Silver Woods may be adjacent to Rurik's Cave, the next a stream of Biting Spirits is flowing between much like a wind rushing through a valley, and perhaps then the shaman must stop and redirect that spirit flow elsewhere, or must hide himself in the Silver Woods because the Bad Man is hunting the Biting Spirits.

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