Virtue and Vice in Polarization

In a previous post I spoke about Polarising Your CastI hope to provide some updated ideas as to use other concepts that can provide polarization for larger groups than just the head, heart, and guts. Consider for example the classical Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. The benefit is you can focus on a collision of Virtues versus Vice and dice them up in such a way as to be a problem that needs to be overcome to move the story forward or a simple character flaw that keeps providing depth to your heroes.

Virtue Sin Meaning
Chastity Lust • Discretion of sexual conduct according to one’s state in life.
Temperance Gluttony • Restraint, practicing self-control, abstinence, moderation and deferred gratification.
Charity Greed • Generosity, charity, self-sacrifice; Charity—or love (agäpé)—is the greatest of the three theological virtues. “Caritas” is distinguished by being divinely infused into the soul—and by its residing in the will rather than emotions.
Diligence Sloth • A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work; decisive work ethic, and perseverance.
• Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness.
Patience Wrath (Anger) • Forbearance reflecting moderation. Building a sense of peaceful stability and harmony rather than conflict, hostility, and antagonism; resolving issues and arguments respectfully, as opposed to resorting to anger and fighting.
• Showing forgiveness and being merciful.
Kindness Envy • Compassion and empathy.
Humility Pride • Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. It is a spirit of self-examination; a hermeneutic of suspicion toward yourself and charity toward others. Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect.
• The courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved. Giving credit where credit is due; not unduly glorifying one’s own self.
• Refraining from despair; the ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation.


If you have a group of adventures, consider what their sins and virtues are. Maybe you’ve got an alien hunting crew. The Technical Engineer is a hot-head (wrath), the pilot is always minimizing her contributions (humility), the Computer Tech Sargent hates being in the field (Sloth), and the leader comes from a secret order that emphasizes physical and mental discipline to such an extent no one else thinks they can have any fun (Temperance). Imagine how they all react to a problem and interact with each other.

Now go out there and polarise!

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