A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I think the words "drains a little bit" as distinct from "each one of us will get your soul for the same amount of time that you are under their Soul Splice" matter more than you apparently think they do.
    Obviously the conditions between V's deal and Redcloak's Gate are different. But draining a piece of your soul sounds really serious if you don't make the soul=EXP connection, in which case, it's really not any better than just using the word EXP, since you still need to make that connection. And further, in order to make that connection, you need even more specialised knowledge that Gate has an EXP cost.

    If you ask a regular person what the consequences of 'draining your soul' are, they'd probably think of, like, Voldemort or something. Not 'I have to wait slightly longer before I get stronger.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Then we'd have threads going, "Gate does Strength damage to the caster?" or "Gate does Intelligence damage to the caster?"--with a lot more valid grounding than this thread, in my opinion. What would your answer be if you view "EXP" as more spiritual than cerebral or physical? ("Cerebral" clearly doesn't work for Thog's levels, and "physical" doesn't work for Vaarsuvius's. And I hope the answer doesn't come out sounding like Wisdom damage.)
    People who would ask questions like 'Gate deals strength damage to the caster?' or 'Gate deals intelligence damage to the caster?' would almost be certainly coming from the perspective of someone who plays a lot of D&D anyway, and to whom the concept of EXP is clearly not confusing to in the first place, since the idea of ability damage is much more specialised D&D knowledge than EXP is. In which case, what's the point of moving away from EXP anyway?

    I feel like most people interpret EXP as experience, since that is what it stands for. And in real life that sort of comes in multiple parts- you accumulate conscious knowledge over time, you develop unconscious memory through practice (e.g. muscle memory), and your body and muscles physically get stronger. 'EXP' as roleplaying games talk about it is a bit of an oversimplification of the idea, but surely you can just refer to whatever part of that is relevant for the current situation.

    If the Soul is at once a representation of your level and also the part of you that gets sent to the afterlife, that raises lots of further questions. If you get all your EXP drained by a wight-- and therefore your whole soul devoured-- how come you still get to go to the afterlife? Your whole soul just got devoured.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I'm going to chime in and just say it's the Giant updating (or rather downplaying) how he describes things to be less D&D like.

    It's simple, answers the question, and it's the kind of thing he's already admitted he'd do to make things more accessible becuase most people who read the story actually aren't hardcore D&D fans.
    I, personally, think that would be a silly decision, given that most of the comic thus far has referred to concepts like EXP and such, the comic is about to end, and only in this last couple of chapters has that started to change. It seems a bit late. But Rich may indeed be doing things which I think are silly.

    I honestly feel like if the goal here is to make it 'more accessible' by referring to the soul instead of EXP, it backfired a bit here. Since I don't play D&D (I'm passingly aware of many of the mechanics but not the ins and outs of spells and such), I absolutely read it as some kind of Faustian thing. The only reason anyone here thinks it's referring to the EXP cost is because the equivalent D&D spell costs EXP. Which maybe is a valid point because the game is based off D&D, but it's not 'more accessible' for non-players.

    Besides, anyone who's even briefly, passingly touched a computer game RPG probably knows what EXP is. I think some D&D players here greatly underestimate how much of the comic is understandable to non-players, and assume that a lot of things which are ubiquitous across RPG games or fantasy settings are exclusive to D&D.
    Last edited by Potatopeelerkin; 2022-08-18 at 10:33 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    I, personally, think that would be a silly decision, given that most of the comic thus far has referred to concepts like EXP and such, the comic is about to end, and only in this last couple of chapters has that started to change. It seems a bit late. But Rich may indeed be doing things which I think are silly.

    I honestly feel like if the goal here is to make it 'more accessible' by referring to the soul instead of EXP, it backfired a bit here. Since I don't play D&D (I'm passingly aware of many of the mechanics but not the ins and outs of spells and such), I absolutely read it as some kind of Faustian thing. The only reason anyone here thinks it's referring to the EXP cost is because the equivalent D&D spell costs EXP. Which maybe is a valid point because the game is based off D&D, but it's not 'more accessible' for non-players.

