Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Suicide shadows during catharsis...

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

    Aha! Yes, I can work with this analogy. Your all-consuming but not evil Oblivion is actually not like a black hole, unless you want to extend the analogy quite a bit further. Black holes are discernable by the effects they have on the universe.... the X-rays from the degeneration of matter as it crosses the Chandrasekhar limit, the effects of the massive gravity well on adjacent bodies and so on. Which are all, ALL, actually the effects of the same things that defines the existence of the black hole. Namely, gravity.

    In the case of Oblivion, ALL of the effects manifested are, effectively, forms of what can be termed, for lack of anything more concise, as "evil". Besides some philosophical musings with no apparent actual evidence and actual incidences in the rules that break the opposite way, all of the effects of Oblivion are manifestations of this "evil" . To work back to your analogy, you're saying that the effects of the black hole (Oblivion) are produced by gravity (evil), but, what actually makes the black hole (Oblivion) a black hole (Oblivion) is not gravity (evil) but something else.... black-hole-ness or Swiss cheese or something.

    It's not a perfect analogy because black hole's do require some other stuff to put into play, but that's not strictly relevant as we are considering a sort of "steady state" once it's up and running..... The origin of Oblivion, it's collapsing star, would be another, somewhat related, discussion, and the analogy might fail.

    As to the changes. Well, Angst needs to shift over to being something more like Ennui, where, instead of destructive, degeneration, you just sort of stop existing when you give way to the lowest possible energy state. You stop caring about anything. Your Shadow is more likely to be "attacking" your Passions and Willpower and trying to wear them away. Catharsis is more like Catalepsy, when your Shadow just takes over and stops acting. Harrowing are going to be dealing with a Shadow like Marvin the Android who tried to convince you that nothing you do it worth it. Specters aren't going to really be monsters so much as Drones gradually eroded to the point of mindless anonymity. In fact, the "monsters" are probably going to be Wraiths because your Psyche is going to have to be fighting against this by being a vibrant as possible and an easy way to do that is by doing really emotionally charged active things and a great way to do that is to do BAD things, since, even if positive actions are going to net more in the long run, short run gain from negative actions is easier to obtain. I'm honestly not sure what a Trascendence analogy would be off the top of my head, but I did just come up with all the rest of that, so I'm cool with that for now....

    Honestly, not a bad game at all. It sets the PCs up to ACT and DO THINGS and actually punishes inaction. It's not this version of Wraith, but it definitely could be a version of Wraith.
    You keep insisting on slipping 'evil' into the definition of Oblivion. Also, why would I change Angst?

    Maybe this isn't coming through clearly enough. My view is that Oblivion is neutral and passive and just sits around annihilating things and possibly pulling down the unanchored. It in no way prefers one flavor or another. Angst, on the other hand, is that part of the human soul that seeks annihilation (of itself or others) so it is attracted to the great annihilator. Spectres aren't sitting on the edge because Oblivion demands it, they are sitting on the edge because they like the view.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

    You are going to have to point out what, of anything, needs to change to accommodate an utterly impassive, indiscriminate, mindless, all-consuming force as Oblivion, because from here it looks like Wraith stays the same.

    Does a black hole need to be evil for me to run the hell away from it?
    Aha! Yes, I can work with this analogy. Your all-consuming but not evil Oblivion is actually not like a black hole, unless you want to extend the analogy quite a bit further. Black holes are discernable by the effects they have on the universe.... the X-rays from the degeneration of matter as it crosses the Chandrasekhar limit, the effects of the massive gravity well on adjacent bodies and so on. Which are all, ALL, actually the effects of the same things that defines the existence of the black hole. Namely, gravity.

    In the case of Oblivion, ALL of the effects manifested are, effectively, forms of what can be termed, for lack of anything more concise, as "evil". Besides some philosophical musings with no apparent actual evidence and actual incidences in the rules that break the opposite way, all of the effects of Oblivion are manifestations of this "evil" . To work back to your analogy, you're saying that the effects of the black hole (Oblivion) are produced by gravity (evil), but, what actually makes the black hole (Oblivion) a black hole (Oblivion) is not gravity (evil) but something else.... black-hole-ness or Swiss cheese or something.

    It's not a perfect analogy because black hole's do require some other stuff to put into play, but that's not strictly relevant as we are considering a sort of "steady state" once it's up and running..... The origin of Oblivion, it's collapsing star, would be another, somewhat related, discussion, and the analogy might fail.

