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Offline gottgen

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"Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« on: February 27, 2004, 07:32:51 AM »
07:42:57 [gottgen] And then there's Clerical magic
07:43:02 [gottgen] *groan*
07:43:29 [gottgen] Making that mesh with the "scientific" theory I'm using
07:46:00 [gottgen] I'm still deciding if gods are present, or just symbolic
07:46:23 [gottgen] Working on the idea that they are created and sustained by belief...
07:46:28 [manfred] ...or faith-created...
07:46:32 [manfred] Yes.
07:46:48 [gottgen] But not positive about how substantial they are
07:46:56 [gottgen] sentient or not?
07:46:57 [manfred] Or if not created, then perhaps influenced.
07:47:03 [gottgen] right
07:47:14 [manfred] Hmmm... gods that are not sentient?
07:47:22 [gottgen] Or Lovecraftian...just outer entities
07:47:33 [gottgen] that feed on attention
07:47:37 [manfred] Now that is a question...
07:48:20 [gottgen] What I meant by non-sentient...
07:48:31 [gottgen] If a priest talks to his god...
07:48:50 [gottgen] Is the god really talking...or is the priest just hearing what he wants?
07:49:27 [gottgen] Does the god "grant" miracles, or is a miracle just a ritual the priest performs subconsciously?
07:49:35 [gottgen] lol
07:49:52 [manfred] A very old idea that is... "God said that, do it now!"
07:50:21 [gottgen] I HAVE decided they will never take on form...
07:50:41 [manfred] But, could they be something like a "machine", giving the necessary power to the mortals?
07:50:42 [gottgen] But they can possess someone, creating an avatar
07:51:23 [manfred] The "non-sentient gods" thing has hit me...
07:51:32 [gottgen] That's kind of my thought...like a psychic battery powered by its believers
07:51:45 [gottgen] But does it have a will of its own?
07:51:56 [manfred] Perhaps they are something like animals... gigantic, immortal, but animals in its way.
07:52:26 [manfred] Another kind of a life-form... found the prayers to be good food.
07:52:52 [manfred] But they must return something, or the prayers will stop coming.
07:52:52 [gottgen] So they hang out...feed...provide for their cattle sometimes...
07:52:59 [manfred] Yes.
07:53:00 [gottgen] lol
07:53:10 [gottgen] Good, good...
07:53:19 [gottgen] but they really have no will...
07:53:32 [gottgen] just do what their majority tells them
07:54:01 [gottgen] as long as they get fed
07:54:08 [manfred] No, they may have will... just no _real_ interest in our matters.
07:54:20 [manfred] But it may be even so...
07:54:41 [manfred] (Just imagined Jabba Hut. Ouch.)
07:55:13 [gottgen] You're really helping me just talking it all out
07:55:38 [manfred] *bows* It sometimes happens here in the Citadel.
07:56:00 [gottgen] So, if a priest invites his deity to make him an avatar...
07:56:15 [gottgen] He really just becomes a conduit...
07:56:39 [gottgen] The creature supplies the power, and directs somewhat emotionally...
07:57:03 [gottgen] but the priest directs alot of the reasoning...
07:57:25 [gottgen] Thinking he hears the god's will.
07:57:41 [manfred] He becomes linked with it on some subconscious level... changing the personality more to the percieved ideals.
07:57:59 [gottgen] And as long as the congregation keeps following and worshipping...
07:57:59 [manfred] But also more distant to us mortals.
07:58:14 [gottgen] Which they would to a deity incarnate...
07:58:23 [gottgen] it's happy.
07:58:41 [manfred] Did anyone say, that gods do not care for us? He was right.
07:58:58 [gottgen] heh
07:59:22 [manfred] You know... *topic split*
07:59:40 [manfred] Apply centuries or millenia...
08:00:33 [manfred] ...and imagine a little "backwards-flow"...
08:00:48 [manfred] ...of intellect I mean.
08:00:58 [gottgen] Like the god learning from it's followers?
08:01:07 [manfred] Gods could become intelligent in this way!
08:01:08 [gottgen] and becoming more sentient?
08:01:16 [gottgen] not bad...
08:01:29 [gottgen] Or they could get a "taste" for certain feelings...
08:01:31 [manfred] Now that is a history...
08:01:49 [gottgen] and that's where their "alignment" would come from
08:01:52 [manfred] Ah, the usual Good/Evil stuff, and others...
08:02:08 [gottgen] What if a god-form realised...
08:02:20 [gottgen] when it possessed an angry person...
08:02:29 [gottgen] and that person killed...
08:02:38 [gottgen] it released MORE mana from the body
08:02:47 [gottgen] than it ever got from worship alone?
08:03:19 [manfred] I like "average" settings where the background is completely different from what you would expect...
08:03:23 [manfred] Hmmm...
08:04:03 [gottgen] Well...one of my main plot ideas...
08:04:17 [manfred] What would it do then? Start killing the mortals? Or even feed on them directly?
08:04:20 [gottgen] Was having the group need to "birth" a god...
08:04:38 [gottgen] I thought it would maybe glut on wars, actually
08:04:49 [gottgen] But they would have to birth a god...
08:05:12 [gottgen] to counteract another, old god resurfacing...
08:05:28 [gottgen] Or possibly a benevolent god going bad?
08:06:19 [manfred] This is to be one of the world-shattering campaigns...
08:06:42 [gottgen] Yep...and if it's an old god...
08:07:01 [gottgen] it could be a source for a past upheaval...
08:07:14 [gottgen] but i kept thinking that's been overdone...
08:07:42 [manfred] Again the "Old Banished God Returning" theme?
08:07:56 [manfred] Too old I am afraid.
08:07:57 [gottgen] yeah...kind of played out...
08:08:49 [manfred] And, well, the players have to be _very_ powerful to tangle with gods.
08:09:08 [gottgen] Yeah...but if they awaken a god...
08:09:15 [gottgen] get people to worship it...
08:09:34 [gottgen] or expose the other deity's intentions to its worshippers...
08:09:42 [gottgen] its real goals
08:09:56 [gottgen] They might deprive it of food if the worshippers lose faith.
08:09:58 [manfred] ...might mean significant rewards. Or problems. Or both.
08:10:08 [gottgen] I dunno
08:10:33 [gottgen] That would also mean them discovering the "truth" about the gods
08:10:51 [gottgen] If anyone would believe it
08:11:04 [manfred] Hmmm... the discovering of truth might be quite a quest in itself.

