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Klas
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Religious social orders

Mon 05 Mar 2018, 21:51

Can you shed some light on how religion is practiced as social orders? To draw examples from our own world, consider the participatory divinity of Hellenistic religions (mostly anyone can invoke the gods) and the exclusiveness of the apostolic succession (communion is only permitted under the supervision of a certificate-holding priest).

(I know that the examples are pretty pointy but it's just an illustration of possible extremes in social control systems.)
 
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Brior
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Re: Religious social orders

Mon 05 Mar 2018, 22:09

Well, this is certainly an interesting topic that for sure could be expanded upon, but it really won't be in the basic material due to an ambition to keep things manageable volume-wise. I'd say as a rule of thumb that the practices are subject to how the particular religions are used politically. Thus, there will be severe restrictions on religious practices in the Rust congregation, while the Raven church is a persecuted religion practiced secretly and the basic nature gods are worshipped uncontroversly and locally with little restriction. I understand that FL will release the Ravenland history, religion and other setting material in a few days and it might be better to discuss this once you've seen it.

Klas: I assume you haven't seen the material or did I miss it and it's already out there?
 
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Klas
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Re: Religious social orders

Mon 05 Mar 2018, 22:17

I'd say as a rule of thumb that the practices are subject to how the particular religions are used politically. Thus, there will be severe restrictions on religious practices in the Rust congregation, while the Raven church is a persecuted religion practiced secretly and the basic nature gods are worshipped uncontroversly and locally with little restriction.
This meshes well with my own campaign plans. A related question: Does any order hold that good and evil are tied in a precise balance where one can only exist in proportion to the other?
To my knowledge the material is not out yet.
 
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Brior
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Re: Religious social orders

Mon 05 Mar 2018, 22:33

A related question: Does any order hold that good and evil are tied in a precise balance where one can only exist in proportion to the other?
To my knowledge the material is not out yet.
Well, due to circumstances there hasn't been much theology or religion organized over larger areas or wide-spread books, so I'd say that the priests are more obsessed with immediate needs to survive as a religion and do away with competition. They have a practical approach rather than a theological one and will interpret things as they currently see fit. I think this fits well with the book ”The curse of Cain” by Regina Schwartz that I read recently. She claims that the monotheistic religions evolved in the very competitive middle east region where dogmas where adapted to the need to justify doing away with others (like Jerico), Whether she's right or not is not the point here, but it's a useful mechanism in a fantasy world.
 
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Klas
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Re: Religious social orders

Tue 06 Mar 2018, 20:32

This is all good and well. Under the circumstances I don't expect the Spanish Inquisition (see what I did there ;-). However... How long does it take for these two statements to get confused?
  • The blood mist means everyone must stay in their place.
  • The blood mist means everyone must know their place.
As societies contract and become less fluid, I'd expect those in power to face a choice between democratization/liberalization or sharply increased authoritative measures (or think up some entirely different way to keep regular people submissive). E.g. the late stages of the Roman empire set the scene for the medieval feudalism by stripping citizens' right to migrate, taxing in kind instead of in money, and working intensely to develop a fitting religious scripture. A small setting would put different requirements on legitimization of power structures but it seems that theology would still play an instrumental role.

I'm not advocating a rethink, especially not since I haven't even seen the actual material. I do want the door kept open for some really grueling interpretations that are complicated enough to interest my players.

Edit: I'll be sure to pick up that book!
 
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Klas
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Re: Religious social orders

Tue 06 Mar 2018, 20:37

E.g. one of the interpretations I have in mind is that the mist was really really good for those in power and that they now collectively face a common problem that invites them to cooperate to fight back against the tide of liberty of movement that is sweeping over the land.
 
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Brior
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Re: Religious social orders

Tue 06 Mar 2018, 21:45

This is all good and well. Under the circumstances I don't expect the Spanish Inquisition (see what I did there ;-). However... How long does it take for these two statements to get confused?
  • The blood mist means everyone must stay in their place.
  • The blood mist means everyone must know their place.
As societies contract and become less fluid, I'd expect those in power to face a choice between democratization/liberalization or sharply increased authoritative measures (or think up some entirely different way to keep regular people submissive). E.g. the late stages of the Roman empire set the scene for the medieval feudalism by stripping citizens' right to migrate, taxing in kind instead of in money, and working intensely to develop a fitting religious scripture. A small setting would put different requirements on legitimization of power structures but it seems that theology would still play an instrumental role.

I'm not advocating a rethink, especially not since I haven't even seen the actual material. I do want the door kept open for some really grueling interpretations that are complicated enough to interest my players.

<...>

E.g. one of the interpretations I have in mind is that the mist was really really good for those in power and that they now collectively face a common problem that invites them to cooperate to fight back against the tide of liberty of movement that is sweeping over the land.
Klas: You hit the nail's head here more than you know. Once you read the material you'll understand why your bulleted confusion also has confused the inhabitants of Ravenland for a long time.
 
Concerning the power struggle, what you say is all valid. In fact the confusion and struggle for power you describe is a big driving force in the Raven's Purge campaign. What I find especially interesting though is that this struggle is happening ”whilst we play” and not at all is settled.
 
Concerning the Blood mist actually being useful and desirable, that is precisely the situation for the Rust congregation as you will see, especially in the ”Haggler's House” adventure site.
 
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Klas
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Re: Religious social orders

Tue 06 Mar 2018, 21:51

This sounds pretty awesome :)
 
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Klas
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Re: Religious social orders

Sun 18 Mar 2018, 22:13

Now that I've read the material: Will there be any practical advice on how the GM can let gods interfere in the world?

Basically it's easier for a sect to focus on a political power struggle if their god in fact never has anything to say or show. No one wants to be told that they're getting it all wrong ;)
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