Monday, February 8, 2016

Philosophical Schools as Civil Arts

Pyramid #54 has an article on Social-Interaction Styles, the Social Engineering equivalent of martial arts styles.  It occurred to me recently that this might be a good fit for different Schools of Philosophy instead of just using a single skill to cover them.  I don't much like the required specialization of the given Philosophy skill anyway; I think the skill should be more comprehensive and about the study of Philosophy and not an individual school.  So, with that in mind, here's an example Schools of Philosophy as a Style.  I think it could use some filing out, feel free to suggest additions in the comments.


6 points

Stoicism is a philosophical school founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the 3rd Century BC.  The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved. To live a good life, one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they taught that everything was rooted in nature.

Stoicism taught the development of self-control and the proposition that knowledge and truth can be attained through reason.  During the Roman era it was a popular school and included many Emperors among its students.

Skills: Detect Lies, Expert Skill (Natural Philosophy), Meditation, Philosophy, Public Speaking (Rhetoric)
Techniques:  Cutting Out (Public Speaking); Irony (Public Speaking).
Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength; Persuade.
Perks: Social Arbiter.

Optional Traits

Attributes: Increased Will.
Advantages: Fearlessness, High Pain Threshold, Indomitable.
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Stoic), Stubbornness.
Skills: Autohypnosis.


  1. Cool concept. I've kinda wanted to integrate the social styles into a campaign, but I never feel like I can never get the stars to line up so that it would be appropriate.

    1. Thanks. I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the standard GURPS treatment of Philosophy, and this idea occurred to me over the last couple of weeks.