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Cavalier Attitude Towards Death

SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,341 @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited October 2012 in The Scarlattan Theatre
I'm curious: How do denizens see our characters in terms of being blessed with what essentially counts as 'immortality'(immortality being that we can't truly die unless we suicide or are perma-deleted)? Do they look on us as strange beings wearing the skin of mortals?

For that matter, how would a society with essentially-immortal characters view dying? A hindrance? A minor disease that's cured with a trip to Maya's halls or by the blessing of a priest/personal soulcage/starburst/forestal/alchemist? Would philosophies like 'Die for your cause', 'My life for AiurTe'Serra!' or 'Death before dishonour' have any emotional impact towards your character? Do death threats have as much frightening effect on you as they would towards denizens?

For the purposes of this discussion, let's leave out named denizens. They're another discussion entirely.

Comments

  • TaggTagg Member Posts: 387 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Well, technically, as denizens all have the same ID number, I guess you can assume they're in the same position (just that their prayer takes 30 minutes to an hour rather than 2 minutes or whatever)

    And the last time I laid down a death threat on someone, the reply was along the lines of 'lol go ahead, I'm not gonna leave my city so I won't lose xp!!!', so uh...yeah. :(

    For myself, death was always a sign that there was still improvement to be made in following the truths to true strength etc. etc., but it certainly didn't have any kind of serious connotations attached to it.
    Jonathin
  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Death is death, however, merciful Maya is the real variable. When an adventurer prays for salvation, they are -hoping- Maya will answer their prayers and give them a second(or 234th) chance at life. The consistency of Maya's answers (since they are a game play mechanic) have  made Adventurers take the gift for granted. Suicide is then an adventurer purposely ending their life with intent to enter the soul realm and not be potentially arrived.

    Then there is the matter that Adventurers essentially live forever. It's hard to believe no one remembers what happened to Seleucar when some have been alive for 400 years. You can RP out death or final slumber or whatever when you decide to quite the game.

    Adventurers can still devote their lives to a cause because "live" implies that part of existence where they are by default "not dead". However dying for a cause does become less of a sacrifice when they can lean on the ever merciful Creatrix to bring them back 5 minutes later.

    I cannot cite any instances but I have heard the Guides talk about the same fairies coming back and remember something in a help file somewhere about denizens returning from the Halls of Maya as well I think. I always assumed the nameless denizens were the same ones and not replacements.
    image
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,715 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited October 2012
    I've never heard of any IC distinction between adventurers and denizens in terms of coming back to life. It's pretty well established that denizens, nameless or not, pray to Maya (and previously Sarapis) and come back just like adventurers. It has been discussed that nameless denizens could represent multiple individuals, but not because denizens die permanently.

    This was especially evident with the Vertani, who didn't return to life. It would have been very different if that was normal among Achaean denizens.

    Edit: In response to "how would a society with essentially-immortal characters view dying?", I think in Achaea's case (where it's not strictly guaranteed that you'll return to life, just extremely unlikely that you won't), it likely would be seen more as a hindrance than anything else. But given that near-immortality is a fairly recent development (judging from the fact that death is permanent for most of Achaea's recorded history), and the fact that most people are aware of recent examples of permanent deaths (mostly in denizens), it would be reasonable for there to be still be some uncertainty and anxiety about death, even if you've died hundreds of times before.
  • DelphinusDelphinus Member Posts: 896 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Vayne said:
    Death is death, however, merciful Maya is the real variable. When an adventurer prays for salvation, they are -hoping- Maya will answer their prayers and give them a second(or 234th) chance at life. The consistency of Maya's answers (since they are a game play mechanic) have  made Adventurers take the gift for granted. Suicide is then an adventurer purposely ending their life with intent to enter the soul realm and not be potentially arrived.
    The problem with "taking it for granted" being an IC thing is that they'll never actually be proven wrong. So really, all it's doing is underscoring a conceit of pure game mechanics.

    ----

    Verrucht says in an urbane voice, "When we can be brought back willy-nilly by Lady Maya, by starburst tattoos, by devotionists, by forestals, by alchemists."

    Verrucht says in an urbane voice, "Who says there is value in life itself?"

    Verrucht says in an urbane voice, "The value is in the exploration of what exists."

