Philosophers become familiar with the general characteristics of their world, within the limits of the knowledge available to their culture, discarding many popular misconceptions. They acquire extensive knowledge on a wide range of subjects, and are, in many ways, the encyclopaedias and expert opinions of the medieval world. Philosophers are also well versed in using the unusual and obscure indexing methods employed in medieval libraries, and so may research and answer enquiries that they do not immediately know the answers to.
BOOKS: A Philosopher must possess (or have frequent access to) at least Rank times 10 books, written in languages that they are literate in.
REALMS: These are the largest and least detailed divisions of knowledge. There are 5 Realms of knowledge: the Social World, the Material World, the Magical World, the Animal World, and the Plant World.
FIELDS: Realms are divided into large blocks of knowledge, called Fields. GMs should not need to add new Fields to the Realms, but may do so if they wish.
SUB-FIELDS: Small, and quite specific divisions of a Field, these are not limited to only those suggested below. A Philosopher may learn almost any sub-division of a Field as a Sub-field, with the GM as the final arbiter. The most common Sub-fields concern a particular race or area within a Field.
FIELDS & SUB-FIELDS: At each Rank above 0, the Philosopher receives a number of Sub-fields. They receive: at Ranks 1 to 4, 3 Sub-fields; at Ranks 5 to 7, 5 Sub-fields; and at Ranks 8 to 10, 7 Sub-fields. 3 Sub-fields may be traded for 1 Field. Any part of the Sub-field allotment may be retained and used in conjunction with the allotment received for further Ranks. Once a Philosopher has achieved Rank 10 they may not Rank their Skill further, but may acquire new areas of knowledge. A new Realm costs 8 weeks and 4000ep, a new Field 3 weeks and 1500ep, and a new Sub-field 1 week and 500ep.
FIELD RESTRICTIONS: A Philosopher may not learn a Sub-field if they have not already learned the Field that it is part of. They may not learn a Field if they have not already learned the Realm that it is part of.
OVERLAPS & CONNECTIONS: In some cases it is possible to reach the same Sub-fields by different routes. These duplicated Fields may be treated as identical and no benefit accrues from having the same Sub-field more than once.
DIFFICULTY: Questions that may be answered by a Philosopher fall into one of seven categories; Automatic, Very Easy, Easy, Standard, Hard, Very Hard, and Impossible. The first step in determining the difficulty of answering the question, is for the GM to determine which Realm(s) the question pertains to, and the level of difficulty of the question.
A Standard question is one of average difficulty, relative to a given Realm, as determined by the GM. They usually deal with a reasonably large sub-set of the knowledge of the Realm. If the Philosopher possesses the Realm to which the question pertains, but has no more in-depth knowledge applicable to the question, the difficulty is as set by the GM. If the Philosopher has a Field within that Realm, that the GM determines is relevant to the question, the difficulty decreases by one step. If the Philosopher has a Sub-field within that Field, and the GM determines that it is relevant to the question, the difficulty decreases by another step. If a Philosopher does not even possess the Realm of the question, it becomes two steps harder. A Philosopher will immediately know the answer to an Automatic question. A Philosopher may not answer an Impossible question.
EX: A GM determines that the question "Where do Fire Giants mostly live?" is Hard, and of the Realm: Social World. As the Philosopher attempting to answer the question has the Field : Ethnology, the question becomes Standard . The Philosopher also has the Sub-Field : The Baronies, but the GM rules that this geographically specific information will not help shed light on where Fire Giants as a group mostly live, and thus it will not help with the question.
ANSWERS: The accuracy of the answer that a Philosopher can offer is dependant on Rank and the difficulty of the question. To increase their accuracy, a Philosopher may also undertake a course of study. For each study period (the length of which is determined by difficulty), +1% is added to the Philosopher's Base Chance. A Philosopher may, at any time, attempt to answer the question. The base Accuracy, Rank bonus, and length of study period is shown on the Answer Table.
Even though Philosophers keep notes during their course of study, an extended interruption may prove a setback. If a Philosopher ceases a course of study but resumes it within Rank weeks there are no adverse effects. If the interruption is longer than this then half of the percentage amount that they had achieved from study is lost.
FINAL RESULT: If the question is of a Yes/No nature, the Accuracy is the Base Chance that the Philosopher will arrive at the correct answer. If the question is more open, the Accuracy is the amount of relevant information that the Philosopher will come up with. It is also possible that some questions (as determined by the GM) are simply unanswerable. If this is the case, the Accuracy becomes the Base Chance that the Philosopher will become aware of this fact.
THE SOCIAL WORLD: Standard Sub-fields include: Area, Race, History. The Fields of this Realm are:
|Very Easy||90%||+1%||1 minute|
|Very Hard||0%||+3%||1 hour|
Copyright 1999, Martin Dickson.