Runequest Thursday #73 - New Shamanic Spell - Summon Spirit!

Clint Staples

This spell is intended to compliment the Spirit Magic rules by Mongoose Publishing. If you are using another form of Shamanism, you may need to adapt it some.

Art is by the incredibly talented anotherwanderer.

(Ritual) SUMMON SPIRIT        Range - Special    Cost to Learn - 500L

Requirements: Must be of Shaman rank or higher.

Magnitude - Variable
Ritual Time – 2d10 Minutes
Target – spirit within 10 yards
Duration – 15 Minutes

Summon Spirit is a ritual spell, requiring preparation and commitment. It either cannot be performed swiftly, or (if the GM wishes) is extremely dangerous to do so. With Summon Spirit, the Shaman steps into the spirit world, calling to a particular spirit or type of spirit. It takes time and power to step across the threshold, more to stay there as the beacon while the spirit traverses the otherworld, and more still to exact a task from the summoned. Such things are not taught to beginners.

Lesser shamanic practitioners must be satisfied to interact with whatever spirits are in an area. A Shaman, however, can summon a spirit, either a specific spirit (like one of your Ancestors), or a specific type of spirit (Like a River spirit). If you are summoning a type, you will be answered by the nearest one that is appropriate to your summons. For each Magnitude of the spell you possess, you may make one qualifier on your summons, from the following list:

  • Name (if Known)
  • Type (Elemental, Ancestor, Disease, etc)
  • Particular (if you chose type, you may also stipulate sub-type, Disease: Soul Rot, for example)
  • Level of Potence: {Weaker than your POW, Within 5 of your POW, Greater than your POW, Far Beyond)
  • Whether you will accept another type of spirit, if what you seek is not within range (Risky)

If you succeed at a Spirit Walking check, you will know whether the spirit you require is nearby in the spirit world. You will also become aware of whether it is within your ability to bind or otherwise affect the spirit with Spirit Binding, but will not gain any other information about it or its POWer, until it is summoned. It will travel to you, at a speed determined by your Magnitude in the spell. The speed with which it arrives may give some idea, however, of how close and/or how powerful a particular spirit might be.

Magnitude            Unit of Speed
1                            Spirit's POW x 10 Yards per minute
2                            Spirit's POW x 100 Yards per minute
3                            Spirit's POW x 1000 Yards per minute
4                            Spirit's POW x Miles per minute
Each extra Magnitude x10 multiple for distance.

If the spirit reaches you within the duration of your spell, you may interact with it for the time that is left. This may include asking it for information, setting it a task, bargaining with it, even binding it into a crystal or prepared fetish. To do any but the last you must succeed at a Spirit Binding check and determine the cost of whatever you require. To do the last you must defeat the spirit in Spirit Combat, driving its Current POW to Zero, then force it into its binding object.

If you attract a spirit that is hostile, undesired, or more powerful than you can bind, you may have to dismiss it. To do so, you must succeed at a Spirit Binding check, modified by the difference between your POW and that of the Spirit, x5%.

NOTE: Although this is a very useful spell, it can also be dangerous. A full shaman has the benefit of his fetch to aid in his work and to defend him if things go wrong. Lesser practitioners are not so fortunate and much be cautious. This is especially true because the Bad Man has been know to masquerade as a lesser spirit appearing at a summons, only to attack from surprise. Surely such an thing would only occur on a fumble however.