Author Topic: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas  (Read 12254 times)

musashi

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2013, 08:42:14 PM »
Um ... guys ... if playing an RPG with religion in it is challenging to your faith ... you're probably not gonna play an RPG at all, period. Because it's the devil. Along with Pokemon, Harry Potter, and the Telletubbies.

But, hey test it out.

If you want to start an underground religious cult worshiping the black moon in Allanak or Tuluk, go for it. Roll up a concept and run it by the staff. If they let you ... and you're just subsequently crushed by the templarate for it IC, well then that's why the city states have no official religions beyond quasi worship of the kings.

If staff writes back and says: No as a rule we don't allow religion of any kind inside the city states ... then it's probably a policy to appease the evangelicals.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 08:46:19 PM by musashi »
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Morrolan

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2013, 10:50:33 PM »
As a side note, if the things that happen in Armageddon generally don't go against someone's RL religion, I would be interested to know what sort of actual RL religion they are part of. I might join up.

Asatru. Maybe. [Comes in non-racist and racist varieties.]
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Desertman

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2013, 12:27:16 AM »
As a side note, if the things that happen in Armageddon generally don't go against someone's RL religion, I would be interested to know what sort of actual RL religion they are part of. I might join up.

Asatru. Maybe. [Comes in non-racist and racist varieties.]

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hatchets

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2013, 04:31:41 AM »
I am of 'western faith' which makes me laugh when I hear that said.

Maybe this is why, in the 80s and early 90s, RPGs were linked (in the minds of some wingnuts) with Satanism, etc.

RPGs really do help people with understanding other peoples, cultures, and ways of life. Which, to some people's minds, makes them Eeeee-vil.

I will not delve into deep arguments of faith, as I don't particularly believe this thread is really for that nor does anyone win in arguments of faith if both sides are truly faithful. But I will say, in the future, it would be more accurate to reference those of the 80's and 90's era rather then the entire general 'western faith' and leave out name calling as it attempts to create the same persecution you hold against them which makes your argument at best hypocritical, and more so lowers the standard of any such  debate to childishness.
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Suhuy

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2013, 05:50:29 AM »
I was trying to find an old GDB post by Nessalin but, sadly, came up empty handed. The closest I could dig up was: http://www.armageddon.org/help/view/Magicker%20FAQ. Specifically, the 'Why aren't magickers called clerics or druids?' part.

A literalist would argue that it specifically states there are no religions on Zalanthas, and say case closed, but I won't go that far because it's expressly referring to the city-states. Yes, various human and elven tribes have religious aspects, but I think that's based more on a belief in a spirit world/spirits and less on "this is the god of sandstorms and we pray to him for blah blah blah. And this guy over here is the god of music" etc. Their beliefs certainly don't fall under the category of organized religion.

The GDB post I was searching for argued that when you implement gods and goddesses as featured in stock fantasy genre (Dragonlance, etc.), you ultimately wind up with characters performing their actions for their deity and not because that's what their character would necessarily do. He sited the ancient Neanderthals and their lack of religion to demonstrate that societies can capably function without gods and goddesses. The impression I remember getting from the post was less an argument against religion because there are sorcerer-kings who would try to put a stop to it and more of a "we simply don't want religion to feature in our game" mentality. Not that anyone has to agree with me, but I've always favored this viewpoint because I feel it sets Arm apart from the other fantasy settings out there and gives it a more mature edge.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 05:52:58 AM by Suhuy »

James de Monet

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2013, 05:52:17 AM »
I am of 'western faith' which makes me laugh when I hear that said.

Maybe this is why, in the 80s and early 90s, RPGs were linked (in the minds of some wingnuts) with Satanism, etc.

RPGs really do help people with understanding other peoples, cultures, and ways of life. Which, to some people's minds, makes them Eeeee-vil.

