[MOD] The Five Schools (Philosophy)

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GloryGloryByzantium

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An integral part of the Hellenistic era is not merely the military conquests of Alexander and political might of the Successors, but also the spread of Greek culture and the intellectual achievements brought about in this area both by the original Hellenes but also by the many and great contributions of Egyptians, Syrians, Anatolians, who participated in the various philosophical developments of the era. This mod seeks to bring these features to life and to simultaneously integrate playing an individual character with the long-term goals of the nation.

The Mod Scope includes:
Individual character development (acquisition of traits and joining a philosophical school)
Interactions with other character (Tutoring heirs, influencing court members, school-specific events to unlock)
Provincial modifiers (Civilizational advancements, effects on pop happiness as they strive to achieve eudaimonia)
State-level effects (Research! and governmental changes as a ruler brings the world in-line with his ideas)
This first post will discuss the context of these changes per the base game and subsequent posts will highlight the development in each of the four areas above.

Steam Link:

Context: Most players will be aware of the three famous Athenian philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. All three have have greeted Hades by the time of game start. The latter two founded the schools of the 'Academy' and 'Lyceum', respectively. The heads of these two schools, Polemon and Theophrastus, are characters in the base game and are located in Athens. Additionally, Athens is home to Epicurus and Zeno, the founders of Epicureanism and Stoicism. These latter schools of thought would outshine the Platonists and Aristotelians in this era.

epicurus.png
zeno.png


There are many other philosophers included in the start date as well as astronomers, mathematicians, and poets. Initially the mod focus will be on philosophers, with perhaps an expanded focus with time. The mod name is a reference to the 5 schools active at this time: Academics (Platonists), Peripatetics (Aristotelians), Epicureans, Stoics, and Pyrrhonists (Skeptics). There are others which will be included (Cynics, Cyrenaics), but the core focus will be on the popular schools of the era. The early stages of this mod development have been focused on tracking down the characters available for the base game. Later philosophers will be randomly generated, but perhaps with some historically important characters showing up (perhaps all the way to Lucretius!).


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Look for an follow-up on character development and how a player can interact with these various schools!
 

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[Dev Diary]: Character Development

GloryGloryByzantium

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In the ancient world, philosophy was primarily a way of life. While many Hellenistic schools laid the foundations for what would become modern fields of Western ontology, epistemology, ethics, the schools were not focused on building bodies of knowledge which were abstracted from this life (or the life to come). What the schools taught about the gods, nature, or the soul affected the moral choices an adherent would take. For this reason, the initial focus in embracing a philosophical school will entail character development.

The first step would be to embrace the teachings of a certain school. Here, the option to embrace Epicureanism is available because there is an Epicurean philosopher within the nations borders (more on the existence of these philosophers later).

embrace epicureanism.png


Once selected, a scheme will be triggered where the character will embrace the teachings of the school. The timing here will simulate sitting through lectures. Selecting another scheme during this time will abort the training. (Modifier subject to change).

epicureanism basics.png


Once initiated into the teachings, a series of character development ambitions will become available. These are distinctive to each school and depend on what traits a member of the school would have. Once selected, a scheme will be triggered which will run for 120-or-so days. During this time, the player will have to meet certain certain conditions before the scheme ends (if failed, the scheme can be tried again). These can be related to character interactions or something required on the national-level. Again, they will vary depending on which trait is being pursued.

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Once these virtues have been achieved, the character can complete their training and become a full-fledged member of the school.

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This modifier will be used to track members of the various schools for interesting character interactions, which is a subject for a future post.
 

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[Dev Diary]: Founding a School

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To perform all the character interactions described above, a philosopher needs to be present within the nation. To obtain the steady presence of philosophers, a school can be founded where their teaching will be carried out:

1597521357403.png


Once a school is founded, the player must decide which philosophical teaching will be done there. Based on the decision, the province where the school is located will receive modifiers which are specific to the philosophical school chosen as well as a general unrest reduction that all schools grant:

1597520143121.png


Based on the choice, an event will trigger which will search for available philosophers to start the school. Only philosophers either resident in the nation or within the diplomatic range of the country can be contacted for the founding of the school. If a foreigner is chosen, they will move countries. If there is no one available for a particular philosophy, then that philosophy will not be available for school founding. This creates a dynamic playstyle, because not all philosophies will be available at all places at all times. It will be up to the player to find out the conditions - but Athens might be a good place to find a lover of wisdom.

