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Author Topic: Fury and Stimulate  (Read 2958 times)

Chocobo_Fan

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Fury and Stimulate
« on: February 21, 2012, 01:55:26 PM »

These are two of my favorite techniques, though there is something I find a bit confusing about them:

The descriptions of Fury and Stimulate say that they work by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (this technically makes them very similar to a number of narcotic drugs, but that's neither here nor there). While this makes sense in most cases, how in the world do they work on Luca and Rajav, who don't have physical brains? And what about Malis, a shadowling? Surely her brain chemistry -- if shadowlings even have brains -- is wildly different than those of fleshy creatures.

(This could also tie in to the question of how Rajav is able to train his strength when he has no physical muscles to exercise, come to think of it.)
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 07:33:39 PM »

The descriptions of Fury and Stimulate say that they work by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (this technically makes them very similar to a number of narcotic drugs, but that's neither here nor there). And what about Malis, a shadowling? Surely her brain chemistry -- if shadowlings even have brains -- is wildly different than those of fleshy creatures.
I don't understand why you assume that shadowlings have "widely different" brains.  Even though humans and lizards are vastly different, they both have brain chemistry that uses hormones like adrenaline.

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 05:35:46 AM »

Your comparison is not accurate. Shadowlings don't have a central nervous cord, which means they're a different phylum of animal at the very least -- and it seems quite likely wouldn't even be classed as animals. They do have a digestive system of sorts, but it seems very different from ours, and it looks like they don't actually need to eat physical food. They seem to sustain themselves by feeding off of emotions. How in the world would you classify something like that? "Multicellular sympatroph"? And I mean, do they even have brains as we know them? They seem to be made up largely of that intangible smoke stuff (psy energy, perhaps?), and their "head" may just be a solidified form of that for all we know. I think part of the problem is that we just know so little about shadowling biology.

That was kind of a tangent, though -- the main point that inspired me to create this thread was how it worked on spirits.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 05:38:53 AM by Chocobo_Fan »
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 04:13:01 PM »

Your comparison is not accurate. Shadowlings don't have a central nervous cord, which means they're a different phylum of animal at the very least -- and it seems quite likely wouldn't even be classed as animals.
Aren't shadowlng just giant brains held in a round black bodies?  The shadowlings don't need a spine because their arms are practically attached to their bodies.  It is like not using a spine to use your eyes.

How in the world would you classify something like that? "Multicellular sympatroph"? And I mean, do they even have brains as we know them? They seem to be made up largely of that intangible smoke stuff (psy energy, perhaps?), and their "head" may just be a solidified form of that for all we know.
You are putting way too much focus on the smoke part of their bodies. The smoke on a shadowling is like hair on your head.  Saying a shadowling is "made up largely of that intangible smoke stuff" is like saying a bear is made up largely of fur.

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 04:46:51 PM »

Quote
Aren't shadowlng just giant brains held in a round black bodies?  The shadowlings don't need a spine because their arms are practically attached to their bodies.  It is like not using a spine to use your eyes.

Their lack of a central nervous cord is actually very important if we're looking at evolutionary similarities. Spines are only possessed by animals in the phylum Chordata. Phylums are very high-level divisions; organisms in other phylums often have radically different physiology. This is especially important because we're talking about brain chemistry; organisms without spinal cords must have different ways of transmitting brain signals to their bodies. Even if their brains have the same receptors, it could have a different effect, or they could use a subtly different neurotransmitter.

However, since the skills do not magically produce the necessary chemicals, only entice the body to produce them, it is possible that Stimulate simply releases a different chemical for shadowlings that has the same effect, if necessary.

(In fact, this raises an interesting question: do shadowlings produce adrenaline at all? Since they are so psy-affine, it would make more sense if their bodies released some kind of psy-boosting chemical instead.)

Quote
You are putting way too much focus on the smoke part of their bodies. The smoke on a shadowling is like hair on your head.  Saying a shadowling is "made up largely of that intangible smoke stuff" is like saying a bear is made up largely of fur.
Hm, I suppose that is true. However, how can you be certain their heads are the same as human flesh? The fact that they refer to mammals as "fleshlings" implies that they do not possess it. In fact, judging from how they call themselves "shadowlings" and are naturally affine to the shadow element, it is not completely unprecedented to assume that they are, in fact, made up wholly of some kind of shadow matter.


Edit: Just to fix the bbcode (there was a "=" instead of a "]"). Ert.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:53:53 PM by Ertxiem »
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fourinone

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 05:32:35 PM »

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. The argument shouldn't be "why does stimulate work on shadowlings if their brains are potentially different?", but "stimulate does work on shadowlings; therefore, shadowlings likely have brains similar to human brains". This is backed up by the fact that Duvalier was able to easily communicate mentally with Malis despite never having met a shadowling before, whereas a scorpion's mind was "a tangled knot of impulses that are utterly alien" to him.
That, and applying real world logic to a fantasy setting is fundamentally pointless.  :P  (But it sure doesn't stop us, huh?)
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 10:25:06 PM »

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. The argument shouldn't be "why does stimulate work on shadowlings if their brains are potentially different?", but "stimulate does work on shadowlings; therefore, shadowlings likely have brains similar to human brains". This is backed up by the fact that Duvalier was able to easily communicate mentally with Malis despite never having met a shadowling before, whereas a scorpion's mind was "a tangled knot of impulses that are utterly alien" to him.
Good point.  The minds of spriggats and shadowlings weren't treated any differently then those of humans, while Tikki's and the stone golem's minds were treated as "alien".

