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Justifying monsters in the new setting

monsters souls gods setting world

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18 replies to this topic

#1
Justinian

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I've been thinking about the kinds of creatures and monsters which might inhabit the world of Project Eternity while adhering to the themes and the nature of the world. Here's a few main "types" I've come up with:

1. Soul-Swapped
These are wildlife or people that have accidentally been assigned or possessed by other souls. Perhaps a person's soul was accidentally transfered to an animal, and both the physical animal and soul within become changed and twisted over time. This should allow an interesting menagerie of were-creatures - some good, some aggressive, while still adhering to the "natural" order in which the world works.

2. Corrupted
Creatures or people who have had malevolent souls forced into them by necromancy or dark magic. There will be distinctive physical manifestations in many instances which would create an interesting assortment of twisted monsters. Evil mages may use these possessed creatures for protection or weapons.

3. Disembodied Souls
These disembodied souls fail to complete the great cycle or have lost the ability to atune to living creatures, and thus become trapped in the physical realm for eons. They become either extremely wise as they observe the passage of time over many cycles, or become bitter and weary, as they are never allowed to die and be reborn. They often grow jealous of mortal beings, and this twists them into malevolent spirits. They either possess the area they were forcefully disembodied, or may wander aimlessly. Sometimes, they construct false bodies for themselves as a substitute for a real body. They can "possess" and animate a wide range of inanimate objects or forms - sometimes cobbled together haphazardly, sometimes fashioned meticulously over eons. To get even closer to their ultimate desire of inhabiting a living body, they often possess the dead. In combat, they can sometimes leave their physical form and attempt to wrestle with the souls of party members. Those with lesser powers may incapacitate the party member temporarily as they struggle, or sometimes very powerful souls may possess the party member and turn them against their friends temporarily. Only magic is capable of harming or destroying these souls.

4. The Godforged and the Abandoned.
These entities are the results of attempt at creation by the gods. They either were forged to coexist with their makers in the god realm, or are abandoned creations which were never "born" into the physical realm. They are forged using soul energy, but do not possess souls as those on the physical realm do. These entities often reflect the nature of the god they are created by, and may be beautiful majestic creations or vile, ugly monstrosities. Because of their godly nature, they are rarely seen in the physical realm, but there exist certain phenomena which can open rifts between the two realms...

What do you guys think? Are these ideas still too "conventional fantasy"? I suppose I've simply "justified" some conventional ideas for creatures/monsters by linking them with the idea of souls. Should Obsidian go for something more unique? How do you justify fantastical creatures in a fairly low fantasy and realistic setting? What are some of your ideas? It's definitely fun making this stuff up!

Edited by Justinian, 19 October 2012 - 11:04 PM.

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#2
UncleBourbon

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I like all of these suggestions. Also, I'd like to see the soulless - animated by some force, perhaps greater or older than human, or just a human subsisting due to some incredible drive. Some manner of soul hunter would be cool too; but it would probably fall into the category of simply bad people, as I imagine it would be some manner of cipher/wizard or potentially a priest that has found ways to siphon or steal souls, perhaps only for the recently dead, to nefarious ends.
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#3
RaccoonTOF

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I like the soul-swapped idea, and think that it can be done in a creative and unique manner without just being a "justification for werecreatures". The others are good
"justifications" for fairly common ideas, but I don't see anything wrong with that either as long as they are consistent.

I'd also like to see a variety of "monsters" and "critters" that are unique to the setting and consistent with the geography/climate/evolution, are drastically different from anything we are familiar with in mundane forms, and yet are no more magical than your typical real life deer or house cat. Unique, but within the world itself nothing "special".

#4
.Leif.

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I love the troupes of Necromancy but I hope 'corruption' isn't nearly as much of a catch-all as it can be seen in the Dragon-Age series. I have a feeling necromancy is going to play a large role given the amount of writing that has been dedicated to it thus far, which makes me happy. My last BG 2 play-through was with a Necromancer named Thoth (I'm hella creative) Plague, social unrest, despair and hate can all motivate people to do vile things. When you brought up 'godforged' I couldn't help but recall Ebberon's 'Warforged', which I like. I could imagine the great sleeper of Ryleh leaving behind his Star-spawn to guard the city. I'm luke-warm on the soul-swapping idea but it could end up well implemented. I'm thinking of that coming akin to the Kalashtar.

I think one category you're missing is the beasts of the wild. Orcs, goblins, Trolls, ogres, ratlings, werewolves, weresharks. The deep woods is likely to be teeming with natural horrors.

#5
Justinian

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I think one category you're missing is the beasts of the wild. Orcs, goblins, Trolls, ogres, ratlings, werewolves, weresharks. The deep woods is likely to be teeming with natural horrors.


Yep, I left out those natural beasties and focused more on rarer "monsters" that might have some significance tied to the setting. Obsidian have chosen a very interesting theme of souls and I thought it was fun to come up with different potential ways the world brought about monsters.

I'd love to see some of the usual staples you'd expect, but I'm more excited about the more unique monsters that might arise from this new setting. Since Obsidian is including familiar races like elves and dwarves, I'm pretty sure they're also going to include a good number of familiar monsters.

#6
Meshugger

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I like all of them.

