Race Meet the Phobe (or Geist) "The Halloween Race"

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Cruxifer, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    (Forgot to add a poll when I made this thread so... http://strawpoll.me/882649)

    :boo: The Phobe (or Geist) :boo:

    Casually known as "The Pale (or Masked) Outsiders" by the superstitious, the Phobe are in fact themselves a trans-sentient manifestation of an extinct civilization. The Phobe are the unintended consequence of a hyper advanced human-like race's attempt at converting their entire population into pure energy as the next step of evolution.
    Like with the Apex they sought to achieve a form of evolutionary perfection but instead of targeting their genetics they targeted the very matter that made up their physical forms. The results of the planet wide experiment turned it and its humanoid inhabitants into a dusky reflection of their former selves. The "last pulse" event left their entire world twisted beyond recognition and while their bodies fell dead in front of them, they stood looking over themselves in complete bewilderment and confusion, none of them knew what had happened or how they got there.

    A change had definitely taken place, they were "dead" or at least trapped in between solid and energy states. Their physiology had been erased, they had become featureless, gender-less, translucent ectoplasmic beings. Totally lacking any ability to recall memories yet haunted by an intense nostalgia as they wandered aimlessly for years among the shadows and wreckage of their forsaken civilization. They accomplished little more than building fires for warmth they didn't need and hungering for food they couldn't eat, they were reduced to their most basic and primitive instincts.

    Then, the carnival appeared. A procession of Phobe swept into the derelict cities from the gnarled and misted woods. These Phobe bore strange masks, each one strikingly dissimilar to the next. They had given themselves names and purpose. The Venetian style "carnival" slowly but surely converted the entire ghost planet into a new and thriving civilization, a society not dissimilar to that of a perpetual variant of the human Earth holiday, "Halloween".

    Each Phobe who donned a mask felt awareness flush over them again and though they still lacked memories from before the experiment, they felt something for the first time in a long time, hope.
    The masks are carved universally "blank" so that they integrate perfectly with each individual Phobe. The masks caused their bodies to reshape as either their masculine or feminine forms (whichever they were pre-extinction event) and drew out their identity to display it (If in creepy and eccentric ways).
    The trade for awareness and identity was a dependency on sucrose (Better known as sugar), oxygen, and physical mortality. Sugar could be "ingested" through the maw of the masks and helped them maintain the clarity they so desperately cling to. Without it, their masks slowly lose definition, they begin to starve, and slip into a lethargic state. If they go too long without sugar, the mask will eventually fall off and their body will evaporate soon after.
    (Theoretically they could be cloned or restored by the vestiges of "identity" stored within their mask, should it be recovered)

    As such it was not long before the candy industry exploded throughout their civilization. Sweet delights of all varieties swept the globe and the Phobe enjoyed a prosperity that lasted for centuries. Their scientists eventually engineered "candy crops" and teams of farmers replaced much of the remaining natural flora with virulent modified strains.
    One of their favorite non-native treats is the overly sweet Neon Melon not found on their home world.

    The prosperity they knew could not sustain itself however, not when greedy bohemians and hedonists began using their power and influence to create artificial shortages whilst at the same time hording sweets for themselves. This eventually lead to the existence of classes. The rich and powerful, a soldier class who served the wealthy, and a worker class kept in line by the soldier class.
    Jack Patch, a highly esteemed scientist even among the greatest intellectuals of the Phobe and primary contributor to the creation of the candy crop did not hide his contempt for where their society was headed, it was not long before he began to rally the working Phobe and dissenting soldiers/scientists against the corrupt upper class, and all out civil war followed soon after.
    There are a few vestiges of sanctuary that are free from the ongoing carnage that followed Jack's "Orange insurrection". However, many were forced into exile, refugees from their homes and their home world, thrust into what is perhaps an even more hostile universe.

    Not everyone agrees with Jack's methods, but no one denies that something had to be done.

    (It is unclear how Jack achieved the level of strength and power he has. Being described as moving like a demon on the battle field with his Jack-o-Lantern drones close in tow. Some speculate that he somehow modified or augmented his mask, others actually believe he is the progenitor of the masks, fewer still take the shroud of mystery that surrounds Jack as confirmation that he was always like this, perhaps an experiment performed on some unfortunate human, pre-extinction event. That is to imply that someone may have known all of this would/could happen and did it anyway. Conveniently, no records exist that explain one way or the other...)

