Critique my real-world clerics


Homebrew and House Rules


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I'm in the process of making a campaign set in an alternate-reality 18th-century Earth setting. Instead of deities, we would simply have different religions. I'm trying to do this in such a way that it doesn't offend and is as accurate to the real thing as possible. (I'm less concerned about game mechanics implications, but I'm all ears on that front too.) Tell me what you think of the following:

|| **Religion** || **AL** || **Domains** || **Favored Weapon** || **Holy Symbol** ||
|| Catholic || LG || Glory, Good, Law, Nobility, Protection || rapier || cross ||
|| Muslim || LG || Good, Law, Knowledge, Sun, War || scimitar || crescent ||
|| Sikh || LG || Glory (Heroism), Knowledge, Protection, Strength (Resolve), War (Tactics) || longsword || crossed swords ||
|| Christian Orthodox || NG || Charm, Good, Nobility, Repose, Rune || glaive || cross ||
|| Jewish || NG || Artifice, Community, Good, Luck, Rune || shortsword || star ||
|| Zoroastrian || NG || Destruction, Good, Healing, Knowledge, Sun (Light) || scimitar || winged sun ||
|| Protestant || CG || Community, Good, Knowledge, Liberation, Water || light crossbow || cross ||
|| Anglican || LN || Glory, Law, Nobility, Strength, War || longsword || cross ||
|| Jain || LN || Healing, Knowledge (Thought), Nobility (Martyr), Protection (Purity), Rune (Wards) || unarmed strike || open palm ||
|| Buddhist || N || Healing (Restoration), Protection (Purity), Repose (Souls), Strength (Resolve), Weather (Seasons) || longsword || wheel ||
|| Shinto || N || Air, Earth, Fire, Repose (Souls), Water || katana || gate ||
|| Taoist-Confucian || N || Any two opposing non-alignment domains || sickle || yinyang ||
|| Animist || CN || Animal, Charm, Luck, Repose (Souls), Trickery || longbow || mask ||
|| Hindu || CN || Charm, Chaos, Destruction, Healing, Magic || dagger || lotus ||


They all in all seem fine, I would do a few things differently:

Catholic: Favoured Weapon - Long Sword

For me the holy knight with the sword and the crusades seems like the place to look for the favoured weapon.

Taoist-Confucian: Domains - Community, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Runes

If I remember correctly the Confucian and Taoist came to as a schools of thought on how to organize the world in the right way as a response to the fragmentation and civil war during the Zhou Dynasty period commonly known as the Warrior States period. Both of them had a lot of similarities* but a radically different approach to the way of ordering the world and both sprang up from the professional administrative elite the Shi, anyway to make a long story short these schools of thoughts are about how to order society.

Therefore Community is appropriate since this is the core subject of these two, they are both philosophies so Knowledge seems appropriate, they are created by an elite part of society leading to nobility and both are about how to order things giving us Law, finally Runes are about writing and well that just seems appropriate.

I suppose I should note that Neo-Confucianism seems to me to grants people a "sense" of what is right and wrong and says they must ensure that right is done, anyone happens to disagree are "bad"/"evil" and no compromise is possible. The guy that came up with it is someone called Zhu Xi in the 12th century and I don't really know how much Confucian has changed since.

If you want something to stand in contrast to Confucian-Taoism I suggest you look into Legalism from the same period (the philosophy of the triumphant Qin Dynasty).

* Confucian seems to me to be more optimistic and believing that if things are ordered right people will act right, while Tao seems to say that people will always act in self interest and any notion they will live up to an ideal is nonesense... so it is more skeptical.

From a quick search I noted that the Symbol of Confucian is the chinese ideogram for water the spring of life, so I suppose that water could be used instead of runes for domains to make them slightly different?


I was planning to go a step further for a 13th century campaign and make full blown archetypes for each. I think Spontaneous Casting would detract from the historical Earth setting, and decided to replace it with abilities like Spontaneous Domain (when praying to a different patron saint to prepare spells) or Extra Domain (when your religion has too many gods) or Barbarian Rage (e.g. for the Norse).

