|Blood||spring||air||liver||warm & moist||courageous, hopeful, amorous|
|Yellow bile||summer||fire||gall bladder||warm & dry||easily angered, bad tempered|
|Black bile||autumn||earth||spleen||cold & dry||despondent, sleepless, irritable|
|Phlegm||winter||water||brain/lungs||cold & moist||calm, unemotional|
This is the origin of such practices as “bleeding” a patient; if someone was thought to have too much blood (their blood humor being out of balance), by removing excess blood, health could be restored.
This could be used as the basis of a healing system in an RPG, of course. Characters could have points for each humor, and diseases or other illnesses would cause one or more of them to be out of alignment. Spells could affect specific humors, with specific results; four different types of “cure disease” spell, for example. And, of course, if magical healing is not available, a chiurgeon would use humorism as the basis for his diagnosis and treatment.
If nothing else, humorism can provide some interesting background for your medieval-themed campaign.
4 thoughts on “The Four Humors”
I think this is a great idea. It gives some historical versimilitude and mioght over game mechanics easier to deal with than real healing.
The idea of a surgeon class in ADD tickles me now. Fellow with the knowledge to heal unparralleled even by powerful clerics, but with a dark side, too.
Knowledge of how to heal brings academic knowledge of how to hurt or torture. "Is it safe?"
And should certainly be required to practice his skills in order to keep them in good order. Disections and vivisections on a semi-regular basis. Keeping abreast of the latest in research of his fellows. Etc.
Hmmmm . . .
Ah, but it wouldn't be a "surgeon," but rather a "barber" class, wouldn't it?
Oooh! How about a "chirotonsor"?
For a time, foods were rated on a warm/cold, dry/moist basis. Tubers, for example, were considered dry and cold,and were usually eaten in soups (adding warmth and moisture to balance them out). Physicians would use these characteristics to proscribe diets for the sick to help bring them back in balance.
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