    You say to Verrucht, "I relish the day you kneel before Maya's throne, and She says simply, 'No.'"

    You say to Verrucht, "It has happened. And it will."

    Verrucht says to you in an urbane voice, "You bore me with your improbabilities."
    SylvanceIdelisaArgys
  • AmunetAmunet Spokane, Washington, USAMember Posts: 700 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Death, whether permanent or temporary, really isn't a big deal for Nihilists, from an IC perspective. I won't go into it here, but curious parties can strike up a conversation in-game.
    My avatar is an image created by this very talented gentleman, of whose work I am extremely jealous. It was not originally a picture of Amunet, but it certainly looks a great deal like how I envision her!
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,790 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited October 2012
    @Vayne nailed it, from my perspective. I do tend teach Knighthood with that cavalier attitude, ("Death is the best teacher," or "Fight your battles, whatever the odds. If you are defeated, it means only that you must improve.") but I try to underscore that such an attitude is brave and exceptional because there is that always that chance that this death will be the one that Maya says "No" to.

    Of course, the gravity of that concept is robbed when the mindset @Delphinus mentions arrives.
    -- Grounded in one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,341 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sena said:
    I've never heard of any IC distinction between adventurers and denizens in terms of coming back to life. It's pretty well established that denizens, nameless or not, pray to Maya (and previously Sarapis) and come back just like adventurers. It has been discussed that nameless denizens could represent multiple individuals, but not because denizens die permanently.

    This was especially evident with the Vertani, who didn't return to life. It would have been very different if that was normal among Achaean denizens.

    Edit: In response to "how would a society with essentially-immortal characters view dying?", I think in Achaea's case (where it's not strictly guaranteed that you'll return to life, just extremely unlikely that you won't), it likely would be seen more as a hindrance than anything else. But given that near-immortality is a fairly recent development (judging from the fact that death is permanent for most of Achaea's recorded history), and the fact that most people are aware of recent examples of permanent deaths (mostly in denizens), it would be reasonable for there to be still be some uncertainty and anxiety about death, even if you've died hundreds of times before.
    I remember there being an Ashtani event where their antagonist was cursed by the Dowager(was that her who did that?) with 'being forbidden from entering Maya's grace'. Anyone remember that? 

  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited October 2012
    The simple fact is that (much like in rl) there are fates far worse than death in Achaea. The difference being that there are far more of them. Those are the things to threaten folks with. Of course, the problem there is that 'I'll stop you from hunting', 'I'll kill your pets' and 'I'll scheme to have you outcitizened' are all more likely to be met with an ISSUE than a mature and meaningful RP exchange. This quandary is precisely why I suggested Hard Mode. I totally get why it was shut down, but I really do wish death mattered more in Achaea than it does. Right now, its slightly less convenient than death in WoW, which makes me sad.

    ETA: Sorry, I seem to have read the title of the OP and then gone off on a rant-tangent.  Here's my two cents:

    Denizens likely think that anybody who doesn't fear dying is nuts.  Nevermind death; no matter how much we wink and nudge one another saying 'You might not come back this time!' you will. And your character knows that he will.  That doesn't mean that being hit with a BrokenStar or Vivisected would be a bit of a laugh. It would effing hurt and probably have serious psychological impact.  Consider:

    "Do that again and I'll kill you."
    "Lol, why should I care?"
    "Because my dagger is laced with Voyria."
    "So? I'll come back."
    "Yes. But in between you'll bleed from every orifice, cough up wads of internal tissue and then convulse so hard it snaps your spine."

    Any casual response to the fearsome, violent act of being killed is nothing short of hideous RP.  I'm not up on my high horse; I'm as guilty as anyone of saying "Can you jab me with epteth please?".  I think that the only way to change this dynamic is with harsher mechanical sanctions on death. Then, as you say, "Death before dishonor" would actually mean more than 'lol, why should I care?'.
    Post edited by Sylvance on
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • SothantosSothantos Member Posts: 459 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited October 2012

    Sylvance said:
    Any casual response to the fearsome, violent act of being killed is nothing short of hideous RP.  I'm not up on my high horse; I'm as guilty as anyone of saying "Can you jab me with epteth please?".  I think that the only way to change this dynamic is with harsher mechanical sanctions on death. Then, as you say, "Death before dishonor" would actually mean more than 'lol, why should I care?'.
    I disagree. In a world where I have this --

