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Old 11-29-2020, 02:19 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

M154 (soul jar) requires having a soul, which made me wonder if there are any creatures it would not work on, or mechanically what a soul is actually supposed to be. It's not consciousness since we know the soul shifts to the jar but the consciousness doesn't shift until the body holding the consciousness dies...

the phrase "death of your body does not kill you" I guess implies that otherwise your consciousness would just evaporate along with your body?

Substantially I'm wondering if the soul might be something like an insubstantial body (with HP?) that the consciousness might move to. Like how "Spirit Form" or "Projection" work. Or maybe it's just like the base form of Possession (not "Spiritual" limitation meant to be paired w/ Insubstantiality) where the new body you inhabit is your only body? In that case "shock" and "knockdown" and so on would then apply to damage done to your jar? Or maybe you effectively have High Pain Threshold and IT : Unstoppable to ignore wounds?

I know destroying the soul jar (a physical object) causes death, but if it was some ridiculous DR1000 jar you couldn't easily wreck then I'd be curious about other approaches, like say an "Insubstantial Only" attack that could just blast through walls without harming them to harm insubstantial things on the other side of walls.

That actually makes me wonder: even though insubstantial-only can't deplete the HP of substantial objects (functions like 'no wounding' to them) do those objects still provide "cover DR" to insubstantial stuff behind them? So you'd still need to get "armor divisor" or "ignores DR" to blast at ghosts hiding inside caskets and stuff?

In thinking about who you might not be able to use Soul Jar on, I thought perhaps Zombie since M154 says "does not have the “soul,” mental traits, IQ-based skills, or memories of the living person" but that could just mean it doesn't have the SAME soul, like maybe the spell creates a NEW soul?

Soul Jar makes a distinction between consciousness and soul, and B32 says "Mental advantages originate from your mind, or perhaps even your soul" (B120 also "Mental disadvantages originate from your mind or soul") so it might not be clear which traits are consciousness-based and which are soul-based...

T162 refers to the idea that it can be partitioned too, a "soul-fragment" is "part of a living target’s soul," .. I guess I'm not sure if souls are just a feature of being a sentient (IQ1+) or a Sapient (IQ6+) or lacking some sort of other feature or disadvantage...
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:09 PM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Well, it depends on the metaphysics of the situation. In Warhammer 40K, it is a massive disadvantage, as lacking a soul effectively grants them Misfit 4 [-60], though it does effectively give them Static (Psi) [30], so they would effectively have a template worth -30 CP. In other settings, it might be a 0 CP feature.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:17 PM   #3
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

What a soul does, or if it even exists, is a setting decision. Deciding whether it's an Advantage, Disadvantage, or Feature would require an assessment of the net pros and cons. Being immune to getting Soul Jarred against your will balances out with not being able to use it to protect yourself IMHO, but if it EG: also meant you could not be magically Resurrected it would be some kind of drawback of a severity depending on how common that is.
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:33 PM   #4
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
M154 (soul jar) requires having a soul,
The text for that spell is not very good and leaves a lot open to question. But it does not specify that the target must have a soul or the converse that targets without souls are immune. Rather it appears to assume that any target has a soul.


Quote:
...which made me wonder if there are any creatures it would not work on, or mechanically what a soul is actually supposed to be.
The text gives no assistance on that, so it falls to the GM to interpret.


Quote:
Substantially I'm wondering if the soul might be something like an insubstantial body (with HP?) that the consciousness might move to. Like how "Spirit Form" or "Projection" work. Or maybe it's just like the base form of Possession (not "Spiritual" limitation meant to be paired w/ Insubstantiality) where the new body you inhabit is your only body? In that case "shock" and "knockdown" and so on would then apply to damage done to your jar? Or maybe you effectively have High Pain Threshold and IT : Unstoppable to ignore wounds?
All up to the GM.


Quote:
In thinking about who you might not be able to use Soul Jar on, I thought perhaps Zombie since M154 says "does not have the “soul,” mental traits, IQ-based skills, or memories of the living person" but that could just mean it doesn't have the SAME soul, like maybe the spell creates a NEW soul?
I think you mean M151. This seems to identify more gap in the rules and perforce falls to the GM to define.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:10 PM   #5
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

I would say that your consciousness actually is in the jar. It just retains a connection to the body that lets you teleoperate it and get sensory impressions. Note that you instantly and irreversibly die if your jar is broken.
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:42 PM   #6
Plane
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
I would say that your consciousness actually is in the jar. It just retains a connection to the body that lets you teleoperate it and get sensory impressions. Note that you instantly and irreversibly die if your jar is broken.
it says the consciousness moves to the jar (to join the soul) when you die
death on broken jar is only after body dies and your consciousness moves there
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

...Maybe your consciousness and your soul are quantumly-linked?
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:36 AM   #8
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
it says the consciousness moves to the jar (to join the soul) when you die
death on broken jar is only after body dies and your consciousness moves there
I know what it says. I interpret that as meaning that that as long as the soul has access to the body's senses and actions, it seems to it as as if it is still in the body.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:57 AM   #9
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
But it does not specify that the target must have a soul or the converse that targets without souls are immune. Rather it appears to assume that any target has a soul.
Not a surprising assumption for a spell named "Soul Jar".

Whether souls exist and exactly what effects they have in the "real" world of the setting is part of the worldbuilding. If souls don't exist, you wouldn't have a Soul Jar spell to fret over.

As always, GURPS is a toolkit, attempting to be flexible. You don't have to use all of it, and it's not attempting to define one particular world through extrapolated side effects of its entire collective rule set, but (hopefully) fitting a wide variety of settings. There's intentionally a lot left for GMs to decide.

(The alternative would be to have a lot of carefully defining specifics about the game mechanics of souls, which merely means the system would contradict a great many intended settings and thus not be used. Adding some definitions and mechanics as GURPS often calls for is usually a lot easier than hacking out mechanics intertwined with the rest of the systems and replacing them with an altered version. Rules that are designed for and support a particular setting can work well -- better and more easily than GURPS, even. But it means that every setting has to have its own rules set -- and most of those don't actually hit that perfect synergy that a few specially tuned system/settings do.)

Last edited by Anaraxes; 11-30-2020 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: is having or lacking a soul a 0pt feature?

Indeed. .
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