These are the virtues from the Ultima series of games which are based off of the cardinal virtues (truth, love, and courage) and consultation with various different religions. Normally, (in Ultima) you're asked a series of questions which relate to hypothetical events. Each question has two answers, which weigh your virtue preferences differently. This repeats until a dominant virtue emerges. You would then be given a character class which most closely matches your dominant virtue, and set out to become the Avatar, master of all eight virtues.

  • Honesty: (truth) Mage
  • Compassion: (love) Bard
  • Valor: (courage) Fighter
  • Justice: (truth, love) Druid
  • Honor: (truth, courage) Paladin
  • Sacrifice: (love, courage) Tinker
  • Spirituality: (truth, love, courage) Ranger
  • Humility: (none) Shepherd
  • The Eight virtues form the basis of the primary philosophy of the Ultima CRPGs. Each virtue is associated with One of the eight largest cities, character classes, some combination of the three great principles: Truth, Love, and Courage, a rune, a colour, a mantra, a vice which is also the name of a dungeon near the city, and the anti-principles of it's principles. Acting in accordance with the virtues raises your karma while acting counter to them lowers your karma. The absolute value of your karma (amoung other things) determines your mana, if you have any magical ability to begin with. (sorry that most of the mantras are missing but as I remember them I'll add them)

    In the character creation of some of the Ultimas your class was decided by The Paradox of the Avatar. A series of situations is posed to the player by a Gypsy, each requires a decision between two of the virtues, the principle or principles you favour are used to determine your primary virtue and class. (I normal favour truth and therfore become a mage).

    An insightful commentary from Usenet. This is largely repeat of the above

    Might be slightly spoily if you haven't played Ultima IV but would like to do that in the future - but then again, this is really interesting stuff if you're interested in philosophy in general or just the Ultima's ethics.

    It also describes how to draw the symbol of the Codex of the Ultimate Wisdom.

    (For the copyright squad: I tried to contact the author for permission, but the mail bounced. Nuke it if you absolutely feel like it.)

    From: "James Dowd" <>
    Subject: Re: ...lost an Eighth
    Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 20:24:12 -0500
    Message-ID: <6997e9$aik$>

    The un-official word on virtues - but I think I'm right. ;)

    (BTW, this is sort of a spoiler for Ultima 4, and possibly other Ultima games - it's hard to tell when you already know stuff)

    (This is your final warning)


    Here I will list each virtue, it's anti-virtue, and the principles it comes from, and the color. Notice that the color is based on the primary color wheel - red, yellow, and blue are the primaries, but there is a boo-boo. Black should be all three, but in Ultima white is, and black is the outside. Well, here goes... (And yes, I know most of you know this already, but for anyone who just hasn't noticed, this will come in handy)

    *I have no idea what Hythloth is, except the name of a dungeon. I do know, however, that Pride is not the anti-virtue for spirituality.

    And then there are the three principles, their anti-principles (a.k.a. Shadowlords) and their colors.

    And now, how to derive the virtues...

    Make three intersecting circles, all inside one area. Color each circle the color of one of the virtues - the overlapping parts should be the appropriate combo, and the middle is white. The outside is black. Match up colors with virtues, and you got it.

    And finally, for anyone who beat U4 and just doesn't get it at all, like I didn't for a while, here is how to get the symbol of the codex:

    Draw three circles, all tangent to each other. These each represent a principle. Now, draw a circle in the middle of all 3, and tangent to all 3. That is Spirituality. Draw a tangent to each pair of circles on the outside, these are combination virtues. Now the tricky part - draw lines tangent to only one circle, and parallel to the line tangent to the other 2. Finally, draw a circle around the outside, going through where the lines tangent to one circle each intersect. You will now have what looks like a star of David, except that every other point will be too short and will have sort of an X at the end, there will be a circle around it, and three circles within it, and one within those three. That is the symbol of the codex. (All this was also taken from the interview with LB).

    If you still don't really get it, which I probably wouldn't, considering my explanation skills ;), get the graphics patch, beat U4, and look at what color each of the lines is on the codex symbol. Whew, enough of this. Time to find something new to argue about...

    The Gargoyles also have their own set of Virtues and Principles, that form the core of Gargoyle society as presented in Ultima VI, just as the Virtues are supposed to form the core of human society in Britannia.

    Just as the human Virtues are formed out of the three Principles of Truth, Love and Courage, the Gargoyle Virtues are derived from the three Principles of Control, Passion and Diligence, so the Gargoyle virtues are:

    The three principles unify to form Singularity, their last and also first virtue.

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