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Old 10-16-2009, 09:01 PM   #41
b-dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Default Re: Why would magically animated undead like zombies be turned by a holy cleric?

In my concept of the Zombie spell and zombies is that is summons an evil spirit to inhabit the body of a corpse. This is why they are turned by holy clerics and warriors. This makes my zombies evil and also somewhat dangerous because they can some time break free of their creators control and eat them. They are also quite hungy for the flesh of the living, not for the sustanance, but for the satiation because these evil spirits have been apart from the world of the living for ages and will very much desire to satisfy their desires. Of course my DF campaigns revolve much more around horror than most other peoples.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:27 PM   #42
demonsbane
 
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Default Re: Why would magically animated undead like zombies be turned by a holy cleric?

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Originally Posted by Collective_Restraint View Post
For D&D, if I recall correctly, animating undead uses energy from the Negative Plane, same energy used to cast Cause Light Wounds, Harm, etc. Clerics by turning undead channel energy from the Positive Plane, same energy used for Cure spells (...)
I remember something similar, and makes some sense. Unfortunately the planar wheel of D&D cosmology is too messy, despite containing some useful elements: the Positive and Negative plane are very akin to the Chinese Yang and yin, and in that way both would comprise the whole "planar wheel" (better said, "the chain of the worlds").

The psychic elements left behind by the deceased individual share the same substance of the human ego, and indeed they are needed for shaping the ego of the individual when he's alive in this world. Now, "ego" is completely akin to the substantial pole of the existence or this "redefined" D&D's Negative Plane:

"They ask, what burns in hell? Authorities usually reply: “This is what happens to willfulness” [to individual will, self-interest]. (...)" (Meister Eckhart)

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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
The question is, can a Buddhist priest turn undead?
Sure, but only if he had enough spiritual strenght and ritual skill.

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Originally Posted by nick012000 View Post
He helps them to continue on their journey through the wheel of Samsara. ;)
Indeed. The disolution of the psychic conglomerates and immaterial remnants left behind by the deceased individual helps in this regard.

But only the spirit, the true self, is able for that often unfortunate and scary journey for attaining a different existence. The other elements of the indivual (psychical and corporeal) are subjected to corruption and metempsychosis.

That is the meaning of "the Lord is the only transmigrant" (satyam, nesvarad anyah samsarin).

The spirit can't be subjected to necromancy; only the psychic remnants once attached to that mysterious "him" that henceforth doesn't respond to any name.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Probably. Undead are the result of black magic in Buddhist belief, and the Tibetans, at least, had specific rituals for dealing with black magic in general.
That is. And black magic in general has very much to do with things as "immaterial psychic components left by the deceased" subjected to further putrefaction if they are left alone, or subjected to conscious use for knowledgeable necromancers. Something as an specific and tainted mana source (Twisted Mana, Thaumatology, p. 60).

Funerary rites, between a plethora of things, aim to dissolve these often coagulated immaterial residual components because they are tainting and dangerous for the living, and for the stability of the world in an overall sense (dharma).

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Going that route can give you rather disturbing setting features. If the gods don't care about the body, you get things like using your enemies skulls as drinking cups being perfectly acceptable Good behavior.
Sometimes that can be acceptable "good behaviour" and ritually OK, in particular contexts inside some cultures. At times it will be something related with necromancy, but not always or not by definition. But I think it doesn't fits well with a pseudo-medieval scenario. Not by default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
(...) Possibly what it does is "awaken" the part of the spirit of the dead person that is left behind with the body (the Egyptians conceived of humans as actually having multiple souls or at least separable parts of the soul so that you could simultaneously be in the afterlife while haunting your mausoleum
I was meaning something related to that with the mention of "immaterial psychic components left by the deceased":

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonsbane View Post
I would change the term "spirit" linked to things as "skeletons" (or whatever) for "some immaterial psychic components left by the deceased" (and subjected to further putrefaction), instead: the spirit of the deceased can't be really present anymore despite certain pretenses. (...) to distinguish between the spirit of "someone" and the immaterial psychic components left in the world by its departure. These latter remnants constitute the only matter treated by necromancy
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Originally Posted by Dragondog View Post
Just because Summon Spirit is a prerequisite, doesn't mean that a spirit is used to animate the corps. I'd say that's up to the GM.
In pop culture, spiritualist new age and neopagan circles, "spirit" is almost always confused with "psyche" (this latter involving these immaterial residues). David Johnston2's assumption is in line with real world necromancy, despite "Spirit" isn't the right term. But it's in the RAW because that pop "heritage".