#7
MantisDreaming

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Gates leading to other "places" beyond the fringes of our perceptual limits can always blink into existence before us and threaten to spill out the unknowns within.

Back on the topic, yes I like monsters and there should be plenty of monstas and explanations as to why and how said monstas came to be. :alienani:
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#8
Justinian

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Yea, rifts are pretty cliche, but I like the idea of a world having indigenous monsters that are either lesser races or part of the ecosystem, and more fantastical creatures that are alien in some way.

Also, I always found it a bit silly in RPGs that you would wander outside any regular town and there would be tons of vicious monsters or magical creatures who are immediately hostile to your party. I would like to think if a regular wilderness was that dangerous, that it would be because of something plot related or unusual.

Edited by Justinian, 21 October 2012 - 12:54 AM.


#9
Rabain

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In Elizabeth Moons Paksenarrion books they had a Snow Cat, (like a huge white tiger type of thing) that had the ability to trap the souls of those it killed (and I guess ate) inside itself. It could use its powers to entrance other creatures who looked it in the eyes, making them easy prey.

"The snowcat is a magical beast, like the dragon and the eryx. It lives on both sides of the world, and feeds on both sides. For meat it eats wild sheep, or horses, or men. For delight it eats souls, particularly elven and human, though I understand it takes dwarven souls often enough that the dwarves fear it.*

Be interesting to see various soul based as well as soulless creatures in PE.

#10
Gyor

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Don't forget that some souls are fractured which could twist a creature into a monster in some cases.

Some exotic animals could instinctively tap thier souls for powers. Like a Wyven instinctively taps thier souls to breath fire, not conciously like a wizard.

#11
Tigranes

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I like them all, I think they're really good ideas. (1) could yield us a nice little easter egg reference to Melicamp.

#12
Forlorn Hope

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Excellent ideas. However, I think Josh Sawyer (?) mentioned that they don't want to make enemies immune to some specific forms of damage e.g normal wepons. A melee based party or someone soloing PE with a fighter would be in serious trouble against disembodied souls. :blink:

#13
wanderon

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Some rabid racoons, poisonous porcupines, wicked weasels, distressing deer-flys, deathlicking dung beetles, pestilent penguins, malignant mugworts, baneful beavers, murderous mallards, and.....

a host of hazardous horticulture including salivating sentient sasafras, ferocious ferns, carnivorous cactus, menacing mushrooms, perilous palms, baleful bananas, noxious nasteriums, and the ever popular pustule popping piercing pines...

Thats why there's a ranger and druid class... :banana:

#14
Orogun01

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I would really like to see some kind of soul gestalt type of vicious cycles where the collective experiences of souls in a specific area affect the surrounds as they reincarnate. For example a thieves town would have more dangerous monsters than other areas as the souls of thieves corrupted the fauna when they reincarnated.

#15
Zoma

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1.'s concept sounds similar to Type-moon's world concept of "Origin". Its fascinating despite people's dislike for Japanese anime. Just this concept alone makes the lore of "The Garden of Sinners" so intriguing.

http://typemoon.wiki...agecraft#Origin

If the souls are capable of giving birth of new ones in the cycle, bringing a concept of "death", meaning there must be a way a soul can be destroyed brings in a natural order of the universe will be very interesting. Thus we can introduce creatures in the world whose natural order are simply to devour souls.
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#16
Gyor

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Don't forget that some souls are fractured which could twist a creature into a monster in some cases.

Some exotic animals could instinctively tap thier souls for powers. Like a Wyven instinctively taps thier souls to breath fire, not conciously like a wizard.
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#17
temporalTemptation

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I was actually thinking about this earlier, though more in the sense of "monsters being used to explore the duality of body and soul" kind of way. Specifically, I was thinking of beings with bodies but no souls and beings with souls but no bodies.

For the former, the undead were an obvious choice, animals being a less obvious choice (depends if they decide that only humanoids have souls or not). Another idea I had was the idea of a meat puppet, a homunculus, an artificial human. Created by magic to be a brand new humanoid creature, the mages who forged them couldn't find a way to give them a soul. So they were left with creatures with minds and bodies, but no core, no transcendental part of them. How they behaved as a result would be very interesting. Also, the idea of people who had their souls taken from them (if that was even possible) could fall into this category.

For the latter, the obvious answer was incorporeal undead, such as ghosts and wraiths. But other spirits such as angels, demons, djinn and fey stand out. Souls that had been pulled out of the cycle and stuck in the material world; these creatures wrapped magical bodies around themselves, creating shells in which to hold their essence. To destroy the shell would be to remove that which anchored the soul and would, therefore, force it to be reincorporated into the cycle of souls. As well as that, the idea of astral projection, deliberately separating your consciousness and soul from your body, seems interesting.

Basically, it's less about justifying monsters, and more about exploring certain tenets of the world via monsters.
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#18
Justinian

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On second thought, I like the idea of some animals tapping into their souls to perform fantastical feats. It would need to be rare though, and limited to the most intelligent or powerful of beasts.

Nevertheless, I think true "monster" status should be reserved for creatures which have had their souls corrupted in some way, and perhaps these toxic souls propagate like a cancer through local populations? It would be cool if the concept of impure souls could be incorporated into the ecology of the world somehow.

#19
JFSOCC

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two souls competing for the same body would also be interesting.





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