Spirit Forge - what's your opinion?

markusdark

Knight
Due to various OOG reasons, my chapter has recently found itself devoid of any high level Celestial casters. My current character in it is little more than a production monkey, one whose production areas are covered better by other characters. So I have been toying with the idea of spending some of my gobbies to spirit forge into a high level Celestial Formal Caster.

The trouble I'm having with it is that I'm from the 'old school' of LARPing that says if you want a character to have a different set of skills, make a new character and don't use the easy way out. I have found out that at least three others have already spirit forged in a chapter that is less than 3 years old and not really keen on following the 'lazy' system.

Am I just being too much of an old fuddy duddy about this and I should just cowboy up and spend the gobbies?

Just thought that if I'm having this debate with myself, might as well share it with everyone else. :)
 

Robb G

Baron
i am assuming the ability to spend gobbies to spirit forge is chapter specific as i have never heard of it.

to answer your question though, I think spending gobbies to do it is kinda lame. just as i think people who used the rule book to change the character to a totally different class (fighter to ritualist caster) is lame too. MHO.
 

markusdark

Knight
There are many things you can purchase with gobbies and some chapters allow you to purchase formal scrolls with them. I'm not sure if it is a game wide thing or just in the 5 different chapters I've played in.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Are the catalysts purchaseable? I know some games have LCO scroll goblin stamp policies, but there's no way to make a race change or spirit forge LCO and purchaseable catalysts would seem to pose an issue with treasure policy.

This is not a bad natured post, I'm genuinely curious here as NPC rewards and GS policies are things I think about running a monster camp and increased rewards for NPCing that aren't at the expense of treasure policy will always arouse my interest.
 

markusdark

Knight
Well I'm not sure how much further I'm really willing to discuss this now that I see that HQ people seem to be confused over such a thing and I don't want to get chapter owners in dutch for trying to run games that the players enjoy. I should note that the average APLs west of the Mississippi are very much lower than those to the east. So I would imagine that there are a great many more items such as scrolls, reagents and catalysts being dropped in the east than in the west. For an example, our last one day event had somewhere between 10-15 players, and at least 3 new first level characters with only another 3 over level 20 (no one over level 30).
 

Morganne

Fighter
I'm not going to weigh in on the GS issue, because I don't know the exact policy or intent behind it, and have every belief that each owner is running their game to the best of their abilities in order to make sure everyone has a good time.

In terms of the philosophy of whether or not to forge a character, to me the relative amount of cheese really comes down to why you're doing it.
-Don't enjoy playing your character but really want to keep their story going? Forge.
-Have IG reasons to go a completely different direction? Forge.
-Just want more power for your team to balance? Don't forge, make a new character or invite someone else to join the team.

If it will significantly alter your experience playing a character you love, there's a reason the ritual exists and it's cool to use! If it's for the benefit of others or not something that's really important to the character, then it seems like you might as well just make a new character to play that other concept. MHO.
 

Alavatar

Baron
To me, the only OOG reasons to ever get a Spirit Forge is either a medical reason or one regarding you having fun with your character. If you still think your character is fun despite the lack of Celestial casters then I see no reason to forge him.

But, if you think you would have more fun playing the same character with a different set of abilities... Go for it. :)
 
I, like Toddo, am very curious about how a Spirit Forge set purchased with gobbies does not violate the alliance treasure policy. Still, that's not really the question at hand.

To my mind, Spirit Forging can happen for IG reasons or OOG ones: if your character desires to better aid his fellow adventurers by picking up the skills needed to fill a lacking role, then by all means, though I feel that for this situation it would be preferable to get an actual scroll and catalyst; since it's something difficult your character aspires to, it should happen on stage. If your character would not want to change, but you DO, then again, by all means. This can even generate very interesting role play as your character experiences an identity crisis, or whatever. If your character would not want to change, and you only want to to be a "better" team player... shrug? You may find that you like it even more after the change, but you may also hate it, and I you only get one free Spirit Forge; changing back would add a death to your card.

If, in the end, the greatest hurdle to your taking the Forge is your OOG issues with what you consider the easy way out, then I'm not really sure anything said here should be making up your mind for you. Principles are tricky like that, and you should probably work out for yourself what matter most to you, because nobody else is likely to know exactly how you feel.
 
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I, like Toddo, am very curious about how a Spirit Forge set purchased with gobbies does not violate the alliance treasure policy. Still, that's not really the question at hand.
This has been brought up a couple of times now, so perhaps (for everyone's benefit) someone could illuminate just exactly what official policy is on purchasing non-LCO ritual effects with goblin points (assuming they come out of the treasure policy).

Once that is put to rest, then it will stop coming up in this thread.

((on topic))

I'm personally ambivalent about the whole spirit forge process. I generally think that people should make new characters if they want to play a character with a different skill set, but if you have good in game reasons for the change, then go for it and let the good RP times roll. You could go through all kinds of interesting plotlines concerning the change. You could go through all kinds of character development RP that revolves around the change.

