Author Topic: Religion  (Read 11939 times)

Erythil

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Religion
« on: August 30, 2010, 05:48:08 PM »
Beyond cults of personality and sorcerer-kings, how much religion is there on Zalanthas?

In particular, is there any concept of gods?

It may be 'find out IC,' but I suppose I mean in the mind of the average person.

Lizzie

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 05:55:42 PM »
To the average city-based character, there is no such thing as religion or deities.
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Erythil

  • Posts: 1227
Re: Religion
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 06:00:09 PM »
Just seems a little bit funny to me, given the age-old human obsession with the ultimate fate of the soul.

I know that on Athas all of the gods were dead, but there people worshipped primordial spirits and whatnot.

Zalanthas is entirely more grim than all that, though.

Shepard

  • Posts: 287
Re: Religion
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 06:03:44 PM »
There is no god, there is only (Tek/Muk)!

PRAISE YOUR (SUN KING/HIGHLORD)!

- As a note, in Allanak you devote to the Dragon.
- As another note, I would assume most tribals in general follow a "religion". More or less spirituallity.
- As a final note, I would think most religion's would be shut down quickly by either the north or south. But you might see more "cults" in Luirs or Red Storm.

- I have a sudden urge to start Scientology IG, give me 450 sid, and you're in!

TOOL

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Re: Religion
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 06:06:17 PM »
Quote
The names of the powers, old folklore has it, are the seven great horns of God, and their names call the spirits to service.

Taken from the helpfile on magick power levels.  There is some reference to a God, however I've never really bothered to look up or ask anything more on the topic.  It might be just an outdated helpfile, though.

edit: I suppose I would simply take this as meaning either Mek or Tek is God, playing as a normal commoner.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:10:31 PM by TOOL »
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Marauder Moe

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Re: Religion
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 06:11:45 PM »
Worship of one's city's sorcerer king is religion, no?

Quote
The names of the powers, old folklore has it, are the seven great horns of God, and their names call the spirits to service.

Taken from the helpfile on magick power levels.  There is some reference to a God, however I've never really bothered to look up or ask anything more on the topic.  It might be just an outdated helpfile, though.
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Potaje

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Re: Religion
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 06:28:29 PM »
Then there are the dragon thrall as well, from history. alive or dead unknown (find out Icly)
The funny little foreign man

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Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 07:03:25 PM »
While we're on topic, how widespread is the practice of meditation?  I know it exists in the north, but is it something only done by templars and nobles, or something anyone could feasibly learn?

Riya OniSenshi

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Re: Religion
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 07:13:51 PM »
Searching for "Religion" returns 8 pages, by the way.
It's a fairly frequently discussed topic.
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Kankman

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Re: Religion
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 07:14:27 PM »
Why meditate when you could be getting drunk, high, fucked, or some delightful combination thereof?

If you have spare time between grebbing, hunting, scamming, crafting, assassinating, thieving, or whoring, why spend it sitting and doing as close to nothing as humanly/dwarvenly/elvenly possible?

Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 07:18:59 PM »
A question easily asked in real life, as well.

I'm just curious, is all.  Didn't think to search past threads.  Maybe I'll play a crackpot guru someday.

Wolfsong

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Re: Religion
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 08:07:57 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?
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Thorg

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Re: Religion
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 08:21:54 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?

A lot of people say that you "go to drov" when you die, suggesting a passive understanding of the "idea" of a spirit or soul, all but in name. This usage is probably equivalent to saying things like "thank god" IRL - I personally have no Religious stance and use it, just because it's a common saying.

I don't think there's anything to suggest that the common Amos on the street would know what a "zombie" is - they'd know the very rare, obscure half-rumours (perhaps) of the restless dead, but probably wouldn't believe or give them much more thought, let alone give them a specific name.

There's nothing that states dwarves or anyone else is aware of their "foci", for the dwarves it's a compulsion and I'd probably say that their hugely fractured culture has not maintained the idea of banshees for all but the most isolated desert tribes. Most other people just see dwarves as weird and given to bizzare tendencies and obsessions - you'd never ask a dwarf IC what their focus was, as they don't see it as a definitive, definable thing like that.

