What is #Wonderism? It is the opposite to Terrorism. A terrorist spreads fear through society by carrying out unexpected acts of violence and outrage. A wonderist spreads joy through society by carrying out unexpected acts of love and silliness. A wonderist views optimism as a radical act of resistance (particularly in our current scary and depressing times). The wonderist’s manifesto is Salena Godden’s Pessimism is for Lightweights.
What would a wonderist look like in Dungeons & Dragons and other OSR games? Here is my proposal for a Wonderist character class…
The Wonderist has the same stats, abilities and limitations as a wizard or magic-user, but with the additional restriction that they cannot deliberately causes harm or distress to any living being.
They have access to all magic-user spells with the exception of those intended to cause distress or harm. In addition, they have access to the five spells listed below. Wonderist spells require verbal, material and somatic components, but the material component can be anything, as chosen by the caster. The object chosen may affect the flavour of the spell cast.
All Wonderist spells can be cast at any level, with the level of the spell determining how many individuals, and of what type, are affected. The number affected increases threefold for each casting level allocated to the spell, with no theoretical limit.
For humans and domestic animals, the number of individuals affected are:
- Level 1: 1 individual
- Level 2: 3 individuals
- Level 3: 9 individuals
- Level 4: 27 individuals
- Level 5: 81 individuals
For wild animals, a casting level one higher is required (so 1 individual at level 2, 3 at level 3, 9 at level 4, etc) and for monsters the level required is two higher (1 at 3rd level…)
Cats are immune to Wonderist spells.
The Wonderist spells available are:
Joy: affected individuals are overcome with a sense of joy.
Delight: the caster nominates a thing (object, being or concept) and those affected see that thing as though for the first time.
Agape: those affected feel love for all fellow beings. (It’s pronounced agg-er-pay, and means the highest form of love)
Humour: those affected can’t help but see the funny side of life (please note: their laughter is not hideous).
Oneness: those affected feel a sense of connection with the entire multiverse.
The immediate effects last for 1 hour (this duration can again be increased threefold, multiple times, by spending additional casting levels). The effects linger, however, once its strongest effects expire – somebody who has spent an hour feeling at one with the multiverse is unlikely to emerge from this experience unchanged.
The wonderist is a pacifist – they cannot do harm, or stand by while another causes harm. Of course, in a game where every other character’s life seems to revolve around travelling the world, meeting interesting creatures, and killing them, being a wonderist, avoiding all conflict, and actively opposing it, presents something of a challenge. Embrace this challenge! Pessimism is for lightweights.