Crossing Religions

From: Mike Holmes <homeydont_at_...>
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 14:11:11 -0500

>From: Greg_at_...

Ooh, even better in terms of looking at intent.

>In my games this would be virtually impossible for an initiate.
>As an initiate you are a part of your god, and vice versa.
>Furthermore, you do not join cults out of curiosity. You are called to
>them, the
>deity (or spirit for that matter) has a part in it.
>The initiation into a cult has privilages and responsibilities--nay,
>The "test for a cult" is not JUST about knowing the right answers, fooling
>initiators or convincing people of your (apparent) sincerity. It is opening
>your very soul to the god in question and letting it scrutenize what is

I think that somehow, the casualness with which I'm proposing this sort of thing is portraying my desire to see characters be such exceptions to the norms as somehow D&Dish. For those who've actually played with me, they'd know that this couldn't be further from the truth. My apologies for not making myself clearer, but I would only allow such a thing to happen in my game if I was sure that the player was exploring a deep religious experience for his character. That is, I'd have to be really, really convinced, too, that this wasn't just a player trolling for nifty abilities.

Fortunately I don't have any players like that at all. So I'm not worried personally. My point being that I would make precisely the same assumptions about the conditions for joining that you would, above. I realize that one does not fool one's dieties.

>If Destor saw a piece of Yanafil Tarnils in the candidate's heart, soul and
>then such candidate would not only never be allowed to join the cult, but
>probably have a sword through him before he came out of the inspection

Because they're at war, Destor being part of Orlanth? That sort of thing? Real hate there? No grudging respect for each other amongst some enemy gods? Certainly there would be, between the mortals who serve them, no?

If not, then this may have been a terrible example on my part. But what if the characters went on a hero quest to syncretize the two gods (Doburdun, anyone?)? Or, again, what about two less opposed gods? What I'm asking is whether or not it's verboten for somesuch to happen? Mechanically disallowed?

Given your terminology, I see that it's not. It's just a case of it being " very right," if and when it does happen. And that's all I'm looking for.

> > they're far from each other, and actually admire
> > each other's principles. I'm making this part up, I don't know Glorantha
> > well enough to say that this is Kosher - but in my Glorantha it'd fly.
>as I said, YGWV. :)

Yes, my Glorantha will vary. So much so it looks a lot like ICE's old Shadow World campaign, but that's neither here nor there. We're talking about what makes for good play about religious issues. That, IMO, we're not at all in disagreement about these points.

>You have to quit any hostile cults before you can join a Lunar cult. And
>is hostile.

Good, which implies that there are non-hostile cults. Which implies that it can be done under the right circumstances. The loophole I was looking for.

So, again, apologies for any misrepresentations of Gloranthan canon, or for any misrepresentation that I feel that characters should be allowed to put on new religions like new underwear. Not my intent. It is my intent to point out just how fascinating the subject of syncretization can be in play. Even if it doesn't happen, there's still the matter of possible conversion. Which is about as large a change as a character can make in a story. Very worth exploring, IMO.

>As I beleive I have said, player heroes are the exception anyway. It is
>important (to me) that everyone understands what the actual norms and
>are so that the plyers will have a clear idea of just how extraordinary
>characters are.

Well, I for one get the message. Always have gotten the message. In fact, the message is why I play the game in another world. Takes a world that runs in an unrealistic, crappy fashion normally, and suddenly brings out all of the deeper meaning that the author tried to imbue the setting with, but couldn't make work because of the godawful system attached to it.

IOW, once again, thanks for HQ, Greg. Lost sleep last night playing and working up material, and it was more than worth it. Some of the most rewarding stuff I've ever done.


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