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    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Lets Build a Setting: Back to the Classics

    That "Sauron" sounds an awful lot more like a riff on the Lich King of Warcraft. Probably intentional, mind. Here's a bit leaning on Old Lore for how the Always Evil races worked:

    Among the Necromancer's Death Knights, there once was one known to myth as the Carrion-Wolf. Often attributed as the first were-beast, the truth of this abhorrent creature is a far darker matter, being closer kin to Worgs and Ghouls than any more typical creature. Rather than having ever been a true mortal, the Carrion-Wolf was created from a rabid beast in a fell ritual seeking to create living servants with the same unflinching cruel loyalty as the Undead, by bloating the Animus that Undeath tears from the soul into a fell intelligence driven by carefully chosen instincts.

    Its descendants include the Ghoul Fever itself, the twisted strain of the very same blight that afflicted it before its transformation, as well as exceptionally gnarled bloodlines of Worgs born of its carnal desires, but also many other fundamentally cruel and foul creatures derived from the same unholy curses inflicted upon it.

    ---

    The thing of it is that in Old Lore, Goblinoids and Orcs and such literally did not have souls like humans, but rather a fundamentally different and intrinsically Evil animatic force relating to the Gods that made them, if a reason was ever given in the first place. It also covers the Death effect resurrection difficulty by having the "motor functions" of the soul be what's taken to operate Undead, so you have to use much more complicated, rare, and powerful magic to fix this spiritual harm to actually manage to get the soul to stick.

    And, of course, the fact you are ripping the soul apart makes "standard" Necromancy guaranteed Evil and intelligence complicated, but you also can have a Ghost of someone who's body was used to make another sort of Undead because the chunk of the soul taken has little to do with conscious thought. Just a bit that packs a few different answers to questions that keep coming up in Alignment debates.

    The Always Evil monsters are not remotely the same kind of intelligence as actual people, they're magically engineered war-beasts with raw cognition magically grafted on to allow them to more efficiently execute their drives with zero new ability to determine those themselves. Those that used to be people simply retain speech through neurological changes that ought to remove it, suffering the same dramatic failures of self-control and altered drives said damage should come with; Ghouls in this case are literally rabies victims who become intelligent Undead instead of falling into outright insentience and death. The cannibalistic aggression of rabies? Still there, still completely shuts down normal morality.

    It's basically adding clockcycles to a paperclip maximizer, you can't get a useful general artificial intelligence that way no matter how hard you try, because it just isn't the right programming.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2021-08-10 at 02:08 PM.