    Your Deaths
    -----------
    To Adventurers:      2049 To Denizens:         449 To Misadventure:      64

    -- on my stat stats, it makes perfect sense for my character to not be afraid much of death simply because of how often he faces it. Sure, the voyria death might have been terrifying the first time around, but after the first few hundred deaths, it makes sense for them to simply get used to it as a part of life, because it is a part of life for my character and most of the people he interacts with. I don't at all consider it terrible roleplay for characters to learn not to fear death, since their experiences teach them not to. It would be rather silly to roleplay a character who freaks out every time they risk dying when everyone else is dying and coming back around them.

    edit: typo!
    Luhar
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited October 2012
    Sylvance said:
    Any casual response to the fearsome, violent act of being killed is nothing short of hideous RP.  I'm not up on my high horse; I'm as guilty as anyone of saying "Can you jab me with epteth please?".  I think that the only way to change this dynamic is with harsher mechanical sanctions on death. Then, as you say, "Death before dishonor" would actually mean more than 'lol, why should I care?'.

    Sothantos said:

    It would be rather silly to roleplay a character who freaks out every time they risk dying when everyone else is dying and coming back around them.

    Minor disagreement to the above; I'm not suggesting that you need to freak out each time you're faced with death, merely that given the choice between dying and not dying people should be heavily biased towards the latter, not as close to indifference as many seem to be.  Equally, the Voyria death specifically says that it's terrifying.  every time.  I don't think you could 'get used to' being voyria'd any more than you could 'get used to' waterboarding.

    Fair point to the rest of your post!

    ETA: No idea what's going on with the quotes; edited for legibility.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • LuharLuhar Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited October 2012
    Death is an inconvenience in Achaea, similar to losing at roulette or having to walk deep into a subdivision to get something. Adventurers who die with any regularity learn very quickly that 100% of the times they prayed for salvation, they were granted new life. Add to that the Divine resurrecting their chosen, the flame of Yggdrasil, starburst, soulcage, transfuse consciousness and grove/devotion/alchemy resurrections and you have a stack of reasons why dying isn't much of a problem for most people.

    The same idea applies to any injury, in my opinion. I'm frequently asked and asking "Do you mind if I break your legs?" or something similar, that in our society could only be taken as a joke and never a serious request. I go hunting (a ridiculously callous and cruel thing to do when you think about it) for mhun or orcs or whatever and I get beaten to within an inch of my life, jabbed with the most deadly venom known to mortals, tied up, stabbed, cut, bashed, tripped, blinded, paralysed, I bleed enough during one trip to be exsanguinated forty times over and yet I see it all as a duty and even an opportunity for group bonding rather than some horrible fate.

    Applying normal RL ideas to Achaea can work in a lot of cases, but there are hundreds of occasions when in-game events will, by real standards, be utterly ridiculous and outlandish. In under a month, you can go from a feeb with basic brawling ability to a Transcendant martial artist telepath or a dual-wielding, heart-eating necromancer, but you can't also pick up the ability to call a guardian angel to yuor side. You have to "forget" your previous skills first. Gods walk around shooting brightly coloured fire at people that displease them, their followers calling on Divine power to worldburn as often or more often than they take the tmie to engage in theological debate.

    Death is just another area where real-life morals and ideas don't work in achaea's setting. If a character expresses surprise at someone's nonchalance toward death, then my IC response is that they'll learn soon enouch.

    EDIT - To actually address the OP properly, I don't think denizens are really any different to adventurers. Most of them die and then come back after praying (which I'm sure is established in writing somewhere), so what is really surprising is when someone dies and then doesn't come back (apart from city guards, who apparently only get one chance, unless the re-hiring cost is considered danger pay or something). When a denizen properly dies and doesn't come back, it's a bit of a shock, because everyone -always- comes back.
    SylvanceChryenthEilonaEld
  • JiraishinJiraishin trapped in a thawing block of iceMember Posts: 1,246 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Some of the denizens on Minos might be relevant to this thread.

    Ask Aristia about Eschtar after Arsentar is deposed. Eschtar apparently died fighting Arsentar, then prayed for salvation and returned. Arsentar is trapped as an undead shade, pinned by an arrow and unable to pray.

