Ravenloft Atheists


Gamer Life General Discussion


-So I'm trying to run a ravenloft game, except I've got a problem. One of the players is playing an atheist. Now, I don't know about you, but knowledge religion and divine casters are pretty much your definition of a light shining in darkness...a hope against madness...
-So what gives...well the character is well RP'ed that isn't the issue, the setting is the issue. You don't walk into an inn and call the local priest a superstitious rapist. At the same time, I hate DM's who punish the players. I offered a campaign switch but the two players say they like it.
-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HarbinNick wrote:

-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You let them fail from lacking the divine protections needed in a place like the Demi-plane of Dread.


When you insult a priest who is NG, bought your character dinner, and healed your friend in the first day, I wonder what your problem is...


HarbinNick wrote:
When you insult a priest who is NG, bought your character dinner, and healed your friend in the first day, I wonder what your problem is...

Yeah, in-campaign the only FRP setting that even allows for atheists is Eberron but don't get me started on Eberron.

You could treat the atheism as a form of insanity. Just an idea..


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Depends on what you define by atheism.

If it is the absolute belief that there are no deities, divine powers, or the supernatural; this would be a very delusional person in a D&D fantasy campaign. As in, as delusional as someone in today's developed nations not believing in electricity.

If this is a non-theistic / rebellious person - someone that knows divine powers exist yet chooses to avoid or even hates such powers; it is feasible that someone might question such divine authorities since they allow such monstrous powers free reign.


HarbinNick wrote:
-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You don't.

cringes at the thought of enduring a campaign with a loud-mouthed tumblr-atheist

Explain that the locals' religion doubles as their culture and that an armed stranger yelling at them about "known truths" could be likened to a madman...a dangerous one, at that. If the player doesn't like the setting, and is using character quirks to ruin everyone else's badwrongfun, suggest that the player join another group. If this is his/her way of roleplaying their character, then let them get into a few tavern scraps and maybe have the priest refuse the entire party aid, but offer the other players help if they come alone. There's punishment, but there's also cause and effect.


You can do like the Athar and deny that the beings called gods are actually gods, believe that they are just jumped-up beings who leech power off gullible mortals, and that true divinity is unknowable by mortals.

You could believe in magic and powerful creatures, yet deny that there are such things as gods - supernatural beings with intimate ties to portfolios and creators of the multiverse; they are merely powerful beings who either lie or are a bit touched in the head. Clerics are just deluded, believing that their magic comes from an sentient source that gives them power in exchange for devotion rather than just being normal magic.


Well it seems more like a player that wants to be disruptive to the locals of a setting. I would have no problem with a player wanting to play an atheist. Being an agressive or passive agressive athiest that "walks into the inn and call the local priest a superstitious rapist" is not something I'd welcome to the table. I'd talk to the player outside the game and asked if he would reasonable. If an evangelical cleric tries to actively convert the PCs to their particular religion, that's when an athiest should speak up and say "no thank you, I'm an athiest". If the evangelical were to be insistent and themselves cause a conflict, then the athiest character would be perfectly free to act on their athiestic beliefs and impose that onto the conflictive NPC.

As a general point to actively disdain local religions professing the downfall of non-Athieism, causing conflicts with every religious person - I would consider that player being disruptive, and if they cannot curb they behavior, I'd ask them to leave the game, or change to a different PC/PC beliefs.

I've got no problems with players coming up with interesting belief systems that drive their character's actions, however, as stated when such personal convictions just cause conflicts and does not help a party move forward in the story, that player would need to change his behavior or find another group to play with.


You can be an atheist without being a jerk. Just because a character doesn't respect the authority of a "god", doesn't mean he is going to pick a fight with every priest of a good alignment.


MMCJawa wrote:
You can be an atheist without being a jerk. Just because a character doesn't respect the authority of a "god", doesn't mean he is going to pick a fight with every priest of a good alignment.

And that was the main point of my post. The OP's description of his player's PC athiest making disparaging remarks to some cleric in the inn is a PC being a jerk, not necessarily appropriately playing an athiest. You can play an athiest or any character concept and not be a jerk about it. Adding 'athiest' to your character sheet doesn't give you cart-blanche for being a jerk.


