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Extremely venerable Claimed

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  • Extremely venerable Claimed

    So, Claimed have a power that increases their lifespan, and the highest rank makes them pretty much immortal. Which made me wonder, what would a Claimed that's been around for a few hundred years be like? I know something like that would be incredibly rare, but that just makes it more interesting. What sort of spirit might be best able to survive that long? What would happen to it, mentally, as a result of spending so long merged with a human? Could the human mind attempt to reassert control? Would they merge into one entity?

    Whatever would happen, it would probably be a really interesting NPC or antagonist. Maybe it shows up as a mysterious figure watching the players, and when they consult tribe records they find out that werewolves have been seeing it for hundreds of years.

  • #2
    Claimed are already one entity, the claiming process submerges the human mind and puts the spirit in complete control of a fleshly body, which then adapts to the new energy inside it. That's why the formerly immortal spirit got something as mundane as a lifespan, though it could always attempt to leave when the body is too old to use anymore. I think that 'limit' may not exist in second edition.

    That said, I can't think of many example Claimed that are particularly old like that. They tend to be noticeable, with their changes, needs and desires, in a way that makes sure they don't live that long. Boleslav, one of the Beast Incarnate, would probably fit as a particularly narrowly focused Claimed of tyranny or something, narrowly focused because it doesn't really have much of the body horror that usually comes with Claimed.

    It would certainly be interesting to see some official 'end game' Claimed.
    Last edited by nofather; 09-02-2016, 03:02 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Geckopirateship View Post
      So, Claimed have a power that increases their lifespan, and the highest rank makes them pretty much immortal. Which made me wonder, what would a Claimed that's been around for a few hundred years be like? I know something like that would be incredibly rare, but that just makes it more interesting. What sort of spirit might be best able to survive that long? What would happen to it, mentally, as a result of spending so long merged with a human? Could the human mind attempt to reassert control? Would they merge into one entity?

      Whatever would happen, it would probably be a really interesting NPC or antagonist. Maybe it shows up as a mysterious figure watching the players, and when they consult tribe records they find out that werewolves have been seeing it for hundreds of years.
      Well, Claiming already merges human and spirit minds. The Claimed individual is pretty much a gestalt (though the spirit half can survive even if the Claimed is killed).

      And yes, they are interesting NPCs.

      One question is how much the Claimed being is warped by the transformation. Does it progress in new directions, or remain the same?


      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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      • #4
        I think I remember a developer mentioning a while ago that Claimed don't have any Attribute caps whatsoever. I imagine one that has lasted for a couple hundred years is pretty much a god. Bonus points if the person has been Claimed by a Royal Avatar of a Rank 6+ Spirit.


        My Homebrew Hub

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        • #5
          In our long-running Vampire game, the boogyman in the background is seven ancient vampires claimed by a single spirit (know as VII). They are a force-of-nature plot device, as in, "overnight, all the vampires in Vienna disappeared or turned to ash." The nature of VII isn't known to the vampires, although one character has been piecing it together over several years. The chronicle began when VII wiped out the vampire population of Vancouver. VII lurked around a locus until ready to strike, and they killed the local werewolves fairly quickly when said werewolves objected.

          Would the purpose of the spirit change? I expect so, at least somewhat -- given its immersion into a new environment, I expect it would be an involuntary adaptation, perhaps given some direction through its host.

          I believe they can become incredibly powerful given time, but you should consider how it is getting the power to evolve. How much Essence can it grab from inside its meatsuit? Also, the more active it is in acquiring said power, the more likely it is to be noticed. I think that any Claimed that lived so long would need to keep a low profile, but again, from the host it could glean some subtlety. Slow and steady is the way of the long game.

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          • #6
            I would think that any claimed that survived for that long would be, as far as spirits are concerned, one messed up individual. Time and interaction would, I think, turn what used to be a dedicated spirit with one influence into a very varied individual that might now have more in common with the human mind set than other spirits. Certainly I could see it understanding Vampires.

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            • #7
              That's one hell of a cool interpretation of VII, btw.

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              • #8
                And what I meant by "merging" is more of a sort of "humanity bleed"- what effect would being merged with a human for so long have on a Spirit? Demons can learn to feel human emotions from just a short time as one, so a Spirit merged with someone for hundreds of years would probably go through some interesting changes.

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                • #9
                  That's a good question. How long would the human matrix last? Is it a cop-out to say it depends on the spirit and the host? A strong-willed host (although if it was so strong-willed, would it have been vulnerable in the first place?) or a spirit that was particularly curious or interested in the ology of the physical might be conducive. Personally, I think a typical spirit would more likely to mimic the patterns of the host than actually feel them -- it acts angry because this is how one acts given this anger- inducing stimulus. An emotion spirit, of course, would have an easier time of it. But of course, I welcome other interpretations. I expect to add more Claimed in the game soon.