Thanks to Manfred for the great talk and the suggestion to post it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 11:46:44 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Ria Hawk

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"Gods" are just psychic animals?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2004, 02:46:24 PM »
This is a good idea.  Similar to one of my settings, where the belief of mortals created the gods, and faith was necessary to maintain their existance.  Hated, loved, or feared, didn't matter.  Actually, this is a lot like my idea, and gives me some more.  Kewlies.
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Offline gottgen

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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2004, 10:48:18 PM »
...glad to help.   :D

It's actually a fairly old idea in itself, I'm just trying to figure out a proper twist on it to include in my game setting.  

The idea that all gods are really just thought-forms created through the will of their followers is old as the hills in occult literature...the question has always been, "Is the god in control, or the mob defining it?"
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Offline Strolen

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"Gods" are just psychic animals?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2004, 11:24:56 PM »
Gods are created by faith. Without worshippers the slowly fade away. I like that they are just sort of batteries available to be recharged by worship and the strength of their worshippers and then can in turn give back power to them when called upon. All in all, even with much use of the power, the battery will gain more recharge then it has outgoing.

So, in the thinking that it is a blob of power that has only a basic level of sentience that is given by the intelligence, nature, and beliefs of the worshippers. Basically the power blob will be the god that embodies all the core beliefs. The blob would then only respond to those with the same 'faith' which is actually only a belief structure and the blob will only recognize traditions and such that have been practiced in its worship as it has been created.

Variations of the worship, as long as they are gradual, can take place and depending on if the worshippers continue to use the old ways the ways to worship will be increased. The worshippers may not know this so some close minded religions will be very strict and would be more effective...to say that they always clasp their hands twice, hail their god and then cast with their left hand, then their spells may be more effective because their god immediately recognizes these very defined actions.

