A thought on another way to understand the Virtues

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A thought on another way to understand the Virtues

Postby wastevens » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:44 pm

When I last ran Houses, my players all felt that Wisdom and Cunning were the best Virtues, for the ease with which you could make Wagers to influence the story with them. Beauty and Prowess were both a solid second place (well regarded, but not as valuable); Courage and Strength seen as too limited and specialized.

Strength, in particular, comes across as quite reactive. You need Strength to escape trouble when your body is being tested, but death is rarely the cost of failure, simply because death is so boring.

Thus, been thinking about this.


Cunning is the Virtue of noticing the world. Cunning Wagers can be used to add such facts.

Wisdom is the Virtue of remembering about the world. Wisdom Wagers can be used to add such facts.

Beauty is the Virtue of the social context of the world. Beauty Wagers can be used to expose such facts.

(Those three, I think, are reasonably not controversial)

Strength is the Virtue of the physical context of the world. Strength Wagers can be used to expose such facts.

(For example: Climbing into an open window and declaring it to be the bedroom of the daughter of a jealous Duke would normally be a Strength wager. Noticing the window first and then climbing to it would be a Cunning wager followed by a Strength risk)

Prowess is the Virtue of the advantages and disadvantages of the world. Prowess Wagers can be used to force such facts into relevancy.
(Prowess is the Virtue of combat, because it forces the disadvantage of injuries upon enemies. It is also the best Virtue for creating scene aspects with, for seizing advantage- any fool may notice the room is afire, but only those with Prowess can manuver their enemies into the flame)

Courage is the Virtue of refusal of the world. Courage cannot add any facts to the world, but refuses to accept when the world would add facts to you.

(Facts like 'You're a quivering ball of jelly and fear', primarily.)

What these imply:

* You can use Beauty to convince others of something, regardless of the truth of the matter. (You can use Wisdom to know the truth, or Cunning to see the truth, but may not convince anyone of it)
* You can use Strength whenever you are moving through an area, to define the physical context you are moving in. (You can also use Cunning for this)
* you can use Prowess to turn an aspect of the Scene into an Free Aspect, with a Rank equal to the number of Wagers you invest in it.
* You can use Courage to resist any other Virtue being turned directly against you, to define you against your desires. Yes, even Cunning and Wisdom risks. (You may still resist Cunning risks with Cunning).
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