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Tupper

Hard spirits

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When I read the core rule book, I came away with the impression that spirits were incorporeal, and mostly interacted with people either by being bound by shamans and spell users, or making mischief by possessing people after spirit combat.

However, when I read the section on spirits in the bestiary, I became a bit confused.  Some of the spirits there fit the bill of incorporeal creatures, but some of them seem all too solid.  The Nymph has hit points and regular stats, but is described as "bodiless", so she can presumably discorporate at will.  The Snake Daughter isn't described as "bodiless", but the prose accompanying her says she can occupy her stone statue, so presumably she's incorporeal the rest of the time.  The Vough and the Sprul Pa don't seem to have any such caveat.  The Vough can turn into water, and Sprul Pa can merge with the ground, but neither of these are really discorporating.  

Could someone please tell me what it means to be a spirit?  I guess my definition of "being incorporeal and living in the spirit realm" seems a bit off when considering the Vough and Sprul Pa.

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Hi, there are many different forms of spirit and spirit-like entities. Below is my personal understanding of this.

Vogue and Sprul Pa are best thought of as forms of elemental, and it pretty much says this in the descriptions. Thus they can merge with or travel through their associated element much like an elemental, but this is not a form of discorporation. It might be possible for them to discorporate or to encounter incorporeal forms of them, but this is not described so I think it's unlikely.

The description of Nymphs says "At will, a nymph can form (or dissipate) a human-like body from the substance of her home." The physical stats will only apply while the Nymph has formed a body, otherwise it will only have INT, POW and CHA as per the notes on disembodies spirits on page 164. Nymphs are best though of as spirits that can possess a body, but the body is formed from local materials.

Edited by simonh
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I don't have the bestiary yet, but my take on spirits is that all living entities have spirit energy. Some, like humans, are bound to a form, while others are not. Generally most spirits that lack form cannot interact with the Middle World, but as there are always exceptions, some can inhabit specific medium to become corporeal. Undines for example can exert their will on water to become physical, but this is just a projection, destroying the water-form does not kill the spirt but may keep it from reforming for a while.

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It might be useful to think of elemental or other "embodied" forms as an inverse of a humans "spirit form". The spirit "lives" on the spirit plane, but is able to project itself into the foreign middle world by creating a body for itself. Some bindings are weak, and only permit the spirit to view or listen to our world, while others grant a fair amount of control and agency to the spirit.

So, just as a human can temporarily leave their body behind to travel the spirit world, a spirit can temporarily control a body to explore the middle realm. A few especially powerful spirits can maintain permanent presence in both worlds (like a shaman and his fetch). While other beings may be magically powerful enough to warp the border between worlds and make it unclear just exactly which realm holds sway.

IMO, a "spirit" is anything "native" to the spirit plane, which can still have some ambiguous edge-cases, but should still make sense most of the time.

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Thanks for the answers. Makes sense to think of those spirits as elemental. Here's a follow up question: could you bind them? Could you bind a vogue or Sprul Pa?

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