I agree with Zouron that the Catholics should use the longsword. Or, since this is WAY post crusades, think of the Swiss Guard and Halberds. Yeah, that's much better! HALBERDS!

For the Protestants, I have always viewed them as late-to-the-party, historically, so consider a Musket or other firearm. I assume they will be commonplace in the setting, considering its time frame.

Is the longsword the best you could choose for Buddhists? A personal favorite of mine is the Monk's Spade and Wikipedia backs me up (best reference). Many other Eastern weapons could do.

Also, consider giving the Hindus proficiency with the Chakram. A cursory reading shows it to actually be Vishnu's favored weapon.

Now, I need to sate my curiosity, and ask some things I am having troubles deciding on in my own setting.

How are you dealing with planes? Do the deities share a planar space per pantheon (God and Satan warring on the same plane), or do similar aligned deities share a plane (Odin in LN sitting with Zeus, where Hel and Hades share NE)?

How are you dealing with ancient religions? Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Pagan, Babylonian?

Is reverence of nature connected with deities for druids?

How are you dealing with branches of a religion both receiving divine power, even when at war with each other (this is obviously a question that will come up in game)?


Good work. Looking at the preferred weapons, I would change two things. For Anglicans I would make it the lance because of Saint George and dragon slaying and all. With Shinto, do you want to give them an exotic weapon? Maybe a long spear to simulate the naginata?


You are forgetting Pastafarianism. May he touch us with his noodly appendages.

The Norse religion probably still needs doing even in the 18th century- the Danes founded a colony in Greenland as late as 1721 for the purpose of converting Pagans to Christianity, and the Norse religion still have followers to this day. If Gods were real they would have held out a lot longer against Christianity- its harder to convince people to convert away from their faith when they have deities that literally will smite them for doing so, and when they have a powerhouse like Thor to defend them from such invasions.

Consider giving the old druidic faiths some thought as well, not to mention Wicca and even devil worship.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Zouron wrote:

They all in all seem fine, I would do a few things differently:

Catholic: Favoured Weapon - Long Sword

For me the holy knight with the sword and the crusades seems like the place to look for the favoured weapon.

I think you might be looking for the Anglicans further down the list; I would interpret them in this context as being the Church as an arm of the state (hence the LN alignment), as opposed to the more independent and spiritual Catholics.

Although I'm surprised you have Judaism as NG; I would have have classified them as Lawful for sure.

I can't speak much to the Eastern religions, but it might be interesting to put in some evil-aligned religions, such as the Thugee cult (that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head).


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Protestants are CG??? Wow... That's a pretty tall order. I would say most are LG or LN, with a significant portion NG and N. CG would be pretty extreme, and not backed by much in Luther's views.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Sissyl wrote:
Protestants are CG??? Wow... That's a pretty tall order. I would say most are LG or LN, with a significant portion NG and N. CG would be pretty extreme, and not backed by much in Luther's views.

I think Protestantism is about as chaotic as you can get for a religion that has actual doctrines, especially compared to the rigid heirarchy of the Catholic church. Baptists, for example, don't have a central authority, but instead have "conventions" of loosely-affiliated congregations that pool resources for seminaries and missionary work.


Exactly. So, not all that chaotic.


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I'm doing something similar with my home game. Thanks for posting these!


Interesting, but I think Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim and Jew could all be seen as part of the same religion.

If they're all talking to the same god, religious differences could become awkward, or better yet resolved. The Crusades might have ended when the chief priest of each side had a "prayer-off" and ended up summoning the same angel.

Of course, if the religions are essentially created by humans and there's no proof the gods exist (kind of like Eberron) then this point doesn't apply.

At the risk of offense, I'm having a hard time seeing Protestant as chaotic anything. Among other things, there's so many strains of Protestantism, including Puritanism.

Animist and Hindu also don't strike me as chaotic neutral. In fact, both are pantheons, which should cover a wide variety of alignments.

It would be interesting to see interactions between monotheism and polytheistic religions. "But your gods don't exist." "Yes they do!"

You need bad guys too. Where's Satanism? Thugee?


