A life form is composed of a corporeal body and a spirit. The separation of the spirit from the body is known as death.
However, there are disembodied spirits around as well as the more obvious living beings. In fact, they practically swarm around sacred ground (any place where sacrifices have been made to gods). On the other hand, a barren stretch of rock or desert is extremely unlikely to have even one (unless, of course, the area is one where there used to be a lot of sacrificing or some other event that attracted the attention of spirits).
There are as many different types of spirits as there are types of animals and plants in the Middle World. Some can initiate spirit combat, and some cannot.
Spirits are normally indifferent to the Middle World.
Most spirits are free to wander throughout the Spirit World, although they swarm around sacred ground and places of sacrifice. However, some spirits are bound to a place or event.
All disembodied spirits are associated with the Spirit Rune. Elementals are associated with their Elemental Rune. Many spirits are associated with an Elemental or Power Rune. Many spirits have another Form Rune as well. Those spirits that have been tainted by Chaos have the Chaos Rune.
These Runes help define the powers and abilities a spirit might have. For example, a spirit with the Chaos Rune likely has a Chaotic feature, while a spirit with the Beast Rune might take the form of a particular animal.
# Disembodied Spirits
Disembodied spirits are non-material entities existing in the Spirit World. They have POW and CHA. Some spirits have INT.
Discorporate spirits can sense other spirits and sources of POW at a range of roughly 10 meters per points of POW of the sensing spirit. Within a range of 1 meter per point of POW, spirits can sense the POW of other spirits to within 10 points. At that range, they can also sense Runic, but not cult, affinities over 50%. They can also use Spiritspeech at that range. In contact with another entity, spirits can sense the exact POW, INT, and CHA of that entity. They can also sense cult or religious affiliations. Contact is also the range of spirit combat.
Spirits are sometimes tempted by the possibility of having a physical body, and a disembodied spirit may engage in spirit combat to capture itself a body. However, if an adventurer wins that spirit combat, they can potentially bind the spirit with the Spirit Binding spell and exploit it.
Disembodied spirits can increase their POW by successful use of it, but their POW gain roll is only 5%. Spirits act on SR 1, but spirit combat is resolved on SR 12.
# Creating a Spirit
To create a spirit, first determine how powerful it is. A small and insignificant spirit might have POW of only 1D6 and CHA 1D3, a truly powerful spirit might have POW 10D6+6 and CHA 4D6+6!
# Other Characteristics
Some spirits also possess INT, which typically ranges from 2D6 to 4D6. These spirits are self-aware and sentient.
# Spirit Combat
All discorporate spirits possess the ability to engage in Spirit Combat. The spirit’s skill at Spirit Combat typically depends on the type of spirit, described in the Spirit Combat Level table, following. When in doubt, the skill is POW×5%.
Spirit Combat Level
|01–25%||The spirit has little skill with Spirit Combat. Such spirits rarely possess much CHA and almost never possess INT.||A rock spirit, small elemental spirit, plant spirit or other minor spirit of the landscape.|
|26–50%||The spirit possesses moderate skill with Spirit Combat. Such spirits possess CHA but rarely INT.||An animal spirit or plant spirit with CHA, medium elemental spirit, disease or healing spirit.|
|51–75%||The spirit is skilled with Spirit Combat and likely is self-aware (i.e., has INT).||Most ghosts, large elemental, sentient animal or plant spirit, minor guardian spirit, powerful disease or healing spirit.|
|76–90%||The spirit is very skilled with Spirit Combat. This spirit might be very powerful or just very devious and crafty.||Important or knowledgeable ghost, temple guardian spirit, powerful landscape spirit.|
|90%+||This spirit is extremely skilled with Spirit Combat. This spirit is a formidable magician of the Spirit World in its own right.||Spirit of a shaman, a lesser god, or a longdead hero.|
It is possible that a spirit with a comparatively low POW might have a very high Spirit Combat skill and vice versa. For example, the spirit of a great boulder might have a POW of 30, but a Spirit Combat of only 30%, while the spirit of a wily ghost from the Second Age might have a POW of 15 but a Spirit Combat of 85%!
# Spirit Combat Damage
The amount of spiritual damage a spirit can inflict in Spirit Combat is determined by adding its POW and CHA and consulting the Spirit Combat Damage table, following.
|POW + CHA||Damage|
|+16 points||Additional +1D6+1|
# Movement Rate
Spirits move at the following MOV rates:
|Air||12 (can fly)|
# Spirit Powers
The gamemaster should create unique or tailored spirits by giving them one or more powers. Everything imaginable exists in the Spirit World, from wraiths with fire elemental forms, warrior spirits that strike with spiritual swords that take away hit points instead of magic points, animal spirits that turn their enemies into lycanthropes, or others equally fanciful.