    Besides, anyone who's even briefly, passingly touched a computer game RPG probably knows what EXP is. I think some D&D players here greatly underestimate how much of the comic is understandable to non-players, and assume that a lot of things which are ubiquitous across RPG games or fantasy settings are exclusive to D&D.
    I'm not commenting on whether I think it's necessary, warranted, or good (I'm ambivalent), I'm just commenting on what I think is likely.
    Last edited by Rrmcklin; 2022-08-19 at 12:07 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I'm not commenting on whether I think it's necessary, warranted, or good (I'm ambivalent), I'm just commenting on what I think is likely.
    Yeah, that's fair. I suppose we'll find out one way or another by whether the story decides to bring it up again.

    I am also curious what's in the terms and conditions that Redcloak decided to skip.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    If the Soul is at once a representation of your level and also the part of you that gets sent to the afterlife, that raises lots of further questions. If you get all your EXP drained by a wight-- and therefore your whole soul devoured-- how come you still get to go to the afterlife? Your whole soul just got devoured.
    There's a difference because wights don't drain EXP, they drain levels, which can be restored through spells. Spending EXP to cast gate or create magic items cannot be restored, they're spent permanently.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    If the Soul is at once a representation of your level and also the part of you that gets sent to the afterlife, that raises lots of further questions. If you get all your EXP drained by a wight-- and therefore your whole soul devoured-- how come you still get to go to the afterlife? Your whole soul just got devoured.
    It doesn't get to go to the afterlife - it's trapped, in a newly risen wight body controlled by a malign intelligence.

    Complete Divine

    The souls of characters who die in specific ways sometimes become undead. Those driven to suicide by madness become allips, while humanoids destroyed by absolute evil become bodaks. As with ghosts, the soul creates a new body, whether it's incorporeal such as an allip's or corporeal such as a bodak's. The soul is twisted toward evil if it wasn't already. The new undead creature retains some general memories of its former life, but doesn't necessarily have the same mental ability scores, skills, feats or other abilities. Not every suicide victim becomes an allip, and not everyone destroyed by absolute evil becomes a bodak; as with ghosts, the exact nature of the transformation is unknown. Similarly, liches are characters who've voluntarily transformed themselves into undead, trapping their souls in skeletal bodies.

    Some undead such as wights and vampires create spawn out of a character they kill, trapping the soul of the deceased in a body animated by negative energy and controlled by a malign intelligence. Sometimes the undead creature can access the memories of the deceased (vampires, spectres, ghouls, and ghasts can) and sometimes they can't (as with shadows, wraiths and wights).
    Generally, anyone "level-drained to death" comes back as a wight, unless the killer has a specific ability saying otherwise.

    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAb...NegativeLevels

    A character with negative levels at least equal to her current level, or drained below 1st level, is instantly slain. Depending on the creature that killed her, she may rise the next night as a monster of that kind. If not, she rises as a wight.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    People who would ask questions like 'Gate deals strength damage to the caster?' or 'Gate deals intelligence damage to the caster?' would almost be certainly coming from the perspective of someone who plays a lot of D&D anyway, and to whom the concept of EXP is clearly not confusing to in the first place, since the idea of ability damage is much more specialised D&D knowledge than EXP is.
    No? I do not think D&D invented the idea of "this makes you weaker" or "this makes you stupider," nor that the vast majority of non-D&D-playing readers would lack the "specialized knowledge" to go from "it drains my strength" to "I have less strength," not to "I have less overall power."

    (Snip here: you do, when other people repeat it enough, address the difference in keeping terminology in-world, just to call it silly.)
    The only reason anyone here thinks it's referring to the EXP cost is because the equivalent D&D spell costs EXP. Which maybe is a valid point because the game is based off D&D, but it's not 'more accessible' for non-players.
    If you want to complain about other people's tones, as you did earlier in this thread, possibly you should refrain from telling other people what they think. As I said, it never occurred to me that it could be read as anything else until I saw this thread. That is admittedly from the perspective of a D&D player, but you're the one arguing for the current comic being opaque to all "non-players," while I'm the one who would expect the vast majority of readers to understand it, D&D players or not.