Zouron wrote:

Catholic: Favoured Weapon - Long Sword

For me the holy knight with the sword and the crusades seems like the place to look for the favoured weapon.

00iCon wrote:
I agree with Zouron that the Catholics should use the longsword. Or, since this is WAY post crusades, think of the Swiss Guard and Halberds. Yeah, that's much better! HALBERDS!

Catholics are hard to pin down in terms of favored weapon because they have such a long history. I agree with 00iCon: I think longsword makes sense if this were 11th-13th century. But in the 18th century?

And the halberd is a bit too limited. I don't know that it represents Catholics wherever they might be. I was trying to think of a ceremonial/traditional weapon for 18th-century Italians, French, Spanish, and Portuguese and rapier came to mind. But you're right that I'm left out other nations like Switzerland and Ireland.... But thanks for that feedback. I think I should change the Catholic weapon, but I'm still not sure to what.


Zouron wrote:
Taoist-Confucian: Domains - Community, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Runes

Perfect. Thanks, Zouron! I've swapped out Runes with Water as per your suggestion.


00iCon wrote:
For the Protestants, I have always viewed them as late-to-the-party, historically, so consider a Musket or other firearm. I assume they will be commonplace in the setting, considering its time frame.

You know, I like that idea. Let it be so!

00iCon wrote:
Is the longsword the best you could choose for Buddhists? A personal favorite of mine is the Monk's Spade and Wikipedia backs me up (best reference). Many other Eastern weapons could do.

Well, that's embarrassing. This is a typo. Longsword doesn't seem to fit at all.

00iCon wrote:
Also, consider giving the Hindus proficiency with the Chakram. A cursory reading shows it to actually be Vishnu's favored weapon.

Cool flavor. I'll change it to chakram.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is NOT going to end well.

Victorian Earth is not suited to a High Fantasy approach. Besides it's been done, and done better. I suggest you look up the following.

*Masque of the Red Death* and the old Gothic Earth Living Death campaign.

*Witch Hunter: The Invisible World*

or if you're looking for a more fantastic approach

Ars Magica, or the various Storyteller Games.


Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TempusAvatar wrote:
Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?

I wash my hands of this thread.

Silver Crusade

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Dustin Ashe wrote:
00iCon wrote:
For the Protestants, I have always viewed them as late-to-the-party, historically, so consider a Musket or other firearm. I assume they will be commonplace in the setting, considering its time frame.
You know, I like that idea. Let it be so!

I'm a bit late to the party as well here, but a musket is in fact fantastically appropriate for Protestants, particularly in that time period. One of the earliest Protestant movements, predating Luther by over a hundred years, were the Hussites, who followed the teachings of reformer Jan Hus. The wars fought between the Hussites and Catholic leaders attempting to stamp out the fledgling religion were called the Hussite Wars. Some background on them:

Quote:

The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were fought between the Hussites (followers of Bohemian religious dissenter Jan Hus) and various monarchs who sought to enforce the authority of the Roman Catholic church against the Hussites, and also between Hussite factions. These wars lasted from 1419 to circa 1434.

The Hussite community included most of the Czech population of the Kingdom of Bohemia, and formed a major military power. They defeated several "crusades" proclaimed against them by the Pope, and intervened in the wars of neighboring countries. The Hussite Wars were notable for the extensive use of early hand-held firearms such as hand cannons.

One of the favorite tactics of the Hussites during those wars is the Wagenburg, or "wagon fort". Firearms played a key role in it:

Quote:
The crew of each wagon consisted of 18 to 21 soldiers: 4 to 8 crossbowmen, 2 handgunners, 6 to 8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails, 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers. The wagons would normally form a square, and inside the square would usually be the cavalry. There were two principal stages of the battle using the wagon fort: defensive and counterattack. The defensive part would be a pounding of the enemy with artillery. The Hussite artillery was a primitive form of a howitzer, called in Czech a houfnice, the word the English word howitzer comes from. Also, they called their guns the Czech word píšťala, meaning that they were shaped like a pipe or a fife, from which the English word pistol is possibly derived. When the enemy would come close to the wagon fort, crossbowmen and hand-gunners would come from inside the wagons and inflict more casualties on the enemy at close range. There would even be stones stored in a pouch inside the wagons for throwing whenever the soldiers were out of ammunition. After this huge barrage, the enemy would be demoralized. The armies of the anti-Hussite crusaders were usually heavily armored knights, and Hussite tactics were to disable the knight's horses so that the dismounted (and slow) knights would be easier targets for the ranged men. Once the commander saw it fit, the second stage of battle would begin. Men with swords, flails, and polearms would come out and attack the weary enemy. Together with the infantry, the cavalry in the square would come out and attack. At this point, the enemy would be eliminated, or very close to it.