    As to the changes. Well, Angst needs to shift over to being something more like Ennui, where, instead of destructive, degeneration, you just sort of stop existing when you give way to the lowest possible energy state. You stop caring about anything. Your Shadow is more likely to be "attacking" your Passions and Willpower and trying to wear them away. Catharsis is more like Catalepsy, when your Shadow just takes over and stops acting. Harrowing are going to be dealing with a Shadow like Marvin the Android who tried to convince you that nothing you do it worth it. Specters aren't going to really be monsters so much as Drones gradually eroded to the point of mindless anonymity. In fact, the "monsters" are probably going to be Wraiths because your Psyche is going to have to be fighting against this by being a vibrant as possible and an easy way to do that is by doing really emotionally charged active things and a great way to do that is to do BAD things, since, even if positive actions are going to net more in the long run, short run gain from negative actions is easier to obtain. I'm honestly not sure what a Trascendence analogy would be off the top of my head, but I did just come up with all the rest of that, so I'm cool with that for now....

    Honestly, not a bad game at all. It sets the PCs up to ACT and DO THINGS and actually punishes inaction. It's not this version of Wraith, but it definitely could be a version of Wraith.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

    Except for the issue that everyone but one
    You can change that, but then you need to start working back out and start dealing with the consequences where Oblivion=Net Good and how that is going to effect how things like Angst, Shadows, Catharsis, Harrowings, etc are going to work in this different ideologically driven Wraith. Then percolate it up through a different version of the history of the Underworld, the way the setting is shaped and so on. Alternatively hand wave it away and handle it all above the table, but the game is apt to be somewhat off-kiter, so the players are going to need to know that the game isn't totally that Wraith, it's this kind of thing we're doing over here Wraith.

    Look at the tagline. "Face Death". The developers have talked about this. It's not "Accept it, you lose and Loss is 100% okay, just give up, it's the right thing to do". It's Dylan Thomas "Rage against the dying of the light" type of facing death.
    You are going to have to point out what, of anything, needs to change to accommodate an utterly impassive, indiscriminate, mindless, all-consuming force as Oblivion, because from here it looks like Wraith stays the same.

    Does a black hole need to be evil for me to run the hell away from it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
    If you start by defining Oblivion as a source of evil, then sure, Oblivion is evil. But impasive Oblivions, evil Oblivions, purposeful Oblivions, net good Oblivions, and intended-to-be-good-but-ended-up-evil-due-to-a-broken-world Oblivions are all consistent with Wraith as it is written. It all depends on what you want to place the emphasis on.
    Except for the issue that everyone but one of those is brought up as a thought experiment in various minor parts of the fluff and that other one is backed up by the way that Oblivion, the Labyrinth, Specters, Shadows, the Tempest, Angst, work and are described as well as the lion's share of the relevant fluff and pretty much the entirety of the crunch.

    It does depend on where you put the emphasis. It's pretty clear where the game puts it.

    You can change that, but then you need to start working back out and start dealing with the consequences where Oblivion=Net Good and how that is going to effect how things like Angst, Shadows, Catharsis, Harrowings, etc are going to work in this different ideologically driven Wraith. Then percolate it up through a different version of the history of the Underworld, the way the setting is shaped and so on. Alternatively hand wave it away and handle it all above the table, but the game is apt to be somewhat off-kiter, so the players are going to need to know that the game isn't totally that Wraith, it's this kind of thing we're doing over here Wraith.

    Look at the tagline. "Face Death". The developers have talked about this. It's not "Accept it, you lose and Loss is 100% okay, just give up, it's the right thing to do". It's Dylan Thomas "Rage against the dying of the light" type of facing death.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Karlgust View Post
    I just another idea... Maybe, just maybe... The moment you make the jump... The moment you are almost touching the Oblivion... At that singular moment when you just close your eyes and think on your entire life (and death)...

    Maybe that's the moment that you finally let it go.
    And maybe, just maybe, it's the moment you transcend.

    That's actually a good idea for a (false) cult of specters, that profess that faith to trick wraiths. They themselves don't make the jump (they CAN'T let it go), but explain it by posing as Saints, sacrificing themselves by remaining in this hell to "spread the gospels", so that "others can be saved".

    And who knows... They may even be right, even if they don't believe in that.

