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What if the power of Lunar Essence concerned souls?

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  • What if the power of Lunar Essence concerned souls?

    A theoretical, experimental proposal:


    * Upon first Exalting, a Lunar gains a second animal soul; the Totem.

    * Taking a creature's Heart's Blood steals its animal soul. This is why Lunars can only take animal Heart's Blood at first, and only by killing them. Learning how to take the souls of humans (who have higher souls as well as animal ones), Dragon-Kings (who have completely different souls), or spirits (which don't differentiate between soul and body) requires specialized ability. So does learning how to take some of a target's soul without killing them.

    * Lunar Charms not only deal in specialized ways to steal souls, as above, but also to invoke their power. Most Lunar Charms are about invoking the strength of their inner Totem beast, or conjuring their Totem soul forth with howling wolf-spirit punches or as writhing snake-hair. The exact animal manifestations available to a Lunar expand as she consumes more Heart's Blood.

    * Lunar Exalted shapeshift by using the souls they've stolen to affect a change in themselves from the inside out; they don't simply look like their victims, they BECOME them. The Lunar can also tap into these souls to invoke their memories or Eclipse-OK Charms.

    * As soul-stealers, Lunar Charms have a very predatory bent.

    * As soul-witches, Lunar Charms also have a very symbiotic potential. Sense-Borrowing Method is made possibly by touching someone and creating a connection to their soul. Stealing their Heart's Blood while leaving them alive would let the Lunar activate Sense-Borrowing Method without touching them, though the Lunar would need to remain close enough to assume some risk. The Lunar could also use the connection to share (or inflict) her own senses with a target, as per Second Edition's Predator-is-Prey Mirror.

    * As soul-shamans, Lunars can use their sympathetic connections to heal others by lending power to their souls and radiating wellness from the inside out.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

  • #2
    The main problem is that souls in Exalted already have so many things hung on them in various ways, especially when you move past animal souls to deal with humans.

    First of all, are we talking the upper or lower souls? Animals only have lower souls, I think, but if you eat a human, are you just stealing their lower souls? This has significant implications for the way Lunar charms interact with them - if you're eating the lower soul, you're just getting their passions and animal nature, not their memories or skills or identity.

    If you want to do stuff with their upper souls, how do you interact with Alchemicals? Stealing an Alchemical's upper soul - or any upper soul, when interacting with Autochthonians - would be a big deal. Or does their gem prevent it?

    What about Abyssal powers and Necromancy that tries to dictate where the upper and / or lower souls go? Can a necromancer summon the ghost of someone a Lunar has hunted?

    Basically, I don't think it would be a good idea to take something that is already a key aspect of both Necromancy and Alchemicals and try to make it central to Lunars as well.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aquillion View Post

      First of all, are we talking the upper or lower souls? Animals only have lower souls, I think,
      I think I could argue against that. Lots of animals have hierarchies and family units, and in the lore of origin regarding the hunpo, the hun pertained to facilitating the three primary relationships rather than the seven emotions of the po. So, they conceivably could have both, or an altogether different, stronger spiritual makeup, because humans are supposed to be the odd weaklings that were left out of the agreement that the Primordials had with the gods, and the beasts are regarded as mighty in this genre.

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      • #4
        I very much want this.

        The shenanigans you could get up to with this would be AMAZING!

        Like maybe you could have a charm that lets you break off a soul with a bit of essence and let it act like a spy drone or something.

        Not to mention you could use them with lunar crafting charms to make cool vehicles and artifacts out of things you've hunted.

        Abyssals abuse souls for power, Alchemicals have a fancy built in soul cage, I doubt consider those the same at all. I mean if anything this could be more reasonably compared to aspects of Infernal exaltation, and even then I'm not sure they'd let you have as much fun as these lunars could.
        Last edited by A Not Quite Simple Soul; 10-05-2017, 03:01 PM.

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        • #5
          Hmmmm....
          It's a very interesting idea, but I'm not sure. It is rather radical. And could lead towards stuff that's more in the Abyssal wheel-house if you're not careful.

