Mind and Soul

  • February 4, 2006 at 10:43 pm #1617
    VEST Paradox

    We all know that mortals and non-immortal breeds can die from going to their negative Body stat in physical damage. But what about Mind and Soul?

    I’ve been thinking of an addition to the system and want to get feedback. Theidea is that a Mortal/non immortal breed can be rendered brain dead by going to the negative of their Mind statistic. Too much mental trauma just makes them go away and their mind shatters. The same with the Soul statistic, going to the Negative Soul stat will render them permantnely insane, to the point they are no longer playable.

    Since there are abilities, powers, etc.. to cause Mind and Soul damage now, I think this is a worthwile addition. I brought it up to Origin and he added that he thinks that the Immortal breeds will ignore this the same way they ignore the body damage, they are capable of recovering from anything. On the same token, Psions will be immune to the Mind death since they are so structured of mind. Magi will be immune to permanent insanity simple because of their strength of spirit and touch with the tapestry.

    Any thoughts, ideas?

    February 4, 2006 at 11:04 pm #2166

    I can get down with that. A good addition. And, I like Origin’s suggestions as well.

    February 4, 2006 at 11:45 pm #2167

    I actually really like this idea. If taking mind damage to zero makes you unconscious as taking body down to zero would do, why shouldn’t taking mind to its negative equivalent result in a long-term coma and/or brain death? And certainly, if there are going to be methods of dealing damage to the soul, it would only make sense to have death be a possibility through any of the stats, and not just body. It makes for more interesting play overall, I think, as characters who focus solely on building up body will still have vulnerabilities to getting killed as much as characters who focus solely on mind or soul. Evens the playing field a bit.

    February 4, 2006 at 11:58 pm #2168

    Brain dead seems extreme to me for the mind-stat, but that’s just me.

    February 5, 2006 at 12:06 am #2169

    Brain dead seems extreme to me for the mind-stat, but that’s just me.

    Is it really any more extreme than plain old death from the body-stat?

    February 5, 2006 at 12:14 am #2170
    VEST Paradox

    Well, the point is permanent removal either through brain death, physical death, or the death of the soul. Likewise, since Soul is no longer simply the stat that powers masteries, if you goto zero Soul you will pass out as well, same as with mind.

    This gives everyone a chance at a weakness for a while. Big strong power characters get sapped with Soul Drain and they are out! Powerful Magi gets Pshycic Blasted with a good shot… night night. Etc.

    February 6, 2006 at 11:05 pm #2171

    As long as it matches the body statistic death, IE you need to be brought to your opposite, and not just to 0 or -1. I am starting to get worried about all the insanity talk being thrown around, though. Just how easy are we going to make it to have a character forced to go insane and become unplayable? :X

    February 7, 2006 at 12:08 am #2172
    VEST Paradox

    Yes, for a character to be rendered brain dead or permanently insane you must reach the negative value as it is with Body.

    There is permanently insane (ie negative value of your Soul Statistic) and there are Permanent Insanities. They are not the same thing. A character who wintesses someone explode into powder in front of them and gets coated in gore from it, can gain a Permanent Insanity, as is seen in the Fear and Insanity section. Someone who has a mage rip out there soul using a mastery that does damage to soul, can end up permanently insane (ie unplayable). It’s possible to play someone with blackouts, or other derangements, however it’s not possible to play someone who remains huddled in a fetal position gibbering to themselves until they die of starvation or dehydration.

    One thing you have to recall here. You the player, live in a world where things have been put under a microscope and examined to death for over a hundred years, you live in a world with mass media that greatly desensitizes you to the tragedies and atrocities that exist out there. It’s also a whole lot easier to say “Well my character isn’t afraid of a bear” than to actually have a bear five feet away from you growling, desensitized or not. Your character lives in a time where everthing was not explained down to the molecule and de-mystified. superstitions still run rampant, as does belief in things unnatural. With that belief comes the fear of them.

    I understand that players dislike being told they will react a certain way, but that’s just the way of it, and if you accept it and roll with it, it can be pretty entertaining and often even fun. You are playing in a place and time where brandishing a firearm in public could get you hung for what amounts today as terrorism. A time when just 300 years previous the Catholic Church itself recognized the existance of Supernatural Creatures, Werewolves and Vampires among them, and burnt over 100,000 people at the stake for it. Parents scare their children into behaving with tales of Spriggan and Banshee, and violent crime as we know it barely exists outside of war.

    If you were to travel in time, pick some random person off the street in Victorian London and bring them to your house, they would be horrified, shocked, and reviled to the point of catatonia within the hour.

    This is where roleplaying come in. You are not playing you in Victorian London, you are playing a character from Victorian London, from those times, and accustomed to those ways. If a character were to see someone shift into some great huling beast with 3 inch fangs and 4 inch claws, they would sit there drinking their coffee pointing out to their date that someone should do something about the bears in the city. This game is darker, more gritty, and the Fear and Insanity sections are there to assist to that. It’s not a matter of what *you* are afraid of, it’s a matter of what your character is afraid of.

