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Necromancy and Transhumanism

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Rereading on Lore on Necromancy and its less assumption of black and white morality.

 

It accures to me that using Necromancy to become sentient undead is like the fantasy verison of transhumanist, transending the human condition and becoming suppior to it.

 

I kind of like Necromancy as more then a type of magic, but almost a religion/philosphy.

 

I think Necromancy/Transhumanism would make a really cool cause for Paladins.

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The people you're talking about are basically liches - and in Faerun, the Pale Master wizards (aspiring liches). I imagine necromancy might have a presence, perhaps even more so as it has been revealed that ressurection/returning the dead to true life is virtually nonexistant, if not completely impossible. It would make sense that some curious magic users might still pursue the matter. Paladins have also been revealed to be less holy champions and more champions for the common good. It might work, but the differences would be so subtle that it would be hard to differentiate from many other roleplay settings.

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Why can't it be both? Since souls are unknown, you might have some who view it as a form of religion while others see it more as a tool. I do that that necromancy/liches are cool. We know necromancy is in, I hope becoming something like a lich is in.

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For some reason I feel that Necromancy isn't naturally "evil" in the way Obsidian explained it. We might see the kind backwater village Doctor who is a good person in every aspect, but back in his shed he is experimenting the depths of the soul and life and death in a scientific manner, knowing it is shunned upon he conducts it in secrecy and silence. The point is, the guy isn't necessarily bad or insane. In another village a man is conducting Necromancy out in the open, not to bring people back, but to heal someone who takes damage, the village is oblivious to what he did (thinking it is just Magic, not knowing what "Necromancy" is) and praises him instead.

 

In a third village, there is a crazy mad scientist who wants to enslave the world under his rule and he aims to bring back the walking dead to destroy all who oppose him. There's many things that can be done.

 

I'd like to see homonculus, experiments thought failed (Resurrection) and abandoned, whilst in fact they were ressurected and now walk the "Earth" in pursuit of their own identity. Although few, rare, quest specific. There should/could/would be Orders who seek out and destroy Necromancers and Necromancy wherever it may be found or suspected (Like the kind Doctor in the backwater village, you could help him out in keeping it a secret or watch as he get caught, with or without your involvement).

 

My friend made a worthless character in Icewind Dale (Triple Multi-Class, Fighter/Mage/Thief) who died all the time, named Seether. At first he annoyed the living hell out of me, but we deviced a story that each time we reloaded it was him regenerating. Could the main character become somewhat of a zombie? E.g., the Nameless One in Baldur's Gate would be hunted and could possibly be cut down in the middle of any village due to his appearance, could you be boosted by Necromancy somehow and gain a statistical advantage, but in-game story/lore w/e you are now at a disadvantage (hunter/attacked/feared etc. etc.)?

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For some reason I feel that Necromancy isn't naturally "evil" in the way Obsidian explained it. We might see the kind backwater village Doctor who is a good person in every aspect, but back in his shed he is experimenting the depths of the soul and life and death in a scientific manner, knowing it is shunned upon he conducts it in secrecy and silence. The point is, the guy isn't necessarily bad or insane. In another village a man is conducting Necromancy out in the open, not to bring people back, but to heal someone who takes damage, the village is oblivious to what he did (thinking it is just Magic, not knowing what "Necromancy" is) and praises him instead.

 

In a third village, there is a crazy mad scientist who wants to enslave the world under his rule and he aims to bring back the walking dead to destroy all who oppose him. There's many things that can be done.

 

I'd like to see homonculus, experiments thought failed (Resurrection) and abandoned, whilst in fact they were ressurected and now walk the "Earth" in pursuit of their own identity. Although few, rare, quest specific. There should/could/would be Orders who seek out and destroy Necromancers and Necromancy wherever it may be found or suspected (Like the kind Doctor in the backwater village, you could help him out in keeping it a secret or watch as he get caught, with or without your involvement).

 

My friend made a worthless character in Icewind Dale (Triple Multi-Class, Fighter/Mage/Thief) who died all the time, named Seether. At first he annoyed the living hell out of me, but we deviced a story that each time we reloaded it was him regenerating. Could the main character become somewhat of a zombie? E.g., the Nameless One in Baldur's Gate would be hunted and could possibly be cut down in the middle of any village due to his appearance, could you be boosted by Necromancy somehow and gain a statistical advantage, but in-game story/lore w/e you are now at a disadvantage (hunter/attacked/feared etc. etc.)?