Some sample powers are listed below:
# Active Possession
If the spirit defeats a physical creature in spirit combat by reducing its victim’s magic points to 0, it can possess their body and actively control it. The spirit may try to indulge itself in physical experiences (such as attacking people, consuming vast quantities of food and drink, rolling around in mud, self-harm, etc.), take no action whatsoever (including feeding itself ), or even carefully try to pass itself off as the possessed person.
# Affect Environment
Some spirits produce a specific effect when they manifest. They may alter the weather, produce strange smells or sounds, or distort the senses. All powerful spirits create some sort of effect. For example, the arrival of a powerful wraith is often accompanied by an aura of despair and hopelessness.
# Covert Possession
If the spirit defeats a physical creature in spirit combat by reducing its victim’s magic points to 0, it can covertly possess their body.
Most spirits can only curse in specific ways, maybe only within their domain. This might take the form of sour milk, spoiled food, illness, lame animals, blunted or rusting weapons or tools, etc.
This spirit can heal as many points of damage as it has magic points. It can only heal any one being once in a 24-hour period and the healing process takes an hour.
# Rune Magic
The spirit possesses 1D6 or more Rune points tied to one of its Runes.
# Spirit Magic
The spirit possesses its CHA worth of spirit magic.
# Spirit Weapon
The spirit can manifest a semi-material weapon that does physical or magical damage. The spirit typically has a skill of POW×5% with the weapon. Damage is equal to the type of weapon and is either against hit points or magic points.
# Genius Loci
The voluntary movements of these genius loci are typically restricted to their “area” (thus a dryad cannot physically leave her grove and a nymph cannot leave her location or landform). Spirits of a group or community are often bound to a physical object or creature. Spirits of the restless dead are often bound to the area around the place of their death or to their killer.
Almost any type of spirit can also be a genius loci.
# Disease Spirits
Spirits of disease are specifically bound to the service of the Mother of Disease and have a special type of spirit combat.
Their initial spirit combat attack is normal. But if the disease spirit succeeds in an attack when the victim fails, the spirit can try to infect the target with any of the diseases it is carrying. This infection requires another roll overcoming the target’s Spirit Combat skill, as if the disease spirit was trying to possess the victim. If successful, this does not force the victim’s spirit from the body but infects the victim with the acute form of any disease carried. A second success infects the victim with the next degree of the disease (see [Disease]/rules/spot-rules.html#disease.
If the victim manages to defeat the spirit and drives it off or destroys it, the victim gains immediate immunity to any disease carried by the spirit for a year. Exposure to those diseases will not affect the character. They also will steal 1D3 POW directly from the spirit, subtracted from the spirit’s characteristic POW. This stolen POW is not diseased in any way and adds to the characteristic POW, as if a POW gain roll had been made.
Move: Equal to POW
Attack: Spirit Combat 75%.
Ghosts are the spirits of the restless dead. Ghosts found on the Middle World are always tied to a specific site or object, and either cannot leave or must return if they do leave.
Ghosts come in many forms. Some can change shape, and the most common form is a dark cloud, especially in daylight. Others can take multiple human forms, assume beast shapes, change gender, or even remove body parts and send them roaming about. Possession is a common general trait of ghosts, but many desire direct interaction with mortals. An encounter with a ghost can leave a lingering or permanent effect, depending on the suffering of the victim and degree of success of the ghost. Some types of ghosts are passive or even pleasant.
Ghosts can become visible at will and engage intruders in spirit combat. If a ghost reduces a foe to 0 magic points, it will possess the victim. Even if a ghost possesses someone, it remains tied to its site and may not leave.
Most ghosts are malign and hate the living. They are frequently insane. Ghosts possess INT, POW, and CHA.
Move: Equal to POW
Magic Points: 14
Magic: A ghost may possess any type of magic, at the gamemaster’s option.
Attacks: Spirit Combat 70%.
# Guardian Spirits
These spirits are specially bound as guardians of a specific area or thing. As such they have special characteristics not found in the usual run of spirits.
Entering the area they guard is equivalent of challenging them to spirit combat. Combat will commence after 1 melee round of warning from the spirit. Some will not give a warning.
The spirit is bound to a single area or thing. However, if the character facing a guardian spirit attempts to go through a guarded entryway, or take the treasure being guarded, the guardian spirit will continue to engage, only returning to its area after the combat is over.
Guardian spirits will attempt to reduce their opponent’s magic points to zero through spirit combat but almost never (95% of the time) attempt to possess their defeated opponent. Many guardian spirits damage hit points instead of magic points.
Because they are already effectively bound to the area they guard, guardian spirits cannot be bound. They must be destroyed in Spirit Combat or avoided.
Guardian spirits may be created as per other spirits, and typically have one or more special powers.