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  1. - Top - End - #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Most undead are not fully sentient. [...]

    most non-sentient undead are considered evil because either the guys who made the rules decided it was evil for no reason other than they needed some evil spells, or because the act of defiling a corpse in that way is evil (or both)
    Doesn't this only apply to zombies and skeletons? afaik there is no mention of the many other types of undead being "not fully sentient."
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    Why is Tsukiko portrayed as so ignorant for thinking that undead are good?
    Why is Malack portrayed as so ignorant for thinking that keeping the vampire who would be known as the High Priest of Hel enslaved was a demonstration of brotherly love?

    What's that, you say? He isn't portrayed that way, that's just Kish commenting on the implications of what Malack did?

    Then perhaps you need to decouple "what Redcloak said" from "what the comic is saying." Tsukiko believed that her wights' love for her--a love as artificial and magically enforced as Malack's thrall's love for him--would trump the rules on rebuking undead. She presumably had enough ranks in Knowledge (Religion) that she should have known better; that is what made her ignorant. And hypocritical. Not that she mistook the undead for people instead of weapons; the author just spelled out that, on that one narrow point, Tsukiko was right and Redcloak was wrong.
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    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    Doesn't this only apply to zombies and skeletons? afaik there is no mention of the many other types of undead being "not fully sentient."
    the degree varies. Sometimes you have ghosts who are more or less the same person who died, only with no body. They tend to be fully sentient, and self-aware. They also follow the same alignment they had in life. For all intents and purposes, theyre just living-impaired people. (May or may not come in fleshy variety)

    then you have the various angry spirits, who are more like corrupted versions of the above ghosts who ARENT fully aware of what theyre doing. Imagine someone on so many drugs that they cant really think properly. some are more like rabid animals than the people they were. I don't know off the top of my head if the soul is trapped in the ghost form or if its like some sort of evil half baked clone.

    and then you have the basic not-quite-a-bone-golem skeletons and zombies, who are basically unthinking meat puppets.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2014-04-19 at 09:35 AM.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Why is Malack portrayed as so ignorant for thinking that keeping the vampire who would be known as the High Priest of Hel enslaved was a demonstration of brotherly love?

    What's that, you say? He isn't portrayed that way, that's just Kish commenting on the implications of what Malack did?

    Then perhaps you need to decouple "what Redcloak said" from "what the comic is saying." Tsukiko believed that her wights' love for her--a love as artificial and magically enforced as Malack's thrall's love for him--would trump the rules on rebuking undead. She presumably had enough ranks in Knowledge (Religion) that she should have known better; that is what made her ignorant. And hypocritical. Not that she mistook the undead for people instead of weapons; the author just spelled out that, on that one narrow point, Tsukiko was right and Redcloak was wrong.
    I wasn't referring to Redcloak, I was referring to the jokes in the comic like "Don't walk on the grass, don't litter, don't rape the cycle of life with your unclean power". Though looking back, it's less about condemning necromancy and more about her being equally as ignorant as the paladins or good clerics, just in the opposite direction, thinking that all undead are purely good beings that can do no wrong and not as animated corpses. Answered my own question

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    Tsukiko could be more seen as insane than ignorant. Or at least highly deluded, if one doesn't like the term insane. All the mechanical ranks of a skill in the world will get trumped if you refuse to act on them. Or willfully distort what they are telling you.

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    you know, as soon as I saw the thread had exploded, I just knew the Giant must have stepped in.

    Which I appreciate by the way, I guess that particular argument was gonna keep on going no matter how many holes were shot into it until it was thrown into a casket and staked through the heart.

    ...metaphorically speaking.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But why was he a cleric? The living Malack was a shaman of some sort, which implies he worshipped spirits rather than a specific god; what caused him to change to a cleric of Nergal? If that decision was made by the evil spirit post-vampirisation then that, to me, is exactly the same as if the spirit itself was slavishly loyal to Nergal. Or am I misunderstanding what "shaman" means in respect of the living Malack?
    "Shaman" is just a descriptive term, used to paint a picture of what sort of life he had. He was still a cleric, mechanically speaking. He would have switched gods because whatever nature-oriented barbarian deity he used to worship no longer granted spells to a vampire that was keeping his former cleric's soul hostage. I suppose, hypothetically, he could have decided to keep worshipping a god who didn't want him and never granted him spells, ignoring the fact that there was another god who did want him and would grant him spells. But he didn't. And maybe, hypothetically, there's another god out there that would accept a vampire cleric other than Nergal, and he could have started worshipping him. But he didn't. He looked at the situation logically and said, "Oh, this must be my rightful place in the universe. Hail Nergal!" and called it a day. That's still free will.

