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Author Topic: PC Spirit roleplay  (Read 6564 times)

Zarathustra217

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PC Spirit roleplay
« on: December 06, 2016, 10:31:35 AM »
This topic is to elaborate and give inspiration for how to roleplay being a PC spirit.

First of all, this is what our rules state:

Quote
- Once dead, a character can choose to return to the world as a PC spirit. These are static impressions of PCs and their attire/possessions at the moment of their deaths. They cannot attain any new knowledge or information in this form and everything experienced as a spirit is forgotten upon returning to life. They cannot speak nor can they understand speech, and are completely inaudible.

- PC spirits can wander the world, but they cannot interact with it in any physical way. Focused entirely on their death, they are driven only to mourn their demise and/or attempt to return to life. They can relive their death using emotes and try to lead others to the site of their death and/or mortal remains, but should only move from this location if it's to seek help or to follow someone possessing those remains. For more information on spirit RP, see here.

Elaboration:

Static impressions of the PCs at the moment of their deaths does not include any surroundings or magical projectiles or effects, etc. It also means that a ghost can't change outfits, roam around naked, etc. They are just what it says: a ghostly image of what they were at the time of their death. On the other hand, any wounds, burns, mangling and similar will be apparent, meaning that PC spirits will often be a gruesome sight.

In general, when roleplaying PC spirits, you should always consider exactly how what you are attempting is contributing to the story. Spirits should never be used as an OOC mechanic to take or enable vengeance on whoever killed you. Instead they can be plaintive, longing, furious, but always atmospheric. In playing a spirit, realize your limitations -- you cannot communicate in any form of language (including sign language), nor can you understand the speech of others. You can roleplay your character as attempting to speak and/or listen, but the barrier to the world of the living will make it impossible to comprehend.

Instead, spirits are driven by two main instincts: to mourn their demise and to return to life. To do this, they haunt the place where they fell or wander to places that had significance in their life, desperate to find some adventurer to drag their corpses to a healer or witch doctor, begging silently, pointing, gesticulating, or acting out their death vividly in an attempt to convince others to help them.

For further details on spirit RP and to see one source of our inspiration for PCs spirits, it can be worthwhile to read the description of the 2nd ed. Phantom, see: http://www.lomion.de/cmm/phantom.php (but also notice the differences).
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 11:50:22 AM by Zarathustra217 »

FinalHeaven

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 10:40:00 AM »
Just to clarify, this means that if you are killed somewhere like Hazlan you're no longer allowed to show up in Vallaki and attempt to lure people to where you died?

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 11:03:26 AM »

In playing a spirit, realize your limitations -- you cannot communicate in any form of language (including sign language), nor can you understand the speech of others.

To do this, they haunt the place where they fell, desperate to find some adventurer to drag their corpses to a healer or witch doctor, begging silently, pointing, gesticulating, or acting out their death vividly in an attempt to convince others to help them.


These are pretty contradictory to me, since aren't allow to communicate with signs, but you are still allowed to act the way you die, especially with the wounds.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 11:07:04 AM »
I'm a little confused here.

You say they can not understand speech, but they are aware that there are people there?

Or is it meant to be more like static ghosts: meaning they are literally repeating the steps they took leading up to their death? Acting out what they did, and upon reaching the site, they would emote how they died there? Unaware of any presences?  Then rinse and repeat?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 11:11:50 AM by ladylena »

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 11:31:56 AM »
Thank you for all the questions - clarifying all this is important, both for now and for the future.

Just to clarify, this means that if you are killed somewhere like Hazlan you're no longer allowed to show up in Vallaki and attempt to lure people to where you died?

You are still allowed to do that, as it's perfectly in accord with the motives and behavior of a PC spirit. However, it does mean that it will be harder to communicate exactly where you fell. You have to try to roleplay it in a way that would make sense for a spirit in this form rather than just stating it. If you are in the Western Outskirts and you died somewhere on Mt. Baratak, you can still point toward it, try to drag people in that direction (even if you will fail holding on to them) etc.

On the other hand, what it does change (or really just clarifies) is that the spirit form shouldn't be used as an elite scouting buddy for when dungeoning or similar. Spirits are in a tormented state trapped between the physical world and the afterlife, and shouldn't just hang out.

...
These are pretty contradictory to me, since aren't allow to communicate with signs, but you are still allowed to act the way you die, especially with the wounds.