That's a battle straight out of Pathfinder/D&D right there.

Don't listen to the naysayers, I think you can make it work. Plus it only has to work for your game.


00iCon wrote:

Now, I need to sate my curiosity, and ask some things I am having troubles deciding on in my own setting.

How are you dealing with planes? Do the deities share a planar space per pantheon (God and Satan warring on the same plane), or do similar aligned deities share a plane (Odin in LN sitting with Zeus, where Hel and Hades share NE)?

How are you dealing with ancient religions? Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Pagan, Babylonian?

Is reverence of nature connected with deities for druids?

How are you dealing with branches of a religion both receiving divine power, even when at war with each other (this is obviously a question that will come up in game)?

I don't know if I can satisfactorily answer all these questions. I think most low-level characters will never get into them. We'll see whether or not they ever go traveling through the planes or pitting Christian against Muslim.

But my campaign would probably replace the planes in the GMG with a much more simplified system. Heaven (G), hell (E), limbo (N), and a couple of parallel planes like ether to more closely adhere to modern religions. Nature spirits could reside on a parallel (fey?) plane and work equally for Shinto clerics and druids.

I don't think I'll necessarily need to explain why clerics of opposing parties both receive divine aid. No doubt, each one will explain it as God helping them and the devil helping their adversaries.


Grigor Umlich wrote:
Good work. Looking at the preferred weapons, I would change two things. For Anglicans I would make it the lance because of Saint George and dragon slaying and all. With Shinto, do you want to give them an exotic weapon? Maybe a long spear to simulate the naginata?

Anglicans totally get the lance. Thanks, Grigor! But I think I'll keep the katana for Shinto. Nothing says 18th-century Japan like a katana.


Inkaos wrote:
How are you dealing with ancient religions? Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Pagan, Babylonian?
Inkaos wrote:

The Norse religion probably still needs doing even in the 18th century- the Danes founded a colony in Greenland as late as 1721 for the purpose of converting Pagans to Christianity, and the Norse religion still have followers to this day. If Gods were real they would have held out a lot longer against Christianity- its harder to convince people to convert away from their faith when they have deities that literally will smite them for doing so, and when they have a powerhouse like Thor to defend them from such invasions.

Consider giving the old druidic faiths some thought as well, not to mention Wicca and even devil worship.

Well, I'm ignoring all the old Western religions. They may exist in small pockets of the world in the 18th-century, but not to any great degree. And even if they do have a lot of worshippers, they probably don't have an organized clergy anymore.


LazarX wrote:
TempusAvatar wrote:
Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?
I wash my hands of this thread.

I am not sure this is a reason to "wash your hands", I think the point was to make it easier to tell the religions apart.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
Although I'm surprised you have Judaism as NG; I would have have classified them as Lawful for sure.

I think Judaism of the Torah/Old Testament was definitely lawful, but in the 18th century persecutions mounted and made Jews turn inward and develop their spirituality.

RainyDayNinja wrote:
I can't speak much to the Eastern religions, but it might be interesting to put in some evil-aligned religions, such as the Thugee cult (that's the only one I can think of off the top of my head).
Kimera757 wrote:
You need bad guys too. Where's Satanism? Thugee?

Well, I started with real-world religions and, lo and behold, none of the popular ones them consider themselves evil. And yet there must be evil clerics, right? I think it more interesting and realistic if the evil clerics believe they're getting their spells from God and in some ways adhere to the tenets of their espoused faith but in their hearts they are evil and unbeknownst to them get their powers from sinister sources.