Otherwise things like element and ancestor worship are found in some of the tribal cultures in game, I'd reccomend checking out the public docs on the Al'Seik as they have things like this (including the vague mention of an afterlife)!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 08:25:33 PM by Thorg »

Barzalene

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Re: Religion
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »
Some things seem to verge on that line of religion. The anthropomorphizing of the elements comes to mind immediately. They aren't worshiped. But there seems to be some allotting of powers. Luck to the wind. Death falls in the province of Drov.
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Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Potaje

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Re: Religion
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 08:45:44 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?


There's nothing that states dwarves or anyone else is aware of their "foci", for the dwarves it's a compulsion and I'd probably say that their hugely fractured culture has not maintained the idea of banshees for all but the most isolated desert tribes. Most other people just see dwarves as weird and given to bizzare tendencies and obsessions - you'd never ask a dwarf IC what their focus was, as they don't see it as a definitive, definable thing like that.

Otherwise things like element and ancestor worship are found in some of the tribal cultures in game, I'd reccomend checking out the public docs on the Al'Seik as they have things like this (including the vague mention of an afterlife)!

a bit of derail

I politely disagree with the part about dwarves not knowing that each other have driving focus, to the point of pointedly asking. I believe dwarves have communities, any where there is a population of similar species you will find bonding and gathering. growing up around such things one would come to realize that there is an inherent quality to their kind, and that finds them on certain paths, or with firm direction, or goals in mind. Though tribal history may have been lost, new ones develop. That too is an inherent quality to sentient beings.  I believe if a dwarf had interest in another, they would inquire or discover each others Foci to see if their life paths would be traversable in unison or whether they would share to many differing understandings and or oppose themselves to continue such a relationship, as an example. The foci is a definitive element as well, hence Foci or focus. It is clear what is to be attained, what is not clear is the path to it. It would be like putting the horse before the cart. The do not walk blindly in a direction to go somewhere they do not know where, but instead will wander thill they arrive at the place they know they are going.
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jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2010, 12:00:42 AM »
Just seems a little bit funny to me, given the age-old human obsession with the ultimate fate of the soul.

I know that on Athas all of the gods were dead, but there people worshipped primordial spirits and whatnot.

Zalanthas is entirely more grim than all that, though.

No, and I agree with you.  Some players act really funny if you try to play a religious character.  They don't really want it in the game, but instead of finding some other way of de-emphasizing it, they just freak out at you.

But yeah, there are basically two religions in the game.

The worshipers of Tektolnes, whose political base are centered around the city of Allanak, capitol of the South.  They revile a devil known as Muk Utep.

The other religion is the worshipers of Muk Utep, whose political base are cenetered around the city of Tuluk, capitol of the North.  They revile a devil known as Tektolnes.

So the game is kind of binary in that way.  Religious observance is compulsory, and implemented by the Templarate.  Heresy is punished by execution, or worse.  The commoners lack the education to have any deep grasp on theology, yet religion continues to be important in many of their lives.

Meditation?  Yes, it's absolutely appropriate.  

If you're looking for religious diversity, many of the "tribal" (i.e. non-city) cultures have richer and more pluralistic religious traditions, and are more likely to be tolerant of outside views.  Obviously, if you're interested in finding out about these religions, the staff would prefer you to find out in game.  PC led cults do pop up periodically.

In the cities, most of the tribal folk are viewed as participating in backwards, sun-worshipping religions, and are treated with varying amounts of intolerance.

There is also a concept of Hell, which Riya will describe below.

EDITED for accuracy based on Riya's post.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 01:11:52 AM by jriley »
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Riya OniSenshi

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Re: Religion
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 12:47:50 AM »
The Void and Drov are two different things.

I think they're supposed to correspond to the Dark Sun's Grey and Black planes, but I'm not sure.
But for simplicity, I've always understood Drov to be where all souls go when they mortally die no matter what, and the Void is absolutely nothing - the space between the planes of existance.
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jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 01:13:59 AM »
Cool.  I edited my post.  Can you better explain?  It's possible that I've been doing it wrong all of these years.

The Void and Drov are two different things.

