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JasRonq

Mind vs Soul

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In reference to an RPG fantasy world: Lets suppose there is a pair of characters. Of the three stats, body, mind, and soul, the first character is strong in mind, and the second is strong in soul. Magic and spells aside, what would differentiate them? I set aside magic both because I am not sure how I am treating it yet, and because I suspect I will have spells weighted to all three stats (including acrobatic skills and feats of strength and speed that are body based spells.) Mainly what I am trying to figure out is what features would you associate with spirit and with the mind?

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You could make soul the output while the mind is how you use that output
For example one with high soul would be a fire-blasting maniac while one with mind will be careful wizard contriving complex spells accurately and efficiently

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I would expect the soul one to have high EQ (emotional intelligence) and be empathetic and probably good at giving relationship advice. Although this is actually opposite if the traditional person of a high soul person being passionate and probably religious. I guess that's because I equate heart with soul, and the first thing described here is heart.

Mind is easier - mind is logical, mathematical, strategic intelligence. This person should be good at commanding an army, laying traps, coming up with twisted nefarious plots, possibly designing inventions (although actually building them is more of a body skill).

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Spirit is usually pretty intangible and weighty as a subject, so I think it comes down to either a traditional approach (it's a kind of magic) or a mystical approach. Is your world combat based or are you planning for some adventures to be in civilized areas?

If it's combat based I'd look at each as a strategy for winning battles. But this depends heavily on the mythos of your world. What does spirit do for your world's people? Does it give them second sight, allowing them to see threats, resources or points of access others can't? Does it give them the ability to heal afflictions others can't (imagine casting out demons, turning a raving lunatic into a harmless villager or a bandit into an ally). Does it allow them to defy or stave off death?

In a combat game a soul warrior might get health from defeating ghosts or draw life from a holy site (like a forest) associated with her god. Or it might make her strong when fighting undead but paradoxically weak fighting underground.

Digging a little deeper in a mythical sense it might be a contract between player and god. Service to others, duty to one's deity and circumstantial protection might be usable themes for a character high in soul-- manifested maybe as alternate plot paths, tweaks in events/encounters (if you use them) and some sort of activity that mutually furthers deity/spiritual source and character (building a shrine, for instance, or carrying out a pilgrimage).

One interesting theme to play with might be player will versus deity's will, in the form of vital but difficult quests, temptations players would wrestle with and cryptic information (subtly changing color tones on parts of a level, for instance).

Mind could have similar treatment but again it depends on if the use of mind is a means to an end in terms of winning at combat.

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The world is definitely combat heavy. I hope to include more diplomatic themes as well. For instance, the world is in two regions and each region has a number of houses or clans, and there are many members of each clan. Each person has an individual personality but also inherits a lot of predispositions from the group he is part of, though some more than others. Winning over leaders of families, important figures, house elders, etc, is (I hope) a big part of how the game plays out because it will determine who is attacking you and who is helping you and how.


The Body - Mind - Soul system is such that the player has all three. If you take them as a percent of the whole they always add up to 100% and no side of it can go over that. Gaining in one costs some in the others then. As such being hurt in battle sees you body suffer but your mind sharpen, then as you die, your mind suffers as well and you become very close to the spirit world.

There would be methods of shifting your balance intentionally and reversibly, such as astral walking and ways that are not, like death, which leaves you no Body and so you much revive your body to re-enter it.

Getting to the point though, the Soul aspect represents how close you are to the spirit world just as your Body ties you to the physical world. Therefore there needs to be some sort of manifestation of the spirit world which appears and even replaces the physical world as you lose Body and gain Soul.

More difficult for me to imagine is how Mind affects things. I am thinking of it as objective perception of the world giving such benefits as a slowed sense of time and the ability to ignore pain. To be completely toward Mind should be like being away from both Body and Soul. You are contemplating the world objectively. I really don't know how to represent that to the player though. Soul is easier. Its like a shamanistic dreamtime sort of thing. (not religious)


So anyway. Body ties you to the physical world, Soul ties you to the spirit world. The spirit world is a shamanistic dreamtime. The two coexist but you can only see all of one at a time, or a mix. Mind is objectivity and logic, but how to represent that? I think it should affect how you see the other two.

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Original post by JasRonqThere would be methods of shifting your balance intentionally and reversibly, such as astral walking


I like this, it's very intriguing.

Anyway, I could see spirit along the lines of an intensity and mind related to control.

To echo adrix above, a character with a high Body and Soul but low Mind could be like a physically overpowering berzerker type, whereas a character with a higher Mind might be able to execute precision combat moves with higher aptitude. Magically, high Soul and low Mind would yield more powerful effects but could be harder to direct whereas the reverse would have magic that was carefully executed but not as powerful.

To me, soul/spirit is relevant to things like one's own strength and resilience on the physical side, and on the magical side related to one's ability to channel the raw power of one's surroundings, including the spirit world. I would think of it as having a strong relation to the "passion" with which one fights from the standpoint of an outside observer. Mind would represent the ability to set aside some of that passion in favor precision and execution.

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I like this take on what the aspects relate to and how they should affect fighting and magic.

How should mind affect how you perceive your surroundings? Having high soul reveals the spirit realm and high Body grounds you in the physical realm, what effect does Mind have on your perception?