    Would you take that chance? A literal "leap of faith"?
    That would be a good setup for a Spectral run Far Shore.

    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
    Except it's NOT. Oblivion isn't this Great Good sucking the Bad down. It just isn't. That's just plain ignoring, not just what the vast majority of all what is SAID in the fluff of the game and and, even more in the actual matter of the rules, but in every possible evidence of what it does. What Oblivion DOES is what Oblivion IS. Heat does the things that heat does. They're not all called "heat", they are the effects of heat. Heat isn't evil. Because it's heat. Call it "Thermodynamics" it's still heat. Oblivion is the source of evil.
    If you start by defining Oblivion as a source of evil, then sure, Oblivion is evil. But impasive Oblivions, evil Oblivions, purposeful Oblivions, net good Oblivions, and intended-to-be-good-but-ended-up-evil-due-to-a-broken-world Oblivions are all consistent with Wraith as it is written. It all depends on what you want to place the emphasis on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Except it's NOT. Oblivion isn't this Great Good sucking the Bad down. It just isn't. That's just plain ignoring, not just what the vast majority of all what is SAID in the fluff of the game and and, even more in the actual matter of the rules, but in every possible evidence of what it does. What Oblivion DOES is what Oblivion IS. Heat does the things that heat does. They're not all called "heat", they are the effects of heat. Heat isn't evil. Because it's heat. Call it "Thermodynamics" it's still heat. Oblivion is the source of evil.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karlgust
    replied
    I just another idea... Maybe, just maybe... The moment you make the jump... The moment you are almost touching the Oblivion... At that singular moment when you just close your eyes and think on your entire life (and death)...

    Maybe that's the moment that you finally let it go.
    And maybe, just maybe, it's the moment you transcend.

    That's actually a good idea for a (false) cult of specters, that profess that faith to trick wraiths. They themselves don't make the jump (they CAN'T let it go), but explain it by posing as Saints, sacrificing themselves by remaining in this hell to "spread the gospels", so that "others can be saved".

    And who knows... They may even be right, even if they don't believe in that.

    Would you take that chance? A literal "leap of faith"?

    Leave a comment:


  • Karlgust
    replied
    Hum... Well, that a new angle that I had never thought about... Without Oblivion, the Underworld would simply be a huge hive of spectres, they would flood all the land of the dead, their numbers would be so great that there would be a point were all the cities would be specter only, which would led to armies of legionaire specters from Stygia always patrolling the Underworld to hunt down any new wraiths to toss them in the Tempest and make 'em into new specters...

    Just imagine what would the Underworld be, if every specter that were ever destroyed, every single one that made the choice to jump in the Oblivion, and every single wraith shadow-eaten - were still around?

    Yes... Even if Oblivion IS evil (and I don't think it is)... It at least have THIS positive effect of cleaning

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

    It's a little like sophistry. If it walks like evil, talks like evil, sits still like evil, does nothing BUT evil, it's evil.

    It's like saying fire isn't fire, because even though it does all the things fire does and none of the things fire does not, it is somehow NOT fire because there are such things as heat and becoming ash, etc. So, all those things are inherent in the results but have little to nothing to do with fire? Do things spontaneously turn into ash without exothermic reactions created by heat? Do things get warmer?

    In fact, that analogy is imperfect all around, because Oblivion is the perfect source or manifestation of the same of the "Darkness" aspect of the WoD. You can say Oblivion is some kind of sinkhole of purification, but you can also say the Sun causes the cold of winter by changing the intensity of it's light. It's an observation of two phenomena but it's coincidental not causal.

    If the effects of Oblivion aren't ever good things except by some extension of philosophy that has no actual manifestation in the game proper, then it stands for itself. Oblivion is the source of the self-destruction of Shadows and Specters, it's the source of the degredation of the dreams of objects, it's reach causes nothing by negativity in the Skinlands (as evidenced by the fact that people overwhelmed with Dark Passions are more likely to become Specters or wraiths with strong shadows). It's the Wraithly image of the Big Bad in each of the other games and, in fact, seems not just to reflect them, it actually seems more like it is something of the Platonic ideal of which they are shadows, or at least is closer in image to that ideal than the others. Even when it's not empty what's in it is utter badness (GrandMaw from Orpheus, the Abyss full of demons in Demon).

