Three Points

#1
Hello, my name is Pete. I completely agree with your observations about the role of religion within most roleplaying games. In my earlier years of playing, I always felt that there was something missing from the game when dealing with the mythology and religious background. Of course I was much more interested in history and religion than my fellow gamers so I quickly dismissed any thoughts in developing this aspect with them. Furthermore, I started playing in late 70’s and early 80’s and witnessed “Mothers Against D&D” along with the fundamental protest. As with TSR, these events cause me to move my ideas farther away from religion. With the introduction of the D20 system and 3rd addition AD&D, I quickly started working on a campaign setting that I always wanted to do. That was an almost mono-theistic world with a religion which was highly organized after the fall of a great empire. Sound familiar? The main underling conflict was a clash of theology not religion, the different gods did not acknowledge each other.

So my first point: Let’s be careful out here, one never knows whom they might be offending.

Second Point: Smells like Simulationist, how do you move into a mindset where the hand of god is visible? Within our modern day society, faith is based on just believing if a god exist. True, there is always has been a question of existence within all societies, however “acts of god” were considered as real actions of gods, not a term used for insurance. My question evolves around what society would be like if their gods and avatars did walk down the street. If clerics could use a commune types spells, wouldn’t there be more consistency within the world theology. Look at the high level abilities of clerics and then apply them to those moral and theoretical dilemmas that society would have and the effects that they would have. Even a simple speak with dead spell could have huge theological impact.

Third Point: As you develop religion within your world, then doesn’t the theme of the stories become more religious? More ethics and morality become a focus. Is this where your players want to go and explore? What benefit does the gaming experience get when you develop these aspects within the setting?
 

Tom_K

Registered User
Validated User
#2
Than you so much for your feedback and questions. I was hoping that this would be a topic that was interesting to a lot of people, and from the forum responses it seems that this is the case. As to your three points:


So my first point: Let’s be careful out here, one never knows whom they might be offending.


I am certainly going to do my best not to offend anyone. I believe that people from different religious backgrounds can have interesting and enlightening conversations as long as everyone is respectful of those differences. I would welcome correction if I ever misspeak about any religion’s beliefs or practices.


Second Point: Smells like Simulationist, how do you move into a mindset where the hand of god is visible? Within our modern day society, faith is based on just believing if a god exist. True, there is always has been a question of existence within all societies, however “acts of god” were considered as real actions of gods, not a term used for insurance. My question evolves around what society would be like if their gods and avatars did walk down the street. If clerics could use a commune types spells, wouldn’t there be more consistency within the world theology. Look at the high level abilities of clerics and then apply them to those moral and theoretical dilemmas that society would have and the effects that they would have. Even a simple speak with dead spell could have huge theological impact.


This is a great point and it’s the kind of thing I want to talk about in this column. In the end real world religious life is the source gamers will always come back to when playing religious characters. Also I believe that people being people religious life would look similar whether clerics can cast searing light or not.


Third Point: As you develop religion within your world, then doesn’t the theme of the stories become more religious? More ethics and morality become a focus. Is this where your players want to go and explore? What benefit does the gaming experience get when you develop these aspects within the setting?


If players choose to play religious characters then religion should be in the background of the campaign, influencing how they interpret the world and their place with in it. My goal is simply to help that role-playing be more realistic.
 
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