As Turhan's Bey Company mentions with the example of Aristotle, "ancient" anthropology involved the awareness of different components of the human being (and we aren't speaking of the body). Rather than an exclusive feature of the ancient Egypcian religion, it's the "normal" doctrine that allows unessential variations from culture to culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
Or, as has been pointed out previously, there are different kinds of spirit. There's the Egyptian model already mentioned, while Aristotle proposed different degrees of spirits (...) So, then, even if a zombie has a spirit, it might be an artificially created one which provides motive force but no intelligence or moral characteristics, or it may be a recycled soul plucked from elsewhere and stripped down to perform a given task, or it may be an aspect of the deceased but not his whole soul (or not the part which goes on to an afterlife), or...well, there are many possibilities. The point being, I think, that just saying that there's "a spirit" doesn't necessarily mean a lot (...)
I agree. I see this as a fleshing out of part of the point I was trying to do, like David Johnston2's post. Furthermore, "motive force but no intelligence" suits extremely well with the psychic elements of the deceased I'm speaking of. Think about poltergeists, too... they are made of the same stuff. There are more things falling under the "undead" category than the too-explicit zombies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerander View Post
IIRC, GURPS Undead was pretty clear that *if* the GM allowed, the Zombie spell *might* be used to animate things other than corpses, depending on how the GM saw the spell working in his/her campaign...
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
b-dog, there is no one answer. You have to decide how you want it to work in your particular campaingn.
However, if he wants to keep some link to something related with real world "beliefs", there's an answer allowing only unessential variations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
In my concept of the Zombie spell and zombies is that is summons an evil spirit to inhabit the body of a corpse. This is why they are turned by holy clerics and warriors.
Another further way of answering to your question "Why would undead can be turned by a holy cleric?" is:

Holy power is akin to the essential pole of the existence, while evil or necromantic forces are akin to the substantial one. Both poles are sometimes compared with macrocosmic magnets, so you can think the essential influence just repels the substantial one, like magnets with an equal polarity.

However this relation of opposition between both poles isn't always in force; complementarity is needed, too, involving changes of polarities. This have to do with active and passive "attitudes".

Quote:
Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
This makes my zombies evil and also somewhat dangerous because they can some time break free of their creators control and eat them. They are also quite hungy for the flesh of the living, not for the sustanance, but for the satiation because these evil spirits have been apart from the world of the living for ages and will very much desire to satisfy their desires.
Zombies are "evil" in the sense "they" involve an incorporation or coagulation of these "immaterial psychic remnants" you are calling here "evil spirits", which have a direct link with the substantial pole (or "preternatural darkness"), and with the "ego": morbid remnants which instead should be dissolved for returning them (the remnants) to the natural psychic sphere, for ulterior metempsychosis regarding other individuals coming to the same world. Any sort of true necromancy is "evil" and dangerous not only because the proposed goals of their practitioners, but because the involvement of these rather "unstable" elements, too. "Normal" religions dissolve these remnants (if they manage themselves for keeping their spiritual strenght), so zombies or any other sort of undead are one of the exact opposites of what a "normal" priest or cleric stands for.

BTW, your DF zombies seem somewhat related to Hinduism's Pretas, and Buddhism's Pretas: undead "things" constituting a threat for the living beings, suffering from insatiable hunger and so on. This sort of "creature" is another example of the immaterial psychic remants left behind by the spirit, the true self of the deceased, for entering into the transmigratory process around the Samsara stripped from its former human and individual components, both psychic and corporeal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
Of course my DF campaigns revolve much more around horror than most other peoples.
Or maybe you just want to avoid your DF campaigns from falling in the easy and often unneeded silliness of many dungeon crawling game sessions; I agree people can make serious games with Dungeon Fantasy. In that way, light shines stronger and darkness can be... scarier!
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