    Sure, someone was confused enough to start a thread about it and they're not alone, but that's also something that can be said for (e.g.) the Dune parody spice turning Belkar's eyes blue.
    Last edited by Kish; 2022-08-19 at 11:05 AM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    No? I do not think D&D invented the idea of "this makes you weaker" or "this makes you stupider," nor that the vast majority of non-D&D-playing readers would lack the "specialized knowledge" to go from "it drains my strength" to "I have less strength," not to "I have less overall power."
    Well, you've made another alternative suggestion right here. "It drains my power". There are limitless ways to describe it. The choice to refer to the soul is a choice, not because there are zero other options. Whether this is because Rich is trying to establish a connection that EXP=souls, or because he was talking about something entirely different... but it was a choice that was made.

    'This makes you weaker' or 'this makes you stupider' are all interpretations that make perfect sense for certain interpretations of what EXP is. I challenge you to go and ask anyone who isn't part of this conversation how they'd describe EXP/EXP loss, and I doubt you'd hear anyone say anything about souls. No description is perfect, but I don't see how the soul version is closer or more intuitive than any of the others that have been proposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    If you want to complain about other people's tones, as you did earlier in this thread, possibly you should refrain from telling other people what they think.
    Did you already know Gate had an EXP cost when you read that comic? If not, I'm sorry for assuming how you came to that conclusion- but if you did, maybe I shouldn't have said it with such certainty, but I suspect it's still true.

    Anyway, what bothered me earlier wasn't the 'tone', it's what was directly said. Calling other people stupid because they disagree with the interpretation of a single line in a webcomic is ridiculous, and it's epidemic on this forum. I'm sick of the tiniest little disagreements here leading to personal insults, and I keep watching users get bullied out. It's so much worse here than anywhere else I've been. (Not that you've done that so far)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    That is admittedly from the perspective of a D&D player, but you're the one arguing for the current comic being opaque to all "non-players," while I'm the one who would expect the vast majority of readers to understand it, D&D players or not.
    I'm not really sure what your point is. Surely the person who is a non-player would have a better idea of what is and isn't opaque to non-players?
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    Calling other people stupid because they disagree with the interpretation of a single line in a webcomic is ridiculous, and it's epidemic on this forum. I'm sick of the tiniest little disagreements here leading to personal insults,
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    Did you already know Gate had an EXP cost when you read that comic?
    I answered this in my first post in this thread. I did not remember that Gate had an XP cost, much less that some uses of Gate have an XP cost and others do not, no. I did not bother to look it up in the SRD because it seemed utterly obvious to me that that was what Redcloak meant.

    And no, as I said already once, "it makes you weaker" does not work at all for a wizard, and "it makes you stupider" does not work at all for a fighter. "It drains my power" would, but (again as I said), your initial ideas, which you're still claiming as valid, would result in people starting "Gate deals Strength damage to the caster?" or "Gate deals Intelligence damage to the caster?" threads which I would find to have much better grounding than this one (whether they phrased it in a way that showed understanding of D&D mechanics or not, as you seem to keep flipping back and forth on whether they would know enough for that).

    (Though I do recognize that you find the question of what to say without breaching the fourth wall irrelevant, that your preferred alternative would be Redcloak referencing game mechanics as casually as Durkon hundreds of strips ago and just saying XP.)
    I'm not really sure what your point is. Surely the person who is a non-player would have a better idea of what is and isn't opaque to non-players?
    Ah, so it's not that you find D&D players "greatly underestimate how much of the comic is understandable to non-players"--it's that anyone who plays D&D should shut up and let you speak for the bulk of the audience about what is and isn't understandable?
    Last edited by Kish; 2022-08-20 at 01:13 PM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ...Redcloak referencing game mechanics as casually as Durkon hundreds of strips ago and just saying XP.
    Come to think of it....Xykon was talking about how rare it was for him to gain experience a couple hundred strips ago.

    Maybe that's the a reason, too. If Redcloak said it was costing him experience, in the same sense, the question would become "why was that an issue for Redcloak, if even Xykon is gaining experience?" The most likely explanation for which has to do with the "level window" aspect of 3.5's experience awards where, if Xykon and Redcloak are far apart enough in level, Redcloak could be ineligible for standard experience awards when Xykon earns them. And that is too esoteric for most readers, even ones used to D&D 4th or 5th where the level of the character gaining experience isn't a factor at all (or I guess 3.0, where I've been told the default is to award everyone the same XP based on the average party level); even before considering none of this will be in the SRD for easy lookup.

