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What Do Souls Really Give You?

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  • amechra
    started a topic What Do Souls Really Give You?

    What Do Souls Really Give You?

    Looking at it from the opposite perspective of the Soulless condition, the following are the things having a soul gives you:

    • A +2 bonus on rolls to resist possession, body jacking, and the like.
    • The ability to use Abjuration, Binding, and Warding.
    • The ability to recover Willpower from resting.
    • The ability to recover Willpower from giving up and knuckling under.
    • It inverts your Vice and Virtue - it makes your higher impulses something important, while dialling your lower impulses down to something more casual and mild.
    • Most importantly, it heavily mitigates the corrosive effects of Vice on your identity - your Vice no longer provokes a Breaking Point on its own, and the penalty due to a Breaking Point coinciding with your Vice is reduced from -5 to -1.

    In less mechanical terms, a soul does three things. Firstly, it grants you metaphysical weight - it repels possession, and lets you impose your will on the spiritual plane. Secondly, it heavily mitigates the steady corrosive influence of your lower nature. Your soul is what lets you catch a breather, and what prevents your base impulses from consuming you. Thirdly, it biases you towards your higher nature. Under the influence of a soul, you look past cut-throat desires to instead value your generosity, humility, or other, more communal "urge".

    So...
    1. Metaphysical heft.
    2. Mitigates your lower nature.
    3. Emphasizes your higher nature.

  • amechra
    replied
    So, did Promethean 2e add anything that might warrant examination?

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  • reseru
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Azoth is like a bootleg knock-off soul from China.
    No, come on! What about all those metaphors about Prometheans being a furnace?

    Azoth is the raw essence of soulstuff. It's powerful, nearly impossible to handle except in moments of passionate creation (some similarities to Sekhem here, with passionate emotions and all), and must be refined to be of any use. Prometheans aren't fueled by knock-off souls, they're fueled by the irradiated proto-plasm of soul itself until they refine it into something all humans have. Because, you know, they eventually become humans.

    Prometheans, in my head-canon, are drawn up from the Lower Depths. That's why they don't have souls. They're empty creatures who are trying to Ascend into the Fallen World

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Azoth is like a bootleg knock-off soul from China.
    Or an Ikea flatpack; you'll have a soul just as soon as you figure out the abstruse instructions (and until then, everyone will be annoyed at you for making a big mess in the living room).

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post

    I once wrote in the old forums a theory about that the origin of "souls" come from former human spirits- that they were among the weakest of their kind in the shadow, and during that time man was no different than any other animal. It all changed when they all gathered together and ate each other up, merging into a colossal being which was the greatest representation of humanity in the Shadow. Then, Father Wolf saw it as a threat, fought against it and killed it- only for it to scatter its Essence through the world, where it merged with every living human being, turning the entire race of humanity into what now is known as an "Host". That means that humanity is just what happens when an all race turns into a Shartha (and they were the first to do so) and all of our "inner wars" and "desire for conquest" comes from the simple wish of the Shard in each and every one of us to unite and re-create the glory of the former spirit.

    Never meant for it to be a "head canon", though- just a mad blasphemy used to taunt players during a Werewolf game.
    As an aside, it does correlate interestingly with this guy - and considering how sumero-babylonian elements seem to be peppered here and there in Uratha language and myth...

    Leave a comment:


  • AceOfAlmonds
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Azoth is like a bootleg knock-off soul from China.
    And with a lot of enhancements, you can make a working soul out of it, but until then it frequently catches on fire.

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  • Elfive
    replied
    Azoth is like a bootleg knock-off soul from China.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by YeOfLittleFaith View Post
    I have no idea about Azoth, in no small part because I never read the entirety of Promethean and it was a while ago.
    Azoth is a self-sustaining aggregator loop in the Divine Fire.

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    Sekhem is essentially fundamental life force, with all its memory, emotional attachment, and resonance. The Soul seems to carry its Sekhem from the first moment of life to its passing into death, and Will can influence and shape Sekhem. I'm not sure what that means for the metaphor, but Mummies rise by the shape of their soul (and body) being filled by this energy.

    I have no idea about Azoth, in no small part because I never read the entirety of Promethean and it was a while ago.
    Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 04-10-2016, 03:23 PM.

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  • Arcanist
    replied
    I like the hearth metaphor. Sounds like something a mystic in-world would say too.

    Doesn't killing a mortal produce Sekhem? And Sekhem is described both as the raw prima materia of the Fallen World (likened to radioactive waste) and the stuff of life? As in, all that life is, all that life remembers, etc? So, maybe Sekhem isn't, strictly, Soul, but is 'soulstuff'. Soul strata? Whatever. The basis for the Soul, the thing that makes the socket.

    How does Azoth fit into all this then? (Not in relation to Sekhem. Just in general)

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    On Dreams Of Avarice, possibly further than you've read:
    The implication seems closer to "humans were given souls for the purpose of feeding the Devourer through the Law of Suffering". They are roughly called "sufferers with names". Of course, A'aru exists in defiance of the Law, and having a soul in the way they do is also implied to be why humans can reach it.