    I think everyone is getting way too hung up on "What If's" that would have essentially led to Malack not being in the story the way that he needed to be in the story. The role required was for an evil vampire cleric to make friends with Durkon, so that later they could turn on each other; if he wasn't evil, and he wasn't a cleric, he wouldn't have been in the story at all. Maybe there are other vampires out there doing other things, being Good and living in harmony with the world. Don't care. Don't need them for this story.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    "Shaman" is just a descriptive term, used to paint a picture of what sort of life he had. He was still a cleric, mechanically speaking. He would have switched gods because whatever nature-oriented barbarian deity he used to worship no longer granted spells to a vampire that was keeping his former cleric's soul hostage. I suppose, hypothetically, he could have decided to keep worshipping a god who didn't want him and never granted him spells, ignoring the fact that there was another god who did want him and would grant him spells. But he didn't. And maybe, hypothetically, there's another god out there that would accept a vampire cleric other than Nergal, and he could have started worshipping him. But he didn't. He looked at the situation logically and said, "Oh, this must be my rightful place in the universe. Hail Nergal!" and called it a day. That's still free will.
    Out of curiosity, which deities in the story accept undead clerics?
    Last edited by CaDzilla; 2014-04-19 at 05:07 PM.

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    Thinking about it probably part of the reason some including me thought Durkon might be an exception (although him not being an exception makes a lot more sense) would be because mentally we assigned traits from HPoH to Malack and assumed that Malack would have been initially had a similar dark purpose instead of coming to one over time. HPoH has come into the story focused with a purpose already and set to that purpose quickly. Or maybe I am just guessing nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    Out of curiosity, which deities in the story accept undead clerics?
    I doubt that they make blanket judgments like that. More likely its a case-by-case basis. So Thor might have an undead cleric who gave his life for Thor, was reanimated as an uber-zombie, and broke free to continue serving Thor, for example. But a cleric who happened to get vamped and turned evil wouldn't serve Thor, or be accepted by him even if the cleric liked the domains.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I doubt that they make blanket judgments like that. More likely its a case-by-case basis. So Thor might have an undead cleric who gave his life for Thor, was reanimated as an uber-zombie, and broke free to continue serving Thor, for example. But a cleric who happened to get vamped and turned evil wouldn't serve Thor, or be accepted by him even if the cleric liked the domains.
    Sorry, my question should have been, "Which deities are mostly worshiped by undead or have undeath in their portfolio?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    Sorry, my question should have been, "Which deities are mostly worshiped by undead or have undeath in their portfolio?
    Oh. Well that would be Hel, Nergal, and whichever member of the Twelve Gods judges the dead. Although every cleric/paladin weve run into so far worships the whole pantheon, so I guess the answer is "all of them" for that continent.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    Sorry, my question should have been, "Which deities are mostly worshiped by undead or have undeath in their portfolio?
    How should I know? The only ones that matter are the ones that enter the story. I couldn't even give you a complete list of which gods exist without stopping to figure it out as I was responding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    How should I know? The only ones that matter are the ones that enter the story. I couldn't even give you a complete list of which gods exist without stopping to figure it out as I was responding.
    In order to narrow it down, which of the 12 gods have undeath in their portfolio? They had mostly good clerics and paladins which they gave the ability to destroy undead, yet they also give Tsukiko the power to make them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    In order to narrow it down, which of the 12 gods have undeath in their portfolio? They had mostly good clerics and paladins which they gave the ability to destroy undead, yet they also give Tsukiko the power to make them.
    I think you missed the point that it doesn't matter, so he hasn't wasted any time figuring it out.

