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It's all in the title.
Astarion is undead, which supposedly means that he is basically a necrotic fleshbot, and afaik, vampires don't have souls in D&D lore.
I think the problem with that is that Astarion very much acts like he does have a soul, and the devils want to make a deal with the guy.
So what's the situation here? Do vampires have a soul or not? Do vampire spawns have them, but full vampires don't?
What is the difference between an ensouled fleshbot and a soulless fleshbot in D&D? What would happen if a soulless fleshbot made a deal with a devil?
Would a devil even be interested in a deal?
I think more clarification is required on this detail.

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That Astarion is undead gets ignored pretty much constantly.
Larian wanted a special snowflake character but has no interest in what that entails.

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D&D rules do not determine the entire metaphysics of a fantasy universe.

In the Forgotten Realms, I do not think there is an official stance on whether Vampires have a soul or not. They are as sentient and emotional. Their body is dead, magically maintained, yet their mind/emotions remain. Maybe their soul is still linked or anchored to the vampire body.

When I DM, I see vampires as having a soul, but twisted, trapped, cursed; similar to the Bram Stoker version (a mind-soul twisted that can sometimes be healed and leave the world).

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"Fae'run Vampires" and their Thralls might be different from our real world folklore.

There are many things that do not make much sense to me in general.
Why the no mirror image thing? Why the fear for a christian cross?
Or maybe even silver, or garlic, etc.

Vampires really are just "homebrew" creatures to some degree.
But yeah the fact that Astarion is nowwhere classified as Undead feels like lazyness to me.

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Originally Posted by Baraz
D&D rules do not determine the entire metaphysics of a fantasy universe.

In the Forgotten Realms, I do not think there is an official stance on whether Vampires have a soul or not. They are as sentient and emotional. Their body is dead, magically maintained, yet their mind/emotions remain. Maybe their soul is still linked or anchored to the vampire body.

When I DM, I see vampires as having a soul, but twisted, trapped, cursed; similar to the Bram Stoker version (a mind-soul twisted that can sometimes be healed and leave the world).

There pretty much is a consensus about vampires NOT having souls. Sure, WoTC may not have made a public statement about it but are we to ignore the sourcebooks?

Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
"Fae'run Vampires" and their Thralls might be different from our real world folklore.

There are many things that do not make much sense to me in general.
Why the no mirror image thing? Why the fear for a christian cross?
Or maybe even silver, or garlic, etc.

Vampires really are just "homebrew" creatures to some degree.
But yeah the fact that Astarion is nowwhere classified as Undead feels like lazyness to me.

Yeah but according to D&D vampires don't have souls, because undead creatures die and are then reanimated as undead. Once you die your soul passes through the astral sea and goes to the City of Judgement. It's not just my folklore, it's about the actual rules. Basically this would allow Astarion to be in the Seldarine version of Heaven while still being a vampire of Faerun.

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The offer of the devil Raphael may entail much more than your soul, friend! A calling is upon you and your companions, and where it leads, a far greater price may await!


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@Bruh : as soon as someone claims there is a consensus, which is a rather rare thing, it triggers my critical thinking.

You state, as a fact, that undead do not have souls ...

The rules do not specify if undead automatically have their soul ripped to another plane. It is not at all that black/white.

Here is an official rule quote (5e SRD) :
Quote
Undead are once-living creatures brought to a horrifying state of undeath through the practice of necromantic magic or some unholy curse. Undead include walking corpses, such as vampires and zombies, as well as bodiless spirits, such as ghosts and specters.

Ghost - Monster Manual p.147 :
Quote
A ghost [undead] is the soul of a once-living creature, bound to haunt a specific location, creature, or object that held significance to it in its life.

Revenant - Monster Manual p.259 :
Quote
Hunger for Revenge. A revenant has only one year to exact revenge. When its adversary dies, or if the revenant fails to kill its adversary before its time runs out, it crumbles to dust and its soul fades into the afterlife.

So, no, undead does not = consensus that they never have an anchored or trapped soul. It varies and DMs CAN even write-up tragic exceptions.

BUT, ANYHOW ...
I am not sure Raphael really want Astarion's soul. Astarion maybe just thinks he still has his soul (if we use your concept that he lost it).

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Originally Posted by Baraz
snip

The rules DO specify that if somebody dies, their soul immediately goes to the City of Judgement through the Astral Plane where it gets hammered by Kelemvor.
Now sure, some specific undead may have elaborate rituals to capture their own souls but vampires specifically don't have a ritual like that described anywhere at all, and we know that Astarion did die before he became a vampire laugh
I don't care about liches and revenants or whatever the hell they are, lets stick to the topic at hand: vampires, do they have souls or not? They are intelligent undead creatures but that could mean either. Some vampires act like mere beasts, while some are highly sophisticated. What's the difference? Is Astarion a vampire who has a soul? Yes or no?

