The Beauty Of Shared Trauma

“Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced.” - John Keats

This is an ever-evolving collection of ideas that could be used to make A Township Tale a more engaging place. Ways of generating real emotions from the players to help strengthen their connection to the world and to each other. Ideas suggested by other players as well as myself.

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“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” - Rita Mae Brown

A lot of these ideas will stem from the fact that the experiences that come from disasters or potential disasters are the ones that stick with us the longest. But from these experiences we are able to strengthen our resolve as well as our connection to other residents of the Township, to overcome these goals and evolve as people. Perhaps there could be a clear warning before joining some servers that there are horror elements, just so those who prefer to avoid them can, or an option that is turn on by default to block entry to particular areas.

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“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.” - Clive Barker

Finishing moves by bosses that trigger animations when players are about to be killed. An example could be being eaten while the player is screaming into their mic just to add to the trauma. In VR this would be extra horrifying for the victim, as well as their companions.

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"Get Over Here!" - Hanzo Hasashi

Once a player is weakened enough, they’re at risk of being grabbed by arms or other appendages that come up from the ground. If the appendages aren’t cut quickly the player gets dragged down into Hell (See below) or some other very unpleasant place.
While temporary, this would add weight to dying, especially knowing your friends are stuck trying to fight a boss without you, and even if you do return, you’re unlikely to be as much help.

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“God isn’t here. God doesn’t even know about this place” - Johan Harstad

Hell could be some kind of hellscape rather than actual Hell. Poor visibility, shadowy shapes clawing at you, and a portal out so far away. Scorched rocks. A shifting landscape. You enter with nothing, only being able to fight with makeshift weapons from the bones of… perhaps it’s better not to know.
If you die here you have your maximum health halved for the next 24 hours of game time. If you make it to the portal you suffer no penalties.

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“Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst.” - Joe Hill

Becoming trapped by webs, vines or something else, poisoned, and reliant on others to help you.
An alternative is being captured and slowly dragged to your doom, desperately hacking at whatever is pulling you towards certain death. The panic of this experience would be memorable for both the victim and their companions who are desperately trying to rescue them.

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’“It’s only water," she said. “Tell that to a drowning man,” Giddon said.”' - Kristin Cashore

A variation of the previous ideas. Being pulled into water by an entity from the depths, or form a boat. Being trapped in water, trying to free yourself as you run out of air. Screaming only lets out a faint, distorted voice.
The weight of armour and weapons add to the speed at which you sink. Travel light to avoid sinking, but also increase the danger from attacks. Removing these items will give you a higher chance of making it to the surface, but you risk losing your gear.
The further down you sink, the more your vision obscures.

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“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” - Edgar Allan Po

In certain areas, if a player is killed they are instantly replaced by a clone. This clone will have the same appearance and gear as the player who died but doesn’t speak.
The clone will continue to travel with the surviving players for a while, but will eventually attach with whatever weapons the deceased player was holding, or fists if they weren’t holding anything capable of damage.
This in itself is creepy, but it would also make players very paranoid, even when there is no clone.
Another suggestion is that they seek to put out lights. This might not seem like much, but in areas with phantoms it could mean a terrifying death.

Yes. This is really harsh compared to the rest of the game, but I love all of it. I would love the harshness of this being in game, as I’ve stated before that I usually prefer harsher options for this game.

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To bring down the harshness, I’d say…

  1. Take out the bitten-in-half part. A finishing move would be cool, but not gory.
  2. No blood on skewering
  3. Make “hell” not actual hell; maybe spiders drag you into some spider nest, so it still makes sense without bring too dark

I previously brought up the idea of fake players in the caves and got mixed reactions. I said that they spawn naturally, but mimic player voice and actions until you get too close. Then, they steal your light source and put it out. In the dark, they shift into their true monstorous forms and attack.

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Thanks for the tips. I’ve made a few tweaks to my original post based on your suggestions, and added your ideas.

The Hell one I haven’t changed though just because I’m too lazy to write a lot, but I think a more themed area like you suggested would make far more sense.

I can’t believe I hadn’t considered clones putting out lights. It’s such a simple thing, but could have serious consequences. Even if clones don’t attack at all, them putting out lights could be even more dangerous.

