Dungeons & Dragons & The Enneagram

Image result for the enneagram institute

Facebook friend and Christian anarchist Mark Van Steenwyk posted that he would love it if someone took the time to map D&D classes to Enneagram types, including all of the wings. I happen to be an Enneagram nerd and a D&D nerd as well as a little bit obsessive – the end result was that I did precisely that. Nine base Enneagram types with archetypes as wings. The Ranger was left out, because someone had to be out of 10 classes, and, you know…5E Rangers.

Enneagram Type D&D 5E Class Notes
1w9 Way of the Four Elements Monk with the focus on balancing extremes
1 Monk Rightness, self-discipline
1w2 Way of the Open Hand Some self-healing
2w1 Life Domain Warm, embodied
2 Cleric The caregiver, in most groups
2w3 Trickery Domain Giver, but status-seeking
3w2 Arcane Trickster Charming, ambitious
3 Rogue Achievement-oriented, highly skilled
3w4 Thief Individualistic achiever
4w3 College of War Imperfect 1:1, but some originality
4 Bard The artist!
4w5 College of Lore Cerebral creative
5w4 School of Enchantment Creative and provocative
5 Wizard All the books! All the lore! Thinking solves all!
5w6 School of Abjuration Protect friends
6w5 Oath of Devotion The guardian, idealist
6 (counter-phobic) Paladin Charge with me! Auras for allies, smite foes
6w7 Oath of the Ancients Guardian of joy, ‘fun’ paladin
7w6 Draconic Bloodline Another imperfect 1:1
7 Sorcerer Flexibility in all spells, zany bloodlines
7w8 Wild Magic Excitement! Impatience!
8w7 Path of the Berserker Power-seeking, smash the system!
8 Barbarian “Not afraid to be direct”
8w9 Path of the Totem Warrior Some delegation here; imperfect 1:1
9w8 Circle of the Moon Fighty druids
9 Druid Because balance
9w1 Circle of the Land Independent, philosophical, stubborn

Final Note on Rangers

Clearly, rangers are left out of this table, as some class had to be. But in discussion, I thought that rangers would make sense as the more phobic version of the 6, since the classic ranger response to conflict is to back up and shoot from range, so to speak, compared to the paladin’s charge.

What do you think? What would you change? 



I want to talk about a state that I enter into, which I associate with depression. I’m in the state right now, which makes it hard to think about and talk about, but I’m going to try. I call it Quiet.

The first way I know that I am in Quiet is that my mental monologue (and music tracks, and playback mode) quiets down. It’s the sensation of a turbulent sea become placid, or the ripples in a pond slowly disappearing. My skull actually feels like it is full of soft nothingness. Or it feels like the winter silence when you are outside and the usual noises are all muffled by falling snow.

I find that I notice a lot more, visually, and even about myself, when Quiet. I notice details of plants and animals around me. I see people, and I see myself, at a slight remove. Perhaps a half-step back, where I’m aware but not invested or reactive. It becomes easier to notice beauty, or to be briefly surprised but not distracted.

I find it harder to speak, and sometimes easier to write. Sometimes impossible. But the inertia I have to overcome to say something to someone increases – it’s like throwing off a heavy blanket every time, and I’m usually just as inclined to sort of stare at them, noticing something about them, even appreciating them in a new way, but without any words to go with it.

I feel immensely sad when Quiet. Sometimes I cry a bit. I feel immeasurable loss. At the same time, I don’t cling to the feeling or identify with it much. It’s just…there it is. In and underneath everything.

I am very accepting when Quiet. It’s probably a state that I wouldn’t mind being in when I die. Very much a sense of, “This is what it is.” Sad, morose, but not anguished.

There is a feeling of emptiness, in both the positive and negative sense, when I am Quiet. There is also a sense that I could feel this way forever – it doesn’t have the rising action, peak, and falling action that I experience in other moods. It’s just, oh, there it is. The Quiet.

I admit to appreciating Quiet, even though I wouldn’t call it pleasant. If I felt this way long-term, I might even harm myself with the same even-keeled aplomb with which I watch birds circle or squirrels tug on branches for acorns or someone face while they are talking to me.

From my study and practice of Buddhism, it seems to me to be something like a low-functioning version of satori. That makes sense of my own experiences of satori. It would be like comparing mourning with despair, or anger with hatred. It has some aspects in common, but doesn’t seem like what the Buddha had in mind.

I just wanted to write this out because I hadn’t before, and it’s interesting to me, the different kinds of experiences that fall under the umbrella of “depression” or “anxiety.” One of those is Quiet, and of the various things depression gives me, it’s one I feel like I can at least learn from.

I’m wondering if anyone reading this has an experience like Quiet.

The Liberty University Student Body Calls Out Falwell Jr.

the way of improvement leads home

Senator Bernie Sanders Speaks At Liberty University Convocation

Here is a statement from a movement on the Liberty University campus (and I assume among the Liberty University alumni) called Liberty United Against Trump.

