theearth: (Default)
Save the Earth Mods ([personal profile] theearth) wrote2013-02-23 09:12 pm

Echoes

BASICS

Echoes are both integral to the plot and an important game mechanic. An Echo is the result of a character either being exposed to the influence of the threat against the planet or experiencing a "reminder" of their past life, "returning" or recreating a part of that past life for them be it in the form of a memory, piece of knowledge, physical mutation, or even a possession or other creature.

Their effects only exist within designated Echo boundaries - the main sites of plot conflict. If a character leaves an Echo boundary, they will revert back to their pre-game self from wherever their Echoes may have left their sense of identity.

Before March 9th, this also came with losing all items/physical changes/memories as well as memories of interactions with people that came about as a result of game plot.

As of March 9th, 2014, the effect of leaving an Echo boundary changed. Instead of completely losing all Echoes and Echo related memories, reincarnates will lose the potency of their Echoes.

Abilities will weaken considerably (to approximately 10% of their original capability).

Physical changes will be naught but a hint and may cause a case of phantom limbs. For example, if a character was originally 5'6" and Echoed a height of 6'0", upon leaving the city, they would shrink to either their original height (5'6") or retain a small amount of their Echoed height (5'7"-5'8") and feel like they should be taller.

Memories (Echoed and associated with Echoes) will be so fuzzy that the reincarnate will wonder if they truly did such and such or met so and so -- like they simultaneously remember and don't remember doing something Echo-related, or remember it in the way one remembers a dream.

In short, the reincarnate that passes the border will revert to almost the same as one who is Echo-less. They will, however, remember that they are part of a group ("the Network", "the Numbers Club", "the Numbered", or however that particular character regards the reincarnates).

Their Echoes will return at full strength when they re-enter an Echo boundary.

WHY?

To summarise the reason for Echoes, seen in slightly more detail on the setting page, they occur because player characters are not naturally of the Earth the game is set on. Instead their souls, alongside cosmic data attached, are immigrants from another universe, placed in the body of an ordinary native human at birth. As a result those dimensional travellers can recover elements of their past lives.

HOW?

Echoes triggers come in three types.

The first are plot Echoes - obtained by being involved in the interdimensional threat to Earth. These threats take on a variety of forms, and as long as the character has been involved in some way, they'll be eligible for at least one Echo. Immediately-available plot Echo opportunities are listed at the bottom of plot posts - and others may be provided or declared as they come as plots develop and leads are pursued! In general, a plot Echo may be used to obtain any effect that you like - any one can be used to obtain a mental, physical, item, or creature Echo unless otherwise stated, and what exactly is obtained does not need relevance to the situation or trigger.

The second are canon reoccurrences - experiences distinguishable as parallel or unconscious "reminders" of a character's previous life. Not every mundane thing which a character can do will trigger an Echo - both a potential Echo trigger and gain need to be of something significant enough to "stand out" or have stood out in the character's mind! Canon reoccurrence always causes an Echo related to the original experience, and as a general rule, the strength of the Echo depends on how direct or visceral the trigger is as a "reminder" of the experience. For example, if a character discovered that they had the ability to fly when they fell from a skyscraper in their canon, seeing someone else fall might trigger a memory of falling, but would not be likely to get them their own flight back. However, falling him/herself would -- as long as they'd never fallen from that high up before. Pieces of context for a scenario can, within reason, be used to support or affect the "strength" of an Echo.

A Echo effect will be triggered the first time a character experiences an event (for example, a character cannot obtain an Echo from watching a vampire movie if it wouldn't have been their first time doing so), and can only be triggered within designated Echo boundaries.

The third kind is only possible for characters with less than sixteen echoes. These echoes are triggered by physical proximity to a character who has been in game for longer than a year. Only tier 1 echoes can be triggered that way, and no character can trigger them in themselves. Both players must, of course, have consented to this oocly. A character can receive echoes through this mechanic no more than 10 times, and only up to 3 times from the same character.
This game mechanic is primarily meant to make it easier for newer players to gain echoes quickly, but also to give older characters something new to play with.