    And for all you know, Tsukiko could worship the Northern gods. That wasn't relevant to the story either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    And for all you know, Tsukiko could worship the Northern gods. That wasn't relevant to the story either.
    Actually, we do know that Tsukiko worshiped the Twelve Gods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Whoops, right you are.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    In order to narrow it down, which of the 12 gods have undeath in their portfolio? They had mostly good clerics and paladins which they gave the ability to destroy undead, yet they also give Tsukiko the power to make them.
    How would it in any way benefit me or the story I am writing to tell you this? It wouldn't, you just want to know because you want to know. Well, too bad. You don't get to know. No one gets to know, because I'm not deciding, because it doesn't matter.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    In order to narrow it down, which of the 12 gods have undeath in their portfolio? They had mostly good clerics and paladins which they gave the ability to destroy undead, yet they also give Tsukiko the power to make them.
    It could be all of them, it could be only a few of them of them. My personal thoughts are that Rat would be the Southern Pantheon's death God and would have undead worshippers and have undeath in his portfolio. However, there is no real answer and it really doesn't matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    "Shaman" is just a descriptive term, used to paint a picture of what sort of life he had. He was still a cleric, mechanically speaking. He would have switched gods because whatever nature-oriented barbarian deity he used to worship no longer granted spells to a vampire that was keeping his former cleric's soul hostage. I suppose, hypothetically, he could have decided to keep worshipping a god who didn't want him and never granted him spells, ignoring the fact that there was another god who did want him and would grant him spells. But he didn't. And maybe, hypothetically, there's another god out there that would accept a vampire cleric other than Nergal, and he could have started worshipping him. But he didn't. He looked at the situation logically and said, "Oh, this must be my rightful place in the universe. Hail Nergal!" and called it a day. That's still free will.
    So a vampire can do what they want, but it's largely determined by the character sheet they've been handed to play. The spirit taking over Durkon could tell Hel to get lost, but there'd be no benefit in doing so, since he's a cleric and she's offering the best deal around.
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    I've been mulling over something: HPoH said "absorb" Durkon's memories. Not study them. Not memorize them, or review them, or copy them, but absorb them. While this is probably over-thinking the matter well beyond what Burlew ever intended, I'm going to venture forth this hypothesis: when a vampire spirit first arrives in the body of a newly formed vampire, it is a distinct entity. It has its own personality, views, agenda, mannerisms, accent, etc. It then proceeds to start absorbing memories from the original soul. In this way, the memories become as intrinsic a part of the vampire soul as its original baseline personality. The result is that, after some months/years/decades, the vampire soul has, in some way, become a twisted and evil duplicate of the original soul (which remains separate, but, having outlived its usefulness, is forced into dormancy). This would, as I see it, account for why Malack seems to have some sense of a contiguous identity with the living barbarian shaman and why he expects that a vampirized Durkon will (eventually) be the friend and colleague whose company he enjoyed back in Bleedingham. Yes, Malack was originally a negative energy spirit interloper into the lizardfolk shaman's mind and body. But having had time to fully absorb all of that lizardfolk's memories and such, he feels that, for all practical purposes, he is the shaman, "all grown up", so to speak. (The shaman's original soul would probably disagree strenuously, but he's also probably buried so far in the back, even Malack couldn't find him anymore.)

    Anyway, that's just my contribution to the silly over-analysis based on casual, offhand word choices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    when a vampire spirit first arrives in the body of a newly formed vampire, it is a distinct entity. It has its own personality, views, agenda, mannerisms, accent, etc. It then proceeds to start absorbing memories from the original soul. In this way, the memories become as intrinsic a part of the vampire soul as its original baseline personality. The result is that, after some months/years/decades, the vampire soul has, in some way, become a twisted and evil duplicate of the original soul (which remains separate, but, having outlived its usefulness, is forced into dormancy).
    Even if our personalities are entirely defined by memory (which is one of those questions we don't have an answer to), the vampire spirit will still have some memories of its own--unless it was literally created and inserted into the corpse at the moment of vampirisation, which I suppose is always possible. So, the vampire will never be a duplicate of the original person. In Malack's case, I think the simple fact he'd been a vampire for more than 200 years is sufficient explanation for his behaviour--he barely remembers that he was originally another person, and probably doesn't care either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I've been mulling over something: HPoH said "absorb" Durkon's memories. Not study them. Not memorize them, or review them, or copy them, but absorb them. While this is probably over-thinking the matter well beyond what Burlew ever intended, I'm going to venture forth this hypothesis: when a vampire spirit first arrives in the body of a newly formed vampire, it is a distinct entity. It has its own personality, views, agenda, mannerisms, accent, etc. It then proceeds to start absorbing memories from the original soul. In this way, the memories become as intrinsic a part of the vampire soul as its original baseline personality. The result is that, after some months/years/decades, the vampire soul has, in some way, become a twisted and evil duplicate of the original soul (which remains separate, but, having outlived its usefulness, is forced into dormancy). This would, as I see it, account for why Malack seems to have some sense of a contiguous identity with the living barbarian shaman and why he expects that a vampirized Durkon will (eventually) be the friend and colleague whose company he enjoyed back in Bleedingham. Yes, Malack was originally a negative energy spirit interloper into the lizardfolk shaman's mind and body. But having had time to fully absorb all of that lizardfolk's memories and such, he feels that, for all practical purposes, he is the shaman, "all grown up", so to speak. (The shaman's original soul would probably disagree strenuously, but he's also probably buried so far in the back, even Malack couldn't find him anymore.)