          This presumably would mean that if you eat a human and gain its form, there'll be no Hungry Ghost? Because you ate it.


          "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
            Hmmmm....
            It's a very interesting idea, but I'm not sure. It is rather radical. And could lead towards stuff that's more in the Abyssal wheel-house if you're not careful.
            But it takes them out of the Solar wheel-house of "I accomplish this task by being really awesome, just not as awesome as a Solar".


            This presumably would mean that if you eat a human and gain its form, there'll be no Hungry Ghost? Because you ate it.
            Yeah, without some kind of modification (such as eating only "part" of the Po Soul, along with "part" of the Higher Soul), this would mean humans who have their Heart's Blood stolen couldn't leave hungry ghosts, or those hungry ghosts would be noticeably weaker.

            Likewise, regular ghosts could be left weaker.


            Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

            My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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            • #7
              I kinda like this idea actually. It's certainly a different take on the main ideas behind the lunars, but it still fits their main points. I'm not sure that the new 'Lunar Rage' thing fits in to this, but then again it could be a separate thing without problems.

              I'd say that I'm not afraid that they'd step on Abyssal toes too bad (Though I think the potential problem is actually more overlapping the Liminal stuff atm) as you could simply distinguish their power to deal with living souls or souls enshrined in a body. Trying to keep certain aspects of the setting as being sacrosanct for any individual exalt type caused the collapse of 2E imo. I think in this edition so long as the Devs and writers focus on making sure that every exalt type has a unique play style it should be fine. I see a lot of potential for that here.


              Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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              • #8
                Quite conflicted on this!

                On one hand I'm not a fan of hearts blood in general (doesn't feel particularly tied into the setting - even in 2e it wasn't really linked with primordial world design or craft genesis just a lunar only thing) so I do like changing it to something else.

                But I've always loved how they separated soul and body. No matter how mutated your body is if you got a human soul, your human, even if your a camelsquidman and deserve to be seen as one, and this feels like it detracts from that by adding your physical body linked to your soul. And to me a lunar copies bodies not souls. As if they start eating souls they start eating into Raksha design space.

                But this does feel neater than heartsblood

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                • #9
                  Different Exalts approach to death with this idea

                  Abyssals: Create and control ghosts and the dead. Unrivaled mastery of necromancy and horrible death power. Underworld's Champions and masters (eventually anyway).
                  Liminals: Frakenstein monsters. Big on the corpses left behind by dead people and attempt to destroy or appease ghosts and separate them from the living. Unable to survive in the underworld indefinitely

                  Lunars: Not able to do much with the dead by default. With upgrades, however: Ghosts are delicious. Able to survive wherever the hell they want indefinitely. Able to live as a ghost if they want to.


                  Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                    I kinda like this idea actually. It's certainly a different take on the main ideas behind the lunars, but it still fits their main points. I'm not sure that the new 'Lunar Rage' thing fits in to this, but then again it could be a separate thing without problems.
                    The rage of the Lunar's Totem / inner beast, perhaps.

                    I'd say that I'm not afraid that they'd step on Abyssal toes too bad (Though I think the potential problem is actually more overlapping the Liminal stuff atm) as you could simply distinguish their power to deal with living souls or souls enshrined in a body. Trying to keep certain aspects of the setting as being sacrosanct for any individual exalt type caused the collapse of 2E imo. I think in this edition so long as the Devs and writers focus on making sure that every exalt type has a unique play style it should be fine. I see a lot of potential for that here.
                    Right. Lunar Exalted would get a unique focus on Living Creatures that doesn't include all forms of organic life (no mundane plants) and only tangentially relates to the spirits of the dead, and even less to their corpses. (Unless you intend to craft the corpse of your prey into a useful tool, using the resonance of their stolen soul.)


