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  • Soulless?

    Say you what to create a human being and have Life 5, Mind 5 and Prime 2 but not Spirit 5. Is it possible to still make a human without Spirit? If so what are the consequences of creating a human without a soul?

  • #2
    Hmm, I suppose it depends on what creates souls in the first place? If souls are just a natural consequence of life, then the creation would eventually "grow" a soul on its own. If souls aren't just naturally generated by life, well then what creates them? God? Buddha?

    Also, what do souls DO, anyway? Without them, would you have a creature that can mimic human thoughts and emotions perfectly while actually being as mentally and emotionally dead as a calculator, or, for that matter, a rock? Or would you simply have a person who is perfectly normal except for having no possibility of an afterlife?

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    • #3
      Well if someone lacks a spiritual dimension, they can't Awaken. Furthermore their pattern won't echo within creation; if I were to stab you with a katana right now (for example), you would be completely fine in a cosmological sense, in the very long run. Which is a lot of comfort to you, of course. But if you did that to a construct without a soul, you'd just have a dead body and the pattern would never arise again, no ghost, no reincarnation.

      So to a Euthanatos with Spirit, a body with no soul would be like a cosmic footnote in the great cycle, a cursed apparition which won't repeat.

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      • #4
        The Spirit component has usually been associated with personal volition and "identity", at least if I'm remembering the old Progenitor material correctly.

        A human created with Life, Mind, and Prime would have the intellectual capacity of a person, but little to no individual will or drive - not that different from the despondent apathy that gilgul is supposed to cause. Imagine a mass-produced line of clones that are physically indistinguishable from humans, and have the same intellectual capacity - problem-solving, language comprehension - but which lack any drive to distinguish themselves from others, or really any ambitions or opinions of their own. Bodies and minds without Will.

        This "emptiness" makes for excellent drones, and the bodies are supposed to be very good vessels for spiritual possession - all of the useful parts of a human body, with none of the problems of having to struggle with an existing occupant.


        I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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        • #5
          I have an issue personally for any requirements of Spirit for the soul as Ascension has always been ambiguous about souls requiring Spirit favors certain Paradigms over others.

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          • #6
            While Mage works around to being fairly cagey about the nature of what a "soul" is, it still uses the term colloquially fairly often, and I think that's the understanding we should take away from the use of "soulless" as a descriptor for incomplete human organisms made using magic.

            Clones that aren't entangled with the Tychoidian Anthropic field lack Enlightened will and are highly vulnerable to entities from less-sound dimensional models, comrade.


            I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
              I have an issue personally for any requirements of Spirit for the soul as Ascension has always been ambiguous about souls requiring Spirit favors certain Paradigms over others.
              But if you're, say, a Catholic, your paradigm can't change fundamental rules and sphere divisions. You might THINK that a living body will naturally develop a soul, if you were to create one. But that's not how the Mage universe works, and you need to make small changes to your paradigm. Clearly people born from human gametes develop a soul, and if you want to create a truly human construct you need to throw in Spirit.

              The alternative is allowing someone to waive the requirement of a level 5 sphere, which is a pretty big deal.

              So observing these natural rules in play, a Catholic mage might decide that while it's possible to create a body without endowing it with divine essence, this is unholy and abominable. And a technomage might realize that while you can make a brain with just life, to actually give it complex thought you need to have an in-depth understanding of psychodynamics; their paradigm might not distinguish mind from body, but they will find that a lack of distinction there leads to poor results, and so they'll have to make small changes.
              Last edited by 11twiggins; 06-19-2018, 08:14 AM.

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              • #8
                That's why I'm against requiring Spirit at all. Spirits and Souls in WoD have rarely been portrayed as the same thing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
                  That's why I'm against requiring Spirit at all. Spirits and Souls in WoD have rarely been portrayed as the same thing.
                  Spirit controls ghosts. In the WoD, a "soul" is just a human's spirit. You can't persist beyond your pattern (that is, you can't persist beyond the death of your body and mind) unless you have a spirit pattern.

                  So a body created with Mind 5 / Life 5 out of dead bodyparts, for example, wouldn't create a wraith, or Awaken. It might be impossible to embrace as well, despite having normal human physiology.
                  Last edited by 11twiggins; 06-19-2018, 11:44 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe they are like the prometheans of CoD. Not really accepted by society, seen as somewhat off and eventually attracts hatrid and anger towards their existence. Even the environment becomes hostile if they stay in one place too long, eventually swollowing them up in an eruption of magma. Taking this to WoD would also include a general animosity that the spirit world would hold for them, seeing them as mistakes, affronts to nature, or even an empty vessel begging to be hijacked.


                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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                    • #11
                      You get pre-cybernetics HITmarks. Intelligent, Sentient, but also very malleable and with little to no sense of 'instinct'.

                      Mechanically, you can't awaken. Can't use Magic save by devices/artifacts that have their own Arete Score. Don't count as a sleeper.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
                        You get pre-cybernetics HITmarks. Intelligent, Sentient, but also very malleable and with little to no sense of 'instinct'.

                        Mechanically, you can't awaken. Can't use Magic save by devices/artifacts that have their own Arete Score. Don't count as a sleeper.
                        It would be interesting if humans who lacked a spiritual dimension could never count as witnesses. If the ability to influence and connect to the consensus, reinforce paradox etc. was reliant on having a soul.

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                        • #13
                          That's literally the case. Being Soulless is a flaw in the Guide to the Technocracy. Because the Technocracy doesn't always bother to instill souls into their constructs.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
                            That's literally the case. Being Soulless is a flaw in the Guide to the Technocracy. Because the Technocracy doesn't always bother to instill souls into their constructs.
                            Oh yes but I mean in a more general sense. Technocratic constructs won't count as witnesses for enlightened procedures naturally, and a golem created with Matter and Forces won't count as a witness, but what about a human being created by a VA using Life 5, Prime 2 and Mind 5? If they weren't part of the consensus that could be intriguing.

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                            • #15
                              I do mean in a more general sense. Not just HITmarks, but Victors and other 'artificial humans' made by the Union just outright don't count as witnesses. For Technocratic Procedures OR Traditional Magic.

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