Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-14-2023, 12:12 PM   #31
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
This^.
Appreciate the compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
It's a mistake (one made by D&D and other games and stories) to characterize evil as a motivating principle, that is, 'x' does evil because of dedication to some abstract 'ideal of evil'. Genuine evil is more about self-interest out of all restraint, or at the further level, simple hatred for its own sake.

When we give demonic entities a rational, economic motive for behaving as they do, we turn them into something else.
In the cosmology, I use for my campaigns and published works, the primary motivation of demons is their desire to reshape creation in their image instead of God (or the One in my settings).

The problem is that the results of doing that are incompatible with the existence of life either physically, spiritually, or magically. But Demons in my setting are not nihilists who desire to end all existence. At the end of the day they want to be the Lords of Creation in place of the One. The one rational thing they can be counted on to do (for the most part) is to preserve their existence.

To make a long story short, Demons have driven themselves insane trying to do the impossible. Maiming themselves spiritually in pursuit of their goal to the point where they are incapable of doing good, acting rationally, or even being redeemed.

Sounds a bit boring, and it is except for the fact that individual demons vary in their irrationality. So how this manifest differs and sometimes is subtle enough to fool the PCs. Or make for an interesting antagonist for the party.

And there is enough overlap between the different groups I have refereed over the years that one of the things experienced players warn those new to my campaigns not to deal with demons under any circumstances due to a few memorable incidents where a demon corrupted a PC into doing evil.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2023, 11:47 PM   #32
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
Appreciate the compliment.



In the cosmology, I use for my campaigns and published works, the primary motivation of demons is their desire to reshape creation in their image instead of God (or the One in my settings).

The problem is that the results of doing that are incompatible with the existence of life either physically, spiritually, or magically. But Demons in my setting are not nihilists who desire to end all existence. At the end of the day they want to be the Lords of Creation in place of the One. The one rational thing they can be counted on to do (for the most part) is to preserve their existence.

To make a long story short, Demons have driven themselves insane trying to do the impossible. Maiming themselves spiritually in pursuit of their goal to the point where they are incapable of doing good, acting rationally, or even being redeemed.

Sounds a bit boring, and it is except for the fact that individual demons vary in their irrationality. So how this manifest differs and sometimes is subtle enough to fool the PCs. Or make for an interesting antagonist for the party.

And there is enough overlap between the different groups I have refereed over the years that one of the things experienced players warn those new to my campaigns not to deal with demons under any circumstances due to a few memorable incidents where a demon corrupted a PC into doing evil.
That's how it's supposed to work.

One of my favorite examples of this is the old 'clever fellow makes Faustian bargain, outwits the Devil, and gets away with the goods and keeps his soul'. The thing is...who do you think spreads those stories? :lol: Demonic powers like clever people with lots of pride and not much humility...
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2023, 11:56 PM   #33
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"Evil" isn't really a motivation, I suppose. Sadism or Hatred comes close, but those have a bit more nuance and characterization. A sadistic character is all eagerness and pleasure about what they do. A character driven by hatred is filled with rage by their target and has more of a goal-driven approach. A character being evil just because doesn't seem to have underlying emotions.
Exactly. Evil is an absence. It's the lack of self-restraint, self-discipline, love and caring for others (or at least a lack of respect for others' personhood), a lack in the most extreme cases even of legitimate self-love. This last is the kind of corruption where someone is quite prepared to go down himself or herself as long as they can hurt you somehow in the process.

To use Tolkien as an example, Sauron is not dedicated to the cause of Evil. He is dedicated to the cause of Sauron, and Sauron's desires, wants, needs, and interests. He wants to rule the world, not in the name of Evil but in the name of Sauron.

He once served another, far greater Ainu: Morgoth. But again, Sauron served Morgoth, not Evil.

Morgoth was far more corrupt than Sauron. Sauron wanted to rule the world, Morgoth, at his core, wanted to annihilate the world, ruling it was a step to that end. Sauron had not yet reached that level of corruption when the Ring was destroyed.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 06:54 AM   #34
Whitelaughter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

One answer from mythology is raw materials. If a soul is either a copy of the body or the original blueprint, then each soul provides a body's worth of stuff to convert into useful objects.

Frex in Norse mythology, Naglfar or Naglfari (Old Norse "nail farer") is a boat made entirely from the fingernails and toenails of the dead. Human hair could be turned into clothing, bone and keratin used to turn the clothing into armor.
Bone makes reasonable stone age weaponry.

I flipped this in Amber to have the demons providing weapons and armour to the Chaos Lords; if the Logrus power was used to acquire an item from the Black Zone, it would be torn from a demon's body - and then the demon who provided the item would enter its breeding cycle, resulting in the demons breeding for every more useful items for their lords.
Whitelaughter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2023, 06:01 AM   #35
Boomerang
 
Boomerang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne, Australia (also known as zone Brisbane)
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Maybe they donít actually want souls, maybe their own souls are so twisted and corrupt that the proximity of good souls inflicts physical pain. The souls of innocents especially children inflict such agony that only the most powerful demons can approach near them. Demons and devils can alleviate their pain by separating souls from their physical body or corrupting good souls to evil. Achieving either task is much easier when they can approach lone individuals who are already partly comprised.
__________________
The stick you just can't throw away.
Boomerang is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2023, 10:23 AM   #36
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitelaughter View Post
One answer from mythology is raw materials. If a soul is either a copy of the body or the original blueprint, then each soul provides a body's worth of stuff to convert into useful objects.