There are already atheists in the setting, let him come from one of the places where science is used to explain strange things like gnomes and dwarves(who are sometimes experimented upon to determine the truth of their being), and the church exists as a potent but distant power. I'll look up the exact place later.


Well, I recall from reading through Ravenloft the gods are actually cut off from the Domains of Dread (aside from a certain Dark Lord named Vecna whom is a deity). Then the book (I think it was the core setting book that says this but I'd have to dig it up and look through, Ravenloft had a lot of material published so could be elsewhere) that priests don't get their abilities from deities, though they think they do, and then it gives some possibilities for how it is priests can still cast even without any connection to the god they believe in (whom may or may not even exist at all anyways), and one is that you can thank (or blame) the Dark Powers.

So... your atheist, isn't entirely wrong even in game canon (and maybe not in fact wrong at all, if you allow for the possibility those beings called gods aren't really truly gods anyways, which is offered as a possibility in the D&D multiverse).

It just comes down to that NPCs should react however it would be appropriate for the individual NPC to react depending on if an how he expresses his belief to them.


As far as I remember Ravenloft is weakly influenced by deities and (except for a few domains) religions aren't especially strong.

Barovian serfs are superstitious, not pious. The two are quite different.

Being atheist in Ravenloft is much more in place than Greyhawk, Dragonlance (except for the time from Cataclysm to War of The Lance) or Forgotten Realms.


@Farastu - while that is definitely true of Ravenloft, this information is not necessarily public, nor believed by the majority of the inhabitants. Most often setting information like this is hidden from the players and rarely will come up in game. So ideally the characters might never learn that particular truth. Using hidden setting information to justify being a jerk is not only selfish, but its like using game mechanics to justify player actions. These concepts are meta-information, ideas that the PCs would never know. The players might learn this, but that doesn't mean the PCs learn this too.


Speaking as an atheist and skeptic in real life, I've always found it odd that atheists exist in a game world where gods, spirits, magic, and otherworldly planes are demonstrable and evidently true.

PC 1: "I don't believe in gods or the supernatural."
PC 2: "But... I'm a cleric of Pelor. I heal you with divine magic all the time. I talk to Pelor to get my spells. Hells, you've heard him talk back to me. I even summoned a freakin' angel to save your ass from that dragon a couple months ago."
PC 1: "Nope. Didn't happen. There's a rational explanation for all of this."
PC 2: "Yeah, no s#%%, it's because magic is real. Idiot."

Sovereign Court

Well, actual atheists in a world where gods are real and divine is real are either complete lunatics or people with a nice delusion.

Atheist here too.

A nay-theist on the other hand...or a misotheist. That's a completely different matter.


David M Mallon wrote:

I've always found it odd that atheists exist in a game world where gods, spirits, magic, and otherworldly planes are demonstrable and evidently true.

"Yeah, no s&%#, it's because magic is real. Idiot."

Just for the sake of discussion, not trying to be conflictive.

What if these "athiests" of Golarian might believe that magic is just a not-yet-understood science. Afterall alchemy allows scientific practitioners to replicate the effects of some "magic properties", suggesting that all magic is indeed a science, with alchemy as the first step to understanding. These arcane and divine believers are able to manifest the science in a way athiests don't yet understand.

On the flip side, most people believe that magic is not real, at least not here, today on Earth, but many peoples of Earth, not long ago believed it was real, and let it's "existence" shape their lives. Even if truth stares one in the face, it doesn't mean the viewer will believe, understand or alter their own perceptions of what they are looking at, real or fantasy.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

For much more on the types of atheism and things-that-are-called-atheism-but-ain't, check the TVTropes for "Naytheist" and "Hollywood Atheist". Some of those styles are compatible with fantasy gaming (or horror-fantasy, in this case), and others aren't.

For example, believing that there are real gods and they're out to get you is a relatively sane response to the Ravenloft universe that would lead to avoiding holy places, actively trying to avoid engaging in any sacraments, etc. Of course, somebody who's constantly choosing to save against 'harmless' buffs is lowering his own survivability and irritating his group's cleric to boot, so this attitude might be better left to NPCs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quark Blast wrote:
HarbinNick wrote:

-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You let them fail from lacking the divine protections needed in a place like the Demi-plane of Dread.

