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From: Matb <mbreton@**.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Re: Conjuring Skills
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 07:42:09 -0700
Dynamite wrote:

> Here's my most recent and troubling questions:
> The rules state that spirits are to be handled exactly as drones (pg
> 34 rulebook), where a shaman may hold any number of spirits but may use
> only as many spirits equal to his/her conjuring skill at any one time.
> This seems pretty straight-forward for riggers but for shamans it seems
> that the rule should be different. Here's my argument with one of my
> friends about the situation.

> He plays Wishbone, who has a conjuring skill of 2. In the following
> turns he plays two ally spirits, claiming the advantages of both spirits
> (cumulative of +2/+4), and plays two city spirits, and two nature
> spirits. Wishbone is now holding 6 spirit cards, two of which are ally
> spirits. I have no problem understanding that he can hold the other 4
> spirits, but it seems to me that the ally spirit is continually in play
> as soon as it is played because of the benefits that it offers. If this
> is the case then he is currently using both points of his skill,

Here's where the error lies: Although the Ally must be played on a
Runner with Conjure-2, it only requires one point to use. (Similarly, a
mage who uses Astral Sense early in the turn can still use another spell
later on.)

Skill levels don't decrease after using items -- so even though Scatter
is guarded by both her Allies, she still counts as a Runner with
Conjure-2 (she just can't use any other spirits later in the same turn).

> thus
> making it impossible for him to have another ally spirit with him.
> This would in effect cancel the cummulative effects of the other ally
> spirit because it would be illegal for him to play the card. Or does
> the ally spirit card get treated like any other spirit card, where it
> must be turned to use it.

Ally Spirits lie halfway between Cyberware - which doesn't need to be
turned and is always active (no matter what) - and other Spirits and
Spells, which need to be turned. One option is to turn it as a reminder
that it is in use; the secondary ability (trash to thwart damage)
doesn't require the Ally Spirit to be unturned, so it could still be
used normally.

> Is it possible, legal, and fair to allow for
> the cummulative effects of ally spirits to add up even when each ally
> spirit requires a conjuring skillof 2?

Sure -- Wishbone could have two Allies (and become a 6/8). I'd even
allow him to choose to *not* use one of the Ally Spirits during the
Refresh phase in order to later activate a different type of Spirit.

> Another question, different scenario.
> Wishbone goes on a run with four spirits in his possession, 2 city
> and 2 nature, not yet turned. His conjuring skill is two so he can use
> two spirits at once (or only 1 ally spirit???).

Again, so long as the player had announced earlier in the turn that he
wasn't activating any Spirits on Wishbone, he could use any combination
of any two Spirits (even Watchers).

> He gets jumped by
> pumped Yak Attack 11/1 and to avoid taking damage himself he must trash
> one spirit and stack 5 dmg on the other. The next challenge is revealed
> and he wants to use his wounded spirit and another spirit. Is this
> legal? By the book it seems it would, but thinking about it makes me
> wonder if it isn't an overlooked rule. Wishbone has already used one
> point of conjure to control a spirit that has already been trashed.

The skill only allows a number of "uses" per turn. Think of it this way
(but please don;t follow this advice!): Place two tokens on Wishbone at
the beginning of the turn. Whenever Wishbone uses a Spirit, remove a
token. When he's out, he can't use any more. (However, since it might
affect die rolls, deployment of new gear, sleazing ability and so on,
Wishbone remains at Conjure-2 - the skill level never changes).

The same holds true for Mages using Spells and Riggers using Drones (and
Deckers using Programs.)

- Matt

Ask me tonight why love is strange
For I am drunk and full of reasons....

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