    I've yet to complete the quest, so I'm unsure of details beyond those.
    ________________________
    Regular sleep is for the weak.
    I ninja'd description ninja
    Eld
  • DelphinusDelphinus Member Posts: 896 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited October 2012
    @Luhar: You could accept all that, but it would make for a very cheap and videogamey experience -- or you could play a character who doesn't take those things for granted, and doesn't operate by game-mechanic guarantees. It's the difference between "I'll probably be fine" and "I'll always be fine." While the latter can be used for story purposes (see @Jiraishin's post), it usually lessens the drama of a given situation.

    A similar idea would be the scale of Achaea's world. You can travel from one end to the other in Achaean hours, but because it's more fun to think of a vast, sprawling world, we try to avoid exact units. Keep it vague, don't give it much thought, and go for what's atmospheric.
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Have they ever tried introducing permadeath as an April Fools joke?
    NimNellaundraSylvance
  • XithXith Member Posts: 2,588 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The entire death mechanic is something I think would be altered in my 'dream MUD'. Where if medical attention is not received fast enough during the 'bleeding out' period, you literally wander the halls of the underworld and have to quest your way out. The first time I ever died in Achaea I panicked, and people were like 'it's okay, that happens plenty'.
    But due to intense combat situations native to the game, fast and repetitive resurrection with exp loss is the only sensible way to handle it. Most high level people don't rush into death without regard at least.
    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited October 2012
    Xith said:
    The entire death mechanic is something I think would be altered in my 'dream MUD'. Where if medical attention is not received fast enough during the 'bleeding out' period, you literally wander the halls of the underworld and have to quest your way out. The first time I ever died in Achaea I panicked, and people were like 'it's okay, that happens plenty'.
    But due to intense combat situations native to the game, fast and repetitive resurrection with exp loss is the only sensible way to handle it. Most high level people don't rush into death without regard at least.
    Reminds me of the first MUD I ever played - I obviously won't name it here.  The helpfile on death said something along the lines of "If you think life's tough in this world, wait until you experience death."  Basically, unless you were resurrected by a high-level player (and I do mean high-level) you would spend literal hours questing to come back to life.  It made you think very carefully about whether you wanted to wander into that cave/insult that player/attack that mob.

    Still, @Luhar made a good point - perhaps death is simply a place where we have to say 'That's how Achaea's different to RL'.  When I think about this thread in the context of a few other threads that have come up recently (specifically the one on the fact that every Achaean knows (of) every other Achaean, the one on permadeath, and @Delphinus comment above about the size/scale of the game) I think that most of my objections with Achaea come down to this: I seem to have lost the sense of awe, wonder and yes!, fear that once made the game really exciting.  It's like that horrible moment in a sandbox console game when you look up and think "I've done this. Time for a new game."

    Perhaps I ought to join the Mark and switch to 'Hard Mode' that way ;)
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,341 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Herenicus said:
    Have they ever tried introducing permadeath as an April Fools joke?
    ANNOUNCE NEWS #XXXX
    Date: 04/01/2013 at 12:07
    From: Cardan, The Curious
    To  : Everyone
    Subj: Realism

    We have rolled out a very special mechanic for the realists in you - Permadeath! With this, whenever you die, you lose your character forever and will need to create a new character. Now, to balance out this life-changing feature, we have discussed this with several of our staff and we have agreed to remove XP loss from death! 

    Now, of course, there may be some people who don't like realism. We understand that, even though a mindset like that breaks immersion. For those people, we have a new major trait for you - Maya's Protection. While you have this trait, you will not experience permadeath, but you will be affected by XP loss on death. Furthermore, since this 'trait' breaks a lot of suspension of disbelief(I mean, look at all those npcs who died without getting to pray), your character will incur a major loss in credibility for each month he has this trait, only regaining that loss in credibility if he removes the trait from his list.

    Enjoy your new realistic game!

    Penned by my hand etc. etc.

    JiraishinSylvanceLuharJonathin
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,174 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    No xp loss with permadeath... sounds like a good deal to me
    image
    Synbios
  • JonathinJonathin A hole in the groundMember Posts: 2,881 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Sena: That was Sarranda and now that event is all done and over with and I don't even know how it ended. wweeeepp

    (Mudlet Clan): Nylian says, "Mosr's on the case. Fix incoming."

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