1597520374200.png


Once a school is generated, a recurring event will ensure that there will be a steady production of teachers and students at the school:

1597521912286.png


Finally, it is possible to have many schools simultaneously with a given amount of investments in academies. The scholarchs may be given wages in future updates, but do not currently have them as of now.

Future updates will discuss tutoring heirs and the possibility of temporary or 'wandering' philosophers, but the mod is getting close to completion for its current state.
 
3D Model Added

GloryGloryByzantium

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A collaborator, MattTheLegoman, has generously created a 3D model of the academy that can be added when a school is founded in select capitals in the Hellenic world. Here is an academy as found in Athens at the game start:

1598306856812.png


This model is currently available for the following cities: Pella, Lysimacheia, Byzantion, Antioch / Antigoneia, Alexandria, Cyrene, and Rome. More cities can be added at mod players' request.
 
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Trunting

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I believe this mod looks pretty solid. It would be great, if you made it happen.
 
Next Steps

GloryGloryByzantium

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While scripting has slowed down, there are many ideas I want to implement but wanted to get potential feedback from the community. The mod was released a little over 2 weeks ago, with the steam link in the original post. As for next steps, here are some of the ideas in place:

1. The 'Laertius Project':
Historical events based on changes to Plato's Academy and its turn towards skepticism and its latter revival as Middle Platonism. Similar events are planned for the decline and restoration of Pyrrhonism and the loss of Aristotle's manuscripts.
2. More schools:
In addition to the 5 schools already available, there could be potentially added: Cyrenaicism, Cynicism, Pythagoreanism, and Indian Gymnosophism. There could also be an expansion to mathematics and sophistry that would be more tied to state-sponsored research but I'm waiting to see if 1.6 will include an invention overhaul.
3. Libraries:
Creating a new building with a new 3D model which houses manuscripts of various writings. It would cost gold and availability of papyrus to copy a text from a philosopher. In addition to the prestige of the library, these texts could then be read by a ruler which would trigger an event series related to the teaching being read.
4. National / Cultural Ideas and Effects:
These could include the teaching of Stoic cosmopolitanism, which would reduce unintegrated unhappiness or Epicurean hedonism, where output is reduced but happiness increased and could open character interactions for revelry.

Let me know if any of these ideas excite you or if you'd like to see the mod go in a different direction. I'd also like feedback if you have enjoyed joining one of the five schools in the mod already and how immersive the experience was.

Be farsighted in all things.
- Periander
 
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Next Steps: Roman Philosophy

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Some have asked about philosophy in the Western Med. There is an event for a ‘hometown’ philosopher for those not in the immediate Hellenistic vicinity, but I want to add some flavor specifically for Rome. Historically, when interactions in Macedonia and Greece increased there were philosophical contacts made and even a delegation of Athenian philosophers sent to Rome: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/ancient/plut_carneades.asp . I hope to add an event similar to this which should spawn some schools or at least give the opportunity to found some more directly. This will somewhat interact with the above-mentioned Laertius project.

I expect that the mod should be fully functional when 2.0 hits as all features are events and character interactions.
 
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HowPow

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Hey, this mod sounds great! In the steam page, people say some minor things are broken for 2.0. I haven't tested it yet, is it updated/compatible? Are you still maintaining the mod or would you mind if other people would fix it?
 
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GloryGloryByzantium

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Hey, this mod sounds great! In the steam page, people say some minor things are broken for 2.0. I haven't tested it yet, is it updated/compatible? Are you still maintaining the mod or would you mind if other people would fix it?
I am maintaining it and hope to eventually add to it down the road. The only known issue pointed out on the steam page has to do with the building requirements to start a school, which I have been slow to fix, but hope to get to soon. If there are other issues or things you’d like to see, let me know.
 
