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  • #31
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post

    Hey, Deinos, quick question: what do you suppose "anchors the ghost's identity" means?
    All sorts of stuff, which doesn't include any assumption that its something the ghost wants or needs to rid itself of.
    We've been over this. The condition clearly states that *some* ghosts are tethered to anchors that represent unfinished business. I have no idea how you could read that condition as *all* sharing your preferred characterization.
    You also cited a bunch of stuff about anchors that are important to a ghost without portraying them as things the ghost needs or wants to divest itself of. In general, your attempts to corrall all ghosts into one small characterization package would be a missed opportunity as far as portraying ghosts as mattering as people goes.

    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I can help you deal with interpretations of the text. I can learn and change my point of view based on your interpretations of the text. What I cannot do is change the text, and three times over the text is you are a god damned ghost, and I cannot help you if for some reason you don't want to read the text as it's written.

    EDIT: Like, understand that I can be wrong, but I can't afford to be wrong when it's my job.
    If you could change the text, I'm sure you'd put it somewhere that sin eaters are ghosts, since three times over you've

    "Read a development post" is not very "literally open in the fluff and mechanics." I'm aware that sin eaters are inspired by tropes and such pertaining to ghosts, and are ghosts in the vague, metaphorical, not true in a fluff or mechanics way that ghosts are souls and spirits.

    You can choose to read "metaphysically dead" as "a ghost." That is one hell of a stretch to me. I would expect a lot of things to be metaphysically dead.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Deinos View Post
      We've been over this. The condition clearly states that *some* ghosts are tethered to anchors that represent unfinished business. I have no idea how you could read that condition as *all* sharing your preferred characterization.
      My "preferred characterization" is that ghosts care about the stuff that made certain things their Anchors and "you can get rid of the Anchor Condition by destroying its subject" doesn't make the crux of Sin-Eating a minority focus of stories dealing with earthbound specters.

      It's completely absurd to claim that the use of particular rather than general language in describing how ghosts are attached to unfinished business means that ghosts, particularly ghosts as they are encountered in Geist, don't have anything to do with the people they exist in direct reference to the vast majority of the time.

      I can tell you a piece of fiction where the metaphysics of ghosts in general have nothing to do with the life they exist after, but the Chronicles of Darkness are not such a piece of fiction.

      You also cited a bunch of stuff about anchors that are important to a ghost without portraying them as things the ghost needs or wants to divest itself of. In general, your attempts to corrall all ghosts into one small characterization package would be a missed opportunity as far as portraying ghosts as mattering as people goes.
      The things I cited run as follows:

      1. Anchors are things that mattered to the life and death of the person from whom a ghost's identity is derived.
      2. These things can lose the qualities that tie a ghost to them either voluntarily or through entropy.
      3. Losing Anchors through entropy eventually dumps a ghost into a place that tries to eat them on a daily basis, which offers very limited means of escape besides drinking acid and horribly scarring themselves (which generally requires a pretty strong motivation and, as Arc points out, brings them more in line with approaching the remnants of their old lives as unfinished business, because every geist has a Remembrance).
      4. Losing Anchors by letting them go voluntarily gives a ghost as much freedom of movement as a geist gets without the need for horrific mutilation and also opens up the chance for the restless dead to finally rest.

      There is nothing for the dead beyond the things that they are fixated upon, the engagement of those with the sight to see them, and the pull of the Underworld. They can't interact with most people without traumatizing them, they can't stray more than a few yards from their Anchors without suffering or letting go of them entirely, the next layer down is a waterlogged scarcity-stricken hell-pit, and the nearest things to safe havens in the Great Below charge an entry fee and only hold the end at bay as long as you adhere to their code of conduct (and only then until they inevitably fall into the Ocean and break apart).

      The kind of person who wants to stick around the Underworld is the kind of person who didn't need the trauma of death to give them a fixation to cling to, or the kind of person who takes suspicious masks presented to them in a place like the Underworld.

      Answer the question properly: What do you think "anchors the ghost's identity" actually means?
      Last edited by Satchel; 11-01-2019, 12:35 AM.


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      • #33
        Ammmmm....

