Channelers form special bonds with specific spirits. These bonds allow a channeler to tap the special powers of the spirit. Additionally, spirits will teach channelers spells. In most cases, a channeler can use a spell taught by a spirit even if the attunement is later severed. Certain spells (noted as spirit spells) require that the attunement remain. Once severed, the channeler can no longer use any spirit spells from that spirit.
There are lesser and greater spirits in the world. The lesser spirits are more common than the greater spirits. Lesser spirits can teach up to 5th to 7th level spells. Greater spirits can teach through 9th level. However, greater spirits have more demands and more followers so it is harder to attune to a greater spirit and they will deign to teach fewer spells per level. Therefore, a low level channeler has little reason to seek out a greater spirit and even high level channelers may retain some lesser spirits out of friendship or personal interest.
Attuning to a Spirit
At level one, a channeler has already attuned to two spirits. The player must work with the referee to select the attuned spirits. Not all spirits are available to a player based on starting area, race and other factors.
Every three levels, a channeler can attune to another spirit up to a maximum of four spirits. After a channeler has achieved the maximum number of spirits, she may replace one spirit. A channeler may also sever an attunement to a spirit. As well, a spirit may choose to sever an attunement.
Acquiring Additional Attunements
A channeler must make a diplomacy check to convince a spirit to allow an attunement. The DC is 20 for a lesser spirit and 30 for a greater spirit. The channeler must make the attempt in person. Therefore, the channeler must generally travel to a place where the spirit manifests and convince the spirit to manifest.
The following modifiers apply to the attunement check.
|+1 or more||+1 for each day spent with the spirit during the attunement. Note that greater spirits rarely allow more than five days. Lesser spirits typically allow 5-7 days and often up to 14 days.|
|+2||Channeler has achieved local fame that the spirit is aware of.|
|+4||Channeler is an elf.|
|+5 or more||Channeler has achieved significant fame.|
|+5||Channeler's other spirits are synergistic with this spirit (nature/water/earth for example). All spirits must be synergistic for this bonus.|
|+1 or more||Channeler undertakes a quest on behalf of the spirit. Note that the quest can be undertaken before the diplomacy roll or to make up a small shortfall after a roll.|
|-5 or more||Channeler's other spirits are in conflict with this spirit (water and fire, life and death). Any one conflicting spirit can cause a penalty.|
|-5||Channeler has not brought an offering appropriate to the spirit.|
|-2 to -8||-2 per difference in alignment between channeler and spirit.|
|-5||Channeler has previously replaced this spirit.|
|-15||Channeler has previously severed an attunement with this spirit.|
|-a lot||Spirit has previously severed an attunement with this channeler. (Amount is up to the referee as circumstances warrant.)|
|-1||-1 per spirit the channeler has ever replaced (other than the spirit the channeler is attempting to attune to).|
|-5||-5 per severed spirit (regardless of whether the spirit or the channeler did the severing; other than the spirit the channeler is attempting to attune to).|
|-5 or more||Channeler has offended the spirit; such as by harming a tree in his sacred grove.|
|-5 or more||Channeler's nature is at odds with the spirit. For instance, a channeler who uses inflict wounds frequently will have trouble convincing a water spirit to attune.|
|Other modifiers. Spirit interactions are role-played and other modifiers may apply. For instance, a spirit isolated from channelers for a prolonged period may be willing to attune to nearly any channeler regardless of her past or present associations and actions.|
During the course of attempting to attune, a channeler must bare his or her heart to the spirit and the spirit will therefore know all prior severing, replacement, etc. that provide modifiers in the table above. That is, a channeler cannot hide her history from a spirit should she attempt to attune with it.
A channeler seeking to attune to a spirit might immediately offer a quest as a service to the spirit to encourage attunement. Or, if the channeler’s diplomacy check is close, but short, the spirit might require a quest to complete the process.
Affect of Attunement
Once attuned, a spirit can see, hear and feel through the channeler. This is, in fact, how spirits typically experience the world. The spirit, however, cannot communicate with the channeler aside from the use of divination spells that the spirit may have taught the channeler.
Channeler Severed Attunements
A channeler may sever an attunement at will. This comes with significant penalties but channelers may have reasons to do this such as:
- A new spirit requires the channeler to abandon an old spirit before attuning.
