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To the Heavens above us
Oh, look and behold
The planets that love us
All harnessed in gold!
What chariots, what horses,
Against us shall bide
While the Stars in their courses
Do fight on our side?

All thought, all desires,
That are under the sun,
Are one with their fires,
As we also are one;
All matter, all spirit,
All fashion, all frame,
Receive and inherit
Their strength from the same.

(from)The Planets Above Us (An Astrologer's Song) Rudyard Kipling

Basic Information

Astrology is a pseudoscience that portends to divine secrets about people's personalities and fates based on the positions of the stars and planets. It's a sort of magic, I suppose, that uses astronomy as it's ritual tools … although astronomers tend to get very upset when the two things are confused or collated. Whilst the astrologer does have an interest in the movement of certain celestial bodies, it is worth remembering that the majority of astrological law predates the heliocentric model, let alone more advanced understandings.

An individual's astrological profile is known as their horoscope.

The simplest layer of Astrology is the Sun Sign, the 12 broad personality categories that people fall into based on what date they were born. This is also known as the "Western Zodiac" - Chinese astrologers in particular have different ideas about how to draw a horoscope.

Aries (sun sign)

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Basic Information

Sun Sign: Aries
Born: March 21-April 19
Leader,pioneer and courageous trailblazer. Quick-witted. Impatient and stubborn, but unpredictable. Fights for their beliefs.
Element: Fire
Planet: Mars
Sign: Ram
Tarot Card: The Emperor


Game and Story Use

  • Decent team leader material, but tends to fly by the seat of their pants and may pressure the team to take action before a battleplan has been formed. "Follow me!" is great, as long as it doesn't shade into "Leeroy Jenkins!" territory.
  • Could also work for the recluse type, such as a Ranger that rarely sets foot in civilization any more due to impatience with other people's conformity. They may be on the same quest as a number of other characters, but if they see a way they could solve it all themselves, they may just take off into the underbrush and get it done.
    • So maybe this is great for the NPC quasi-opposition who have the same goal as the PCs, but aren't prepared to work together and would rather get their first.
  • Could be an explorer or a determined homesteader.

Those tabs include entire external pages in them. If you want to edit the entries above, you need to go to the individual pages (e.g.: Leo (sun sign), etc) and edit those instead of editing this page.

Beyond Sun Signs

A full horoscope goes far beyond the sun-sign and requires the astronomer to know the time and place of the individual's birth so that they can also calculate the position of celestial bodies besides the sun which are also said to have a bearing on (typically specific aspects of) the subject's life and endeavours. Even the apparent direction of motion of these bodies through the chart can be an issue. There's a lot of other bells and whistles and cusps and ascendants.
Perhaps someone who knows a bit more about astrology would be so kind as to fill out this page with some of their understanding.

See Also:
Antikythera Mechanism
Bad Moon Rising
Classical Element
Doctrine of Signatures
Movement of the Earth



Game and Story Use

  • Could be used similar to characterization tropes to pigeon-hole your cast of NPCs into 12 broad categories.
  • If an astrologer or fortuneteller got an infusion of higher magic, they might transform or shapeshift those whose charts they read.
    • I read the chart of an Aries, and the next day they turned into a half-human hybrid beastman with the head of a goat. Worst thing is, they ate all my charts, so if I want to transform them back, I'm going to have to do a lot of paperwork and calculations.
    • or it might manifest as some sort of enchantment that makes their normal sunsign-influenced behavior "go up to 11" so they become locked into the exact behavior their horoscope describes.
    • Rearranging the stars is probably deity-level magic, but could produce major destiny alterations.
    • An astrologer or other fortuneteller character might be able to "discover" events in the target's future, especially if the system allows knowledge skills to generate convenient facts instead of simply asking the GM to make something up.
  • A number of games use a PCs astrology to confer some kind of benefit, or set of bonuses and maluses - most of the Elder Scrolls cRPGs have a special power associated with each birth sign whilst the Harnmaster RPG had each birth sign confer a string of skills modifiers.
  • It's important to remember that at least until the medieval renaissance, astrology was a standard part of pre-modern medicine, with the patient's birth chart having a crucial influence on what treatments would work best and when to administer them. This was so important that performing an unauthorised horoscope upon the king was considered a form of treason due to the potential for it to be used against him.
  • Herbalism also paid great heed to astrology (unsurprisingly given its key role in pre-modern medicine), especially with reference to the doctrine-of-signatures.
  • In the right kind of setting, it may be wise to consult an astrologer before building a stellar megastructure.
  • As a method of divination, astrology would seem to have a different flavor than other sorts.
    • Everything fits into a cosmic cycle or an eternal recurrence, since the stars have had this pattern before and will have it again.
    • Entire generations of people have similar traits, since all of them were born under the same stars, even if no two of them have identical charts.
      • The idea of an Astrological Age takes this a step further, with millennia dominated and themed by a particular house - the most famous presentation of this idea being the "Age of Aquarius" dominating the modern era. We know a song about that, don't we boys and girls?
    • Generally, astrology seems oriented toward a broad view. It's unlikely to predict the outcome of a coin flip or the exact details of your day, but an astrologer can make prophecies centuries or millennia out by calculating the positions of the stars at that exact moment.
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