Author Topic: Spirit speech  (Read 901 times)

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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Spirit speech
« on: March 24, 2016, 12:29:07 pm »
This keeps coming up I have had sts at this game tell me it is a language same as French and two theurges can speak it to each other. I have had sts tell me that it is a language that you only can speak to spirits and onlookers do not understand either side. I have had sts tell me that it is not a language and that it is different for every spirit so onlookers hear you and the water spirit make gurgle noises and you and the air spirit make whooshing air noises etc.

So... Which is it?
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 12:32:46 pm »
Damned ley lines...
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 12:40:51 pm »
In this same game. By the same person. I just want stability inside agame :p
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Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 01:16:05 pm »
Oh yeah, this is something we should make some kind of call on. It does seem to vary a lot, and I don't know if there's a single canon answer.
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Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 01:34:37 pm »
IMO:

Spirit Speech allows you to communicate accurately with spirits, most of whom don't speak English or Garou.  The exact manner of communication varies by spirit type, but anyone without the Gift is rarely able to understand any communication any more than a normal human would be able to understand a communication in some totally unknown language, which is to say, unless active subterfuge is involved, you can probably guess at which things are greetings and which things are profanity and the general emotional state of the people involved, and if you're lucky you might catch untranslatable things like names, but any detail past that is extremely unlikely.

Spirit Speech does not allow two Garou to speak directly to each other.  I have two phones, and they each have a charger, and those chargers both plug into this wall, but I cannot just shove the two plugs into each other and charge one phone directly off of the other.  A third-party spirit can be brought in to translate between two people, but there is no particular guarantee that this translation will be accurate, or that the spirit involved will not choose to be a dick about it.

Either way, Spirit Speech is not a single language.  It's a magical power that lets you communicate concepts with spirits, each type of which generally has their own approach to communication.  Some are auditory, some are movement-based, some spirits probably communicate entirely through calibrated biting, etc.  But a new Garou seeing someone use it for the first time is probably weirded out, and using it in view of humans is about as veil-breachy as performing a rain dance on main street, in that if nothing happens it's weird, and if something happens it's VERY weird.

Mystical stuff - it's weird!

Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 01:37:27 pm »
that is my fav version also but it is not hte only one we have used
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Offline Lars Nielsen

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 01:43:45 pm »
I guess on a practical level:

Suppose my scene has two characters with Spirit Speech (A and B) and one without (C). A is talking to a spirit. Can B understand either side of the conversation? Can C?

Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 01:46:46 pm »
Uh...  good point.

I like the idea that somewhere in the world massive misunderstandings have ensued due to misuse of Spirit Speech translation.  But presumably, two people can talk to a spirit in a three-way conversation, which means two people could talk to each other by talking "at" a spirit and listening.  And also, at the end of the day, we're all larping there in English, and the fewer times someone has to stand there and pretend they can't hear something, the better.

Argh.

Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 01:55:05 pm »
and now we see WHY we have many interpretations...
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Offline Berek (ST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 02:14:24 pm »
My take on it:
The write-up in Revised says that the gift enables the Garou to "understand the communication of spirits intuitively." The flavor text muddles it by saying it enables Garou to speak to spirits whether they want to be addressed or not, but the mechanics section only talks about understanding the spirits. My personal opinion on the matter is that you say what you say, in whatever language you use, in a way that the spirit can comprehend it. Then the spirit responds, and if they don't use the same language, the gift comes into play in deciphering their communication.

And in the A-B-C example, assuming English for all PCs, A and B should be able to follow the entire conversation, while C will understand A and B, but not the spirit.
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 02:17:37 pm »
oh to muddy it FURTHER - i have also been told that even with spirit speech you need ot be a glasswalker to understand weaver spirits.
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Offline Berek (ST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 02:24:38 pm »
I think that's garbage, personally -  the gift even says that particularly alien spirits are more difficult to understand, and that banes can be outright painful, but they're absolutely included in the gift.
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 02:27:13 pm »
i agree.  but i am reporting what RAge staff has said, for the purpose of this thread detailign it all, for you guys to actively deliniate in writing :P
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 02:30:44 pm »
I am having find memories of when Ariana tried to give a Netspider Calvin as chiminage, all whilst Calvin was blissfully unawares.
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Offline Marc (Admin)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 02:40:08 pm »
I share this interpretation, or at least something very similar.  Spirit Speech is about the ability of non-spirits to understand the communication coming from a spirit.  Non-spirits speak to spirits in whatever way they choose or know how, and it is assumed that the spirit will intuitively understand.  Spirit Speech is an understanding, not a written or oral language.  The short of it is that if you are speaking English at a spirit, others will hear you speak English at the spirit without knowing Spirit Speech - they just won't understand the spirit's response.  If you want to avoid eavesdropping or unwanted participants, then you need to find a way to communicate to the spirit that those you're trying to exclude don't know.  For example, using foreign (human) languages.

My take on it:
The write-up in Revised says that the gift enables the Garou to "understand the communication of spirits intuitively." The flavor text muddles it by saying it enables Garou to speak to spirits whether they want to be addressed or not, but the mechanics section only talks about understanding the spirits. My personal opinion on the matter is that you say what you say, in whatever language you use, in a way that the spirit can comprehend it. Then the spirit responds, and if they don't use the same language, the gift comes into play in deciphering their communication.

And in the A-B-C example, assuming English for all PCs, A and B should be able to follow the entire conversation, while C will understand A and B, but not the spirit.
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Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 03:28:48 pm »
oh to muddy it FURTHER - i have also been told that even with spirit speech you need ot be a glasswalker to understand weaver spirits.

This is categorically untrue.

Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Spirit speech
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 03:31:36 pm »
and yet i was told this by an ST.  the spirit narrator at the time in fact.  so you know, monkeys.
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