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Old 06-30-2017, 12:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
And potentially more scary - how big do the advantages have to be before ordinary people start looking for a way to get rid of their souls in a manner that allows them to claim those benefits too?
Maybe more interesting, how about the theological discussions about why God has been handicapping us? The soulless are basically the Tomorrow People. There are many angles to take with this, with souls as anything from shackles to keep us from challenging God, to training wheels until we were ready to take our proper place alongside him.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:27 PM   #32
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

Perhaps souls are of the spirit realm and as such they dilute and limit the true power of the material.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:50 PM   #33
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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Perhaps souls are of the spirit realm and as such they dilute and limit the true power of the material.
If going fully cinematic/TL^:
Souls suppress our genetic memories. The soulless also have Reawakened and the higher level of Racial Memory!

(This is not quite as one-sided a handicap as it may appear at first.)
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

Since the title is about a horror scenario, the soulless should probably be powerful yet able to stay unknown for at least as long as it takes the first generation to reach maturity.
Unless you want to go full on Umbrella corporation villainy and global conspiracy.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:57 PM   #35
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

Hmm, that begs an interesting question: If two soulless had a baby, would it also have no soul?
What if a soulless and a soulfull human had a baby?
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:01 AM   #36
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

That could create a nice time-delay if you want to have truely powerful beeings emerge.
Say the soul of the mother imparts "what is right and possible in this universe" on the soul of the baby in the womb.
Now, if a soulless mother has a child, it gets a soul of its own, but is not restricted by information/rules a babies soul normally gets from the mother.
So the power of the baby is "unlocked" in a cosmic sense and able to grow in the first nine month like it was never possible before.

Therefore every baby born to a soulless mother gets superpowers!
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:24 AM   #37
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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A fairly traditional version would be to turn the soulless into cinematic psychopaths -- smart, charismatic, and without conscience.
Come to think of it, wasn't there something similar in GURPS Horror?

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Maybe more interesting, how about the theological discussions about why God has been handicapping us? The soulless are basically the Tomorrow People. There are many angles to take with this, with souls as anything from shackles to keep us from challenging God, to training wheels until we were ready to take our proper place alongside him.
Why are the soulless so adapted to the material world? Because they belong here... for someone whose identity is based around an immortal soul, material life is a tiny fraction of eternity. When you're cramming all of your existence into a century or so, you can run a lot hotter.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:40 AM   #38
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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Come to think of it, wasn't there something similar in GURPS Horror?...
The born monster in cute child form is a horror cliche for a reason. They may even exist in reality, but that's debatable of course.

Having a glut of sadistic sociopaths with just enough ability to hide some of it and/or parents in denial could lead to some disturbing futures that aren't so obvious for years.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:55 AM   #39
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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A fairly traditional version would be to turn the soulless into cinematic psychopaths -- smart, charismatic, and without conscience.
Hmm, that is indeed more interesting than crippling them. Another fantasy example comes to mind, from the Dragon Age games. Despite pervasive magic, nobody in Thedas really knows much about souls our what happens after death. However, they do know that all sentients share a connection to the Fade, the resident dream-realm, and mages draw on dreamstuff to work magic - a fireball is actually the collective unconscious' idea if a fireball, ect.

Mages who break the law or cannot control their powers are often made Tranquil, a kind of magical lobotomy that's considered worse than death... but not by the Tranquil themselves! They are cut-off from the Fade permanently, lose their spellcasting, their passions and their emotions, but also cannot be possessed by the demons that stalk the Fade and mages in particular. They have no opinion on their new state, or, really, on anything, and speak in a slow, gentle monotone that makes people really uncomfortable.

In a subversion of soulless tropes, the Tranquil are not violent, callous or psychopathic. In fact, their newfound peace makes them quite placid, logical, focused and eager to please, like very mellow Vulcans. The Mage Circles rely on them for most administrative duties. More importantly, beings who don't dream (including dwarves) have an innate resistance to lyrium, a toxic mineral that's believed to be raw magic and is used in enchanting, one of the staples of the Circles' financial independence.

Now, the games portray Tranquility as the most horrifying fate imaginable (and frequently abused by overzealous Templars), but given that a Fade-connection opens you up to possession and, in the universe's metaphysics, is the root of all vices and virtues, the Tranquil have a bit of a buddhist monk vibe, transcending all earthly drives and vagaries of the flesh.

TL;DR version: "Maybe losing your soul makes you all zen."

Last edited by Seneschal; 07-03-2017 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:40 AM   #40
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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I'd actually be more inclined to the other extreme - a soul that does anything detectable is not a soul. Souls are a residue of Platonic philosophy - they're the "essence" of you. Anything you can detect is an "accident". A significant part of their philosophical function is to distinguish between you and an utterly identical copy that cannot be told apart from you, as a refutation of an interpretation of resurrection as creating you "again".
If souls are what makes you unique, maybe all the soulless babies have the same personality. Or maybe a hivemind?
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