(In fact, this raises an interesting question: do shadowlings produce adrenaline at all? Since they are so psy-affine, it would make more sense if their bodies released some kind of psy-boosting chemical instead.)
I don't imagine that shadowlings would have large adrenal glands.  Adrenaline is supposed to help an animal with its fight or flight response, but shadowlings don't use physical abilities to move or fight.  Adrenaline won't help a shadowling flee, because they use their minds to float instead of using legs like most creatures.  Adrenaline also won't help a shadowling fight, because shadowlings, with the exception of Niven, don't use strength to fight.

Hm, I suppose that is true. However, how can you be certain their heads are the same as human flesh? The fact that they refer to mammals as "fleshlings" implies that they do not possess it. In fact, judging from how they call themselves "shadowlings" and are naturally affine to the shadow element, it is not completely unprecedented to assume that they are, in fact, made up wholly of some kind of shadow matter.
It seems like shadowlings and spriggats call humans "fleshlings" because humans have a much softer exterior than the neither creatures.

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 05:52:59 AM »

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. The argument shouldn't be "why does stimulate work on shadowlings if their brains are potentially different?", but "stimulate does work on shadowlings; therefore, shadowlings likely have brains similar to human brains". This is backed up by the fact that Duvalier was able to easily communicate mentally with Malis despite never having met a shadowling before, whereas a scorpion's mind was "a tangled knot of impulses that are utterly alien" to him.

Hm, good point. I feel silly for not thinking of it that way. So then, they must still have dopamine receptors and the like that heighten their psy capabilities when triggered, just like humans.

Well, now that that issue is cleared up, back to the original topic: How does it work on Rajav and Luca? Placebo effect?
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 02:00:15 PM »

The descriptions of Fury and Stimulate say that they work by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (this technically makes them very similar to a number of narcotic drugs, but that's neither here nor there). While this makes sense in most cases, how in the world do they work on Luca and Rajav, who don't have physical brains?
Duvalier: "How is it that you can wield a spear?"
Rajav: "Though I am intangible?" [He shrugs] "The world, she is full of mystery, eh?"

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 05:53:35 PM »

Aw, it's no fun if you just go with "the universe works in mysterious ways!" :p (Though actually, in that particular case, there's a very easy explanation: his spear is clearly spectral as well, so it makes sense that he is capable of interacting with it as if it were a normal object.) We should fanwank to come up with a plausible explanation!

I'll throw my wild guess into the ring: The skills work through a placebo effect of sorts. Spirits have strong memory impressions of who they were when they were alive, and though the skills cannot physically induce chemical highs, they can recall a memory of what it would be like. Since memory and self-perception clearly affect spirits a great deal, this is what heightens their powers. So the skills would somewhat similar to hypnosis in that case.
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 07:35:03 PM »

Spirits have brains and muscles like humans, but those body parts are made up of psy energy instead of solid matter.  Fury and  Stimulate should work the same on spirits as it does on other races.

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 05:21:19 AM »

I don't follow. Fury and Stimulate work by physically stimulating centers of the brain to release chemicals. Spirits have no physical brains to affect.
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SmartyPants

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 02:18:04 PM »

Sorry if this doesn't make sense and that there is little to no evidence to support it, but this how I always imagened spirits.  Spirits are made up of psy energy instead of solid matter.  This energy somehow takes on similar properties as regular matter.  The molecules and atoms that are made of psy energy are almost the same as regular molecules and atoms.  That means that psy energy atoms that make up muscles, brains, and endocrine glands would work the same as those of humans.

Chocobo_Fan

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2012, 07:05:15 PM »

So basically, spirits are functionally identical to how they were in life, but are simply made up of a different substance? Perhaps...but that substance change is pretty significant, since psy energy is intangible and ethereal. Something that stimulates chemical releases in an ordinary, physical human body could conceivably work the same way for a body that's made up of magic intangible energy, but it's a bit of a stretch. Even if that energy is molded into having the exact same impressions of glands, neurons, etc., they're made up of completely different materials and would therefore likely operate on completely different principles.
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Ertxiem

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Re: Fury and Stimulate
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2012, 05:01:01 AM »

If we assume that spirits are unconsciously created by humans, then we may assume that the fury and stimulate are channelled from the spirit to the psy, thus enhancing the psy abilities. Resulting in an enhancement of the spirit abilities. The downside of this explanation is that it would seem plausible that both the human that created that spirit and the other spirits created by the same human would also have an enhancement of their abilities.

If we assume that the brain can be seen as a physical construct of the essence (soul?) of the person (human or not) and assuming now that the spirits are dead people, then fury and stimulate will have an effect on the essence that is reflected in the human brain as described in the game. So, the description in the game is correct for humans and it's presented like this because it's given to Duvalier that is a human.
In the case of non-humans, we will have a similar process applicable to the essence of the person, perhaps with physiological effects (in spriggats, for instance) or without physiological effects (in the case of spirits). In shadowlings we can go either way.
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