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  • Sorcerer / Book of Madness soul trading

    From WoD: Sorcerer, pg 83 - sidebar Infernal Pact.

    According to the book, the "basic" infernal pact involves desacrate anything considered holy, renounce former gods and pledge himself to darkness.
    If that his done, the new Infernalist gets 3 dots in a Dark Sorcery path and 3 rites.

    That explicitly do not involve soul trading ( not yet ). The soul-trading pact grants 5 dots and appropriate rituals.

    So, what happens if an Infernalist just does the basic pact and then forgets about doing more, content with the power he has?

    ---

    And, about trading parts of the soul ( Book of Madness )

    "Each mortal has a number of Soul Points equal to her (Willpower + Arete) xlO. This total represents the degree to which the Infernalist can trade away portions of her soul and still retain selfmastery. During Soul Trade, these points are used to purchase Infernal Investments from the Demon Lord. The more points spent, the more the character's soul belongs to her demonic master. Once the points are gone, so is any trace of the Infemalist's free will "

    So what happens if a mortal do a bargain, spends some of his soul, get the powers and never again show up for further pacts?
    He basically get away with no tangible consequences?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
    From WoD: Sorcerer, pg 83 - sidebar Infernal Pact.

    According to the book, the "basic" infernal pact involves desacrate anything considered holy, renounce former gods and pledge himself to darkness.
    If that his done, the new Infernalist gets 3 dots in a Dark Sorcery path and 3 rites.

    That explicitly do not involve soul trading ( not yet ). The soul-trading pact grants 5 dots and appropriate rituals.

    So, what happens if an Infernalist just does the basic pact and then forgets about doing more, content with the power he has?

    ---

    And, about trading parts of the soul ( Book of Madness )

    "Each mortal has a number of Soul Points equal to her (Willpower + Arete) xlO. This total represents the degree to which the Infernalist can trade away portions of her soul and still retain selfmastery. During Soul Trade, these points are used to purchase Infernal Investments from the Demon Lord. The more points spent, the more the character's soul belongs to her demonic master. Once the points are gone, so is any trace of the Infemalist's free will "

    So what happens if a mortal do a bargain, spends some of his soul, get the powers and never again show up for further pacts?
    He basically get away with no tangible consequences?
    I mean, in all likelihood they're damned to Hell (High Umbra or Malpheas) anyway. Just not that specific demon.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      But does that, at least, means the demon can't come collect before the character dies?

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      • #4
        No, it just means the demon don't have complete control of each and every action and thought of the character for the rest of their life.

        There is a lot of room between complete ownership of one's soul and nothing happening. The simplest answer is that the entity will stay around, tempting the character and, if needed, causing trouble to force the character into furthering the pact.

        Faustian Pact 101: don't try to screw your victim let them screw themselves. The victim can always walk away scot-free and return later.


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        • #5
          I would argue that owning part of a person's soul is better, in infernal politics, than having no specific ownership at all. The nature of damnation is left intentionally vague (maybe the Demon books have more to say about it; I wouldn't know). Presumably the demon gets something out of the deal, even if they don't own the whole thing. Like having prestige among other demons. To a certain extent the specifics don't matter.

          I would agree that having some of the mortal's soul grants the demon access to the mortal whenever the demon wants. They have an "in", so to speak. While it's possible any demon could, with sufficient power, tempt a mortal in their mind or in their dreams, a mortal that has given up part of their soul has granted the demon greater access.

          Indeed, there's the Rule of Contagion to consider. There are fewer things in all of reality that could grant a stronger magical connection to a person than a fragment of their soul. Even if we assume they're just bargaining over ownership rights, and no partitioning of the soul itself happens before death, that ownership probably makes it way easier for a demon to cross the divide and affect reality. At least as far as the infernalist is concerned. A demon could easily use that connection to either tempt the mortal with more deals, or spoil their luck so the mortal feels compelled to contact the demon again.