Actually, I think this had more to do with the Gary Gygax choices for reference material in the artwork and thematic styling of the first editions of D&D. They've toned it down a lot since then, to my understanding. Also, you know how some people get really into their campaigns, and get dressed up and stuff? Before RPGs, there was really on one kind of people who hung about in dark rooms wearing robes and talking about 'demons' and 'spells'. I think it was an honest mistake...
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

musashi

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2013, 08:58:37 AM »
Also keep in mind that worshipping a god of sandstorm, a god of the harvest, a god of this and that etc ... Was the mainstay of religious beliefs throughout Judea before the onset of "personal salvation cults" like Christianity. The idea of a god that you pray to for personal salvation as opposed to the idea of a god you pray to specifically for effect X Y and Z ... fairly new concept as far as religion goes.

So I think that to suggest as Suhuy did that religious beliefs based around gods of this and gods of that don't fall under the category of organized religion ... Not really. It's not monotheism to be sure, but its organized religion for certain.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 09:01:38 AM by musashi »
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Morrolan

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2013, 11:07:34 AM »
I am of 'western faith' which makes me laugh when I hear that said.

Maybe this is why, in the 80s and early 90s, RPGs were linked (in the minds of some wingnuts) with Satanism, etc.

RPGs really do help people with understanding other peoples, cultures, and ways of life. Which, to some people's minds, makes them Eeeee-vil.

I will not delve into deep arguments of faith, as I don't particularly believe this thread is really for that nor does anyone win in arguments of faith if both sides are truly faithful. But I will say, in the future, it would be more accurate to reference those of the 80's and 90's era rather then the entire general 'western faith' and leave out name calling as it attempts to create the same persecution you hold against them which makes your argument at best hypocritical, and more so lowers the standard of any such  debate to childishness.

Hatchets,

My original post (back on the last page) was in two parts. The first is that most Westerners have a hard time getting their minds around immanent religion.

The second was that some newbs might not deal well with the RPG-religion context at all.

I'm sorry if it caused any confusion that they ran together.
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Morrolan

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2013, 11:18:58 AM »
I will not delve into deep arguments of faith, as I don't particularly believe this thread is really for that nor does anyone win in arguments of faith if both sides are truly faithful. But I will say, in the future, it would be more accurate to reference those of the 80's and 90's era rather then the entire general 'western faith' and leave out name calling as it attempts to create the same persecution you hold against them which makes your argument at best hypocritical, and more so lowers the standard of any such  debate to childishness.

Wow, Hatchets, you read a lot into that that I didn't say and don't feel.

If any readers would like to see my working definition of an archetypal Western faith (and this was written for a general audience by a scholar of religion), please reference George Williams's Religions of the World: Shinto for a discussion of Western definitions of religion, and how this has influenced scholarly work on immanent religions in general and Shinto in specific.

As I said, it's for a general audience. I found it at my local library.

EDIT to add:
Off the top of my head, Williams's argument is that Shinto differs from the common Western religion in ten specific ways. Here are eight of them:
  • Shinto is orthopractic and Western religion is orthodoctic
  • Shinto is ethnic and Western religion is transmissible between groups
  • Shinto focuses on cyclical time and Western religion's cosmology uses linear time
  • Shinto focuses on life in this world and Western religion is concerned with the afterlife
  • Shinto is experiential and Western religion is unified by beliefs, assumptions, and principles
  • Shinto is associated with the history of a specific country and Western religion is transnational
  • Shinto does not have one defining text and Western religion does
  • Shinto has deities/spirits associated with the landscape and Western religion is "world-rejecting"

Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head. The Shinto part isn't so important for this discussion, but his working model of Western religion is. Anyway, enough of this derail. Let's take it to PMs if you have any interest in discussing this.

[/derail]

Throughout history (probably since the first cities arose out of the hierarchy generated by food surpluses caused by agriculture -- so, as old as civilization) religion has been used to justify things that actually have a political basis. Adding in "religion" beyond tribal and civil religions is an invitation to import modern conceptions of religion which are a far cry from pre- or non-Neoplatonic ones.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 11:57:22 AM by Morrolan »
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Desertman

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2013, 01:55:12 PM »
Back on track, Templars, specifically referred to as priests in the documentation.

Priests.