In the months since Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed him, Donald Trump has been inexorably associated with Liberty University. We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history. Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him.

A majority of Liberty students, faculty, and staff feel as we do. Donald Trump received a pitiful 90 votes from Liberty students in Virginia’s primary election, a colossal rejection of his campaign. Nevertheless, President Falwell eagerly uses his national platform to advocate for Donald Trump. While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his…

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Fixing the Merit/Flaw Issue (Somewhat)

Image result for system mastery podcast

I’ve been listening to a lot of the System Mastery podcast lately, and one thing those guys hate is merit/flaw systems. And they have a good point. It is something that Burning Wheel seeks to fix by simply charging you for flaws as well as merits.

The issue is that many flaws fall into one of two categories: 1. the flaw doesn’t really matter and is for min-maxing, and 2. the flaw is actually a merit because it means more screen-time or attention for the player during the game.

The Flaw Doesn’t Matter

GURPS is a major example of this problem, but any merit/flaw system that I’ve seen has it. There are always flaws (or Disadvantages in GURPS) that a player can take that the player doesn’t care about so that they can take some merits that they do want. For example, if your GM forgets to use reaction rolls then Disadvantages in GURPS that reduce your reaction rolls are basically free points. Another example would be in-game-only flaws, like the idea that this particular race has great stat bonuses but people in the world hate them. Supposedly this balances out, but in play it is just a benefit with a hand-wavy, occasional problem. But really, if your half-orc has their huge strength bonus and encounters hatred, judicious use of the strength bonus can address the intolerance pretty readily in most games.

The Flaw Is A Benefit

World of Darkness games are a major culprit here, and the two big examples of this problem are dark fate and enemies. A character’s dark fate is almost always something that will happen after the main campaign is over – it is a way of creating a big problem but putting it off so you can front-load your character with lots of juicy merits that’ll count for almost the entire game. The worst example of this would be a dark fate that affects the rest of the party, so you screw everyone and get points for it.

The other problem is with taking an enemy as a flaw. An enemy means more attention for your character – your agenda, your story, drives more than your share of the overall story. And 10 times out of 10, your friends will end up having to fight this enemy too, just like every enemy you face. And in exchange for this increased creative influence and attention, you get character points. It wasn’t long before every White Wolf player I gamed with realized that taking an enemy was the way to go, every time.

The Fix: Flaws Are Foes’ Merits

Taking an enemy as a flaw still exerts influence on the story, but in this reworked version of the flaw, what happens mechanically is the enemy has an advantage against the character who has taken the flaw. As a generic example, a PC has a 2pt flaw that gives them an enemy, so whenever they come up against this enemy, the enemy gets +2 dice against them (or +2 to rolls, or to damage, or whatever would hurt). This makes the enemy worse for the PC than for the rest of their party at the very least. The GM has to integrate the enemy into the storyline as before, but now when the enemy comes up, the PC pays for their extra points by getting their ass kicked. This one NPC just has their number, it seems.

This can be extrapolated out, and I like it being a general bonus. Maybe if you are a hated race or species, then all prices are doubled, and everyone does +1 damage to you in combat. Now that flaw has teeth that will matter in the two situations where most players care – combat and shopping. The important thing to think through is how to make this Flaw bad for the character in a way that isn’t bad for the whole party, and in a way that doesn’t just thrust the character into the spotlight.

The Five Things I need from White People Right Now


Another day, another unarmed black man dead. Terence Crutcher’s SUV stalled as he was coming back from community college classes. He was studying music appreciation and was very active in his church choir. Seeing his picture reminds me of any number of big dudes I know who can sing their lungs out. From his view in a helicopter, a Tulsa police officer thought he looked like a bad dude. Instead of trying to help the man with the stalled car, two officers made him put his hands up as he approached them for help. As he reached into his SUV, probably to grab some form of identification, which again, should not have been necessary because he was the one in distress, he was tased and then shot. He was unarmed. He was the father of four.

I feel like ranting and raving about how angry and scared this makes me…

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Seems Legit.

You Are A:

Neutral Good Elf Cleric (6th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 11
Dexterity- 13
Constitution- 11
Intelligence- 16
Wisdom- 14
Charisma- 16

Neutral Good- A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Clerics- Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Detailed Results:

Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Chaotic Evil —- XXXXXXX (7)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Chaos — XXXXXXX (7)

Good & Evil:
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Evil —- (0)

Dwarf —- XXXXXX (6)
Gnome —- XXXXXXXX (8)
Halfling – XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Half-Elf – XXXXXXXXX (9)
Half-Orc – XX (2)

Barbarian – XXXXXX (6)
Fighter — XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Monk —— XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Paladin — XXXXXXXX (8)
Ranger —- XX (2)
Rogue —– XXXXXX (6)
Sorcerer — XXXXXXXXXX (10)