onthought asked: Spinoza was a boss. Just sayin'
hahahah, yeah, he certainly was.
Rereading the Ethics is always awesome, even if I don’t agree with his metaphysics (two simple bodies moving at the same velocity are the same simple body? common now), suspending that doubt and taking advantage of his insights into the emotions and human life is always valuable.
Also, in that RPG, I think I would literally make him a boss, as in, the final boss. It would be God, but that would be too much of a personification to put it into his system.
An idea for an RPG based on Spinoza’s Ethics
TL;Dr: Players gain control over their character by leveling, and their influence over that character is balanced against their powers and abilities
this is just something I’ve been toying with since reading ‘The Ethics’, it came to me when I realized that Book 4 sounds an awful lot like a book on magic theory.
Ultra short caricatured run-down on the Ethics: Spinoza doesn’t believe in free will, not for humans, not even for God. That being said, for him, the more one develops reason, and the more one develops an understanding of God through this reason, the more one can be said to ‘act’ rather than be ‘acted on’. Basically, you gain what looks like will by developing understanding.
My idea is essentially an RPG where the players are under the complete control of the GM. At the beginning of the game, the players are introduced to ‘the truth’ which functions as the beginning of something like a magic tree. Essentially, the more one levels up, the more one learns of ‘the truth’ and the more ‘free will’ he gets. So initially, the player gins the ability to influence slight nuances, then the means to whatever predetermined end, then the end itself, then long term goals, how he reacts to emotions, things like that. Gaining levels in ‘truth’ also unlocks other branches of the tree, these other areas allow the player to gain ‘will’ over things that they would not normally have, for example, players gaining will over their mental faculties gain psychic-like abilities, players who gain will over physical faculties gain magic-like abilities. Essentially this functions as a balance between how powerful the character is and how much he is in control of himself; a player who focuses on getting nifty powers will usually be less in control of himself, but someone who wants complete control over his character will generally be less nifty than others.
Obviously, leveling would have to be fairly quick in the beginning, because noone wants to have a complete lack of control when playing, but I think that could be solved pretty easily - the simple introduction to ‘the truth’ could function as an instant level boost.I think one of the more interesting aspects of this is that it exemplifies a certain issue that can be taken with The Ethics - if we are completely predetermined in every way, and action is possible only via understanding which follows from a line of geometric reasoning found in the Ethics, then the Ethics, and Spinoza, take on the quasi-mystical tone of being teachers and prerequisites for freedom - Spinoza takes on a savior-like quality - he was the only one who happened to be predetermined in such a way as to not only learn the way to freedom, but to then write and publish this ‘way’, all subsequent freedom must be attributable to him. I think there’s an argument to be made for strong mystical undertones in Spinoza’s Philosophy.