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J.E. Sawyer

Update #5 - Souls, Technology, and Adventuring Companies

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The devs seem to want to keep all options available and at this point there is really no need to restrict their creativity. All Arcanum fans surely liked this update since the game vision seems imply that the game will have some similar themes - the conflict between technology and magic for instance. The fact that Sawyer stressed that different cultures have different perception on the nature of a soul is particularly interesting for me since it shows that Obisdian takes the metaphysical side of the concept of dualistic ontology really seriously and they'll probably include a lot of philosophical themes into the game. I'm really looking forward to this game. :)

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The way that souls work does open up some interesting dilemmas about the nature of choice and free will.

 

How is free will defined in this world? Is it defined as someone being able to do whatever is within their capabilities? Is choice tied to free will? A person who is blind does not have the choice to see but we still consider them to have the same amount of free will as someone who is not blind. However, with souls, it's a possible constraint on what someone is capable of beyond their physical limitations. Does someone with a weak soul simply not have the ability to make certain decisions even if their body is perfectly capable of realizing that decision. If so, does someone with a stronger soul have more "free will" than someone with a weaker soul?

 

The question of free will does have very little to do with individuals physical limitations. The question of free will is mainly centered around the question of whether a person can make rational desicions or whether his actions are only a concequences of deterministic factors that directly determine his behavior in any given situation. Neuroscientists have been able to determine that a person's brain has actually made a decision to perform a certain action 6 seconds before the person consciously makes the decision to perform this action. This kind of research results offer a really deterministic picture on the question of free will. Even in the fantasy setting the underlying question remains the same: can a person make individual judgments or are all his actions merely a sum of external factors that directly determine his behavior.

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The question of free will does have very little to do with individuals physical limitations. The question of free will is mainly centered around the question of whether a person can make rational desicions or whether his actions are only a concequences of deterministic factors that directly determine his behavior in any given situation. Neuroscientists have been able to determine that a person's brain has actually made a decision to perform a certain action 6 seconds before the person consciously makes the decision to perform this action. This kind of research results offer a really deterministic picture on the question of free will. Even in the fantasy setting the underlying question remains the same: can a person make individual judgments or are all his actions merely a sum of external factors that directly determine his behavior.

 

Actually, to be fair - the time frame is smaller and it's your conscious awareness of the decision being made. That is to say - there is a small time delay between the processes that make the "decision" and it being "perceived" by you. Like lag for your stream of consciousness :blink: Still kinda trippy though :geek:

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At the beginning I was a little worried about the introduction of too much steampunk elements, but the choiche to settle the world of PE in a similar way as the Europe was in XVI century (Reinnasence exlcuded) has been a great relief for me.

 

I adore the fantasy settings, (even more if they are realistic) and it seems that gunpowders will fit perfectly in the balance of the game.

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Souls

 

As we hinted at in our pitch videos, souls are A Big Deal in Project Eternity's world. The mortal world has not unlocked all of the secrets of how souls "work" and differing schools of metaphysical philosophy can be found in virtually every culture. What is known is that sapient souls move through an endless cycle of waking life and purgatorial slumber among the gods. Often this slumber lasts for years of "real" time, but occasionally it is brief, with a soul immediately moving on to a new life.

 

Far from being a flawless process, souls are subject to "fracturing" over generations, transforming in myriad ways, and not quite... working right. Some cultures and individuals place a high value on "strong" souls, souls with a "pure" lineage, "awakened" souls that remember past lives, "traveled" souls that have drifted through the divine realms, or those that co-exist with other souls in one body. However, the opposite is also true, resulting in negative discrimination and sometimes outright violence.

 

Through a variety of techniques (e.g. martial training, meditation, ritualistic evocation, mortification of the flesh), some individuals are able to draw upon the energy of their soul to accomplish extraordinary feats. These abilities range from the mundanely superhuman to the explosively magical. Having a strong soul seems to make this easier, but sometimes even people with fragmented souls are able to accomplish the extraordinary. The individual's body seems to act as a conduit and battery for this power, drawing in replenishment from seemingly omnipresent "fields" of unbound spiritual energy in the world around them.

 

Thinkers, spiritualists, and scientists of the world have theorized for thousands of years about the nature and purpose of this process, but others have turned to prayer for answer. Rather than illuminate the presumed higher purpose of this cycle, the gods have obfuscated the truth, at times spreading cosmological lies, pitting believers and empowered chosen agents against each other, and tacitly approving the prejudices of their followers to maintain power.

 

Can you lose a part of you soul for inhuman actions, but gain some perks or stats for it, like becoming a monstrous. Or making your soul stronger for good actions. Will there be classes that consume souls?

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I guess the great secret of the gods is that they're using the better souls as cherries in their martini.


И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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I guess the great secret of the gods is that they're using the better souls as cherries in their martini.

 

I think that will be one of the fundamental questions we will be asking ourselves during development. If souls are eternal, can new souls be generated or is the number fixed somehow, for someone to be born the universe has to have a store of available souls to download. Are souls immortal, can one be destroyed, perhaps this is the "event" we witness at the beginning of the game?

 

Imagine you live in a world where you know for sure your soul continues onwards after you die and it has always been this way and then one day you find out...well your soul is not indestructable.

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Are souls immortal, can one be destroyed, perhaps this is the "event" we witness at the beginning of the game?