"Sign language" refers to language translated into signs, whereas a spirits can still do gestures to try to communicate. It's more like a barrier of comprehension and clarity - they can attempt to speak (and likely will) but it just won't be won't clearly comprehensible.

I'm a little confused here.

You say they can not understand speech, but they are aware that there are people there?

Or is it meant to be more like static ghosts: meaning they are literally repeating the steps they took leading up to their death? Acting out what they did, and upon reaching the site, they would emote how they died there? Unaware of any presences?  Then rinse and repeat?

See above - they are aware that there are other people and can try to communicate with them - but communicating in language just won't succeed.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2016, 12:08:45 PM »
I actually want to know.. and this might be pushing it. But why is it PC ghosts are limited to not being able to interact with the physical world, yet. The NPC spirits we find and fight can?

Like why can't I make marks in the ground if I can't Speak to someone? are our spirits considered the lowest and weakest of spirits? Where as there are stronger ones able to interact physically in the world?


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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2016, 12:29:30 PM »
Perhaps we could get an example of what acceptable language to use in your emotes during death recreation is?

For example there is a significant difference between emoting "it looks like Bob was struck by a fireball from a wizard standing over here" and having to simply write a descriptive emote that doesn't specify the spell by name or the class of the character that did the killing, and one of those imparts greater OOC information. 

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2016, 12:48:16 PM »
Another question I'd like to know, would be how far from their death spot can they wander? If it can't learn, is it able to find it's way back to said location?
Also I love this, getting it clarified is awesome :D

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 02:19:04 PM »
Perhaps we could get an example of what acceptable language to use in your emotes during death recreation is?

For example there is a significant difference between emoting "it looks like Bob was struck by a fireball from a wizard standing over here" and having to simply write a descriptive emote that doesn't specify the spell by name or the class of the character that did the killing, and one of those imparts greater OOC information.

I think it's evident the first example might be a bit cheesey, that being said i once saw a spirit emote: *appears to be bracing itself against a barrage of projectiles* and that seemed perfectly reasonable to me. We were able to work out the cause of death from that, which narrowed down the kind of killer we were after. Ofcourse, none of that would fly in a court of law but it was still interesting.

That being said. Does that mean spirits are generally visible? More so with a see invisibility or truesight spell?

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2016, 02:21:33 PM »
These are pretty contradictory to me, since aren't allow to communicate with signs, but you are still allowed to act the way you die, especially with the wounds.

Yes, exactly. That's not contradictory, that's just how it works.

I actually want to know.. and this might be pushing it. But why is it PC ghosts are limited to not being able to interact with the physical world, yet. The NPC spirits we find and fight can?

NPCs are forms of undead. Our spirits are only static impressions of the dead, remnants of their living energy, not independent creatures.

Another question I'd like to know, would be how far from their death spot can they wander? If it can't learn, is it able to find it's way back to said location?

This in general should be a "if you think it might be too far, it's probably too far."

Perhaps we could get an example of what acceptable language to use in your emotes during death recreation is?

For example there is a significant difference between emoting "it looks like Bob was struck by a fireball from a wizard standing over here" and having to simply write a descriptive emote that doesn't specify the spell by name or the class of the character that did the killing, and one of those imparts greater OOC information. 

You've got it pretty close to right, though, so the wording is evidently clear. [The creature's form writhes in remembered agony, its burned form flailing in the throes of death.] is fine. [This creature bears the marks of having been killed by Time Stop and Missile Storm.] is not.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 02:33:28 PM by Arawn »
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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2016, 02:25:32 PM »
Another question I'd like to know, would be how far from their death spot can they wander? If it can't learn, is it able to find it's way back to said location?
Also I love this, getting it clarified is awesome :D

I would think a spirit would be be able to find where it was killed because of the significance of the place of death. There was probably a moment of thought before they passed over so technically the place of death was learned before actually flat lining?  I'm not being very succinct. Im failing words at the moment.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 04:03:02 PM »
Just to clarify, this means that if you are killed somewhere like Hazlan you're no longer allowed to show up in Vallaki and attempt to lure people to where you died?

The spirit of the rule is to keep roleplaying at all time even in spirit form, not to prevent anyone to get help. So no one would prevent you to get from Hazlan to Vallaki if you feel a need to.

