Continuing with our previews from the upcoming Saurids Sourcebook, today I want to talk about some of the upcoming new info for spirits. This is one section that ended up with far more material than I originally anticipated, but which came about naturally as we were filling in details about their culture. Given that most of their magic users are shamanic in nature, and given that the prevalence of spirits is of particular importance in their lore and traditions, it made sense to give some expansion on the material besides just the usual ally and elemental spirits. There are different perspectives and much more nuance that comes about with a people who have had spirits deeply embedded in their culture for multiple generations, and we wanted to give a feel for that both from a world building standpoint as well as with game mechanics. While this chapter expands on existing spirit information quite massively, much of the information really is a template for you to create your own unique spirits for your game, so if you’re in the market for some fun new possibilities for NPCs, friend or foe, this could be what you’re looking for.

Or possibly what’s looking for you.

The first group of spirits we talk about in the chapter are spirits of the domains. These blur the line between pure elemental spirits and nature spirits (the latter of which don’t have much for stats). They have an elemental basis, but with a focus on how that element interacts with and presents within a particular area. For example, earth domain spirits include Spirits of the Plains, which come from areas of open, flat ground that isn’t cultivated; Spirits of the Rocks, which come from mountains and anywhere the terrain is rough and rocky, and Spirits of the Walls, which come from areas that have been built up by people using earth and stone to create structures. The areas they come from give them different personalities, methods, motivations, and occasionally different powers. They are statistically similar to elemental spirits, and in truth you may have already played with similar ideas using elemental spirits already in your game. The chapter breaks down the distinctions based on the Saurid perspective, and gives some further definition to help add refinement to the idea, such as specifying areas where certain types can be found and areas where they are incapable of accessing.

Further on in the book, but tying into this idea, we’ve also included notes on toxic spirits. We have a lot of themes around environmentalism in 1879 and how areas might be corrupted, particularly in the Gruv. You see this coming up in the Saurids’ history with the Machine People, the Samsut in how they had to develop The Balance to avoid overly draining an area, and most recently in particular with the British and the corruption of the water near Bourne’s Hill as described in the Fort Alice Sourcebook. These are spirits from these corrupted areas, resulting in not only some nasty personalities but also some new powers based on that.

Yes, there’s finally a basis to include Slimer in your game.

Next, we’ve gone into a list of beast spirits, essentially ally spirits for animals. These are broken up into general archetypes, so you don’t have to worry about stats for every single type of creature in the books (though you are certainly welcome to stat out a specific one if it’s important to your game). The representations are primarily done with dinosaur spirits, since this from the Saurids’ perspective, but you could easily apply this to Earth creatures as well. The types are Grazer Spirits (any large herbivore, such as moschops or cattle), Chaser Spirits (pack hunters like wolves), Hunter Spirits (lone hunters like most big cats), Cunning Spirits (smaller animals that tend to get by more with speed and intelligence, like foxes), Armored Spirits (like grazers but distinct in that they have body plates, like turtles or ankylosaurs), Soarer Spirits (naturally, things that are primarily defined by the ability to fly) and Swimming Spirits (again naturally, things that are primarily defined by being aquatic). You could most definitely have cross overs between the types, in personality, physiology, and game statistics. We give examples of unique Named spirits for each, and you could certainly make up your own.

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve included Fey spirits into the mix. This is one in particular I wanted to make sure we added in the book, given how we’ve established that the Fey bind themselves to the mythos of intelligent species living on the worlds they travel to. Having the chance to not only introduce the weirdness of the Fey but also the weirdness of cradle tales from a culture alien to ours is simply too good to pass up. We’ve included a smattering of folklore creature based spirits, though of course more powerful Fey that can mimic Saurids would also be present in this world (and would follow similar game statistics as described in the Player’s Companion). Given that the Saurids generally exist more harmoniously with nature, the Fey generally don’t have any malicious intent against them, though they’re still just as mischievous.

Loki Gator is the best I could find for a .gif of a mischievous lizard, and honestly it’s such a good fit thematically that I hope someone makes a Saurid campaign with a Loki Gator Fey spirit that keeps showing up to mess with their players.

Any ideas come to mind how you might have a Saurid player or NPC Shaman use some of these new spirits? Any thoughts on your own unique spirits you might want to use in a campaign of your own? Let us know your ideas in the comments and on Discord. Also, if you’re looking for some live 1879 entertainment, we’ve started broadcasting a game that Andi is running over on our Twitch channel. Broadcasts will be on Sundays, dependent upon the availability of our players, so please follow us to get notifications on when we go live. We’ll also be later uploading the recordings to our YouTube channel, so be sure to check there for games you might have missed, as well as our other recordings. That’s all for this week, we will catch you in the next one!