In this particular example, I think it would certainly be odd to see Nigel converted to a celestial caster, but it certainly wouldn't be beyond imagining. Especially since he is a fire eater by trade.
 

markusdark

Knight
Thanks for all the advice. It is helping me consider things.

However, I do want to point out a fact that I think might be missing to some. We have one character who has, I believe, 2 levels in Formal Celestial casting that plays in our chapter. That's it. One. And I believe after that the next highest celestial caster can cast only 5th level spells or less and that is a grand total of 2 celestial casters in our game. Our highest level character that plays in our chapter is 26. No one higher. And only two others over level 20.

One of the main reasons I am considering the change is that I feel our chapter is in need of some celestial power to help balance out the entire chapter games - not just my small team of players. Would I enjoy playing my PC as a Celestial caster? yes. Do I have a valid IG reason for it? Yes. Is it part of the original character concept? No. Do I feel like it is taking the easy way out to min/max a character? yes. But like I said, I am up to helping out the game in order that everyone will have fun.
 

jpariury

Duke
TMK, the only thing that the treasure policy expressly limits is how much you can put out, not the manner in which you put it out. I don't know of anything that says GS can only be used to buy LCO rits. If chapter X said "Hey, we're selling policy components for 40 gobbies", and so long as those components came out of the limit on how many a chapter should be putting out overall, and everyone had more or less the same access to them (first-come, first-serve), I don't know that there is anything explicitly forbidding it.

Ideally, I'd hope that restricted components and scrolls (including catalysts) cost more gobbies than LCO ones, but I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another about it in general. I might feel bad for local players who might get gimped out of treasure that would normally come to them one way or another, though, but thinking of policy as entitlement doesn't sit well with me either.

Why do you feel that your local chapter needs a PC high-level C-caster, and why do you feel that it should be quickly gotten by you, rather than worked into by the guy with 5th lvl spells?
 

markusdark

Knight
jpariury said:
Why do you feel that your local chapter needs a PC high-level C-caster, and why do you feel that it should be quickly gotten by you, rather than worked into by the guy with 5th lvl spells?
Ah, good question! Thanks for asking.

The 5th level guy is a templar who is focusing on his fighting abilities. He stopped at 5th level so that he could read all scrolls (didn't know there weren't any 9th level scrolls) so he's basically stopping advancement.

I feel that the chapter needs a high level C-caster because we need more damage dealing spell casters as well as someone who can cast rituals and have other interactions with plot/npc's that only comes with high level ritual casters.
 

Michiko

Adept
Markus,

I recently wreslted with just this issue and I thought I'd share with you my thoughts.

My primary recently started venturing to a land where fighters were scarce. Now, OOG I've been wanting to swing pipe since my third event playing her but didn't take the opportunity to forge due to various issues including: lack of confidence, roleplaying continuity, heightened threat of death, and how the change would affect others.

I personally felt strongly enough that it had to be an IG decision that it wasn't until a couple months after the mass forge that something happened that I felt gave sufficient IG weight to justify trying to hunt down a set.

I can see wanting to fill a hole in the abilities of the town being an IG choice depending on how your character thinks, but ultimately you know what your motivations are and whether you feel they are in line with how the game should be played. If you know you're acting in line with your Philosophy of LARPing TM then go for it. If not, then maybe you want to think about another solution to the problem before you.
 
Yea, the one question I have with purchasing a Spirit Forge with goblin stamps is, that a Spirit Forge can't be an LCO only ritual. Because characters (except in the case of a level cap) are allowed to travel, even when MI's are prohibited.

As far as doing for the balance reason I would suggest working out your "true" motivations for wanting the different skill set. If the main reason you want to do it is just for "balance" of the town I would advise against it. Sure it might be a bit more tricky but the plot team should be able to angle a game understanding that their "town" does not have significant celestial power. Offer other ways for the players to "get" those abilities or not require the players "need" those abilities to solve situations.

However if you think you would have a lot more fun with the character and the store by going for the Spirit Forge than go for it. I would try to also think if its something your "character" could be interested in, and at least take that into account for your RP. But I'm sure from what you sound like you wouldn't "just do it" and not make your character take it into account. The crazy thing we do is supposed to be fun for the players playing the game. If its not then why do we bother? Sure we can play to make other people have fun and that is noble as well, however I don't see any reason to "stifle" your fun just because your not sure you "should" do something one way.

You might want to consider if you are going to get something like this arbitrarily forcing yourself to do it a bit more gradually. Like maybe get the basic pencil to 1 9th level spell and 1 level of Formal so that you don't have to get teacher cards but leave build unspent as your character becomes "comfortable" using the magic that is so "new" to them.

Generally I don't have an issue with Spirit Forges, the game is a game for the players not for the characters. Its good to keep continuity for the IG world, but I think there is a good deal of room to stretch things in most cases.