Frex in Norse mythology, Naglfar or Naglfari (Old Norse "nail farer") is a boat made entirely from the fingernails and toenails of the dead. Human hair could be turned into clothing, bone and keratin used to turn the clothing into armor.
Bone makes reasonable stone age weaponry.
The video game Succubus (and I presume its predecessor, Agony) notes that there aren't any raw materials to work with in Hell other than the bodies of the damned. As a result, all of the weapons and armor in the game are quite clearly made from human flesh and bones.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2023, 08:01 AM   #37
Lovewyrm
 
Lovewyrm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Cause the concept of a daemon has been corrupted by abrahamic culture displacement and I guess daemons were too folkloric and close to divinity to be allowed to remain good things.
__________________
If it's forbidden to say anything good about something, why believe the bad that's said about it?
If it's forbidden to say anything bad about something, why believe the good that's said about it?
Lovewyrm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2023, 10:12 AM   #38
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovewyrm View Post
Cause the concept of a daemon has been corrupted by abrahamic culture displacement and I guess daemons were too folkloric and close to divinity to be allowed to remain good things.
From my understanding, the Hebrew word shedim was essentially a term for "foreign gods," and this got translated into Greek as daemon, as the two concepts were pretty similar (the shedim are also the basis for the Islamic djinn), but at the time there was a big emphasis on dualism (from Zoroastrianism), so they gained a negative connotation as they were essentially "gods who aren't God" (putting them in opposition to God, which under dualism would mean they were on the evil side of things). But that all seems fairly divorced from the topic of the thread.

I will admit, however, to liking the concept of demons being a bit more neutral. You could still have such demons have need of souls - indeed, if going with the shedim as "foreign gods," and using the (modern?) concept of gods requiring worship, it may be that the demons need souls - either outright or in the form of dutiful worship - because they are minor gods, and gods need such to survive/grow powerful/etc.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul

Last edited by Varyon; 05-24-2023 at 10:41 AM.
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2023, 05:47 PM   #39
Lovewyrm
 
Lovewyrm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
From my understanding, the Hebrew word shedim was essentially a term for "foreign gods," and this got translated into Greek as daemon, as the two concepts were pretty similar (the shedim are also the basis for the Islamic djinn), but at the time there was a big emphasis on dualism (from Zoroastrianism), so they gained a negative connotation as they were essentially "gods who aren't God" (putting them in opposition to God, which under dualism would mean they were on the evil side of things). But that all seems fairly divorced from the topic of the thread.

I will admit, however, to liking the concept of demons being a bit more neutral. You could still have such demons have need of souls - indeed, if going with the shedim as "foreign gods," and using the (modern?) concept of gods requiring worship, it may be that the demons need souls - either outright or in the form of dutiful worship - because they are minor gods, and gods need such to survive/grow powerful/etc.
I mean the actual Greek daimon thing. Doesn't matter how it's seen in Hebrew.
The rub is that the native culture/faith was displaced/corrupted by Christianity, an Abrahamic faith.
The fact that a foreign, missionary faith came to their lands and native folklore was deemed wrong and/or evil.

That's why demons are bad.
They weren't before. Then they were.

Edit:
And the word demon is used, after all. Not shedim.
Demon. He or she has a demon. Get an exorcist.

P.S.:
And while it's possible to discuss the grey area, or goodness or evilness of some views of whatever came before.
We shouldn't forget how casual it can be for something to be 'of the devil' or evil.
Like the 'devils bridge' (Video seems to be in Indian...I picked it cause it's short and has the name in the title)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km-oeNUGiGI

Evil bridge, right there. Were there nuances when the bridge was made? Was it really bad in the eyes of those who made it? Dunno.
But it's of the devil cause Christianity has the devil.
__________________
If it's forbidden to say anything good about something, why believe the bad that's said about it?
If it's forbidden to say anything bad about something, why believe the good that's said about it?

Last edited by Lovewyrm; 05-24-2023 at 05:59 PM.
Lovewyrm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2023, 01:19 AM   #40
BeckJohn21
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Default Re: Why do demons and devils want souls?

Demons are basically just masses of raw elemental energy, given form when they're summoned by mortal sorcerers. Once the summoning ends, they begin to dissolve back into the chaotic energy they're made from. Some demons are content to return to nothingness, but others desperately want to continue to exist, which they accomplish by binding human souls into themselves. The souls continue to perceive them as discrete beings distinct from their environment, helping them maintain their shape and individuality. sonnerie telephone: https://sonneriestelephone.com/

Last edited by BeckJohn21; 10-24-2023 at 01:00 AM.
BeckJohn21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.