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Month Index: August, 1995

From:     Michael Sandy <mehawk@????.org>
Date:     Wed, 9 Aug 1995 12:58:28 -0700
Subject:  Re: Quiet or what?
>o92wvoss@????.???.?????.???.au writes
That's a good point, Sandy, but the gods would only allow such behaviour if it
was in line with their ethos, i.e., selling if you were a preist of commerce,
providing it free if you were a preist of healing or the home, maybe only if
there was a blight if you were a preist of agriculture.

:-) VOSS

Regarding whether a god would be willing to support a priest using
Create Food and Water to support a mining operation.

Having recently re-read WOC's _Primal Order_, and thinking about how the
old Norse Gods got their magic items, I think that a god who supported a
priest far from his worshippers would be likely to demand a cut, or a
sacrifice, or powerful items made from the ore be dedicated to the god's

Or Earth, there never was a priesthood that wasn't concerned with their
position.  In a magical universe, I'd be surprised if no priesthoods ever
tried to get their flock dependant on their magic.  And from _Primal Order_,
why would the god disapprove of his followers being made dependant on his

What I'm getting at it that the actions of the gods aren't based on
'what was in line with their ethos', but their ethos is shaped by what
gets them worshipped, what doesn't drain their power too much.

Having studied mythology, the old gods of the squabbling city states didn't
care for better weather/produce for all, but better fortune for themselves and
their city.  They invented huge pantheons of conflicting interests to explain
why the gods sometimes didn't deliver to _them_.

These old gods, worshipped since the Stone Age, may be supplanted by more
enlightened religions, but the old nasty ones are still around.  There is
a lot of roleplaying potential with secret ancient cults worshipping what
are now considered demons, creatures banished to the underworld.

It makes it easier to have Evil Gods if you can have thousands of squabbling
competing ones, (occasionally united under a powerful theological figure)
than an omnipresent Evil Greater Deity who is secretly responsible and in
control of all evil.  It makes for good fantasy in Tolkien, but not so good
for adventurers who actually want to accomplish things.  Imagine adventuring
versus Lord Foul, where everything the characters do can be warped by
Donaldson's master of Despite!

Give me huge cult temples for strong hewed swordsmen to overthrow, ala Conan.
Give me mysterious shrines with forgotten powers, like Zelazny's Dilvish series.
Give me wandering holy men, oracles, men of such strong moral worth they
have the strength of ten because their heart is pure.

I like having both Good and Evil priests in my world.  I like cities which have
huge festivals which compete with neighboring cities for grandeur, with
religious icons paraded through the city.  I like secret politics among the
powerful, and desperate peasantry ground under their blind policies.  This
is  a fantasy world where almost anything the player set out to change will
improve it.

I think the campaign uses of Priestly magic has been greatly neglected in rpg's.
Perhaps a variant of the Focus spell, (4th level, Tome of Magic) must be
renewed once a century, or a millenium, or a protection circle that incidently
confines an evil being beneath the city will be released.  The players must
research the details of this magic, entering long abandoned libraries of a lich.
Maybe they need to journey to a distant plane or planet to get the highest
level priest of a cult that is no longer dominant in the region.

They may need to convince the current leaders of the city of the danger,
without letting the reason become common knowledge, starting a panic.
Perhaps a temple needs to be set up in the city, and a secret cult which
worships the trapped entity and hopes for its release tries to sabotage the
re-enchanting of its prison.  Perhaps a long procession, festival, parade
is the climax of this spell.

A new way of getting characters to meet:
a group of about 10 towns in a region have festivals separated by about
2 weeks each which progress in a circuit from one to the next.  People
from all over have reason to go to these festivals, share news, party,
politic, trade and/or fence stolen property.

Festivals can be triggered by many occasions:
Harvest, the first merchant ship to return after winter storms, a political
Perhaps it is inconvenient or uneconomical for merchant ships to journey
out of the sphere during certain seasons.  If there are only a few Permanent
portals, or the planets and portals only line up with the phlogiston rivers
during certain alignments, (once a year), then trade may go in expectable

The limitation for merchant ships is to absolutely minimize travel time
between ports that can refresh air and water.  They may have to wait
for the planets to be fairly close to travel from one to the next, maybe
waiting several months, especially if they are going to be slowed down
by travelling in a convoy.

The fleet comes in and parties till the town is painted red.  Then the town
counts its profits, conducts repairs, and sends out the clerics to repair
the wounded.  Before the ships leave, the superstitious, hung-over, and
penitent crew seek blessings from their various gods before their long
journey.  Auguries and Divinations may be cast, ambiguous portent interpreted.

By the way, why do all story tellers automaticly assume that a trapped
supernatural entity is Evil?  Because the entity which entrapped it,
or its priests, told the story...

What sort of religion do the Neogi, Illithids and Beholders have?  They
are generally considered to be Evil Deities, but are they just US/Them
deities or are they really evil?

Michael Sandy

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Month Index: August, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Quiet or what?    Joseph DuBois (x44303)    08 Aug 1995 12:58:48
Re: Quiet or what?    Allen Versfeld    08 Aug 1995 14:38:13
Re: Quiet or what?    Michael Sandy    08 Aug 1995 19:13:38
Re: Quiet or what?    william voss    09 Aug 1995 04:22:05
Re: Quiet or what?    william voss    09 Aug 1995 04:28:00
Re: Quiet or what?    Michael Sandy    09 Aug 1995 19:58:28

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