Hi, gang. Last week, we wrapped up our preview of how magic works for mummies in Mummy: The Curse (accompanied by a bonus teaser in Portuguese as a thank-you to our Brazilian fans). This week, we dive into an even more fundamental aspect of the game and its characters: The nature and structure of the immortal soul.
In the ancient Egyptian belief system, the mortal soul was composed of five fully separate aspects: The Ab (heart), the Ba (spirit), the Ka (essence), the Ren (name), and the Sheut (shadow). Together, these five aspects conjoined to form the soul in its totality. For mummies — who are effectively ancient Egyptian souls made flesh — there is arguably nothing more than important than these five cornerstones, which they know to be the very pillars of their ceaseless existence.
Mummies believe each of these aspects to be both a cardinal manifestation of their own being and a manifestation of something wholly separate from themselves. A soul’s name, for example, was its master’s own, but the name itself also existed as a thing — able to be perceived, accessed, or even harmed — unto itself. Likewise the spirit, which at times leaves the body behind and flies ghost-like into the night, or the shadow, which stretches away from the body, occupying its own space… and role.
The pillars of the fivefold soul are so integral to the game’s protagonists and themes that they are represented by game Traits. Further, these Traits work to form the basis of a new departure in design philosophy for a World of Darkness RPG — a sub-system that flexes the muscles of the Storytelling System a little, while remaining true to its overall structure and design. Other game elements interact with, and occasionally derive from, this new Pillars system… including the way that mummy magic works in play.
Until next time,