The Earthbound Issue:

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The Earthbound Issue:

Post by MagicRob on Fri May 05, 2017 12:34 pm

Good afternoon my lovely players!

So, we recently did a survey, and one of the replies that I found truly intriguing was asking to explore the Earthbound angle of play. For those watching at home might notice that Earthbound aren't legal to play at creation. What is dangerously absent is 'Can I become an Earthbound in play?'.

The short answer is: 'yes'.

Now, before there is an uproar over this, I have some stipulations here. Realize that Earthbound hold a special place in my heart, and I adore them. But I also don't really think they're an excellent PC class. Largely because of their nebulous presence and difficulty to represent accurately. Funnily enough, however, forum games might be the only medium where you could play one and it not be terrible for the rest of the group.

Anyone that's gone through the Earthbound book might notice that they have access to some truly wicked shit. Like... truly wicked. Primarily Recall and Codex. The primary benefit of playing an Earthbound is their near immunity to Torment. That actually isn't quite right; they fall to Torment pretty quickly so it stops being relevant to their behavior. It's a non-issue as it were. Further, the *strongest* type of Earthbound have the perfect sort of reliquaries (which are really expensive and difficult to make), and these are almost never the kind that you make during play.

I should probably clarify to people what and Earthbound is. Simply put, a Fallen is a Demonic spirit bound to a human (willing or otherwise), and an Earthbound is a Demonic spirit bound to anything else. This can be something simple and everyday, like a computer or chair. Something grand, like a regal throne or oppressive statue. Or something more esoteric, like a plot of land. How they come to be bound to these things is individual to the Earthbound in question. Many were called from the Pit in time before humans realized that demons could be permanently bound to THEM. Some are just too large to fit inside a human (as is the case with some Dukes and all the Archdukes). And some had resided in flesh for a time, but when their vessel was slain, they elected to bind themselves to something material instead of being pulled back to Hell. It's these last ones that we're discussing.

I don't have an issue with a PC turning into an Earthbound because they don't have access to Codex, Recall, Perfect Reliquaries, existing Cults and the other backgrounds that make an out-of-the-box Earthbound so cumbersome. They start off very... small in this case. 

I do have one stipulation, however, should your character's host die and you wish to go the Earthbound route instead of finding a new mortal host, and it is this: you need to remain a Luciferian. I don't care how you justify it (it's harder than it sounds; most Earthbound hate the Morning Star as much or more than they hate God), but you need to justify it. Your primary role will never be antagonistic to the other PCs trying to explore their own stories.

Agreed? Good. Game on!

-Rob.
(whoever asked about exploring their character as an Earthbound, high-five, love it, die heroically and do it)

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Re: The Earthbound Issue:

Post by Allison Jordan on Fri May 05, 2017 3:04 pm

It's my understanding that, unlike the standard "Demon the Fallen" world background, in this game our characters are not generally aware that the Earthbound exist. Is that (still) correct?

It's also my understanding -- from the "Earthbound" book; your ruling may be different -- that you don't simply plant your demonic spirit into a chair or a sword or a rock. It should be something that's significant to you. Your favorite chair. Your fighting sword. The rock you buried your last victim under. :-) It gets easier as the item becomes more unique. Is that correct, in this game?

Finally, if Earthbound are a known thing, and we can become them as a PC option, wouldn't the upper echelons encourage the troops to do that? Earthbound are much more powerful, particularly after some time has passed, and they'd be allied with the Luciferan cause. Imagine what *that* would mean!
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Re: The Earthbound Issue:

Post by MagicRob on Fri May 05, 2017 3:18 pm

This is complicated, so let me take it in steps:


It's my understanding that, unlike the standard "Demon the Fallen" world background, in this game our characters are not generally aware that the Earthbound exist. Is that (still) correct?

 Well, yes and no. 

See the BIG Earthbound (that is to say the former Archdukes of Hell) were pulled out of Hell first by Lucifer in an attempt to free all of his friends. There was still *some* communication back and forth from Earth to Hell, so Hell is more or less aware how the Earth-binding process works. The BIG Earthbound also pulled out a fair number of their servants (which is why they are viable enemies for general game play. If there were only 6 that'd be a tricky antagonist), so Hell is aware, again generally, that there are MORE than 6 that have been out for centuries but an exact number is tricky.