                    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                    • #11
                      I treat souls as a subset of the Mage concept of Patterns. (This is behind the screen rationale, that doesn't really come up in play but keeps me consistent) The soul (or souls) is/are the parts of the living being's Pattern that remains consistent, transcendent, and self-aware - unlike body, location, circumstances, etc.

                      In deciding how Lunars consume and internalize shapes, I'd consider how complicated, mighty, sublime, or conceptual a Pattern was, and go from there.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                        I think I could argue against that. Lots of animals have hierarchies and family units, and in the lore of origin regarding the hunpo, the hun pertained to facilitating the three primary relationships rather than the seven emotions of the po. So, they conceivably could have both, or an altogether different, stronger spiritual makeup, because humans are supposed to be the odd weaklings that were left out of the agreement that the Primordials had with the gods, and the beasts are regarded as mighty in this genre.
                        It could be possible Animals may have forms of these higher thoughts but no soul for it, just some ephemeral essences that washes off when they die, or their Po has vestiges of these.

                        I've experimented with different Primordial inhuman races and how their souls work. Like I was considering maybe having Bangaa from Ivalice maybe have their Po be the dominant soul and the hun the one that doesn't reincarnate, making things like racial memory more a thing then say reincarnated memories. And Krogans from Mass effect having redundant soul structures. As well as some ideas I had for nonhuman potential mortals like monkeyrats and badger chimps that have different soul structures or priorities but still result in a new Clayman inspired species coming out of secret Primordial Gardens of Eden.


                        It is a time for great deeds!

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                        • #13
                          The power of Lunars certainly concerns something that is soul-like. Past editions had Charms to learn abilities and knowledge from those you kill and go into Vision Quests that involved them as signifiers, and way, way before Infernals, me and others had Lunars going into inner worlds of blood, talking to that which they had devoured, seeing their inner world of predators and prey. That should not, however, deal with souls, themselves.

                          It's one of the things that differs between 3e and 2e, in which 3e is less about... rigid categories?

                          That which Lunars deal with, Shape, Spirit, Existence, is somewhat soul-like, but it should not be souls themselves.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                            It could be possible Animals may have forms of these higher thoughts but no soul for it, just some ephemeral essences that washes off when they die, or their Po has vestiges of these.
                            I really just don't see that as a useful distinction or line to draw. What's more, I have doubts that any part of the beast soul is going to be divided like in humans, or equated to the po. If Exalted were to crib anything about the division of beast souls, I would be more likely to wager that it was divided into four parts, as in a certain paradigm of death in Wraith.

                            I've experimented with different Primordial inhuman races and how their souls work. Like I was considering maybe having Bangaa from Ivalice maybe have their Po be the dominant soul and the hun the one that doesn't reincarnate, making things like racial memory more a thing then say reincarnated memories. And Krogans from Mass effect having redundant soul structures. As well as some ideas I had for nonhuman potential mortals like monkeyrats and badger chimps that have different soul structures or priorities but still result in a new Clayman inspired species coming out of secret Primordial Gardens of Eden.
                            The most prominent example of beings with ancestral memories - the Dragon Kings - don't have souls that are divided like humans at all, so I'm not too sure why you would need to cleave to the cleft of human souls.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                              I really just don't see that as a useful distinction or line to draw. What's more, I have doubts that any part of the beast soul is going to be divided like in humans, or equated to the po. If Exalted were to crib anything about the division of beast souls, I would be more likely to wager that it was divided into four parts, as in a certain paradigm of death in Wraith.



                              The most prominent example of beings with ancestral memories - the Dragon Kings - don't have souls that are divided like humans at all, so I'm not too sure why you would need to cleave to the cleft of human souls.
                              Well not all of them I use the Human soul structure, I have other souls like Ren for True Name, shadow instead of Po, Fate. Or have beings with Just Hun or just Po. All the nonhuman races I have are different.

                              I think you are overthinking Animal souls. They just have a Po, humans don't naturally reincarnate into them, and they don't reincarnate like humans, possibly more in a sense of their essence joins the cycle rather then their specific soul reincarnates wholesale.


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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