Characters gain experience by learning from Treatise scattered throughout Deixis. Treatise can be studied to advance a philosopher’s level. Treatise equal to the level that the philosopher is advancing to must be studied in order to advance it. As you level up, you gain access to more skills and increase your stats.
-Level 1 you gain +1 to two stats and two class ranks.
-Every 3rd you gain +1 to two stats.
-Every 5th you gain a class skill rank.
-Every 2nd you gain a common skill rank.
This continues until level 20, where players may choose to study an additional 40 treatise in order to “Transcend” and become enlightened to the highest point of their philosophy, to the extent where they personify their philosophy’s ideal. This is the closest one can come to outright “winning” Dungeons and Discourse but causes them to become unconcerned with most goings on in Deixis and will be transferred to the DM’s control.
Treatise also double as a currency in Sophos, and may be spent to obtain items and gear for a Philosopher or group of Philosophers (collectively known as a “faculty”). DMs who wish to reward players without levelling them up may give them "Old Texts," which are still valid currency but cannot be used to level up.
Treatises are normally found in pages, with 10 pages making up a Treatise. Full Treatise are normally handed our as a reward for complete quests, while Philosophers might also be able to scavenge a page or so of Treatise for defeating an individual monster.
“An interesting phenomena of Deixis, or perhaps the Deixis inhabitants, deals with pages; it seems, the actual text on the Page doesn’t matter, and considering how most Treatise are cobbled together from gathered materials, there is almost never any cohesive structure to a Treatise. Nonetheless, Philosophers read between the jumbled lines and find some other, deeper meaning; certain Domains Philosophers argue that the understanding doesn’t come from the Treatise, but from reading with a bias the Reader comes in with. These Philosophers are stoned on sight.”
For the discerning Philosopher-for-hire, most adventures start with the negotiation of a Social Contract, which sets out a Goal for your adventure. Social Contracts can come from individuals, institutions, or can even simply be a tacit agreement between the members of your adventuring faculty. Completing a Contract requires the players to return to the one who offered them the Contract in the first place in order to collect their reward. Be careful; there are some characters that may be hesitant to pay up. The DM will provide the suggestion for a Social Contract, but the players can argue with the wording if they feel it is too constrictive. Whatever the contract is, it should leave plenty of room for manoeuvring whilst it is being accomplished - you never know what you might be up against, after all.
For example, a good Contract for your Social Contract is "Find Occam's Razor" or "Solve the Village's Pedant Problem." Mentioning what you're going to take Occam's Razor once you've found it, or saying you're going to "save" the village from the Pedants, may be taking it a bit too far, even if it seems like a foregone conclusion right now.
Once agreed upon, the Contract is recorded by all characters on their character information sheet. When it is complete the adventure will be over, and all who helped attain the Contract will receive Treatise as a reward (also negotiated when the Contract is presented).
Goals are the manifestations of free will in the game of Dungeons & Discourse. They are best described as personal quests, decided upon by the players rather than the DM. Although the DM may suggest Goals for the Player, these may be accepted or rejected by the player as they wish.
Once the situation has been described, players can look over each others' character sheets, ask questions of the DM, and determine their own Goals, which are kept secret between them and the DM. We recommend you write down your Goals (which can be anything, so long as it is possible given the initial scenario: the DM must accommodate them in this, as much as possible) and hand them to the DM, secret ballot style. The DM then decides how much Treatise each player will get for completing their Goals, based on two criteria: how difficult they are, and how well they align with the players' Qualia, Class, Description and Biography.
It is recommended that players have a long-term goal for the scenario. If the faculty is headed to lands unknown, the goal of a Christian Proselytist would likely be to build support for his faith.
If he chooses to distribute bibles to passers-by on a street, that is not too hard, but well in line with his Qualia: he would probably get one or two pages for completion. However, he could instead try to convert a NPC and have him hand out bibles; if he can manage it, he will probably get 5 or 6 pages.
By contrast, an Atheistic Existentialist might have set his goal as convincing the populace to reject their Gods. If he happened to see the Proselytist at work and decided to steal his bibles to prevent him from distributing them, he could receive about 3 or 4 pages of Treatise.
Now, perhaps, you see why the Goals must initially be secret; they can interfere with each other and involve other characters in their design!
One final note for players that are perhaps new to RPGs; it may be that the DM will provide no obvious hooks for the accomplishment of your Goals (although he probably should). In this case, you may consider it within your bounds to suggest information or further your goals through role-play. For example, in the case of the Proselytist, he probably has experience converting others and brought along his own bible. He can leave the group and hang out on the street trying to convince the NPCs himself.
Keeping in character and making interesting decisions based on how the character acts can, at the DM's discretion, be rewarded. Rather than simply running around debating, Proselytists may be rewarded for converting others, Humanists for helping those in need, and Positivists making new advancements in science are all are implied as goals for these classes, and role-playing your class to achieve these goals will usually be rewarded.
In most games you get experience for defeating Monsters, while in D&Dis you get experience for debating them. Most opponents will drop a page or two, but boss characters may drop an entire Treatise. Often times, especially in less plot driven campaigns, these fights will be your primary source of Treatise. Ultimately the DM may distribute Treatise however he or she wishes.