I think they're supposed to correspond to the Dark Sun's Grey and Black planes, but I'm not sure.
But for simplicity, I've always understood Drov to be where all souls go when they mortally die no matter what, and the Void is absolutely nothing - the space between the planes of existance.
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palomar

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Re: Religion
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2010, 07:20:35 AM »
I don't think Nilaz and Drov can be discussed in this context without giving away IC info. Playing a drovian/nilazi for some time, or playing around PCs of those guilds might be somewhat helpful.

From the general documentation on magick:
Quote
Drov  The element of shadow. Typically associated with all things ethereal or other-worldly. 
Nilaz  The quasi-element of discordant void, where the four primary elements are entirely absent. 


It has probably been discussed before, but I think the concept of "the soul" is pretty difficult from the Zalanthan perspective. Maybe there is a vague enough definition of the term to fit most of the cultures though. I don't know. I've always preferred to talk about "the spirit" instead of "the soul", in game.

Spoon

  • Posts: 2213
Re: Religion
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2010, 08:54:20 AM »
This is what I've gathered about the use of 'drov' as a noun by everyday commoners.

It's just a vague sense of the opposite of the living world. It's where you are when you're dead, because you're not in the living realm anymore. I don't think inhabitants of Zalanthas ponder on this at all, whereas we are inclined to ask more questions because of human history/culture on Earth. Of course, it's just a different name for 'death', death in this context being a place. But that is enough for the average commoner, I would think. It exists as the absence of life, most likely derived from the information contained in palomar's quote from the docs.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 09:05:45 AM by Spoon »

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12656
Re: Religion
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2010, 09:11:03 AM »
I think it's safe to say, realistic or not, that most Zalanthans do not have a well developed belief in an afterlife.  Part of it may be that commoners in the city states are discouraged from openly speculating about the supernatural (both socially and by the authorities).

Furthermore, I don't think meditation is a common concept either.

Ender

  • Posts: 1984
Re: Religion
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2010, 01:37:25 PM »
In both city-states it's a commonly accepted belief that dead is dead and there is no afterlife.

Any comments about going to "Drov" are purely allegorical.  Drov means darkness, darkness in this usage means lack of life/being.

I can't stress this enough, if you live in a city-state the commonly held belief is that when you die, you are dead and gone forever.
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Kankman

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Re: Religion
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 04:01:07 AM »
In both city-states it's a commonly accepted belief that dead is dead and there is no afterlife.

Any comments about going to "Drov" are purely allegorical.  Drov means darkness, darkness in this usage means lack of life/being.

I can't stress this enough, if you live in a city-state the commonly held belief is that when you die, you are dead and gone forever.

This guy knows what he's talking about.

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7736
Re: Religion
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 07:45:04 AM »
There seems to be a misapprehension that uneducated means stupid. It's not true. I don't believe that the lack of religion on Zalanthas is a result of a lack of ability for nuanced thought.
Why is there no religion? Maybe  the reasons are undocumented. Why do people believe that when you die you're gone forever? Who knows? Maybe all the gods are dead? It's not documented. You can find your own reasons for it. You can make your own reasons for it. But saying that there's no religion because our pcs can't get up the collective thought power to devise one, doesn't seem like a productive answer.
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Marauder Moe

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Re: Religion
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2010, 10:22:15 AM »
Why do people keep saying there's no religion?

Beethoven

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Re: Religion
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2010, 10:48:27 AM »
Zalanthas has reincarnation. When my character dies, his soul (me) will move on to possess some other hapless VNPC and imbue him/her with the divine gift of PChood. He just doesn't know that. ;)

Seriously, though, I wish that there was a belief in the afterlife in the city-states. Because the powers that be (interpret that how you will) say no, my PC won't believe in such things. But it would be cool to see something like Ancient Egypt, where nobles are buried along with some of their possessions so they could carry them along to the next life. Commoners would just have to cross their fingers (or whatever it is Zalanthans do) and hope for the best.

brytta.leofa

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Re: Religion
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2010, 10:56:19 AM »
It would be glorious if nobles (and only nobles) were thought to have an afterlife.
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Beethoven

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Re: Religion
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2010, 10:58:38 AM »
It would be glorious if nobles (and only nobles) were thought to have an afterlife.

Yeah, that would be pretty sweet.

X-D

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Re: Religion
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2010, 11:30:00 AM »
All the tribals would laugh at that.

Oh wait, they do anyway.