    Anyway, that's just my contribution to the silly over-analysis based on casual, offhand word choices.
    This is interesting theory (that others have proposed, by the way, so you may have some support). I don't think that the spirit would ever become a full duplicate of the original soul, even if the process occurs in the fashion described. The spirit probably has it's own memories from when it was created by Nergal. However, since large part of his memory would be composed of Malack's memories, it is possible he would have similar mannerisms or ideals as the original shaman. Also, I think that having around 200 years of freedom, I think Malack would grow beyond the memories of the original soul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Even if our personalities are entirely defined by memory (which is one of those questions we don't have an answer to), the vampire spirit will still have some memories of its own--unless it was literally created and inserted into the corpse at the moment of vampirisation, which I suppose is always possible. So, the vampire will never be a duplicate of the original person.
    You say, "Which I suppose is always possible," but your next sentence still implicitly presumes "but isn't the case."

    I am puzzled that multiple people think the dark spirit, birthed in Hel's hall, which is currently driving Durkon's body is older than a few days and was not born when Durkon became a vampire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I am puzzled that multiple people think the dark spirit, birthed in Hel's hall, which is currently driving Durkon's body is older than a few days and was not born when Durkon became a vampire.
    I don't think the age of the vampire spirit is an issue. More like, what does the vampire spirit already know? And how does knowing what it already knows shape it's future development?

    And speaking of future development, how much influence do those 2nd hand memories have upon that future development?

    The HPoH spirit seems capable of adult discussions and adult decisions. It seems to know that it is a vampire spirit and what that entails. It may not have sorted through all of Durkon's memories but it is acquiring its own memories now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    This is interesting theory (that others have proposed, by the way, so you may have some support). I don't think that the spirit would ever become a full duplicate of the original soul, even if the process occurs in the fashion described. The spirit probably has it's own memories from when it was created by Nergal. However, since large part of his memory would be composed of Malack's memories, it is possible he would have similar mannerisms or ideals as the original shaman. Also, I think that having around 200 years of freedom, I think Malack would grow beyond the memories of the original soul.
    Well, I just meant that it wouldn't be an exact copy of the original soul, but it would have absorbed enough from the original to feel like it could legitimately claim to be the same person. Basically, the result would be a conglomeration of what it picks up from the absorbed memories and what it brought to the table to begin with.

    I guess, to contrast, imagine Laurin had to learn everything there was to know about someone. She could use her psionic powers to read all of that person's memories. But it wouldn't, I imagine, be quiet the same. She'd learn all the information, but would still retain the sense that these things were separate from her. Again, this is just speculation on my part to try and make Malack's phrasing and decisions make sense with what we now know about how vampirism works in this setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    You say, "Which I suppose is always possible," but your next sentence still implicitly presumes "but isn't the case."

    I am puzzled that multiple people think the dark spirit, birthed in Hel's hall, which is currently driving Durkon's body is older than a few days and was not born when Durkon became a vampire.
    I think it's because HPoH seems to come with an already developed personality. Which, in the real world, is a process that occurs over time, so it's a little less intuitive for him to have come into existence a few days ago and be a functional adult. But that's the kind of thing you get when there's magic and divine intervention in the mix.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    Well, I just meant that it wouldn't be an exact copy of the original soul, but it would have absorbed enough from the original to feel like it could legitimately claim to be the same person. Basically, the result would be a conglomeration of what it picks up from the absorbed memories and what it brought to the table to begin with.