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I like the idea of generally making death in the game more interesting, it could let us make it rarer (easier to stay alive) but have some good consensuses for dying instead of a boring fetch quest to get items back.

Also like the idea of being able to work through it to get back to where you just were, it’s difficulty would be getting out and after you do so you can easily get your items.

I could even see healers being tied into this mechanic, while other party members would have trouble and have to try to get into the area the downed player was dragged to, healers could greatly help the player directly by bring back a lot of the player’s health, so that he isn’t at death’s door and can fight back a lot more effectively.

This sounds good, maybe each area (depending on the fauna) have their own personal “hell”

If you are particularly bad and reach death’s door in a low leveled area with just spriggulls, you just get surrounded and squawked at while you are kept on the ground.

I could see bosses mostly being somewhat void of a “hell” which makes bring a player back from death’s door at lot easier with by healing them. Maybe even some bosses pick up downed players in the fight, such as a jailer giant… thing, that snatches them up and puts them in a cage which could be attacked to get them back.

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Not so sure about the clone part, seems a bit strange, definitely not very keen on them talking (also how would you facilitate that?). All the rest (taking in the suggestions of the previous replies) seems super cool to me. Perhaps if there was a spell you could cast that “senses the consciousness” and marks anything inhuman with a bright glow (the skin can glow or maybe the eyes or something), otherwise we’d have to do some “The Thing” blood testing.

Having them talk would be almost impossible, and even if it was a few set phrases the voice difference would be very obvious.

Alternate idea:
If a player is killed under certain circumstances, their body is taken over by some kind of spirit/AI, sending the player’s consciousness to some other place.

While the possessed body is still alive, the player has a chance to fight their way to a portal which will allow them to regain control of their body where it is, along with all of their gear.

If the possessed body is killed before the player can reach the portal, the body will die as usual. Gear will drop and the player will respawn in their body at the usual respawn place.

This means even if the player’s companions realize their friend’s body is being possessed, they’re faced with the dilemma of killing it and being separated from their friend, or trying to defend themselves from an increasingly dangerous AI.

The possessed body may start by just following nearby players, then trying to put out lights, then move on to attacking with whatever the player had been holding when they died. Empty hands or objects that don’t usually cause damage could do light damage.

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OH, I thought it was like a creature that assumed the shape of the player not entered it’s mind, in that case it sounds awesome and the spell isn’t needed.

I like the idea of possessed bodies. For the mimics, though, I figured they’d copy what they heard other players recently say in the mines. Somebody on their dying breath could try to warn others by getting the mimic to say something conspicuous, for example.

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Hohoho, as long as I’m around, you’re bound to have some horror elements to the game.

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Yes please. More. Until I am too terrified to touch vr again, it’s not enough.

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I think it sounds funny that a legitimate strategy for dealing with possessed players would be just slapping on some binding spells/binds and waiting.

Q: “Who are you?”
A: “Professional exorcist”

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“BINDING BOLT BINDING BOLT!”

“Are you actually going to do anything besides cast those?”

“Not much else I can do since the devs didn’t give anyway to actually do exorcising”

“The what? Never mind, why are you even an exorcist if there is no way to exorcise someone?”

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Foremost I absolutely love this idea. It sounds very very interesting. It holds a lot of potential. Maybe your idea will tie in with necromancy when the necromancer “class” gets implemented.
Moreover it could be interesting to see your idea and the idea with healers from @Edit combined. Maybe when a player dies healers can cleanse a dead player so that he won’t turn into a spirit/Ai thing. Or maybe when the player turns back and is in possession of their body again they are still somewhat tainted/cursed and lights around them would still turn off or he’d take damage. This would need healers, who need to lift the course.
Since this is a somewhat longer process with the spirit/ai and the curse, overtaking a players body by an Ai would only happen in boss fights. Also I know that these are not real healers but I still think that they are similar of the notion of a healer.

Also to make death in boss fights not boring, death would be handled differently in some boss fights. Maybe in some boss fights you die this way and in some even stronger boss fights @Edit idea with the cages would be used:

I think that variety is the key.

Edit: Spelling mistakes

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