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View Full Version : Warforged and Sense of Self (RP help)



OMG PONIES
2009-11-27, 10:30 AM
So, in my group's recent 4E game, I've been filling in here and there as random NPCs...until I created one that I love (and have been playing for the past few weeks). My warforged warden had a dream of the party, in which he was charged with protecting them. In exchange, he was promised a soul (since my character believes he currently does not possess one).

Now, I was wondering how someone would act if they felt soulless. One thing that came to mind is the idea of the "self." As such, I've had my character speaking in the third person. However, he will soon learn how to speak in the first person. After that point, how should I persue his quest for knowledge of self?

Additionally, he is striving to define the differences between "good" and "evil," (as it seems morality is tied to the soul). He has been keeping a list of data, in hopes of defining the two terms logically. Should he start asking more non-concrete questions (like why bad things happen to good people), or what other ideas do you have?

tl; dr? I'm playing the Tin Man. How can I help him learn that he's had the heart all along?

Radiun
2009-11-27, 10:34 AM
So, in my group's recent 4E game, I've been filling in here and there as random NPCs...until I created one that I love (and have been playing for the past few weeks). My warforged warden had a dream of the party, in which he was charged with protecting them. In exchange, he was promised a soul (since my character believes he currently does not possess one).

Now, I was wondering how someone would act if they felt soulless. One thing that came to mind is the idea of the "self." As such, I've had my character speaking in the third person. However, he will soon learn how to speak in the first person. After that point, how should I persue his quest for knowledge of self?

Additionally, he is striving to define the differences between "good" and "evil," (as it seems morality is tied to the soul). He has been keeping a list of data, in hopes of defining the two terms logically. Should he start asking more non-concrete questions (like why bad things happen to good people), or what other ideas do you have?

tl; dr? I'm playing the Tin Man. How can I help him learn that he's had the heart all along?

Ever watched Star Trek TNG?

Play Data
...
Minus the internet's worth of data programmed into him.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-27, 10:36 AM
Ever watched Star Trek TNG?

Play Data
...
Minus the internet's worth of data programmed into him.And minus the the 'full functionality'. Because that's just creepy.

In seriousness, I'd star by figuring out what he knows and what he's experienced. Figure out how he's deficient, and the steps should be obvious.

Nero24200
2009-11-27, 11:19 AM
I'll be honest, playing something "souless" doesn't sound like that great of an idea, having said that if pulled off right it might create an interesting group dynamic.

I guess I would start by having him question everything...if something makes him happy, have him think about why it makes him happy. Better yet, have him question why he desires a soul in the first place, or question if he already has one due to his ability to dream.

AirGuitarGod32
2009-11-27, 11:25 AM
A long time ago I ran a Warforged Monk (Odd? Yes. Fun? Most Definately) when the Ebberon Campaign Setting first came out. He later reached 40 and became a deity of Order. But I digress. He over the course of the campaign saw himself as "less than human" and wanted to know what deities would allow him to exist. He spoke like a computer, in the third person, and had soon learned everything he could about being a monk. He often used the phrase "Humans, such interesting creatures..." After I had obtained my godhood, Asmodeus tried to obliterate Ebberon and take my throne. We (as in the party) fought hard, but he couldn't be killed. So using the last of my energy, I forcebly teleported him and blew up both me and him, and took out my personal plane of existance. The PCs will never forget his last words, "So curious. Omega's main processor is nonfunctional, and yet I feel the need to save you. So curious, this is humanity?" He then teleported and self-destructed. My DM ended the campaign on that note.

So I'm saying a Warforged with a similar emotions and feelings with a similar Final Destiny could be a cool climax, much like how in DBZ, Android 16's death drove Gohan to kill Cell. Think of Warforged as human wannabes.

Radiun
2009-11-27, 11:36 AM
[...]like how in DBZ, Android 16's death[...]

I'm sorry but that death was 100% Goku teleporting Cell to ... Kaioshin(?)'s little planet as he was blowing up :-P

AirGuitarGod32
2009-11-27, 11:44 AM
I'm sorry but that death was 100% Goku teleporting Cell to ... Kaioshin(?)'s little planet as he was blowing up :-P

true, but 16's death unlocked gohan's SSJ2.

Kallisti
2009-11-27, 11:47 AM
Hmmmm...

