Misapplied Misapplied Worship Rules?

From: Nick Brooke <Nick_Brooke_at_...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 12:35:19 +0100

It seems to me that the Misapplied Worship Rules were originally meant simply to prevent characters having access to more than one magic system, and that they do a good job of this. If my reading is right, then any one character can *only* perform one kind of worship (sacrifice, veneration, asceticism, or ecstatic worship): it costs twice as much to get any benefits from an entity to whom this is an alien worship pattern, and the powers you get are the same kind you're used to (i.e: affinities/feats for theists, grimoires/spells for sorcerers, traditions/spirits for animists).

Mind you, HW p.167 says there are "theists who practice ecstatic worship in addition to sacrifice", which I don't pretend to understand. Maybe it's a loosely worded way of saying, "some theistic cultures include unusual individuals who practice ecstatic worship instead of sacrifice (e.g. Kolating shamans among the theistic Orlanthi; Jakaleeli shamans among the theistic Lunars)"? Let's hope so.

	Example Q: Greg Stafford, brought up as a Catholic (sorcerous,
	veneration), "changes his religion" in later life to become a
	practising Shaman (animist, ecstatic worship). Is he therefore
	performing Misapplied Veneration, paying three or four times the
	price for every ability he develops -- and these abilities come
	from venerating the spirits, which yields grimoires and spells but
	*not* a bona fide Shamanic Tradition with its associated spirits?

	Moreover, when he goes to the Other Side, is he crossing into a
	particularly dangerous "false node" on the Spirit Plane, which
	bona fide Spirits are doing their utmost to destroy?

	Or is there some way he could have changed magic systems? If he
	were a HW character, what would be the cost (in hero points and
	lost abilities) of doing this? Is it at all common, or is Greg
	Stafford an exceptional -- nay, heroic! -- individual to have
	achieved this in the first place?

Somewhere along the way (pre-publication), the Misapplied Worship rules seem to have become assimilated into a half-hearted One-True-World crusade, with the unfortunate result that if (say) Urox the Storm Bull can effectively be sacrificed to as a theistic entity by divine cultists in Sartar, he *can't* also receive ecstatic worship as a great spirit from the animist traditions of Prax, without the rules being visibly bent to allow this as a "very special case" (only allowable at the Block, or in the Eternal Battle, or when there's an R in the month...).

Now, to me, this parallel worship by different cultures in different modes is no more problematical than having Elmal, Yelm and Yu-Kargzant (to name but three) all worshipped as the Sun God -- with Yu-Kargzant, a Great Spirit, receiving Correctly Applied Worship from his Animist Tradition, and having a bona fide residence on the Spirit Plane to boot. The literalism that has led to the Storm Bull/Urox confusion would surely have required the Yu-Kargzant Tradition to be classed as misapplied ecstatic worship of a god, yielding a double-cost tradition. (Or, if the Dara Happans are "wrong"... :-)

As Jonas and others say, perhaps the worst example is the way that Praxian Shamans, worshipping Praxian Spirits, in a Praxian manner, in Prax, should apparently get whacked by Misapplied Worship penalties. This is just plain silly. I cannot believe the rules on HW p.247 ("Sacrificing to Spirit Entities") are intended to cover the case where Praxians worship the Frog Woman (etc.). IMO this is what would happen if Heortling theists were to offer sacrifices to Thunder Bird, or Gagarth the Wild Hunter of Prax: they'd get affinities and feats similar to those of the spirits, only at double cost.

BTW, how do you create a Misapplied Worshipper during character generation? Is it as simple as just dividing the standard ability values for every "misapplied" ability by two (or three, depending)?

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