Seven virtues/sins system


Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
Well to summarize, aside from the game mechanics which you seem to have worked out. It's based on My Little Pony obviously, and having attunement to a particular virtue or vice lets you perform magic related to it.

First, some grounding metaphysics. These aren't on a diad of Good and Evil, or even Order and Chaos. They're Harmony and Discord, which is a very different thing. Harmony is everything coming together to form a complete whole greater than the sum of it's parts, friendship and civilization and stability. Discord is individuality and change and grit in the gears. Harmony is generally benevolent, and it's usually good to oppose Discord. But they both have their good and bad points. Discord is what allows individuality to exist at all, and can be a revolutionary social thinker as easily as a bomb throwing anarchist or internet troll. Harmony can manifest in group think, in losing yourself in a corporate identity, or even in a mob. What we mostly want and need is Harmony, but Discord is important as well.

The virtues and their counterparts are:

Kindness - Cruelty
Generosity - Greed
Honesty - Deceit
Laughter - Anger
Loyalty - Treachery
Magic - Division

Kindness magic is used to understand someone, to heal them, to know what they need, and to communicate. Kindness cannot force others to be kind, but is very good at helping others. Cruelty reveals weaknesses, the best ways to hurt someone, and will amplify any attempt to cause pain. Cruelty magic is notoriously bad at going for the kill: it wants to make the target suffer.

Generosity magic lets you give of yourself to others, and take others burdens. You could literally donate someone your beauty, or your wit, or take their injuries. You could also take metaphorical burdens, like taking the blame for someone. Greed empowers you to protect what you see as yours, lets you gain power from having a horde like a dragon, and lets you know things value and how to steal them.

Honesty penetrates lies and illusions, destroys self deception, and counters mind control. It also allows your communication to be understood, even through a medium like art, and certain applications let you see the future. Deceit will of course make you a supernatural liar, conceal your identity, and create illusions. But it can also be used for inspiration: a fine lie that people want to make into a truth, or a better vision of themselves they want to live up to.

Laughter is an uncomfortable magic, on the hairy edge of Discord, because most humor is a way to deal with things that unpleasant or uncomfortable. Laughter magic can protect yourself and others through coincidence and slapstick, and incapacitate (but not hurt) foes in the same way. It also allows uncanny 'toon physics' and can break the fourth wall. Anger is what happens when it's not funny anymore, and someone has to pay. It guides and empowers you efforts to destroy a target, enhances attacks, grants knowledge of weapons, and can make you an unstoppable juggernaut.

Loyalty magic works in several ways. First, it's the magic of oaths and bonds. Loyalty empowered oaths are not just punitive: they boost those following their vows in addition to any backlash or consequences for breaking them. A leader can also stand for the followers, magically speaking, which combines powerfully with Generosity and for attunement, though this works in both directions. A leader with evil followers is tainted by their actions until he makes them shape up, or the other way around. Treachery can act similar to both deceit and cruelty, but goes further by by revealing what others value.

Magic is a bit of a misnomer, since what it really means is the essence of Harmony: the secret ingredient, making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. A better word would be Synthesis. Magic can be used for leadership, bringing a group together, or in comprehension to bring holistic insight to seemingly separate facts. Magic is also the virtue used to combine others, or even with their counterparts. For example, Greed and Generosity are combined by Magic to form Trade Magic: a whole new field. Division is the magic of breaking things up, and making them more individual. Naturally this is good for attacks, from crudely cutting things in half to elegantly reducing a clock to it's gears and screws. It can even create lightning by separating charge. But Division can also help understand a situation by breaking a problem down into comprehensible pieces, or aid measurement by dividing time and distance. And of course the magic of Division is good for wards, dividing outside from inside and one from another.


Ace Valkryie Pilot
RPGnet Member
Validated User
First edition Chronicles of Darkness (then called World of Darkness) has a system of virtues and vices modeled after the Christian deadly sins and rough opposites. Rather than rolling against them, though, you use your character's virtue and vice to help you regain the metacurrency, called Willpower. I think it's roughly along the lines of giving in to your vice lets you regain one point while doing something big that reflects your virtue allows you to regain all the points. It probably exists in various other C/WoD stuff.

I imagine one thing to think about is what virtues and sins you want to focus on and how they'll reflect the world of your game, suggest the sorts of characters people might want to play, etc.
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