    I guess, to contrast, imagine Laurin had to learn everything there was to know about someone. She could use her psionic powers to read all of that person's memories. But it wouldn't, I imagine, be quiet the same. She'd learn all the information, but would still retain the sense that these things were separate from her. Again, this is just speculation on my part to try and make Malack's phrasing and decisions make sense with what we now know about how vampirism works in this setting.
    Okay, I think I understand better what you were saying now. In that case, then I could see how Malack would believe that Durkon would be very similar to the living Durkon, and yet also call himself distinct from who he was 200 years ago.
    How vampires work in OOTS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oppyu View Post
    There is nothing more emblematic of this forum than three or four pages of debate between people who, as it turns out, pretty much agree with each other.

  28. - Top - End - #328
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Watcher View Post
    I think it's because HPoH seems to come with an already developed personality.
    Which does, in itself, kind of work against your theory--since if HPoH *is* a newly-created spirit with no memories, who nonetheless has his own distinct personality, it means personality is not entirely dependent on memory and he won't be the same as Durkon even after absorbing his memories. To be honest, the way we've seen the "internal dialogue" work suggests otherwise, too--HPoH wasn't *living* the memory of seeing the sky for the first time in #947, he was seeing it as if it were a movie (or a cartoon strip, maybe ).

    I still believe that the result, even after HPoH fully absorbs the memories, will be a different person who happens to remember Durkon's life. Malack's statements are sufficiently explained by the fact he was a vampire for *far* longer than he was a living person.

  29. - Top - End - #329
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    "Shaman" is just a descriptive term, used to paint a picture of what sort of life he had. He was still a cleric, mechanically speaking. He would have switched gods because whatever nature-oriented barbarian deity he used to worship no longer granted spells to a vampire that was keeping his former cleric's soul hostage. I suppose, hypothetically, he could have decided to keep worshipping a god who didn't want him and never granted him spells, ignoring the fact that there was another god who did want him and would grant him spells. But he didn't. And maybe, hypothetically, there's another god out there that would accept a vampire cleric other than Nergal, and he could have started worshipping him. But he didn't. He looked at the situation logically and said, "Oh, this must be my rightful place in the universe. Hail Nergal!" and called it a day. That's still free will.
    Let me see if I understand what you're saying.

    You're saying that the vampire spirit inhabiting Malack's body had free will. At least, to the extent of choosing to be a lawful evil cleric of Nergal rather than a chaotic evil rampaging monster.

    But the original Malack -- the living Malack first held hostage by the vampire-spirit which later disappeared -- had no choice or free will in the matter. The original lizard shaman was robbed of his memories and life experiences, then disposed of.

    Is that correct?

    Follow up question: Does the vampire spirit have the free will to be something other than evil? Or does 'free will' merely mean choice as to exactly what kind of horrors it will perpetuate upon the living?

    Second follow-up question: Storytelling. You deliberately choose to leave things ambiguous and undefined up until the point you need to. That's in contrast to, say, Frank Herbert's or Tolkien's approach in that they already had a fully developed world with backstory and myths . A symptom of this is the release of a full glossary for the one and a full set of appendices, chronologies, and family trees for the other.

    May I ask why you chose this approach? Is it of greater benefit to you? The major advantage I can guess at is that you have the freedom to change anything, whereas Tolkien et al were increasingly constrained by the world they created. The major disadvantage , I suspect, is that there is a greater potential for incoherence and inconsistency in a work.

    So it's a "craft of storytelling" question. This is the method you have chosen. How is it working? Would you do it the same way , or would you take the "define the world first" approach, if you had to do it over?

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2014-04-21 at 09:42 AM.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

    -- Eliezer Yudkowski, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality"

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    You're saying that the vampire spirit inhabiting Malack's body had free will. At least, to the extent of choosing to be a lawful evil cleric of Nergal rather than a chaotic evil rampaging monster.
    I think there are more options in life (and unlife) than those 2.

    But the original Malack -- the living Malack first held hostage by the vampire-spirit which later disappeared -- had no choice or free will in the matter. The original lizard shaman was robbed of his memories and life experiences, then disposed of.
    #948 suggests that the host soul becomes dormant and remains trapped in the body when all of their memories have been copied. There does not seem to be any disposal.

    Does the vampire spirit have the free will to be something other than evil?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Maybe there are other vampires out there doing other things, being Good and living in harmony with the world. Don't care. Don't need them for this story.
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
    tarquin: ok
    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.

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