Also yes you could say that all undead have souls somewhere, but even as such it can be said that they are missing something. Zombies miss a soul, while ghosts are souls without bodies.
Astarion is clearly a corporal entity, the question is whether he has a soul or not.
If Astarion made a deal with Raphael, what would he sell? The tadpole? He doesn't want to lose the tadpole. His soul? Does he have one after all?
I want more info.

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Originally Posted by Bruh
Yeah but according to D&D vampires don't have souls, because undead creatures die and are then reanimated as undead. Once you die your soul passes through the astral sea and goes to the City of Judgement. It's not just my folklore, it's about the actual rules. Basically this would allow Astarion to be in the Seldarine version of Heaven while still being a vampire of Faerun.

Oooooooooooh, that might be possible yeah.
LoL - two Astarions meet
" Who are you? "
" I am you, but holier and more gorgeous. "
" Pff yeah right. What are you even wearing? "
" Oh nothing. Just amazing Seldarin cultured stuff. "
" You look like a f*ggot. "



Wierd headcinema asside, I have also heared in the lore that there is a very unusual and mysterious rumour going on about Vampirism.
The only way to become a 'true Vampire' is supposedly to be given the blood of one who is already a 'true Vampire'.
After that true Vampire has first gotten and took a sip of your own blood.

But,
there is also a saying you can become a true Vampire by being smooched on hard enough by a Succubus.
But not any Succubus.
One that has fallen in love with you as a Mortal.

Cause when they fall in love with a target, their drain-kiss, which is supposedly only able to kill you - is changing in nature.
And so, when the effect is not lasting long enough to kill you, saying goes -> it just rips enough of your humanity away to turn you into a 'true Vampire'.
But since you have not died truly as well, wouldn't your soul still be in your body?
Not all true Vampires are truly of the same 'race/status' apparently.

I strongly support this "rumour" though. It just makes sense.
The first true Vampire that ever existed, must come from somewhere.


And it seems not all Undead lose their souls as well.

Lichs for example seem to still have their own but they need to reinvigorate it, or "stabilize" it with the energy of the souls of others.
Or it will just drift away grin like an anchor that has lost its hold on the ground I suppose.


€dit:

Found it!


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Originally Posted by Bruh
Originally Posted by Baraz
snip

[...]

Also yes you could say that all undead have souls somewhere, but even as such it can be said that they are missing something. Zombies miss a soul, while ghosts are souls without bodies.
Astarion is clearly a corporal entity, the question is whether he has a soul or not.
If Astarion made a deal with Raphael, what would he sell? [...]
Hmm, that is a very interesting and good point. Even if a specific vampire or undead has an anchored twisted/cursed soul, do devils really want that :P. Hehe. Sounds like the kind of deal where you end-up screwing over the devil. laugh

Maybe Larian Studios writers will read this here and think about it for the rest of the story.

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There is no statement in the core books about the status of the souls of sentient vampires and vampire spawn - however, much of the text surrounding their use in books and adventures often talks about 'allowing their souls to rest' (usually int he same language that talks of dispatching them).

Remember that specific beats general in points of confusion; yes, the general rule is that when a person dies their soul generally goes somewhere (where is *Highly* variable, based very much on the individual, who they followed, if anyone, and the 'state' of their soul when they died), but indivdiual cases ignore that generality in favour of their own specific all the time, and sentient undead are one of those specific cases.

Vampires and vampire spawn, in the realms, certainly HAVE souls, and those souls are not at rest; the go towards whatever destination they were interrupted from when their time as a vampire or vampire spawn is ended. The CONDITION of those souls is quite dubious, but they do have them.

Strahd von Zarovich very definitely still has a soul - damaged and shattered as it is. This can play an important point in your Barovian adventure.

If he still has a soul, then our pretty vamp boy certainly does...

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Since rules to DnD apply differently depending on the DM/players it could be that he probably does have a soul, in my opinion it does make sense to me that when something is still sentient (even if undead) has a soul, but again DnD is different to everyone! laugh

I would like to mention though that when Raphael does appear

I dont remember him asking for a soul, instead he asks for the worm

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If the guy from Reddit who transcribed Astarion's back-poem is right,
he definitely has a soul.

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Astarion has a strange scar on his back, so I'm not sure he can sell his soul at all, even if he has one.


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It seems like a lot of these plot holes would be solved if there were no origins and the companions didn't need to play such a major role. I wouldn't expect a thrall to have a soul but Larian will probably pull something out of thin air to explain it.