You don't get divine protection in Ravenloft. The gods can't hear you, and they sure can't help you. If you hear a response, it's not from your gods, and you would be better off not to do what it says. What is watching over you is pure evil, and if it protects you from anything, it's only to enjoy watching something far worse befall you later.

So, being an atheist in Ravenloft sounds like not such a bad idea. No matter what you think you're praying to, what receives your prayers isn't something that one ought to worship. That being said, being an atheist won't protect you, it just means different avenues of corruption. Cold logic can be twisted to evil as easily as blind faith.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scythia wrote:

You don't get divine protection in Ravenloft. The gods can't hear you, and they sure can't help you. If you hear a response, it's not from your gods, and you would be better off not to do what it says. What is watching over you is pure evil, and if it protects you from anything, it's only to enjoy watching something far worse befall you later.

So, being an atheist in Ravenloft sounds like not such a bad idea. No matter what you think you're praying to, what receives your prayers isn't something that one ought to worship. That being said, being an atheist won't protect you, it just means different avenues of corruption. Cold logic can be twisted to evil as easily as blind faith.

Sounds like Eberron. Really, especially 4E Eberron + Shadowfell. All steam-punky and noir and stuff.

And cold logic might be worse. You've got to be smart to parse logic and smart people can be devious.

Blind faith requires an abdication of logic, which makes their actions just dumb.

Easy to end run dumb ideas except in a general democracy, where our choices are between the lessor of two dumb evils.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Being an atheist would fit. But literally calling a priest a superstitious rapist makes no sense in the game. Feels more like he's channeling some hatred of Catholicism rather than playing a character.

Shadow Lodge

Scythia wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
HarbinNick wrote:

-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You let them fail from lacking the divine protections needed in a place like the Demi-plane of Dread.

You don't get divine protection in Ravenloft. The gods can't hear you, and they sure can't help you. If you hear a response, it's not from your gods, and you would be better off not to do what it says. What is watching over you is pure evil, and if it protects you from anything, it's only to enjoy watching something far worse befall you later.

So, being an atheist in Ravenloft sounds like not such a bad idea. No matter what you think you're praying to, what receives your prayers isn't something that one ought to worship. That being said, being an atheist won't protect you, it just means different avenues of corruption. Cold logic can be twisted to evil as easily as blind faith.

That's not really true. They do exist, and most certainly can and do hear prayers and divine petitions. Both the native deities and those from other planes and settings. The difference is that The Dark Powers can check, block, and sometimes override their influence, but that's more a storytelling tool than a mechanical rule. And as mentioned, it's not really something a character should ever know.


In second edition AD&D Ravenloft:

Domains of Dread, Chapter 7, Powers Checks, Unholy Acts wrote:
...Alternatively, a character can also commit an unholy act by openly and maliciously violating the beliefs of those around him. A character who mocks an important idol may well offend more than the local townspeople...

You got a free-pass if it was an evil faith you were mocking/belittling, but you could end up in hot-water fairly quickly if you were being nasty about a locally important neutral or good faith.

I don't recall anything in 2nd edition (except maybe in the case of specific corners of Ravenloft or items) where atheists generally got any benefits or penalties for being 'deniers', but once they started shoving their views in other people's faces, and specifically started mocking or belittling their faiths/beliefs, then they did get in trouble.

I think third edition was somewhat fuzzier on the issue.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HarbinNick wrote:

-So I'm trying to run a ravenloft game, except I've got a problem. One of the players is playing an atheist. Now, I don't know about you, but knowledge religion and divine casters are pretty much your definition of a light shining in darkness...a hope against madness...

-So what gives...well the character is well RP'ed that isn't the issue, the setting is the issue. You don't walk into an inn and call the local priest a superstitious rapist. At the same time, I hate DM's who punish the players. I offered a campaign switch but the two players say they like it.
-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

For purposes of this conversation, a more complete description/definition of 'atheism' within the context of the game would be helpful...

A) Does he believe the gods are figments of peoples imaginations

or

B) Does he believe that people's worship of the gods is misplaced

If it's (A), I would challenge the character. Not overtly, but when the divine is encountered, just look at the player "How does your character explain this?" Not to put them on the spot and make them feel alienated, but to give them an opportunity to roleplay, and I would make this clear.