 

 

Yea, there is no Resurrection (come back to life) in the game, but bringing the character back as a zombie/undead/vampire/lich/ghoul..etc would be cool and could be a one time thing. Although I did suggest having a 'dark' ritual to bring someone back, but it required a sentient sacrifice of the same level as the dead character and had a high chance of negative affects for fun.

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Torian Kel was all kinds of cool.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Ah, this thread also reminded me of my own setting I have been working on. Its the same one as artificial elves I mentioned way earlier in another thread. Anyway, necromancy is very common in this setting, in one location reanimated dead are basically robots, with bound souls/ghosts serving as personal assistant A.I.s. There is actually two great necromancer wars that sort of mirrored world war one and world war two. The second war caused the near destruction of the world. One of my complaints I have had with necromancy is how it is always the same, raising rotting corpses/zombies to attack enemies with some minor differences regardless of the time frame which always felt kind of meh to me. Looking at magic the same way as tech, it should evolve and change with the times. Anyway, in my setting, the first necromancer war had the good old fashioned raise zombies and rotting corpses, slow bumbling unthinking creatures that look right at home in the original movie night of the living dead.

 

The second war had evolved them, they were no longer slow bumbling creatures, they were more like fast zombies, and were less skeletal and had more intelligence (could use weapons) working in groups and even some minor self repair (there is much more, but don't want to dwell). Anyway, in my setting a faction opposing this group using them released a new weapon that was supposed to mirror the bomb that was dropped on japan. However, this weapon was untested and nearly destroyed the world, chaos reigned for a few hundred years and only the mega cities/powers survived. Anyway, jumping to the current time period, raising the dead for one faction is common and is a business. Necromancy has become industrialized, corpses/skeletons/ are put in a special necromantic vats where it rebuilds their bodies, growing tissue, flesh, hair, etc and turning the corpse into the optimal age (usually 20 ish, although special orders can change it). The chemicals have reanimated the corpse into a mindless puppet that can understand simple commands and waits to be imprinted. Imprinting is the captured soul/ghost that has had its identity stripped away and artificial created memories/skills/personality implanted, then infused into the reanimated corpse. Which act like whatever artificial personality was implanted, the reanimated dead created by this process do not rot(they actually smell nice, their skin is warm and feels alive and releases a nice flower fragrance, although people can have their smell changed to something else in their order), and act alive thanks to the memory/skill implants. Although low level reanimated are a more robotic because they are made cheap. Their bodies even repair minor damages, do not need to eat, sleep, or anything else the living has to worry about. These reanimated are sold as cheap labor, the only real competition is the doll factory who make living custom organisms (like the artificial elves) for those who do not like the idea of something dead walking around, but they are MUCH more expensive and only the nobles and rich can afford them.

 

These undead are on display where people go in and purchase them, no two undead are exactly alike physically (unless twin corpses), because the bodies bone structure and cells decide what it looks like, they sometimes do some physical surgery to alter defects that the person had in life and pretty them up for the part they serve. Not to mention each soul imprint still retain some quirks of the original ghost/soul that come out every so often. Like a sailor soul that became a labor dead, will call his owner captain, no matter how many times the owner tells him to stop calling him that. these 'bugs' are usually minor and not as bad as they used to be in early development, like the infamous murder Mary, who was a reprogrammed soul of a woman who killed her husband when she caught him cheating, after she was put to death her soul was wiped and reprinted in a new undead body, but something from her past stuck and the new soul would seek men who were unfaithful and kill them while she went out to get groceries for her master. Things like that rarely happen now.

 

Anyway, give you an idea of different types

 

Basic:

Laborer - general friendly attitude and eager to work

Security - basic gruff personality, will offer basic protection to your premises

 

General:

Maid/Butler - can take care of your house, make meals, watch/tutor the kids, and with a small upgrade fee can double as a security guard.

Soldier - perfect soldier (accepts orders without questions), good fighter, tough, and hard to kill, the military gobbles these up.

Companion - Is a sad fact people are lonely and sometimes for whatever reason they cannot find whatever they are looking for in the living, even something as simple as friendship...or more is needed. The company does not question and will not never ask since this is their hottest selling item.

 

High Class:

Elite unit - top of the line reanimate, can speak just about all languages, Has multiple personality settings that can serve as medic/doctor, soldier, assistant, scientist, etc. Fast body regenerating, strength, speed, etc. Also has the ability to change its physical form (slow though, takes a day to do) to another form of a person of similar hight and mass, (good for espionage). Extremely expensive, but the military has been buying more of them up lately that have made people nervous (what does the army know that everyone else doesn't?)