    There's no evidence to indicate it serves as an agent of purification of the dross of the universe other than some people think that might be the case, with no evidence to back that up. There is something else that already exists in Wraith that accounts for that type of purification, namely Transcendence. Which explicitly does occur (vide Charon's in Ends of Empire, the rules for resolving Passions and Fetters, the lack of a significant fraction of souls of those who died in the Shadowlands when the manifestations of Specters and Wraiths is right out there) and is a much better fit for all those philosophies that that Oblivion serves that role, as witnessed by the fact there is no evidence that Oblivion does anything good, and there is this other thing over here that accomplishes that purpose

    Which means all those Euthanatos trying to shove Wraiths in Oblivion aren't really helping them along their personal cycle of reincarnation, they are just feeding Oblivion. The only Cycle they are feeding is the Cycle of the Ages moving everything closer to Reign of the Demon Emperor. And even that is evidence of the corrupting power of Oblviion. It's misdirected them into feeding IT instead of having them do their jobs and help wraiths Transcend.
    No, it's not like saying fire isn't fire, it's like saying fire isn't evil. I don't think Oblivion is good or evil. It think it just is. The examples I gave were to highlight how the same thing could have a good purpose, a neutral purpose, or no purpose at all depending on how you choose to depict it. You can also depict it as evil. No problem doing that either, but it is hardly mandated. Really though, I'm not seeking to show anything other than that a neutral, passive Oblivion is completely consistent with everything we see in Wraith.

    Because that's my preferred way of looking at it: Oblivion is a horrifying but passive and mindless force and all the pain and madness that surround it are just artifacts of the human condition, the darkness of the living world, and the tantrums of the Neverborn. I think it's more interesting and says more about the characters and the NPCs they deal with. Your mileage may vary.

    As for any kind of net purifying effect Oblivion has, that's hard to say. It's very difficult to gather statistics on what swallowed spectres would have done if they were still around. But every drop of Angst swallowed is still gone forever and that is at least some kind of positive. I still don't agree that a thing with no positives is evil, or that an evil thing can't have positives, but it is what you were asking for so there it is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

    Isn't that begging the question, though? I'll certainly concede that something could be evil without intent, and that Oblivion could be such a thing. But is it? Because a drain for all the corruption of the WoD sounds exactly like what it could be. That could be its positive impact*. Or it could just clear away the detritus from the memory of the world so that things don't get too cluttered. Or it could have swallowed its own purpose along with any notion of good or evil.

    *If something needs a positive effect to not be evil, which I'm not sure about.
    It's a little like sophistry. If it walks like evil, talks like evil, sits still like evil, does nothing BUT evil, it's evil.

    It's like saying fire isn't fire, because even though it does all the things fire does and none of the things fire does not, it is somehow NOT fire because there are such things as heat and becoming ash, etc. So, all those things are inherent in the results but have little to nothing to do with fire? Do things spontaneously turn into ash without exothermic reactions created by heat? Do things get warmer?

    In fact, that analogy is imperfect all around, because Oblivion is the perfect source or manifestation of the same of the "Darkness" aspect of the WoD. You can say Oblivion is some kind of sinkhole of purification, but you can also say the Sun causes the cold of winter by changing the intensity of it's light. It's an observation of two phenomena but it's coincidental not causal.

    If the effects of Oblivion aren't ever good things except by some extension of philosophy that has no actual manifestation in the game proper, then it stands for itself. Oblivion is the source of the self-destruction of Shadows and Specters, it's the source of the degredation of the dreams of objects, it's reach causes nothing by negativity in the Skinlands (as evidenced by the fact that people overwhelmed with Dark Passions are more likely to become Specters or wraiths with strong shadows). It's the Wraithly image of the Big Bad in each of the other games and, in fact, seems not just to reflect them, it actually seems more like it is something of the Platonic ideal of which they are shadows, or at least is closer in image to that ideal than the others. Even when it's not empty what's in it is utter badness (GrandMaw from Orpheus, the Abyss full of demons in Demon).

