Dead or Undead?

Jimmini

Member
I wouldn't ask this question in the context of basically every other game, but since there's serious thought behind everything Bare Mettle creates and decides, I guess there's reason to be found behind this too.

Why can undead be killed?

Their decayed bodies aren't capable to set themselves in motion anymore and the only reason they do move is some sort of thaumaturgy. But since the bodies themselves are not responsible for their own movement, why would a blow to their heads stop them? They are basically as damaged as possible already. In Exanima's pre-release videos, skeletons can be observed how they reassemble themselves after their bones get scattered along the floor, which, ironically, does make sense. Why don't they do that anymore? Is that "feature" just not ready yet? And why can't the undead with flesh still on their bones stand up anymore, but the ones without can? And what about the golems? I don't understand what the slight denting of plate could possibly do against the effects of taumaturgy?
 

Roryn

Member
This is very interesting to consider, but I'm not sure about how right you are about the bodies themselves not being responsible for their own movement. I thought that the whole necromancy thing was mind thaumaturgy, and that the thamaturges sort of trapped or left in the "transcendent mind" of those dead. So I think that the only thaumaturgy involved there is trapping the mind of the exanimate, hence they still move on their own and act on their own.

I know that doesn't completely answer the question of why they can be "killed again". I can only assume from there.
 

Jimmini

Member
... I'm not sure about how right you are about the bodies themselves not being responsible for their own movement.
Well, I don't think decayed muscles are any good for pulling anymore. But even if they were, skeletons don't have them at all, so there must be more than a soul only guiding it's body. The souls themselves would have to have some sort of thaumaturgic power to actually move the corpses. I don't want to venture too far into the lands of traditional science here though. Neither is it really relevant to my actual question.
The point is, the souls and not the bodies do the walking. They are not dependent on the presence of muscles or any other mechanical instruments. Otherwise, a soul couldn't do much with a rotten body. But since the state of the body is irrelevant (after all, souls can be trapped in any kind of organic and inorganic objects, ie. golems), how can I stop a soul by altering it's vessel? Also, what happens to the souls when their bodies "die" again? Can souls lose their conciousness? Why can exanimates use a weapon but not a doorhandle? And will we ever see flying chairs and talking heads in Exanima?
 

Roryn

Member
Funny that you mention wondering about what happens to a soul when the body dies, because it sounds a lot like what one of the books in the first level was talking about (the one about the "crazy theories on the ghost world"). Maybe that could contain somewhat of a possible answer to part of your question.
 

Jimmini

Member
Funny that you mention wondering about what happens to a soul when the body dies, because it sounds a lot like what one of the books in the first level was talking about (the one about the "crazy theories on the ghost world"). Maybe that could contain somewhat of a possible answer to part of your question.
I don't remember exactly what was written there, but my question was more about what happens with the soul when I "kill" (for the lack of a better term) the already dead body. The body is dead for quite some time already when I come to this place, I assume. The only reason the souls are bound to these bodies is, like you said, necromancy (or similar). They can't leave the body like the first time they died. But since they can't leave the body, why don't they stand up again? Hence my question about the possibility for a soul to become "unconscious". I guess there's just no answer about this in Exanima (yet).
 
Perhaps the skeletons in the current game still have tendons and other such tissues attaching the bones together still? Also the game still isn't finished, we don't have dismemberment or any of those sorts of things yet. We don't really know how durable these "zombies" are.
 

ZaratanCho

Insider
I seriously doubt there is an actual soul attached to them, an echo of it maybe or some other energy.

Haven't read through but skeletons were shattering in the SG KS video when killed and were able to re-assemble. I think the shattering part at least is going to be implemented eventually.
 

Tottel

Insider
I don't believe that only thaumaturgy is responsible for their actions.
If that were true, then why do they all have different personalities?

With that argument made, I believe we also can't assume anything else. :D
 

Salexiss

Member
I think, actually, everything is pretty easy about the bodies. Imagine that thaumaturgy creates an artificial "spirit body" that is based on the soul of the deceased person, who's body they are using. With an impact to the physical body it might desynchronize with the spiritual "echo" (or call it however you want), resulting in lowering performance (limping movements, inability to use a hand, etc...) or complete cease of functioning, that looks like your everyday dead body.
And skeletons not shattering might be the same principle of a "spiritual body", that will hold together the bones, until they desynchronize completely (imagine blowing away a skull and a sword hand of a skeleton, leaving him with a shield and no means of attacking you, other than ramming in random directions, hoping to luckily ram into you) ;)
 
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asdorn

Member
I can sort of explain the zombies getting knocked out with a blow to the head. The way Necromancy works is with the Mind form of thaumaturgy, the Thaumaturge draws the desceased's soul back to the living world using their latent thaumaturgic power. So the person's soul is still in there and they are still operating the body, maybe the sould resides in the head. This is explained here http://www.baremettle.com/games/ where they say:
"For example, a necromancer would use powerful Mind thaumaturgy to evoke the transcended mind of the dead, causing them to take control of their remains. The revived dead control their decayed bodies by means of their own dormant capacity for thaumaturgy."