- A powerful ally (such as a king) might require a channeler to abandon a spirit, such as one that aids his foes.
- A spirit might perform an action that offends a channeler greatly (such as aiding a foe, refusing to aid a friend or even going on a rampage and killing people).
The severing is immediate and all benefits of the attunement are immediately lost. Severing attunements in this manner carries penalties for future attunement checks with other spirits and should not be undertaken lightly.
A channeler may not replace the severed spirit for a full level. If a channeler severs an attunement 25% from level 4, she cannot replace the severed spirit until she is 25% from level 5.
Spirit Severed Attunements
A spirit may also chose to sever an attunement. Typical reasons for severing attunement:
- Channeler performs an action anathema to the spirit. For instance, a water or life spirit would sever an attunement to a channeler who willfully killed an infant or possibly even young of woodland animals.
- Channeler aids an enemy spirit.
- Channeler disrespects the spirit.
- Channeler fails to perform the expected obligations and devotions. For instance, a water spirit might require a channeler to making offers to any water spirits of any bodies of water she passes.
While a spirit will typically not follow every one of his channelers closely at any given moment, transgressions that offend the spirit will always get the spirits attention and be immediately noticed, even if the spirit was asleep or focused on other followers.
When a channeler attunes or gains a new level, a channeler may visit the spirit in person to learn more spells. This encounter is roleplayed and the amount of spells and whether the spirit grants requested spells varies depending on how well the channeler serves and honors her spirit.
Typically, a lesser spirit will grant 3-5 spells although lesser spirits may have a smaller pool of spells to draw on than greater spirits and will always only grant spells appropriate to their nature. (So don’t see a fire spirit for water spells). Greater spirits will grant 1-3 spells. Both attuning and gaining a level does not grant additional spells.
The referee will determine the amount of time required to learn spells based on the spell level and the spirit. Greater spirits with heavy demands on their time will not only grant fewer spells, it may take longer to learn them.
Certain spells a spirit grants are special spells only usable while the channeler remains attuned to that spirit. The spells must be marked with the spirit in the player’s list of spells.
These spirit spells are equivalent to the sorts of spells that clerics get through domain spell lists and typically provide spells not otherwise available to a divine caster.
Reversible spells, such as inflict lights wounds/cure light wounds must be separately learned, usually from different spirits. For example, a healing spirit will not train a channeler in how to inflict damage.
Some spirits can teach their followers a first level spell called Detect Spirit that functions as the other first level detect spells except that it reveals persons who are spirits or contain some trace of spirit blood. The spell functions on the living and recently deceased (“I wonder if that tree lady we just killed was a nature spirit. Maybe we should check.”)
In addition to spells, spirits grant powers to their followers. These powers are often very useful and a channeler will want to craft her attunements to provide powers that best support her needs.
Granted powers include:
- spell-like abilities
- class features from other classes such as turn undead, wild shape, or trackless path
- feats such as track, use of heavy armor, weapon specialization, meta-magic
- ability to treat skills as class skills. (Note that severing attunement does not undo skill point assignment but future assignment can no longer be as a class skill).
- skill bonuses
- ability to speak languages. (This ability is lost when attunement is severed.)
- bonuses to spells of certain schools
Range of Attunement
Once established, attunement will function anywhere within Mithlond. Even a minor spirit can channel to a follower thousands of miles away. Note, however, that if a follower remains thousands of miles away for an extended period, the spirit will likely sever the relationship at some point.
A Note on Spirits
Spirits are beings with their own personalities and agendas. While they must remain near their source of power to retain their powers and ultimately their existence they can otherwise interact with the world as any other being can.
Spirits frequently have children with mortals (especially nature spirits such as dryads), they often take interest in their offspring, punishing those who harm their offspring, for instance, or playing favorites and assisting and hindering mortals as their agenda, and whim suits them.
Channelers who treat their spirit as an inanimate source of power can expect the spirit to sever the attunement, nearly always at the worst possible moment for the channeler: “Haha, red dragon! I am immune to your fire breath thanks to the protection from fire I have cast! What!? I’m burning! How can this be?!! Aiiiii!”