    There's no evidence to indicate it serves as an agent of purification of the dross of the universe other than some people think that might be the case, with no evidence to back that up. There is something else that already exists in Wraith that accounts for that type of purification, namely Transcendence. Which explicitly does occur (vide Charon's in Ends of Empire, the rules for resolving Passions and Fetters, the lack of a significant fraction of souls of those who died in the Shadowlands when the manifestations of Specters and Wraiths is right out there) and is a much better fit for all those philosophies that that Oblivion serves that role, as witnessed by the fact there is no evidence that Oblivion does anything good, and there is this other thing over here that accomplishes that purpose

    Which means all those Euthanatos trying to shove Wraiths in Oblivion aren't really helping them along their personal cycle of reincarnation, they are just feeding Oblivion. The only Cycle they are feeding is the Cycle of the Ages moving everything closer to Reign of the Demon Emperor. And even that is evidence of the corrupting power of Oblviion. It's misdirected them into feeding IT instead of having them do their jobs and help wraiths Transcend.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

    Not sure I believe that in the context of any valuation of "evil" where it exists. Something can just sit there and be "evil". You seem to want "evil" to have be intentional. It the World of Darkness, evil just IS. Oblivion doesn't have to will or intent or mind or anything else as a motivating vector. It just is. It's the corrosion of all things that are and the way those things corrode is qualitative badness. (Which could be countered if there was one thing that the taint of Oblivion actually seems to have made something better...) Oblivion isn't where the decay perpetrated by all the other evils of the WOD collects like a stopped up sewer, it's the purest form of that evil unshackled by any constraints, even those of "being" anything other than what it is.
    Isn't that begging the question, though? I'll certainly concede that something could be evil without intent, and that Oblivion could be such a thing. But is it? Because a drain for all the corruption of the WoD sounds exactly like what it could be. That could be its positive impact*. Or it could just clear away the detritus from the memory of the world so that things don't get too cluttered. Or it could have swallowed its own purpose along with any notion of good or evil.

    *If something needs a positive effect to not be evil, which I'm not sure about.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karlgust
    replied
    Im with a mind as Ramnesis. I don't see Oblivion as a malefic force per se, but rather a moral neutral force with nasty consequences. I view the slipted personality of psych/shadown as the consequence of the trauma of death, the shattering of the Self. The Oblivion is the anihalation of the Self - a very terryfing concept for any sentient being. Our egos want, need to exist. The pull of Oblivion is cause of pain due to the fear of the final dissolution. Even the shadows fear that at some level - otherwise there would be no specters at all. How could you have any joy or hope in a world of pure decay? In my opinion, spectres love and hate Oblivion, as they love and hate themselves. That's why they don't just happily throw themselves as soon as being born into the sweet forgetfulness. They want to let it go... Just not yet.

    Why isn't there any fluffy cute spectres? Well... There is. When the psych wins the battle and reverse the spectrom. We just don't call them spectres anymore. We call them wraiths once again. But really, those are mere titles. The shadow, which for a living in psychology would be the "thanatos archetype", is what drives the dead towards oblivion. And the psych, the "eros archetype" drives towards continuing existence. We view those as opposed forces in the game, but they aren't exactly. They are part of the same individual. So, when the psych wins, it doesn't mean that it vanquished the shadow; rather, it means that the individual managed to make amendments for his broken self, and so the shadow is placade, and his eros side (or his "living impulse") gained momentum. On the other side, when a wraith slides more and more into it's angst, it means that the individual AS A WHOLE (rather than as a split personality) is being unable to bear the pains of such a terrible world.

    Transcendence, is not the final victory of the psych over the shadow after all. It's about the healing of the soul. It's when the psych realizes that the shadow grievances are legit, and that the shadow attune to the psych needs. It's the final reunion of the broken parts. The psych realizes that the pains the shadow feels are caused by the needs of the psych itself... It's the realization that what is hurting you... Is yourself. If you let go of those attachments, your shadow will be healed. At the same time, the shadow will understand WHY does the psych have those needs. That the psych is not to blame for the shadow pain. And that the psych is a victim too. That both share the same fate.

    What happens upon Transcendence? Who knows... Ask Buddha. Nirvana perhaps.

    But the pain of the dead, in my opinion, is the pain caused by the attachment, like Buddha said "desire is the origin of pain".

    By the way, althouth not being a buddhist myself, I always saw the Underworld as the world of the hungry dead, one of the lower incarnation planes of buddhism (one of their hells), where lives the dead that can never find satisfaction... Those are always hungry, because they are filled with desire, and desire is a thing you can never fulfill... When you desire something, you'll desire more, and more, and more... There is no end to it. So, the hungry dead have a desire that can never be fulfilled. That's why they are always hungry. That to me is the worse possible hell... They could stop their hunger, if they could just let could of their desire. But they can't, because the more they eat, the more they hunger, in a vicious cicle.