However the ideal would be simply to roam the nearest, well-travelled area, say in front of the Vistani caravan in Hazlan.
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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 04:18:51 PM »
Yeah, perhaps the current formulation can be improved in that regard with the exact exception of seeking out help. The main point is to not use the spirit form to explore areas, spectate or stalk other people.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 04:29:42 PM »
The only issue I have with the "if you think it's too far, it probably is" concept is that we can see from discussion here that the definition of too far is interpreted differently.

When I read the first post my first thought was that leaving the domain you died in was cutting it close, but it seems as though that's not the case.  I like the idea of a spirit haunting it's place of death and enacting it's final moments.

The disconnect for me is when the spirit effectively hops a wagon to another country, finds someone to awkwardly convince to follow it all the way back to where it died, then begins the process of acting out its death.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 04:34:50 PM by FinalHeaven »

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2016, 04:33:01 PM »
The only issue I have with the "if you think it's too far, it probably is" concept is that we can see from discussion here that the definition of too far is interpreted differently.

When I read the first post my first thought was that leaving the domain you died in was cutting it close, but it seems as though that's not the case.

It's more like this: go as far as you need to find the help that your spirit is searching for.
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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2016, 04:42:30 PM »
But, spirits aren't supposed to be used to explore?
It's more like this: go as far as you need to find the help that your spirit is searching for.

I think the idea of the spirit being limited to the place and around the area where it died would make more sense, and make it seem more atmospheric.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2016, 05:02:13 PM »
But, spirits aren't supposed to be used to explore?

It's more like this: go as far as you need to find the help that your spirit is searching for.

I think the idea of the spirit being limited to the place and around the area where it died would make more sense, and make it seem more atmospheric.

I don't think limiting the area where the spirit can go is really a good thing.

First, its hard to enforce, there are already many people not respecting all the rules concerning the ghost form.
Second, if spirit can't reach people because they are limited in the distance they can travel, I'm 100% certain that many people will simply send tell to get saved. Many are already doing that and making it harder for people to find you will only encourage that type of behavior.

Though, I'm glad that the rules concerning the ghost have been clarified. I've started dungeoning more lately and I've seen people speaking in ghost form, remembering what they have seen in ghost form, interacting with physical world, interacting as if they we're not dead. I hope this will help with making the ghost RP better.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2016, 05:05:11 PM »
But, spirits aren't supposed to be used to explore?

It's more like this: go as far as you need to find the help that your spirit is searching for.

I think the idea of the spirit being limited to the place and around the area where it died would make more sense, and make it seem more atmospheric.

I don't think limiting the area where the spirit can go is really a good thing.

First, its hard to enforce, there are already many people not respecting all the rules concerning the ghost form.
Second, if spirit can't reach people because they are limited in the distance they can travel, I'm 100% certain that many people will simply send tell to get saved. Many are already doing that and making it harder for people to find you will only encourage that type of behavior.

Though, I'm glad that the rules concerning the ghost have been clarified. I've started dungeoning more lately and I've seen people speaking in ghost form, remembering what they have seen in ghost form, interacting with physical world, interacting as if they we're not dead. I hope this will help with making the ghost RP better.

How is it hard to enforce? If you see a ghost who brings you into another domain to get to him, that's a rule break. Seems pretty obvious to me. Not that it should be like that, but I think it would be really easy to enforce and see if there was a rulebreak or not.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2016, 05:15:23 PM »
The thing is that we also want to reduce metagaming, and hopefully reduce OOC pleas for helps through the "tell" channel. Being a spirit is part of the roleplay experience, but if a player was forced to remain in one spot, especially hard to reach ones, he would not have other choices than to resort to an OOC tell.

What we have implemented does not prevent an OOC tell either mind you. We'd prefer that players would not do it, but will not block the "tell" channel to force the issue either.
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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2016, 05:19:05 PM »
The thing is that we also want to reduce metagaming, and hopefully reduce OOC pleas for helps through the "tell" channel. Being a spirit is part of the roleplay experience, but if a player was forced to remain in one spot, especially hard to reach ones, he would not have other choices than to resort to an OOC tell.

What we have implemented does not prevent an OOC tell either mind you. We'd prefer that players would not do it, but will not block the "tell" channel to force the issue either.

