It’s funny how real humans say they wish they could be someone else. As far back as my memories can take me, I’ve just wanted to stay one person. I just don’t have that privilege.
My friends and I live only in the minds of humans. We drift from mind to mind like mental vagabonds. We can only live by controlling people for awhile until their bodies eventually reject our presence. Like we’re some sort of disease. We then wake up in another body, carrying only the strongest memories from host to host. Our hosts have no recollection of anything that happened while we lived inside them, pretended to be them.
We call ourselves shifters. We first overheard the name whispered by people following us, tracking our every move. We call them listeners. They hear the psychic messages we can broadcast to each other, so we have to be careful. Keep a low profile. Only talk face to face. No telepathy. No phones. No texts. They’ll hear us and come take us away. Any shifter who gets taken disappears forever. Our memories will be the only proof they even existed.
Our group number keeps dwindling. It’s harder to know how many of us there once were with every shift. We move from town to town and state to state, hoping eventually they’ll lose track of us. They always manage to find us again.
None of us can remember who, or what, we really are. We don’t think the listeners even know. Some of them call us demons. Some call us parasites, aliens, ghosts, or even monsters.
All we know is our own shifter code:
Act like you belong. Find the others. Avoid the listeners. Protect the host. Shift to survive.
I’ve hosted a few times, but this story is the one I’ve really been waiting to host. I was originally planning on sort of a young adult supernatural vibe, but I really want it to feel a bit darker and a bit more realistic.
The mechanics will be a bit different. Every character should have a profile in two parts: First, the first and last name of the current host. In parentheses, write your shifter name. It should be something gender neutral, more of a nickname or a last name.
Shifters can have male or female hosts, so don’t plan on associating your character much with a specific gender or sexuality since that will change depending on your host at the time. With that being said, please feel free to make your host male or female, young or old, gay or straight, etc. Diversity is greatly appreciated.
As you play more cards, your host will eventually start to reject your presence through physical illness, eventually resulting in you having to find a new host. When it comes time to refresh your cards, you must change your host. After refreshing your cards, you’ll be in a new body, so you need to have a new photo, new name (keep your genderless shifter nickname in parentheses afterwards) and new profile information. Your character profile should consist of one paragraph about your shifter and some vague backstory information (memories from past hosts) and one paragraph about your host’s life. Make sure all your information is updated for your new host before posting after a shift.
There will be some items available which can extend your shift. Completing goals will give you more wild strength cards, hence extending the amount of time you have with your host. However, there could also be negative consequences for completing them. There’s always a possibility of your host dying, which would cause you to prematurely switch hosts. Even worse would be getting apprehended by the listeners.
When you shift, you will lose all the items you had previously, but you will be able to retrieve them in some circumstances. You’ll obviously retain the same strengths (good memories) and weaknesses (fears). Wild cards should be new events, good and bad, that will form new positive thoughts and fears for your future hosts.
Other than these mechanics, I’ll try to reveal and explain more rules and let you discover more about what’s happening later on in the story. I’m only looking for 4-5 players, so any more than that would have to take over another player’s shifter if they quit.
The pace will be slow, but the posts should be fairly short so that we can keep up the interaction level. If you are broadcasting a telepathic message, please use bold italic (three asterisks before and after). Be careful, it will attract listeners to the scene.
As a final note, each shifter should have a dark secret that they’ve been hiding from the other shifters. These secrets will probably come out one by one throughout the story. There will be cards that trigger these events. Please include a message to me with your shifter’s secret when you send in a character. If you can’t think of one, I can definitely offer some suggestions.
Hosted and narrated by:
Scenes played: 1
License: Community License