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I don't think this is a plot hole, and with dnd, in Faerun, the rules and lore can sometimes get muddle. For example there are occasionally Good Aligned Demons or Devils which lore-wise should be nigh impossible. Therefor, it isn't out of the question that a Vampire Spawn could still have their soul, possibly due to the machinations of their lord, in this case Salazar. In fact it is possible Salazar currently has his soul cause that makes it easier to puppet his Thralls and the reason he doesn't destroy it is cause Astarion is his favorite plaything. With this it wouldn't be impossible that the deal Astarion could make is something along the lines of "When your soul is released from the clutches of your Master it will transfer to Raphael." This would fit the conflict of him possibly having to go from one horrid slavedriver to another.

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Originally Posted by Talking Skull
Larian will probably pull something out of thin air to explain it.

That's the tadpole woehoe

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I don't think this is a plot hole, and with dnd, in Faerun, the rules and lore can sometimes get muddle. For example there are occasionally Good Aligned Demons or Devils which lore-wise should be nigh impossible. Therefor, it isn't out of the question that a Vampire Spawn could still have their soul, possibly due to the machinations of their lord, in this case Salazar. In fact it is possible Salazar currently has his soul cause that makes it easier to puppet his Thralls and the reason he doesn't destroy it is cause Astarion is his favorite plaything. With this it wouldn't be impossible that the deal Astarion could make is something along the lines of "When your soul is released from the clutches of your Master it will transfer to Raphael." This would fit the conflict of him possibly having to go from one horrid slavedriver to another.

That's not how the economy of souls work in Faerun.
There are clearly established rules for where souls go upon death, because the gods themselves depend on the worship of mortals (Ao decreed this), for which they provide them afterlives. The devils need an infinite amount of souls to combat the infinite armies of demons.
Upon death the soul leaves the body, crosses the Astral Plane and arrives at the city of judgement, where Kelemvor decides whether the soul was faithless, faithful or false, and then the soul is picked up by the proper deity and taken to it's afterlife.
We know that Astarion died, because he was murdered by a bunch of gur, and Cazador bit Astarion so he returned as undead. Astarion the person has a soul. We know this. The question is whether he has his soul joined to his body or not. I'm leaning towards yes, but the game will have to clarify that for us tbh.

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Originally Posted by Bruh
Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I don't think this is a plot hole, and with dnd, in Faerun, the rules and lore can sometimes get muddle. For example there are occasionally Good Aligned Demons or Devils which lore-wise should be nigh impossible. Therefor, it isn't out of the question that a Vampire Spawn could still have their soul, possibly due to the machinations of their lord, in this case Salazar. In fact it is possible Salazar currently has his soul cause that makes it easier to puppet his Thralls and the reason he doesn't destroy it is cause Astarion is his favorite plaything. With this it wouldn't be impossible that the deal Astarion could make is something along the lines of "When your soul is released from the clutches of your Master it will transfer to Raphael." This would fit the conflict of him possibly having to go from one horrid slavedriver to another.

That's not how the economy of souls work in Faerun.
There are clearly established rules for where souls go upon death, because the gods themselves depend on the worship of mortals (Ao decreed this), for which they provide them afterlives. The devils need an infinite amount of souls to combat the infinite armies of demons.
Upon death the soul leaves the body, crosses the Astral Plane and arrives at the city of judgement, where Kelemvor decides whether the soul was faithless, faithful or false, and then the soul is picked up by the proper deity and taken to it's afterlife.
We know that Astarion died, because he was murdered by a bunch of gur, and Cazador bit Astarion so he returned as undead. Astarion the person has a soul. We know this. The question is whether he has his soul joined to his body or not. I'm leaning towards yes, but the game will have to clarify that for us tbh.


But it is also possible to bring back a soul or take a soul. Additionally ghosts and revenants are creatures that can be encountered in Faerun, as in the soul does not properly pass and therefor forms these beings of regret or revenge. Additionally, as far as I am aware, the soul does not pass immediately after death but after an amount of time after death, that is why lower level clerics can still resurrect people within a short amount of time without having to drag a soul from heaven, and if I remember correctly this time is the Crux of the ritual to become a lich, which leads to my final exception being that there are many ways to trap, suck, or enthrall a soul so that it stays on the mortal plane.

Thus considering how possible it is for a soul to fail to pass to the afterlife properly, and considering the unknown powers Salazar may indeed possess, I think it is very likely that this supposedly powerful vampire lord could have stopped a soul from leaving Faerun.

Though I could be very wrong, others know the lore better than me and even though there are a ton of exceptions, that does not change that the rule exists, I think we will have to wait and see.

Edit: I forgot to respond to last part, I think his soul is connected to his body somewhat but under Salazars ownership, but I can definitely be proven wrong.

Last edited by CJMPinger; 27/12/20 11:42 AM.
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