It is quite easy to leave an IC letter to someone saying that you went adventuring in this or this place, asking to come search for you if they don't hear from you in a while. That was something I was told when Mariska had some people after her, and it gives a good IC reasons to people to come and search for you.

Also, if applied properly, such a rule would make ninjalooting or soloing/duoing places much more dangerous, as it might take a while for someone to come some unsures domains like hazlan/perfidus/ghastria to finally see your ghost and saving you.

Only throwing out some ideas here.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2016, 05:22:06 PM »
What might help, once the rules become better clarified. And perhaps boiled down to a more to the point sort of format, a blurb or pop up of info could appear once you are a ghost. So the rules are refreshed and presented each time you enter a ghost state to ensure the rules are known and frequently refreshed in our minds.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2016, 05:32:26 PM »
The thing is that we also want to reduce metagaming, and hopefully reduce OOC pleas for helps through the "tell" channel. Being a spirit is part of the roleplay experience, but if a player was forced to remain in one spot, especially hard to reach ones, he would not have other choices than to resort to an OOC tell.

What we have implemented does not prevent an OOC tell either mind you. We'd prefer that players would not do it, but will not block the "tell" channel to force the issue either.

I realize this is purely personal opinion and unlikely to be a widespread belief, but just to play devil's advocate, I don't find any part of being a spirit an appealing part of the roleplay experience and indeed all of my characters outright ignore PCs in spirit form.  I've always found the spirit form very awkward with the lack of clear rules on what is and isn't acceptable.

If there were implementations to make it more interactive or a very clear and concise list of rules to go along with it I imagine I might find it more interesting and something to explore. As is though, I'd rather just not risk any rule breaks or OOC drama.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 05:35:05 PM by FinalHeaven »

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2016, 05:34:21 PM »
But, spirits aren't supposed to be used to explore?

It's more like this: go as far as you need to find the help that your spirit is searching for.

I think the idea of the spirit being limited to the place and around the area where it died would make more sense, and make it seem more atmospheric.

I don't think limiting the area where the spirit can go is really a good thing.

First, its hard to enforce, there are already many people not respecting all the rules concerning the ghost form.
Second, if spirit can't reach people because they are limited in the distance they can travel, I'm 100% certain that many people will simply send tell to get saved. Many are already doing that and making it harder for people to find you will only encourage that type of behavior.

Though, I'm glad that the rules concerning the ghost have been clarified. I've started dungeoning more lately and I've seen people speaking in ghost form, remembering what they have seen in ghost form, interacting with physical world, interacting as if they we're not dead. I hope this will help with making the ghost RP better.

How is it hard to enforce? If you see a ghost who brings you into another domain to get to him, that's a rule break. Seems pretty obvious to me. Not that it should be like that, but I think it would be really easy to enforce and see if there was a rulebreak or not.

The hard to enforce part is that, I doubt DM want to receive PM constantly about people breaking that rule, nor do I want to always be on the lookout for people who breaks that rule. Putting a rule knowing that it is likely not going to be followed by many people encouraging OOC talk at the same time isn't a really wise move. I know its possible to leave a letter or something of the sort, but still a minority will be doing that and most won't even bother to do it and will just ask for help in a tell like many are already doing. Making it harder to find a body through IC means is not something that would encourage RP.


What might help, once the rules become better clarified. And perhaps boiled down to a more to the point sort of format, a blurb or pop up of info could appear once you are a ghost. So the rules are refreshed and presented each time you enter a ghost state to ensure the rules are known and frequently refreshed in our minds.

I think that's already there... but I'm not sure. Been a while since I died :P

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2016, 07:19:24 PM »
Think its only a short blurb about not being able to interact with the physical world. But ya, i dont think iv read the ghost blurd thing in ages.

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Re: PC Spirit roleplay
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2016, 07:30:41 PM »
The hard to enforce part is that, I doubt DM want to receive PM constantly about people breaking that rule, nor do I want to always be on the lookout for people who breaks that rule. Putting a rule knowing that it is likely not going to be followed by many people encouraging OOC talk at the same time isn't a really wise move. I know its possible to leave a letter or something of the sort, but still a minority will be doing that and most won't even bother to do it and will just ask for help in a tell like many are already doing. Making it harder to find a body through IC means is not something that would encourage RP.

If that were the decision of the development team, it would not be difficult at all to enforce. It could be hard-coded. But we have not decided to enforce it.
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