        1) On the subject of "ghosts growing beyond their obsessive state"- it is really not the theme of the book and the natural course of ghosts in CofD. In general, ghosts have two possible fates- moving on, or being eaten by the Underworld. Well, that, and getting drown in the Ocean of Fragments. Sure, they can find ways to get around it- they can sacrifice a measure of their self and become Geists. They can sacrifice their freedom and become Reapers. They can sacrifice their memories and become Absent. And they can hover constantly around their Anchors and demand to be remembered. Three of those options make them less and less human- not actually evolving, as much as forgetting who they are, just in order to survive. The last is, as Arc describes, becoming obsessive individuals who will do anything to escape the Great Bellow. Trading in memories is not a way for ghosts to "grow and evolve". It is a way to sacrifice who you are and everything you have just to get some extra time before the inevitable will happen and you will be eaten by the Underworld. Even the Dead Dominions, where ghosts can find solace as long as they follow the Old Laws, would eventually collapse into the Ocean. The Underworld is the last place a ghost would want to go to, and which would do anything they can in order to escape.

        2) When a ghost is formed, its Anchors are naturally things which the ghost found as important in life. Or else, why would they get attached to those places in the first place? You say "ghosts can have anchors which are not related to their life", something which is literally not support by either the text or by ghost stories in both folklore and fiction in general. After losing Anchors, IIRC, ghosts don't just produce new ones to replace them- which means they have less why to gain Essence, and are more likely to lose their hold over the living world. they have to find a way out as soon as possible- and in the meanwhile, they must make sure that their Anchors are safe, and that they have enough Essence to survive and protect them. Anchors which are produced by magic, be it Awakened, Ceremonial or anything else, is not considered to be a "natural way to get Anchors". Ghost being obsessed over their Anchors is not just a CofD thing, it is a ghost stories thing, and trying to claim otherwise makes little sense since Geist is a game for ghost stories.

        3) Sin Eaters are soulless beings. Ghosts are soulless beings. While the Geist is riding the body, it is not the one to control- you till operate there, without a soul. Something made the Bargain with the Geist, and that something was heavily hinted, if not outright stated, to be the ghost. I mean, everything about Sin Eaters fits the description of a ghost- from their burdens to their detachment from the world of the living, the fact that they can channel the powers of death and, of course, the fact that they died. Something which dead and has no soul, bound to solve their burdens from their previous lives? yeah, I think that is the definition for a ghost in CofD.

        Like, you'll need some very, very creative reading of the text to ignore the obvious intention of the writers and developers about those subjects, IMO.


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        • #34
          In the usually copy-pasted ephemeral entity rules it's quite clear that ghosts are supposed to obsess over their Anchors as unfinished business, but most of that was left out when the section was rewritten for Geist 2e. In fact, iirc, it's even said in GtSE that some Rank 1 ghosts completely unaware of their Anchor while they go along with their usual routine. I.e. the Anchor only anchors the ghost's existence to this world, but it has no emotional value for them.

          As for Bound as ghosts, it's afaik never once outright stated. Ghost stories about obsession after death is 100% a huge part or the themes of the game and the splat, but if they're not confirmed to be ghosts then they simply do not inform the nature of actual ghosts in the setting.
          And yes, I'm fully aware of the dev comment, but if it never made it into the book (as more than a mere suggestion) then it's merely one possible interpretation. Death of the author, and all that.
          But if it is stated in the book and I've just missed it, then feel free to correct me.

          As for being metaphysically dead; so are a lot of things in CofD without being ghosts. Vampires being the most obvious example.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            In general, ghosts have two possible fates- moving on, or being eaten by the Underworld. Well, that, and getting drown in the Ocean of Fragments. Sure, they can find ways to get around it- they can sacrifice a measure of their self and become Geists. They can sacrifice their freedom and become Reapers. They can sacrifice their memories and become Absent. And they can hover constantly around their Anchors and demand to be remembered. Three of those options make them less and less human- not actually evolving, as much as forgetting who they are, just in order to survive. The last is, as Arc describes, becoming obsessive individuals who will do anything to escape the Great Bellow. Trading in memories is not a way for ghosts to "grow and evolve". It is a way to sacrifice who you are and everything you have just to get some extra time before the inevitable will happen and you will be eaten by the Underworld. Even the Dead Dominions, where ghosts can find solace as long as they follow the Old Laws, would eventually collapse into the Ocean. The Underworld is the last place a ghost would want to go to, and which would do anything they can in order to escape.
            Adding to this, there's one more thing that ghosts can do that's arguably even more insidious than becoming a Reaper:

            The Ferrymen are a self-perpetuating manifestation of the Underworld's hunger.

            Not every ghost dissolves entirely in the Ocean, the destruction of a Dominion provides a very definite means of playing the odds, and it's a prominent school of thought that the Ferrymen know who needs to go where to destroy a Dominion and actively pursue this end. (And this without getting into the fact that safe passage outright requires a cost in an environment where scarcity is the order of the day.)