Echoes of either type must be approved before they are used in-game, with approval to be requested on this page.. Submit at any time you like and we'll any Echo request(s) you've got a look and stamp! Once approved, it's up to the player when a character actually receives an Echo's effect - right after encountering the trigger, after it's long passed, the next day. Or even a week afterwards. Or, in the case of certain larger Echoes, developing into fullness over several days or weeks.

WHAT?

Mental Echoes:
Mental Echoes return something of the preincarnation's mind. This can be a memory, a skill, a feeling, a sensation, even a personality trait. Be imaginative! Give them skill with an ability they don't have, or with a weapon they don't have access to. Abilities which rely on knowledge instead of an element of their physical make up fall under this.

Physical Echoes:
Physical Echoes return something of a preincarnation's body. A special ability, appearance, old wounds, degrees of strength in their abilities, muscles, better health, illness and so on. Abilities which are a part of physiology fall under this.

Item Echoes:
Item Echoes return an item which belonged to the preincarnation. A weapon, clothing, a vehicle, money, a childhood stuffed toy. Anything, really, as long as it belonged to them. Items may return in strange or incomplete forms, and require more than one Echo to be completely restored. For example, a sword which has special abilities originally may return as a normal sword, and then another Echo will restore a portion of its power.
Note: No items specifically from your character's canon exist on this Earth. This Earth has costume wizard hats, but you won't find the one your character used to wear. You may be able to find something similar enough to trigger an Echo, but it won't be exactly the same.

Creature Echoes:
Creature Echoes do not directly effect the character, but instead a related life form which associated with them in their past life. They operate as above but for another being, such as their preincarnated life's animal companion, mount or pet.

The only trait that is common to absolutely all Echoes is that when the process begins the one undergoing the change briefly feels as if they are completely hollow and a powerful noise as if from a particularly strong heartbeat resounds inside of them.

The process itself doesn't make it clear what's happening. There's the initial physical reaction and then they have to work out what has happened to them. Some might be more obvious (like suddenly having a tail as opposed to getting more sarcastic), but there's not an inbuilt understanding of what's going on. In cases where they receive a memory they'll experience it as a memory, not relive the moment.

FIRST ECHOES

First Echoes are something like warm ups, fairly small and with not too big an impact on the reincarnation. Something to ease the character into the concept, as opposed to being dropped in the deep end with something really life changing. It's not something I can have really hard and fast rules on, I don't think, but that's why I do apps the way I do, with quick replies first to let me collaborate with players.

When applying for a character, they'll have experienced their first Echo already. This Echo is quite weak, and will not have restored much at all, but it comes with a special, one time effect. It gave your character a string of numbers which they can never forget. Entering these numbers into any electronic device, or writing them down in any way, will connect the character to the private network. More information can be found here.

ADDITIONAL

A character's overall Echo process is meant to be a steady development. Any character is eligible to request one Tier 2 Echo a month, which can be used to either allow for a big development or change to take place at once or grant two separate but related Echo effects (such as two memories of one person, an item and a memory of how to use it, etc.), but otherwise, special powers will arrive in degrees and rarely all at once. The order and fashion of that power's return will, however, be up to the player. They might start with a basic ability that's simple to use, or an advanced ability that they haven't got a clue how to use properly or that takes up too much energy to be effective.

Abilities which rely on the player's soul or soul equivalent are no exception to this. During their reincarnation, the souls of the characters will have been converted into ordinary human (or animal) souls, and will regain their special properties via Echoes.

The method by which Echoes return something is entirely up the player. Maybe sometimes they'll instantly and painlessly gain something. Maybe over a course of weeks, they'll painfully mutate to accommodate a new appearance. Perhaps memories will return in a dream. In other words, whatever looks most interesting to you, go for it - feel free to mix it up and get creative!

ECHO FAQ
What happens if an echo is left behind?
How how often can I have my characters receive how many echoes?

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