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Hi.

I've got some questions related to shamans and fetches that I've been trying to figure out. I'm playing RQ3, but will appreciate answers from other systems.

My group have played RQ for a long time, so we have plenty of house rules and rule specifications, but we always try to find answers in the rules and supplements before changing/extending rules.

 

Sorry that this is a bit long, but here goes:

 

1) Can a fetch cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate?

The RQ3 magic book states that the fetch appears on the mundane plane and guards the body while the shaman is discorporate. It also states that the fetch can cast spells, and has access to the shamans' spells, in this situation. The RQ3 Magic Book however never states that a fetch can cast spells 'on it's own' in regular situations (when the fetch is on the spirit plane and the shaman is in his body).

  1. Can a fetch cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate?
  2. If it can, can it do so 'independent og the shaman, effectively enabling the shaman-fetch-pair to cast two spells at once?

In my current Glorantha the answer to 1a) and 1b) is yes, but is this consistent with general Gloranthan thinking, RQ3 or other RQ versions?

 

 

2) Can a shaman and fetch send sprits back and forth between planes?

RQ3 Magic books describes that a fetch can hold spirits that the shaman has beaten, and that the shaman can use these spirits later for healing, exorcism etc. This implies that a shaman can beat a sprit on the mundane plane, and then transfer that sprit back to the spirit plane via the shaman-fetch-link. Later, the spirit can be pulled into the mundane plane though that same link (no Summon needed to transport a spirit between planes).

  1. Is this correct?
  2. If so, when a spirit is pulled from the spirit plane into the mundane plane, will it become visible? (would it not have to in order to initiate spirit combat?)
  3. Can a shaman use a control spell and send a spirit into the spirit plane and the fetch instead of beating it in spirit combat?

 

3) If a fetch can cast spells, can it cast spells on the mundane plane?

The answer to question 1)  above will obviously impact this question. I also imagine that the answer to question 2) should impact this question.

  1. Can a fetch cast spells on the shaman? Protection etc to prepare for combat, Healing during combat and even when the shaman is unconscious?
  2. Can a fetch cast spells on targets on the mundane plane that the shaman is touching?
  3. Can a fetch cast spells on targets on the mundane plane that the shaman is not touching? The fetch will need to perceive the target somehow.

 

Thanks and regards,

-Terry

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Shamans were very under-explained in RQ3, I think pretty much everyone has had to 'wing it' with much of the Shamany rules.  It was one of the bits about RQ6 I *really* liked.

As far as how WE answer your questions:  YGMV of course.

1a - no, in our view the fetch is the spirit world side of the shaman, not really a separate, thinking entity like an allied spirit, etc.  When the Shaman's discorporate, the shaman's totemic spirit - like Great Toad or Bear or whatever - then 'occupies the space' and directs the defense of the Shaman's material-world body.

2a/b - The only spirits that can come into the mundane world are those that can do it anyway (ie ones with attacks, basically).  Such spirits can be compelled/commanded to corporate and attack, for example.  The shaman/fetch couldn't cause, say, an intellect spirit to exist in the mundane world, no. 

2c - I'd say a shaman could certainly use a control spell to force the spirit to discorporate.  The fetch then would have to beat it in spirit combat to grab it though.

3) for us, answered with 1.  It's not a separate entity, so it doesn't get it's own separate action from the shaman.

 

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1 hour ago, TerryTee said:

1) Can a fetch cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate?

The RQ3 magic book states that the fetch appears on the mundane plane and guards the body while the shaman is discorporate. It also states that the fetch can cast spells, and has access to the shamans' spells, in this situation. The RQ3 Magic Book however never states that a fetch can cast spells 'on it's own' in regular situations (when the fetch is on the spirit plane and the shaman is in his body).

  1. Can a fetch cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate?
  2. If it can, can it do so 'independent og the shaman, effectively enabling the shaman-fetch-pair to cast two spells at once?

In my current Glorantha the answer to 1a) and 1b) is yes, but is this consistent with general Gloranthan thinking, RQ3 or other RQ versions?

The fetch is a portion of the shamans soul, not a separate being although it may appear to be separate being, like an animal. The fetch occupies the body of the shaman when he/she is discorporate. The fetch can use the shamans magic to defend the body. when the shaman returns to his body, the fetch returns to the spirit world. Spirits held by the fetch can cast their magic as they are separate. So no, a fetch cannot cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate as it is the shaman.

