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How do you destroy a soul?

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  • How do you destroy a soul?

    Surely this has been addressed (and asked) before, even recently - sorry for the repeat question - but I can't find anything direct about it.
    How, exactly, does a Mage (or other splat) destroy a soul?

    We couldn't find it on the fly in a game I ST'd, so I quickruled a death weaving spell would do it, but in retrospect I'm not convinced I did the practices justice. Weaving doesn't feel like it's enough, but at the time, unmaking was (and still is) out of reach. Strongly feeling a retcon coming up... any pointers to official rules/errata would be appreciated, or however you play this in your own chronicles...

  • #2
    It depends. For instance Tremere destroy souls as part of their everyday existence. A Death Unmaking can do it. A soul can be used as a Sacrament in any subtle arcana spell and is this destroyed during the casting. Etc.

    Weaving can destroy a soul though, just as a Weaving Spell with enough Potency can wrap you around from Bashing to Lethal to dead.

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    • #3
      Read the comments section of an article.

      In all seriousness, I’d say it would depend on the needs of your story. Was it your players trying to destroy a soul?


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      • #4
        That it can be used (and hence destroyed) by using it as a Sacrament Yantra suggests to me its not meant to be a terribly difficult feat arcanely. Your suggestion of a fraying spell seems perfectly suitable. I reckon the focus should be on the the horror and hubris of the act, rather than on how tough it should be.

        Actually, emphasising the fragility of a human soul definitely feels in theme for the game, I might even let you do it with the Death spells/attainments to touch ghostly matter, assuming your willing to literally tear up and scramble the soul-stuff.

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        • #5
          The Gnosi is a vessel for the soul, it shape the soul in a "form" that suit a theme : see legacy attainment... so.
          Use own Gnosi as " Anti Vessel" for "shape" a soul in "impossible form", and "squeeze it" at breaking point?
          Aka: i destroy my own soul for the sake of this spell.
          And take another soul for replace it , my own perished?

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          • #6
            The easiest way to destroy a soul is to lock a being in a room with the Astral version of Barney the Dinosaur. But that would be cruel even by Fallen Wisdom standards.

            Other approaches include Reaper Legacies (Cloud Infinite, <Legion>, Carnival Melancholy, etc) using them up, salvaged Seer resources, Lower Depths shenanigans (Irises, creatures, etc), Artifacts, etc.

            But barring that, you can do soul damage with Integrity or equivalent as the soul's "HP". Temporarily at Death 3, permanent at 4, complete annihilation at 5. Which means you can also make an imbued item available if they really need it.

            But I would also say this damage is "healed" if you buy the stat back or swap for a fresh soul.

            Lastly, you could homebrew some Fallen magic that allows it, but having some kind of price or complication to go along with it, even if not immediately obvious.
            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 08-10-2019, 04:10 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
              A soul can be used as a Sacrament in any subtle arcana spell and is this destroyed during the casting. Etc.
              Originally posted by Katana1515 View Post
              That it can be used (and hence destroyed) by using it as a Sacrament Yantra suggests to me its not meant to be a terribly difficult feat arcanely.
              Other sacraments are described as being physically destroyed by the mage during the casting. It would be really weird if you could automatically destroy anything by just assigning it as a sacrament for a spell, so I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way.


              Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
              But barring that, you can do soul damage with Integrity or equivalent as the soul's "HP". Temporarily at Death 3, permanent at 4, complete annihilation at 5. Which means you can also make an imbued item available if they really need it.
              Integrity is a trait and thus something that could at most be temporarily adjusted. It's also pretty special (like Wisdom) so I would not be surprised if it's not possible to do even that directly. (Note that you can still indirectly damage Integrity by removing the soul or imposing breaking points.)


              Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
              In all seriousness, I’d say it would depend on the needs of your story. Was it your players trying to destroy a soul?
              I'm curious about it in general outside any current game since it's a prerequisite for using souls as a sacrament as well as getting any usage from the spell Reaping Relinquishment in SoS.
              When rules hinges on this in order to function, then I think at least one explicit way of making it possible should've been included in the book.


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              • #8
                I don’t see a reason to make a big fuss over it, the soup can be consumed via using it to power a spell, like a one-shot battery. Souls can explicitly be consumed to power things, see the Tremere and most Reaper legacies. It’s part of the process of abusing them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  Integrity is a trait and thus something that could at most be temporarily adjusted. It's also pretty special (like Wisdom) so I would not be surprised if it's not possible to do even that directly. (Note that you can still indirectly damage Integrity by removing the soul or imposing breaking points.)
                  The original blog post about Wisdom brought up the prospect of temporary "injury" to the Trait, which may be salient.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                    I don’t see a reason to make a big fuss over it, the soup can be consumed via using it to power a spell, like a one-shot battery. Souls can explicitly be consumed to power things, see the Tremere and most Reaper legacies. It’s part of the process of abusing them.
                    That still doesn't answer the question of how it works in play. It's inherently frustrating to know that that a thing is possible and have rules for what happens, but not rules for making that happen.
                    Also, I don't think the slow consumption of a soul over time, the way that Tremere does it, is suitable for a Sacrament unless your casting time includes the entirety of that process.

                    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                    The original blog post about Wisdom brought up the prospect of temporary "injury" to the Trait, which may be salient.
                    Good to know.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #11
                      There aren't rules for how you destroy a sacrament either. There are some examples of things being destroyed in various ways, but those aren't rules, they're examples. So any appropriately symbolic way a player can think of to destroy a soul as part of casting a spell works as a way of destroying the soul in order to power the spell. If the player simply think of the soul as being converted into energy that powers the spell for instance, that's enough.

                      The length of time over which a Tremere devours a soul compared to a Mage using a soul as a sacrament has no real bearing on the conversation for reasons that I hope are obvious. For instance, honing in on that ignores the fact that I was lumping the Tremere in with Reapers who usually take much less time to destroy a soul in order to accomplish their goals.

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                      • #12
                        Determine Structure and Durability, then use a Strength + Stamina Attribute task to destroy it. For less durable Sacraments, just do it with a reflexive or instant with no roll required because destroying them is trivially easy. These are the standard rules, but there's nothing standard or trivial about souls.


                        Bloodline: The Stygians
                        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                        Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                        • #13
                          Show me the quote that says that’s the rule for using Sacraments.

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                          • #14
                            Maybe it can help, the Nagaraja (dark eras) use a death 4 attainment to destroy souls

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                              Show me the quote that says that’s the rule for using Sacraments.
                              The rules for sacraments implies they are physical objects of some sorte, and those are reasonable rules for dealing with objects. You might allow other things like Crafts, if you even consider using a roll at all. Souls aren't physical, and they aren't even Ephemera. They are their own kind of thing.

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