    Explictly not talking about experience with regards to gate sidesteps a lot of ugly implementation details.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    I think the implication was supposed to be that Redcloak hesitated to cast Gate mainly because the XP drain causes him pain, in the same way Rich decided that Protection from Evil would cause Belkar pain. Which, if true, is another reason for Redcloak not to have said "it drains some of my XP"; that would sound like his reluctance was more cerebral and less visceral.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    "It drains my power" would, but (again as I said), your initial ideas, which you're still claiming as valid, would result in people starting "Gate deals Strength damage to the caster?" or "Gate deals Intelligence damage to the caster?" threads which I would find to have much better grounding than this one
    My point is that there are alternatives, 'souls' isn't the only way to describe it- and so the choice to refer to souls is deliberate. If you think 'power' is acceptable then let's go with that. I'm not really interested in arguing about precisely how confusing each specific hypothetical alternative is. We have different experiences and interpretations, we're going to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Ah, so it's not that you find D&D players "greatly underestimate how much of the comic is understandable to non-players"--it's that anyone who plays D&D should shut up and let you speak for the bulk of the audience about what is and isn't understandable?
    But you're doing the same thing! It's 'utterly obvious' to you, and therefore it's utterly obvious to everyone else and anyone else's confusion or disagreement is unwarranted.

    Obviously I don't know the experience of everybody. But you're trying to assert what is and isn't confusing to a group you're not even a member of.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I'm going to chime in and just say it's the Giant updating (or rather downplaying) how he describes things to be less D&D like.

    It's simple, answers the question, and it's the kind of thing he's already admitted he'd do to make things more accessible becuase most people who read the story actually aren't hardcore D&D fans.
    I'd tend to agree.

    Back in the Golden Age of the comic, the conversation would have likely gone: RC: "The spell drains a little bit of my soul", Oona: "It's okay, you can say it costs XP".
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Redcloak is making a deal with an outsider; of course it takes a piece of his soul. This is a tradition in fantasy fiction that predates the printing press.

    The Author said what he meant to say. Any confusion on the issue is from our attempt to make The Author's statement mean what we think he should have said or meant. Instead, I suggest we read it as he wrote it, and any interpretation should be based on that.

    Redcloak says it requires a piece of his soul. The spell description says it costs EXP. Ipso facto, exp is a measure of souls. (This has long been a conventional interpretation in D&D, by the way.)

    But there are other ways! Okay, let's try some on:

    Strength: strength is an ability with a specific rating in the game mechanics. The spell does not mechanically reduce Strength. I submit that alluding to Strength would be more confusing, not less.

    Power: power is a vague term, but it has a specific meaning. A reduction in power means that a D&D character is less capable in the listed abilities for the character. In what way does an exp cost reduce a cleric's ability to cast spells? Does it make Redcloak less effective in physical combat? Does it reduce his available skill points? I submit that the use of power would not be less confusing, and would be technically inaccurate, as Redcloak has not had a reduction in any class abilities or character abilities, and is just as powerful after casting the spell as before.

    EXP. Okay, it would work. However, if, as I believe, The Author intended to imply that what Redcloak was doing serious, with serious consequences, then using EXP would have trivialized that intent. No big deal, it cost some exp. By using soul instead we read a higher level of importance into the act. Redcloak is engaging in a deal with an outsider, a dangerous, personally injurious act that is not to be taken lightly. That emotional impact is wholly absent when using EXP.

    I am going to go one step farther and postulate that the summoning of a being of Law will shift Redcloak's Alignment toward Law in the same way that summoning an Evil entity can shift a character's alignment to Evil. By equating the stated EXP cost as a piece of his soul, the inclusion of this proposed Alignment shift is easily explained, as it would not be using any of the other proposed words.

