Posts Tagged ‘Priest/ess’

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Wayism (A to Z Challenge, W)

27 April, 2015

Wayism

The Way is the Tao is the . . .The Way is the Way.  Wayism is as much a philosophy as a belief in higher powers, while existing before the Sundering, it has spread widely since then filling a need among people for guidelines to live by.  The Way denotes something that is both the origins of and the motivating force of all that exists.  A good life is one that is lived in harmony with both the Way and each person’s unique individual way.

Wayist seemliness and ethics may vary depending on the particular school, but they tend to emphasize action through non-action, harmony with the natural world, simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Jewels: compassion, moderation, and humility, which form the foundation of Wayist thought and action.

Wayism is in all ways, a faith of the people and is deeply intertwined with folk medicine and magic, divination (primary astrology and coin reading), alchemy and dealing with supernatural threats to the community.  Wayist Ghost Hunters are common in some areas and there is a thriving trade in Wayish charms and talismen.  Only in a few places is Wayism intertwined with the official power structure, usually at best, it runs parallel to the official government providing informal routes to negotiate around official problems.

As it is primarily passive and accepting, the Draconic Imperium has never seen any reason to impose ban or limitations on the practice of Wayism and even a few dragons have found themselves falling in harmony with the philosophy of the Way.

Wayist clerics have access to the following domains: Community, Healing, Repose and Travel.

Notes: While the name is entirely stolen from the Andromeda TV series, the philosophy of Wayism is entirely rooted in the Tao.

Photo from Kevin Dooley and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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Review – Divine Favor: the Oracle

9 October, 2011

Oracles are defined by mysteries and curses, and this product provides an expansion for options for both.  If Oracles are popular in your campaign, this product should prove to be a very good resource.

Divine Favor: the Oracle is an 18-page PDF (16-pages if you remove the cover and OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Stefen Styrsky and published by Open Design.  This is part of Open Design’s Advance Feats line for Pathfinder.

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False Prophecy and Hoaxes in RPGs

17 June, 2011

This morning I encountered an article of wikipedia on Drake’s Plate of Brass, a historical hoax, and it spiralled out into thoughts of prophecy in RPGs and the idea of deliberately false or hoaxed prophecy.

What better way to cement your religions place than to have a prophecy show that a member of your faith will save the King/City/Land at some indeterminate time in the future?  Or produce a prophecy that shows that is was because of your god(s) divine favor that the current ruler, rules, and that if the faith is not exalted, she or he (or it) will lose divine favor and fall from power?  What if they forgot that these prophecies are not real?

Equally, a rival faith might plant a hoax prophecy in an attempt to discredit or waste the resources of their enemies or encourage false prophecy to try and lure donations and worshippers away.  Even in a polytheistic setting, priests like to have nice things for their temple and status.

Though a prophecy does not even have to be false to cause problems, traditionally, prophecies are open to interpretation maybe they have just been misread all these years and only one mad scholar has figured out the truth?  Or they got recorded in the wrong order and the bad thing is much closer to happening than everyone thought.

What if a prophecy is inspiring a nation to hold fast against some evil and the characters find out it is all bunk.  Do they keep going along with it and try and force the prophecy to become real?  Do they go through the motions to keep up moral?  Or do they tell the truth?

Just some ideas for turning the traditional “fated heroes” trope on its head.

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Henotheism, Kathenothism and Polytheism

14 June, 2011

The gaming journals have suddenly been discussing polytheism, Evil Machinations talks about Fantasy Pantheons: Deities are more fun when there’s more than one, over at Harbinger of Doom there is Religion in Fantasy and Fantasy Gaming (which references Why D&D Polytheism is Flawed).

But, let me define my terms (all definition from wiktionary):

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“The Good Book” – Religious Works in RPGs

2 May, 2011
Tyndale's Gospel of John

Tyndale's Gospel of John

It is the four hundredth anniversary of the publishing of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.  Now the first printed translation of Bible into English was by William Tyndale back in 1525

Now, one does not need to be a Christian to appreciate the effort and craftsmanship of language that went into the KJV especially as many of the phrasings from it continue in common currency (including the much loved by many gaming group I have played with “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live.”).