If it's (B), I would give them situations where the gods purposes and interest in mortals can be called into question. Situations where the healing magic available isn't enough... but the believers still believe in the benevolence of their god. Does the character try and turn them from their beliefs? See it as proof that the gods don't really care for mortals?

In Ravenloft, I think villagers who did worship a good and benevolent deity, might interpret the atheist as an agent sent to destroy/harm them. In Ravenloft, deities are one of the major sources of power to destroy undead (difficult as it might be), someone who comes along and appears to threaten that tradition could we be an enemy.


It isn't the atheism as much as the let's put it this way...
...Remember the death idol in Breaking Bad where the twin Mexican Cartel Members crawl up the ground to put Walt's picture on it?...
I may think that is a silly superstition....but would you tell those two guys that to their face?
-I just am getting a strong anti-divine vibe from this player, which is going to cause really problems for my game world...Like I say, this isn't Realms or Golarin, vampires, monsters, ghosts, and devils are real, evil, and can't be killed for the most part except by divine characters, thus priests and paladins are treated with great respect by the local people...


And those who show them disrespect are frowned upon.

Bartender/innkeeper/shopkeeper. "Sorry sirs, but Father Petre there blessed my building at Pharasma's day. Since then we have had no troubles from those evils that stalk our land. We won't be wanting to change that now . . . Will we? You sirs have a pleasant day as we won't be sevinging you in this establishment."

Characters quickly learn not to disparage the local priest . . .

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Amatsucan_the_First wrote:

And those who show them disrespect are frowned upon.

Bartender/innkeeper/shopkeeper. "Sorry sirs, but Father Petre there blessed my building at Pharasma's day. Since then we have had no troubles from those evils that stalk our land. We won't be wanting to change that now . . . Will we? You sirs have a pleasant day as we won't be sevinging you in this establishment."

Characters quickly learn not to disparage the local priest . . .

I agree with Amatsucan, and I am an aggressive annoying loud-mouthed atheist. Run the setting the way it is. If he puts-down the local priest, he has to understand that he is going to lose the support of the people. Have clerics actually use real magic to actually do good where the character can see it. Have a cleric save the day with the power of his faith by destroying an undead fiend. Have the priest who he has just insulted take the high road and heal his wounds anyhow.

The player will either keep his character stuck in his ways (at which point he's playing a Straw Vulcan ) or his character can grow and change, which is always fun.

Or the locals can get fed up with him being a jerk, grab their torches and pitchforks, and run him out of town...

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HarbinNick wrote:

At the same time, I hate DM's who punish the players.

When a player practically begs for punishment, it's your duty to oblige. In a military campaign, a character did everything possible to be insubordinate to a superior. I wasn't sparing in his punishment.

I wasn't punishing the player. I was giving him the roleplaying experience he asked for.


LazarX wrote:
When a player practically begs for punishment, it's your duty to oblige.

*cough*


Punish me! Punish me more!

Spoiler:
I actually played with some players like that. Most of them were women, with one or two exceptions...


HarbinNick wrote:

-So I'm trying to run a ravenloft game, except I've got a problem. One of the players is playing an atheist. Now, I don't know about you, but knowledge religion and divine casters are pretty much your definition of a light shining in darkness...a hope against madness...

-So what gives...well the character is well RP'ed that isn't the issue, the setting is the issue. You don't walk into an inn and call the local priest a superstitious rapist. At the same time, I hate DM's who punish the players. I offered a campaign switch but the two players say they like it.
-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

It sounds like the player is projecting a bunch of real-life issues into your game. Bad form on their part.

If anything, RPG settings make it pretty difficult for characters to be atheists(depending on the setting). In many setting, the gods themselves have walked on the earth, consorted with people, and even battled other gods right in front of thousands upon thousands of on-lookers(Scarred Lands setting).

In Ravenloft, I suppose it'd be easy to question the validity of religious npc's, but to disbelieve in "higher powers" such as even the Dark Powers of the realm, is just asking for some kind of retributive smackdown.