    February 8, 2006 at 6:20 pm #2173
    Ceara MacKenna

    How about instead of brain dead for the mind stat you’re in, like, a coma?

    The thing to consider about mind damage is that all of your mind points that you lose heal over night compared to when you lose body points it takes 3 days to just get 1 point back. That point alone, I would figure, would mean mind damage shouldn’t be as severe.

    I view soul damage and mind damage in the same light. If you can’t “die” from soul damage, then I don’t think you should die from mind damage.

    Either Body damage needs to heal over night (not likely) or mind damage needs to take longer to heal (not likely) or at negative total soul ya need to die, too (I don’t think that’s likely). I just think balance should be struck.

    There was a good debate about soul points and what happened when you get to 0 that I’ll have to dig up for ya, as well.


    February 8, 2006 at 8:38 pm #2174
    VEST Paradox

    going to the negative of your Soul Statistic renders you unplayable the same way Body and Mond do. You are unplayably insane. Thus Dead. A coma for Mind would yeild the same result, the player wouldn’t be playable unless something miraculous happens, smae with with Mind and Body.

    Granted, I could raise the recover times for Mind and Soul as they are no longer after a full nights rest:

    Mind is the mental aspect of your character. It represents your character’s speed of thought, general knowledge and their capacity for reason. Mind is used for many different things. Any die roll that requires your character to think, reason or otherwise exercise their mind is affected by their mind statistic. This includes, but is not limited to the use of many Masteries, solving logic problems or using skills that require the character to think. It also determines how much mental punishment your character can sustain before they fall unconscious.

    Recovery Time: The gernal recovery time for lost points of mind is one per  half hour of rest.  Some breeds may have abilities that increase this rate of recovery.

    Soul is the spiritual aspect of your character. It represents your character’s strength of the spirit and mystical energy. Any die roll that requires the use of a character’s inner strength is affected by the soul statistic. Examples are: a showing of great faith, resisting an addiction, etc.. Soul also determines how many times per night a character may use their Masteries. Each mastery has a soul cost listed in its description, and each time a mastery is used this cost is subtracted from the character’s soul statistic. When this statistic reaches zero, the character is unable to harness the energies required to fuel the mastery.  

    Recovery Time: The general recovery time for lost points of soul is one per half hour of rest.  Some breeds may have abilities that increase this rate of recovery.

    Soul is no longer a stat simply to use to spend on masteries, it play a much more vital role here than it did in other games, same with Mind. If you look at the Skills you will see they no longer all go off of Body or Mind with the exception of a few. All three stats play a more integral role in your characters well being and functionality. This game isn’t a Body game and Steel Will will not define your worth. These are some rather fundamental changes that are the building blocks of all of our changes. The Balance that is struck is that if someone is weak of Mind and Soul, they can killed as easily as someone who is weak of Body.

    Keep in Mind that Psions and Magi will be immune to the Mind Death and Soul Death respectively. Psion are altered when they awaken, as are Magi. Psion have a stronger and altered Mind, Magi havea stronger and altered Soul. Other immortal breeds will likely have immunities as well. This applies generally to Mortals, though not all Breeds coming in the near future will be immortal and thuse immune to this.

    February 8, 2006 at 10:14 pm #2175

    Well, what if when you reached the negative total of your soul you did gain a permanent insanity like the ones listed in the fear and insanity section, except you’d have no ability to resist the effect with a roll? While I am not at all for a deathless game, I think that a lot of what is being discussed here may make it too easy to be killed… which is a huge bummer when there is such a huge amount of time invested in characters.

    I think we should use these to encourage more role-playing opportunities. If you think about it this way… if someone knocks you unconscious with mind damage, if they want to kill you they can just as easily shoot you in the head while you’re unconscious. It’s not going to matter if you are at full body and have 15 of it once you’re unconscious.

    Here’s an idea:

    Mind Damage: When someone damages your mind they are damaging the very thoughts that make you a conscious, intelligent person. While some breeds are supernatural and cannot be harmed physically by mind damage, mortals are not so lucky. One they reach 0 mind they will fall unconscious due to the heavy amoutns of mental trauma they’ve been afflicted with. If they continue to take mind damage passed the negative amount of their mind stats (eg a mind of 5 going to -5), all further mind damage will physically effect the brain, causing body damage instead. Also, while unconscious, the body has no way to protect itself from these mind attacks, as well as from something as simple as a gun or vicious knife wound. For their mind to heal, they must first heal all body damage, which can result in extended periods of unconsciousness or even comas.

    (using the above example makes taking mind damage extremely hazardous, just as hazardous as body damage. It’s just harder to straight out kill someone using mental attacks than it is with body attacks. We could also make a rule that extended comas could result in the gaining of a temporary defect such as amnesia.)