The impact of books, especially books such as Bibles that frame how a faith is understood by a group, should not be underestimated especially in a game world.  Though how common books is a setting is highly variable.  In a world without printing presses, religious texts are likely to be strictly controlled by the church hierarchy limited the ability of outsiders to fully understand them.  This could lead to clashes with Church authorities if understanding of a prophecy or omen is needed, especially if the characters are not on best of terms with the church.

The hunt for lost books, scrolls, famous commentary on the faith are all viable quests.  Additionally they are one that can be opposed by rivals to the faith as well as competing factions within the faith.  Additionally, such works may open up additional quests for lost temples and shrines, ancient relics of the faith and such.

A secret war of religious scholars, all trying to reshape current doctrine, could be an interesting frame for a campaign.  As could a post-apocalyptic search for “the true faith”.  Knowledge is power after all.

Notes: Art from wikipedia and is public domain.

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Quirinius’ Spear – New Magic Item / A to Z Blogging Challenge [Q]

20 April, 2011
Spears and Shields

Fight for the City!

The city was under siege, most of the army was away fighting against another enemy army;  Only the militia and a handful of recuperating soldiers were there to defend the walls.  When the old priest appeared bedecked in an ancient panoply of war and carrying the antique spear that was the symbol of his office, most thought him mad, brave as well, but mad.

But after the first day, when the old priest led the militia to seal a breach in the wall, things changed.  That old spear proved quite effective in combat and the old man had a gift of inspiring others and spurring them on.  It is not an exaggeration to say that without him we would not have held out until the relief force came.

Quirinius’ Spear

This spear is constructed in an ancient and antique style, obviously from an age long past.  The bread spear head is decorated with patterns unlike any in use in the modern world.  The shaft is ancient wood, dark and heavy with age but still strong.

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New Magic Item – Codex of Sublime Understanding

4 February, 2011

Old book (1882)photo © 2009 Maarten Van Damme | more info (via: Wylio)
“One book,” the old man said, walking through the ruins of the grand temple, “one book brought down the church.   It was found by a young priest, Aeli, who had been sent off to gain funds for the faith by aiding a group of venturers.  It was a common practice.”

He ran his hand along a shattered bench.  “Aeli came back from one of their missions, with the book.  He had changed, he became a man of fiery passion and belief.  His companions were already converted to Aeli’s vision of the faith.  The younger members of the faithful soon started turning to him for guidance.  The lines were already starting to be drawn.”

The old man sat down on a broken pillar, he gestured to a shattered statue and the scattered remnants of an altar.  “The final confrontation took place here.  Aeli and his followers confronted the old guard . . . and it all came tumbling down.”  He began to weep.

Codex of Sublime Understanding

This large book is heavily bound in metal reinforced leather or canvass but seems filled with so much gibberish.  Until it is handled by a person of true faith, at which point it reveals the symbol of their faith hidden in the metal work and the text resolves itself into the holy writings of the faith.

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L5R Thoughts – the Snake Clan

19 August, 2010

As I have mentioned, the minor clans fill an important role in the Empire of Rokugan filling odd but useful niches and making the Empire a more interesting and complex place.

One of these is the Snake Clan, which was founded by Isawa Chuda who had saved the Emperor from assassination by a blood cult headed by one of the Imperial Magistrates.  The new Chuda Family and the Snake Clan were tasked with rooting out blood cults and defending the Empire (and the Emperor) from such mystical threats.  In canon, the Snake clan become corrupted and possessed by a great evil.  The entire clan is wiped out except for a handful of blood wizards by the Phoenix, these survivor remember their name and eventually become the shugenja family of the Spider Clan.

Not so in my Rokugan.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Kitsu Aika – Priestess, Healer, Grandmother

2 August, 2010

Kitsu Aika, Priestess, Healer, Grandmother

Quote: The Ancestors will guide us to victory.
Come and listen children to the tales of our fathers and mothers.

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Delcemmer Ruby – Priest of the Undying Sun

3 August, 2009

The first August character, appropriately the very first NPC from the Sea of Stars:

Delcemmer Ruby, Blind Dwarven Priest of the Undying Sun

Quote: Like the gentle touch of the morning sun on skin is the healing gift of his power.
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