That should really end the debate on if there is religion in Zalanthas.
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James de Monet

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2013, 03:35:14 PM »
Back on track, Templars, specifically referred to as priests in the documentation.

Priests.

That should really end the debate on if there is religion in Zalanthas.

I agree that this is fairly telling, especially because the docs on Elementalist Culture express:
Quote from: The docs
A thought to keep in mind when working with elementalists is that they're not priests. Or philosophers. Or druids. Or seers. Or Wizards. They do not get their powers by prayer, worship, communing with a greater power, or studying ancient texts.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

Potaje

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2013, 03:50:55 PM »
Lets role up a bunch of bardic priests in Red storm



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Lizzie

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2013, 04:58:29 PM »
Back on track, Templars, specifically referred to as priests in the documentation.

Priests.

That should really end the debate on if there is religion in Zalanthas.

This is sort of a red herring argument. You're assuming that by "priests" the staff who created the game, intended for "priests" to be comparable to christian priests. This is entirely possible, but not necessarily the case. Priests of Ancient Judea, most of whom were either Sadducees or Pharisees, acted more as caretakers of the temple - which was considered not only a religious center, but also the community center. They were also the politicians and lawyers of their time, and their primary religious function was to act as the administrators of sacrifices - and -not- to "lead a congregation in prayer." The religious leaders were the rabbis and cantors (the Jewish version of a bard), not the priests. Priests were typically given their duties by virtue of their birth - they inherited the task from familial lines. It had nothing to do with personal calling, or any personal sense of affinity with their god.

I am more inclined to see the game's templars in this light, which was religious only as a very small part of their duties - and administrative as the bulk of their function in society.

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Riya OniSenshi

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2013, 05:01:25 PM »
That should really end the debate on if there is religion in Zalanthas.

Nyr's posts on the first page should have ended it, really...
I don't even see what point, if any, most of you are trying to make anymore, and what it has to do with anything.
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Morrolan

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #64 on: July 19, 2013, 11:40:23 AM »
it's hard to imagine that any religious debate would end because of the word "should."

Anyone 'can' call themselves a "priest" in arm. However, having miraculous powers requires karma, and comes with other restrictions, like staff overview and veto.

You probably can even try to start a religion or a religious order. 'Try' being the operative word.



"I have seen him show most of the attributes one expects of a noble: courtesy, kindness, and honor.  I would also say he is one of the most bloodthirsty bastards I have ever met."

Desertman

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #65 on: July 19, 2013, 02:57:44 PM »
it's hard to imagine that any religious debate would end because of the word "should."

Anyone 'can' call themselves a "priest" in arm. However, having miraculous powers requires karma, and comes with other restrictions, like staff overview and veto.

You probably can even try to start a religion or a religious order. 'Try' being the operative word.





I once played a half-elf ranger who fully believed he had his own diety/goddess of the wilderness.

A southern templar once made the soldiers stand back and watch while I stood on a table and preached the word of my goddess to the tavern.

I thought it was because I was so awesome and stuff.

I now realize I was such a complete newb-tard that the templar was just getting a good laugh. I blatantly was not going to get any followers with my stupidity, and if anything, I was a shining example to the rest of the citizens of Allanak to keep their faith with the Highlord.

*So Much Shame*
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Wastrel

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #66 on: July 27, 2013, 01:23:32 AM »
that is pretty hilarious

Omn

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #67 on: July 27, 2013, 04:24:40 AM »
What a cool 'yes'-gamer move on that Templar's part.

IssacF

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2013, 03:23:21 PM »
it's hard to imagine that any religious debate would end because of the word "should."

Anyone 'can' call themselves a "priest" in arm. However, having miraculous powers requires karma, and comes with other restrictions, like staff overview and veto.

You probably can even try to start a religion or a religious order. 'Try' being the operative word.





I once played a half-elf ranger who fully believed he had his own diety/goddess of the wilderness.

A southern templar once made the soldiers stand back and watch while I stood on a table and preached the word of my goddess to the tavern.

I thought it was because I was so awesome and stuff.

