Why the change in the Thassilonian virtues?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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In the beggining (RotRL 1) there were the 7 virtues of rule that got twisted, corrupted, misinterpreted, focused on the negative side etc. by the runelords and then ended up being known nowadays as the 7 sins, those virtues and the sins they became are:

wealth--> greed
fertility--> lust
honest pride--> pride
abundance--> gluttony
eager striving--> envy
righteous anger--> wrath
rest--> sloth

Now on the RotRL AE without changing the lore of Thassilon (as far as i can see) the seven virtues and sins became:

generosity--> greed
love--> lust
humility--> pride
temperance--> gluttony
charity--> envy
kindness--> wrath
zeal--> sloth

With those virtues-sins it doesn't make sense, they are polar opposites instead of twisted, corrupted etc.

Why do you think this change made?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Never noticed that. I like the old ones more, polar opposites are boring. Too little thought required to intuit. Then again, maybe dumbed down for just that reason? Injecting a more Christian bias towards virtues would be my primary guess though.


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Huh. I ended up not liking the AE versions and actually recreating a similar list to the original set. Mine are Prosperity, Love, Confidence, Plenty, Striving, Zeal, and Efficiency.

I agree the original set makes more sense as a set of virtues that were twisted rather than just opposite day. And generally provide a lot more nuance to the Thassilonians as villains.

The new set may work better if you're tracking sin points. The virtues can "take away" their associated sins in that setup.

Cheers!
Landon


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I thought the first set were the virtues that Thassilon represented, and the bottom set was the virtues players can use to offset the seven deadly sins?

Liberty's Edge

Here's how I take it. The first set are "Neutral" virtues. The second set are "Good" virtues. Remember, Xin was a Lawful Neutral overlord, not a Lawful Good one. Therefore, the first set are the actual virtues that Xin wanted exemplified in each of his Runelord apprentices for betterment of the self and civilization.

The evil sins represent the betterment of the self at the expense of others.

The neutral virtues represent the betterment of the self in order to establish a better civilization.

The good virtues represent the betterment of the lives of all, and are thus to be considered more heroic.

That was my interpretation, anyway.


The problem is that the seven deadly sins are now represented by demons and devils which are vastly more ancient than Thassilon, so the idea that the sins were codified only ten thousand years ago makes no sense anymore.

I'd suggest that Xin tried and failed to twist the sins into virtues without actually invoking their opposites.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The changed happened mostly because many of the original virtues don't actually work as virtues. The sins themselves are all states of mind or personality traits; they're types of human behavior. The virtues need to be the same, and we screwed that up the first time. Wealth, fertility, abundance, and rest are not personality traits at all, and honest pride is still pride and thus still a sin—just putting the word "honest" before it doesn't change that.

And so we changed them all to be personality traits, and when we did so we SPECIFICALLY stepped away from the classics in a few cases, particularly with lust.

Turns out, while an awful lot of what we produced in those first few months ended up being golden and formed a solid background for us to build the campaign setting on, but there were also some mis-steps that, when we went from 3.5 to Pathfinder, we've seized the chance to address and fix. It took a bit for us to get to these virtues, but we did fix them in the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition and have used the current ones ever since.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Some of the sources have the "weird" ones as Azlanti philosophy, the Virtues as Xin's philosophy, and the Sins as Runelord philosophy.

I like the "weird" ones personally, though - see City of Seven Spears. Even with its complicated history and various issues, it's probably one of my favorite AP sections. ^_^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:

Some of the sources have the "weird" ones as Azlanti philosophy, the Virtues as Xin's philosophy, and the Sins as Runelord philosophy.

I like the "weird" ones personally, though - see City of Seven Spears. Even with its complicated history and various issues, it's probably one of my favorite AP sections. ^_^

Those other things like fertility and eager striving and rest ARE still things that helped guide Azlant. They're not actual virtues themselves. They are, in fact, the "Virtues of Rule" that a ruler got to enjoy as a RESULT of adhering to said virtues and being a well-rounded successful ruler.

Correcting the virtues does not ret-con those things out of the history, in other words. It just puts them into a more appropriate and correct context.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Excellent. Thank you! ^_^

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
and honest pride is still pride and thus still a sin—just putting the word "honest" before it doesn't change that.

*looks out window and sees the Political Philosophy Signal, slides down a pole into Plato's Cave and jumps into the Aristotlemobile*

Ok, so, at least in classical philosophy, there is a difference between bad pride and honest pride. The vice of vaingloriousness or vanity was believing one's self deserving of honor one did not deserve, and the vice of pusillanimity was not believing you deserved the honor you are worthy of. The middle virtue was magnanimity, which is being worthy of great things and being aware of it. So "honest pride" would be magnanimity and the sin of pride would be vanity.

