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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Dec 2017

    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    So, when she dies, she does remember everything. Then what does she do? Which does she regard as her "true" self, and which set of actions does she regret? Her "true" alignment, assuming there is such a thing, will reveal itself then. And she'll go to the plane of her true alignment, whatever that is, because no-one else would want her.
    I agree, although some settings have demons that like to eat the souls of people regardless of their alignment. But if we are still attempting to decide what her "true alignment" would be and where she will end up, I would be inclined to believe it to be closer to the hero version of her, unless she was a hero for a comparatively short time period. Assuming that the mind wiping was just a mind wipe and not anyone else adding new personalities into her, then we can wipe any issues of nature vs nurture, because she oblivious isn't inherently evil. And since it is apparent that we are nurture route, doesn't make sense to make assumptions that her "true" self would be her before she lost her memories just because she was the first personality.
    Memories are a tricky thing and arguing things like dominant personalities is somewhat beyond the scope of my understanding. But I do know that memories do fade over time, and I am going to assume that even dying cannot possibly give perfect recall over events or else she would also remember things like when she was in the womb. So when she regains her memories of her evil deeds they will inevitably be less detailed than her more recent ones. She would probably be aware that she did horrible things, she might even know why she did them, but they won't have the same emotional impact that they had when they were fresh in her mind. It would thus seem likely that she would head towards a higher plane in the afterlife, not accounting for various setting specific things. And if her mind wiped version is as honorable and selfless as previously stated then she might very well seek some sort of penance anyway.

    And if it turns out that souls gives perfect memories of all events in your life, then I have no idea where she would end up. There are too many variables.

    And if this is a setting in which actions matter more than intent, then all that matters is her ratio of good to evil actions.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Troll in the Playground
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    Feb 2014
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    Denmark
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    I disagree. I have the soul of a Chevrolet.
    And I have the soul of a sausage - but what I'm saying is we shouldn't generalize. Others may have different soul items, like a fountain pen, or a vase, or some cheese.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Apr 2015
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    Mid-Rohan
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    I'd say we need more info.

    How and why did she get amnesia? Did she do it to herself to escape punishment, or did some deity smite her to punish her? Or was it pure happenstance?

    That will change how the deity responds to her arrival on their doorstep. If she did it to herself, the deity won't be fooled and will either condemn her for trying to escape justice or laud her for finding such an efficient means of overcoming her own wickedness (thus accepting her memory wipe as a makeshift form of atonement).

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Blackjackg's Avatar

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    May 2009
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    Victoria, BC

    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    I'd say if you're applying this to Real World situations, then you are going to have to figure out mind-body dualism and the allotment of eternal souls for yourself. That biz is not simple.

    In a D&D world (which, I assume, is the setting we're working with here), the soul is something entirely distinct from the body. It can be forced out of the body, moved into other bodies, &c. &c. Moreover, I think it's fairly well established that if someone animates your corpse after you die, your soul is not held responsible for its actions. While in the Real World, it's well established that a head injury can alter your personality on a neurological level, I would probably argue that this doesn't happen in the D&D world-- or at least, it only does when it's narratively appropriate and interesting. Your barbarian can continue to headbutt ogres all she wants without running the risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

    So I'd say it's fair to assume that a total personality reboot is the result of direct, I daresay magical, action on the soul. The real question (at least one of the ones being hotly debated in this thread) is whether it represents a soul replacement or just a scrubbing clean of the soul.

    Toward that determination, I wonder: Did the person have to learn to walk and talk again after their reboot, like an infant? If not, I'm going to guess that it's not a replacement. Memory in a D&D setting is attached to the soul, not the body-- it transfers when someone magically puts their soul into a gem. If the character retained any of their memory, even the memory of how to speak a language, then they must have retained their soul. So what you have there is a single soul that has forgotten some of its knowledge. The soul has some black deeds associated with it, as well as some good.

    If I understand D&D cosmology correctly, there is a built-in escape for even the worst sinners, as there is in Catholicism: If you die in a state of grace, then rather than burning in Hell for eternity, you have the opportunity to work off your sins in Purgatory or some similar afterlife and eventually make your way to Heaven. I would suggest that this is probably the fate for your character with two lives: if she died as a doer of good, who had made at least reasonable attempts to atone for the sins that she knew about, she would probably wind up in the celestial waiting room. There, she would probably come to learn of her past sins and either wait it out for a few eons or maybe get opportunities to atone in the afterlife, such as by traveling around offering ghostly assistance to other good warriors.

    That being said, I also think the idea of a divided soul, half of which gets to go to Heaven and half to Hell, is awesome. So I invoke the Rule of Cool to say: If that's how you want to write it, write it that way.
    Awesome avatar courtesy of Dorian Soth.

    Optional rules I'm working on (please contact me if you have ideas for developing them!):
    Generic Prestige Classes; Summon Monster Variant; Advanced Dodges and Dex Bonuses; Incantations to Raise the Dead

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    exelsisxax's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    It's my understanding that in D&D this happened - that the soul was judged according to who the person truly was. In this case that would be prior to the memory wipe, since everything thereafter would count as programming. So the 'good' alter ego is an illusion created by alignment alteration procedures and would simply vanish upon death. It is perhaps worth noting that, in high level D&D something like this is unlikely to be sustained for a particularly long time. Any casting of Greater Restoration on the character at any point would restore them to who they used to be instantly.
    This is the most important thing to figure out - is it a REAL memory wipe or not? Actual memory erasure cannot be undone by any method that can't violate causality (wish or time travel shenanigans). This is different than just not remembering. If the soul remembers, it isn't real memory loss unless the soul memories or whatever are also annihilated.

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