Far as I know there is no real religions in arm, but there is plenty of spirituality.
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Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2010, 11:37:05 AM »
I've never understood why the religion of the city states (worshiping the Highlord or the Sun King) has never been fleshed out.

Why are there no set liturgies?  No standard prayers?  No standard forms of worship?  No standard beliefs about the god kings?  What are the holy days?  How does one show one's devotion, other than praying at the gates?  How do the god kings (officially) explain who and what they are?  What goes on in the temples of the dragon?

These things shouldn't be secrets.  They should exist in highly clarified, public documents on the website since every character born and raised in Allanak proper should know the answers to the above questions. 

It's NOT up to the PCs to come up with the answers to these questions since at any given time, the majority of players who tried to articulate OFFICIAL religious practices would risk being killed for it.  That leaves the low-ranking templars that PCs can play ... but even then, it would be odd if they were trying to establish official religious practices.  Yes, yes, I know everyone has examples of how their character came up with various rituals and forms of devotion ... but guess what?  Those rituals/deovtions died with your character.  There is no continuity in forms of worship.

If Muk/Tek DON'T want to pursue establishing their worship, one has to wonder why they're stupid.  Religion is a very, very useful tool and it's baffling that the god kings don't bother with it.

It would be neat to have a project of player contributions (with staff input and oversight of the sekrit stuffs) to develop this.
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Nyr

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Re: Religion
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2010, 12:12:05 PM »
I don't understand why you would think it necessary to have any of those things officially determined.

Develop your own liturgy.  The absence of an official documented one doesn't mean that you can't make one or even submit it.
Develop your own standard prayers.  See above.
Develop your own standard form of worship.  See above.
Develop your own beliefs about the god kings.  They could be wrong.  If heretical, they may get you killed.  Welcome to Zalanthas.
Develop your own holy days.  You can even do an RPT and invite people every year for it.
Find out a way to show your devotion yourself. 
Figure out why Muk Utep and Tektolnes don't explain officially who and what they are.  I'm not sure this would be IC for many characters, though.
Find out what goes on in the temple of the dragon yourself.  Can't see anything but a fountain and a white-robed templar?  When did these white robed templars appear?  Why are they there?  When did this happen?  You can figure all of this out by browsing the website at the very least.

Saying that you can't do these things is a cop out.

Players play what they want to play (within the reasonable boundaries of documentation); this stuff isn't documented because it's up to the players to determine it.

The one area I'd point out as a conflicting point is that Muk Utep and Tektolnes have no reason to explain what they are, and that Muk Utep and Tektolnes do appear to establish their worship in a de facto manner (there is nothing else to legitimately worship in a popular, open way in either city-state, therefore, they are worshiped).  Tektolnes has a temple devoted to him.  Devotions are done daily.  Utep's City is as full of zealots as Allanak, so how does this happen?  Make your own connections here.
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Talia

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  • Posts: 2084
Re: Religion
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2010, 12:26:29 PM »
It would be neat to have a project of player contributions (with staff input and oversight of the sekrit stuffs) to develop this.

Sometimes I think that players (me included) forget or are unaware that much of the current documentation for the game was developed by the players. (Of course, if you include staff in the definition of "players" then all of the documentation was developed by players.) Player-driven includes documentation, IMO. Traditions can and do take hold in game: "Smooth sands" as a desert-elf salutation was introduced by a player.

FWIW, speaking from my experience as a player, I've seen PCs in both city-states who practiced religion/spirituality revolving around their respective God-King, including beliefs in the afterlife, and it really added a richness to their roleplay. I like seeing PCs who are all over the continuum of belief, as to me it really spices the game up; it can provide a basis for conflict, both internal and external, and for character development. I do not personally prefer absolutist statements on the nature or presence or validity of roleplaying these beliefs; rather, I'd say, if you want to roleplay out religion/spirituality in the city-states then you are welcome to do so. When playing elsewhere, there may be documentation regarding religion/spirituality, and you are again welcome to roleplay that out within the bounds of the documentation. And if you don't want to roleplay it out in whatever role, you're welcome to do that, too.
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Malifaxis

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Re: Religion
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2010, 01:07:17 PM »
Much of Armageddon's documentation has been done by the players.  Why?  I have my own theories on that, which we won't go in to.

