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Inspirations for Idigam and Spirits

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  • Inspirations for Idigam and Spirits

    So I recently finished reading the manga Uzumaki by Ito Junji and was struck by how the phenomenon in the manga could be viewed as a powerful spirit exerting its influence upon an area in the physical world. Without giving away too much, the manga is about a Japanese seaside town that becomes cursed by the supernatural influence of spirals, and slowly the town spirals (pun intended) into madness and cosmic horror. The story is pretty batshit crazy and suffers from a couple of cliche horror troupes, but the artwork is pretty amazing and it does have a disturbing, Lovecraftian feel to it.

    But what struck me was how the supernatural influence affected the town and the characters, and I realized it was a pretty accurate portrayal of how spirits in general apply influences or possess unwary humans. I felt like the Spiral(s) in the story were a Coalesced Idigam that began to warp the town and even reality itself into its conceptual image, that of the spiral shape. It definitely gave me a good idea as to what it would look like from the flesh-side if an invisible spirit or spirits started wreaking havoc, causing supernatural anomalies and warping the physical world so as to produce the right kind of essence.

    If anyone wants to read the story, here a link for the online English version:

    What are some other inspirations people have found concerning spirits and the Idigam?

  • #2
    I've found a lot of the work of Bentley Little is representative of spirits or occasionally idigam. He's a pretty formulaic writer, but the books are full of these little side events that really amp up the creepy vibe. A couple good examples are the Store and the Policy. The Store is about a big box store that opens up in town and begins to dominate the souls and minds of everyone there so that they become sort of weirdly addicted to the place. The Policy is about an insurance company that sort of threatens you into needing insurance, then forces you to use it, then pays up in the strangest ways. It's the kind of weirdly malevolent thought processes you would get from a spirit of an insurance company that somehow tapped into a place of power. In case it wasn't obvious from my description the books are basically about normal annoyances taken to mystical extremes.

    Laird Barron has a lot of it in his work, mostly in his anthologies. Many comic book villains could easily represent some sort of ridden or claimed. The Wildstorm universe had characters who were the 'spirits' of things, like Rose Tattoo, the spirit of Murder, and Jenny Quantum, spirit of the 21st century, they could be considered claimed or ridden by or mortals patroned by such spirits. Nicole Cushing's Children of No One and, to a different extent, Mr. Suicide, basically depict something like Sag'suga Isim from the second edition core. A growing entity of oblivion.

    I wanted to make this more comprehensive but I'm distracted right now.

    The Suffering games, a pair of them, had what were basically spirits taken control of by a mad shaman and necromancer and evil organization.

    Obviously other games that depict representations of these things could fit, too, like the obvious go-to of Silent Hill.

    These were mainliners, for instance, spirits of death via drug addiction and lethal injection.
    Last edited by nofather; 01-12-2017, 12:10 AM.


    • #3
      For the Idigam I would probably use Lovecraftian features and themes as its hard to break the Mythos' mastery of unspeakable horrors. In regards to normal spirits I find that I have a little more problem with sources of inspiration.


      • #4
        A good place for me to look up for inspiration are myths and legends, you can find a lot of weird and ingenious concepts there.


        • #5
          I like to think that myths and legends may have been influenced by the idagms originally, so I sometimes like to use those as templates.

          Recently, I had an idagm land in the Denver mall, completely wrecking the place, and immediately forming into The Salesman. Being an Idagm and not a low level basic spirit, he has to abide by any deals he makes. He becomes vulnerable whenever he breaks a deal. The twist is that I know that my players will try to come up with a three mile long dissertation trying to make a foolproof deal. That doesn't fly with The Salesman in this form. The last person who tried that (Maxwell) got his soul ripped out of him.

          if you look into classic fairy tales or old stories of a variety of cultures, there is some pretty out-there stuff. You just need to wade past the watered-down tv/comic book friendly versions we have now. A lot of my way of thinking of these beings has been influenced by parts of Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series. There are a lot of characters there who simply don't run on human logic and that makes them all the better as examples in this case.