    Identity is vital to souls in the context of Mummy, even before the consideration of Will and Memory as its defining pillars. Names are important for this reason too. And you may not be too far from the truth with the assertion that reducing your Sekhem to 1 for Apotheosis is "throwing out your extra soul". I don't think Sekhem should necessarily be conflated with soulstuff, but there are statements that the meaning behind that is to shave off all the life and power held in your soul that is under the dominion of the Judges, as opposed to being yours.


    On the overall subject in the CofD: I think that when one traditionally thinks of the soul, it's more accurate to think of it as the "vessel", and not the force that when removed inflicts the Souless condition. (Or instead as both of them together.) It doesn't need to be your soul that's returned to remove the condition, after all. And this goes even for some references in gamelines where there is the capability to inflict that. The line between the meanings is there, but it's blurry (purposely so, given the themes and tone of the setting).

    Someone in the forums previously used the metaphor of a hearth and its fire to explain the subject. The soul which can be removed, which grants drive and metaphysical weight to a person, is the fire. Even if you put it out, the hearth is still there. But how useful can it really be without the fire? Well, pretty sure it was put in a more clarifying way, but that was the gist of it.
    Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 04-09-2016, 11:18 AM.

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  • reseru
    replied
    No one ever wants to cover Mummy.

    They care about souls as much, if not more, than Mages. Here we go, right down the list:
    • Mummies are immune to possession. Bam. Straight up.
    • Pillars are literally categories of your 'soul rating'
    • "...the Shan'iatu and their students did not believe in soul/body duality." Oh, interesting. Pillar expenditure enhances Attributes
    • Pillar expenditure can activate relics and Utterances (cosmic powers they're not supposed to have access to)
    • Mummies recover Pillar points by meditating, exercising that third soul-trait of enhancing your higher self
    • The Soulsight Affinity reveals Virtue, Vice, Pillar ratings, and whether that person's possessed
    Now, Mummies only exist in the world anymore because they're sheathed in Sekhem, which is a whole other topic of soul-related implications. So here's some interesting correlations:
    • Sekhem can be spent to refresh Willpower
    • Sekhem (that can refresh Willpower) can repair a Mummy's sahu (physical form, basically)
    • Pillars can also be used to seal the flesh, kinda related to the above
    • What the hell? Sekhem expenditure releases terror Sybaris!
    So Mummies refine their souls to be better than mortals in all ways: metaphysical heft, emphasizes your higher nature...and...I've yet to figure out how it mitigates your lower nature. Mostly because I haven't looked.

    It seems they're at least very full of soul, and Sekhem is like...extra soul? Mummies are souls. Maybe. Like, 'pure' souls, and Memory is the delusion (from the soul's point of view) that physical identity actually matters. Since this is a game about playing people but happen to have a supernatural template it's only natural that our Mummy PCs' end goals are reacquiring their sense of self and, ultimately, breaking the bonds of the Rite of Return. In fact, let's discuss Apotheosis:

    It's literally described as "a soul's complete reclamation of itself. It remains infused with the power of the Rite, but now that power is much more firmly at the soul's command. No longer is the soul tethered by heavy chains to the throne of its master in Duat. The link is broken, the soul takes flight."
    • Requires, coincidentally enough, high Memory and maximum Pillar ratings
    • Can only be achieved by your Sekhem dropping to 1. So throwing out your extra soul, which is maybe superficial. Or tainted, at least when infusing a Duat-bound lich slave.
    • Except now the Mummy uses Morality to fuel what Sekhem did previously. This implies that identity matters to a soul on some level. Maybe

    Dreams of Avarice also has interesting implications related to all this:

    I've yet to finish it, but it's something like, "Humans were damned dirty apes but were given the chance to deserve starry A'aru" so perhaps souls were given to them in order to suppress their vice-oriented natural state so that they could indeed see the realm's barren glory

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  • cmwatford
    replied
    Originally posted by Arcanist View Post


    This explains why Ghost Mages tend to be a little more lucid than regular Ghosts, and it explain how they're able to retain the use of Arcana. Without the "shard of the Abyss" attached to the transformer, the Ghost is still imprinted with the Supernal Symbolism that was pressed into the socket.
    If memory serves there are two types of ghost mage. The first is a ghost with numina and influences that mimic the mage's praxi. The other is a ghost that has the mage's soul attached to it by Death magic and thus has access to their arcana dots.

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  • Axelgear
    replied
    Just double-checked and, well, bugger my giddy aunt, you're right.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
    Something interesting you might want to consider about ghosts is that their Virtue/Vice don't invert, to my knowledge, as happens with soul loss. Make of that what you will.
    No, they quite explicitly do, and the similarity to soul loss was commented upon back when GMC was first released.

    Leave a comment:

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