    To this day the violence continues and few if any loyalists ever actually leave the planet, compared to refugees and political "criminals" who have fled the fighting for another "fresh start" among the stars. Jack leads an army of willfuls against the "Hedons" (Not to be confused with the Dark Cultist's "Death the heathens" mantra.) as they are called by the resistance/revolutionaries.
    Jack, despite his history as a somewhat hermetic and pragmatic scientist, vows to become the king and paragon of his people, the representative of the Phobe and the example that redlects upon all other races who interact with the Phobe.

    "Death to the Hedons!" -Jack Patch in the year XXXX

    Technological Advancement:
    The Phobe have achieved trans-sentience, much of their technology is incomprehensibly advanced to the point that it appears (and for all intensive purposes is easier to describe) as magic.
    Despite achieving space travel and possessing a level of advancement well in access of what one would consider a high level of technological development, they prefer a curious mixture of Modern and Victorian style living.

    Their masks are a highly unique piece of technology from a yet unknown origin. The Phobe only know that the masks can be reproduced and allow incorporeal beings to reclaim their self and mortality.

    Fire and electricity are especially effective against the Phobe because these elements disrupt their rather fragile biomatrix making them vulnerable to damage. (Similar to the way cold effects flesh.)

    The Phobe greet every single other sentient species with excitement and welcome, they are very gracious hosts. Being perhaps the least xenophobic species in the known universe, they enjoy learning and listening to the stories of others, having had developed a powerful respect and value for memories given their own history (Or lack thereof).

    Like anyone else however they will retaliate with lethal force if attacked.

    Any Phobe is as trust worthy as any human can be, their value of identity breeds distinct personal diversity.

    Some may use the player, others may not. Some are scoundrels whilst others are incredibly lawful and self-righteous.

    Historical/Defining/Notable moments:
    Things that happened in the past that made the race what they are;

    Beneath the surface of their extinct world, the Phode discovered elaborate and surprisingly "advanced" ruins honeycombing the depths of their world that predate not only the extinction event but their species entirely. Some of the machines below actually still function, their purpose and how they work have yet to be determined.

    Probably to the Novakid or Apex Resistance.:proper:
    Hedon Loyalists would probably prefer the Miniknog.

    Technological Advancements?
    Extremely advanced neural interfaces, even the masks they wear are in a sense the pinnacle of neural interface and because of their partially incorporeal/energy state, the Phobe can interact with technology in ways other races could only dream of (Next to maybe a Glitch).
    To break down their technology without just saying "magic". Their masks and highly conductive bio-crystalline-plasma bodies give them the ability to subtly influence the space around them by manipulating very simple quantum principles. This ability can be magnified through nano machines.

    The Phobe are notoriously bad about showmanship however and often use this ability to flip a hat onto their head or pull a cane into their hand from across a room.
    In their defense, that's about all this power is good for.

    Fatal accidents?
    Well, they did manage to convert their entire population into a form of energy.

    Florans, once, but the pollen from the virulent strains of genetically modified candy plants infected the Florans and turned them into candy, after which they were given a taste of their own medicine and "served".

    If the Floran count.

    Natural Disasters?
    Somewhere in their history there was one, this may have been what spurred their entire species to seek out a solution to being alive.

    Resource Depletion?
    To elaborate the production of the candy plants was a necessity. As the population grew (Or was at least restored), candy became a scarcity and much suffering followed.
    Jack Patch, the greatest of the Phobe scientists (And the most sinister eccentric), was the Phobe who pioneered the development of "Candy Crops" an infinitely renewable, reconstitutable, form of sugar production.
    This also allowed for sugar to have more than one flavor, much to the delight of the starving masses.

    Pictures;Visuals:What does the Race Look like? (Provide Visual Aids)

    Does the Race have Spikes? Claws? How Many?
    While they lack physical definition besides gender, there are instances of Phobe becoming so emotionally distraught that not only the mask becomes contorted, twisted, and sinister but the feedback from the mask actually causes changes in their bodies as well. Arms lengthening, becoming lithe, hands turning into claws, etc.

    Does the Race have Spots? Scales? Another form of skin?
    The Phobe actually have no distinct bodily features besides male and female. Their forms are made up of a substance similar to trans-dimensional liquid crystal, making them highly conductive and sensitive to "otherworldly" energies.

