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To Possess a Possessor: the self-made fomor

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  • To Possess a Possessor: the self-made fomor

    Possessed: a Player's Guide, at pg 26, describes quite well the process of resisting - or attempt resisting - the possession from a Bane spirit. Basically it's a contest of Willpower which ends, if the mortal is successful, with the spirit expelled from his host. By changing those behiavours that led to possession, the host has better chances to win.
    Better case scenario, a competent exorcist can not only force away the spirit but also forbid it from attempting further possession of the same target.

    To the other extreme, there are volunteers for possession ( pg 29 ) who may even fully understand what they are doing, but they are described more like wyrm cultist and thrall servant than empowered half-demons. Basically, they offer no resistence to possession or even deliberately invite it with behiavour and/or esoteric measures. Some even revel passionately in their new existence ( pg 32 )

    But could an iron willed and knowdlegeable attempt to control the spirit, rather than expel it?

    For example, an ambitious, prideful and narcissistic hedge wizard summon a minor bane and let it try to possess him.

    Instead of renounce his darker impulses, he recognizes them and impose his rational mind upon them.
    Instead of expelling the spirit, he tries to tame, to submit it to his will.
    Instead of using occult knowledge to exorcize the spirit, he imprison it inside his soul.


    Source of inspiration: Devilman ( the 1987 animated film ).

  • #2
    I'd say it is hard. Not impossible, but really unlikely. And someone already given to the impulses that feed the spirit would have a harder time than easier.


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    • #3
      An exemplar of virtue would not even consider the idea. Even if he did, the bane would find no nourishment and die.
      The point is to feed the spirit ( a very minor bane spirit, similar to those little semi-sentient that Pentex manifacture inside beers or pills ) enough to nurture it but keeping control over it.

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      • #4
        The problem is precisely keeping control. If you already do what the spirit wants, where you can really draw the line between you and the spirit? Balancing between giving to it and keeping one's will from becoming the will of the spirit may be interesting. Getting power out of doing what you would do anyway is just cheap.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          The problem is precisely keeping control. If you already do what the spirit wants, where you can really draw the line between you and the spirit?
          My idea was actively absorbing the spirit inside mind and soul rather than passively allow it to merge. Ideally, the occultist and the spirit truly becomes one, since the spirit we are talking about is an extremely weak and simple spirit, one of those who can be contained in a single beer can or pill, one of those who - alone - would never turn a person to a fomor.
          The occultist deliberately nurtures that little spirit inside him, feeds it precisely what he wants in order to shape it ( cold, rational ambition and egotism, untainted by petty jealousy, pointless wrath, self-loathing or delusional grandeur ) but at the same time keeps it imprisoned in a cage of self-control.

          To use a metaphor, if selfishness is a blade, the more a person is selfish, egotistical and self-centered ( lower Humanity ) the sharper is the blade, and the more dangerous that person is. Both for himself and for others. ( on the other extreme, a very high Humanity person risks to be defenseless )
          To handle the raw power of those impulses is akin to a strong hand and a sturdy handle ( Willpower ) to counter the raw weight of the sword..
          To move the sword with precision requires a finely balanced pommel ( Self-Control ).

          And since the sword is supernatural in its nature ( fomor power ), to wyeld it with minimum risk for the user and maximum effectiveness requires proper technique ( dots in Occult, and mabye other tangent secondary skills like Meditation, Hypnosis, Dreaming, Knowledge - Vice ecc. ).

          It could be argued that Merits like Iron Willed or Patience are akin to adding a guard to the sword, that prevents you from slipping and cutting yourself.

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          • #6
            I understand and I'm not saying that this occultist should be the opposite to the spirit in any way.

            What I'm saying is that control over the process can't be just a trait in the sheet, but a demonstrable behavior. All the aspects you cited as ways to handle this power are by themselves about control, and control is the opposite to indulgence. Even indulging in a controlled manner means indulging while defining limits to this. If you're absolutely selfish, then you don't control selfishness, it controls you. If you're not absolutely selfish, but can't say precisely when you're being selfish or why, then you lack control.

            To exert control over your vices you must have some will outside them, and them the ability to limit your vice in name of this will. Otherwise it is just big talk.

            On another note, I'm also saying that you must have a narrative conflict, accomplishing this must be a challenge to the character. If it feels cheap, it isn't interesting as a story element.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
              To exert control over your vices you must have some will outside them
              Self-preservation. Survival. Pain avoidance also, on a lesser degree.
              I wasn't thinking about "using corrupted power for the greater good". I always found that self delusional and somewhat self righteous too.

              The point isn't that the character doesn't want to be selfish, he doesn't want to be stupidly selfish. He does not want to self destruct, to go insane, to twist his body to the point of non functionality, to lose free will. Overall, he doesn't want to die.

              The control I was talking is not to be selfish only sometimes, is to be selfish in a non-suicidal way. The control to indulge in Vices only when it prestents low-to-manageable risk.

