I'm new to boards and, since I'm not sure where to introduce myself, I'll just add a quick "I'm Dani, hi to everybody, nice to be around". Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to delve into this post's reason to exist:
I've recently started a new ArM campaign set in Constantinople, and one of the players decided he wanted to play a Sahir from tCatC. Not having really read the rules for sahirs throughly, we both started perusing the rules. They seem really interesting, and I must say I really like the way sahirs work. But I think there are some fine points that elude me, and I'd like to get them right from the start, to avoid any backpedalling or adjusting down the road.
So I wanted to throw a few questions your way, to see if you can help me figure them out properly. I know most of this might be quite obvious, and might even have been asked before. I've done a couple quick searched at the board and didn't find these particular questions, nor am I fully sure what the right answers are, so here they are anyway. I'll use "sihr" as the summoning art for all the questions and examples below, just to cut it short.
First off, my main concern is regarding invocation of spirits to fuel the sahir's formulaic naranjs.
As far as I understand it, a sahir needs a spirit to be bound for him to be able to cast formulaics, which he does through sihr. So far, so good. But then I saw there are basically four ways for a sahir to have a handy spirit, and it's kinda confusing me:
Through direct sihr summoning[/]
Casting a summoning naranj[/]
Casting the seasonal summoning called "Seeking and scouring"[/]
Using one of his khuddam[/]
Now I understand the seasonal summoning khuddam thingie just builds some benefits that he gets when he summons those spirits through other means and/or uses them for his naranjs, so that one's out of the way already. My confusion lies mainly with the differences between direct sihr summoning, summoning naranj and seeking and scouring. I'll thus pose two main questions regarding those (barring that I've misunderstood any of the above; if so, please let me know).
First off, I realize why there's a summoning naranj and a direct sihr summoning distinction, since the naranj has some benefits to reward you for your troubles learning it. But one of those benefits puzzles me: it says that it does not cost vis. But, as far as I understand it, the summoning naranj still requires that you bargain with the spirit after summoning it, which means that you forfeit the vis cost, but also can't use a generous vis gift to lower your bargaining easy factor. Is that correct, or am I reading somethign wrong? Because, even though I admit to not having played it yet, it still seems that this kinda outweights the benefit you get from the summoning naranj as opposed to the normal use of sihr without a naranj...
Secondly, and I admit I might not be correctly understanding it so far, I find it puzzling that the seasonal summoning seeking and scouring does not use sihr (or any other summoning art) at all, but rather solomonic storytelling. And also, it doesn't produce a summoning total, at all. I have the strong feeling I'm missing something completely evident here, in the lines of seeking and scouring still needing a summoning roll after being used or something like that, but the description says that seeking and scouring does summon the spirit for you to bargain with, which kinda leaves you with no summoning strength to use for bargaining, and later on for naranj casting if the bargain is successful.
Can you please lend me a quick hand here? I'm pretty sure there's some small though vital point I'm missing that easily clarifies this, but I've re-read the whole thing a couple of times, and still don't have a clear grasp of the matter.