In the short-term, it sounds like your player is just being a jerk. Talk to them outside of the game, and try to figure out what their deal is. They'll likely attempt to deflect with "I'm just playing my character!" but that's no excuse for jerkish behavior. Not all atheists are such boorish a-holes.

To answer one of your questions specifically:

HarbinNick wrote:


-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You do something in-game that shows this character that higher powers exist, even if they are just a mask worn by the Dark Powers. Have the party fight some infernal, hellish thing, and maybe a light breaks through the clouds and envelopes the party in healing rays, or something. It's all fantasy, so go nuts.


DM Beckett wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
HarbinNick wrote:

-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...

You let them fail from lacking the divine protections needed in a place like the Demi-plane of Dread.

You don't get divine protection in Ravenloft. The gods can't hear you, and they sure can't help you. If you hear a response, it's not from your gods, and you would be better off not to do what it says. What is watching over you is pure evil, and if it protects you from anything, it's only to enjoy watching something far worse befall you later.

So, being an atheist in Ravenloft sounds like not such a bad idea. No matter what you think you're praying to, what receives your prayers isn't something that one ought to worship. That being said, being an atheist won't protect you, it just means different avenues of corruption. Cold logic can be twisted to evil as easily as blind faith.

That's not really true. They do exist, and most certainly can and do hear prayers and divine petitions. Both the native deities and those from other planes and settings. The difference is that The Dark Powers can check, block, and sometimes override their influence, but that's more a storytelling tool than a mechanical rule. And as mentioned, it's not really something a character should ever know.

To add to that, even when the Dark Powers imitate divine influence of other gods, the believers of those gods don't know that. As far as they know, they pray to their god, and something happens. The people of Ravenloft aren't even supposed to be aware of what the Dark Powers are, so for all they know, their gods are working out just fine.

In my longest running Ravenloft campaign, I had a player playing a cleric of Kord(the players were transported to Ravenloft from Greyhawk). Despite there being no churches or even symbols of Kord anywhere in the realm, the cleric was such a staunch believer that the Dark Powers saw fit to answer his prayers accordingly(until the plot saw otherwise).

Clerics exist and function in Ravenloft pretty well. If it were as simple as "The gods can't hear you, and they sure can't help you. If you hear a response, it's not from your gods, and you would be better off not to do what it says" then clerics wouldn't even be a playable class. PC's are not supposed to know about the Dark Powers. At all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Have the player's character be from Lamordia. That solves a lot of the problem right there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yep I'd agree with Alzrius, the character being from Lamordia makes perfect sense. If you can give the player the Lamordia gazeetteer to read so he can pick up on the Lamordian persepective (basically a very materialist and condescending attitude toward magic and well all of the other countries in the Lands of the Core). Players while free to come up with the concept of their character should also strive to use material from the setting as a basis and an arrogant Lamordian fits this very well.

On the other issue about being a jerk to gracious hosts well the player is making choices and consequences result (it doesn't mean to go out and punish the player but sounds like he may very well get the cold shoulder from a lot of society)


It's Barovia only....basically the Church is Deist, a good "force" exists, but it isn't knowable. Instead Saints are venerated, such as Ezra and a whole host of other characters drawn from Ravenloft fiction, mythos, and some actual Dark Age European Saints (Saint Christopher for example, and Saint Patrick)


Have you talked to him?

Let him know this is going to cause his character many difficulties. Give him a chance to alter his character a bit since it seems your players want to play Ravenloft. If he understands the difficulties and doesn't alter his character then don't worry about it. Let him taste the trouble such behavior would bring him. He knows it's coming at that point and has accepted that. Just because something would bother you as a player doesn't mean others wouldn't enjoy difficulties.


I should talk to him, but I have had some trouble as a DM in that in my early days I would cripple player agency...I just want him to know that being a jerk to village priests and spitting in temples is going to get him burnt at the stake by an irate mob...


Ummm, I thought that none of the Ravenloft deities were real anyway. The are all abstractions of the mist.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Last I remember, Pathfinders iconic wizard, Ezren, was an atheist. His philosophy (if I remember correctly) was that if gods can be born, can be killed, and any mortal could become one, what's so special?