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HowPow

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Very cool. I didn't mean to pressure you or anything, thanks for making it! I''m hyped to test it :cool:
 
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Civic Tech Tree: Pythagorean and Stoic Inventions

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The mod has been 'updated' for 2.0 (there were some lingering UI ideas that were incomplete and causing issues). As part of the future focus, I want to shift the philosophical aspects into more of a national and civilizational focus. One immediately area this can be implemented is in the innovation trees. Some may have noticed that several of the inventions that came along with 2.0 refer to specific philosophies by name (Pythagorean mathematics, Stoicism, or militant Epicureanism). Naturally, I am reworking the invention trees so that different themes are categorized on the basis of a school. The first set to be reworked are the Civic Inventions, which now have focuses related to Pythagoreanism and Stoicism. Here's the former:

1620676248093.png


As you can see, an early mathematical focus branches into a mechanical branch and a surveying-type branch. Mechanics then leads to practical options related to various building and construction aspects of building a city. I was particularly pleased that I could work in a natural progression from water pumps to fire hoses and clean water access. All of these trends are required for urban or rural planning. The survey-type branch which include astronomy features dovetails into commerce-based inventions (mathematics -> astronomy -> safer seafaring -> more trade). Here's that branch, which can be accessed with or without a Pythagorean focus:

1620676500245.png


Players of this mod might recall that I do not currently have a Pythagorean school available yet. So I will give access to the Platonists, who are big fans of mathematics and Pythagoreanism until I can further develop the distinctions and interplay between the two. Working through this tree should bring to mind the spirit of Archimedes and Euclid and the culture of Alexandria that would later produce Ptolemy (the astronomer). I should also note that these trees are subject to slight change, as some of these inventions require Hellenic cultural or cultural integration and /or the HoA DLC. I want most of the inventions accessible to non-philosophers, but am ok with locking some behind a certain school (because that adds to their importance and it makes sense for this mod; but I don't want to cause AI issues).

Next, the Stoic tree is based in pop happiness, promotion, and cultural harmony. While Stoicism may be commonly known for its emphasis on self-control, part of its ethical teaching emphasized an ancient cosmopolitan attitude (related, with distinction, to its corresponding modern attitude) and an equality that emphasized the primacy of ethics which leveled social hierarchy. It is a feature, not an accident, that among the two most famous Stoics, one was a slave (Epictetus) and the other an emperor (Marcus Aurelius). These ideas were tied to their physical theories, which proposed that there is a sympathy among the various parts of nature. Hopefully the player can feels a sense of these themes as they unlock the innovations in this tree:

1620677165489.png

(There is another branch innovations here that interwoven with some other civic advances that are thematically related but less relevant to Stoicism.)

Next time, I'll visit the Oratory tree and see what the Peripatics might have in store for teaching us about rhetoric.
 
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Oh that is a *really* good implementation of your mod. And I do mean really good!

Will you be able to freely choose your innovations, or will those somehow be locked behind the 'prominance' certain schools have in your country?
 

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Will you be able to freely choose your innovations, or will those somehow be locked behind the 'prominance' certain schools have in your country?
The current plan is to semi-lock them. If you have a Stoic school established for example, then you have immediate access to that innovation branch. I intend to add alternate access that comes with more difficulty or later in the game for those without the school.
 
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  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Just wanted to leave a note that there is still future planning and an active discussion of this mod on the discord.
While there is still a desire to rework the innovation trees along lines of philosophical schools, a few other ideas have come to light. The overall goal is to give this portion of the mod more of a "national" feel that expands upon the character (and province) -based content thus far.
One idea is to have flavor events about related to the direction of the school and its importance to national focus. These types of events are currently lacking and the immersion may be therefore hidden behind character interactions for those players not looking for them. More details about how this might look will have to wait a few more weeks.
Secondly, I recently played through the Hellenistic mission tree, which has several tasks related to founding a school of philosophy. Here's some screenshots from my vanilla playthrough:

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These events overlap with some of the same aims of the Five Schools: establishing a school, choosing a curriculum, obtaining some kind of bonus for the existence of the school, and teaching the ruler and other nobles. There is then a natural synthesis with this mission tree and the existing decisions of this mod. The pursuit of the Anthologia Philosophike decision is also related to the idea of libraries I floated here. I can expand upon this decision and require finding various texts of Plato, Aristotle (a few of his works are referenced in Anthologia Philosophike), or others (Epicurus and Zeno the Stoic are alive at game start; so these schools might have a different kind of library to build). Of course, this would require locking most of the mod behind the Heirs of Alexander DLC; but you really should buy the DLC (on sale as always) anyway. Perhaps then I can revisit whether mission tree might then open some of the avenues related to innovations or national ideas. But for now, I'm going to dream of the sound of scribbles on papyrus in the temple of the Muses overlooking the sea.
 
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