Third person is a good idea. One thing you could try is having him speak like a computer, but occasionally replace "computer" phrases with more natural phrases he's been taught. I played a similar concept with a Warforged truenamer called Logic, once. Logic sounded...odd, but it worked. Like, he'd never say "question," only "query." And he always identified who he was talking to at the beginning of every sentence, and people he didn't know were "user, identity unknown." And the party taught him to say hello. So every morning it would be "Party. Hello, party. Good morning. Polite query: How did you sleep? Polite query: How are you this morning? Obligatory cultural status update: I am fine, and did not sleep as sleep is not required."

But more specifically for your concept? Hmmmm...he believes he has no soul, yes? Then would he be reckless--after all, a soulless life has little value? Or more cautious then ever, knowing there's no afterlife for him? Is he submissive to humans? Resentful? Curious? Is he completely amoral, not having a soul to tarnish? Or is he very moral, trying to make up for his perceived lack as best he can? How would he react to friendship? Love? Hate? How does he react to seeing death?

Those are the questions I'd start with.

Mark Hall
2009-11-27, 01:01 PM
Decide what "soulless" means to him. I tend to play my warforged's emotions as being kinda creepy... like he's imitating other's emotions, rather than showing his own. Laughs are loud and forced, anger is all-consuming until its not, then it switches off abruptly. Pain is a sensation... it doesn't actually affect him, just tells him "There is a hull breach on level two." Thus, he'll do things that look odd to humans, but he doesn't notice.

I think that, with a warforged curious about "self" as a concept, even learning to speak in the first person isn't going to turn that off. Why does he have a sense of self... he's aware that he's different from other things, and is aware of his own processes, but he's not sure how he perceives that difference, and, indeed, if that difference is important, or how others perceive it.

Bayar
2009-11-27, 01:01 PM
I thought warforged didnt sleep. :smallconfused:

bosssmiley
2009-11-27, 01:19 PM
Read Pratchett's "Feet of Clay". It should be required reading for all Warforged players.

KillianHawkeye
2009-11-27, 01:34 PM
I'm sorry but that death was 100% Goku teleporting Cell to ... Kaioshin(?)'s little planet as he was blowing up :-P

It was Kaio-sama's (AKA King Kai's) planet. Kaio-shin doesn't show up until the Majin Buu saga. /dbz nerd :smallwink:

AslanCross
2009-11-27, 04:58 PM
I played a Warforged once. He was quiet, spoke in third person (his name was Two), and generally just did what he was told. However, he began to develop certain Belkar-like attitudes (wearing the head of a slain Lizardfolk, yelling "FLESH IS WEAK!" as a battlecry). That's pretty much it.

Although Races of Eberron is a 3.5 book, it gives some pretty interesting fluff regarding how Warforged see life. They're confused and amazed by humanoid society and find it difficult to break out of their martial traditions. They tend to speak in military jargon. ("A group of children playing at the street corner" vs. "A squad of cadets training at the crossroads" was one hilarious example)

One thing I think your warforged should be good at: observation. It's an important military skill, and since he never sleeps, he can continue observing others 24/7. He can learn from his party members, take a liking to some of their habits, ask questions about the oddest things he notices, (after saying "Permission to speak") etc.

RandomNPC
2009-11-27, 09:59 PM
this reminds me of TWO. A golem in the web novel i've been reading. She was basicly told to think for herself (actual orders never revealed) and not knowing what else to do she takes everything that could be taken as orders, as orders.

In a word, be really litteral about things, when given conflicting orders, freeze up for a moment before giving a statement like "I require clarification."

When told all people dream, and sometimes they dream of strange things, like ridiculous owl turtle things she followed the idea that as a free thinking person she should dream of a ridiculous owl turtle thing. So she did.

just some food for thought.

Edit: ^two mentioned a post above is not the same as web novel, but may have been inspired in name.

Kol Korran
2009-11-28, 03:33 AM
i don't have much to add to all the advice that has allready been given, but...
what do you define as a "soul"? no, this isn't a simple question. i still haven't come up with a satisfying answer. for your purpose, i suggest you define soul by interactions or responses of your fellow adventurers that you, purposefully decided as a player- do not yet posses. then, in the future, you may suddenly exhibit such a "soul trait", which will lead you to questioning and experimenting, finding more "soul traits", until you satisfy yourself with having a soul.

just my idea, hope it helps,
Kol.