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Eidolon- a sorcerer concept

Started by Bailywolf, March 16, 2002, 02:56:42 AM

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Ok, I decided to call this idea riff eidolon.  The definition seems to fit.  

The Way of Things

The world is not as simple as it seems to mortal eyes.  The reality of cars and trees and politics and hamburgers is overlaid, interlaced with the reality of ideas, of meaning, of spirit.  For the most part, the two sides of reality are as disconected as the two sides of a coin-linked, but always facing away.

Everything in reality has a spirit-self.  For the most part, spirits dwell quietly right along side their fleshly doubles- the spirts of cars and air and dogs and wars hover about those material things.  That which aftects one side, alters the other in some way.  When everything is in ballance, the system works.  Things rarely stay in ballance.

Humans are different.  Human spirit-selves are not tied to the flesh- they roam, interact, and watch over their flesh-selves.  These spirit-forms are in every way equal to the reality of flesh- just as intelligent and capeable in the world of spirit as the matter-self is in the world of flesh.  The vast majority of humans are never even aware of their spirit-twin.  The rare moments of perception when the two selves can directly percieve each other have inspired legends of ghosts, dopplegangers, the many elements of the Egyptian soul.  

Spirit-selves guard the flesh- and themselves.  Like the material world, the spirit world is rife with danger.  There are creatures who dwell in Spirit which range from simple parasites to forces of pure molevolence.  A Spirit-self must be ever vigilant.

Spirit-selves can not directly influence reality- their material-self is just as resistant to direct control as they themselves are.  This is what makes humans different.  A spirit-self may, however, beg, convince, cojoile, or threaten the spirits of lesser creatures and objects to influcne their material-twins.  Most often, this is done to preserve the saftey or life of their fleshly-self.  What material humanity percieves as luck in nothing more than the spiritual influence of their own etherial selves.

Those Who Know

A tiny percentage of humanity is Aware.  History has called these people Shamans, magicians, wizards, buddivistas, saints, or sorcerers.  In these enlightened ones, the Flesh and Spirit are fully aware of each other, able to percieve the world through the eyes or the other.  Such a one can seemingly work mircacles, consciously invoking the spirits dwelling all around, forming the Desire in the Flesh and Channeling the Desire to the Spirit which Entreats the desired results.

Sometimes, these Shamans Awaken spirits, Binding them into service in exchange for tribute and protection of their material anchor.  

In ages past, these Shaman have served hunmanity, acting as the mediator of matter and spirit.  They were thus aforded places of honor wihtin the community.  But times change.  Old ways are forgotten.  Now, shamans are rarely recognized, rarley believed.  As always, there are a thousand thousand charlatans for every person of wisdom.

And even worse, there are far more sorcerers now who know nothing of responsibility, nothing of duty.  They know only power.  

And as always...

Dark and Strange Things Dwell

There are many threats only a shaman can meet.  Afflictions of flesh and spirit which demand the medicine only a sorcerer can apply.  Many horrors lurk about the realms of both flesh and spirit.  

Parasites.  These maggots are the spiritual equilivent of leaches, or ticks, of mosquitoes, of plague.  They swarm and infest any thing who's spirit-self isn't dilligent in caring for.  They gobble up the vital life energies which flow between flesh and spirit, and exchange which enlivens both sides.  

Predators  .  Sometimes, powerful and ancient spirits survive the deaths of their mortal-selves.  These half-creatures are teribble, ravenous things.  They need the life-energies of the flesh to survive, but have lost their natural anchors.  When something old is destroyed, there is a chance a Predator has been created- some of the greatest horrors are The Old Trees- enormous spirits of giant trees, all twisted branches and tangling roots.  They are so vast, they extend their tenrils into whole communities, burrowing roots deep into the flesh to suck up vital energy.  A single such monster can drive a whole town to depression, murder, chaos, and self destruction.  Only sorcerers with the power and lore can banish these baleful things.  Some powerful, or dangerously unstable shamans will bind them.

Voids  Someties, the flesh survives the death of the spirit.  This is most common in humanity who has a strange relationship with the spirit.  A Void seems normal in the flesh, but sucks up spiritual energies.  

Abominations  Sometimes, Predators and Voids come together- an alien spirit swarming into a vacant shell.  These amagalm horrors are terrible.  They have all the powers of a Sorcerer, but their spirits are often vastly more powerful.  Worse still, they can still consume the spiritual and vital energies of those around them, bloating on the power.  In fact, most must do this- the joining of a hateful Mountain spirit and the souless mind of a Lawyer can rarely be perfect- it hemorages energies constantly.  

Legions.  Very rarely, a mortal form is tied to multiple spirit-forms.  Human Legions often percieve this as feelings of having been reincarnated.  Some legions are insane- the symptoms mimicing schiztophrenia perfectly.  Others are seemingly at peace- a rare few even become sorcerers of astounding power and versitility because of their many spirit-selves.

Demons & Angles.  There are some ceatures who transcend the realms of flesh and spirit- dwelling in both simultaneously without duality.  They are mysterous, powerful, and not easily understod or delt with.  They have their own motives and their own wars.  The only sure thing is that the creatures of Light despise the creatures of Dark, and both would slaughter every living human if it would secure their victory.  They play a subtle chess-game with humanity- demons brind misery, dispair, chaos, passion.  Angles seek to impose structure, order, calm, peace.  Neither much caser how many human tears are shed.  

