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    Iituem's Avatar

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    Default Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Possible given ability for Devils or obtainable feat. Thoughts? In particular, should soul contracts be possible to steal? (Steal your soul back from the devil you sold it to, as it were.)

    Obtain Soul (Su): The devil may offer a service of whatever value in exchange for the victim's soul, provided it is the victim's to give. Should the victim accept and the other side of the bargain be fulfilled, then upon the victim's death his soul will become property of that devil if and only if his soul travels to Hell (by virtue of being evil). The devil may not always tell the subject of this particular condition, but they must inform them that they are selling their soul.

    The deal is usually kept record of by means of an object serving as a symbol of the pact - a coin permanently marked with a drop of the victim's blood, a written agreement signed in the victim's own blood or similar. The possessor of this object counts as the legal owner of the victim's soul and the victim is thus bound to the possessor (following death). Permission from the owner may well be required to resurrect a mortal who has died within the terms of such a contract. The token (and thus the soul) can be freely traded and can only be destroyed (freeing the soul) by the owner.

    As a general rule, most devils will usually tell their contractors to perform various evil deeds as unnecessary parts of the agreement in order to secure their alignment for the future. Suicide is a particular favourite, being not only a mortal sin immediately sending them to Hell by default but also getting them out of the way and preventing them taking any sort of retribution whilst still alive.
    Last edited by Iituem; 2007-01-07 at 03:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Hey, nice. Very Faust feel to it. What happens if a mortal kills said demon and takes the token?

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    What if said person is Chaotic Evil?
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Suicide is a mortal sin in Christianity, but other cultures do not have this taboo( defeated Roman Patrician often killed themselves to avoid humiliation)
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    Default Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    I don't particularly think that it should just be restricted to evil alignment. Think of it this way, while evil souls are more likely to be the ones to deal with devil's in the first place a pure or innocent soul is far more valuable to them (Trust me, I know ).

    Consider this possible revision.

    If the subject is already of the evil alignment, then they gain a tanigiable benifit (A + or something) but automatically lose their soul upon death. However! If they are good, then thats were the conidtion comes into play. It provides the classic of the devil offering temptation to lure the target into completing the condition and losing their soul when they die. Evil people still get to set a condition for the deal, in case they redeem themselves before death and become of good alignment. In such a case the condition must be met in order for the soul stealin' to start.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Traditionally, you can still redeem yourself and get your soul sent to the Good afterlife even after making a deal with the devil. It's just that a deal with the devil is designed so that the offer is something that tempts you greatly and has an easy potential for abuse, causing you to become corrupted and evil. Also, thinking that you've already permanently damned yourself, you do not seek redemption afterwards and completely harden yourself to morality, giving yourself entirely to your sin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    I think this is an interesting approach. It does seem a bit too limiting, though.

    My suggestion would be to pick up the Fiendish Codex II. The rules in there for soul stealing and Faustian contracts would offer you very good grounds for an alternate system like this.

    At any rate, it shouldn't matter if you can somehow steal the contract back from a Devil. He legally bought your soul - you're committing theft on a cosmic scale. Which tends to draw Inevitables, at the very least...
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post

    My suggestion would be to pick up the Fiendish Codex II.
    That's always your suggestion. Even when I asked you for relationship help.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    At any rate, it shouldn't matter if you can somehow steal the contract back from a Devil. He legally bought your soul - you're committing theft on a cosmic scale. Which tends to draw Inevitables, at the very least...
    It does? Uh...he...he...he....Uh.. I need to lock my doors.





    That is a good idea though.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    I dunno, I like it. If you also use Rich Burlew's new diplomacy into the deal-making you could have some fun deals, and a villain who sold his soul for crazy power against the PCs could be a fun fight.

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    It does? Uh...he...he...he....Uh.. I need to lock my doors.





    That is a good idea though.
    Oh, yeah. That's the really scary part about Devils - the Law is on their side...
    Flowers blanket all the countryside like freshly fallen snow
    I know the answer's waiting somewhere, as it was once long ago
    Do you wait to cross the river from the shores of shallow tide?
    And what will happen to your phantom if you reach the other side?
    ...Hear me crying...

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    I knew there was a reason I liked them so much. Their evil...and get away with it legally! Goodness knows they'd win a trial, with Inevitables as judge and jury, against Chaotic Good.


    And when did your avatar suddenly switch genders, Phoekun?
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    True. Devils are masters of the Socratic method. If there is a system, they can manipulate it to their whims. To make this easier, they usually run their own trials. Naturally, the paperwork involved is so obscene that in the hundreds of years it takes to file properly, the plaintiff has generally committed some sort of mortal sin and given up all legitimate claims to innocence.

    Interestingly enough, if you look closer at Devils, you can see that they are all empty husks, desperately trying to justify the unjustifiable. To bring meaning to their pointless existence. To make their own suffering somehow seem tolerable while they chase an endless staircase toward an impossible goal. All Devils, that is, except one.

