Metempsychosis, or Meeting Your End

Some new information from FBG about the upcoming end-game opportunities.

[quote=]What is Metempsychosis?

In short, Metempsychosis refers to the transmigration of the soul from one body to another at the point of death. It is an ending, and a beginning.

In Fallen London, it will be a way to tell a character story that has a definite conclusion. It’s also a way to replay the early game more efficiently than you could if starting from scratch, and to enjoy some additional lore and experiences depending on how your previous character ended up.

Finally, it’s a way to string together all four Ambitions into one, joined-up storyline. We can’t see a reasonable way to let a single character do all four Ambitions without restarting: the results would be both mechanically overpowered and fictionally very hard to support. But we can tell a story where all those Ambitions are completed by members of a single dynasty or legacy line.[/quote]

Much more at the link.

That’s all very interesting.

I’m wondering how they’ll handle the railway from a narrative perspective.

After all, if we start a new character, but it’s meant to all be &quotlinked&quot in a way, as part of the same universe we’ve created for our character, then it would be very strange if a railway built just suddenly ceased to exist and needed to be built again . . . not to mention other potential big world-changing decisions, too, and how our character’s choices reconcile with those of the character to inherit from us.

There’s a certain term AK invented exactly for these questions: Treachery of Clocks.

Capital T Treacheries mean that in the Neath, the place of broken and decaying Law, things get wonky. Treachery of Clocks concerns tangled time and causality, and is a canonical justification for repeating some of stories or storylets.

edited by Aro Saren on 10/19/2020

Just imagine how somebody with all ES stories transforms into new character. How long she have to scroll down every time to see common storylets?

&quotBut we can tell a story where all those Ambitions are completed by members of a single dynasty or legacy line.&quot

On the other hand … some of us have done things that will keep us around for a very long time indeed.

I wasn’t too keen on this New Game+ mode but now I’m really excited. Killing the Vake just to have another character someway down the line make a different choice regarding its fate in order to have a different reward doesn’t really make sense and more importantly, would feel like negating my original character. But this way the change my current character made in fallen london would shape the world her successor would live in. The free reset of Exceptional Stories is more than generous and revisiting old favorites/making different choices is exactly the reason I would relish it too. And I’m presuming that Gebrandt’s museum, Viscountess’ war on fingerkings, etc. will be released like the Railway and Helicon House, providing endgame content that people who doesn’t want a new character/ambition will have significant advantage over people who chooses metempsychosis. I love it!
edited by beekeeper307 on 10/20/2020

Heh. I’m still skeptical.

It going to feel like in order to have an endgame character (i.e. one that’s gotten all the ambitions done) I’m going to have to throw away lots of things that I’ve done that were significant - e.g. the noman tattoo, cider, heptagoat, etc… I’d enjoy replaying stories, including early-game ones; I wouldn’t enjoy &quotreplaying&quot slow long-term grinds.
edited by Amalgamate on 10/20/2020

I think the answer to a lot of the skepticism is simple: for a hefty fee in fate, your current character does not meet its end, but your progeny does in fact descend to the Neath from the surface and follow in your footsteps, allowing you to have your cake and eat it too.

I know that I’d pay 250 fate for the privilege of being able to embark on this years-long journey without losing my current character.

The alternative – starting an alt designed solely to be ended at the earliest opportunity for the purposes of experiencing this new content – frankly feels very unsatisfying to me. I’d like my descendants to be descendants of me, not a dummy character with none of the world-shaping I’ve done over half a decade under its belt.

I’ll be honest, while it sounds interesting and promising for players into this sort of thing it’s probably not for me for one simple reason: I paid Fate for a Destiny a long time ago, and I’m hellbent on seeing exactly HOW my character can turn into a space bat and fly with the Bazaar to the Sun (or beyond, maybe) after failing to have picked Heart’s Desire and therefore the most obvious route of transformation into a Master.

I’m not sold on this right now but I can definitely see how it could appeal to other players.

I have a question for FBG. The blog post on Failbetter’s blog about Metempsychosis says:

“Even if you start a Metempsychosis storyline, you will have a chance to back out any time before the very end of the process.”

Does that mean that a character will be able to start, and back out of, the Metempsychosis storyline more than once?