Other people may have changed their traditionaly worshipping ways so the way to worship is a little broader and perhaps the spells could be slightly weakened by this since the sentient blob may not be as certain of the actions so it takes more time for it to make a decision on giving out the power. That is just a thought, don't like it.

The main thought I had on the changing of rituals and such is that if anybody ever found out that gods will adapt to their worshippers (instead of their worshippers adapting to the god because the worshippers define the god, right?) they could twist the other religions to their own.

Evil realizes that gods adapt to their worshippers. So they take their arch rival and set people to start worshipping the good god. They start out following all the good religion rules but then they slowly twist them, perhaps starting their own churches, and they slowly take those rituals and blacken them over time. If they had enough of these would they weaken the god, start transforming the sentience of the god to a darker form, would they create a new god, would a piece of the god split off when it gets twisted enough to join the other god?

I don't like the idea of death providing the god with more power.

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Offline gottgen

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The theory behind death=mana...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2004, 12:55:50 AM »
In my setting, and my personal belief, mana is just the energy that suffuses everything...we just manipulate it's form and behavior with ritual and force of will.

In the GURPS system, which I will be using, mana is used up as Fatigue...the more you use, the more tired you get; and eventually, if you don't rest, you start taking off life points until you die.  You're basically using your own strength to fuel the spell, unless you have some external source of mana to drain...a mana-storing object, a willing assistant, or a sacrifice.

Anyway, I was thinking this could explain war-gods and genocidal religious crusades...if the killing is done in the name of the god, even ritualisticly in some cases, it would feel the life force of the deceased increase the local mana for a minute...maybe reach out and grab it.  Such a large amount from one source could get addictive to the deity.

Of course, if its desires and demeanor are shaped by its followers, this would be distasteful to benevolent deities...maybe even sent back at the murdering follower as a backlash of energy?
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Offline EchoMirage

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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2004, 07:51:03 AM »
In my current campaign, there are basically three types of beings: those who generate belief, those who are able to accept belief and worship, and those who, through constructive interference of their souls' wavefronts reinforce their own being, neither worshipping nor worshipped.

Elves and dwarves are the third kind of being - they live long, and get stronger over time, their very existence reinforcing their reality, gradually building up power so that one day, they are abre to ... ascend. To a different state, a different kind of existence.

Humans, halflings, orcs, lizardfolk, what have you, generate belief: their souls discharge excessive energy that may be granted to a higher power, but are unable to store it. As they age, the flow of energy subsides until their patterns are unable to sustain themselves and they die of old age.

The last kind of being are the stock gods have risen from - immortal beings able to accept worship, their aura soaking up energy like a giant sponge, all the power at their disposal. They are unable to generate belief themselves, but can transfer some of their energy to others.
Those who are not worshipped are forced into a physical frame, becoming material, still eternal, but forced to draw sustenance by stealing the life energy of mortals - the lowliest form of involuntary blood sacrifice. Having forgotten what it is like to be a god, or having never experienced it, they yearn for something ... power, adoration, affection, respect, and insane because of their inablity to recieve enough, wandering the world, forcing others to obey, respect, or fear...
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Offline Alec_Shadowkin

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"Gods" are just psychic animals?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2004, 09:50:57 PM »
This is the generic style of faith that Terry Pratchett uses in his Discworld series. The idea is that gods and other faith-oriented personas such as the Grim Reaper or the Hogfather(Santa) only exist because people believe that they do. In his book The HogFather, the Hogfather is killed and with his absence, all the extra faith floating around allows for the creation of new things, like the monster that lives in your dryer and eats your socks.
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Offline MoonHunter

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"Gods" are just psychic animals?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2005, 08:48:37 AM »
In Glorantha, the world of RuneQuest and HeroQuest, the nature of Gods is spirit and mercantile based.  Power is a 3d6 stat in this game.  It can be increased by overcoming spirit forces or spell casting. Power not only empowers spells, but can be traded to dieties.

In Glorantha - You attune to a god, joining its cult, and you get certain perks. Your attunment generates belief to the god, and for that belief you get perks.