Creepy thought, right? That Protestant cleric serving at your side could actually be corrupt and serving Satan.

In any case, these are supposed to be the options for good-aligned PCs, so no need to include evil religions in this list.


Sissyl wrote:
Protestants are CG??? Wow... That's a pretty tall order. I would say most are LG or LN, with a significant portion NG and N. CG would be pretty extreme, and not backed by much in Luther's views.
Kimera757 wrote:
At the risk of offense, I'm having a hard time seeing Protestant as chaotic anything. Among other things, there's so many strains of Protestantism, including Puritanism.

No offense taken, at all.

Protestants. Such a diverse group. If there is one thing they disagree on, it is that they disagree with Catholicism and each other.

Protestants today seem pretty lawful. But the 18th century was a very messy time for Christianity. Splinter groups cropped up all the time. Rivalries and religious movements. Half of them had to flee to the Americas to avoid persecution from the sects that appeared just a century or two earlier. The Puritans believed in an occult that so closely mirrored Christianity that even the faithful could be deceived. And Luther? Nailing your grievances to the door of a church seems a rebellious, gutsy move.

Anyway, that's my rationale. I'd like to hear any more thoughts on this one.


TempusAvatar wrote:
Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?

That's cool. Rosary and crucifix it is.


Kimera757 wrote:

Interesting, but I think Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim and Jew could all be seen as part of the same religion.

If they're all talking to the same god, religious differences could become awkward, or better yet resolved. The Crusades might have ended when the chief priest of each side had a "prayer-off" and ended up summoning the same angel.

Of course, if the religions are essentially created by humans and there's no proof the gods exist (kind of like Eberron) then this point doesn't apply.

You're exactly right. God/YWH/Allah would turn out to be the same deity if someone had a prayer-off (which would be an awesome roleplaying experience!). I guess that's why I focused on religions instead of deities. I see their theologies as focusing on different aspects of the same God. And He simply rewards them according to their faith in and prayers to Him, no matter their religious affiliation. It's not elegant, but the usual D&D/Pathfinder pantheons seemed a little too tidy to me anyway. The battle lines are so clearly drawn and evil is so easily recognizable.

Kimera757 wrote:
Animist and Hindu also don't strike me as chaotic neutral. In fact, both are pantheons, which should cover a wide variety of alignments.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to flesh out entire pantheons. And that's exactly the kind of thing players gloss over anyway. "I want to be a Hindu cleric!" "Okay, cool, which of these hundreds of deities I've laboriously concocted would you like to choose?" Tons of work for me, but a buzzkill for them.

At the same time, I don't want to be unrealistic about Hinduism and Animism. If you took each one as a whole, what alignment would you make them? N? NG?


Kyra Clone #3,785 wrote:
I'm a bit late to the party as well here, but a musket is in fact fantastically appropriate for Protestants, particularly in that time period....

Works for me. Thanks for the historical context.

Say hello to your 3,784 sisters for me.


Zouron wrote:

LazarX wrote:

TempusAvatar wrote:

Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?

I wash my hands of this thread.

I am not sure this is a reason to "wash your hands", I think the point was to make it easier to tell the religions apart.

I think that was a Pontius Pilate joke...?


hmm well didn't catch it (nor can I see it now but meh I can be stupid too!).


Dustin Ashe wrote:
Kimera757 wrote:
Animist and Hindu also don't strike me as chaotic neutral. In fact, both are pantheons, which should cover a wide variety of alignments.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to flesh out entire pantheons. And that's exactly the kind of thing players gloss over anyway. "I want to be a Hindu cleric!" "Okay, cool, which of these hundreds of deities I've laboriously concocted would you like to choose?" Tons of work for me, but a buzzkill for them.

At the same time, I don't want to be unrealistic about Hinduism and Animism. If you took each one as a whole, what alignment would you make them? N? NG?

Animist I would say true neutral. Many of their "gods" are in essence nature spirits, or ancestor spirits. The former true neutral works, the latter is more culture-dependent.