 

One note, for an upgrade fee, you can implant more features like extra personality traits and other add ons.

 

There is a growing rift between the factory owners and the unions because factory owners are buying more and more of the cheap dead laborers and not hiring the living. This has lead to blows and attacks on the laborer dead who are seen taking jobs away from the living.

 

There is also bound ghosts that serve as personal assistants, making notes, appointments, etc, they do not have bodies, BUT you can buy an physical manifestation upgrade where they can interact with the living (think star trek halo deck). There is even a cyberspace/internet of source that uses lovecraftian like babbage machines that are connected to living brains that are psychically linked creating an an artifical astral dimension that people can jack into using a special connection to seperate their astral form from their physical and enter this artificial universe. But I digress.

 

Anyway, this gives an idea of what I have been doing with necromancy in my setting. Necromancy can be soo much more than the stereotype it has been given.

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Personally I'd wait until we get more details about the soul system, because whether or not someone who is not a deity can interfere with the soul cycle in PE is still unknown. And dealing with souls would be the center piece of necromancy, if it was to make an appearance in the game. Obsidian has revealed that they're not currently planning on having instant healing spells, so I'm not even sure if manipulating life energies would be possible under the current (preliminary) rule framework, thus adding another unknown factor to necromancy.


Exile in Torment

 

QblGc0a.png

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Transhumanism refers to things like genetic modification and cybernetics, not murdering people so you can enslave their souls and imprison them in their rotting corpses.

 

And let's face it, 99% of necromancers are the generic "I must murder more innocent townsfolk to build my army/harem/fantasy football league! Muahahahaha! I also enjoy killing puppies!" kind. It's tired, it's old. I'd say it's practically The Dragon at this point, but The Dragon is actually formidable and respectable, and Necromancers are just perverse cowards.

Edited by AGX-17

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I'd prefer necromancy as a tool, rather like how magic is a science.

 

On a related note, here's one of the better stories I've read about necromancers.

 

I played a necromancer once, in what I thought was a solo game over IRC.

 

I went around to places where the economy was horrible, the rulers were tyrants, and the people were downtrodden.

 

There, hidden in cairns and crypts, I taught. I taught the people how to use the dead in their defense--and when defense was not needed, in their fields. I taught spellcraft and surgery. I taught them to think for themselves.

 

I overthrew tyrants, I saved civilizations. I left in my wake prosperous, well-fed democracies, populated by the living and the working dead.

 

Eventually, I became old. Tired. I knew that lichdom was not for me--benefits aside, I was ready to move on. I had mastered this side of death--yet there was so much more to learn, that required intimate knowledge of the other side.

 

As I prepared my final resting place, with a missive spell to go out to all my proteges, I used a simple scrying spell to view the places I had visited, once more.

 

What I saw surprised and disgusted me. The living once again worked the fields, instead of the schools and libraries. So-called 'good kings' once more had tyranny over the people. Ignorance and fear ruled these lands again. And bodies were cremated, even the bones, and scattered so that no necromancer could use them, for good or for ill.

 

I traced back the lines of fate to find what had caused such disasters, what had destroyed the lands which I had saved.

 

Adventurers, So-called saviors, hunting down the most powerful necromancer in the world. The Arch-Lich, they called me. I wasn't even dead! The stories they circulated claimed I had lived a thousand-thousand years, spreading misery and the walking dead in my wake. Misery, most certainly not, and I was scarcely sixty years old, though my mentor had certainly lived a long time, and his mentor before him. I was not even a lich!

Not long after I discovered this, my body failing, one organ at the time, this group of adventurers found me.

 

I lay on my deathbed. They were expecting a fight, some cackling, evil mastermind to kill so that they could have been called heroes. They did not expect an old, bitter man who had seen his life's work destroyed because of paranoia and bigotry.

 

I told them what I had done, and why I had done it. I told them of my hopes and dreams, for a world where no living man would have to work, where all could spend time doing what they truely desired--study, advancement, even the simple pleasures of a small farm and family, if they so wished. A world free of petty tyrants, where each man could vote for the ruler of their town or their nation.

 

In the end, I cried. For my proteges, good men dead at the hands of these heroes. For my plans, dashed against the rocks of hatred. For myself, an old, broken dying man with a wasted life.

 

As it turns out, my DM was using me as the BBEG for another campaign he was running... and according to him, I succeeded beautifully.

