Tuesday, November 9, 2021

These are the Soul Cages

I know I am running behind on this one.  Super busy at work and the last few posts here have been ones I have been sitting on for just this time.  But I am going to pause on today's scheduled post to do this one instead.  Plus the Internet is down in the Chicagoland area as of this writing, so I might as well do this.

Back on Halloween, the news came out that Pathfinder Drops Phylactery From In-Game Terminology. Instead of using "phylactery", It is a Greek word to describe the Hebrew word "Tefillin" which Jewish people will keep small scrolls of the Torah.  They have decided to go with the term "Soul Cage."

Maybe not these Soul Cages exactly.

As you can imagine the RPG folks on the internet freaked out.  Especially it seemed to me people that at the same time claimed they don't or no longer play Pathfinder, let alone Pathfinder Second Edition, the game, and the only game, this effects.

Personally, I find it confusing that so many roleplayers out there have so little imagination.

Nor do I even see what the trouble is.  So a company, Paizo, drops a term they are uncomfortable with.  THEY feel it is disrespectful.  At no point have I heard they changed due to a complaint. They did it as a creative choice.  Are some gamers now suggesting that a company can't change the terms they use to better suit their products/games?

No. This is fake outrage from the same lot that gets mad any time anyone decides to deviate from the holy writ of Gygax. 

Personally. I have been using Soul Cages for years. I was even talking about it with liches and succubi over a decade ago and as recently as this past year. I am likely to keep using them too. 

Don't like the term? Fine. Don't use it.  Want to keep phylactery? Fine, keep it. It likely isn't going to change in the game you are playing now anyway. But honestly, unless you are playing Pathfinder Second Edition, why do you even care?


Dick McGee said...

I find it mildly disconcerting that they cribbed a term that's been in common use for 20 years by Privateer Press (and which might more accurately be termed "soul dust-busters" in that case, since then vacuum up the souls of nearby casualties), but of course Sting's album is about a decade older still so it's not really a big deal. :)

Timothy S. Brannan said...

The term "Soul Cage" as a place for a soul also goes back to at least the 1820s.

JB said...

Why not just call it a horcrux?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Because "Horcrux" in the usage is a term owned by J.K. Rowling and Warner Media. As far as I can tell the term did not exist until Rowling created it.

JB said...

I was being facetious but...is it really? Would her people sue the Pathfinder folks for adopting it? And even if they did (or just sent a Cease & Desist)...wouldn't that just be extra publicity for the company?

Sounds like a missed opportunity to me!
; )

Morgan Champion said...

And technically, at best, a Horcrux can only hold half a soul, while a "Soul Cage" holds the whole soul.
Though I don't like the term "Soul Cage" as it implies the soul is trapped there. "Soul Holder" seems to me to be the more accurate term.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@JB. Oh absolutely her people would sue. Rowling has shown this behavior in the past and so has Warner. While some publicity is good the threat of legal actions, especially if they also stipulate that Paizo cannot publically speak of the action or have more brought on them, is hardly ever worth it.

Also given Rowling's anti-Trans stance of late I am sure Paizo wants no part of that.

JB said...

Ah, yes…I’d forgotten that last bit.