Survival Mantra

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

—"Litany Against Fear"; from Dune, by Frank Herbert

Basic Information

A Survival Mantra is a prayer, koan, or something similar murmured by a character to get him through a stressful situation and either help him survive or give him confidence.

See Also

Badass Creed
Characterization Tropes
It Was With You All Along
Madness Mantra
Madness Tropes



Game and Story Use

  • Realistically, the experiences of the typical adventurer during his career would drive most people stark, raving mad. It's probably worth thinking about how such a character copes with the pressure. Survival Mantras may be a part of the answer - and they represent great role-playing opportunities.
  • They also make good signature pieces and character trademarks.
    • He doesn't do it often, but when Remo says, "I am created Shiva, the Destroyer; the Night Tiger made whole by the Master of Sinanju. Who is this piece of dog's meat that stands before me?" — you know he is about to unload a whole new level of epic bad-assery.
    • On the other hand, when Team Rocket says "Prepare for trouble; make it double!" you know that having a snappy mantra does not by itself make you cool.
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