Virtue and Vice
Human Nature - The fundamental set of qualities, and the range of behavior, shared by all humans.
In the World of Darkness this is measured by Virtues and Vices, the good or bad moral conduct.
Virtue & Vice Matrix
|Virtue and Vice Matrix|
|Virtue \ Vice||Envy||Gluttony||Greed||Lust||Pride||Sloth||Wrath|
|Charity||Charity • Envy||Charity • Gluttony||Charity • Greed||Charity • Lust||Charity • Pride||Charity • Sloth||Charity • Wrath|
|Faith||Faith • Envy||Faith • Gluttony||Faith • Greed||Faith • Lust||Faith • Pride||Faith • Sloth||Faith • Wrath|
|Fortitude||Fortitude • Envy||Fortitude • Gluttony||Fortitude • Greed||Fortitude • Lust||Fortitude • Pride||Fortitude • Sloth||Fortitude • Wrath|
|Hope||Hope • Envy||Hope • Gluttony||Hope • Greed||Hope • Lust||Hope • Pride||Hope • Sloth||Hope • Wrath|
|Justice||Justice • Envy||Justice • Gluttony||Justice • Greed||Justice • Lust||Justice • Pride||Justice • Sloth||Justice • Wrath|
|Prudence||Prudence • Envy||Prudence • Gluttony||Prudence • Greed||Prudence • Lust||Prudence • Pride||Prudence • Sloth||Prudence • Wrath|
|Temperance||Temperance • Envy||Temperance • Gluttony||Temperance • Greed||Temperance • Lust||Temperance • Pride||Temperance • Sloth||Temperance • Wrath|
Virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
True Charity comes from sharing gifts with others, be it money or possessions, or simply giving time to help another in need. A charitable character is guided by her compassion to share what she has in order to improve the plight of those around her. Charitable individuals are guided by the principle of treating others as they would be treated themselves. By sharing gifts and taking on the role of the Samaritan, they hope to cultivate goodwill in others, and the gifts they give will eventually return to them in their hour of need.
Those with Faith know that the universe is not random, meaningless chaos, but ordered by a higher power. No matter how horrifying the world might be, everything has its place in the Plan and ultimately serves that Purpose. This Virtue does not necessarily involve belief in a personified deity. It might involve belief in a Grand Unified Theory whereby the seeming randomness of the universe is ultimately an expression of mathematical precision. Or it might be a view that everything is One and that even evil is indistinguishable from good when all discriminating illusions are overcome.
A person’s ideals are meaningless unless they’re tested. When it seems as though the entire world is arrayed against him because of his beliefs, a person possessing Fortitude weathers the storm and emerges with his convictions intact. Fortitude is about standing up for one’s beliefs and holding the course no matter how tempting it may be to relent or give up. By staying the course—regardless of the cost—he proves the worth of his ideals.
Being hopeful means believing that evil and misfortune cannot prevail, no matter how grim things become. Not only do the hopeful believe in the ultimate triumph of morality and decency over malevolence, they maintain steadfast belief in a greater sense of cosmic justice—whether it’s Karma or the idea of an all-knowing, all-seeing God who waits to punish the wicked. All will turn out right in the end, and the hopeful mean to be around when it happens.
Wrongs cannot go unpunished. This is the central tenet of the just, who believe that protecting the innocent and confronting inequity is the responsibility of every decent person, even in the face of great personal danger. The just believe that evil cannot prosper so long as one good person strives to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
The Virtue of Prudence places wisdom and restraint above rash action and thoughtless behavior. One maintains integrity and principles by moderating actions and avoiding unnecessary risks. While that means a prudent person might never take big gambles that bring huge rewards, neither is his life ruined by a bad roll of the dice. By choosing wisely and avoiding the easy road he prospers slowly but surely.
Moderation in all things is the secret to happiness, so says the doctrine of Temperance. It’s all about balance. Everything has its place in a person’s life, from anger to forgiveness, lust to chastity. The temperate do not believe in denying their urges, as none of it is unnatural or unholy. The trouble comes when things are taken to excess, whether it’s a noble or base impulse. Too much righteousness can be just as bad as too much wickedness.
Vice is a practice or a behavior or habit considered immoral, depraved, or degrading in the associated society.
An envious person is never satisfied with what she has. No matter her wealth, status or accomplishments, there is always someone else who seems to have more—and she wants it. Envious characters are never secure or content with their place in life. They always measure themselves against their rivals and look for ways to get what they deserve. They might be considered paranoid or just consumed by a self-loathing that they project onto others.
Gluttony is about indulging appetites to the exclusion of everything else. It’s about dedicating oneself to sensual pleasures or chasing the next high. A glutton makes any sacrifice to feed his insatiable appetite for pleasure, regardless of the cost to himself or those around him. He might be considered a junky or even a kleptomaniac (he steals things he doesn’t need just for the thrill of it).
Like the envious, the greedy are never satisfied with what they have. They want more—more money, a bigger house, more status or influence—though they may already have more than they can possibly handle. Everything is taken to excess. To the greedy, there is no such thing as having too much. If that means snatching someone else’s hard-earned reward just to feather one’s own nest, well, that’s the way it goes.
The Vice of Lust is the sin of uncontrolled desire. A lusty individual is driven by a passion for something (usually sex, but it can be a craving for virtually any experience or activity) that he acts upon without consideration for the needs or feelings of others. A lusty individual uses any means at his disposal to indulge his desires, from deception to manipulation to acts of violence.
Pride is the Vice of self-confidence run amok. It is the belief that one’s every action is inherently right, even when it should be obvious that it is anything but. A prideful person refuses to back down when his decision or reputation is called into question, even when the evidence is clear that he is in the wrong. His ego does not accept any outcome that suggests fallibility, and he is willing to see others suffer rather than admit that he’s wrong.
The Vice of Sloth is about avoiding work until someone else has to step in to get the job done. Rather than put in the effort—and possibly risk failure—in a difficult situation, the slothful person simply refuses to do anything, knowing that someone else will step in and fix the problem sooner or later. The fact that people might needlessly suffer while the slothful person sits on his thumbs doesn’t matter one bit.
The Vice of Wrath is the sin of uncontrolled anger. The wrathful look for ways to vent their anger and frustration on people or objects at the slightest provocation. In most cases the reaction is far out of proportion to the perceived slight. A wrathful person cut off on the freeway might try to force another driver off the road, or a wrathful cop might delight in beating each and every person he arrests, regardless of the offense.