Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Freudian Demons/Angels

Started by Thor Olavsrud, March 15, 2002, 04:32:14 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Thor Olavsrud

Since my copy of The Sorcerer's Soul arrived the other day, I've been pondering Demons and Angels. I'm thinking about a game in which demons are defined as the expression of Sorcerers' Ids and Angels as their Super Egos.

I think this would set up a nice tension between primal desires and responsibility to the greater community, while still allowing Angels to be terrible and not altogether healthy for a sorcerer that interacts with them.

So, has anyone tried this and how did it turn out?

Russell Hoyle

Hey Thor, what a great idea!

Nice triad there:
ID: demon
EGO: self/sorcerer

Would it be your intention that the sorcerer had insight into the nature of theses manifestations (ie he is aware of their basis in himself),


Would this rather be the underpinning (perhaps to be discovered alarmingly at some later date) of the more traditional 'demons 'n angels' schtick?

What would the explanation for only certain individuals producing these outwards manifestations of internal drives? (ie what would keep 'sorcery' rare)


Ron Edwards

Hi Thor,

I agree that it's a good idea.

I assume you've seen the mailing-list quotes in The Sorcerer's Soul, when Ran and others went all kooky about Jungian Sorcerer. Make sure and drop by the mailing list archives on the site for the full discussion.

Now if we're talking about Sigmund, on the other hand, I think the first order of business is to decide whether we mean The Man Himself (The Interpretation of Dreams, Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, and Civilization and its Discontents) or the nigh-upon cult of Freudianism, as begun mainly by Anna Freud and perpetrated further by the institution of psychiatry during the middle 20th century.

Just about everyone is familiar with the latter, but I've discovered very few people to know much about the former - and for instance, I was astounded upon reading actual Freud how powerful and sensible much of it is, and how different it was from "Freudianism."

My other concern is how Humanity works, because in some ways, it might be construed as Freud's dictum, "To love and to work." In other words, screw happiness or whatever vague ideal you pose about with, and get down to the business of living (OK, that's kind of a hip-pocket Californian paraphrase, I admit.) The trouble with such a Humanity definition is that it's wholly internal - one of the elements of Sorcerer that is often hard for others to grasp is that Humanity must make sense across characters, not simply within them.

For instance, at least two mini-supplement applications have defined Humanity as something like "My commitment to my goals," or "Emotional intensity." The problem is that the actions to prompt Humanity checks or gains can shift about like a weathercock. "Oh, that doesn't give me a Humanity check, because I'm not as emotionally intense about that any more." Basically, Humanity is lost and Preference of the Moment is crowned in its place.

Therefore, how can Humanity be construed that's consistent with the "love and work" but is not a weathercock in terms of values? My first guess would be that neurosis is harmful to oneself and to others, and that neurotic actions which produce that harm get Humanity checks, and conversely actions which repair that harm (caused by oneself or by others) get Humanity gain rolls.