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In relation to soul having a high mind will grant a more logical and structured view "seeing the rules in chaos" while having less mind gives you an more abstract and blended view as you will not make sense of it
In relation to body it would be more focused aka the sharpness of the mind
Heres how I see theme combine
Soul+Mind=Willpower
Body+Mind=Reaction
Body+Soul=Ferociousness
Body+Soul+Mind=Balance

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Well, there could be an "Astral Realm", for mind readers, psychics, and the like, whom perceive through the thoughts and minds of others. Higher levels might yield some sort of telepathic powers to your character.

Mind could encompass your Senses. While Body is simply meat on the field, how you perceive and interpret your environment is where the brain comes in. If this was an attribute I'd call it Senses or Perception.

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The differences in the three categories sounds promising.

High mind to me should be a completely different way of fighting. In a more modern / SF setting we associate it with calculation-- bullet trajectories, mass and momentum, ammo counts. Is there a fantasy equivalent?

What if genius warriors used correct combat stances for the terrain. Or, if you were willing to embed the level with lots of functionality, could a really high mind warrior use it to trap, blind or hide herself from an enemy? Not sure of your perspective but I'm picturing being able to do sneaky stuff like attack with sand, cause a pile of rubble to collapse or trick an enemy into attacking his ally.

You'd sort of be like a warrior McGuyver, using the pools of terrain to your advantage. Where a spiritual person might draw strength from a tree, you bend a branch back, using it as a weapon or snare.

It would be a lot of work depending on your perspective, though. And you'd probably have to either randomly generate the little nodes of advantage, make it a game of timing or put cool down timers on them so the player doesn't sit there using them all day.

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Original post by Wavinator
The differences in the three categories sounds promising.

High mind to me should be a completely different way of fighting. In a more modern / SF setting we associate it with calculation-- bullet trajectories, mass and momentum, ammo counts. Is there a fantasy equivalent?

What if genius warriors used correct combat stances for the terrain. Or, if you were willing to embed the level with lots of functionality, could a really high mind warrior use it to trap, blind or hide herself from an enemy? Not sure of your perspective but I'm picturing being able to do sneaky stuff like attack with sand, cause a pile of rubble to collapse or trick an enemy into attacking his ally.

You'd sort of be like a warrior McGuyver, using the pools of terrain to your advantage. Where a spiritual person might draw strength from a tree, you bend a branch back, using it as a weapon or snare.

It would be a lot of work depending on your perspective, though. And you'd probably have to either randomly generate the little nodes of advantage, make it a game of timing or put cool down timers on them so the player doesn't sit there using them all day.


Some of this sounds good, but what I don't like about it is the flip side, that a player might not be able to do some of those things if their mind stat is currently too low. I'd rather make these passive things such as modifying what info the player is getting. High Soul lets you see the spirit realm, high Body shows you the physical world, high Mind should increase your mental perception. How do I represent that visually to the player? What new info should the player see when his Mind is high? How can it passively affect game play?

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For high mind player you can show him the alignment of the characters, relative strength to the player and the weakness of the characters
In the spiritual realm you could show things which are hidden to one with low mind

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Original post by JasRonq
One thing that would seem strongly linked to high Mind is seeing past illusions. Do you think creating illusions would also be a skill for high Mind?
I like this - almost a Sherlock Holmes vibe, using intellect to create and dispel illusions. If you are not already familiar with Frank Herbert's work, you might be interested in his Mentats: humans trained to outthink computers, making excellent generals and assassins.

Rather than the 'spirit world' angle, I envision soul as more a measure of how in tune one is with the world and people around you. In a way I guess this has a major overlap with charisma in a traditional RPG, giving increased affinity for human emotions, and ability to bond, but I also am thinking a more naturalistic angle as well, with increased perception of nature, giving greater ability to use the environment to advantage in combat.

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Original post by JasRonq
Some of this sounds good, but what I don't like about it is the flip side, that a player might not be able to do some of those things if their mind stat is currently too low. I'd rather make these passive things such as modifying what info the player is getting. High Soul lets you see the spirit realm, high Body shows you the physical world, high Mind should increase your mental perception.


I'd think that high Mind would increase your perception in general, and Body would affect your ability to do stuff in the world.

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Original post by JasRonq
What does increased perception do?


The new Sherlock Holmes movie tried to answer that question, as it related to combat. YouTube Link

I'm not sure how you could integrate something like that into a real time action game, but the underlying ideas could be utilized i.e. knowledge of your enemy/knowledge of anatomy to gain some sort of advantage in combat.

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Original post by JasRonq
What does increased perception do?


Somehow give you increased knowledge of the world and its state, both its physical state and what people are thinking, what they're likely to do. What were you going to do before?

The specific mechanism of "realization" could be that the game pauses or goes into slow time and points out some feature of the room or world to the player, or gives a hint of what someone is likely to do. The timing, quantity, and possibly quality of the hints would be dependent on your mind stat (can you be given wrong hints?).

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Well, in a creative/emotional point of view, I'd say the mind is more logical where as the soul is more spontaneous.

The mind could be something to foil the plans of your enemy with counters or being on step ahead.

Soul would be your willpower to resist certain handicaps given to you be your opponent, say he knocked you silly on the floor, your will is so strong that it takes the role of your body and you stand up and give the finishing blow(Your will to fight is too strong for reality to stop you).

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