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Author Topic: Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check  (Read 308 times)

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Online ChrystalTopic starter

Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check
« on: April 10, 2016, 04:30:23 PM »
Dead Like Us

About a decade ago, MGM Television produced a TV series called "Dead Like Me", about a group of undead characters called Grim Reapers, who's job it was to reap the souls of those about to die, preferably before they died, detaching the soul from the body, so that the soul didn't go through the trauma of actually dying. Part of the problem being that whatever the person looked like when they died, would, if they were reaped too late, be what they looked like in the afterlife. So, for example, someone shot in the head would have a bullet hole in their head in the afterlife, unless they were reaped first.

The protagonist of this story was an 18 year old girl who was killed by being struck a toilet seat from the de-orbiting Mir space station. She becomes a reaper, and meets several other reapers including Rube, who is the head of the local group of the "External Influences Division" of reapers - External Influences being accidents and murders.

Rube receives a list of who is to die and when, and all the reapers meet up at a waffle house, he hands out the assignments to each reaper, usually on a yellow post-it note. All they get is the Initial(s), surname, location, and ETD.

Souls are reaped by the reaper brushing a hand on the about-to-be-deceased (or on the corpse of the recently deceased, if they are a bit late figuring out who it is). The reaper is then responsible for shepherding the soul until it passes over into the afterlife.

Link To The Wikipedia Entry



So, I figured that this might make an interesting setting for a group role-play. Set in a different city, with a different (o/c) group of reapers. I would play the group leader, the one who gets the list. I would, as GM, also play the gravelings (see below), and the various NPC victims. Unless, of course, the game gets too big, in which case I would look for an alternative way to play them, possibly either a Co-GM or asking players not involved in a scene to play various parts.

So what's in it for you? I can understand the question. After all, Elliquiy is mostly about smutty role-play. I can hear everyone (except the few who have seen the TV series) asking, if the reapers are dead, what's the point?

But they aren't dead. They are undead, they have a body, that looks different to the living from what they used to look like (except on Halloween). So there will be the opportunity for smut (in the TV series, Mason spends most of the time trying to get into the pants of Betty and then Daisy.



Mythology

Grim reapers

In the world of Dead Like Me, grim reapers do not wear black cloaks or carry scythes (cloaks and scythes are only featured during the opening credits, for humorous effect), but their role remains traditional: they remove the souls of the living shortly before death and escort them into their afterlife. One becomes a reaper by being the last soul collected when one's own reaper meets his or her secret quota.

In the series, Death has a list of who is scheduled to die and when. This list is delivered to the head of each group by a shadowy figure (when the delivery is made to Rube's apartment; it is shown that the delivery is made by an actual shadow, with the list of names becoming corporeal only when it is delivered). The head of each group then gives each reaper a non-transferable assignment to collect a particular soul or souls. Completing that assignment is often difficult for the reapers, who receive only the first (and sometimes middle) initial and last name of the person about to die, the location, and estimated time of death (ETD). If a reaper refuses to take a soul at their place of death and the person somehow survives their appointed time, the soul will "wither and die and rot inside" them. If a reaper does not take a soul and the person does die, the soul remains trapped in the body and is subject to extremely traumatic experiences such as witnessing the autopsy of their own body. Deaths can be at least temporarily postponed without risk to the soul's well-being by interfering well in advance of the time of death; thus reapers would not be interfering with the events that lead to the death. However, this may have unintended consequences, such as other people dying because of actions taken by the person who should have died.

Reapers have a physical body and may interact with the living and the dead. Besides collecting souls, reapers have powers to remain ageless, heal extremely quickly (George once severed her middle finger, but was able to reattach it by just putting it back in place, while Mason has sustained what should have been fatal damage on multiple occasions, such as being shot and hit by a car), drink alcohol without suffering a hangover (see "Gravelings"), and forcibly pull a soul from a living body and replace it (as seen done by Roxy in Episode 9 "Sunday Mornings"). When seen by the living, reapers' physical appearances are different from those they had when alive, except on Halloween when the living see them as they were in life, though fellow reapers always see their original appearances.

