Skills: Meditation?

thewoozle

Registered User
Validated User
I'm finalizing my skills list and came to a skreaching halt on Meditation. Should I include it? My skills are mainly 'modern' skills with Magic skills coming later, so it wouldn't help with magic. Meditation can help with healing and with concentration, but I'm thinking about just making meditation a basic ability for an attribute (Wits or Composure...)

Any opinions about meditation needing to be a seperate skill? or being a basic attribute ability?
 

Vordark

Retired User
Can someone in your system be better at meditating than someone else? Or can your own meditation be more effective one day than it is some other day? If not, just make it an ability not necessarily tied to anything.

Can someone improve in meditation over time without necessarily improving in other "Wits/Composure" areas? If so, it makes sense for it to be a skill.

If I decide something might be better as a skill, the final hurdle to putting into a system is how useful it is. If the skill has a very narrow range of usefulness, especially where there are ways to get the skill's benefit without purchasing the skill (I assume meditation isn't the only way to heal in your game), then I generally leave it on the cutting room floor.
 

Second Variety

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Validated User
I'd make it a base ability off an attribute but with increased effectiveness if you take the skill. Otherwise why spend all that time with gurus and in remote monasteries. :D

Maybe you could use it to still heartrate etc. and enter a state of suspended animation (if really good, not suffer from the effects of intoxicants, stave off the effects of hunger or exposure, ignore screaming kids while driving, levitate, astrally project, etc.)
 
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xBlackWolfx

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Banned
in my system, i would just leave meditation as a simple willpower (aka self-control and discipline) check. i dont know if i'll include concentration as a skill since the attribute itself already covers that area, but if you do have concentration as a skill them meditation would be pretty pointless. if you want, you could make it as a feat and have the character get a negative modifier if they dont have it. but as a skill? i dont think it really makes sense, its not like its something you have to spend years training for.
 

thirdkingdom

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RPGnet Member
Validated User
i but as a skill? i dont think it really makes sense, its not like its something you have to spend years training for.
I disagree. I think that meditation does require training and practice, especially to reach the levels of something like a Buddhist monk. I think the only reasons to make it a skill are:
1) There are instances when it makes sense to require a check, such as attempting to meditate amidst distractions, and it is obvious that some characters would have an advantage over others (i.e. characters that meditate a lot, having a high skill score, would be better than characters that don't). and/or
2) There are advantages to being a better meditator; more points regained in a shorter amount of time, or something.

I also think there is a distinction between meditation and concentration. Concentrating involves focusing on a specific task and ignoring distractions. Meditating involves focusing on nothing, not doing anything.

Todd
 

stolide

Retired User
As one who has practiced meditation from the age of 11, I can say that meditation is a skill in real life. There is a difference between concentrating and meditating, and looking at "real life magick" many paradigms suggest that one learns meditation (Sometimes referred to as mental control, such as in the Liber Null) before they even begin practicing magick. At the very least, I would give magic users a bonus for meditating before casting a spell.

Also, there are many kinds of meditation, not thinking, or void meditation, is the most well known. Another common one is focal meditation, or thinking solely of one thing. Concentration is trained with the latter, self control is developed with both.

Some uses for meditation and self hypnosis in an RPG would by ignoring pain, ignoring distractions, focusing the mind, calming oneself, waking oneself, releasing adrenaline, removing oneself from shock, memorizing information, allowing for sleep while still thinking. For the last one, the sleep tends not to be as restful, but one is still able to go over thoughts while they are resting. I'm sure there are more things that would be useful for a game, but there's a few to mull over.

You could also fold hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming into one skill with meditation if you wanted something that would have more merit as a skill in an RPG. The neurolinguistic programming could be exceedingly interesting in a game not based around combat.
 

thewoozle

Registered User
Validated User
I'm tending to agree that it is something that has to be practiced and has levels of accomplishment, which mesh with my definition of an RPG skill.... it also sounds like i will have to develope some infrastructure for it to be a skill IN.
Thank you Stolide, I hadn't realized that meditation was more than sitting and going omm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming I'm suprised that wasn't on a flashcard in Psychology 101
 

stolide

Retired User
I'm tending to agree that it is something that has to be practiced and has levels of accomplishment, which mesh with my definition of an RPG skill.... it also sounds like i will have to develope some infrastructure for it to be a skill IN.
Thank you Stolide, I hadn't realized that meditation was more than sitting and going omm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming I'm suprised that wasn't on a flashcard in Psychology 101
It's been entirely skipped over in the psychology classes I've taken... There's a couple stage magicians that use it on television and stuff. You might want to check them out, a couple of them are funny.

Also, it's AUM. That's just a sound used to meditate to, to help clear out other thoughts. (Personally, I don't use it) Some people go as far as to say that when you vibrate it (A specific way of saying something, frequently used with true name type stuff, as well as AUM) you are actually causing your spinal fluid to vibrate a bit due to being close to it's resonate frequency...
 
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