I now realize I was such a complete newb-tard that the templar was just getting a good laugh. I blatantly was not going to get any followers with my stupidity, and if anything, I was a shining example to the rest of the citizens of Allanak to keep their faith with the Highlord.

*So Much Shame*

This made me laugh so hard! That Templar knew exactly what he/she was doing.

At any rate. I don't know if there is or not an exact religion. Most of my characters are human and usually very loyal and devoted to the Highlord, each for their own reasons. After spending some quality time with Southern Templars it seemed that when they used their powers they were elevating a prayer to the Highlord. *Shrug* In my opinion South deifies the Highlord while treating the North Sunking as false, charlatan, fake... I can imagine North is the opposite way. Since I'm always Nak-born, I could care less what the others believe. Outside of the Highlord, no one else deserves worship.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 03:28:44 PM by IssacF »

Chettaman

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #69 on: August 19, 2013, 09:36:54 PM »
I believe there is spirituality.
I don't believe many people roleplay these things.

I think it would be super-cool if at least tribals came up with some cool ones.
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Is Friday

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2013, 12:01:13 AM »
I believe there is spirituality.
I don't believe many people roleplay these things.

I think it would be super-cool if at least tribals came up with some cool ones.
It's out there in documentation already.
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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #71 on: August 20, 2013, 01:35:25 AM »
I believe there is spirituality.
I don't believe many people roleplay these things.

I think it would be super-cool if at least tribals came up with some cool ones.
It's out there in documentation already.

And this brings up a difference between the "religions" or beliefs of the tribes and cities.  The sets of beliefs in the cities are tied to location, God-King and somewhat to birth (location).  You could move away and try your hardest to fit into your new location and worship the God-king of the city you live in..and could get away with it.  I see the beliefs of the tribes as tied to blood above all else.  You are either of their tribe or not.  If not, you have no hope of truly fitting in.
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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2013, 03:21:40 AM »
Of course there's religion. The cities have religion and tribes often have religion. Religion is a practice and core set of beliefs regarding spirituality. Religion does not necessitate a god exists or that a god is even revered.

Zalanthas has no supernatural Gods. Cool. It's an atheist world. It does, however, have vastly powerful mortals who call themselves Gods. They are doing nothing supernatural, as magick and psionics are both natural. If people believe they are Gods, that they are beyond all mortal trappings and occupy a supernatural and spiritual place in the universe, then that is religion. Whether or not they do is irrelevant.

Nehoc

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Re: Seeming lack of religion on Zalanthas
« Reply #73 on: August 21, 2013, 04:34:32 AM »
Quite simply... Muk Utep be praised, all good is possible through His Radiance.

I like to let my jewish heritage inspire my Tuluki devotion some, I dont think it's far-fetched or unzalanthan either.  I also like to invisualize outdoors folk as viewing Muk Utep and the sun as synonymous, His Light allows the scrub to bloom, and therefore, we all sup on Muk Utep's radiance every day, and His Light permeates us all.  His Harmony literally influences the lives of Tuluki citizens on a magical level, blessing them with luck, good fortune, and prosperity.  Tuluk is a place of blessings by which others will bless themselves through bowing to Jihae and Lirathu (the faithful orders).

Obviously not every Tuluki feels this way, but some might?  I do anyways.

I think this goes back to Nyr's explanations, some people have personal beliefs (some contradicting common beliefs, like not worshipping the sun and moons, in favor of worshipping them because they have meaning to you, like light)

And I like to see the devotion to Muk Utep as part of that aggressive city dweller aspect of fiercely herding around the symbol of your government, law, lifestyle, sanity, city.  I'd also like to underscore that it is very possible, pointing back to ancient middle eastern history, you see religion often taking over a city completely with priest-kings, or religion being used as a tool of the state to the point where there isn't much spiritual growth involved, just offer sacrafice to our gods in our city, not their gods in their city.  Many look at ancient religious scriptures and in their opinion it's riddled with propaganda.

So yeah, I think religion's biggest role in Tuluk is a nationalistic tool with the spiritualism intended to be minimalized, just remember only the Faithful can guide you to Muk Utep's light :)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 05:56:15 AM by Nehoc »
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