    "I see dead people..." :eek:
    "We are dead people, stupid." :lod:

    What colour is each individual part of the Race?
    Their bodies are usually one uniform color, this leads them to often wear rather extravagant clothing. Shades of grey, violet, blue are their usual hues. They glow faintly with a certain opalescence.

    How do the genders differ?
    There are none besides appearance and psychology.

    What is its height in pixels?
    They are the same average height as Humans.

    f6gcK (1).png
    (I've actually slightly modified the breasts of the female model to look a little bit better, in my opinion anyway. Gonna try to blow these up and expand a bit upon them in the future.)

    Experimental Mouth.
    I really don't mind some input, nothing in this thread is set in stone, feel free to pitch ideas.

    *Much more to Come. Many edits likely.*
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  2. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Been a lot of years since I last did any amount of spriting, used to do it as both a hobby and for my friends who were trying to develop a game, coincidentally like this one... The TL;DR is, they failed.
    Please forgive me for being rusty and terrible.
  3. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Considering changing the entire origin/lore of this race suggestion. I'll keep the Mask to Amorphous humanoid concept but after a couple of days I'm having second thoughts. The whole idea is starting to feel messy/flawed even if the number of pop culture references, puns, and shtick one can think of relating to them is at the very least entertaining.

    I like that Halloween theme, the reliance on Sugar foods, and the idea of Jack-o-headed headless horsemen type character but it lacks appeal, even to me. I think I'll get to brain storming.
    This would be easier if I had folks to bounce ideas off of but I've gone in on this one completely solo.

    Lemme sleep on it.
    Could be a swamp ooze type race, amorphous fluid bodies and wooden/tiki type masks.
    Bah, I'll think about it.
  4. Ty525

    Ty525 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    On a whole, we totally disagree on this idea. I really like it. Very mysterious, and still alien enough to fit the setting. Probably one of my favorite suggestions yet. Not much about it i'd change, actually. I love the history. It reminds me a little of the dwemer from the elder scrolls. How the race tried to "ascend" but managed to cock the whole thing up.

    Them being essentially "space ghosts" is fine, in my opinion. I'd probably lose the fact that their masks are the only thing totally solid. Makes things a little too complicated if they should be able to just pass through gunshots, but the game mechanics can't reflect that. It'd be hard to threaten them. But on the other hand there's an appeal to them being able to reach through walls and the like.

    I like the general ghostly feel to what you have, though. Totally keep that it's glucose keeping them held together. The affinity for candy is a lot of fun. If you want actual criticism, give their society a little more to it than being a perpetual Halloween. I like the idea that they're more or less beyond living, thus having no real earthly concern and having a constant party. Because what else is there to do? So keep playing with that if you want.

    If you're worried about the jokes and stuff, you don't really have enough that it throws the whole thing off. Or maybe i'm just not catching them. I'd lose the slenderman thing, though. It's cute, but i'm not a huge fan of pop culture references having to do with lore and the like. Just a personal thing.

    And for aesthetics, it's totally up to you. But considering their background i'd base their masks and clothes on masquerade or carnivale clothes as a whole. Possibly having different styles of mask inspired by different cultures, like the tiki thing you mentioned, as a customization option. Reminds me of the "Masqueraiders" from Wakfu and Dofus, if you know it. For obvious reasons.

    Just my two cents. I don't plan on being hugely active on this forum, but i had to chime in. Obviously if you don't like it you should make something you do. I just think it'd be a shame if you did.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
    Alkanthe and Model QT-377665 like this.
  5. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I agree, I do like it and you're right. There needs to be more depth to their cultural background. Although it wasn't meant to sound like they're living in a constant state of celebration, that is indeed how it came off so I've got some work to do on that front.
    The input of satire is of course for the express purpose of alleviating seriousness. I find, personally, that I cannot take others seriously when they take themselves too seriously. People such as that often come off as more immature than actually lucid. I've tossed out the Slenderman reference though, even if it did fit fairly well, as I too can sympathize with a dislike of certain pop culture references.