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I played a shaman character extensively under RQ3 rules, I'll just say how we ruled it. We tried to stick within the rules, but there are arguable edge cases.

1) Can a fetch cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate?

3) If a fetch can cast spells, can it cast spells on the mundane plane?

We said yes *, but it has no way to perceive the mundane world or targets on it, so it can only cast spells on the Shaman through their magical connection. It should also be able to cast spells on people in Mindlink with the Shaman. This is contentious, the only place it explicitly says a Fetch can cast spells is in the section on Discorporation when the Shaman is on the Spirit Plane, but we interpreted that to be mainly talking about the ability to perceive and target beings on the mundane plane. It made sense to us that the Fetch on the spirit plane could cast spells fine, but had no way to target beings other than the Shaman on the mundane plane.

IIRC we considered allowing casting Visibility on the fetch so it could function more usefully on the mundane plane, but disallowed it because the Fetch is supposed to be the Shaman's 'shadow' or counterpart on the spirit plane. Bringing the Fetch to the mundane plane would violate that special connection to the spirit plane for the Shaman which is the whole point of the fetch. Furthermore the section on Discorporation appears to forbid it "The fetch cannot manifest if the shaman is not discorporate".

2) Can a shaman and fetch send sprits back and forth between planes?

It's pretty clear a Shaman can send spirits captured on the mundane plane to be held by the Fetch, it states so explicitly in the section "Captured Spirits" in the Magic Book. Many spirits you would want to use on the mundane plane can already get there themselves, as the Visibility spell states "some otherworld creatures possess this as a natural ability...", things like disease spirits, passion spirits, ghosts, etc. However a competent Shaman should always have the Visibility spell handy.

EDIT: * I've got no problem at all with David's interpretation. It doesn't explicitly say the fetch can cast spells while on the Spirit Plane. We were extrapolating from it's ability to do so while the Shaman was discorporate.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
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2 hours ago, TerryTee said:

2) Can a shaman and fetch send sprits back and forth between planes?

RQ3 Magic books describes that a fetch can hold spirits that the shaman has beaten, and that the shaman can use these spirits later for healing, exorcism etc. This implies that a shaman can beat a sprit on the mundane plane, and then transfer that sprit back to the spirit plane via the shaman-fetch-link. Later, the spirit can be pulled into the mundane plane though that same link (no Summon needed to transport a spirit between planes).

  1. Is this correct?

the fetch and the shaman are the same thing, the shaman extends into the spirit world and vice versa. The kept spirit is both in the fetch and shaman, but for rules purposes it's in the fetch (which is part of the shaman).

2 hours ago, TerryTee said:
  1. If so, when a spirit is pulled from the spirit plane into the mundane plane, will it become visible? (would it not have to in order to initiate spirit combat?)

No need for it to become visible. RQG has shamanic abilities, Show Spirit can make spirits visible to others

2 hours ago, TerryTee said:
  1. Can a shaman use a control spell and send a spirit into the spirit plane and the fetch instead of beating it in spirit combat?

No RQG say specifically that control spells are not required. You must always use spirit combat.

RuneQuest Glorantha has a new section that covers all of this. Shaman are now easier to play and the rules are clear.

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2 hours ago, TerryTee said:

3) If a fetch can cast spells, can it cast spells on the mundane plane?

only from the spirits it holds

 

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RQG is a very different beast from RQ3 when it comes to Shamans. The rules there start similar conceptually at a basic level - Shaman, Fetch, Spirits - but it's a dramatically expanded, richer and more versatile system. I can't wait to get into the final version.

Simon Hibbs

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Thanks for a lot of input! I'm glad to see that others have struggled with the same... It's just not us;-)

1 hour ago, Psullie said:

have you read the optional Adventurer for RQG Quickstart, it covers shaman and fetches: https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/RuneQuest/CHA4027 - RuneQuest Quickstart Optional Adventurer.pdf

I have not read that before. Thanks.
The way I read this it describes the fetch as being able to act on its own (while still being an extent of and part of the shaman): 

  • Through their relationship with the fetch, a shaman is aware of both the Middle World and the Spirit World at the same time
  • ... both the fetch and the shaman are fully aware of everything the other is doing.
  • The fetch shares the shaman’s INT, and can act and react just as can the shaman.