With this in mind, there's no reason that players can't create liturgies or rites or anything else they desire.  The problem is with getting them made into something so goddamn widely accepted that it becomes 'official.'  Know those precious little words the fucking dirty gyppos use?  That all started with players.  Players like you and me who had a staff member (the important ingredient) who backed their ideas.  A staff member who believed that what the players were doing was actually fucking important enough to be SAVED and passed on down the line.  This is where the disconnect is.  Staff don't automagickally know what's popular.  You have to tell them, and then, sometimes, tell them again.  Sometimes you have to rally a few people in support.  Sometimes you have to get 100 screaming motherfuckers in blue paint and skirts to moon the staff to let them know you're goddamn serious... but if you're persistent, it'll happen.

Oh... hey Talia, I see what you did there.

Damnit, I need to learn to fucking read someday.

So basically quit being a fucking pansy and write some rites.

Oh... and by the way... anyone up for making a goddamn religion with me?
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Gunnerblaster

  • Posts: 6590
Re: Religion
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2010, 01:14:29 PM »
Oh... and by the way... anyone up for making a goddamn religion with me?
Let's do this shit.
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Barzalene

  • Posts: 7736
Re: Religion
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2010, 01:17:04 PM »
I want to work on this with you. Can we start this evening?
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Gunnerblaster

  • Posts: 6590
Re: Religion
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2010, 01:20:31 PM »
Player Collaboration:
Make a goddamn religion.

Code: [Select]
>change objective Make a goddamn religion.
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Laura, did weird tribal men follow you around at age 15?
If by weird tribal men you mean Christians then yes.

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Potaje

  • Posts: 2266
Re: Religion
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2010, 01:31:20 PM »
I would like to see monk styled wanderers from the sands, spouting on about religious philosophies, converting people and haveing them become followers of an idea. Then maybe we could have some great wars again. 
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I often hear the jingle to -Riunite on ice- when I read the estate name Reynolte, eve though there ain't no ice in Zalanthas.

Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2010, 01:46:26 PM »
I don't understand why you would think it necessary to have any of those things officially determined.

...

Players play what they want to play (within the reasonable boundaries of documentation); this stuff isn't documented because it's up to the players to determine it.

That's cool!  I wasn't meaning to cop out, per se... more, my point was that when these things are invented by characters, unless they are added to official documentation, their chances of continuing past the life of the character are slim.  So, it's not that players can't do these things, but rather that eventually there will need to be some documentation somewhere if these character's inventions are to have lasting impact.

My post was more of a call for "let's do this" rather than "we can't do this" - but I can see how it was unclear.  I still don't think PCs (characters), the average Amos on the street, can pull this off without it being the focus of the character but your suggestion that players submit ideas/documents is a great idea.




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Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2010, 01:48:54 PM »
So basically quit being a fucking pansy and write some rites.

Malifaxis is correct.  The first starting point will have to be celibate pansies.  That's how most of the good religions start.
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Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2010, 02:16:56 PM »
I just think that for the incoming player, there's a lot of 'general knowledge' stuff that isn't really documented.  Even reading through the documentation fervently when I first signed up, I could've got myself into quite a bit of trouble if I belted out a 'thank god!'

I think it'd be nice to just have a basic file in the documentation about religion, saying that rather than devotion to abstract deities, cults of personality to so-and-so are well-established and common superstitions are such-and-such.

If one wanted to write up and submit such a thing, would that be done through the request tool, or...?

manipura

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Re: Religion
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2010, 06:55:06 PM »
I know there is something in the documentation about commonly held superstitions.  Maybe it's in the General Information section?  I don't remember right now, but I know I've read it.  Personally I found it rather interesting...

Talia

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Re: Religion
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2010, 07:38:04 PM »
You mean the page titled Superstitions? ;)
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Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2010, 07:57:16 PM »
Looking at manipura I find myself wondering what zalanthan drow would be like.

Probably noble and kindhearted.

jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2010, 11:39:11 PM »
Part of it may be that commoners in the city states are discouraged from openly speculating about the supernatural (both socially and by the authorities).

I disagree that commoners are discouraged from openly speculating about the supernatural.  I think that players discourage this, but only the ones who don't really understand the game, or have a bias against role-playing alongside religious characters. 