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That is just because messing with the dead is taboo in most cultures, so it is automatically seen as desecrating the dead which is evil in most eyes. Which, to be fair, does have a point. I mean, you die, then you are aware again in your own rotting corpse and forced to do what the necromancer says does seem pretty evil. However, some necromancers might not try to create slaves, but bring the dead back as a service. In some cultures, it is common to pray to family ancestor spirits, well, in those cultures, the necromancer can be seen as a high ranking status because of what they are, opening communications between the living and dead as a medium and/or bringing the dead back to help the family/country some way. Perhaps instead of offering the living to go to war, a family can send a reanimated dead to fight instead, this could be a normal custom in some societies, which makes more sense, to send the living to war or to send the already dead?

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I'd prefer necromancy as a tool, rather like how magic is a science.

 

On a related note, here's one of the better stories I've read about necromancers.

 

I played a necromancer once, in what I thought was a solo game over IRC.

 

I went around to places where the economy was horrible, the rulers were tyrants, and the people were downtrodden.

 

There, hidden in cairns and crypts, I taught. I taught the people how to use the dead in their defense--and when defense was not needed, in their fields. I taught spellcraft and surgery. I taught them to think for themselves.

 

I overthrew tyrants, I saved civilizations. I left in my wake prosperous, well-fed democracies, populated by the living and the working dead.

 

Eventually, I became old. Tired. I knew that lichdom was not for me--benefits aside, I was ready to move on. I had mastered this side of death--yet there was so much more to learn, that required intimate knowledge of the other side.

 

As I prepared my final resting place, with a missive spell to go out to all my proteges, I used a simple scrying spell to view the places I had visited, once more.

 

What I saw surprised and disgusted me. The living once again worked the fields, instead of the schools and libraries. So-called 'good kings' once more had tyranny over the people. Ignorance and fear ruled these lands again. And bodies were cremated, even the bones, and scattered so that no necromancer could use them, for good or for ill.

 

I traced back the lines of fate to find what had caused such disasters, what had destroyed the lands which I had saved.

 

Adventurers, So-called saviors, hunting down the most powerful necromancer in the world. The Arch-Lich, they called me. I wasn't even dead! The stories they circulated claimed I had lived a thousand-thousand years, spreading misery and the walking dead in my wake. Misery, most certainly not, and I was scarcely sixty years old, though my mentor had certainly lived a long time, and his mentor before him. I was not even a lich!

Not long after I discovered this, my body failing, one organ at the time, this group of adventurers found me.

 

I lay on my deathbed. They were expecting a fight, some cackling, evil mastermind to kill so that they could have been called heroes. They did not expect an old, bitter man who had seen his life's work destroyed because of paranoia and bigotry.

 

I told them what I had done, and why I had done it. I told them of my hopes and dreams, for a world where no living man would have to work, where all could spend time doing what they truely desired--study, advancement, even the simple pleasures of a small farm and family, if they so wished. A world free of petty tyrants, where each man could vote for the ruler of their town or their nation.

 

In the end, I cried. For my proteges, good men dead at the hands of these heroes. For my plans, dashed against the rocks of hatred. For myself, an old, broken dying man with a wasted life.

 

As it turns out, my DM was using me as the BBEG for another campaign he was running... and according to him, I succeeded beautifully.

 

Wow, that is really good.

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Necromancy is not some tool, it is evil. There is no exception and no excuse. Just as slavery and genocide are inexcusable crimes. Degrading someone, living or death, from person to object to be used is not morally neutral, but evil.

 

Besides, as far as necromancy and transhumanism are concerned from a mechanical perspective, smart villains combine both. :teehee:

 

 

644_mbsrager.jpg

 

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My favourite part of necromancy in D&D was spells that gave a chance to instant kill enemies. Something about that risk/reward of either doing no damage or 1 shotting a huge monster is so appealing. I'd focus all my feats on just increasing the DC of my rolls :)

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Necromancy is not some tool, it is evil. There is no exception and no excuse. Just as slavery and genocide are inexcusable crimes. Degrading someone, living or death, from person to object to be used is not morally neutral, but evil.

 

 

No it isn't. Judging by known facts in PE world necromancy isn't good or evil. It jsut is. And necromancers are actually the "poor folks" there.

 

 

Despite the assumed natural cycle of things, there are individuals in the world of Project Eternity who either want to know more about that cycle or who choose to alter that cycle. Broadly speaking, "necromancy" refers to any attempt to do either, whether that involves speaking with the soul of a dead mortal, attempting to tap into the unconscious past lives of a living soul, or to bind soul energy or a complete soul inside of a dead body.

