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Welcome to the Official Talengarde FAQ! Although I wouldn't really say I get questions about Talengarde all that frequently. But I do get some good questions from time to time, and I resolve to answer them here and now. Feel free to contact me if you have any question about Talengarde that you would like answered.
I received a letter from Alexander Corzo, by way of Chris O'Hare, in which several questions were asked. In response I prepared and emailed this Talengarde FAQ (finally answered questions) in February 2000:
> 1. The most confusing rule to me is the Avatar....If your character is pious he has an avatar that he worships, ok easy enough, but then it says "...uses this being's spirit base stat as if it was their own." Is this always in effect or only when the Avatar is summoned...
A pious being will receive this bonus for as long as the Avatar exists, whether it is summoned or not. However, if the Avatar is killed in combat, the pious being is out of luck (that's what you get if you let your patron deity expire).
Let the godless being petition for the favor of a new randomly drawn Avatar at The Temple. The worshiper's petition will be accepted if the worshiper wins a Willpower check against the Avatar. (by the way, I just now made up this pious petition rule)
> 2. When the Avatar is summoned is it a separate entity or does it take the characters place in combat. In other words is the Avatar fighting with me or for me ???
When a being summons an Avatar, if the summoner passes the willpower check, the Avatar will join the party as a separate being under the summoner's control. If a pious being is summoning his/her/its patron deity, then no willpower check is required to achieve control.
Any one being may control no more than one other being at any point in time. If a being gains control of another being, any beings that the controller previously controlled are dismissed. However, your Avatar may in turn summon another being which it controls. In this fashion, you may build a hierarchy of controlled beings (but if any being in the chain of command is lost, all subordinate beings are dismissed). Remember that controlled beings, like mounts, don't count towards a Hero's 3 companions limit.
> 3. I assume summoning the Avatar is like casting a conjuring spell so counts as your action during the combat phase...So I can't attack the round the Avatar is summoned but how about the next round....How long does the Avatar stick around...a random number of rounds or when you dismiss it???
Summoning a being constitutes an action on the spell caster's part, but once the being is controlled, no other actions are required to maintain that control. The summoned being is granted an action immediately upon completion of a successful willpower check (to ensure viability of combat summoning).