Development Credit: Faith
The skill of Discipline is one which is vital to truly rise in the ranks of many professions throughout Idalos. At its core, Discipline is the ability to resist temptation, be it an external or internal one, and to continue in one's task regardless of these distractions or temptations. Whereas Endurance as a skill is the ability to withstand the physical, Discipline is it's psychological and emotional counterpart. The guard who stands in the pouring rain whilst being quite sure that they could go home early, the shopkeeper who keeps standing stoically behind the counter even though they believe they have seen the last customer of the trial and the chef who makes the pastry from scratch, despite having some lower quality pre-made are all exhibiting Discipline.
The impact of Discipline on other skills is obvious, but fundamentally the skill allows the character to remain focused entirely on the task at hand and is also vital in resisting such skills as Seduction, in order to continue with their job. It is not the internal, inward-facing focus of Meditation, it allows one to really continue to do what they are doing, despite external drives to do the contrary. The character with Discipline is the one who just continues to work, maintains focus and is not distracted. Further than that, they are able to resist temptation in all its forms. They are strong willed, determined and, basically, disciplined. As one progresses through this skill, one is able to maintain Discipline for longer and also can resist greater, and stronger, temptations.
What are temptations? It is worth to consider this carefully, especially in relation to the Discipline skill. What is it, effectively, that one is being disciplined against? The short answer here is that it is different for each person, and each circumstance. In order to clarify, let us consider a situation, two people and then what a change in circumstances can do.
The example situation is simple ~ the character is a guard, protecting an entrance to a fort where an important meeting is taking place. This guard is approached by a human woman who drops her cloak to reveal her sexy outfit and who works hard to seduce the character away from their post.
With that being the situation, we can consider two separate pcs. One of them (Chris) is attracted to the woman, the other (Alex) is not. This might be down to race, gender, sexuality or all sorts of reasons. Immediately, Chris is experiencing a stronger temptation than Alex. That isn't to say that they can't both be seduced away, there we might get into consideration of skill levels etc, but the initial temptation to abandon post is much stronger for Chris than Alex.
Now, lets add in a change of circumstance. By pure luck (good or bad), the character's mother walks around the corner at that moment. If Chris' mother is very proud of Chris' work in the guard, disapproves of 'ladies of the night' or other such, then suddenly this is less of a temptation for Chris. But should this happen to Alex, who has been constantly nagged by their mother that it is time to 'meet a girl', then suddenly, the circumstance ~ and maybe the level of temptation to leave the post ~ has changed.
At this level, the character is more disciplined than the average person, but they are really only just starting to learn the art of focus. They are able to stay focused on their job in a general sense, but if there are day to day distractions or temptations, they are likely to be sucessful in remaining Disciplined about 50% of the time. However, Discipline at this level is not likely to succeed against bribes to a poor person, or the offer of something which the character really wants. Fundamnetally, it helps with low level temptations and distractions.
As a character progresses in the Discipline skill they are able to begin to identify what constitutes a temptation or distraction to them, allowing them to have a much better focus in whatever they are doing than most people; this person is focused, efficient and able to get the job done. When faced with a common place or low-level temptation or distraction, this person is able to remain Disciplined almost all the time. If they encounter a stronger temptation or distraction, however, they are less likely (maybe one third of the time) to be able to remain disciplined and focused.
At this level of skill, the character can remain Disciplined throughout some quite significant temptations. When faced with a mid-level temptation the character remains stoic and is able to keep focused almost all the time. They can identify situations which might lead to distraction and have proactive techniques in order to ensure that they keep to the task in hand. Should they be presented with a temptation which is something which they desire greatly, or which they need rather than want, then they are still likely to fall roughly half of the time. At this level, the character with the Discipline skill is also able to start to enjoy a degree of protection against domain magic. Rarely, at this point, but every now and then they have the chance of recognising the unlikeliness of an illusion, thereby resisting it, for example. Or perhaps this individual falls prey to the depression placed upon them by Empathy, but maintains their focus on not letting anyone pass because they are, effectively, that disciplined.
The character who has reached this level in Discipline is a paragon of focus and is able to complete tasks despite all but the most extreme distractions or temptations. They are efficient, effective and are practically immune to bribes, temptation or so on. The only time this character might fail in their Discipline is if the temptation is incredibly strong to them, personally. Even Domain Magic is something which this character can now maintain discipline and focus in the face of, at least half the time.