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If Philosophies were RPG Classes


Condescending Bastard
Dec 12, 2009
Examples are not balanced, please don't bitch about them not being balanced.

I don't know whether I'm working on this for a urban fantasy RPG or coming up with character concepts for a story, this will probably never amount to anything, feel free to comment, add your own ideas or ask questions.

By "truth" I mean subjective truth, something the character uses as the foundation of their worldview, something that the character needs to be true.

I haven't got much of a setting in mind yet, best I figure magic returns to the world and it gathers most in people who think a lot and have profound thoughts which in the modern day are typically philosophers, of sorts.

The materialist philosophy revolves around understanding the physical processes of the material universe, it is their truth that everything (even emotions and individuality) is the result of entirely physical processes. A materialist is just as likely to be a crane operator on a construction site as a chemist doing research in a laboratory or a material-monist monk practicing martial arts and meditating on the nature of being one with the universe. A very straightforward lot their magic revolves around adding/removing thermal/kinetic energy for example they can melt their way through a door by touching it, walk on water as it freezes beneath their feet, catch a bowling ball dropped from a tall building then release that ball with the same kinetic energy in a direction of their choosing.

The empirical philosophy is the epistemological view that reliable knowledge can only be derived from personal sensory experience, it is their truth that the nature of reality is something that can only be experienced personally by direct sensory experience. Empiricists tend to be connoisseurs of fine food, music, and are often talented chefs/musicians themselves, they’re also adept at dealing with people at least in terms of making astute observations. Empiricists almost exclusively use magic to enhance and expand their senses, this gives them a considerable advantage in gunfights, martial arts, stealth and of course information gathering.

The phenomenalist philosophy is similar to empiricism in that they highly value sensory experience however whereas an empiricist believes reality precedes perception a phenomenalist believes perception precedes reality, that reality is shaped by how it is perceived. A phenomenalist’s truth is the somewhat solipsistic notion that reality is determined by the individual’s perception of it, as such they tend to advocate optimism and blame misfortune on negativity regardless whether it be their own of the negativity of those around them. Phenomenalists use magic to cast illusions which for them are real, a phenomenalist can create a bridge over a river and walk over it or a door in a wall and pass through it, however much to their frustration this godlike power applies to them and them alone, others can perceive their illusions and even be fooled by them but only another phenomenalist can physically interact with them and even then only if they choose to acknowledge that the illusion is real.

The determinist philosophy revolves around causality and its implications for a material universe comprised of physical processes, a materialist is concerned with the processes themselves whereas a determinist is more interested in their implications. The determinist’s truth is that the future affects the past as much as the past affects the future, as such from their perspective the world is like clockwork and by observing it the determinist can predict the future and deduce the past. Determinists tend to be employed as air traffic controllers, programmers, secretaries, police (particularly detective/forensics work) and historians. The magic used by determinists is mostly predictive and investigative in nature, you could call it divination but it’s more like supernaturally assisted Holmesian deduction. A determinist can determine the outcome of an action before they take it, study something/someone to determine its/their history, determine what an enemy will do next round or in which location to plant a whoopee cushion for maximum effect.

The philosophy of nihilism is an exploration of the universe’s utter indifference towards the individual, society and humanity as a whole, to a nihilist truth is that nothing is sacred and nobody is special. This truth compels them to drag down anything upheld as special or sacred and thwart the plans of anyone who might impose their order upon the world, for example a nihilist party in a democratic election would advertise themselves as having no policies, a vote for them being a vote of no confidence in the nation's democratic system, if elected the nihilists would bring down the system and offer no substitute. Nihilists have no magic or rather their presence is a form of anti-magic, a trait that is most effectively employed against those who have become reliant on the abilities their magic grants them. It's been speculated that nihilists may be an inherent natural counterbalance to magic or be the immune system of humanity's collective unconscious, in any case they seem to prefer targeting and working with other philosophers for some unknown reason.