Sorry, my thesis was on magnanimity as it applies to modern statesmanship.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Isonaroc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
and honest pride is still pride and thus still a sin—just putting the word "honest" before it doesn't change that.

*looks out window and sees the Political Philosophy Signal, slides down a pole into Plato's Cave and jumps into the Aristotlemobile*

Ok, so, at least in classical philosophy, there is a difference between bad pride and honest pride. The vice of vaingloriousness or vanity was believing one's self deserving of honor one did not deserve, and the vice of pusillanimity was not believing you deserved the honor you are worthy of. The middle virtue was magnanimity, which is being worthy of great things and being aware of it. So "honest pride" would be magnanimity and the sin of pride would be vanity.

Sorry, my thesis was on magnanimity as it applies to modern statesmanship.

Had "magnanimity" been used instead of "honest pride" I would not have had any issue with it. That is not the case, and so it got changed from "honest pride" to "humility."


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Landon Winkler wrote:

Huh. I ended up not liking the AE versions and actually recreating a similar list to the original set. Mine are Prosperity, Love, Confidence, Plenty, Striving, Zeal, and Efficiency.

I agree the original set makes more sense as a set of virtues that were twisted rather than just opposite day. And generally provide a lot more nuance to the Thassilonians as villains.

The new set may work better if you're tracking sin points. The virtues can "take away" their associated sins in that setup.

Cheers!
Landon

My home group uses something similar to yours, to keep it as something where a good thing became amplified into a bad thing, and following the point that James made that they have to be actual states of mind:

Frugality->Greed
Passion->Lust
Confidence->Pride
Fulfillment->Gluttony
Ambition->Envy
Zeal->Wrath
Efficiency->Sloth

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
and honest pride is still pride and thus still a sin—just putting the word "honest" before it doesn't change that.

*looks out window and sees the Political Philosophy Signal, slides down a pole into Plato's Cave and jumps into the Aristotlemobile*

Ok, so, at least in classical philosophy, there is a difference between bad pride and honest pride. The vice of vaingloriousness or vanity was believing one's self deserving of honor one did not deserve, and the vice of pusillanimity was not believing you deserved the honor you are worthy of. The middle virtue was magnanimity, which is being worthy of great things and being aware of it. So "honest pride" would be magnanimity and the sin of pride would be vanity.

Sorry, my thesis was on magnanimity as it applies to modern statesmanship.

Had "magnanimity" been used instead of "honest pride" I would not have had any issue with it. That is not the case, and so it got changed from "honest pride" to "humility."

If I understand it correctly, even when the vices were virtues, the Runelords themselves weren't nice people. Is that correct?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
and honest pride is still pride and thus still a sin—just putting the word "honest" before it doesn't change that.

*looks out window and sees the Political Philosophy Signal, slides down a pole into Plato's Cave and jumps into the Aristotlemobile*

Ok, so, at least in classical philosophy, there is a difference between bad pride and honest pride. The vice of vaingloriousness or vanity was believing one's self deserving of honor one did not deserve, and the vice of pusillanimity was not believing you deserved the honor you are worthy of. The middle virtue was magnanimity, which is being worthy of great things and being aware of it. So "honest pride" would be magnanimity and the sin of pride would be vanity.

Sorry, my thesis was on magnanimity as it applies to modern statesmanship.

Had "magnanimity" been used instead of "honest pride" I would not have had any issue with it. That is not the case, and so it got changed from "honest pride" to "humility."
If I understand it correctly, even when the vices were virtues, the Runelords themselves weren't nice people. Is that correct?

Correct. In fact, the Runelords NEVER followed the virtues. Ever. Their actions are what corrupted the concept into the sin-associated magic, and their method of using magic (Thassilonian magic) never existed before this.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


Correct. In fact, the Runelords NEVER followed the virtues. Ever. Their actions are what corrupted the concept into the sin-associated magic, and their method of using magic (Thassilonian magic) never existed before this.

Could it be argued that modern scholars have misinterpeted the Runelord 'virtues' by attempting to pace/place them against modern virtues, and that is why there is a disconnect involved?

Sort of like looking at hieroglyphics without a Rosetta stone, there's a bunch of glyphs, they seem to indicate 'x' when 'q' is actually the answer?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Correct. In fact, the Runelords NEVER followed the virtues. Ever. Their actions are what corrupted the concept into the sin-associated magic, and their method of using magic (Thassilonian magic) never existed before this.

Could it be argued that modern scholars have misinterpeted the Runelord 'virtues' by attempting to pace/place them against modern virtues, and that is why there is a disconnect involved?

Sort of like looking at hieroglyphics without a Rosetta stone, there's a bunch of glyphs, they seem to indicate 'x' when 'q' is actually the answer?

I'm more reading it as Thassilon used the name virtues the same way Orwell's Oceania used the terms "Ministry of Peace" for it's warmaking organisation and "Ministry of Love" for it's house of sadistic tortures.

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