I think a better reason that commoners don't have a belief in an afterlife is because they're taught to feel thankful for living thirty years safely under the reign of their Lord, and that providing a few offspring to server the Lord constitutes spiritual fulfillment.  I think life is too harsh for the commoners to hope for anything more than reaching the age of thirty.

I don't think Nilaz and Drov can be discussed in this context without giving away IC info. Playing a drovian/nilazi for some time, or playing around PCs of those guilds might be somewhat helpful.


I hate to be a pill, but this has left me even more confused than before.  I think that the lesson to take away form this is that in the eyes of a commoner, Drov represents some kind of horrible shadow that they're meant to be afraid of.
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Qzzrbl

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Re: Religion
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2010, 02:54:00 AM »
In using "I'll send yeh to Drov/the Void." being used IG kinda supports the idea that many city-bound PCs don't believe in an afterlife.

Just think about it.

Drov = Shadows.... Darkness, perpetual not-seeing, it's more symbolic.... Like death sends you to a place that's like sleeping without dreams.... Just nothing.

The Void/Nilaz = The void... Absence, nothing, vacuum.... Where you go when you die-- nowhere.

I'd imagine many commoners have -some- sense of a spirit or soul.... I'm sure more than a few people have sat and contemplated their mortality, what their life is, etc., etc.

But they ultimately have in mind that there's no afterlife, they just dissipate and go nowhere.... Void/drov.... Associated with nowhere, to your average commoner, at least.

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Marshmellow

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Re: Religion
« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2010, 06:36:45 AM »
I don't think Nilaz and Drov can be discussed in this context without giving away IC info. Playing a drovian/nilazi for some time, or playing around PCs of those guilds might be somewhat helpful.
I hate to be a pill, but this has left me even more confused than before.  I think that the lesson to take away form this is that in the eyes of a commoner, Drov represents some kind of horrible shadow that they're meant to be afraid of.
Why does that leave you confused?  As has already been said, most non-tribals have no real religion and they call killing someone sending someone to Drov because of the symbolism.  Drov isn't truly associated with death, just darkness and being unable to see... and when you're dead, you're unable to see.  People that have had near-death experiences describe it as the world that they can see fading away, as if they were losing the ability to perceive that world.  It works from an uneducated point-of-view.  For an educated point-of-view, however, you should play around Drovians and Nilazi and find out what they really mean in the context of the world.  That is all.
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Kol

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Re: Religion
« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2010, 10:38:05 AM »
To point out the obvious, as in most belief systems, a form of religion exists in zalanthas as much as our world, Religion is generally a loose belief system built around a set or group of stories contributied to one or more people or characters. History and human eveolution show these are usually taken from a specific region, people or race.
To point out a few of the most obvious, Nordic relegion, the gods of Thor, loki, and Odin, or Greek with gods such as Hades, god of death, or even the Roman pantheon.

All these relegious views base thier belief systems around the loose facts of human nature and makeup that sets aside anything we cannot explain and places it within the grasp of a higher power, giving it a name and saying there are reasons behind it we cannot explain. Why does the sky produce a sound like that? Oh, Thor is at his anvil,  or battaling in his father's name, with the heros of great battles, and that is the sound of his battle, and the strike of Raggnerok, his hammer.

In zalanthas, we explain these elements away with names, and attribute people skilled in them, and particularly gifted in thier use as 'Gicker's.

How does Whiria controll the winds, and air? Why Is Ruk asscociated with earth and stone? And why do BOTH sorcerer kings subjugate those born with these skills, and instead insist that they be worshipped?
I think at least in some obscure way, the priests of these old religions still exists in both city states, and nearly ALL tribals, in both the forms of druidic 'Priests' 'Gickers can be likend to actual fabled Druids, in the sense that they control a particular aspect of the elements. (I think this would be a widely known fact in Zalanthas that particular people display usage of particular traits, more so in the south)

And in the north, with the more versatile Bardic system, who are a more acceptable form of real life views of a 'preacher' or better, a Storyteller, or travelling minstrell, who were renowned for being payed to spread religious views, or spreading that which they belived in.

Tek, who most would see as less honourable would have subjugated his old, in order to enforce his own view, a tyrant in the excuction of it.