These acts are viewed with differing levels of criticism depending on the culture. Many folk share the interest of necromancers and would like to understand more about the eternal cycle, but are also afraid of what they might learn. Some extremists are opposed to any and all necromancy, and tales say that a quiet and powerful cult that has worked for centuries to discredit, trap, and even murder necromancers for their efforts. To the people who oppose necromancy with such violent passion, mortal understanding should have limits, and they fear the consequences for the world should those limits be unraveled.

 

 

Edited by quechn1tlan

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Necromancy is not some tool, it is evil. There is no exception and no excuse. Just as slavery and genocide are inexcusable crimes. Degrading someone, living or death, from person to object to be used is not morally neutral, but evil.

sorry, but no. even in the absolute moralist dungeons and dragons there are neutral, and even good necromancy spells. not all necromancy deals in killing people and then raising them as mindless servants.

 

http://dndtools.eu/spells/book-of-exalted-deeds--52/last-judgment--90/

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I cant really see the problem with necromancy. After all, you still "raise dead" companions. You ressurect them. Thats hardly "natural".

 

Also if I were a force of good in life, why on earth would I not want to combat evildoers and villains for as long as possible? Why wouldnt I want to protect "my village" for as long as I could? Why should I leave it to the "bad guys" to go on living forever and punishing those I love when I no longer have the power to protect them?

 

Pursueing lichdom would be a way to ensure that I could. And I would. If there was any "profane rituals" Im sure I could find some villains henchmen whom I sacrificed or sucked the mana/soul out of. I dont see it as evil. I see it as "practical".

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"Politicians. Little tin gods on wheels". -Rudyard Kipling. A European Fallout timeline? Dont mind if I do!

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You'd make a good Obsidian RPG villain, except they used this type of villain in almost every of their games before so it'd be a bit redundant.

 

Evil done in the name of something noble is often the greatest tragedy, especially if the rewards of such deeds warrant the gravity of the offenses. It's a question and a theme we have struggled to come to terms with for a long time and as such makes for fine stories.

Edited by Jasede
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I always like the idea of necromancers not being inherently evil just distrusted and misunderstood.

 

Their field of magic is death, but why does that have to be a bad thing.

Imagine the comfort a necromancer could give a family by letting a lost love one give them some final words.

Imagine someone dying of a horrible wasting disease and the Necromancer helps them painlessly pass on.

Champions defending their land from doom given 1 more chance on the battlefield.

A murder victim being able to say who attacked them.

 

Of course this is all ruined by the arsehole who dresses like he's on an Iron maiden cover and wants to raise an army of the dead. 1 bastard ruins it for all the good necromancers out there.

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None of this is really happening. There is a man. With a typewriter. This is all part of his crazy imagination. 

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You'd make a good Obsidian RPG villain, except they used this type of villain in almost every of their games before so it'd be a bit redundant.

 

Evil done in the name of something noble is often the greatest tragedy, especially if the rewards of such deeds warrant the gravity of the offenses. It's a question and a theme we have struggled to come to terms with for a long time and as such makes for fine stories.

 

If I were the villain, I'd win. I'd be indistinguishable from "Lawful Good". Id get the masses and the intellectuals to cheer me on whilst I hunted down and killed everything I deemed to be a threat to my reign.

 

Evil done in the name of noble has worked very well in history. It has shaped empires and nations. It still does. I could name countless instances but it would turn into a pissing contest... threads where RL history is involved always do.

Edited by Farbautisonn

"Politicians. Little tin gods on wheels". -Rudyard Kipling. A European Fallout timeline? Dont mind if I do!

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There was a kingdom in Eberon (D&D world), I want to say it was Karnath, but it's been a while since I've played...

 

Anyway, they were big on necromancy. How big? The average soldier took pride in knowing that if he died on the battlefield, he'd be able to help defend his brethren and nation after his death as well as before. Is it really evil if you have consent (and not just consent, but requests)?

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So it's OK to enslave the living impaired or as some of you insensitively put it: the dead?

The living impaired have rights just like the rest of us!

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So it's OK to enslave the living impaired or as some of you insensitively put it: the dead?

The living impaired have rights just like the rest of us!

 

You sound like a zombie rights activist. Zombies give up there rights as soon as they start shambling towards a god fearing man with a shotgun.

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None of this is really happening. There is a man. With a typewriter. This is all part of his crazy imagination. 

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