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why is a spectre's psyche presented as good?

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  • why is a spectre's psyche presented as good?

    i thought that the psyche/normal wraith is not supposed to be good or evil by default.

    yet in the books talking about spectres psyches are presented as an eidolon.

    in my opinion it should make perfect sense for a psyche to be evil. just non nihilistic or suicidal. for instance a spectre might want to kill someone for fun while his psyche could say"no! he might know something important. let's inflict unspeakable torture on him to find out"

    likewise for a spectre suffering and death might be an end by itsself but for some psyches may simply be tools(after all you can't rule the world if everyone is dead and there is no world)

    what are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Well, it's the reverse of the Shadow, so it makes sense that the psyche would want to get a Spectre to gain some humanity back, so they can do their own Catharsis and get their corpus back under control from the Shadow.

    The Shadow is neither good or evil also, btw. The Shadow is supposed to be just free of morality and ethics, it's what the psyche is in the dark, so to speak, those darker thoughts of the mind you seriously wouldn't consider normally.

    Remember also Shadow's often aren't purely chaotic creatures, they have their own Dark Passions to follow on their road to Oblivion. These are often things that go against the Passions and Fetters of the psyche, so the whispering in the Spectre's mind isn't going to be too happy with them for example targetting the psyche's loved ones.

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    • #3
      It is not that the psyche is purely good, but that it is the only thing that retains connection to a Wraith's eidolon. It's the only thing that can lead the Spectre out of Oblivion's grasp. At the level the Spectre is at, probably the only part of the psyche which survives is the part the most unlike the Spectre.

      To handle your example, both actions that you indicate is within the normal behavior of "spectredom". The one isn't going to assist in redeeming the Spectre any more than the other.

      Now, it is always possible that as way to STOP the Spectre from destroying someone, that the psyche tries to trick the Spectre into not killing it by offering the torture solution. I could see that. However, it is not that the Psyche delights in torture. It is just the first step in trying to nudge the Spectre away from this kind of behavior. Once the decision is made not to kill, but torture, then the Psyche tries to stop that and divert the Spectre into another action.

      Of course, if the Spectre is ever redeemed and its psyche takes over, it's not that the Spectre has achieved Transcendence. It's just that the psyche has reconstituted itself and still has to deal with all its normal flaws and problems.

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      • #4
        Well I noticed that too, really, but think it makes things somewhat easier this way, in a game allready complicated enough.


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        • #5
          Here's one of the important questions. Let's say you have a Wraith who uses torture and sadism to resist the pull of Oblivion. What are his Dark Passions then? Are they the kind of thing that might keep his eventual Spectre from hurling itself in the the Void? Will the other Spectres tolerate one whose Psyche is energized by the acts of Oblivion?

          Oblivion actually weeds out a lot of potential Spectres, and it's an oddly specific combination that leads to a Spectre with a despicable Psyche surviving for any length of time.


          Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
            Here's one of the important questions. Let's say you have a Wraith who uses torture and sadism to resist the pull of Oblivion. What are his Dark Passions then? Are they the kind of thing that might keep his eventual Spectre from hurling itself in the the Void? Will the other Spectres tolerate one whose Psyche is energized by the acts of Oblivion?

            Oblivion actually weeds out a lot of potential Spectres, and it's an oddly specific combination that leads to a Spectre with a despicable Psyche surviving for any length of time.

            i do not mean that the wraith's in question reason d'etre is "torture and sadism" i mean a wraith who is wholly evil in a pragmatic way.

            think of it this way.

            in the mmo swtor in an empire quest the dark side option is to kill the rebels with a slow poison. but because according to data this doesn't dissuade future rebellions the light side option is to kill them in the most efficient and fast way possible in order to make the area productive again.

            that's the kind of wraith we are talking about.

            that being said given that normal non shadow eaten wraiths see nothing wrong with soulforging.. then why wouldn't a wraith fight of oblivion with a little sadism.

            after all the psyche is your normal self. there are sociopaths that become wraiths right?

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            • #7
              The thing is, the pragmatic evil you describe is less an outlier and more a fact of existence in the Underworld. Soul forging isn't just accepted, it is justified as a way of preventing weak ghosts from strengthening Oblivion. You will have to look quite hard to find a Psyche that will stand out as more evil than that. You'll have to look even harder to find one that will compare badly to most Spectres.

              But here's another way of looking at it. The Eidolon is not good, it is the side that wants to let go of attachment. That can be the side that tells a Wraith to stop contacting his family because he is only making them suffer, but it can also be the side that says don't save them from the fire because they aren't his concern anymore. Just because the Psyche of a Shadow is broadly aligned with the Eidolon in no way means that the Psyche is working towards anything we would call good.

              One last thought. The hive mind is described as a loving though highly dysfunctional family. It a Psyche decides that his threat to his old friends and loved ones is too great, and he uses a Catharsis to get himself and his new pack caught and soulforged, then he's just betrayed his family- the brothers and sisters who love and care for him- to eternal torment. Does that really sound like something good to you?


              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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