In the Name of All That's Holy

Catholic vs. Protestant
in the Thirty Years' War
I survived PAX East and had a blast. More on that in a different post. Between my day job, editing work, organizing game events, and keeping my house together, I'm too busy to think. This feels somewhat like I'm strapped to a roller coaster with a big stupid grin, but inwardly waiting for something to snap. More on pieces of that in a different post. And I sketched out the basic outline of an OSR starship combat system. More on that after I play with it a bit and see if it actually works.

Holy Crap!
It's Holy Week in the Christian tradition. I sang at last night's Maundy Thursday service, and Easter will be here on Sunday. Christmas and Easter are the Big Christian Holidays, being the Alpha and Omega in the life of the prophet.

Which begs the question, "What holy days do the people in your game world observe, and how are they celebrated?"

Christianity has had 2000 years of people fiddling with the doctrines and traditions of the faith. How many different flavors of Christians are there? Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, Congregationalist, Puritan, Methodist, and Protestant come to mind, but there are too many others to count. Some celebrate feasts of saints, some observe periods of fasting, and some do neither.

Twiddling with Religion
How does this bit of history translate to your game world? Are the gods clearly defined? Do they dictate what they want to their followers so a temple of Poseidon in Corinth will look exactly like a temple of Poseidon on Mars? Do the god's traditions stay constant, or are they colored by the local society? Would baptism remain a viable tradition for long on a desert world?

"Do as I say, or no spells for you."
"Right away, Lord Poseidon!"
Are there clear offshoots of the faith where one group focuses on a particular aspect of a god? How do the various sects view each other? Are there holy wars between different sects of a single god's followers? Or does the god meddle enough and keep everyone in line?

Sure, having an active and available god dictating How Things Shall Be to the church will bring some followers in line. But taking a page from history and balkanizing religion to some degree will add depth to your world and open a myriad of plotlines to your clerical PCs.

Is this something you'll explore in a future game? Have you already done this in your game? How did it work out? Did your players buy into it, or did they simply say, "Note to self: Followers of Poseidon be crazy"?

Thanks for readng!

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