[Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

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willpell
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[Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:27 pm

Regardless of a creature's species, virtually any sentient being will have a roughly similar mind. Some embrace their emotions, others deny them, but almost all have the same collection of feelings within their overall capacity.

Emotions spring from the wellspring of four Primal Drives: Lust, Rage, Fear, and Despair. These are the basic natural reactions of any living creature - the urge to perpetuate life (one's own existence or the creation of progeny), the urge to destroy rival lifeforms whose existence one cannot endure, the urge to avoid one's own destruction (at the hands of unendurable forces which one cannot successfully oppose), and eventually the urge to accept its inevitability and surrender to Death. This four-part cycle is the core of any sentient mind, and thus it has been extensively studied by psions, cerebremancers, and other experts on the topic of thought; they have classified all emotions as being possible to place on a cubical grid, and they identify these four Drives as being the axes which run through the center of the cube, from one corner to another. As thus, they do not consider these four to be "emotions" per se, but rather proto-emotional impulses hardwired into the biological instincts of all living beings.

The "faces" of the cube (or a centerpoint for each face) are then spoken of as the "Refined" emotions; "Refined" does not mean "good" in this context, only "highly developed". Those emotions, believed to be the most potent and character-defining forces which are fully the product of sentient minds, are listed as Love, Hate, Pride, Resignation, Desperation and Detachment. Love and Hate are the most certain identifications, with the others being considered somewhat speculative - Pride is ultimately rooted in Love of the self, and to a lesser extent in Hate of the other, whereas Resignation is regarded (albeit somewhat weakly) as the opposite of Pride, and Desperation and Detachment as two other approaches to the same set of problems that might motivate any of the first four feelings. As all four axes connect to every corner of all the cube's faces, these six "Refinements" are thought to be equally interrelated to the Primal Drives.

Others
* Hope
* Worry
* Jubilation
* Satisfaction
* Dread
* Paranoia
* Impatience
* Aggravation
* Concern
* Alarm
* Panic
* Annoyance
* Irritation
* "Butthurt"
* Sadness
* Melodrama
* Derangement
* Loneliness
* Boredom
* Ennui
* Gloom
* Tranquility
* Guilt
* Shame
* Embarassment

(This list is being revised. Since I'm currently married to my cube model, I'm hoping to identify 20 emotions as being important enough to add to the above list of 6 "refinements" and four "primal drives", representing the 8 corners and 12 edges of the cube. But I may well decide in time that isn't enough for an exhaustive non-redundant list of "primary" emotions.)
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Saltwater1
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Re: [Whiteleaf] The Emotion Web

Post by Saltwater1 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:11 am

I mean cool, but what's the lore behind this? Is there a Green Lantern type war of emotions going on?
"Join me, my bushes! To war we go!" -A very resourceful wood elf druid

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Re: [Whiteleaf] The Emotion Web

Post by willpell » Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Saltwater1 wrote:I mean cool, but what's the lore behind this? Is there a Green Lantern type war of emotions going on?
That's certainly one possibility, but there are a lot of inspirations that this could fuel. At least two of the World of Darkness games turn emotion into a game mechanic - Wraiths only continue existing because of their Passions, and the Lost Changelings harvest human emotion for the Glamour which powers their magic (and, at high levels, their metabolism). Thusly, a game-worthly formalized list of all "sufficiently notable" human emotions, or even a network map of the way they transform into each other in response to Qualifying Life Events, has been one of my White Whale projects for some time. Considering how little work I got done on it above, opening this thread was probably premature, but I will return to it when I have more time to do the work required. (Right now, I'm performing my last-ditch salvage scramble on the D&D/MTG boards, which cease to exist in 5 more days, and this is the last time I'll have enough hours free to work on them.)
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Re: [Whiteleaf] The Emotion Web

Post by Saltwater1 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:13 am

Wait... wraiths based entirely on emotion? Why have I not heard this before? It fits perfectly with the mood of my campaign! Thank you for mentioning it.
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Re: [Whiteleaf] The Emotion Web

Post by willpell » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:14 pm

Saltwater1 wrote:Wait... wraiths based entirely on emotion? Why have I not heard this before? It fits perfectly with the mood of my campaign! Thank you for mentioning it.
This is true of player characters in the World of Darkness game "Wraith the Oblivion". It is NOT canonically true of Wraiths in D&D, which are simply undead monsters powered by negative energy. If you were going to use WtO concepts to model phantasmal characters in D&D, you would want to use either the Ghost template in the Monster Manual or the one in Ghostwalk, neither of which turns you into a single fixed-stats creature like the D&D Wraith.