The passage into the afterlife is shown as a brightly lit scene towards which the newly deceased is drawn. The portal is unique to each soul: for a child, it may be a wonderful carnival, but for a yoga master, it may be a Deva beckoning from within a Divine Lotus. Souls cannot be forced to enter the portals, so part of the reapers' job is to convince them to do so.

Groups of reapers are organized into "divisions" according to various causes of death. Generally, reapers are assigned to a division based upon their own cause of death; Mason tells George in a deleted scene that most of the members of the Plague Division died because of the Plague. In addition to Rube's "external influence" team, the three other divisions mentioned in the series are Circulatory Systems Division, the very uneventful and bored reapers of the Plague Division (who spend much of their time playing bocce ball) and the Natural Causes (Old Age) Division mentioned in the 27th and 28th episodes (according to the running order). (In the pilot episode, the viewer is led to believe that the Plague Division members have been reapers for centuries and will be unable to meet their quota, as plague deaths have become so rare.) While the members of Rube's team of reapers are instructed to never reap animals, George (and Reggie) do meet a child reaper who reaps the souls of animals suggesting that there may be a fourth division that exists for this purpose. The teams are organized into jurisdictions of geographical areas, with several teams associated with different causes of death operating within one area. It is not known how much geographical area a single division covers, but the reapers in the series seem to cover only a limited area in Seattle and King County, Washington, with reaper Daisy Adair transferring from SoHo area of New York City


Gravelings

In the show, reapers do not actually kill the living. Instead, deaths are arranged by 'gravelings'.

Gravelings are mischievous gremlin-like creatures that cause the accidents and mishaps (in the form of Rube Goldberg machine scenarios) that kill people. The living generally cannot see them, though in the episode "Reaper Madness", a schizophrenic was able to, although Rube refused to believe that was possible. Reapers can see and interact with them to some extent: Daisy once shushed a graveling; Rube yelled "Get outta here!" once when seeing gravelings desecrating a cemetery statue; and George once chased several angry gravelings around her apartment. Although gravelings seem to be self-aware and recognize the reapers, they do not communicate verbally with them, and talk to each other in a hushed and unintelligible babble; other times they growl or hiss.

According to the episode "Vacation", gravelings are given one day off every few years. Despite the holiday, most reapers are disturbed by their lack of manners and behavior. During this time they display the odd habit of stacking objects into precarious, humanoid towers.

In the episode "Reapercussions" (Season 1 Episode 4), it is noted that if a reaper interferes with and prevents a scheduled death, a "hunting season" will be declared by the gravelings, who will pester the reaper until that soul is taken and order is restored. Some of the reapers, including George, Roxy, Mason, and Daisy, are plagued by the wrath of gravelings throughout the series.

A graveling rose from the body of Ray in "Forget Me Not" (Season 2, Episode 12) following his murder at the hands of a reaper. This graveling retained Ray's mind or some other connection to his life, as it stayed close to Daisy and George's house (where Ray was killed) and expressed anger toward Daisy and Mason for Ray's death. It was also responsible for an unscheduled death at one of Daisy's reaps. Later, in the episode "Always" (Season 2 Episode 14), the graveling was reaped by George, upon which it turned to dust.

There is evidence that George was able to see gravelings when she was a child; in the episode "The Shallow End" (Season 2, Episode 4) George sees gravelings as she sinks into a swimming pool, with the gravelings appearing to hesitate from claiming her life (although it is not clear whether she actually saw the gravelings), and again in "Haunted" (Season 2, Episode 15) George recalls a Halloween afternoon during her youth when as a young girl she saw a graveling scurrying around in the background behind a man who, after she became a reaper, she realizes is a serial killer.



If interested, please post here in the usual way. If I get enough interest to make this worth running, I will get up a character sheet and stuff.

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 04:30:44 PM »
reserved post

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 04:31:03 PM »
reserved post

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Re: Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 05:27:01 PM »
Oh! I want in!

Offline LSWSjr

Re: Dead Like Us (open to all, alive or dead!) Interest Check
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 10:20:55 PM »
Shame about the recastings and loss of Rube in the film; definately count me in for this :)

Cheers
Rowan/LSWSjr