We haven't Lore Delved into the Afterlife for a long time and I think a topic of recent discussion would be a perfect way to get back into it. In the game, your Student will control the Homunculus it creates but we don't quite know how they do it? In a recent designers meeting we explored this interaction much further and came up with a conclusion we were happy with.
The conversation started with one of our newest content designers asking said question for a story he was going to write. Embarrasingly, it was something we didn't quite think to much of but the general thoughts the senoir content designers had was that was a telepathic link. Your Homunculus isn't like a trained pet or even a football team where you bark orders or communicate through a microphone but a telepathic link. The Shrine's we discussed in an earlier blog are your students way of warding off the harsh conditions and monsters from the Afterlife. Even the very idea of opening this shield to talk to your Homunculus was out of the question. The Student also created this Homunculus through alchemical and magical purposes so we believe there is a deep connection between the two people so linking the students mind to the Homunculus was not only the coolest but the most interesting and safest way for the Student to do so.
So how deep is this connection? What does it feel like to transfer your mind into a Homunculus? I personally argued for the one to one connection of feeling the pain of the Homunculus. I liked this idea because it makes the stakes higher for the Student but it really doesn't make much sense. The Construct is not a bundle of organs or nerves like a humans body but primarily inorganic material. Some constructs contain organic material but it is far from living. Linking your mind into a Homunculus is more intense than a VR experience. I would think of it more as a dreamlike experience. Dreams, like nightmares, can feel very lifelike and the fear of being chased, fallen or even grabbed can be translated more easily in a dream than a VR experience. So when the Bog Slave is swinging its arm atop your homunculus, you will get that flinching sensation.
There is speculation of if you die in a dream you die in real life. When you are falling in a dream, you get extremely close to the ground but you never hit it. When your Homunculus becomes reduced to rubble or ash what happens to your Student? Well thats something you will have to find out when Visions of Zosimos is released Q1 of 2017!