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            • #36
              Originally posted by Deinos View Post
              If you could change the text, I'm sure you'd put it somewhere that sin eaters are ghosts, since three times over you've(Was Something To Be Here?)

              "Read a development post" is not very "literally open in the fluff and mechanics."-
              If I wanted to change the text of Geist, I'd become the developer. I don't want to be a developer for any of the gamelines*. I'd rather play in other people's sandboxes.

              That asides, do you not see line break that imply different ideas(or in this case, different approaches that lead to the same conclusion), or is that a deliberate choice?

              Anyways, everyone has got you, so back to main-job-switching.

              *Okay, there's one I want to do that in. It's not Geist. I don't post enough in Geist for it to be Geist.


              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
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              • #37
                Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                In fact, iirc, it's even said in GtSE that some Rank 1 ghosts completely unaware of their Anchor while they go along with their usual routine. I.e. the Anchor only anchors the ghost's existence to this world, but it has no emotional value for them.
                Nope! There's a substantial difference between "this thing has no emotional value for the ghost" and "this ghost keeps reliving the events of its death or its unresolved desires, unaware of its situation while still moving within the ranges available to it through its Anchors."

                Just because the only significance an Anchor might have to a ghost is tangential to the thing itself doesn't mean the ghost doesn't have Feeling Some Way About Something tied up in the mystical qualities that allow that particular thing to bind them to the land of the living.

                There's Rank 1 ghosts that only exist intermittently because they're anchored to dates and times, and them not consciously recognizing that they're dead doesn't change the fact that there's a thing about those parts of the clock and calendar that are core to their identity as ghosts. Generally speaking, if a ghost doesn't recognize they're dead and that's not just because they're new to the experience, it's because they're consumed with acting on the feelings that formed the Anchor to begin with.

                As for Bound as ghosts, it's afaik never once outright stated.
                Chapter Two's section on the Bargain characterizes the geist's offer as something that comes through in the same space where a ghost would start forming Anchors and same chapter's discussion of the Bound's need for connection outright suggests — alongside "or maybe it's just a psychological reaction to the trauma of death" in a game where it's made abundantly clear that ghosts are people — that that need is a consequence of being a ghost that happens to have flesh. The Oracle's writeup even says "each and every member of the Bound is dead, meaning they have a perfectly serviceable ghost" and goes on to frame the only obstacle to accessing that ghostly knowledge as needing to incur temporary death again.

                You don't need an outright statement of "the Bound are ghosts" to see a very clear implication that the Bound are only not ghosts in the technical sense of having a living body (and in a game where "one of your limbs or sense organs is a ghost" is a Merit otherwise-normal people can have, the psychological hangups form a rather more significant part of the distinction).

                As for being metaphysically dead; so are a lot of things in CofD without being ghosts. Vampires being the most obvious example.
                Most of the other things that are metaphysically dead are undead or animate-unliving beings who are not also conventionally medically alive without directed effort and don't naturally demonstrate powers that are themed after, sourced to, and specifically made to interact with ghosts, who all share a slice of the cosmology with each other because of the way ephemera works.


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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  Chapter Two's section on the Bargain characterizes the geist's offer as something that comes through in the same space where a ghost would start forming Anchors and same chapter's discussion of the Bound's need for connection outright suggests — alongside "or maybe it's just a psychological reaction to the trauma of death" in a game where it's made abundantly clear that ghosts are people — that that need is a consequence of being a ghost that happens to have flesh. The Oracle's writeup even says "each and every member of the Bound is dead, meaning they have a perfectly serviceable ghost" and goes on to frame the only obstacle to accessing that ghostly knowledge as needing to incur temporary death again.

                  You don't need an outright statement of "the Bound are ghosts" to see a very clear implication that the Bound are only not ghosts in the technical sense of having a living body (and in a game where "one of your limbs or sense organs is a ghost" is a Merit otherwise-normal people can have, the psychological hangups form a rather more significant part of the distinction).

                  Most of the other things that are metaphysically dead are undead or animate-unliving beings who are not also conventionally medically alive without directed effort and don't naturally demonstrate powers that are themed after, sourced to, and specifically made to interact with ghosts, who all share a slice of the cosmology with each other because of the way ephemera works.
                  ^This.

                  I may not go as far as William Gibson in assuming readers are geniuses, but I definitely assume they can piece two and two together and don't need hand-holding.

                  I do share Gibson's inclination to whiskey when confronted with the limits of that worldview, though.


                  Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                  The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                  Feminine pronouns, please.

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                  • #39
                    This has really made me wonder what it means for a ghost to have an Anchor forced on them through some kind of magic, like an Arisen's Utterances...

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