    Even if Alignment is not considered, The Giant's word choice encompasses the importance of the cost required to cast the spell, and explains why the spell has not been spammed since TE got to the North Pole. No other word would have served.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    I'd tend to agree.
    Back in the Golden Age of the comic, the conversation would have likely gone: RC: "The spell drains a little bit of my soul", Oona: "It's okay, you can say it costs XP".
    "I'm trying do a little thing called dramatic narration here, it's fine for you?"

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Back in the Golden Age of the comic, the conversation would have likely gone: RC: "The spell drains a little bit of my soul", Oona: "It's okay, you can say it costs XP".
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Redcloak is making a deal with an outsider; of course it takes a piece of his soul. This is a tradition in fantasy fiction that predates the printing press.
    {snip} Even if Alignment is not considered, The Giant's word choice encompasses the importance of the cost required to cast the spell, and explains why the spell has not been spammed since TE got to the North Pole. No other word would have served.
    Good start, but the follow through kind of wandered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio III View Post
    "I'm trying do a little thing called dramatic narration here, it's fine for you?"
    Indeed, I find the bickering about this to be zero-value-added.
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentio III View Post
    PS: icon could need an update.
    There's a thread for your expanded smiley needs.
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    But you're doing the same thing!
    You don't see a difference between "it seemed utterly obvious to me" and "if you ask a regular person" and various other sweeping claims to speak for vastly more than yourself?

    Well, I already said what I said about your tone complaints.

    Edited to add: I also notice this is a Morton's Fork. "No, I didn't realize it when I read the comic"=I shouldn't object to you speaking for everybody because you're clearly correct in so doing. "Yes, I did find it obvious when I read the comic"=I shouldn't object to you speaking for everybody because I am (somehow) claiming to speak for other people as much as you are.
    Last edited by Kish; 2022-08-21 at 04:14 PM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Well, excellent!
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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Back in the Golden Age of the comic
    I must say that the idea the comic had a Golden Age (and, by deduction, is therefore in decline now) rubs me the wrong way a little, but probably not enough to kick up a fuss about it.

    Ha, I really enjoy Thog as Mog. And I think this is the first time I realized "Thog" and "Mog" rhyme.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Potatopeelerkin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ~snip~
    This is quickly turning into a meta-argument and away from anything comic-related, and we weren't really getting anywhere productive when it was still about the comic either, so I think I'm going to leave this argument here.

    Oh, these are looking useful to Oona. Only wishing they didn't have tiny Photobucket watermarks over top.
    My bubble cannot be burst. It is impervious to physical damage.

    Bugbear cleric avatar by me.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Potatopeelerkin View Post
    Obviously the conditions between V's deal and Redcloak's Gate are different.
    I think it'd be nice if the mechanics of both events would be consistent, given both speak about the same thing, only to a different extend.

    So in the context of a soul being a culmination of experiences, and experiences being XP, I suppose V giving up their entire soul for a duration is equivalent to someone else using your character for said duration?

    The fiend's do state the opposite in comic 897, but I wonder if the specification "put another soul in your body" simply means they will circumvent their own wording?

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    So in the context of a soul being a culmination of experiences, and experiences being XP, I suppose V giving up their entire soul for a duration is equivalent to someone else using your character for said duration?
    Not really. It just means your body is left with absolutely nothing controlling it, no "experience" means no talking, walking or interacting with the world in any way. A comatose state, exactly like what happened to V. The two situations aren't really inconsistent with each other, V's deal was about ownership of the entirety of their soul for a limited amount of time, leaving their body without a soul for the duration, Redcloak's spell was about permanently giving away a very small piece of his soul, leaving his body with enough leftover soul to keep going on normally.

    I don't think this "exerience = soul" thing means that just the number listed on the character sheet as experience composes the souls of being. I interpret it as every experience at all, in the dictionary sense of the word. Eating some food for the first time adds to your overall experience and enriches your soul, but doesn't give you any game exp. As such, a souless being is a being that can't truly experience things, they're an automaton working on logic alone, with no consciousness (or being controlled by someone/something else). The soul must also have a blank slate state, where it begins with literally no experience, but is already a soul. Of course, a spell such as Gate works on game terms, and thus takes up game exp specifically, but it's also removing a part of the soul in terms of storytelling, since exp represents some aspects of overall experience (the parts that are useful in increasing adventuring capabilities), which in turn are part of what composes a soul.