Like others have mentioned I am very iffy on the whole premise of being able to do something like this, but that's not what you posted the question about, and as others have done I don't want to de-rail the thread. Those are my thoughts anyways.
 

markusdark

Knight
Well I don't know about the whole LCO thing but #1 - I've never really seen LCO all that enforced and B) The character that will be transformed I only play in my home chapter. Nigel is my traveling guy. :)

Oh, and he'll be eating fire at the national event. You can count on dat!
 

Sunnfire

Squire
You Could get an LCO spirit forge.
The problem there is two fold.

One. That is a pain to track, as you would have to have the NON-LCO card and the LCO card in the DB.

Second, that is not really how Spirit forge should be handled on any sort of permanent basis. Characters can transfer, and so spirit forge should not be LCO by any means. Just because you have no current intention to travel, does not mean you never will. Let alone the fact that just because You are never going to use a part of the system does not mean you should get to ignore the rules involving it.

Having an LCO spirit forge means that at chapter A you get to play bob the super fighter and at Chapter B you get to play bob the Super Mage. You essentially get two characters for the price of one, without the hassle of gathering the ritual, casting said ritual, and taking the deaths involved in multipel castings.

medical spirit forges and plot based very temporary forges are their own thing, and are really the only case where an LCO spirit forge is even reasonable.

To address the actual question, and this is the advice i give in 90% of situations similar to what you are describing, dont change for anyone else. Changing jsut to fill a perceived 'gap' is a bad plan, and will make you jsut want to change back later. Let someone else come along ad fill the gap. now if that gap is something you kinda always wanted to do anyway, then absolutely go for it. But really look at why you are changing. because you want to play That character, or because you think someone needs to play a character that fills that gap.
 
I'm with Mike V. on this one. If I had my way, with the exception of wacky plot and medical forges, spirit forge would leave the game.

That said, I oddly differ with Christina on this. It is your character. If you think you will enjoy the character more after a spirit forge, then your reasons for why you will enjoy it more don't really matter. I don't think you are one, but if your motivation is to power game, and power gaming makes you enjoy the game, then make the change. If your motivation is simply what you previously stated and you think you will enjoy the game more, do it. And, if your motivation is something else that for some reason you didn't feel was justifiable (and thus you found a reason you felt you could justify), make the change.

Reasons don't matter. The most important thing is that you are enjoying this GAME. Like everyone else, you invest time and money into this form of entertainment, and as long as you are following the rules, you should never feel the need to justify things you do to enjoy the game more. The only caveat I can think on that statement is if your increased enjoyment would significantly decrease others enjoyment of the game, and I don't see that as an issue in this case.

So, yeah, if I had the power to change the rules, spirit forges wouldn't be possible, but since they are currently legal, do what you need to enjoy your game more.

-MS
 
First: Spirit forge if you think you'll have more fun playing. Really, it's up to you.

Second: There are other reasons to allow spirit forges then Medical. Honestly, our system of "write your character, but after one game you're stuck with it" can be pretty lame. I know a number of people who would have forged within their first year, when they realized they were playing the wrong class (partially fixed by the current system) or the wrong school of magic (totally ignored by the current system). I've never used a Spirit Forge, but I've been through three-ish re-writes now, and I've never made any serious changes to any of my characters because I was having fun playing them the way I built them (with the exception of the Trap Making levels on my rogue, and I wrote three Traps proposals for my various chapter owners before I dropped those levels).

Third: You can totally gobby non-LCO scrolls, magic items, or whatever. I've seen spirit forges bought with gobbies, and they always come out of treasure policy just like a normal scroll and set of components. It happens very rarely, but there's no reason it can't.
 

phedre

Squire
The biggest reason I disagree with allowing someone to gobby a scroll and comps and a catalyst that come out of the treasure policy is that you're effectively taking it out of the hands of another player who should have found it or earned it via In Game methods. Scrolls come out of the weekend's production, but comps and cats have a separate calculation that puts them into game! Their possible existence is based on player attendance, and allowing someone to basically call "dibs" on it is a little hinkey.

It favors staff members and those financially able to contribute more to the game to an extent that I think crosses a line. Just because it is allowed in some chapters doesn't make it right, and I really think something has to be done about the whole LCO/Restricted issue. As a player who travels among chapters that don't allow LCO gobbing of rituals like Spirit Forge, and don't take any LCO items from outside their own chapters, I feel like the playing field is becoming less and less even.

I don't think that if I want a race change, I should be able to buy one. If I want a MI that only works in select chapters, that's fine... but a ritual like that becomes part of your character card and it forces chapters that aren't part of the "Accept other chapter's LCO items" agreement to take into their game something purchased with gobbies.
 

Talen

Adept
I've always looked at forges being good for one reason and one only- letting a character that's unplayable be respent. You're not anywhere near that- and forging means someone else who does the Celestial thing from scratch gets supplanted by an "upstart" who just forged into the role.

Given the chance, I'd restrict Forges to low-level characters only and give it a chance of failure, much like rezzing (barring medical reasons). If it fails? You never, ever can Spirit Forge the character again (again, barring a medical).
 
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