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    Flowers blanket all the countryside like freshly fallen snow
    I know the answer's waiting somewhere, as it was once long ago
    Do you wait to cross the river from the shores of shallow tide?
    And what will happen to your phantom if you reach the other side?
    ...Hear me crying...

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Ah, well. Should they happen to be evil, they will go to Hell or the Abyss anyway. This contract assures them that they will go to Hell specifically and, moreover, that they will be the property of a speciic demon (rather than 'first come first served', as it were). The ownership of the soul only applies if they die and happen to be evil anyhow, so devils who make bargains with good souls or neutral souls will usually put clauses in (go murder x number of children, go sleep with that other woman and indirectly drive your wife to suicide) to turn them evil and thus garner their souls in the long run.

    I'm inclined to rule that if you do steal your soul contract, you're free from the obligation, but the contract cannot be destroyed by any means whatsoever and should the legal owner reclaim it your soul becomes theirs again. Legal ownership can, however, be traded and the legal owner is the only one who can destroy the contract (for him, as simple as ripping it in half) and thus permanently freeing the soul.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    The idea of redeeming a sold soul is meaningless unless you consider that there exists some underlying 'law' regarding where your soul should go. Thus, the forces of good should still be able to appeal to this law and retrieve a sold soul, if the mortal in question repents of the bargain.

    Nobody said it should be easy, though. Did I hear someone say 'pitched battle of angels and devils'?
    I support paladins and the alignment system.

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    You don't need a feat to obtain someone's soul, the rules for faustian pacts are in fiendish codex 2, and soul bargaining is in Fiend Folio. Costs for souls are in Book of Vile Darkness but are horribly inadequate. 10xp a soul? I don't think so. Determining what a soul is worth would be very useful though.

    I prefer to think bargaining for someones soul is a neutral thing that anyone can do- eg. you can give your soul to a person or a deity, and is part of the rules of the universe. Its just that devils enjoy warping the contract to their own ends. I imagine it takes mid-high level magic to do.

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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Quote Originally Posted by MeklorIlavator View Post
    Suicide is a mortal sin in Christianity, but other cultures do not have this taboo( defeated Roman Patrician often killed themselves to avoid humiliation)
    Suicide is only a mortal sin because otherwise it would be a very promising prospect with such a nice afterlife. Samurai commiting ritual suicide made more sense for them since they were primaraly either Buddhist (there's another chance) or Shinto (you become either god or an ghost). In Aztec society suicide is holy and espected of people. Even gods commit suicide.

    In the context of Dungeons and Dragons suicide may not be a bad thing at all. If you become a petitioner after you die then commiting suicide could popular among Paladins who are too old to fight but don't want to waste retirement time when they should be joining their gods celestial hordes. Bringing in Christian ideals into DnD is a bad idea and assuming that they apply to a fantasy world is rather limiting.

    The other thing in DnD might be that gods could suffer if they lost large amounts of worshippers. There is a spell in Book of Exalted Deeds that has 'your life' as a spell component so that would seem to make commiting suicide justifiable in certain circumstances. The rest of that book says that sacrifising yourself is considered noble but it is important to remember that self-sacrifise is about being prepared to die, not finding the circumstances most likely to end in your death,
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Acutally in Buddism suicide is the worst crime ever. It removes oneself from the reincarnation circle thus further good and enlightenment.
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    Default Re: Obtain Soul (Feat/Ability)

    Buddhism aside, I argue that a feat would be needed for this method of nabbing people's souls (I'm working off an alt cosmology and don't have access to the Fiend Folio) in order to actually make it 'legal' from a cosmological viewpoint. Anyone might be able to make the contract, but the feat is a sort of inherent ability to enforce it. I wrote this one as an extra inherent ability of most devils, though feasibly a mortal could gain the feat (probably bargaining as a proxy for a devil in Hell) if he met some prerequisites. Hmm. How about Cha 13+, must have made peaceful contact with an evil outsider willing and able to grant him the ability (much like most of the evil faustian pact feats)?

    Incidentally, where xp and souls are concerned, I've been using a basic system for conversions of souls to magical effects (for whatever purpose) dependent on the soul's experience level at death (plus possibly any experience it has gained since, if that is possible). When turning a soul into material items (or providing the material component for a spell, effect or item) it can produce materials of worth in gold pieces equivalent to its xp total (so a 2nd level soul with 1000xp can be converted into a 1000gp item). For the purposes of xp components of spells or effects, the soul can replace an amount of xp equal to 1/10th its xp totals (our 2nd level soul can supply 100xp as a component). Both methods destroy the soul in question. A feat/ability is usually required to play with souls in this way. Multiple souls cannot usually be used (without another feat to merge them together).
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