              To burden others with tasks you could do yourself is ok... unless they can call on a syndacate or get you by other means ( Sloth ).
              To take pleasure - physical or psychological - in abusive ways is ok... but not if you get jailed or killed by relatives, protectors or law enforcers ( Lust ).
              To hoard and enjoy luxuries and resources at cost of other's famine is ok... but not to the point of destroying a reliable source of income ( Gluttony ).
              To get what you want through imposition and might-makes-right is ok... but keeping in mind who is still stronger than you ( Wrath ).
              To reduce others to misery in order to get more money, resources and knowledge is ok... as long those people can't harm you in retaliation ( Greed ).
              To want what others have is ok, to make enemies too dangerous for little gain is not. ( Envy )
              To put yourself first is ok, to delude yourself into forgetting your limits is suicide. ( Pride )

              So, yes, 100% absolutely selfish, the control is exerted on how and when express this selfishness.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                I wasn't thinking about "using corrupted power for the greater good".
                Me neither. I keep my answer to your question.
                But could an iron willed and knowdlegeable attempt to control the spirit, rather than expel it?
                If they have a goal beyond the will of the spirit? Yes.

                Survival is enough? Maybe. But it must be clearly outside the spirit's influence.

                Will that be an interesting character/game element? Only if there is conflict.

                As a rule of thumb the more the character give in, the easiest it is to derive power from the spirit, but the more the character denies the spirit, the more the character controls it.

                Giving explanations on why this character doesn't need to do so won't change my opinion. In-character I think either the spirit would become too strong/influential for the character to control, or this character would be so indistinguishable from a fomor as to render the question moot. If your asshole have the powers of a fomor, acts like a fomor, for the reasons of a fomor, whats the point anyway? Out-of-character it makes for a concept with limited interesting uses, if any.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                  In-character I think either the spirit would become too strong/influential for the character to control, or this character would be so indistinguishable from a fomor as to render the question moot.
                  One thing is to be yourself although changed by a spirit who gets absorbed in your personality and soul. Another thing his having that spirit slowly - or not so slowly - devour your mind and soul. First case, you are still fundamentally yourself. Second case, the "you" dies before your body dies.

                  About dying, the common fomori is able to survive his host's death.
                  This one wants to imprison / absorb / tie so tighly his soul with the spirit that they become truly one or - at the very least - the spirit cannot survive his host's death anymore ( and therefore, I guess, becomes a little more cautious ).

                  The common fomor is described as "seeing everything through the spirit eyes". Like he's "inside something", prisoner of the Bane.
                  That would be fomor wants to reverse the roles: his soul and mind envelope, imprison the spirit. So it's the spirit who must try to exert an influence through his host's eyes and thoughts.


                  --

                  Or, to quote again Devilman is the difference from Akira Fudo conquering Amon and Ryo's father, who gets possessed, tries to kill his son and his able to regain control only long enough to kill himself.


                  Out-of-character it makes for a concept with limited interesting uses, if any.
                  Well, it's a cold hearted villain. Not necessarily much more heinous than most vampires.
                  Last edited by Solomon Draak; 09-15-2021, 10:40 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Again, explaining the character doesn't answer the main questions:

                    1- What makes this character distinct from a fomor?

                    2- What makes this character interesting as a concept?

                    In Devilman Akira Fudo have goals beyond those of the demon. No matter how much he may be like the demon, he exerts control with the intent of going against the demon's original goals.

                    Just being a more self-conscious fomor also is something that already exists in the game. Not all fomors are equal and not all of them lose their identities.

                    But just to make it clear, I'm not saying and never said that the character must be good, positive, likeable or anything. I didn't said you don't have answers to those questions, just that I didn't see them yet.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      1- What makes this character distinct from a fomor?

                      2- What makes this character interesting as a concept?
                      I'll try to answer as clearly as I can. I'll start with question 2.
                      Personally, I am deeply fascinated with the concept of "mastering the inner demon" and "stealing power from the supernatural". I found even more interesting and inspiring the idea of self-determination, to shape the self and exceed human limitations and weaknesses. For example, the idea of an independent ghoul that is not born from accident or circumstances, but actuallly hunted and captured a vampire, forced the monster to give him the powers of a Ghoul and managed to circumvent or overcome the blood bond.
                      The idea of a transformation into supernatural that is fully planned, where nothing is left to chance.


                      About question 1, the main difference would be that it would not be a conflicted creature that constantly struggle for control. The bane spirit has already been fought, defeated and absorbed ( "tamed" ). It wouldn't be a being that perceive the world as "filtered" through something ( I'm using the same terms of the book Guide to Possessed and Freak Legion ). It would be a whole thing, it would be fundamentally the same person as before although surely changed.

                      ---

                      Mechanically speaking, it would be a fomor who has no Autonomy score, needs not to roll contested Willpower to spend Willpower points and can pay for powers by choosing Taints ( and actually can only do that since he can't pay with Autonomy ). In-charcter, the occultist shapes his body in order to make it able to wyeld wyrm powers instead of being arbitrarily ravaged out of spite from a spirit.
                      Also, the bane could not be exorcized since he's not technically possessed - a single being instead of an host and a spirit - and the Bane would not survive the occultist death.


                      -

                      Mabye I'm the only one who's intersted in this concept.
                      But usually I play alone.

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                      • #12
                        Nope, this idea is so common it actually do have a proper name, it's Transhumanism. Quite an elaborate topic. As I said, I just wasn't seeing the answers, now you fully gave them. There are several characters like that in the setting, some are unfortunately joke characters, but the core idea is pretty solid.


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                        • #13
                          I kinda like it. Could be similar to a Ferectoi (in drive and personality if not in origin).

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                          • #14
                            You might not need to use the Possessed rules even if your character is possessed by something. If the character is intended to not inevitably burn out and succumb to a terrible fate, in fact, you probably shouldn't, because that's the intended end result of a Possessed character with Autonomy.

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