    That to me is a great picture for the game W:tO. The dead of the game are filled with desires (their passions) that they can never fulfill... Wraiths cannot help but to crave for their passions. The mere fact they are trapped in this existence is because of their desire to be. That's the source of their pain. The pain of never having what they want. Of forever having a hunger that can never be quenched. And that pain is what makes them so bitter, as bitter as to the point of becoming hopless, and turning into resentfull spectres. By the way, spectres are even more hunger than the wraiths themselves, to the point of turning maniacs to pursue their needs. And, the more a specter crave, the more it suffer, and the more it suffer, the more it craves. That's the orign of their corruption, not the Void, imho. So, that shows even more of my point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
    It can't be fire's fault because fire doesn't have a mind. If it finds itself in a situation where it is perpetuating terrible evil, that's a matter of happenstance. If Oblivion likewise doesn't have a mind, it is in the same situation.
    Not sure I believe that in the context of any valuation of "evil" where it exists. Something can just sit there and be "evil". You seem to want "evil" to have be intentional. It the World of Darkness, evil just IS. Oblivion doesn't have to will or intent or mind or anything else as a motivating vector. It just is. It's the corrosion of all things that are and the way those things corrode is qualitative badness. (Which could be countered if there was one thing that the taint of Oblivion actually seems to have made something better...) Oblivion isn't where the decay perpetrated by all the other evils of the WOD collects like a stopped up sewer, it's the purest form of that evil unshackled by any constraints, even those of "being" anything other than what it is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

    The numbers on how many dead people end up wraiths are all over the place and don't, largely, make any sense. Particularly when attrition isn't really addressed. But, apart from that, the little bit of Wraith20 about Specters definitely says that people go straight to specterhood (they show up floating in the Tempest in something more like a shell than a cocoon). As to the statements about the origins of Mortwrights and Shades.
    Poor word choice on my part, I was sort of bundling Spectres and Wraiths and together for the 1 in 20. But you have to get to a large percentage of dead people showing up in the Underworld before they aren't completely dwarfed by those who immidiately pass on or disappear.

    Is it really him though? If the effect of the existence of Oblivion on the World of Darkness (not our world, THAT world) is the reason for the "Darkness" part, then it's intrinsic to the effect that Oblivion has on everything that creates the "downward bend to all things" that results in Specters and in their actions. You're trying to make Oblivion mortality neutral and, in the World of Darkness, it sure doesn't appear that it is.
    That's a big 'if.' Morally neutral is not the same thing as benign. Oblivion is corrosive and dangerous and exerts a metaphysical pull on everything in the Underworld. It is definitely A Bad ThingTM. That doesn't mean it has preferences or that it is in any way propagating the Angst and malice that Spectres represent. It could be. It could also be an established part of the system.

    Suppose for a moment that Oblivion was actually a mechanism for removing self destruction and spite from the world, and that too much had flooded into the Labyrinth at once and jammed the system (we'll ignore the how for now). Suppose there's a mass of Angst caught at the edge of Oblivion that wasn't supposed to stay there. What would be different from what we see in Wraith?

    That's really my point here. Not that there's a right way of looking at Oblivion, but how little changes if Oblivion is purely indiscriminate and dispassionate and all the Angst and horror is self inflicted.

    In fact it's the source of negativity, of "evil" of the Darkness. Or at least it's one aspect of that across the various games (also exemplified by the turning of the Wheel of Ages towards "bad times", the Corruption of the Wyrm, the continuing cycle of fratricidal/patricidal sin that riddles the vampires, the coming of Winter and encroaching Banality, the Civil War in Heaven that broke the universe and probably caused the whole boondoggle, the fact it's a Sphere called "Entropy" and not "Change" - indicating that change in the WoD holistically follows a version of Thermodynamic Entropy, etc.) You can't really call the source of evil "value neutral". Oblivion is probably the purest example of what is wrong with the World of Darkness.
    If there are already so many sources of corruption in the WoD, why does Oblivion even need to be one. Couldn't it just be where that corruption collects?

    Don't get me wrong. Wraith is definitely a game about deterioration and decay, and the Underworld is spiraling the drain. I do think that the presence of Oblivion means that nothing is permanent. I do think that anything in the Underworld will eventually bring about its own end. But I think that is because everything in the Underworld has a part that wants to end. Oblivion could just be like gravity. It doesn't make the climber let go, it is just the force they can succumb to if they do.

