Religion – again.

Before anyone panics –  this won’t change the way that the Campaign System works in The Stolen Land –  However, it will help to enhance those rules in future games.  I can’t see me running anything that is so heavily campaign based again.  The Stolen Land has been great for seeing how big we can go with the campaign rules, but we have developed a huge area in a very short while.   Tusk and Midmarch (between them) have about the same land area as Eswatini or Kuwait (17,500 Sq Miles) with a population of about 27000 (approx the same as the British Virgin Islands) – and a major business (V&A shipping)  all in less than 10 years  :}  It works for The Stolen Lands game,  but it needs to go more slowly in future games.

I have been working on a ‘room by room’ development system for a game set in  a demi-plane (The Netherworld) and been tying it to the current system used in my Campaign System – using the conversion rate that 10 ‘credits’ are worth 1 build point.  It means that I can use the two systems interchangeably and, in future games, players will be able to choose to buy anything from a ‘one bedroom extension’ right up to a large castle or palace – and everything in between.

Which brings me back to religion :}  In Netherworld, there isn’t a need for public temples, chapels, cathedrals etc.  It  has a tiny population, just enough to service the PCs, and (unless the DM has a plot) they will follow the religious lead of ‘their’ PC, rather than branch off to follow their own faith.

That limits options for Religious Developments, but there are still three possibilities.

A PC wants a shrine for personal use.  Just something small for personal contemplation and prayer – not just by the PC, but by any member of the Household.  It might be hold more than one person at once, but it isn’t suitable for religious services or group worship.  It might suit a priest of a contemplative faith, a priest who wants to keep up with their personal religious regime, or any character with a religious bent.  This is represented by a shrine, which costs 0.5bp in The Stolen Lands or 5xCredits in Netherworld.  It consists of a single 10×10 room (or its equivalent) decorated with images and statuary appropriate to the deity, a simple bedroom for the acolyte who maintains the shrine, and a small office which acts as a vestry / workroom.  It is normally built as part of the main house, and counts as a permanent shrine, dedicated to a deity, for the purposes of a Consecrate (or similar) spell.

The next step-up, is where a PC wants a room that can be used for group worship, as well as personal prayer.  A Great Shrine is twice the size of a normal shrine (20×10) and is decorated with religious motifs and statuary.  This means there is room for a few rows of seats and (with some standing)  and can probably cope with a congregation up to 15 people – which should be more than enough for most households.  It comes with a Chaplain (Adept2) who can preside over minor services, who now lives in a larger bedroom and has a small library to help plan services and readings.  This costs 1bp / 10cr and counts as a permanent shrine.    A great shrine may be built as a standalone building in the grounds of the main house, or as part of a larger building.

With no need for public places of worship, further developments will be monasteries, priories or abbeys – and that needs much more thought.  However, it is worth remembering that, historically, the leaders of those houses often lived the lives of a noble, rather than the aesthetic life that we expect from monastics now-a-days.  And there were different types of Monastic Order …

Military Orders of the crusades (and there are plenty of other examples) there have also been RL orders whose main ‘mission’ has been charitable, or related to health care or education – and, I suspect, other activities.  Fantasy world settings have always had monks dedicated to collecting, storing, or protecting knowledge, and a priest of the ‘God of Magic’  may well want a religious establishment dedicated to the creation of magic items.

I have (or can easily develop)

  • Basic Military Buildings & Rooms (although these are, currently, restricted on Netherworld)
  • Crafting and Magic Labs
  • Libraries and storage rooms
  • Hospitals (mix of bedrooms, workrooms and offices)
  • Schools (Offices, Libraries and  a ‘common room’ classroom)
  • Large rooms (by using multiple smaller rooms)

I need to  develop

  • An Altar.  Many Abbeys have a church that is equivalent to a Cathedral.

Somehow, I feel that I am missing something.  But I am not sure what.  Any ideas or thoughts will be welcome.

Posted in World Building.

2 Comments

  1. If it helps, 3rd Ed Defenders of the Faith lists a variety of rooms pertaining to religious pursuits – as well as the usual quarters, kitchens, dining rooms, meeting/training rooms used by organisations of whatever kind, some specific room types that might be found include:

    Public Chapel (where the main altar would be)
    Private Chapel (for private contemplation, often limited to members of the order only)
    Library (arcane/religious/necromantic knowledge)
    Vestry (storage of ceremonial garments/accessories/trappings)
    Healing (beds/treatment rooms for patients
    Receiving (where corpses repose)
    Mortuary (for examination/preparation of corpses)
    Graveyards (not listed, but the disposition of corpses would be a religious function)

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