    I will modify/remove the parts about their ability to pass through solid objects as your points are quite valid in terms of in game performance. I can say that before they get a mask they are incorporeal enough to pass through solid objects but the masks give them form, identity, mortality (At least makes them vulnerable to physical injuries and starvation. As far as age is concerned, I cannot say.) and density.
    I think it needs to be understood that a Phobe without a mask is essentially a wandering shadow, they do little more than respond to phantom stimuli corresponding with needs such as warmth and sustenance even though they cannot be cold and cannot starve. They move sluggishly and have a gender-less, undefined, and only vaguely humanoid form. They often behave as though they are completely unaware of the existence of others or their surroundings and might even pass through someone without so much a second glance. As such, one can understand why the Phobe never want to return to that state of being and would rather meet true death than do so, even if it means that they now need to eat and can be physically harmed.

    I'd like to come up with an origin for the masks but even I cannot fathom one, so I left it to a mysterious circus-like troop of their kind who emerged from the dense dusk laden woods that often border their now ruined and derelict cities. Cities that, for the most part, crumbled in the same catastrophe that "wiped them out".

    This morning it dawned on me though that they remind me of Willy Wonka in a sense, trans-sentient eccentrics with technology so strange and so advanced that it appears to be magical, and it might as well be as far as they are concerned. Their ability to manipulate quantum fields (Albeit on a very limited, even novel, scale.) alone, thanks to their half/un-life status was or should be the basis upon which all of their technology is founded.
    Drawing upon their ghostly nature and their connection/access to normally intangible energy forms/patterns.

    So if one can imagine a top hat, flashy cape and suit wearing man with a mask reminiscent of a Jack-o-lantern that sprouts hair/fur (Or perhaps not) around the top or bottom rims to simulate hair and facial hair.

    Why does it have to stop at the mask though? They could have "stabilizers" that attach to their shoulders, elbows, knees, neck, back, etc. These items, like the mask, would simply adhere to their form and become as though they are fully integrated and attached without straps, glue, or anything else. Items based on the same technology as the mask, so that it can interface with their highly conductive bodies.
    This would/could/should be purely cosmetic, not actual race specific items.

    Perhaps I should also elaborate on how other races might feel about them. Despite their initial lack of xenophobic behavior, this does not mean that other races feel the same. The Glitch and the Phobe have quite a bit in common on a fundamental level I suppose, and now that I am sitting here thinking about it, why would the Phobe like the Apex in any sense? The Apex are the pinnacle example of oppression, secrecy, and tyranny. They are a race that (at least the power structure of) serves to dish out conformity forcibly onto its own people. Disobey or show signs of dissonance and it's a one way trip to the Miniknog vacation resort or a session on one of those thought reassignment tables for you. The Apex in many ways are the opposite of the Phobe, despite their similar background/origin.

    The Floran should be afraid of the Phobe for a variety of reasons. Ignoring my personal contempt for the Floran, the Phobe themselves would have no qualms with their species. Humans are too varied to be one way or the other, likewise with grounded Avians. The Kluex Avians though, they just attack anyone on sight it seems.
    I cannot say how the Phobe and the Wylotl would interact, I can only imagine it as being somewhat awkward.
    A Novakid and a Phobe would probably make for quite a tag team.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
    Alkanthe and Ty525 like this.
  6. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    It'd be nice to know an actual pixel artist, or if I'd hadn't lost the hard drives with all my old work on them... I'm thinking Venetian culture (Enlightenment Era) with strong influences from Halloween and hints of Victorian (Style of clothing.).
    Probably wouldn't hurt to see some "Plague Doctors" among the Phobe.
  7. Cipherstar

    Cipherstar Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I quite like this. Depending on the sprites it could be a favorite race of mine.
  8. Zaisher

    Zaisher Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    so what your saying is.... a mask .. based race?*teleport ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD to you*
  9. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    I can see this only being added for special events or during holidays. For now though maybe you could acquire the help of some programmers and some other designers and you could make this into a mod for the time being. It could be popular (people might want to download them for like a Halloween marathon on Starbound).
  10. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    That was my understanding and partially my intention to design this race specifically around the Halloween season. So you've in effect hit the nail right on the head.
    Yes, it would be very nice to know an actual pixel artist or designer. In particular one willing to conceptualize this race, while I used to do character sketches in the past, I cannot quite rival the capability of the artists I've seen on here and I do not expect to receive the popularity that some of the other races have, races I solemnly believe deserve implementation far more than my own. Races such as the Parfelians, the Monophytes, and the Oscura to name a few.

