Living Ghost and Talismans

TMRE presents an option to become a Living Ghost, which follows the rules for immortal magi in the appendix. The rules for learning as immortal magi, however, require that "All these effects [binding an immorta's learning] are bound into the magus's talisman and, like talisman attunements, are only available when the magus is touching the talisman" (TMRE p. 133). A ghost can't touch material things, like its talisman. Hence, I am left to deduce that a living ghost can't learn at all. :frowning:

Several possible solutions I see:

  1. Inscription Upon the Soul allows the magus to turn its spirit into a talisman, hence solving the problem. Great, except I'd like other options please.

  2. It is possible to interpret "touching the talisman" as 'the talisman is impinging on the ghost's incorporeal body', so when you hover around your talisman you retain your learning.
    I don't really like this solution.

  3. It is possible to interpret "touching the talisman" as applying to possessed bodies touching the talisman as well. Now, this is far more interesting, and an option I can see pursuing. But it's still rather limited, it leaves the "living ghost" being able to rely on post-death learning only when possessing a body. Not very ghostly of her.

  4. It is possible to allow the living ghost to transform its talisman into an incorporeal substance (perhaps with a Muto Terram or Herbam effect with a Mentem or Auram requsite?), and then allow it to touch and wield the insubstantial talisman.

  5. It is possible to allow the living ghost to wield the talisman, much like a ghost soldier might still wield a very substantial sword.

  6. It is possible to change the rule, to decide that the maga is considered "touching" the talisman as long as it is within her Haunt. I do like this option, it makes the living ghost very similar to a lich in D&D. But it makes the living ghost a tad more powerful.

(Edit: This option is also supported by the text "If he used Inscription on the Soul ... he may continue to enchant the spirit directly. Otherwise he must protect and care for the physcial talisman, and hide it carefully within the Haunt.", which seems to be hinting at this direction.)

Any thoughts on this issue?


First of all, although it's not the kind of answer you expect, I'd remark that any mage is a damned fool that does not initiate Spirit Familiar (if he plans to have a familiar at all) and Inscription Upon the Soul BEFORE going the Living Ghost way (or becoming a Daimon, for that matter). It's simple common sense and good planning, as the otherwise drawbacks are just too burdensome, and there's a reason mysteries typically teach these Virtues together. Just the same way that any would-be Living Ghost Mage is quite stupid that does enchant any Haunt limit different from Boundary.

Nonetheless, I'd rule that option #6 works inside the Haunt, or if you want to be really strict, #2 (Living Ghosts are well advised to develop some Re An/He/Te spells to deal with lab equipment anyway). But IMO #6 might well be within the spirit of the rules. Of, course, outside of the Haunt, #3 rules, since then the possessed body is the LG, under pretty much any important aspect.

The maga I'm considering isn't a member of a cult, she's gonna discover the mystery as an Hermetic Breakthrough. Hence, the lack of Inscription Upon the Soul. More importantly, I think having a material talisman around for people to threaten, steal, or destroy is very good.

And yes, #6 inside the Haunt and #3 outside it works very well indeed. Has a very nice flavor to it.

sorry for the delay and forcing Yair to use the Beklist - been elsewhere...

indeed it does.

it's one I allow.

It matches the ghost's ability to manipulate items and perform lab work if it can move items by magic.

that works too, but was not intended to be a requirement.

Yes, a fine solution - a MuTe(Me) (+other requisites if needed) would make the Talisman incorporeal like the ghost.
Similar effects allow ghostliness in other items.

that is also fine.
A "normal ghost" can still affect certain items to which it has a very close link (like the ghost of a warrior and its sword from life)

yes... rather too powerful

it does look like we edited 2 bits of text at two different times!

Well, this post is a bit old now, but i may as well throw in my 2 cents.
In a perfect world, i'd try to get Inscription on the Soul, and an appropraite major focus, like the example in the book. Then i'd make a huge haunt, and I mean HUGE. Boundary +8 should be enough (550-600 miles). Of course, thats the munchkin in me coming out.
Failing that, any mage who tries this is probably quite old, and probably quite powerful. So he could make a very powerful talisman. He may be incorporeal, but his talisman is still very real. It could be enchanted to read the mages mind, using the arcane connection. After that, add other powers, using the mind reading as a trigger. The talisman doesn't have to be a weak link, it could be the mages best way to interact with the real world.