What is Thymos?


By Assad Quraishi


Hey Champions!

Last week we explored Bellum and this week we’re venturing into Thymos! I’ll be honest, when I first started to design Genesis, this affiliation was not one of my favourites. I loved Axon which was everything Thymos is not. However, over time, I realized I play like a Thymos champion. Thus, I am very excited to speak about this affiliation and the many different layers that makes it great!

Just like with Bellum, I want to answer the questions of:

  • Etymology of the affiliation (how it got its name) and its symbol

  • What is the umbrella for the affiliation? What were the 3 buckets we focused on?

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Alright, we will begin with the Etymology of the word “Thymos”.

Where did “Thymos” come from?

When I started designing Thymos, I always knew this was going to represent that more primal and emotional part of being human. At this point in the design, I already knew that each of the affiliations would be linked to a part or aspect of the brain. Knowing this, I started researching the parts of the brain that focus around emotion and the one that landed with me was the hypothalamus - which I kindly nicknamed “Thymos”. From my research, I found that the hypothalamus is in control of regulating your body’s responses in emotional situations, such as your heart rate, body temperature, pupillary dilation, and more. This really hit the nail on the head for what I wanted from the affiliation.

You might be wondering where the symbol for Thymos comes from? Where Bellum is the two arrows pointing to the higher order of things, the Thymos represents the connection to the others and the self. The top arrow is to point towards everything outside of you and “you” are represented by the circle.

What is the affiliation’s umbrella and buckets? 

Let’s start by defining what I mean by an umbrella. When we began making the Welcome to Jaelara set we had to discuss what each affiliation was going to represent at its core. If we didn’t know what it was going to represent it would extremely hard to stay consistent in what it will do on each card.

We always knew what Thymos’s umbrella would be: “Emotion” 

The concept of belief was broken down into three buckets and these were the areas we focused on for that affiliation. However, for Thymos, it was hard to pick the three emotions we wanted to focus on. We tried a lot of them but the ones that made the most amount of sense were.

  1. The emotional response of Rage

  2. The emotional connection of Unity to others

  3. The emotional connection to one’s land and its Nature

The emotional response of Rage

The idea of losing self control, throwing caution to the wind and unleashing your hidden strength just sounded perfect to have in Genesis right now. So many cards in Thymos represent this idea of, “let’s do it and see what happens”. 

The emotional connection of Unity to others

Thymos radiates the belief that whatever you do, you will be better at it as a group. Their creatures and allied champions always gain advantages being partnered with them and if the opportunity arises, the Thymos champion will think of themself last. This is why so many cards are useful to others, but if you use them just right, they can be useful to yourself as well. 

The emotional connection to one’s land and its Nature

A key part to Thymos is that they respect others and they respect the world around them. Many of the Thymos champions consider the world to be a living being and they are just passengers on the world’s journey. This is why, when they call on the world to help them, they don’t try to guide or coorce the land on what it should do. Whatever it does is without judgement or biase. 

That’s all I’ll be pointing out for Thymos for now. Like last week, Wednesday’s blog will be about the characters of Thymos. 

Also, what did you think of last week’s game designer podcast? Is that something you’d like to hear more of? Make sure you let us know!

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