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Re: [Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:44 pm

OP updated. Work on this model is ongoing; it has potential game-mechanic applications (whether D&D is unsure, but certainly they are usable in the Worlds of Darkness, and for superhero games based on an expanded version of the system used by the Green Lantern comics). I welcome any constructive input, most especially the mention of any highly significant emotions not mentioned on the above speculative list (I tried to think of everything, but my failure in such an undertaking was preordained).

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Re: [Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:17 pm

Current life events have me contemplating the relationship between fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, resentment, hatred, vengefulness, spite, envy, obsession, exasperation, despair, resignation, ennui and other subtler emotions along the same continuum. I feel that "happiness" is a simple state with few variations, but the track of negative attitudes is a complex series of branching loops, which pull a person mechanistically from one state to another along fairly predictable lines, and that you can map this pattern like a computer flowchart, if only you define the categories precisely enough. In essence, the emotions are like a weather system, in which strong winds eventually form into a hurricane where the air keeps whirling about in a loose circle, and happiness is the eye of the storm, a tranquil central region from which one is easily dislodged by the surrounding "chaos" (which in fact is perfectly predictable, if you had equipment capable of tracking every molecule of atmosphere or debris and measuring how it would affect each other one).

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Re: [Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:04 am

On a related topic, here is the "Emotion Web" I dreamed up a while ago...it was not meant to be exhaustive, but I found it difficult to think of any other things that should be added to it.

Afraid connects to Despondent, Anxious, Paranoid.

Despondent connects to Willful, Desirous, Afraid.

Anxious connects to Desirous, Curious.

Paranoid connects to Hateful, Curious, Afraid.

Desirous connects to Satisfied, Eager, Despondent.

Curious connects to Frustrated, Eager, Paranoid.

Wistful connects to Tired, Satisfied, Despondent.

Eager is the midpoint of the diagram; it connects to Desirous, Curious, Satisfied, Frustrated.

Hateful connects to Vengeful, Frustrated, Paranoid.

Bored connects to Satisfied, Frustrated, Depressed, Annoyed.

Tired connects to Wistful, Satisfied, Depressed, Angry.

Vengeful connects to Hateful, Frustrated, Annoyed, Angry.

Angry connects to Tired, Depressed, Annoyed, Vengeful.

Like I said, just a first guess. I didn't include many positive emotions on this map, because it was designed to show how one emotion flows into one another, and I believe that "happiness" is pretty much just a stable state of Satisfaction that isn't moving much. The map treats "afraid" and "angry" as polar extremes of activation, and is meant to show how the individual's mood transitions between these two poles while trying to find a center. Feel free to suggest improvements to this model.

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Re: [Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:40 pm

The trifecta of Guilt, Shame and Embarrassment are three manifestations of a very similar overall emotional thrust. In all these cases, the individual believes they have done something immoral, unethical, undignified, illogical, unfortunate, or otherwise regrettable. Embarassment is generally a short-term form of this reaction, in which the individual faces social censure for a relatively minor infraction of the desired protocols, and generally takes immediate action to cover up the breach and prevent knowledge of it from spreading. Shame is a similar response, but generally more prolonged; an individual may nurture the secret knowledge of their undesirable deeds or experiences for years, fearing to be discovered and have to own up to the facts of what they have done, become, undergone, or otherwise been influenced by.

The primary factor distinguishing guilt from the other two emotions in this complex is a compelling desire to purge it; one who feels guilty rather than ashamed often seeks to confess their involvement and/or seek the opportunity to redress any wrongs for which they feel responsible. In general, the distinction between short-term and long-term operation ceases to apply to manifestations which take the form of guilt; whether the character bares their soul immediately or embarks on a long-term quest for redemption, the emotional impulse which motivates these actions is little different.

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Re: [Whiteleaf Discussion] The Emotion Cube

Post by willpell » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:25 pm

Sigh...I am filled with despair, frustration, and resignation that this project has never received my full attention.

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