    As an aside, I contest that the Entropy sphere is a source of corruption, but that's more of a Mage conversation.

    As for your cult of pyros..... Well, it's not the fire's fault, but it sure can still be Oblivion's fault, because, really, they aren't worshiping fire. They are worshiping pain and destruction and just tacking that onto fire. That's the taint of Oblivion. It's the corruption of intent. They could worship fire and cook tasty meals and make pottery and pretty metal things and make campfires and sing songs about how great fire is. It's still not about fire. It's about looking at fire as a source of positives.
    It can't be fire's fault because fire doesn't have a mind. If it finds itself in a situation where it is perpetuating terrible evil, that's a matter of happenstance. If Oblivion likewise doesn't have a mind, it is in the same situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

    I'm of the opinion that most Shadow Eaten do go straight to Oblivion. Only around 1 in 20 people show up as wraiths, and while many of the other 19 immediately Transcend, it's extremely optimistic to assume all of them do. I also seem to recall that there are references to Shadows that plummet into Oblivion the moment they become Spectres too, but I'd have to check my books. And indeed, they would still be Angst ridden, but it's not just Angst but the Dark Passions that determine what a Spectre wants to do.

    I do think you are right that a Spectre who is consistently thwarted from ending himself would develop some kind of outwardly destructive Dark Passion, even if he didn't have one in the first place. But if he does, wouldn't that be on him and not Oblivion?

    That's really my view on this. If a bunch of deranged pyromaniacs started worshiping fire, getting off on their own burns and brainwashing people around to their viewpoint, we wouldn't say fire was the one corrupting. If a bunch of ants caught themselves on the edge of a drain and started trying to pull other people down into the darkness, we wouldn't say the drain was trying to do anything at all. Oblivion is like that, it's arguably just the complete absence of anything. All of the pain and nastiness, that just comes from the things that exist as they are worn away (or are just trying to be); an accretion disk of everything screaming as it loses its grip.
    The numbers on how many dead people end up wraiths are all over the place and don't, largely, make any sense. Particularly when attrition isn't really addressed. But, apart from that, the little bit of Wraith20 about Specters definitely says that people go straight to specterhood (they show up floating in the Tempest in something more like a shell than a cocoon). As to the statements about the origins of Mortwrights and Shades.

    Is it really him though? If the effect of the existence of Oblivion on the World of Darkness (not our world, THAT world) is the reason for the "Darkness" part, then it's intrinsic to the effect that Oblivion has on everything that creates the "downward bend to all things" that results in Specters and in their actions. You're trying to make Oblivion mortality neutral and, in the World of Darkness, it sure doesn't appear that it is. In fact it's the source of negativity, of "evil" of the Darkness. Or at least it's one aspect of that across the various games (also exemplified by the turning of the Wheel of Ages towards "bad times", the Corruption of the Wyrm, the continuing cycle of fratricidal/patricidal sin that riddles the vampires, the coming of Winter and encroaching Banality, the Civil War in Heaven that broke the universe and probably caused the whole boondoggle, the fact it's a Sphere called "Entropy" and not "Change" - indicating that change in the WoD holistically follows a version of Thermodynamic Entropy, etc.) You can't really call the source of evil "value neutral". Oblivion is probably the purest example of what is wrong with the World of Darkness.

    Absent the existence of this flavor of Oblivion, the struggle between the desire for abnegation and the frustration of same probably wouldn't result in a shift to an outwardly destructive stance. Or it might, but then it would be something that flowed from the dead soul in question. Perhaps such a soul would have snuffed itself out in a sort of self-immolating Transcendence. The implication from Demon would be that the soul, after being taken by a Reaper would have been brought to the Underworlds created by Charon (no, the other one) and nurtured into whatever role they would fulfill next. Before Lucifer broke the world... There is some indication that the Shadowlands used to work that way and have gotten worse and worse and worse over time (see Mage Entropy above).

    As for your cult of pyros..... Well, it's not the fire's fault, but it sure can still be Oblivion's fault, because, really, they aren't worshiping fire. They are worshiping pain and destruction and just tacking that onto fire. That's the taint of Oblivion. It's the corruption of intent. They could worship fire and cook tasty meals and make pottery and pretty metal things and make campfires and sing songs about how great fire is. It's still not about fire. It's about looking at fire as a source of positives.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X