I can picture why you would want to avoid specific Hindu (or any large pantheon) gods. I don't know much about Hinduism myself, other than knowing that India is a "conservative" country compared to mine, and that might not have anything to do with religion at all. Because there's so many gods I'd lean toward true neutral. (Chaotic neutral Hindus might tend to worship a specific god, lawful good another one, neutral evil a third one, etc.)


With the possible exception of buddhist you can add the War domain to all of those. For buddhist the Martyr domain would be appropriate.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
With the possible exception of buddhist you can add the War domain to all of those. For buddhist the Martyr domain would be appropriate.

Hmmm.


Dustin Ashe wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
With the possible exception of buddhist you can add the War domain to all of those. For buddhist the Martyr domain would be appropriate.
Hmmm.

Lol. Not a joke.

"Madness" may also be appropriate for Real world, but if you're making fantasy clerics that can actually cast spells and otherwise have observable proof that they exist perhaps not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zouron wrote:
LazarX wrote:
TempusAvatar wrote:
Suggestion: Maybe instead of having four denominations of Christianity with holy symbol: cross, would it be possible to change it up a bit? Maybe give Catholicism the rosary & crucifix?
I wash my hands of this thread.
I am not sure this is a reason to "wash your hands", I think the point was to make it easier to tell the religions apart.

Portraying present day real life religions in a game designed for wargaming fantasy is like breakdancing in a minefield. It's asking for trouble.


I was under the impression that christian clerics were forbidden from using edged weapons, but a quick search didn't turn up anything very solid. Perhaps one of you know what I'm talking about.

Course, then they came up with the flanged mace, which looks 10 times more painful then a sword.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
With the possible exception of buddhist you can add the War domain to all of those. For buddhist the Martyr domain would be appropriate.
Hmmm.

Lol. Not a joke.

"Madness" may also be appropriate for Real world, but if you're making fantasy clerics that can actually cast spells and otherwise have observable proof that they exist perhaps not.

I am sure we could put war on Buddhism as well, while not as commonly known in the west, religious Buddhist war is not entirely unknown (which just goes to show that people are people everywhere).


Thanks Dustin for considering my suggestions and answering. I hope to see an adventure log someday if you decide to release one publicly. The Halberd idea came from the Vatican City's guard itself, if you're not familiar with the Swiss Guard.

Belazoar wrote:

I was under the impression that christian clerics were forbidden from using edged weapons, but a quick search didn't turn up anything very solid. Perhaps one of you know what I'm talking about.

Course, then they came up with the flanged mace, which looks 10 times more painful then a sword.

When the rules say "do not kill" and you decide to kill, what difference does it make?

I once read a wiki article about a battle, not sure when or where (early HRE?), in which bishops fought alongside soldiers. Also they won despite being outnumbered AND surrounded.


00iCon wrote:
Course, then they came up with the flanged mace, which looks 10 times more painful then a sword.
When the rules say "do not kill" and you decide to kill, what difference does it make?

Shepherd Book on killing.


Zouron wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
With the possible exception of buddhist you can add the War domain to all of those. For buddhist the Martyr domain would be appropriate.
Hmmm.

Lol. Not a joke.

"Madness" may also be appropriate for Real world, but if you're making fantasy clerics that can actually cast spells and otherwise have observable proof that they exist perhaps not.

I am sure we could put war on Buddhism as well, while not as commonly known in the west, religious Buddhist war is not entirely unknown (which just goes to show that people are people everywhere).

Fair enough. The most violent thing I've ever heard of Buddhists doing is lighting themselves on fire. Though i'm not above admitting I don't know everything. I only know mostly everything. :-)


Honestly, I think the best thing is to keep away from the good/evil axis. That is the biggest mine in the minefield I think.

I think clerics can work but I think one needs to drop some of the conventions on how the faiths/deities work.

I think most of the major religions should be lawful, with neutral groups within them. Individual groups of religious people might be chaotic but none of the religions or major groups within them.

I think in the case of the christian traditions, suitable domains would be Law and Community, with specific groups that might have Glory, Protection, Nobility.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
"Madness" may also be appropriate for Real world, but if you're making fantasy clerics that can actually cast spells and otherwise have observable proof that they exist perhaps not.