And the other dead/undead could just be different strengths of the spell. The thaumaturges who resurrected the dead probably only made them pretty basic so they would be dangerous enough to deter others who stumbled upon the dungeon, but still requiring little effort to make.

My theory for the golems is that they are basically possessed suits of armor. Damaging the armor enough would be enough to shake the power from the suit. But I haven't really checked them out that much yet, so just a theory.
 

Jimmini

Member
I doubt these souls to be dependent on the presence of a rotten head (or even an empty skull), but even if, why would a blow to their head impede them in further possessing the body? Not to mention that they can be "killed" through other means than just hitting their head. Wouldn't a soul have to consist of matter to be able to be affected by it's physical surroundings, e.g. a hammer? And like I said, as the state of the body they control doesn't seem to matter, why would further damage change that?

Your theory about golems losing access to their power source sounds plausible, though I can't imagine that hitting their feet to somehow have an impact on the crystal or its socket (should that indeed be their power source).
 

asdorn

Member
I was thinking that when resurrected the necromancer would need to tie it to something. To keep it in the living world; sort of like an anchor for a ship. So maybe while the souls dormant Thaumaturgic power is operating is being used to control the limbs. When a limb or the torso is hit a bit of the power is severed from the soul weakening the anchor's grip on the soul it; when the power runs out the soul vanishes and the zombie turns into a corpse. The head would be affected the most when hit because that is the anchor and would be destabilized the most when hit there. Admittedly I don't have an explanation for why the anchor would be the head and not the foot or elbow or something else. Maybe because Thaumaturgy is conducted in the brain and then sent elsewhere through will, so the soul would be most stable where the power is normally housed?
 

Salexiss

Member
I was thinking that when resurrected the necromancer would need to tie it to something. To keep it in the living world; sort of like an anchor for a ship. So maybe while the souls dormant Thaumaturgic power is operating is being used to control the limbs. When a limb or the torso is hit a bit of the power is severed from the soul weakening the anchor's grip on the soul it; when the power runs out the soul vanishes and the zombie turns into a corpse. The head would be affected the most when hit because that is the anchor and would be destabilized the most when hit there. Admittedly I don't have an explanation for why the anchor would be the head and not the foot or elbow or something else. Maybe because Thaumaturgy is conducted in the brain and then sent elsewhere through will, so the soul would be most stable where the power is normally housed?
Well, I basically meant exactly this ^
Just didn't make an elaborate enough explanation, as at that time thought it would suffice.
Thank you.
 

MrDetonia

Member
Perhaps the mind bound to the body (in whatever form) can only withstand so much punishment before the connection breaks due to stress and lack of concentration. Whatever state the host body is in to begin with would seem irellevant if that were the case.
Or maybe your own dormant capacity for thaumaturgy allows you to do thaumaturgical damage to the mind bound to the body; again this doesn't require the host body to be in any specific condition - flesh or metal.
 

Don Kanaille

Insider
My personal theory would be something like this: When you make something move that otherwise could not, you infuse it with magic. But that magic is not an endless power source, at least not usually. The more destructive force you put on a body, the more magic energy it takes to keep that body functioning. If you damage it enough, the energy runs out and the being collapses.

This works for both the undead and the golems. The golems are quite clearly run by a power supply, and while you dont outright destroy the machine, putting enough force to it will eventually drain the battery. Kinda of how the powered armor also runs dry eventually, but more sophisticated given that the golems only collapse from outside force, not from their own performance.

While there are likely differences in the manufacturing of the regular undead, the skeletons and the golems, the overall principle seems sound and is likely intertwined with necromancy in varying degrees (yes, also the golems). While some practices may just keep a soul from passing on, some may create an echo or just basic concience that follows orders, you need to infuse it with magic to make it work, and magic bound this way is likely to have a limit at some point. If a Skeleton can put itself back together after getting shattered, that likely requires a lot of energy and hints at a powerful Thaumaturge. If a corpse just sloppily walks around while still rotting, the powering magic involved is likely of much lesser quantity... amd given that a strike to the head is a much more servere blow than a cut on the arm, heavy hits to an undead drain the magic a lot faster than light blows, causing a quicker failure.
 
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