Just because this player doesn't believe Pelor is a god doesn't mean Pelor does not exist. It sounds more like he is either anti-theist or anti-religious; he doesn't believe (or trust) in god or religions, respectively. You should clear up whether this character is atheist, anti-theist, or merely anti-religious by informing him of how those concepts would interact with the populous. Have him describe his philosophy and reasoning, which should help you determine how future events may unfold (and whether he's just trying to dick you around).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I played an atheistic sorcerer in a Ravenloft game a few years back. My philosophy, such as it was, was that divine magic only proves the existence of magic, not gods and rules and divine mandates and so forth. Heck, I could do magic and I'd never studied it or anything. Priests were just doing their own type of magic, just like I could, except the priests were blaming it on their gods. The priests had just used the illusion of gods to exert control over the sheeplike populace.

That having been said, I didn't bring it up at every tiny village we visited. We had some excellent intra-party roleplaying about it (as there were also devout party members, mostly Ezrans). But there was no need to let my characters personal beliefs disrupt people's lives - another part of my character's philosophy was that he should be a positive experience to those he met.

I did get some suspicious looks when there was an in game wedding at a major cathedral and the GM said I couldn't go in because the church burned me. That took some explaining to the locals :).

It sounds to me like your player is using his character's atheism as an excuse to be a jerk in-game. Being a jerk has consequences. Atheism is a philosophically tenable position in Ravenloft, but not a popular one. Being militantly aggressive about it should result in social consequences, many of which are described in this thread.


Josh M. wrote:


HarbinNick wrote:


-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...
You do something in-game that shows this character that higher powers exist, even if they are just a mask worn by the Dark Powers. Have the party fight some infernal, hellish thing, and maybe a light breaks through the clouds and envelopes the party in healing rays, or something. It's all fantasy, so go nuts.

I would definitely not recommend the clouds parting and heavenly light and high magic celestial aid coming through. That is completely not the gothic horror trope that Ravenloft is themed on.

Ominous dark stuff after a cultist's ritual works but it is not a setting for flashy celestial goodness from the heavens.

Good priests can exist on theme in the setting, but they are not dominant powerhouses who scare the bad guys, unless they are a different gothic horror trope like secretly corrupted in some way or zealous evil inquisition in the name of good.


Voadam wrote:
Josh M. wrote:


HarbinNick wrote:


-So here is what gets me....how do you run gothic horror without devout serfs, and superstitious people in Barovia...
You do something in-game that shows this character that higher powers exist, even if they are just a mask worn by the Dark Powers. Have the party fight some infernal, hellish thing, and maybe a light breaks through the clouds and envelopes the party in healing rays, or something. It's all fantasy, so go nuts.

I would definitely not recommend the clouds parting and heavenly light and high magic celestial aid coming through. That is completely not the gothic horror trope that Ravenloft is themed on.

Ominous dark stuff after a cultist's ritual works but it is not a setting for flashy celestial goodness from the heavens.

Good priests can exist on theme in the setting, but they are not dominant powerhouses who scare the bad guys, unless they are a different gothic horror trope like secretly corrupted in some way or zealous evil inquisition in the name of good.

I disagree. I'm only suggesting that something happen one time, in a crucial moment(which I should've expounded upon earlier). Even in a grim-dark setting like Ravenloft, you still need to balance out the atmosphere. Just doing non-stop icky, evil, foreboding, doom and gloom turns the setting into a sludgey mess with no hope and no motivation for the players to do anything. The occasionally break from the gloom gives the players the idea that good can triumph over the darkness. Like it says in the back of the campaign setting; it is a beautiful land, and it IS worth fighting for.

I'm not talking about good priests wielding any extra power, nor am I talking about the "good guys" always winning. I'm just saying that a sure way to alleviate a PC's "atheism" in a fantasy setting, is to show them that celestial beings do exist(in whatever manner the DM sees fit).


Well especially as I'm running it, there is a force for 'good and light' but what exactly or who it is is left unsaid...It isn't worth while to split hairs, just divine magic hurts vampires and ghosts, and thus is worth knowing.


Well, if it's left unsaid, it's no surprise the PC acts as though it doesn't exist. Maybe it could be a big plot reveal at the end of the campaign? Just tossin' ideas out here.

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / Ravenloft Atheists All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.