------

Seems like Styopa and David have similar interpretations, saying the fetch is not an entity that can act on its own. I quite like this interpretation and believe it could lead to some good adventures, since the fetch by itself is not as powerful/useful, but the shaman would need more captured spirits. However, our current Glorantha is closer to Simon's interpretation, and has been so for a long time, so I don't think we'll change this now ...
-------

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Spirits held by the fetch can cast their magic as they are separate. So no, a fetch cannot cast spells when the shaman is not discorporate as it is the shaman.

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

the fetch and the shaman are the same thing, the shaman extends into the spirit world and vice versa. The kept spirit is both in the fetch and shaman, but for rules purposes it's in the fetch (which is part of the shaman).

Combining these statements with my questions on passing between planes: If the fetch is holding a spirit that can cast spells, will that spirit be able to cast a spell into either plane? Will it be able to see both planes in order to find targets?

-----

Just as a side note. One house rule we use is that the shaman never discorporates, but instead he stays put in the mundane plane during a spirit walk. Instead performing a discorporation ritual he performs a ritual that sort of detaches the fetch and enables it to move into the spirit plane and away from the shaman. I have stolen this idea from some writeup online, and if I'm not mistaken that was written by you, Simon. Is that correct?

Thanks,

-Terry

 

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I'm positive that RQG contains a great deal of interesting expansion on shamans and their abilities.  Can't wait to see it.

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2 hours ago, TerryTee said:

Combining these statements with my questions on passing between planes: If the fetch is holding a spirit that can cast spells, will that spirit be able to cast a spell into either plane? Will it be able to see both planes in order to find targets?

-----

Just as a side note. One house rule we use is that the shaman never discorporates, but instead he stays put in the mundane plane during a spirit walk. Instead performing a discorporation ritual he performs a ritual that sort of detaches the fetch and enables it to move into the spirit plane and away from the shaman. I have stolen this idea from some writeup online, and if I'm not mistaken that was written by you, Simon. Is that correct?

On the first point, in RQ3 I'd say a held spirit can cast spells on the shaman, but not on other corporeal targets because the spirit has no way to perceive them. However if the Shaman casts a Mindlink or Spirit Guardian spell on them (pretty much the same thing from Gods of Glorantha) then yes because then it can use the Shaman's senses. Really that's a big part of what those spells are for.

I don't remember posting that, maybe it's from Sandy Petersen's house rules? The consequences of that would be that for new Shamans the fetch would have very low POW and be very vulnerable on the spirit plane, but for experienced Shamans the fetch's POW could be huge. It would make the Shaman/Fetch's effectiveness on the Spirit plane highly variable and potentially a bit over powered.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
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9 minutes ago, simonh said:

 It would make the Shaman/Fetch's effectiveness on the Spirit plane highly variable and potentially a bit over powered.

One word: Blueface.

Every player shaman we have aspires to that, as a GM it makes me shudder in fear.

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46 minutes ago, simonh said:

The consequences of that would be that for new Shamans the fetch would have very low POW and be very vulnerable on the spirit plane, but for experienced Shamans the fetch's POW could be huge. It would make the Shaman/Fetch's effectiveness on the Spirit plane highly variable and potentially a bit over powered.

Agreed. 
But I just loved the idea of doing it this way. If the fetch is the spirit self of the shaman, the shamans presence on the spirit plane, then why does the mundane spirit part of the shaman go to the spirit plane for the serious spirit plane action? It makes so much more sense to me that the fetch goes off into the spirit plane (which is it's domain) while the shaman says in the mundane plane (which is his domain).

51 minutes ago, simonh said:

I don't remember posting that, maybe it's from Sandy Petersen's house rules?

Well, my memory almost served me well... It was a write up by Simon Phipp. 
http://www.soltakss.com/spirit4.html

 

-Terry

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44 minutes ago, styopa said:

Every player shaman we have aspires to that, as a GM it makes me shudder in fear.

For this campaign I'm trying to give the party more power than usual, including some Hero abilities. I'm working under the slogan "Magic is fun, so lets use more of it", so a powerful shaman fits right in. Besides, it not exactly super quick to develop a high POW for fetch...  (We've also made it easier to regain divine spells, in order to get more magic in play.)

-Terry

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What happens when a shaman is defeated in spirit combat on the spirit plane?

Depends on the type of spirit I guess. I would also assume the shaman may be trapped or stranded. 

-Terry 

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