Muk, who most would see as the most honourable one, not to say in the least that even Muk should be called honourable, would have more than likley rather have bent his foe to his own use, and thus proven his superior tactical awareness (a trait that can be seen in Tuluki politics) which can explain as to why Bards are afforded such respect.

 
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Aaron Goulet

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Re: Religion
« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2010, 10:56:24 AM »
Keep in mind while writing that most worship of the God-Kings (at least Tektolnes) is probably practiced out of fear rather than love:

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Re: Religion
« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2010, 03:28:59 PM »
I threw up a rough draft of a religion doc in Player Collaboration.
http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,39564.msg551956.html#new
Critique welcomed. Carry on.
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Kol

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Re: Religion
« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2010, 03:43:53 PM »
I threw up a rough draft of a religion doc in Player Collaboration.
http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,39564.msg551956.html#new
Critique welcomed. Carry on.

I fucking love it! good work so far man.
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jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2010, 11:15:30 AM »
I'm posting here because I think that the other religious thread is getting close to completion, and I didn't want to clutter it up with my own opinions.

It's ironic that for years many players have neglected the religious aspects of their characters, some to the point where they've gotten wild ideas, including that their character is not religious.  

It's nice that religious discussion is finally coming to the forefront.  

I think that for many players, they don't play religious characters because they don't understand what sort of dialog two Worshippers of Muk Utep would engage in when having a religious chat.

One fact about religions is that no matter how extensive the canonical religious documentation is, they invariably fail to address every possible situation and so this invites non-heretical speculation about what the proper orthodox attitude is.

An example would be the Bhudda and pretzels.  While historians have written down quite a lot of stuff that Sidhartha probably said, he didn't say anything about pretzels, for the simple reason that they didn't have pretzels in dynastic China.  So it's easy to imagine a couple of Bhuddists having a discussion about whether or not pretzels are in accordance with the teachings of the Bhudda or not.

Sound silly?  Well keep in mind that fairly intense religious debate has centered around some fairly minor points:

*Whether or not good works should accompany faith.
*The succession line of Mohammet.
*Icons, good thing or bad thing?
*Whether or not some guy who died two thousand years before the advent of stem cell research would have approved of stem cell research.
*Eating pork, good thing or bad thing?
*Circumcision, good thing or bad thing?

And so I project that Zalanthan religious discussion proceeds along similar routes.  The Templarate push their own particular teachings about religion, but they don't have the time or motive to expound Tektolnes' opinions on every potential subject.  Imagine how confusing it would be to try to preserve religious doctrine among a culture that doesn't use writing?

So basically, no one would openly contradict the teachings of the templarate because they wouldn't want to be accused of spreading heresy, but speculating on any topic that's not covered by the Templarate would be entirely fair game.

Here are some examples of things that I believe that Allanaki would discuss religiously:

*Should a statue of Lord Tektolnes have black hair, the color of ethnic Allanaki or should he have purple hair because he was royalty?
*Lord Tektolnes was divine.  Should the rest of his bloodline be considered divine, and be worshipped as well?
*Should foreign slaves be converted to Tekism, or is the Great Lord Tektolnes disinterested in their prayers?



This is the kind of crap that people talk about all day.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:22:40 AM by jriley »
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Ampere

  • Posts: 1485
Re: Religion
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2010, 02:12:14 PM »
EDIT: wrong thread.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 02:16:14 PM by Ampere »
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Old Kank

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Re: Religion
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2010, 12:51:54 AM »
I threw up a rough draft of a religion doc in Player Collaboration.
http://www.zalanthas.org/gdb/index.php/topic,39564.msg551956.html#new
Critique welcomed. Carry on.

With much respect to the work you've put into this, and Talia's guiding influence, I have to say that widespread, formalized religion is one of the last things I want to see in this game.  I hope the official staff position on these documents is that they're unsanctioned, and I hope they go away before they have a chance to sink into the hive mind.

I don't see how any of this improves the game, and I can just point to jriley's post for reasons why I think it will harm the game.

Re: Religion
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2010, 04:53:48 AM »
With much respect to the work you've put into this, and Talia's guiding influence, I have to say that widespread, formalized religion is one of the last things I want to see in this game.  I hope the official staff position on these documents is that they're unsanctioned, and I hope they go away before they have a chance to sink into the hive mind.

