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Started by Ben Lehman, June 30, 2003, 07:53:08 PM
Quotesummoning demons is an morally neutral act. A maddening act -- certainly. A damning act -- well, it's a demon! But immoral -- I don't see it
Quote from: Trevis MartinIt isn't meant to be a sanity gauge in the sense of 'how sane are you'. It's purpose is, explicitly, to determine the sorcerer's risk in doing what he does.
Quote It is the marker of the significance of a decision in story terms. The game is all about how far you would go to get what you want, and humanity explicitly, mechanically, provides a real risk for the characters. Now whether that means that he's insane at 0 humanity or not depends entirely on the definition of humanity that you and your group agree upon, or develop through play, which is discussed in the main rulebook as well as Soul.
QuoteThough it is hard at first to see it this way, it isn't a guage of sanity per se in the way of old personality mechanics because your sorcerer, no matter what level of humanity they are at, is capable of any act whatever. Assuming that your definition of humanity does involove sanity, a person with a humanity score of 1 is as sane as one with a score of 10. He is not more or less sane. However when one of these morally significant choices comes up, the risk to the character with 1 humanity point is much greater and thus the players decision to have the character pursue that course of action has that much more weight. It affords the player as author to make the strongest possible statement in thematic terms.
QuoteSummoning a morally neutral act? No. Whatever they may be, Demons are dangerous and should not be here.
Quote You refer to three humanity checks here for summoning a demon. In fact it is three because they are three seperate transgressive acts.
QuoteThink about what happens to people who are in sensory deprivation tanks for extended periods of time. Imagine having no concrete understandable thing to orient yourself. In my view since we define ourself against our evironment, there is a risk that the very 'self' could dissolve. This is not merely a sanity issue. After staring into that kind of abyss, morality, however you define it, would carry less weight because of your altered frame of reference.
QuoteQuotesummoning demons is an morally neutral act. A maddening act -- certainly. A damning act -- well, it's a demon! But immoral -- I don't see itYou can think of a damning act that isn't immoral?
Quote Consider harm to the sorcerer as part of the equation. Is drinking yourself to death or addiction to cocaine immoral?
Quote The difference on the SUV thing is that an SUV has no independent will. Consider it more like creating a virulent biological weapon. It might accomplish your goals but the risk you are subjecting others to by releasing something so basically incompatable with humanity is incalculable. Demons can't really be controlled and it is only through arrogance or denial (probably both) that a sorcerer can think otherwise. They put the whole of humanity at risk for thier own personal issues. I can't think of anything less moral.
QuoteRemember also that telling a story about the degeneration of morality doesn't mean that the characters have to degenerate. If the choose to reject the degeration (by giving up sorcerous ways, making amends) that is as valid a story choice and as much a comment on the given theme as degenration is. Especially if the characters are put in bad/worse situations. All you have to do is decide what humanity is exactly, and there are lots of good examples in the forums and in the mini-supplements as well as in Soul and the other supplements.
Quote That you guys as a group have to decide what, for your story and your game, the concepts of Demon, Humanity, and Sorcery mean, is explicitly stated from the get-go in the main book. The concepts are deeply connected. Demons and sorcery, by definition, will run counter to humanity, which gives you good clues as to what kind of things the sorcerous acts requre that woudl risk humanity. That part of your game must be tweaked, that is how the system works.
QuoteMorality is, essentially, the degree to which you decide, of your own free will, to hurt other people (or other living beings, depending on your world-view.)
QuoteThere is a definitive system in the game which defines demon summoning as the Worst Possible Thing, in terms of Humanity.
QuoteWhat is bad is that demon summoning -- as written in the base rules -- is remarkably tame. You might take some hits of drugs, but essentially you're just going on a vision trip. It might be disorienting. It might drive you insane. But there is nothing about contacting, summoning, or binding a demon that hurts other people. You could add it to the setting, if you wanted, but it isn't there and that possibility isn't mentioned.
QuoteI am asking for humanity as a gauge to track moral decisions. I have run and played much Vampire, which handles things more or less similarly to Sorcerer, and gives me some similar issues.
QuoteI don't know what you mean by "old personality mechanics." Perhaps Call of Cthulu?
QuotePerhaps this is just my physicist's bias showing, but making a nuclear bomb is not the same thing as dropping it. They are both transgressive, certainly, but the second is FAR worse than the first.
Quote For a murder, you need to plot the murder (bad), point the gun (itself bad), pull the trigger (bad), and cover it up (bad. see Blood Simple for details.) Is that 4 checks
QuoteThat's fine, but it is ultimately still a sanity-based definition. I am not looking for the internal moral state of the character. I am looking for a gauge of actual immoral action taken by the character.There are people out there who are perfectly capable of murdering in cold blood, but manage to live totally unremarkable lives. They are not 0 humanity -- they just have to watch themselves more closely.Summoning a demon is a terrifying thing, and it makes the moral slide easier. But why the act itself, and not the aftermath?
QuoteYes, actually, for certain religious views. One of the characters in a fantasy world of mine (one that I am twiddling with in Sorcerer terms, actually) sold her soul to the devil in order to protect her family from being destroyed as part of God's divine plan. Is that damning? By definition. Is it immoral?
Quoteany definition of humanity that doesn't give demon summoning as the Worst Possible Thing is wildly unsupported by the system.I see demons as power. Crazy, wild, uncontrollable power with it's own ideas, sure. But power is only as bad as what you do with it.I see humanity as morality.are power Aand morality fundamentally opposed? That's the dynamic question of the game.But, sadly, the system seems to want all the characters to drop to 0 humanity just getting the theme going.
QuoteOne of the things that immediately struck me is that the Humanity gauge seems primarily designed to be used as a sanity gauge and very little else.
Quote from: Ben LehmanOne of the characters in a fantasy world of mine (one that I am twiddling with in Sorcerer terms, actually) sold her soul to the devil in order to protect her family from being destroyed as part of God's divine plan. Is that damning? By definition. Is it immoral?