When one of these creatures asualts your life, it does so subtle- your mother gets cancer, your car breaks down, your boss passes you up for promotion.  They keep spirit-selves very busy in damage control.  Shamans find themselves standing between these invisible jugernauts in the common defense.  Some, however, have accepted faustian deals to serve one of the Sides, in exchnage for power.  It's that kind of world.

I'm going out now.  I'll be back later tonight.  When I return:

The Premise and The Rules and The Characters and Design Notes

Have a good night!


Looking forward to it.  That's an excellent start.  Hell the intro chapter to your mini sup is already written.


OK, licking the eggdrop soup off my fingers... and here's the rest of it.  

The Premise

The key question here is not "what would you do FOR power" but rather, "What would you do WITH power."  Responisibilty and duty vs self indulgence and relativism.  Characters in Eidolon possess significant power- far more than a conventional sorcerer, though much of it is quite subtle.  It is in the use of that power that a sorcerer may exault or destroy himself.


The metaphysics of sorcery all revolve around the sorcerer's special conscious connection to his spirit-self.  This allows him to directly and consciously influence the material world by interacting with the spiritual world.  

Humanity.  Humanity is Empathy, responisbility, duty, awareness of others, awareness of consequencs.  A low humanity means you are more selfish, less empathic, and have difficulty understanding the thoughts and feelings of others.  A high humanity makes you very emotionaly intuitive, responsible, and trustworthy.  At zero humanity, a character looses the ability to feel anything for others at all- a total sociopath.

Demonics.  Demons (in the Sorcerer-sense) are simply called Spirits.  The are ubiquitious- every material object, state of being, or event has it's own spirit which persists so long as the material-side does (in most cases...rarely, one side may survive the destruction of the other).  Most of the time, non-human spirits are quiet, barely awake.  But a sorcerer can rouse a spirit, magnify it, redcue it, or even bind it into service.  

The types of 'demon' available is limited in Edilon to the following:

Inconspicuous-  Most spirits fall withint this catagory.  They are subtle things, able to affect the material world in ways related to their nature.  Fire spirits might start blazes.

Object-  Sometimes, a sorcerer will rouse a spirit out of it's native matter, and bind it into another kind of material.  A Cat-head walking stick which conveyed the ability to see in near-darkness, for example, would be the spirit of an actual cat so bound.  Objects may not contain more than one spirit, and the abilities it possesses are limited to thise related to the spirit's origional material form.

Parasite-  Sorcerers sometimes accept orphaned spirits into their bodies, linking with them in a similar fasion to their own spirit-selves.  The sorcerer's own vital energies now feed the spirit, and in return, the spirit conveys abilities related to it's origional material form.

Passing-  If a sorcerer locates a Void, he can delibretly place a trustworthy spirit within it.  This is done with care and attention, and the resulting being is not usually considered Abomination.  

Possessor-  These spirits are quite rare, and usually are only able to possess animals (because a human's spirit-self actively fights off such such influences).  Possessors are usually terribly powerful when encountered, and usually well beyond the abilities of most sorcerers to deal with directly.


A Sorcerer's starting spirit is always his own spirit-self.  This spirit-double has the

following characteristics:


Stamina:  Equal to Sorcerer's Will
Will:  Equal to sorcerer's Stamina
Lore:  Equal to sorcerer's Lore
Power: Equal to Highest single Score (fluxuates during play)

Abilities:  Link; Perception (percieve through flesh or spirit)

Desire- to be true to the flesh-self
Need- to sleep in contact with the flesh-self.

The spirit-self has inverse values for Stamina and Will because of the corss-exchange of energies between the two sides- a spirit's vital animating force is psychic, thus it's stamina is drawn from the flesh-side's Will.  In return, it fuels the sorcerer's own psyche with it's vital energies, so it's Stamina is equal to the sorcerer's Will.  This inverse must be taken into account, because if one side has a value reduced through injury or misadventure, then the other-side suffers the same reduction to the other score.


Awaken-  Cause a spirit to wake up.  (Lore vs spirit's Will)

Entreat- get a spirit to perform a single complex task (Spirit-self Will vs spirit will)

Magnify-  Make a spirit more powerful (Lore vs spirit's Stamina; victories add to scores as


Reduce- Make a spirit less powerful (Lore vs spirit's Stamina; victories subtracted from

scores as desired)

Sever- Cut a spirit off from it's material anchor (Spirit-self Power vs spirit's Power)

Bind- Bind a severed spirit to yourself (will or stamina vs spirit's power)


Sorcerers may perform many small miracles simply by spiritualy cajoiling local spirits into doing a quick service.  This is a simple check made with the spirit-self's Will against the variable difficulty based on the scope and complexity of the desired effect.  Small-scale favors are simple- coaxing the sleeping fire spirit to awaken in the head of a match is very easy (1 die of difficulty).  Convincing all the electical spirits in an entire sky-scraped to stop moving and black out the building is very very hard (8 dice of difficulty).  Sways can only be used to produce smiple effcts.  A spirit can be called upon to briefly start or stop doing a single thing.  A lock-spirit could be made to act "open" for a few minutes or a car spirit could be made to stop running.  The car could not be made to drive itself with a Sway- this sort of complex comand requires full ritual sorcery.

The victories scored determine how long the spirits called forth stay awake- one Victory per round in combat or per minute if not.  Total victory means the spirits stay awake for an entire scene.  Failure means the spirit stays asleep, and won't awaken for you until significant time has past.  Total Failure means you risk loosing humanity.  Make a Humanity vs Spirit-self Power check.  Fail, and you loose a point of humanity.