I don't see how any of this improves the game, and I can just point to jriley's post for reasons why I think it will harm the game.
I appreciate your opinion (really, I do), but I think discussion of my proposed document should be limited to the player collaboration thread I started. It's the most likely way of making your opinion heard. Would you mind reposting this to my thread? I can't promise to keep up with this thread in addition to that one.
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Wolfsong

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Re: Religion
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2010, 03:17:53 PM »
This may have been touched on already, but all cultures have origin stories and creation myths - what about Zalanthas?
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Religion
« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2010, 04:51:46 PM »
This may have been touched on already, but all cultures have origin stories and creation myths - what about Zalanthas?

Most knowledge in -all- areas, (including religion and philosophy) were lost in the fall of the Empire of Man.  As has been said before, post-apocalypse Zalanthans have been too busy surviving, getting high, and procreating in order to preserver their species to worry about where it all came from.
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palomar

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Re: Religion
« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2010, 05:27:37 PM »
This may have been touched on already, but all cultures have origin stories and creation myths - what about Zalanthas?

Some of the tribes have such as part of their documentation.

jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2010, 11:42:00 AM »
Hey, posting here because I didn't want to clutter up the other thread.

Yeah, I think that FDM doesn't seem to grasp that sometimes people genuinely like or venerate gods that most college-educated, Westernized earth humans would label as evil. 

For example, in prehistoric Ireland, it was pretty common to tie somebody up and toss them into a peat-bog in order to appease the gods.  Sounds pretty barbaric, huh?  But this is what people thought that their gods wanted.

Or how about South America?  Human sacrifice was central to these religions.  According to legend, 10,000* prisoners were once sacrificed in a single day.  Remember, people loved these gods.  They weren't doing this sort of violent stuff because they disliked their gods.  They loved their violent, bloodthirsty war gods and thought that this was what the gods wanted. 

People are perfectly willing to venerate evil gods.

For another example, keep in mind that the Judaic god is recorded as having cast entire cities into the ocean for no other reason than disagreeing with part of the population of these cities.  In religious texts, he is self-described as a "jealous, vengeful god."  The people who believe this like this guy.

The Vedic religious pantheon includes a being known as Shiva the Destroyer.  Shiva is such a bad dude that he actually makes Tektolnes look sweet and cuddly.  And again to point out, Hindus worship this guy.  They think he's okay. 


*I'm personally skeptical of this figure, but it does make the point.
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jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2010, 11:56:32 AM »
With much respect to the work you've put into this, and Talia's guiding influence, I have to say that widespread, formalized religion is one of the last things I want to see in this game.  I hope the official staff position on these documents is that they're unsanctioned, and I hope they go away before they have a chance to sink into the hive mind.

I don't see how any of this improves the game, and I can just point to jriley's post for reasons why I think it will harm the game.

You know, I've considered your point, Old Kank.  Long have I as a player been persecuted for wanting to play religious characters, and it's only in recent memory that the tide has shifted.  However I am not insensitive to the fact that many players have no wish to play a religious character or to play around religious characters. 

But as I see it, there are many opportunities to avoid religion entirely.  For example, in the Great Merchant Houses, my understanding is that open professions of religion are discouraged by the clan leaders towards the goal of cultivating an image of political neutrality.  One of the neat things about the current religious situation in the game is that religious affiliation of any particular character is in large part more a political choice than a referendum on theology, metaphysics, justice, ethics or philosophy.  However if for any reason your character wishes to develop the image of political neutrality, it follows that he will likely abstain from public religious observance.  As is cropping up more and more in these sorts of role-playing discussions, all you need is a MacGuffin.

Additionally, I envision most "rough and tumble mercenaries" as having a somewhat skeptical outlook on the established religions.  Maybe I've picked this up from too many action movies?  But it probably fits the game.

On top of that, I'd tend to assume that most educated characters, as well as most well-traveled characters will have achieved a somewhat cosmopolitan viewpoint on religion as well.

So I guess what I'm saying is, that I think that even if there is a cultural shift among the playerbase and if these docs are adopted, then I think that you will still have plenty of opportunities to play non-religious characters and to play around non-religious characters.
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