Friday, September 22, 2017

Patreon Post: Neo-Rational Technology

Neo-Rationalism promises a new golden age of technology and delivers!  Neo-Rationalists also gain access to limited TL 12^ gadgetry via the Cutting Edge Technology (Neo-Rational Tech) available to all Neo-Rationalists.  For today's Patreon post, I offer a first draft of that technology.  It's available, as a preview, to all $3+ patrons. If you're a Patron, check it out! If you're not, I'd love to have you.


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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Neo-Rational Organizations: Institutes and Salons

No single, overarching organization governs Neo-Rationalism; one can better think of Neo-Rationalism as a movement. Organizations form within that movement for the express purpose of exploring, expanding and teaching the ideas of Neo-Rationalism. Broadly speaking, these organizations break down into two categories: institutes, official organizations that teach Neo-Rationalism in a formal manner, and Salons, which teach Neo-Rationalism in an informal manner.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Neo-Rational Disciplines

Unlike the philosophies of the Akashic Mysteries and True Communion, Neo-Rationalism doesn’t have a strict set of disciplines deeply associated with its philosophy. Nonetheless, Neo-Rationalists have, over time, applied their deeply scientific approach to combat, social interaction and even to defeating their ultimate nemesis, psychic powers. While not every Neo-Rationalist institute teaches all of the following disciplines, especially depending on what specific branch of Neo-Rationalism the institute adheres to, but the following represent the most common Neo-Rationalist disciplines.

The alien race known as the Traders cross-pollinated extensively with Neo-Rational disciplines. Some practice Combat Geometrics, while some Neo-Rationalist humans attempt to master Hyperdimensional Meditation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Neo-Rational Schisms

Neo-Rationalism does not follow a strict hierarchy, nor it is a dogmatically organized philosophy. Instead, Neo-Rationalism is better described as a movement, an attempt to return to, and understand, the rationalism of old. As such, it has no strictly agreed upon interpretations or ideologies. The standard Neo-Rationalism described thus far is really just the most common form of Neo-Rationalism, and the exact nature of Neo-Rational dogma changes from person to person, and experiences fads and trends.

Neo-Rationalists offer far more respect to Neo-Rational schisms than they do to other “irrational” philosophies. To the Neo-Rationalist, a “wrong” Neo-Rationalist is still rational, just not as rational as he is. As such, members of Schisms tend to vigorously debate one another and possibly disparage one another in papers, but they respect whatever laureates or credentials the others have.

A character who wishes to follow an alternate form of Rationalism may note the alternate name in their belief, eg Belief (Cyber-Rationalism) rather than Belief (Neo-Rationalis). Neo-Rationalism schisms default to one another at -2; optionally, the GM may treat them as familiarities: once a character has spent some time arguing with members of a schism, he can waive the penalty.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Neo-Rationalism as Esoteric Style

Students of Neo-Rationalism attempt to re-orient their minds towards “rational thinking.” This tends to create a cold and logical outlook on the world, but masters of the philosophy tend to be genuinely more stoic and mentally focused than non-practitioners.

Neo-Rationalists argue that they have superior moral and philosophical insights to all other philosophies, but even most outside observers agree that their philosophy is exceptionally well-suited to describing “the natural universe.” If someone is able to attain it, Neo-Rational Heuristics, when paired with appropriate optional skills, allows for superior results. The precise determinism of Neo-Rationalism also allows reasonably accurate predictions of the future, giving some followers a spooky, nigh supernatural foresight events, thanks to Foresightful Planning. While not ubiquitous throughout the Empire, many Academy trained individuals are also Neo-Rationalist trained; some of the best admirals or investigators supplement their practice with Neo-Rational heuristics and foresightful planning.

Neo-Rationalism has modest anti-psionic benefits, mainly in the form of skepticism and the tight logic and mental discipline of a practiced Neo-Rationalist. Anti-Psionic characters, like Dawkins Nigh, like to subscribe to Neo-Rationalism, as it makes them feel like their strange powers have a purpose, namely in hunting down the “irrational” psions, and especially in proving their claims wrong.

Neo-Rationalists tend to ascribe inhuman feats of intellect to their founders. There might be a case for “supernatural” powers or some variation of the Illumination advantage, especially if Neo-Rationalism is “true.”

Friday, September 15, 2017

Patreon Post: Faith, Psi-Wars and the Old Ways

Not psychic, last I checked.  Probably isn't
strong in the Force either.
I hope you've been enjoying Neo-Rationalism.  It's the only non-Psionic philosophy I'll release as an official part of this series, but it got me to thinking about other non-Psionic philosophies and faiths, and about faith itself.  Faith, not just in the sense of religion, but in finding something to believe in, features strongly in many works of science fiction.  I suspect many others enjoy contrasting the shine, confidence and soullessness of technology with the austere humility of spirituality.  As such, I wanted to write something addressing that and offering potential ways to include some non-psionic religion with the uncertainties of the world addressed in an uncertain and subtle faith.

Some of my readers have begun asking about Old Westerly philosophies, and what other sort of religions humans might follow. I've always seen the Old Westerly as the Corellians of the setting, characters more space cowboys and pioneers than shining knights or sketchy cyberpunks.  If we imagine them as inspired by Firefly, then a good, "wild west" philosophy for them would look a lot like the religion Shepherd Book follows.  So, as a worked example of a non-psionic faith, I offer Shepherdism, an optional "old way" that one might found lingering on the rim of the galaxy, or if you want some humble, monastic faith that rolls up its sleeves and helps the poor, and True Communion doesn't do it for you.

This patreon special is available to all $1+ patrons.  If you're a patron, check it out!  If you're not a patron, I'd love to have you.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Neo-Rational Symbolism and Ceremonies

Neo-Rationalists tend to be less formal than other philosophies. They lack strict organizations and what passes for Neo-Rationalism tends to change based on what is currently fashionable among the intellectual elite, united only by the Rationalist Canon and its antecedents. Neo-Rationalists do like ways to display their rational piety and to hone their minds, however, and so ceremonial actions do occasionally become popular and widespread.

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