[color=#e53e00]I am checking this thread - but if you have a question that you definitely don’t want missed, please email it to - I’m not currently replying to them, but I’m collating stuff so we can work out what might need future clarification etc.[/color]
edited by babelfishwars on 10/22/2020

It’d be interesting if, for Nemesis players, you’d be able to play as your returned ones. It’d allow a much closer connection between the characters.

I’d second that. Also, perhaps some other characters in the player’s orbit, like A Daughter in the Shadows.

Already emailed it, but I’d like to share my thoughts with fellow players as well.

1. Will &quotnew&quot players be able to restart an Ambition that they’ve already completed?
The opportunity to try the other three is great, but it would be no less desirable to revisit the same story with different choices. Even if it means losing all obtained rewards. Especially now when it’s possible to experience the long-forgotten first half of Ambitions and this year’s continuations as a whole.

2. Seeing that the legacy includes Ambition items, will they have any impact on the consequent Ambitions?
Because even if there wouldn’t be an option to use them, just having and not using them in some circumstances will be an equally meaningful choice for the player character.
(For example:
An owner of &quotA Leasehold on All of London&quot could exclude the Hybrid and the most ethically dubious essential steps from a certain Master’s scheme in Light Fingers, and by the time of the decision they would already be informed of it.
An owner of &quotA Kitten-Sized Diamond…&quot would know that they could easily avoid a significant part of competition by granting a rival’s wish in Heart’s Desire. (But the player would miss a whole portion of truly amazing content.)
The Master in Nemesis would have to think twice before angering someone who has a head of the Master from Bag a Legend among their family’s trophies.
And so on.)

What do you think, delicious friends?

Several of the items from Heart’s Desire have descriptions that include how you obtained them, which may have to be changed. Or perhaps a different version would be passed on, with the same stats but a different description. You might have The Thief-Oath of Tristram Bagley because of the debt he owed to your predecessor, even if you didn’t personally help him.

I wonder what would become of items that were once easily obtained, but are now impossible, like The Portable Lamp-Post. I didn’t pay Fate for my Enfranchised Anchoress, but wouldn’t be able to replace her without paying.

I’m more than eager to try this, but only if I keep my stats and items, at least rare and seasonal ones. It should be considerably different from starting a new character from scratch, otherwise there’s no point in this new mechanic when we already can do just that.

[quote=JaneAnkhVeos]1. Will &quotnew&quot players be able to restart an Ambition that they’ve already completed?
The opportunity to try the other three is great, but it would be no less desirable to revisit the same story with different choices. Even if it means losing all obtained rewards. Especially now when it’s possible to experience the long-forgotten first half of Ambitions and this year’s continuations as a whole.[/quote]
I second this so much!

I would like to keep my Renown across the transition, as it took a long amount of time and resources to get it as high as 50 and it would be a pity to have to grind it that high again.

So, I’m thinking of one decision point in SMEN. Where to progress, you have to NOT HAVE a bunch of items.

Having those items doesn’t gain you anything, you don’t have to collect them to progress, you just have to get rid of them, if you happen to have them.

When SMEN was reintroduced, this was a great mechanic for the story. Players who had built up their characters over years had to destroy everything they owned FOR NO BENEFIT, just to get rid of it. Because that’s the kind of story SMEN is.

…and that’s kind of my worry with this Metempsychosis. Is it going to feel the same way? It’s not supposed to be a New SMEN that horribly tortures the players for wanting to play it. But is it going to be? A story where you throw away everything you’ve worked for, to no reward?

Right now, I’m grinding to 2500 Spirit of Hallowmas, to apparently get some cool unique quality. Is that random quality going to persist? What about other unique qualities, things no longer accessible? What about Paramount Presence of the Old Regime, things like that?

We’ll see, I guess. Perhaps if the old unique qualities are memorialized it won’t feel bad. I’d definitely urge the devs to treat the resets as “default to having everything recoverable, except for selected things that are memorialized somehow, and other things which are reset” where the things that are reset are manually picked out rather than having the default be “everything’s reset, except for things devs specifically pick out to keep”. Because if you default to losing everything, things are going to slip through the cracks and get forgotten.

I will say for what it’s worth, it is a shame I don’t have one spare character I’m willing to spend on Metempsychosis. Having been reminded of how horrible death is in Fallen London I’m kind of intrigued at what would drive a Londoner to an existence of perpetuating such atrocities forever in exchange for a thankless existence where your only reward for being a good Boatman is, well, a paddle.