Questions on Bargaining

As we get deeper into Summoning, I think we’ve been interpreting something wrong.

Question 1: Let’s say we have a Sanctified or Restless Dead, and thus The Price is Tribute. I fail my bargain. Does the tribute Resources cost raise by 1 or does the cost become Possession? (Similarly, if I succeed, does the Resources lower by 1 or become Mark?)

Question 2: Duration (328, 332). If the Intent of the Service is a “single service or task” that could take day+, can the Duration be longer than Single Event? Or must all start at Single Event and the Bargain up?

Question 2b: If the Duration depends on the Intent, I assume this can modify the Ob of the Summoning or the cost of the Service? Is there any guidance for this?

Question 3:

327: If he met his obstacle…He announces one of his many names

328: If the summoner exceeds his obstacle…The announces itself with one of its personal names…

328: If the summoner exceeds his obstacle to summon, he also learns one of the creature’s names.

Is 327 incorrect, or is this saying you get a name but just not a Name?

Stating my assumptions:

  1. I think the correct answer (which I was doing wrong before) is to raise/lower by type of cost, not degree of cost (the book uses the word “step”).

  2. Torn on this one. I’m all about respecting Intent, but this seems to be pushing for Single Event as default, and then need to Bargain. The challenge here is “event” is not of the same sizing type of word as the “calendar” durations. But if we look to other subsystems for guidance, maybe we can conceptualize this as “One Test” like we have for Art Magic duration scale, to help?

  3. I’m gonna go with “yeah, you get a name, just not a Name

Hiya @gyakusetsu .

We’ve got some fun Summoning and Bargaining going on in our Burning Warhammer game, so let me take a stab at this.

1: We’ve been playing it that it ups / decreases the scale of the cost, so Tribute moves up to Possesion / down to Mark, in your example.

2.a: I think I’d look to Duration of Service on p332, and ask myself “what can this spirit achieve in the next few hours / before nightfall or sunrise?” (taking some account of Intent).

If I want wealth, then the spirit is likely to do a snatch and grab on a jeweler’s store or similar, and get me a sack of hot loot. If I want a town house, they might alter a will to favour me, and then push its current owner out of an upstairs window.

2.b: If I want to get knighted and inherit that castle over there, then I’d better exceed my Summoning, engage it in a Bargaining/Hagglign test, and then spend that Margin of Success to affect the Duration with the entity. If I cannot spend the 3 or 4 extra successes to bargain on it lasting a month / year, then I’m going to get a slap-dash effort from the spirit.

On the other hand, if I get a boatload of extra successes, then I might have just bound this handy-dandy demon to serve me for a lifetime (I just need to ensure that said demon doesn’t try to shorten said lifetime too much!).

3: It seems to me that if I just scrape by on my Summoning test, then a spirit appears, proclaims a generic name (“Some call me the spirit of the dark alley, and I shall do as you say if you provide this [Tribute]”).

No Bargaining is possible, and the name is just something fairly inconsequential to call them.

If, instead, I exceed my Obstacle, then I get a “better” name (One Name of Many on p328), one with an actual mechanical effect.

I see this more closely in line with how Circles works (see the general referencing to Circles on p324 under Summoning Process). So, when I exceed my Circles / Summoning Ob, I have a name that gives me a bit more ease in finding that same person / Spirit again.

4 Likes
  1. I interpreted as degree like you say.

  2. I suspect there’s an issue of invalid Intent/Task. The Summoning Task is bound to an Intent to summon a being willing to deal (with standard terms being an easy enough deal to be automatic). The Intent for it to do anything more than that requires a Task beyond that Summoning, the Bargaining.

  3. I dunno about this one. It does seem like an error.

I’ve got the same questions and some additional thoughts as I prep for a solo summoner game.

Here’s my thoughts on #3: there are actually 3 levels of names.

The first is what I’m calling a common name, like @Mark_Watson’s “spirit of the dark alley.” Generic and pretty useless.

The second is a personal name, which is like “Beezelfen” or something-- strongly connected to the individual, but they may still have multiple personal names. Maybe it’s even specific to the summoner (“you may call me Shrikeblood.”) This gives the +1D to the Summoning test.

And then there’s the trait Named, which represents a third level of intimacy and control. Interestingly, the trait implies that some (most?) creatures don’t even know their true name themselves, and this offers some protection-- but if someone else learns yours, they get the whopping +3D.

Apologies if this seems obvious-- it’s something I’ve been trying to nug out over the last couple days.