    Think of it like a seed growing into a full-grown plant. The seed was the plant, and so is the totality of the trunk, branches, leaves, fruit, etc of the fully grown tree. A soul starts as a "seed", and then grows through experiencing the world. Removing some experience from that soul is the same as ripping off a leaf or a branch, you're diminishing the soul somewhat, but the main part of it is still intact and working as before, and the piece you got can't work as the entire thing (let's ignore the possibility of growing another tree from cuttings :P). Selling your soul would be the same as unearthing the entire tree and planting it somewhere else.

    This growing aspect of souls might be the reason the gods give mortals free will at all, they're basically growing food. They could just make mortals blindingly obey them and provide them sustenance by praising them forever, but a "free range" grown souls (and I realise I just changed the metaphor from trees to cattle out of nowhere :P) might just be more nutritious to them.
    Last edited by Roland Itiative; 2022-08-23 at 08:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stricken View Post
    I tip my hat to you, Giant. For every person who rules-nitpicks you, there are bound to be ten times as many fans who are just blown away by how excellent your storytelling is.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Gate takes a piece of your soul? Huh?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Itiative View Post
    Spoiler: Think of it like a seed growing into a full-grown plant.
    Show
    Not really. It just means your body is left with absolutely nothing controlling it, no "experience" means no talking, walking or interacting with the world in any way. A comatose state, exactly like what happened to V. The two situations aren't really inconsistent with each other, V's deal was about ownership of the entirety of their soul for a limited amount of time, leaving their body without a soul for the duration, Redcloak's spell was about permanently giving away a very small piece of his soul, leaving his body with enough leftover soul to keep going on normally.

    I don't think this "exerience = soul" thing means that just the number listed on the character sheet as experience composes the souls of being. I interpret it as every experience at all, in the dictionary sense of the word. Eating some food for the first time adds to your overall experience and enriches your soul, but doesn't give you any game exp. As such, a souless being is a being that can't truly experience things, they're an automaton working on logic alone, with no consciousness (or being controlled by someone/something else). The soul must also have a blank slate state, where it begins with literally no experience, but is already a soul. Of course, a spell such as Gate works on game terms, and thus takes up game exp specifically, but it's also removing a part of the soul in terms of storytelling, since exp represents some aspects of overall experience (the parts that are useful in increasing adventuring capabilities), which in turn are part of what composes a soul.

    Think of it like a seed growing into a full-grown plant. The seed was the plant, and so is the totality of the trunk, branches, leaves, fruit, etc of the fully grown tree. A soul starts as a "seed", and then grows through experiencing the world. Removing some experience from that soul is the same as ripping off a leaf or a branch, you're diminishing the soul somewhat, but the main part of it is still intact and working as before, and the piece you got can't work as the entire thing (let's ignore the possibility of growing another tree from cuttings :P). Selling your soul would be the same as unearthing the entire tree and planting it somewhere else.

    This growing aspect of souls might be the reason the gods give mortals free will at all, they're basically growing food. They could just make mortals blindingly obey them and provide them sustenance by praising them forever, but a "free range" grown souls (and I realise I just changed the metaphor from trees to cattle out of nowhere :P) might just be more nutritious to them.
    Let's extend this metaphor a bit. For an experience to count it must challenge the PC. Simply repeating the same act ad nauseum does not generate exp. So the gods cannot simply 'feed' their cattle. That is safe and has no real potential of failure. The cattle must graze where the good food grows, surrounded by rocks they can trip over, holes they can break a leg in, and predators that will take advantage of every weakness.

    I feel like I'm stealing this, but I can't recall from whom, but a soul must be forged with love, tempered by failure, sharpened by perseverance, and wielded by faith.

    Anyway, the idea that a god could subsist on souls that have been raised like veal discounts that to fatten a calf requires the herder to do the work rather than the calf. It is a net loss of energy for the system: a perpetual motion machine that ignores heat loss. Instead, the calves are let into the pasture, protected until they can protect themselves, allowed to breed so their numbers can grow and sustain their population, then harvested when they are prime beef.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2022-08-23 at 09:19 PM.

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