          Aside from the coercive power of demons, though, the Book of Madness makes a point of establishing that the fruits of infernal pacts are addictive. Once an infernalist makes a deal once, they're liable to "return to the well" later. The allure of power, wealth, status, and longevity is strong. Moreover, a person who has already made a deal once can convince themselves that either a) they're already damned so they might as well go all-in, or b) they got so much for "nothing" (from their flawed mortal perspective, as they haven't died and found out what being damned truly means) that trading more is practically getting stuff for free, so they should keep doing it.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
            (maybe the Demon books have more to say about it; I wouldn't know)
            So, I initially didn't talk about it because DtF revise many of those rules, but the revisions do not necessarily work better for what a Demon is meant to do in other stories. If you want for "official" rules as stated in Demon the Fallen, here they are:

            By forging a Pact, you become a Thrall and your soul belongs to the demon. This part doesn't need to be stated in the Pact, even the first version in the OP the demon would actually own your soul, and yet want to make you come back for "the real deal" as a way to trick you into a more direct service. There is no "piece of soul" either, the demon either have access to your soul or not.

            The soul itself is of little utility, though. Upon your death the demon won't even keep it, you'll just pass away unless it wants to do something very specific with your soul and this is possible, but rare. Some demons can do this to resurrect you, other to put you into one of their many kinds of magical artifacts. Most of the time, though, the real benefit is you alive.

            Demons thrive on Faith. That moment of wonder or terror when you think (correctly) you're in front of a divine being of some sort and just believe that this creature can change or end your life then and there, in that moment you direct your faith to the demon, and the demon absorbs it. If you forge a Pact, then the connection of Faith solidifies and the demon can drink from your faith every day once a day. Imagine a vampire that could drink 1 or 2 points of Vitae from their favored Blood Dolls every night from any distance just by thinking about it. That is the main benefit of a Thrall to a demon, and it is forever no matter the nature of the Pact.

            Forging a Pact is also a moment of great magical power. In that moment alone the demon can use your inner faith, even if not directed at it, to impart you several boons or curses. It isn't limited to the terms of the Pact, either, although it must fulfill them anyway. More importantly, since the magic of the Pact comes from your faith and soul it can actually do things the demon can't do by itself. So YOU are an investment. It is a rare moment and the Demon can impart you abilities that will make you even more useful... for whatever, really. From there, convincing you to do its biding is pretty much lies and manipulation and the demon may want anything from the destruction of a religion to a bar of chocolate every now and then, depending on the demon.

            On top of it, the link is really useful. Even the weakest demon can spy through its Thralls, use you as a sympathetic connection, put several utility spells on you, and even possess you in a pinch if it needs without you being able to resist. Most of those effects aren't directly harmful, but you're an asset for a demon for the rest of your life, no further pact or even contact required.

            And finally, the demon can use you to supercharge its own powers. This is usually the most dangerous part of it and the reason why Thralls rarely live long lives unless they make themselves useful. When using any power with a dice pool, the demon can use YOUR Willpower for extra dice at will. It just decides how many extra dice it wants and spread the cost between Thralls in any way it wants. +6, three from each Thrall? So be it. You lose the corresponding WP points instantly, and if you don't have enough, you take Lethal damage in its place. No limits on how many times they can do it, although IIRC there is a limit on total bonus per roll.

            Most of those effects aren't affected by any distance at all. None can be resisted by a Thrall. Once you give in to the first pact it is done, a new pact is just for that juicy magical improvement in exchange for further service, be it directly stated or not. And your intentions or repentance be damned, leaving a Pact is only truly possible by convincing the demon to release you or if the Demon is either destroyed (exceedingly hard to do) or sent to Hell (as easy as killing its physical host and not letting it possess a new one in the next few rounds). The demon can escape Hell, but it isn't going to happen fast without external help.


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            • #7
              Tangential question...
              could it be possible to soul trade with a Bane spirit, then become a Fomori merging with that same spirit?
              Or merging with another?

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              • #8
                Probably. But then I'm not sure if the benefits of the trade would survive the Fomori transformation. Probably in this case the benefits would be the very Fomori transformation. But keep in mind that a Bane able to make a Faustian pact is a reasonably powerful spirit to begin with, or serves such a powerful master at the very least.


                #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                #AutismPride
                She/her pronouns

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
                  Tangential question...
                  could it be possible to soul trade with a Bane spirit, then become a Fomori merging with that same spirit?
                  Or merging with another?
                  I don't think Banes collect souls but instead just try to do the Dragon Age thing. I.e. they don't want your soul, they want your body to be able to do the specific kind of evil they embody.

                  Rage, Lust, Greed, Pollution, or whatever.

                  I mean, it's not good for your soul but it's not like people go to Malpheas when they die.


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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