Bans

Types of Bans

These "types" are not mutually exclusive. They are broken down in this way to spark your imagination. Behavioral bans regulate a spirit's actions - often an outright prohibition from acting in a certain circumstance.

  • Hoary Oak may not harm old women.
  • Red Bat may not Materialize during the day.
  • Death's Door cannot cross a threshold marked in blood.

Compulsions are the opposite of prohibitions; these are actions that a spirit is required to perform.

  • Claws Underbed must always lace untied shoes.
  • Principled Judgment must always answer three questions truthfully to anyone who offers it chiminage.
  • Honor at Dawn, a spirit of a dueling pistol, may not attack first in combat.

Linguistic bans turn on the spoken word.

  • Some spirits are entranced by a certain song.
  • Many knowledge-spirits cannot refuse to exchange information from those who have committed long poems or religious tracts to memory.
  • Some spirits tied to the concepts of death, loss or esoterica cannot refuse commands delivered in dead languages.

Repulsions include things that cause a spirit to flee, normally a specific thing.

  • October 27th, a strangely morose violence-spirit borne in a shooting spree, will flee if presented with pictures of that attack's victims.
  • Some hybrids that were once the spirits of material objects can no longer stand the sight of their former physical shells.
  • Many spirits engendered by Native Americans cannot stand the smell of burning sage.

Ritualistic bans are combination of bans, and therefore fairly powerful.

  • Ithba, Lord of Disease, cannot move if bound by a wreath made of cinnamon and holly.
  • If offered a drink of rum, hellebore and the blood of an enemy, Helal the Dissolute must agree to possess and shame an enemy.
  • If the lair of Rabishu, the Engine of War, is encircled by burning human fat, he will fall into slumber.

Sacrificial bans limit the spirit's freedom or ability in some way if not given the correct chiminage.

  • If the spirit of Somerset's Pool is not offered a sacrifice of mare's blood at each solstice, its maximum Essence and Power are halved.
  • Each hour that Thrash 80, an awakened PC, is disconnected from the Internet, the spirit loses one point of Essence.
  • The spirit of Generosity Gulch will attack one "outsider" a night if someone does not throw a coin into the wishing well on the square each week.

Vulnerabilities are bans that cause the spirit great harm. These include substances that inflict aggravated damage, attacks the spirit cannot defend against or even mundane things that can harm the spirit by lowering its traits or draining its Essence. Some spirits have relatively minor vulnerabilities, taking extra damage from certain attacks, normally in multiples of two (+2, +4, etc.)

  • Holy water causes aggravated damage to the spirit.
  • The spirit has no Defense against attacks made by virginal women.
  • Binding the spirit in red ribbon causes it to lose one Essence per turn.

Magical bans affect specific Influences or Numina that a spirit possesses. These are very common among spirits that wield some of the most terrifying abilities such as Abduct, Claim and Possession. If you are creating one of these spirits, consider having its ban establish some hard limitations on these powers. Some bans may affect all Numina a spirit possesses.

  • Xuldigir cannot Claim a person with a silver coin held under her tongue.
  • Worm of the Rose cannot use any Numina on holy ground.
  • Creatures that speak Lillitsubs name in Babel cannot be Possessed by the spirit for a year and a day
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