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Vessels in the 'real world' of Crowfall

I have been pondering the Vessel system and how it would manifest in the real world of the game. How it would play out in a reality where you could free your soul from your own body and inhabit the corpses of others, and by doing so, in some cases, gain abilities, knowledge and an identity you did not previously have.

 

This led me to identifying the impact of Vessels in the following areas:

As Commodity: With Vessels being a physical item, a good, that can be bought, sold and traded, there come various natural consequences. As with any good, the first of these is preventing damage. CF has accounted for this post-death with Vessel damage, degradation and the need for repair, but in a real world, this would also include pre-death damage and attempts at prevention of same.

 

This would likely manifest in some interesting ways, both for storytelling and for gameplay. Non-destructive forms of killing such as poison or precision slicing and stabbing would probably become preferred methods of killing, as they would have a lower chance of producing damaged goods. The Assassin would be a good friend and supplier of Necromancers and Undertakers, and if someone had their eye on a particular enemy player’s Vessel, they might even hire an Assassin to ensure not only that said person died, but that it involved the least damage possible to their body.

 

Another consequence that could be expected would be the treating of this commodity as a resource, something which often occurs in times of war. This would have both strategic and tactical aspects, which would extend from the home-front or EK to the front-line or Campaign World. In the case of the latter, armies might assign specific people to the task of collecting the Vessels of their fallen or those of the enemy forces, securing them for their use, or alternately, carrying out a scorched earth policy, damaging or destroying those which they could not carry away or acquire for use themselves.

 

In the non-combat areas, across the general population, rationing might be enforced, or limits on what types of vessels could be used where. A monarch or general could establish a convention which dictated that the highest quality or most rare Vessels be reserved for use exclusively in the Campaign Worlds, or even only on specific worlds, such as the higher stakes ones like the Dregs or The Shadow. Crafters in a guild could be required to use only certain Archetypes, preserving the most combat-effective platforms for those doing the fighting.

 

All kinds of intriguing possibilities, which inevitably would leak from commerce into culture.

 

In Culture: With Vessels established as a practical reality, they would soon become social and spiritual ones as well. All kinds of conventions and even cult practices could be expected to spring up, from that of people unwilling to cause harm or death to Vessels originally belonging to friends or family, to Crows who restrict themselves to only inhabiting their own original Vessel; a group of people I call Naturalists.

 

These people might restrain themselves in these ways purely for spiritual reasons or perhaps for practical benefit, and they may even try to force others to adopt their philosophy or practices through intimidation, violence or even war. Religious or Nationalist groups might undertake crusades or launch military campaigns in an attempt to prevent those not naturally of their group from using Vessels which have those origins. An Order Crow could easily be strongly opposed to the use of an Order-origin Vessel by a Chaos Crow, and attempts to establish factional control could extend from battling over fortifications and land to fighting over Vessels.

 

In less dramatic or extreme ways, you would see the practical effects of body-switching ripple through the non-combat areas of life. Individuals with no care for what happens on campaign or a Vessel’s strategic value might seek specific types simply for their cosmetic appeal. Stalkers might become the rage one year, providing the opportunity to adorn their antlers in all manner of fashionable ways, and gender-swapping would be a common occurrence, with doubtlessly interesting consequences. An Eternal Kingdom would have an identity as rich or highly developed not only because of the quality of infrastructure but perhaps also due to the diversity and depth of it’s Vessel pool.

 

Diversity pays dividends in many ways at the societal level, including it’s very foundation.

 

For Character Creation: Deciding who you are, what you looked like and even what you can do, would be more  than just an abstract exercise carried out by the game player, it would become a practical necessity and opportunity for that player’s avatar in the world they live in. It could determine what guilds you could join, whether you could be a land-owner or craftsman in a particular kingdom and even what role you’d be eligible to play in a confrontation spanning many Campaign Worlds. What kind of life you can live would hinge on these choices.

 

What limits an individual can sometimes broaden a society, requiring it to embrace cooperation and tolerance with and of others. Eternal Kingdoms will naturally both compete and cooperate, become interested in eachother`s wellbeing, and in some cases, take up arms for one another. A diverse population leads to a rich toolkit and a stronger fighting force, those who neglect to develop richness in their civilian populations or develop relationships across Kingdom lines might find themselves facing failed development, stunted growth and eventual death as a society.

 

Once you think about the consequences of Vessels as a reality in a living, breathing world, things rapidly get really interesting. I can`t wait to see how this all plays out. 

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