Re: Re: God Talkers

From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_IIeoP8gpbAo-LfKO-aSPXU0bhS3qm-tuIGgpv24DVKYop7W2rmxKExIRWFX0RfsNEoXV>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 11:50:18 -0600

At 3:37 PM +0000 2/26/02, Ian Cooper wrote:
>Peter Larsen:
>>Yes, but godi and priests are not the only "religious
>functionaries." Devotees, by virtue of their close
>connection to the god, serve religious functions as
>In which a case, IMHO, they are acting as 'godi', even
>if the clan does not consider them one. I have always
>seen godi as an informal position. If people start to
>turn to you for religous guidance, to officiate in
>their ceremonies etc. you become a godi. A
>congregation equals a godi, so to speak.

        I'm unconvinced. The warband leader, a Humakt devotee, might be called on to stand at the entrance of the urnyard and act as Death in clan burials. A Barntar devotee might be called on to bless the fields some of the time. Neither one of these would necessarily be seen as a godi. I think that a godi tends a shrine of some sort and should be separated from devotees.

>Peter Larsen:
>>heck, a good sized group of player characters could
>account for the bulk of devotees in a clan....
>More importantly I would include devotees, with or
>without a congregation within this *religious leaders*
>figure anyway.
>IMHO devotion, despite being the overwhelming choice
>of many player characters is not represented at
>anything like that level in 'normal' society.

        Agreed, but it still leads to the weird case where the PCs clan has 200%+ of the Recommended Devotee Allowance, which seems wrong to me -- obviously PCs are going to skew the sample, but that much?

>The devotees 60% time requirement mean they need to be
>supported by the clan, and while I am sure that say a
>Barntar or Durev godi may fulfill some of that worship
>requirement in supporting themselves and their kin,
>they still need time to administer to the faithful.

        But devotees do not need to minister to anyone; they merely relate to the god. An Ohorlanth devotee could spend his entire life never meeting another person and still be a good devotee. Similarly, the Barntar devotee does his thing by striving to be the perfect carl; he can, but is not required to, fill in for Barntar in various rituals and ceremonies.

>The 1.5% figure is historically what such societies
>could support; I agree it feels too low for Glorantha,
>and would be happier with say 3-5% of *adults*, (2-4
>members of the 70 adult stead).
>As always though, YMMV, I can see that my predeliction
>for these figures may be just due to an inbuilt
>feeling that player characters make devotees seem too

        Fair enough, and devotees are going to gather at the Chief's stead, because many cannot be supported at a small stead. Outside of the E and O Allmother and Allfather aspects, some of the grain and animal subcults, a few of the Orlanth Thunderous subcults, Barntar, Odalya, and maybe subcults of Heler and Elmal, there just isn't enough of the deity's work to be done at a 80 person stead to support a devotee. But 2-3 godar and perhaps 4 devotees (so 3-5% of adults as "religious functionaries" and about 10% as "intensely religious") seems right to me, especially since the two groups largely overlap. (The Pat. and Mat. are probably the godar of O and E whether or not they are devotees, it's part of their role). So, perhaps, the Pat. is an initiate of Durev and godi of Orlanth, the Mat. is a devotee of Ernalda Allmother (pick a subcult) and godi of Ernalda, Uncle Braggi is a devotee of Barntar, Asdis, our craftmistress is a devotee of Pella, and there is Crazy Heoral, the devotee and godi of Ohorlanth who lives up on Windy Knob and who looks out for the stead in exchange for some food and help keeping his shack nice. That's three godi and four devotees without straining anyone's credulity. Of course, throw 7 player characters into the mix, and it's going to look like Kallyr's warband, but any 80-person stead with 7 player characters in regular residence will be abnormal.

Peter Larsen            

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