Calling it now, the entire game is going to be a metaphor for the atom bomb.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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It's great to hear the attention given to enemy parties. These were some of the best battles in the Bladur's Gate saga, and the battle with the Lost Six in Icewind Dale 2 is legendary.

 

Harumph!

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:devil: "It's not my fault that evil god made me do it." So our souls will govern what we are capable of doing, of being. This game gets more interesting all the time. Wonder if they will have a god as much fun as Sheogorath? Now there was a "god" worth following.

This game will move mountains! It'll mount movements!

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Thanks again for taking my advice on the mercenary groups! :)


"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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Any news on the mc, will she/he have a personality, background voice even or is he/she going to be more like a Icewind Dale character, where you create him/her and give the character their own biography?

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Steamboats, especially paddlesteamers would be cool. This could bring some atmosphere into the game like in those horror-stories from AD&D Ravenloft or even George R.R. Martins novel Fevre Dream.

Edited by Lord_Darkmmon76

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Any news on the mc, will she/he have a personality, background voice even or is he/she going to be more like a Icewind Dale character, where you create him/her and give the character their own biography?

That was revealed very early. Either towards the announcement video or Sawyer's first update. It's one we create. And Avellone's talked a bit in a few interviews about letting people create their own bios, so I think we can rule out any set background at all.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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On Souls and Societ: Please bear in mind that the following is loose thoughts attempting to portray how a fanatical belief in the existence of souls and reincarnation would affect a society’s cultural relationship with death.

Taken to the extreme, a cultural worldview based on the belief that a being is in reality a soul possessing a temporal body, with the ability to be reborn into a new body if the old one dies, would possibly mean a lessened respect for human life.

This could explain a total disregard for the lives of the lower classes, and a greater propensity for warring nations.

To an even greater extent than in our own world, rulers may perceive their subjects as a replenishable resource, and would act accordingly.

(On a sidenote, one could also expect a greater level of scamming based on reincarnation, whereby hucksters claiming to be reborn heroes or family members obtain favours and wealth as long as the charade can be maintained).

 

Additionally,, a generally less empathetic demeanour could be expected, at least if combined with a belief that reincarnation is a certainty no matter your worldly behaviour. Why care about other people's feelings or the tenants of a given god, if you're guaranteed to return no matter the level of depravity you've unleashed upon the world and its inhabitants.

Slave labour would presumably also be more common, as the slaves or slave races are clearly inhabited by inferior souls.

 

Similarly, it could be expected that blood sports may be more common, as spectators need no longer feel any hint of guilt over deaths in the arena, since the souls of the slain will reincarnate anyway, possibly stronger than before.

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I'm not a fan of this soul business but the way exploration, culture and technology is been handled is mighty fine by me. I'm a writer (amateur and I don't plan to join the industry since my mother tongue is french) and when I create different worlds, I make sure these parts are believable. I don't go too deep in them though since I've to deal with entire planets. I still manage to avoid the Planet of Hats trope.

This game is starting to look more and more like the Arcanum 2 I've been waiting for such a long time. Thank you Obsidian :singletearofpurejoy:.

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Unpinned to clear the clutter in the first page.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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Runequest is an excellent game that's now entering its sixth edition through Moon Design Publications, with Steve Perren again at the helm.

 

I second your suggestion that Obsidian study resources for Runequest cults and devise interesting pantheons from an informed standpoint.

 

I also hope that people from Obsidian will learn from other games like Runequest how to do proper Gods. The most common mistake is making people/nations who believe that all gods exist yet worship only one. That's not how polytheism works, you pray to the god of the fertility when you are farming and to the god of war when you are going to war, you don't just pick god of war for your whole life and then say "well I'm ****ed" when you decide to go fishing.


"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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I absolutely love everything about this game with the huge exception of the inclusion of more modern technology. I have no problems with firearms and have owned several for most of my life but when it comes to frpgs I have absolutely no use for them. I really hope that they play a small role and can essentially be ignored if so desired. I do prefer turn-based combat but I can live with the RT pause. Other than that it all sounds great.

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I am not a big fan of firearms. I didn't like them in Arcanum, i think i'm a little bit old fashioned. Sword and shield is my thing. Plus; heavy armored mages seemed like breaking the rules to me. Mages are not huge guys with big muscles and heavy armors are "heavy". I don't like the idea, i hope you guys stick to the rules od d&d. I know PE is not d&d game but rules are rules, breaking them makes the game broken. When i think about the frame where a heavy armored mage meets a gunslinger, i can't get into it. It seems like a copy-cat game trying to combine cool elements of different games into one. I'm positive though, i have faith in Obsidian.

 

One more to say; please don't make the game anything near Arcanum. That game was great about storytelling, had quite an interesting narrative style but when it comes to game mechanics it sucked eggs.

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Forgot to ask; speaking abut firearms, what will be general concept? anything like steampunk? (please say no) doesn't seem like steampunk but when i saw the words firearms and technology, some curiosity stepped in me.

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Forgot to ask; speaking abut firearms, what will be general concept? anything like steampunk? (please say no) doesn't seem like steampunk but when i saw the words firearms and technology, some curiosity stepped in me.

 

Steampunk: no

Firearms are from renaissance time as rest of technology in PE, except there is no printing press.

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