    While it would be nice to see it come to life, I have a hard time avoiding references I would rather not use to describe them. References that might help people visualize them but at the same time, on a personal level, might also make them off putting.
    I know I would lose respect for myself if I caved into using someone else's work as a visual representation of my own, and by that, I mean pre-existing concepts, which made even using the first image up there somewhat difficult for me.

    Anyway, yes. That would be ideal.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  11. Hound-of-Tindalos

    Hound-of-Tindalos Starship Captain

    Well since all the races get their own mech my I suggest a black widow like mech?

    Would their architecture primarily consist of tents and small temporary structures? mixed with ruins?

    What would a Phobe dungeon look like? I would say ruins but they only have ruins on their homeworld right?

    I would like to say I really enjoy this race due to my love of Halloween and horror and undead. I wish I was artistic or something and could help contribute but alas I have the art skill of a moldy potato.
  12. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I hadn't actually given much thought to their mech design quite yet. I imagine it would be something along those lines or rather like a mechanical Jack-o-Lantern that breathes fire. Maybe even a Jack-o-Lantern with spider legs. Blue flame "Willow wisp" type satellites around it.

    It depends, off their home world, permanent settlements would likely consist of spooky Victorian, Second Empire, Late 19th Century style homes. Your typical depiction of a haunted house. While traveling carnies/circus type settlements, ones meant to be mobile (At least supposedly) would consist of tents large and small, probably with vendors that sell any variety of candy, mini-games, prizes to win, and probably wouldn't consist exclusively of Phobe. Apex acrobats, Floran chef/beast tamers, Hylotl dancers, Glitch stuntmen, Novakid quick-draws/marksmen, Humans, etc.

    It really depends on the time-line I've set for their war, the war on their home world could have been raging for a century or longer as far as I've described so it is not out of the question to say that I couldn't change the scope of their civil war either.
    A Phobe dungeon does not necessarily need connections to their war either and I imagine it would look something like either a very large haunted mansion or deep stretching catacombs type dungeon. Even "Ghost ships" both in space and on Ocean/Arctic Ocean biomes. Toss in some spooky undead type "ghost" monsters and maybe some "driven mad Phobe" (Warped and monstrous.), a dash of creepy music, cobwebs, traps, a pet (Hellhound/Wolf or Back Cat), and you're probably in business.
    Who's to say that they did not have a Utopian society that didn't span multiple star systems and that their experiment effected a large chunk of the galaxy, but only afflicted their species, despite being human-like, because it was only designed to target their specific genetic/material composition? Although that would require me to change up the lore a bit, it's a thought.

    I like the look of the Wastelands planet biome mod in relation to this.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
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  13. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    If you're looking for an artist interested in doing said job, you can check you the art forum on here and request for some willing people, or you can check the deviant art pixel artists and see if they're willing too.

    EDIT: Actually if you want I could probably get some artists for you.
  14. Yanmato

    Yanmato Aquatic Astronaut

    What happens if another race tries to wear a Phobe's mask?
  15. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    Their soul gets sucked into the phantom zone except here's the catch, they're forced to watch every single episode of the real housewives and every episode to come for the rest of eternity.
  16. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    If a Phobe successfully removes their mask, they die. Their body would dissolve into the atmosphere like dying embers. The mask of a Phobe is a permanent thing, once on, it doesn't come off. Like it says in the description, the trade off for re-sentience is mortality and a basic need for food, namely sugars.
    The mask essentially becomes fully and totally integrated into their "ether body" and gives them form, substance, sentience, and identity again. It adheres in such a way that it may as well be skin and bone, pulling off their mask would be the equivalent of tearing your own face off.

    Alkanthe likes this.
  17. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    Mine was better :3
  18. Zaisher

    Zaisher Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    and if antoher race trys to wear the mask THEN ITS SOUL IS FILLED WITH THE SUFFERING OF ALL THOSE SENT TO ROT IN THE THE PITS OF THE UNDERWORLD or is just falls of
  19. Cruxifer

    Cruxifer Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I actually hadn't taken into consideration what the mask would do if worn by someone else. I imagine nothing, it would act like a grim trophy, probably something a Floran would cherish seeing as their race is basically like the "Predator".
    Alkanthe likes this.
  20. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    Or you could add some alien like feature that makes sense as to if someone else were to wear their mask. Example: melting their face off because the interior is something only the face of a phode.
    ro-borg 37 likes this.

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