Minor Philosophies

The Psi-Wars galaxy brims with unusual philosophies and cultures, most of which never come to dominate the whole galaxy the way major philosophies do. Some have too few adherents, too select an appeal, or only minor, more primitive races follow the ideology and thus it never gains galaxy-wide recognition. Others represent extremely broad philosophies sunk so deep into the collective consciousness that people don't think of them as philosophies, but "just the way the world works," and will only realize that they have these biases with a trained philosopher points it out to them.

Specific Minor Philosophies

Generic Minor Philosophies

Skepticism

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." —Han Solo

For the average person in the Psi-Wars galaxy, psychic powers, the miracles of Communion and even the wonders of highly advanced technology exist in a world far away from them, if they exist at all. For the average merchant, mechanic or tramp freighter pilot, what matters if the job before them, and most people claiming access to mystical insights are trying to sell them something. Thus, the average person learns to disregard spectacular claims as improbable at best, and outright trickery at worst.

"Skepticism" is likely the most common philosophy in the galaxy, and certainly the default one finds in many places. It represents a suspicious agnosticism when it comes to mystical powers and strange events. It superficially shares a similar worldview to Neo-Rationalism, but where Neo-Rationalism purports to be scientific, skepticism has a more practical world view: to them, if it "looks like a duck, it probably is a duck," and no claims of quantum weirdness, psychic strangeness or miraculous power can dissuade them from their perspective.

Skeptical Traits

A character may be assumed to have skeptical leanings without any additional traits; it's a fairly common perspective. No single body of lore or philosohpy encompasses the philosophy, and thus no Philosophy specialization is possible (indeed, the average person wouldn't even consider it a philosophy, and it tends to be only described as such by opponents to the mindset). Characters who seek to educate themselves in a skeptical ideology tend to study Philosophy (Neo-Rationalism) instead.

The following traits can emphasize a skeptic, or signal to the GM that you wish to draw more attention to the skeptical nature of your character.

Atheist [-1]: See Power-Ups 6: Quirks page 8. Rather than a specific disdain for Gods, this represents a refusal to adhere to any specific philosophy, and a dismissal of the supernatural as a possibility. A character with this quirk can still accept the possibility of the supernatural if directly confronted with it, but his griping, suggestions that it's a trick and general disdain still tends to illicit a -1 reaction from the religious or believers in the supernatural.

Skeptic [1]: See Psionic Powers page 24. The skeptic's powers of disbelief are such that psychics around them find them disruptive.

Delusion (The Supernatural isn't real) [-5]: The refusal to believe in the supernatural can cause problems for characters in a setting where the supernatural objectively exists. Characters who refuse to believe in the supernatural may not learn any supernatural skills (Psychic skills) and may only use skills related to understanding of the supernatural (Occultism, Expert Skill (Psionics), Religious Ritual, etc) as a means of debunking or arguing with other characters (typically complementary rolls to persuade people that something isn't actually happening). They may never take precautions against supernatural attack without violating the spirit of their disadvantage (they are actively hostile to "just in case" preparations and would, for example, rather sit outside a protective circle to prove everyone who believes in the supernatural wrong). This rarely accrues a penalty beyond that which the Atheism quirk would apply (a character should not take both Atheism and this Delusion), but the penalty to taking advantage of any supernatural protection is disadvantage enough. The character will also generally react at a -2 to claims of supernatural power.

Skepticism in Play

Skeptics tend to be vulnerable to arguments from the philosophies of Neo-Rationalism, as it too is heavily grounded in the real world; it also tends to buy the arguments of the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant, as it presents a deeply cynical and pragmatic world-view; in all cases, Skeptics tend to be attracted to very "obvious" arguments. Even if one can build careful logic chains to prove some seemingly absurd thing, if it deviates too far out of the skeptic's experience, he's likely to dismiss it. Thus, the GM might permit uses of the Philosophy (Neo-Rationalism) or Philosophy (Cult of the Mystical Tyrant) as complementary skills on Influence rolls towards characters with the Atheism quirk or Delusion (The Supernatural isn't Real) provided the claim being made isn't extravagant (a cultist could use his philosophy skill to help him persuade an atheist to join his cause "because the world is a brutal place and it's best to side with the strong against the weak,' but he could not use it to persuade an atheist to join his cause "because he is heir to an ancient Ranathim secret power that only he has truly mastered.").

Open-Mindedness

"It's true. All of it." — Han Solo

The Psi-Wars galaxy brims with weird wonders, from haunted Eldothic ruins to ancient masters of semi-divine powers to psychic aristocratic lineages. Many see the bewildering array of aliens and strange powers and just accept all of it. They become increasingly open to the possibility that they know nothing, and begin to accept every little claim of supernatural power that they encounter. They tend to take claims of wondrous events in stride ("I can't dock here because an ancient Eldothic menace has risen again and this entire planet is under quarantine? Alright, got an ETA when you think it'll be resolved?") and some even begin to collect supernatural tokens of protection, sometimes out of mild interest, and sometimes the belief that "Every little bit helps."

They tend to be most open to the ideas of destiny and to their own, secret importance, or that the Galaxy "has a purpose," and that they're part of it, somehow.

Open-Minded [-1]: Your character reacts well to claims of supernatural power. They react +1 to any especially well-performed claims of supernatural power, importance via destiny, miracle cures, etc; they don't necessarily believe in them, but they like the idea of them.

Likes (Talismans) [-1]: The character tends to collect talismans, miracle cures, etc, on the belief that "it can't hurt!" If they genuinely believe, they don't evangelize it, and if they don't, they find the talismans amusing and harmless and enjoy collecting them. They react at +1 to any opportunity to add a new talisman to their collection and, at the GM's discretion, something in their collection might even work and grant them a +1 to resist a Broken Communion miracle or a ghostly power; alternatively, sometimes one of those talismans will be cursed, and they might occasionally find themselves haunted by a bit of bad luck.

Delusion (Everything is Real) [-5*]: The character believes all outlandish supernatural claims implicitly. Treat this as a limited form of Gullibility that only applies to well-performed claims of mythical resonance, outlandish powers, miracle cures, etc, but not to more grounded claims. They also tend to get a -1 reaction (per -5 points worth of Delusion) from more grounded individuals, such as Skeptics or Neo-Rationalists, for being "dumb and superstitious." This disadvantage has a self-control modifier!

Open-Mindedness in Play

Open-Minded cahracter tend to be vulnerable to arguments from the philosophies/religions of the Akashic Mysteries, True Communion and the Divine Masks. Thus, the GM might permit uses of the Theology (Akashic Mysteries, Divine Masks or True Communion) or Religious Ritual as complementary skills on Influence rolls towards characters with the Open-Minded quirk or Delusion (Everything is Real) provided the claim feels mythically resonant and speaks to the character and their "greater cosmic importance" directly.

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