If you sacrifice energies to the god, a priest can give you "spirit magic".. one shot spells of pretty good power OR grant you normal spells (like Healing I-VI, Fireblade).  There are little spirits running about, which you can bind into objects and such. You can use them as an auxillary power source. You can also increase their power by sacrificing some of your own power to them.  

It is an excellent magic system and an interesting world. It is a pity that it fell to far second place behind DnD in the late 70s and never recovered (or that Call of Cthulu became so popular that Chaosium stopped pushing RQ so it slid even farther... so far that new things filled the fantasy gap).
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Offline MoonHunter

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Phillip
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2005, 03:03:17 PM »
You can just make your own

"Philip"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Philip" is an artificial poltergeist, an egrigor or artificial intelligence, created as an experiment by a group of Canadian parapsychologists during the 1970s. It was that as a result of their experiment that the human will can produce spirits through expectation, imagination and visualization. The members of the experiment purposed to attempt to create, through intense and prolonged concentration, a collective thought-form. All eight participants were members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research; and, none were psychical gifted.

The group consisted of Iris Owen, a former nurse and wife of the mathematician A. R. G. Owen; Margaret Sparrrows, former chairperson of MANSA in Canada, an organization of individuals with high IQs; Andy H., housewife; Lorne H., industrial designer and husband of Andy H.; Al P., heating engineer; Bernice M., accountant; Dorothy O' D., housewife and bookkeeper; and Sidney K., sociology student. Dr. A. R. G. Owen or Dr. Joel Whitton, psychologist, attended the group meetings.

The group first fabricated the fictitious identity, physical appearance, and personal history of their "Philip Aylesford" who was born in England in 1624 and followed an early military career. At the age of sixteen he was knighted. He had an illustrious role in the Civil War. He became a personal friend of Prince Charles (later Charles II) and worked for him as a secret agent. But Philip brought about his own undoing by having an affair with a Gypsy girl. When his wife found out she accused the girl of witchcraft, and the girl was burned at the stake. In despair Philip committed suicide in 1654 at the age of thirty.

The Owen group began conducting sittings in September 1972 during which they meditated, visualized, and discussed the details of Philip's life. Although no apparition ever appeared, occasionally some sitters felt a presence in the room; still others experienced vivid mental pictures of "Philip."

After going for months with no communication, the group attempted table-tilting through psychokinesis (PK). This activity, popularized during Spiritualism séances, involved people sitting around a table and placing their fingertips lightly on the surface. The table tilting practice was suggested by the British psychologist Kenneth J. Barcheldor who speculated that some of the group members might have skepticism concerning their venture. He felt the séance setting possibly would produce a communication with "Philip," which was the sitters' expectations.

Within weeks after changing to the séance setting the group established communication with "Philip." They engaged "Philip" in a table rapping session where he gave yes or no answers. "Philip" answered questions that were consistent with his fictitious history, but was unable to provide any information beyond that which the group had conceived. However, "Philip" did give other historically accurate information about real events and people. The Owen group theorized that this latter information came from their own collective unconsciousness.

One session was held in front of a live audience of fifty people and was videotaped to be shown on television. In other sessions sounds were heard in various parts of the room and lights blinked on and off. The levitation and movement of a table were recorded on film in 1974. "Philip" seemed to have a special rapport with Iris Owen. Some member thought they heard whispers in response to questions, but efforts to capture them on tape were inconclusive.

The group hoped their experiment would help in the study if the phenomena of poltergeists, hauntings, and Spiritualism. Their findings appear in the work Conjuring up Philip by Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrows (Harper & Row, 1976).

The results from the "Philip" experiment encouraged other groups in Toronto and Quebec to attempt similar ventures. The fictitious entities were "Lilith," a French Canadian spy during World War II; "Sebastian," a medieval alchemist; and "Axel," a man from the future. All personalities communicated through their own unique raps. A.G.H.

References
http://www.themystica.org/mystica/articles/p/philip.html

Shepard, Leslie A., ed.
Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 3rd ed.
Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1991.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen.
Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience.
New York: HarperCollins, 1991 [ISBN 0-06-250366-9]
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Offline MoonHunter

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"Gods" are just psychic animals?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2005, 05:21:15 PM »
Read the one above, that is the really intersting post. This is just a related thread. it is about Gods being manmade constructs. The above post applies to that one as well.

http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=1511.0

So if Gods are Psychcic animals or Human created, Demons should be more or less the same process. People's own doubts and fears made manifest. So The Dark becomes manifest as a diety because people believe in it.
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Offline manfred

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Re: "Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2006, 06:51:19 AM »
Since I do not know, where exactly to put this into, I'll put it here, among other alternative views on the topic of gods.


