Is the Banishing skill effective against Insect Spirits?

Street Grimoire p196 provides an answer for Hybrid Form:

The spirit is under no obligation to return to its native metaplane if its services are banished away, and it may persist indefinitely as an uncontrolled spirit.

I think it's the same for Flesh Forms. How do you handle True Form spirits, or spirit invoked by an Insect Shaman?


1 Answer 1


Yes, but you have to kill the host first

Well, killing is the simplest option other than Exorcism (Street Grimoire, p. 148), but even that might not work, and I don't recall any other method to separate the insect from their host, so killing the host is often recommended. Once the insect is back on their spirit form, they can be banished normally.

But don't worry, hosts are considered to be long gone once an insect spirit takes over.

Regardless of the final form, the person that serves as the host for such a process is utterly destroyed in the entirely unpleasant ordeal.

Hive Queens are a little tougher to banish, because they are considered Free Spirits and also have the Banishing Resistance power (Street Grimoire, p.194):

When resisting a Banishing attempt (p. 301, SR5), treat the spirit as if it owes a number of services equal to its Edge; these refresh every sunrise and sunset and are cumulative with any services the spirit may actually owe a conjurer.

The fact that queens are harder to banish means that they can be banished.

Once the insect is removed from the host, they suffer Evanescence, which reduces their actual Force by 1 per sunrise/sunset, until they disappear completely. This means that the insect will try to obtain another host as fast as possible, and while they are in spirit form, they can be banished/destroyed like any other spirit.

Spirits can suffer Disruption

Spirits aren't easy to kill, regardless of type. But all spirits can suffer Disruption, which happens when they take enough damage to fill either of their condition monitors. For spirits that inhabit a vessel, they have another condition:

Spirits possessing vessels are only disrupted if the vessel’s Condition Monitor suffers a lethal amount of overflow damage (see Exceeding the Condition Monitor, p. 170. SR5). A disrupted spirit cannot appear outside its metaplane for a period of 28 days minus its Force, with a minimum time of 24 hours.

This means that you have to deal enough damage to fill their Physical condition monitor and an additional amount of damage equal to their Body score, before they have the chance to escape the host.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But Banishing reduce the number of services. How many services a Spirit Insect have ? Should I roll the dice for each spirit invoke by the the Shaman/By the Hive Queen. Seems pretty overkill, no ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Varkal
    Jan 23, 2018 at 9:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Insect spirits, when not summoned by a queen, do have services. When summoned by a queen, they might have services or not, depends if the shaman is using that insect spirit for something or it is free roaming under the queen's commands. Either way, killing the spirit should banish it. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 23, 2018 at 10:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Now, if there are 10 bug spirits, you are going to have a lot of banishing to do. But I will advise you that a Full-Auto machinegun is probably the best option. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 23, 2018 at 10:27

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