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  • How do Demon's Souls work?

    (First person to reply "Very well, thank you" gets a session with Painbot!)

    This popped up in a couple of threads, so let's discuss it here: How, exactly, do Third and Second Circle Demon's soul hierarchy work? The books say that the Warden, Indulgent, Defining, Messenger, Expressive, Reflective and Wisdom souls embody the Third Circle Demon's abilities to "protect, gratify, define, communicate, express, reflect or understand its own essential nature".

    Do you think these should be hard and fast roles the 2Cs conform to? I get most of them, but "gratify" and "reflect" seem a little vaguer to me, what do those say to you? Is Berengiere's enforced guard duty somehow illustrative of her nature as Ligier's Indulgent Soul?

    Also, we know that 2Cs create 1C demons, but are there any cases of 3Cs creating them as well? Should 3Cs have any special regard for the 1C races that ultimately descend from them, or are they ultimately all just dust motes to the Unquestionables?

    I know there aren't any real canonical answers to these, but how would you rule on these in your game setting? And while we're on the subject, who're your favorite Demons, by their Soul roles?

  • #2
    But being made to do a job wouldn't count towards or against an entity's role. I mean it doesn't matter for or against her reflecting on an indulgence if The Weaver of Voices has to guard a tomb and doesn't like it. Think of the demons as sort of operating on a theme from their progenitor. So Benegerie isn't necessarily specifically more indulgent than say Sondok, but she represents more of Ligier's indulgences that the Green Sun enjoys building and creating things and probably has a fondness for creating the best things for those who've given the most for his services. If you can convince him of it then Ligier will create great things for you, provided you can get him the price, but he indulge your wishes and give you something grand. So too does Benegerie, she'll create stuff and she's not going to do shoddy work, but she's noted to love the work most when it comes from those who've permanently given their voices to her.

    For an added bit on an earlier thread from the forum.
    Berengiere symbolizes her progenitor’s love of craft, creating tapestries of amazing artistry. Mortals pay her homage, forever yielding their voices when they submit to her. Even the toxin on her nails is aconite, “the queen of poisons.” The landslide that is her face is of brass and basalt, as is Malfeas himself
    .

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    • #3
      Pretty good for a first attempt, but I definitely think that From Software refined significantly with the Dark series.

      I think it's generally okay to play fairly loose in how levels of the hierarchy relate to one another, and make the expression of one in the other rather subtle, and maybe often mostly in an aesthetic element. I think Octavian, a conquering rock monster who hates the Earth for having scorned his love, as a soul of Munaxes, a fissure in the earth in which secrets treacherous to authorities echo, to be a good illustration of that.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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      • #4
        To answer a question elsewhere about Berengiere; the Yozis want that burial ground to retain a respectful silence, and she has the power to steal voices. The connection isn't much of a stretch.

        A lot of Second Circle Demons are set tasks like that. Lucien's natural role of protecting the rest of the mighty has him charged with keeping Sacheverell from waking up, Stanewald was sent to the peak of Mount Meru to perform some strange ritual, Gumela's search for that unknown thing he's looking for comes from at least one step up the ladder. Jenna Moran once described the Second Circle as the hands of the Yozis, and between that and how so many of them are written up, I imagine that whenever a Yozis or several of them have some esoteric nonsense or grand terrible plan they want doing, they find some citizen with associated skills or related nature and put it on them.


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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        • #5
          Ok, here’s a question then. What sort of metaphor would you go for when creating Erembour’s Messenger Soul? Would you go for a straightforward analog of her music, akin to how Gervesin is a fairly literal incarnation of Liger’s solar rays? Or would you prefer something more metaphorical?


          ....

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          • #6
            If Gervesin is the Messanger Soul, I would see that less in what he is physically, and more in how his touch blights those things that thrive under the golden sun, turning plants to metal and stringing birds with wire. In this, he conveys the word of Ligier that would see all of Creation become like Hell.

            So for Erembour's Messanger Soul, I would try to figure her ethos and motives, and find something that embodies that. Since Erembour herself already covers direct physical and mental transformations of people, I might propose a demon that straightforwardly creates darkness, and attacks sources of light.

            I would definitely think that she should have a soul whose form is in a music without source.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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            • #7
              3rd Circles do create 1st Circles as well, it’s just more Notable for 2nd circles to do it. Like Orabilis has his wee eyes. I think the point is if a 3rd circle wants a servant more potent they can birth Behemoths.


              It is a time for great deeds!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                (First person to reply "Very well, thank you" gets a session with Painbot!)

                This popped up in a couple of threads, so let's discuss it here: How, exactly, do Third and Second Circle Demon's soul hierarchy work? The books say that the Warden, Indulgent, Defining, Messenger, Expressive, Reflective and Wisdom souls embody the Third Circle Demon's abilities to "protect, gratify, define, communicate, express, reflect or understand its own essential nature".

                Do you think these should be hard and fast roles the 2Cs conform to? I get most of them, but "gratify" and "reflect" seem a little vaguer to me, what do those say to you? Is Berengiere's enforced guard duty somehow illustrative of her nature as Ligier's Indulgent Soul?
                Nah, the vagueness gives room for those who want to make 2nd Circle Demons to delve into their flights of fancy with less restrictions.

                Overall i tend to think of those imperatives that define 2nd Circle Demons in terms similar there being different kind of intimacies, like you can divide them between principles, ideals, people, places, positive, negative and so on. Guidelines and common ground of sorts rather than iron-bound laws (though Ceceline and SWLIHN would probably have a hell of a time getting some of those).

                Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                Also, we know that 2Cs create 1C demons, but are there any cases of 3Cs creating them as well? Should 3Cs have any special regard for the 1C races that ultimately descend from them, or are they ultimately all just dust motes to the Unquestionables?
                Maybe not quite the same, but i remember something in CoCD: Malfeas about how Blood Apes are created not by anyone 2CD anymore, but come to be as aftershocks from the Demon City's periodic bouts of anger and self-reconstructing destruction. thought it was worth mentioning though i can point to no page number from memory.

                Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                I know there aren't any real canonical answers to these, but how would you rule on these in your game setting? And while we're on the subject, who're your favorite Demons, by their Soul roles?
                Makarios, Florivet, Sondok, Alveua, Gervesin.... no particular reason or relation to their soul roles that i could point out.
                Last edited by Baaldam; 11-19-2018, 12:24 PM.

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                • #9
                  Bit of a necro going on here, but this thread was basically stillborn so screw it.

                  When I wrote out an idea for an Infernal demon-making charm based on personifying intimacies, I realised that if you set the demon's essence to equal the sum of the strength of the intimacies (using the same scale that determines their effect on social actions) then saying that a demon could be made of at most three intimacies, one of which had to be major, gave you a minimum essence for complete third circle demons of 7.

                  Add in that they can only make [essence] second circles, which consist of only two intimacies apiece at most so they end up lower essence, and you get something resembling the hierarchy described in the books.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                    Pretty good for a first attempt, but I definitely think that From Software refined significantly with the Dark series.
                    I came here just to make sure someone made the joke.


                    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                      Bit of a necro going on here, but this thread was basically stillborn so screw it.

                      When I wrote out an idea for an Infernal demon-making charm based on personifying intimacies, I realised that if you set the demon's essence to equal the sum of the strength of the intimacies (using the same scale that determines their effect on social actions) then saying that a demon could be made of at most three intimacies, one of which had to be major, gave you a minimum essence for complete third circle demons of 7.

                      Add in that they can only make [essence] second circles, which consist of only two intimacies apiece at most so they end up lower essence, and you get something resembling the hierarchy described in the books.
                      Were you doing this for third ed? Could these demons get more intimacies later? Why are they limited in their intimicies?




                      But back to the original subject, I believe in the 7 soul types just being the standard, sometimes I have a demon with 5 or 8 souls, Dukanthas ship for instance is an 8th soul. And sometimes what they reflect I will tweak, like maybe instead of a Warden Soul I’ll have a Gatesoul or a Sword Soul.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                        Were you doing this for third ed? Could these demons get more intimacies later? Why are they limited in their intimicies?

                        Yeah, it was for third edition. Here, let me just drop the charm:
                        Path of a Thousand Whispers
                        Cost: 30m, 1wp Mins: Integrity 4, Essence 3
                        Type: Simple
                        Keywords: none
                        Duration: instant
                        Prerequisite Charms: ???

                        Reaching deep within herself, the infernal takes a major or defining intimacy and shapes it into a spiritual entity. The new demon's essence level is equal to the strength of the intimacy. (4 for defining intimacies, 3 for major, 2 for minor) The storyteller should work with the player to design a power set and intimacies that reflect the intimacy that the being was created from. In addition, the demon has a defining tie of loyalty towards the infernal, as if it was sorcerously bound to them. The entity cannot be summoned by sorcerers itself.

                        At essence 5+, the infernal may use this charm to add additional intimacies to their previously created demons. No more than two additional intimacies can be added, and only one of these can be major or defining. Demons enhanced this way gain the ability to use this charm themselves, but may only add a single additional minor intimacy to any progeny they create, and may only create [essence] progeny. Second generation demons do not receive the ability to use this charm if enhanced by a minor intimacy.

                        If a demon created by this charm is slain, it's creator loses the ability to call upon those intimacies for the purposes of social influence or charms, and they do not gain limit for acting against them. If they make an attempt to re-connect with the severed ties or act upon principles, the intimacies can slowly reform, at which point their demonic personification may be re-created with all memories and power via the use of this charm. Otherwise the progenitor may simply abandon them altogether.

                        This charm may be used to create a new demon once per season.

                        The intimacies enshrined in this fashion gain some level of protection from erosion. While they may wax and wane, they can never be eroded such that the demon could not have been created from them, nor can they be removed entirely. In other words, if a demon personifies a defining intimacy and a minor intimacy, the defining intimacy could be eroded to major, but no further, and the minor intimacy could not be eroded. If the minor intimacy was elevated to major, the major intimacy could them be reduced to minor.

                        If a demon's combined intimacies would put it above ten dots of essence, it simply has an essence of 10.


                        The core intimacies used to create the demon influence their own intimacies, but they don't constrict or define them. They define the demon itself.
                        Last edited by Elfive; 11-23-2018, 05:31 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I really like the idea but I’m getting confused. Do demons lose and gain essence if your intimacies change? Why would a demon get essence 10 if you only get 4 for major intimacies? Seems odd you can make an essence 4 subsoul at essence 3, that feel wrong.

                          But I like it, I would add some layer of abstraction or randomization for forming the Demons, as subsouls seem to be more from the Unconscious/Dreams. Like the PC doesn’t have full control of the demon they form but the Player does.


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #14
                            The idea was it depended on the strength of the specific intimacies that the demon enshrined, and that normally by the time you could boost them past essence 4 (the intimacies you give them add together) you'd have spread your intimacies around multiple demons.

                            The original version was an essence 8 charm that let you make essence 9 demons, and an essence 3 solaroid is stronger than an essence 4 demon, so I figured it would be ok. Same with essence 5 and essence 7-9 demons. By that point you can summon stuff of that level anyway.

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                            • #15
                              Oh okay it didn’t seem obvious that the intimacies added up in the demon rather then always made a new demon.


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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