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                  • #10
                    While first edition had rules for a more gradual synthesis in Predators, and you can still use them with some work, by the time someone becomes a host their human side doesn't matter anymore beyond its Attributes. It would depend a lot on the nature of the spirit, if it was one that leaned towards secrecy and independence as opposed to one who wanted or needed crowds and attention.

                    The Book of Spirits has, for instance, the Cray. A woman who was Claimed by the spirit of a computer. She keeps to herself, most of her activity involves accessing other computers across the Internet. While this can put her in the crosshairs of intelligence agencies and other groups that don't want their information accessed, she isn't preying on other people and stays out of public attention.

                    On the other side of things you have something like the Hate-Monger. In the second edition core book, he's currently a Ridden on the verged of being Claimed. But he seeks nothing but hatred, and will seek out people to stir it up, because it's something that needs to come from people. They are going to be out there, dealing with people as much as possible.

                    It's worth keeping in mind that the spirits most likely to attempt a Claiming tend to be conceptuals. They lack a physical representation in the gurihal, and their curiosity about their own being often drives them out of the hisil, especially as the Essence that births and feeds conceptuals tends to be temporary. Conceptuals include but aren't limited to Emotion, Reactionary, Ideological and Dream spirits.

                    If you want more of an interaction between the person and the spirit, you might look towards the Ridden. A spirit has fettered itself to a person, and Influences them to create the Essence it needs, but the person is still capable of agency. The Ridden are manipulated, but not always fully controlled. Some humans may go along with it, some may try to resist as much as possible, perhaps seeking out help and possibly putting others in danger.

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                    • #11
                      I've always wanted a more "partnership"-style option for humans and spirits. I've always thought that would be a very interesting character.

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                      • #12
                        Then you want a Ridden who has some sort of ability to see or hear spirits. The Piercing Eyes Tell would allow them to see Twilight creatures and across the Gauntlet, but one could easily just downscale it to only see one particular spirit. If you wanted them to be in the vein of an invisible friend just Tongues would allow them to hear an understand the spirit, though some spirits know English or local languages. The spirit, in turn, is fettered to them which means it doesn't suffer from Essence bleed, which normally occurs to spirits in the material world. The spirit does not need to urge the one it's riding, after all. A conceptual spirit fettered to someone who is frequently around other people, like a teenager in high school, would have ample supply of Essence from targets all around.

                        If you wanted something more powerful like Geist, it's just a matter of some sort of Soul-Claiming tied with a more benevolent Fettering and developing powers appropriate for the being while cribbing from the Geist system. Though really having a Rank 3-5 spirit as a partner is going to put a lot of power at your disposal.
                        Last edited by nofather; 09-03-2016, 11:08 PM.

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                        • #13
                          A claimed that is the result of a willing host and spirit might be the most likely to survive for that long. Someone like Griffith from Berserk.



                          A leader of a medieval mercenary company who will stop at nothing to survive and thrive. One who spends years searching for a way to increase his power, channeling the dark arts and willing to sacrifice those closest to him. Yes, initially he wouldn't be human in appearance, but mortal mask is a numina. What if the claimed develops a dread power that allows them to alter their flesh to what it once was for a brief period of time. The spirit might even be of Pride, Greed or Gluttony. It might be a magath of the spirit of his armor and one of those concepts. The two might fully merge as the desires of the human create the spirit, and the spirit might claim the human. A creature truly born of a humans own unnatural desires.

                          Another possible example would be the homunculli in FMA. Gluttony would not likely survive that long, but he is visually and behaviorally evocative of a claimed. A spirit of gluttony pressed into a specially prepared vessel (person) by a mad thyrsus looking to create the perfect being. After years of being kept, and fed. The claimed being serves whoever is both willing to feed it and unable to be eaten.





                          Currently Running: The Shield Bearers - W:TF 2nd
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                          • #14
                            I think of Claimed as almost human/spirit Magaths. I think that one who is extremely old would be defined by their nature, but less ruled by it than a spirit. A decades old Claimed would have to have self control to avoid detection and would likely have some power that allowed it to pass for human. I could see such a Claimed enjoying television after a long day of maintaining their identity and feasting on disease essence at their job as a Nurse. Sure, the hospital has a slightly higher incident of death by disease than most, but not enough to be suspicious, and no one suspects they have anything to do with it, their hospital staff see them as an antisocial employee. They have to be subtle if they are able to hide their identity for so long.

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                            • #15
                              Oh, I had an interesting idea. atamajakki has written a lot of interesting stuff about Geist and their relation to Spirits (I really like the Ghost/Death Spirit Magath) theory. So, why is it that only Geists can make the Bargain? Oh, I'm sure there's a reason, but it would be a fun bit of homebrewing to make other spirits capable of forming a similar partnership. Only question is, what forum would that go in? General, Werewolf, Geist?

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