Ah, okay. No sarcasm. Hard to tell on the internet.

You bring up a good point then. We all know that most religions have militant factions among them and everyone can point to specific historical instances of the faithful going into battle. Crusades. Jihad. The Israelites conquering Canaan. Etc. I think that the cleric class evinces that. I mean, they carry weapons, wear armor, and cast offensive spells at their enemies.

I think to make all religions have the War domain might be a bit too much though. I would only consider it if the religion is militant relative to other religions. Same goes for madness. Is a particular religion crazier than other religions. Do the practitioners actually espouse madness as a tenet of their faith? In most real-world cases, I think not.


00iCon wrote:
Thanks Dustin for considering my suggestions and answering. I hope to see an adventure log someday if you decide to release one publicly. The Halberd idea came from the Vatican City's guard itself, if you're not familiar with the Swiss Guard.

Okay, now you have my attention. I didn't know that the Vatican City's guard wielded halberds. I'm totally using this now. It makes perfect sense. Does anyone know how long the Holy See's guards have been using halberds? Hoping it's at least as early as the 1700's (or it's back to the drawing board).


Ilja wrote:

Honestly, I think the best thing is to keep away from the good/evil axis. That is the biggest mine in the minefield I think.

I think clerics can work but I think one needs to drop some of the conventions on how the faiths/deities work.

I think most of the major religions should be lawful, with neutral groups within them. Individual groups of religious people might be chaotic but none of the religions or major groups within them.

I think in the case of the christian traditions, suitable domains would be Law and Community, with specific groups that might have Glory, Protection, Nobility.

Thanks, Ilja. Good things to consider.

I knew that including alignment might be tricky and the most ripe for giving offense. I've come to conclude that most religions aspire to be good and have been labelled accordingly. (I gave none of them an evil alignment.)

My only exceptions on the good-evil axis were Jain, Animist, Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, and Taoist-Confucian. These all were neutral for the following reasons: Animism, Hinduism, and Shinto are not one religion but entire pantheons of deities, each of which I'm sure would have a different alignment. For convenience's sake, I just assigned them a neutral alignment to reflect the variety.

Buddhism, at its core, teaches that all life is misery and illusion so the best thing to do is to escape it by reaching for Nirvana. Sounds true neutral to me. As in, moral acts get us nowhere; enlightenment is the key. I know that Mahayana Buddhism is different because they introduce the savior-like bodhisattvas which chose to delay nirvana in order to help the unenlightened. So, if I were to distinguish different factions of Buddhism, I would assign different alignments. But at its core, I think true neutral is fitting.

Jainism was the hardest and I almost made them lawful good instead of lawful neutral. And maybe I still will. They teach non-violence and self-control. I thought they were slightly more in its strictness and exactitude. And I wondered if sometimes refusing to fight in all cases might force you to make ethically-questionable decisions. The jury is still out on this one. What do you think?


Ilja wrote:

Honestly, I think the best thing is to keep away from the good/evil axis. That is the biggest mine in the minefield I think.

I think clerics can work but I think one needs to drop some of the conventions on how the faiths/deities work.

I think most of the major religions should be lawful, with neutral groups within them. Individual groups of religious people might be chaotic but none of the religions or major groups within them.

I think in the case of the christian traditions, suitable domains would be Law and Community, with specific groups that might have Glory, Protection, Nobility.

On second thought, I think you're right. I've given each religion an alignment on the law-chaos axis and left the good-evil axis alone.


I think you're still clinging to the basic rules...

I thought about it for someone else's game:

I suggest
1) Treat all clerics as clerics of a philosophy.
2) Have several factions within each religion
3) Each faction has it's own set of domains, favored weapon and code of conduct.

example (yes, I know they're not from the same time periods)
You can have the Knights Templar (Law, War, Travel, Longsword) serve along with Jesuits (Law, Knowledge, Glory, Rapier) (Historical founder)

By making the religions neutral, their clerical auras would radiate (Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic) neutral, which allows for corruption to take root. So you could still have detect good/evil, but it wouldn't work too well on clerics for the most part.


For anyone who is interested: With your feedback, here is what I came up with.

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