Autistic wizard flaw?

How would you fine people build a autistic wizard or autism as a flaw?
How about aspurgers syndrome?

short version- I wouldn't. autism and related mental illnesses are not part of the medieval worldview. Instead the question is what that character is in terms of that world view. Possessed by demons? Simply simple? But a modern psychological diagnosis should not be part of the character concept...

Perhaps you might want to give your magus personality traits like:

  • brooder.
  • egoist.
  • egotist.
  • loner.
  • narcissist.
  • solitary.
  • wallflower.
  • self-observer

These are modern day synonyms for an autistic person. The disorder known as the autistic spectrum (assuming it is a single disorder) wan't even recognosed as a separate condition until the 20th Century.

Prior to that autitstic people were distributed under other labels,when other people realised they were "different". Some such labels (depending on where on the spectrum, and the local medical knowledge, and different periods in history) could be confused as:

  • a little odd
  • changeling
  • cretin
  • criminally insane
  • devil's mockery
  • disobedient
  • drooling imbecile
  • elf-shot
  • feral
  • mind off with the fairies
  • moron
  • mouth breather
  • slow learner
  • stumbling bumpkin
  • stupid
  • uncle james, whom we don't mention in polite company, and keep locked up in the attic.
  • village idiot


NOTE these labels are not exclusively for the autistic, other conditions can be confused. A bad case of eczema can get you labelled as a Leper. A stroke is often described as Elf-shot.

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Medieval families who could afford it sent their offspring to a monastery, if they turned out 'a little odd'. I imagine , that an asperger in a monastery could even make a considerable career.

In Mythic Europe a family could also hand their 'odd' child to a magus instead - if that 'oddity' was a sign of the Gift. Asperger wouldn't come with a Gentle Gift - but wouldn't imply a Blatant Gift either. An asperger Bonisagus might have an Obsessed or Reclusive Personality Flaw, but could become famous as a lab rat.

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Asperger doesn't get a separate syndrome any more. It's just part of the spectrum, and we don't name things after Nazis.

I wouldn't, because a flaw that's not a flaw is not a flaw. The Gift is such a strong flaw it washes out autism as a social flaw.

And since it is a spectrum, there is such a variation that the idea of one solution to describe an autistic magus/companion/grog is bizarre.

Many stereotypical magus concepts, particularly lab rats, already have traits which would likely be diagnosed today, and they are described by many personality flaws which have already been mentioned, so there isn't a problem. Once one has figured out how to RP the autist one probably find the right personality flaws.

And in these personality flaws are already allowed on top of the Gift, so there is nothing new.

Now, there are cognitive flaws too, which are common in the Autism spectrum, particularly the flawed ability to see the viewpoint of others. This is flaw regardless; it could possibly be modelled with an ability block for social skills; because it would make the magus socially inept in Hermetic society, and also unable to read social situations. But again, defining autism isn't possible, we can only describe individual characters.

You could take Social Handicap to represent certain aspects of the spectrum. If it's too severe within the spectrum, you probably never would have been trained.

I would take the Gift, actively not take Gentle Gift, and call it a day.

Nah. A Gifted magi has no dis-function, it's how other beings view him that's wrong. Tons of personality flaws would fall into the spectrum, and every magi needs those Flaw points to buy virtues.

Autism isn't a system "Flaw" in Ars. It is in fact a variety of builds, with selected stats (low Com is recomended) and personality traits, including some "Flaws". There is a reason it is called a spectrum.
If for some (incredible) reason your group allows you to portray a 'low-functioning' autistic individual, I would suggest the Maldiction flaw to represent forced behaviours arising from overstimulation, required routines, etc. RoPF is very usefully for mechanically modelling them as Taboos.

I would also question your taste, but your game may vary.
I certainly do not trust most of my locals to portray them outside the 'retarded' stereotype. As a 'high-functioning' example of autistic individuals, I take offense to such "jokes" and the mistreatment of my 'kin'.

I apologize if I offended anyone with my personal opinion. I did not intend to upset anyone. Since this topic is still near the top of the forum after at least a week of me praying (metaphorically) it goes away, I chose to reply. As I did not trust myself to remain calm upon reading...certain kinds of comments, I have not read anything in the thread. Nor will I reply to thread unless there is a pressing need to do so. Bad experiences both online and in RL suggest this is safest course of action for me, since I am hardwired (Taboo in action) to respond. Like a bull to a flag...

I have tried to offer some advice on the idea that this may be a legitimate request and not already mired down by trolls laying in ambush. Again, I am sorry if this upsets anyone. But it would be naive of me to trust that everyone participating is doing so in good faith.
And doing nothing could cause harm to those unable to communicate their own defense.


If it helps I’ve got aspurgers syndrome & mild autism myself.

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So we are both the same. That does help a bit.

Loke, I agree with a lot of what you've said, with the following little changes: I'm going to go into a bit of unnecessary detail for people who are following the thread but don't seem to have your grasp of the situation, OK? I don't want you to mistake this for me telling you basics I'm sure you already know from what you've said.

insofar as autism is an impairment, the disability around it is socially constructed. The Order is a small, odd culture which prizes some traits stereotypically-autistic people have, so you might have a Martha's Vineyard situation, where the impairment doesn't disable in that society. (Context: most of the population of Martha's Vineyard used to speak a sign language, so there's an argument that deaf people, who spoke sign, were not disabled in their culture.)

Regarding cognitive issues of theory of mind, there's a real problem there with how that was developed. As one of my favourite twitterers (Save the Neurotypicals) points out, the tests were never "Talk to autistic people and ask if they have theory of mind", they were things like false-belief tests, which are verbal skill tests. One really pronounced effect, which is called moral blindness, is an odd case I'd like to point out.

Autisitic people seem, in some studies, to blame people for outcome more than intent. That is, if you accidentally poison your friend, you are more culpable, in a broad sense, to autistic people than to neurotypicals. I just want to note that this is culturally charged and the Order may go the other way on the cultural bias, because they are descended from Romans, and in Roman law punishment is based on what you did, without the modern idea that criminality is intention plus action. That you didn't -mean- to poison your friend doesn't mean anything much in Roman law, so it might not mean much in the Order, so the cognitive differences you've noticed may not be so broadly noticeable in the Order.

Do what you need to stay safe, DeedNay. Thanks for contributing.

I hope my post did not offend, @DeedNay. And I really think we agree too.

It probably was a mistake to post. Sorry. The discussion seems to push us towards trying to define Autism, when that is exactly what we should not do. As @silveroak points out, such diagnoses are not part of the medieval mindset, so Autism would never be part of the character concept anyway.

So @abe445us, like the rest of us, just have to think up the character he wants, with the personalities and quirks that he want to RP. Whether or not a modern day psychologist would diagnose the character is really immaterial. We should think of that character as just another character.