    Soul Damage: When someone damages your soul they are damaging the core of your being. While some breeds are supernatural and cannot be harmed physically by soul damage, mortals are not so lucky. Once they reach 0 soul they will fall unconscious due to the heavy amounts of distrss that have panged at their soul. If they continue to take soul damage passed the negative amount of their soul stats (eg a soul of 5 going to -5), all further soul damage will physically effect the shell, causing body damage instead. Also, while unconscious, the body has no way to protect itself from these soul attacks, as well as from something as simple as a gun or vicious knife wound. For their soul to heal, all body damage must first be healed, resulting in extended periods of unconsciousness or comas. Waking up from one of these comas can have the effect of causing a temporary insanity based on the situation.

    February 8, 2006 at 10:26 pm #2176

    I’m much more inclined to go with the unplayable idea. Characters based more off of mental or spiritual abilities should be as viable an option for harming other characters as those based off of physical abilities. It brings more balance if you can die from negative mind or soul.

    Why should physical characters be the ones with the least disadvantages and the hardest to kill? That’s something that’s always boggled me about other games. Even if you don’t want to call it death, the idea that characters need to look out for more than physical abilities if they want to remain playable is a good one. It’s only fair. Yes, if you knock someone out, you can do physical harm to them more easily. But why should you have to rely upon that? Why should the body stat govern so much in terms of life and death? That’s the part that lacks balance, and the idea of mind or soul leading to death or some sort of equivalent balances things out further, and makes characters who aren’t combat-savvy in terms of their athleticism or martial abilities a much more feasible option.

    February 8, 2006 at 10:36 pm #2177
    VEST Paradox

    The fact of the matter is, there are far too many instances of people being rendered brain dead without taking much physical damage are all, same applies to people entering catatonic mental states or regressing to permanent incurable insanity. This game is based on balance and horror. Those are the two foundations it is built on and it will remain so. This game will fully support the notion that if you have some super stacked physical monster with the mind of a three year old you are vulnerable. Same thing applies to character who are super geniouses yet are sickly and weak, they are vulnerable. I think the biggest problem is erasing the old notions, from other games, of how you create your characters to play in this setting and under these rules. Cause I can assure you, the Negative Mind and Soul rules causing a character to not be playable are going to remain and their presence isn’t up for debate. The only thing up for debate is the semantics, and perhaps the Recovery Times.

    Though I certainly like the details you added in for the Mind and soul damage, and I don’t want you to think me blind or stubborn, the fact of the matter is that I was entrusted to make this game because I have a strong desire for balance. To me it is as unfair for someone to die from one punch as it is for someone to die from pne Psionic Blast or Soul Rend.

    February 8, 2006 at 10:58 pm #2178

    I don’t feel that physical characters have teh advantage at all. Mental characters have a whole slew of options available to them that physical characters do not. The weakest characters are by far the ones that are the most physical for a few reasons:

    1) It is much easier to invoke a mental mastery on someone in public than it is to shoot or stab someone.

    2) Mental skills have much more use than physical skills.

    3) Mental masteries tend to be more powerful than physical ones.

    Mental characters have multiple advantages over others. If you want to stack yourself with combat skills, you just made not only an uninteresting character, but one that could be covnerted to a new religion, convinced of anything, or layed out from across the room via skills and masteries.

    I understand the need for balance, and ask anyone I’ve always strived for it, but at the same time I think you should look into the real use and roleplay value of mental skills… even the eventual combat value via masteries and put those into the equation. What I see happening here is that a character with mental abilities will end up having as much combat worth as a physical character, plus all those nifty “mess you up” masteries, plus more out-of-combat use.

    February 8, 2006 at 11:10 pm #2179
    Ceara MacKenna

    The thing with body. though, is that there are skills available to immediately heal someone. Basic Medicine. Major Medicine. I’m sure there are masteries for this as well. The fact is if there are skills to heal someone with body damage, then there should be skills to heal someone with soul or mind damage. Theology can be used to heal soul, perhaps. Some psychology skill can be used to heal mind.

    This is a Social Sciences skill I made up that can be adapted for here. Just add something about healing mind stats once you reach a certain level and add a system or something.

    [Social Sciences] ?Mind?

    Generation Cost: 1 Generation Point

    Experience Point Cost: 10 Experience Points per Level

    System: roll 2d6 + Intelligence + Social Sciences Vs TN set by ST/GM

    Description: Social sciences encompasses the whole field of psychology to communications. This skill includes aspects of history and speech, as well. Everything from ancient Greek to the third cold war can be learned from this skill. The more proficient you are, the more you know. Some Storylines may require this skill. Consult the table below:

    Levels Effect

    1-4 You have a basic understanding of general social sciences. You know your basic gene pool’s history and whatnot and understand where your parents came from.

    5-8 You can impress your friends with the detail you know about general history, psychology and other similar based skills.

    9+ For each level afterwards, you can specify a class of social science to become an expert in, be it 20th century cars, the kings of England or animal psychology.

    If you want to consider death by soul and mind depreciation all as the same, the balance should be struck to heal these other two stats as well as a body one.

    Also, not sure if it’s been addressed, but what happens when a person’s soul stat gets to 0? Do they go unconcious from feeling depressed?


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