To an evangelist might makes right and belief makes truth, the dogma they proselytize isn’t as important as the proselytization itself, they often claim to be privy to some divine truth but in actual fact an evangelist’s truth is the consensus of the crowd and as such they are both the crowd’s leader and follower. The power of an evangelist is directly proportional to the size of their cult, whether it be a religious cult or something more secular like a cult of personality/celebrity, sociopolitical movement, cultural movement (veganism), business (Amway), or simply fandom. How evangelists use magic depends on their individual modus operandi but generally they use it to charm, frighten, distract and otherwise psychologically/emotionally affect people, gather them together and drive that crowd’s consensus. A lone evangelist is powerless and bereft of purpose, other than seeking out people to influence and in turn be influenced by.

Much like the clerics in D&D a creationist can use magic to create food and water out of thin air, heal others, even summon creatures, this of course makes them absolutely insufferable.

Naturalism, good at survival and working with animals/weather.

Romanticism, fortifies attributes on self, can buff others through inspiration.

Spiritualism, necromancy and recruiting spirits to aid/serve.

It's a work in progress.


World A.I. transfomantion is Near
Apr 4, 2010
4D Archaeology computer grid
Edit: It's more a dualism because my body though necessarily is replaceable/expendable. Frank J. Tipler doesn't call it dualism but I forget what he calls it.


Virtual Mysticism

I am describing current self understanding of it in me.

Everything is a channel. Channels are waterways between to other bodies of water. In the brain tiny wires direct electrical impulses like channels. But in the brain, the wires can change how they are connected. So in perception, these wires are conditioned to be connected in such a way as to mirror the outside realm. Inherently nothing exist in the brain that is not connections modeling reality. To this, it is ascribed that all subjective existence depends on where impulses go, as they travel through the wires. It is impossible to find the transition between consciousness and your beginning self. Life doe does not begin at conception because before conception you were beyond space and time. All the ways your brain can be wired up has no effect on your relations to the timeless, spaceless void. Accept to become aware of it. All brain cells are internet routers. And they make you conscious by looping into each other. The complexity of these loops allows higher order thought. Metacognition. It is possible to become aware of where wire directs the electric impulses and change the routing system. The experiences you can have are amazing. The analogy of brain cells to routers shows that birth and death are illusions. Experience could stop if the routing stops. But then how do impulses in a router produce experience? When you die why not transfer to a different network of routing? In the void, you can return to a routing system that begins new experiences. One body goes, a new one emerges. All experience is a routing network.


Radioactive vision
Oct 13, 2009
Hmmm, philosophical archetypes. Interesting. I’d associate with most of the above, except Phenomenalism (well....I’d like to think so, there are probably aspects of it that are useful and even necessary, depending on the context) and Evangelism - my avoidance of evangelism/ists is almost religious, even if I’m curious about religion and fanaticism as topics (one of the more recent threads here is a good example of modern evangelism/personality cult/worship, quite interesting). Throw in a bit of Naturalist too, although I do not enjoy working with animals...that is live animals - and that includes the human ones. As for the dead ones, they’re far more interesting.

With respect to phenomenalism, many of us would probably deny any association with it but we’re probably behaving that way anyway :rolleyes:


Condescending Bastard
Dec 12, 2009
The romantics are all about individuality emotion and expressing their emotions through actions, they are creators, artists, inventors, geniuses and madmen striking forth boldly in search of paths untraveled. For a romantic truth is that purpose and meaning come from within, that every individual must find their own reasoning for the things they do, their own goals and motivations. Creativity, originality and self-determination are highly valued by romantics, they’re happy to help and work with others but would rather watch someone solve a problem for themselves than simply give them the answer. Magically romantics buff their physical attributes as needed but won’t use their magic on others, at least not directly, instead the actions of a romantic tend to have an inspirational effect as their wilfulness and enthusiasm is highly infectious. A group of romantics on an adventure may become like a wild storm, romping around inspiring each other to ever greater heights of derring-do however this tends to culminate with disastrous consequences.


Condescending Bastard
Dec 12, 2009
Good to know.
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