Now, just imagine that gods are fairly normal sentient beings, that use the power of the universe just like anyone else. The difference is, that they concentrate on the really big flows of energy, not the microscopic stuff of those considered 'magic-users'. The ebb and flow of the universe itself - what a great power! What potential! If you resist it, it will destroy you, but moving with it, and changing it in tiny ways can have amazing, world-shattering results.

Now the downside: this great flow of energy is SLOW, and aligning yourself to it will make you slow, too. You will loose grasp of the reality of mortals in exchange of something much bigger. Time will pass many, many times faster. You will see empires rising and falling, but will have diffilcuty noticing singular humans - such a shortlived affair anyway.

So what does it mean for the mortals? Gods could as well be animals, their behaviour beyond human understanding, impossible to contact. Various phenomena may be observed:
 - there can be 'evil', or corrupt priests, that keep their power despite of misbehaving and ignoring their own religion
 - "And thus the two gods battled for hundreds of years, ..." - a normal fight observed by mortals
 - "Then, the empire with all its sins fell into ruin as it was abandoned by the very gods. " - a god was interested in something for a while, then simply turned to other things. Of course, if a kingdom is supported for centuries, people tend to take it for granted.
 - gods may be actually mortal, just on a different timescale
 - also, gods do change, but much slower

The equation here is, the more power, the more distance from the quick life of mortals. Think of those archmages, that seem to endure for a long time as old men. You can add various beings on the ladder of power - the more powerful, the stranger they will seem.
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Offline LithTheBlade

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Re: "Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2006, 02:54:25 PM »
OK, lets get some more ideas into this. Gods are beings, either immortal or mortal is not the question. Gods are obviously sentient, even if animals. Animals think on a more primal scale than do humans. They still need food, water, and clean air. As do humans. Even ants are sentient. They are simply on a machine like brain frequency. If you pay close attention to any form of bible or religios book, who wrote them?

Man did. Therefore there are flaws. If gods are suppose to be perfect beings, then why do their followers wage war on one another? Good gods are simply the gods that believe humans need pleasure, and that "wronging" another person should be punished. Who decides what is right and what is wrong. Pleasure. What is pleasure to the beings that are called gods? They can put themselves into a state of pure bliss if they need too, and they can put themselves into the most horrible torture never thought of. Gods are not perfect beings, and even if immortal, they can die. NOTHING can like forever, even energy dies as it is transfered from one form to another. Be it heat, light, cold, darkness.

Now that I have added to the current topic, lets throw in another suggestion. And yes, I'm still throwing in on a previously said part, but with more of a twist than most people can think of.

If you have read Sojourn, by R.A. Salvatore, you know of a ranger named Montolio, or something close, it has been a long time since I have read it. Montolio brings up a good point with one of his lines. Drizzt Do'Urden asks him about his god Milekke (not sure on spelling here so please if you know what I'm talking about, feel free to correct it). Montolio states that it is his fear that ALL gods are actually ONE sentient being of enomous power with MANY avatars, or something similar. Subtract the avatar part mabye, I'm not quite sure. My belief is similar to this. All "gods" are one being, everyone just prays to it a little different.

Feel free to agree or disagree. I have given my input with my head held high.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: "Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2006, 07:40:58 PM »
I deleted CP's rude, deflating, and meaningless comment as it served no meaningful purpose except....nope, no meanigful purpose that I could see.

CP. Oh, hell, you already know...    :bat:

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: "Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 10:12:42 PM »
I was referring, in fact, to the entirety of the thread, but if you feel like it, well, I bow to your almighty will, oh Lord.   :wink:
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Offline Strolen

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Re: "Gods" are just psychic animals? **
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2006, 05:15:43 PM »
Just hit wrong CP, the intention of the comment wasn't clear.

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Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
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