What *hasn't* happened yet, and this might be where the confusion is coming from, is when Hell broke open, the explosion of Faith that hit the world after woke up the existing Earthbound and they started gathering power and causing hyjinx again. In our game, the events that result in the rousing of the Earthbound hasn't happened yet (mostly because I know that most players don't have much exposure to D:tF and I wanted to slowly boil the frog with antagonists instead of just creating a world with all the things).

So yes and no: It's perfectly reasonable for your characters to know OF Earthbound, know they CAN exist and even the names of a few. What ISN'T commonly known yet is that they're all bugnuts insane and probably want to eat or enslave you without exception. Smile


It's also my understanding -- from the "Earthbound" book; your ruling may be different -- that you don't simply plant your demonic spirit into a chair or a sword or a rock. It should be something that's significant to you. Your favorite chair. Your fighting sword. The rock you buried your last victim under. :-) It gets easier as the item becomes more unique. Is that correct, in this game? 


Again, more or less. It's a sliding scale of difficulty. Things that are human, or represent humanity (like statues) are easier than things that don't (like tables). They don't always have to be significant to you, but it does help if they are significant in some way. Like... Hemingway's typewriter would qualify for possession even if your own very favorite typewriter didn't. Mostly it's about how logical it is for your demon to want to cram itself into said item, and that educates the difficulty of the process.

A warrior demon possessing his very favorite sword that he had used for a long time is relatively easy compared to that same demon trying to possess a random piece of desk debris though, you are correct.


Finally, if Earthbound are a known thing, and we can become them as a PC option, wouldn't the upper echelons encourage the troops to do that? Earthbound are much more powerful, particularly after some time has passed, and they'd be allied with the Luciferan cause. Imagine what *that* would mean!


Earthbound aren't exactly more powerful, that's a misconception. The Earthbound that have been on earth for centuries are much more powerful, yes. But, taking a Demonic soul straight out of hell and shoving it into a statue or a person yields shockingly similar power. Humans have mobility, and they can spend and gain Faith much much quicker. Earthbound can hold more ultimately, but it takes months and months to acquire the same amount of Faith that a human-riding one could gather in a few days. Earthbound only get Faith from Worship and that is governed by both the Cult and Mastery backgrounds, making it very expensive to have a ready supply of replenishable faith whereas you in a human can just go-a-Reaping or Pact a bunch of dudes for much much cheaper (Xp wise at least).

Also, Earthbound as Luciferians are very rare as most of the ones that wouldn't want to completely destroy the world (Ravener) want to enslave it (Faustian). Very few would be willing to throw their lots back in with Lucifer who sort of led them to failure twice before. This is a Rob-ruling for PC Earthbound: This is a Luciferan game, so they'd have to find a way to stay in the Faction regardless of Torment and logic. Smile

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Re: The Earthbound Issue:

Post by MagicRob on Fri May 05, 2017 3:22 pm

(though that does suggest an interesting story arch where PCs summon a Fallen from hell and shove it in something not realizing the pitfall of having no cushion to buffer them from their Torment and insanities.

Hmm...)

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Re: The Earthbound Issue:

Post by Allison Jordan on Fri May 05, 2017 3:28 pm

Thanks for the clarification.  

MagicRob wrote:Also, Earthbound as Luciferians are very rare as most of the ones that wouldn't want to completely destroy the world (Ravener) want to enslave it (Faustian). Very few would be willing to throw their lots back in with Lucifer who sort of led them to failure twice before. This is a Rob-ruling for PC Earthbound: This is a Luciferan game, so they'd have to find a way to stay in the Faction regardless of Torment and logic. Smile
A truly devoted Luciferan would of course disclose his True Name to his superiors before becoming an Earthbound.  That way, even if (when) he succumbed to Torment, they'd be able to exert control for the good of the Cause.  

Now, one suspects that becoming an Earthbound is a drastic enough transformation that it'd change your True Name, but by knowing the previous version, they'd probably have a big leg up on figuring out the Earthbound update.

It's just a question of how dedicated you really *are*... ;-)
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