Interesting Times: Theology

From RocksfallWiki

Gods and Clerics

Gods are alien and powerful beings that live in other dimensions. Their power is not based on worshipers, nor can a mere mortal reach godhood. They are the only beings that can grant divine spells (but Druids gain their power in a special way I’ll talk about later.), and they are a constant throughout the multiverse. This means that there are not gods specific to a given race, or even to a specific prime material plane. There are a finite number of gods, but no mortal knows of them all. However, because gods are complex beings, it is hard to worship them as a whole. Therefore clerics devote themselves to an aspect of a God, called an Avatar.

To most lay people the term “God” and “Avatar” are synonymous. They don’t not know the complexities of their religion, to them the Avatar is the deity that they know and draw comfort from. Those that delve deeper in theology come to realize things are far more complex. For the purposes of this section I will try and use “God” to mean the higher being and “Avatar” to mean the aspect that attracts worshipers.

I haven’t decided how many of the Gods I will reveal out of game but I’m going to use the God of Conflict as an example of how things work. Some of this may be subject to change, and as always, I really want players input into this.

Names of Gods and especially Avatars are subject to change, and it can be assumed that each race has different names for the different avatars.

The God of Conflict

The God of Conflict has many facets. The three most commonly worshiped ones are: The Noble Protector: (LG, Domains: protection, war, nobility, law) This Avatar is the protector of the people. He stands between the week and those that would hurt or enslave them. He sees conflict as a necessary to ensure the safety of others. (Frequently worshiped among Elves, Dwarves, Proudfoot and Humans) The Great Competitor: (N, Domains: Strength, Luck, Pride, Travel) This Avatar preaches that we grow stronger by pushing our own limits. He does not protect the weak, he believes that they should make themselves strong. He sees conflict as healthy and important for self growth. (Frequently worshiped by Dwarves, Orcs, ½ Orcs, Xeph) The Destroyer: (CE, Domains: war, chaos, destruction, suffering) This Avatar believes that the strong has the right and duty to sweep aside the weak. He advises his worshipers to rule by force. Showing compassion is weakness and conflict is needed to weed out the wheat from the chaff. (Frequently worshiped by Orcs, ½ Orcs, Goblins)

===Game Mechanics=== From an out of game perspective a cleric chooses an Avatar not a God to worship. They probably realize that they worship only an aspect of the higher God, but understand they are not capable of understanding a God as a whole and have contented themselves by exploring this one aspect of it. Other clerics are far more torn by the realization, but they must be careful, for if they stray too far from the path of their Avatar they will lose their connection, and with it their powers. In very rare cases a cleric that falls from the grace of one Avatar may be lifted up by another, becoming a cleric of the new Avatar. But ONLY if that new Avatar is another aspect of the same God. Thus a cleric of The Great Competitor may lose his way and become a cleric of The Destroyer, but not of an Avatar of a different God. This is a very rare thing, and is not widely known. Even more rare is when I cleric shifts from one God to another. In this case they become a Favored Soul to the new deity. Again, this is extremely rare, and most people would not know it is possible.

Partial List of Avatars

(I still haven’t decided if I want to list the Gods yet.)

  • The Noble Protector
  • The Great Competitor
  • The Destroyer
  • The Healer
  • The Elements
  • The Birthmother
  • The Savage Beast
  • The Reaper
  • The Prince of Dark Humor
  • The Queen of Lust
  • The Keeper of the Arcane
  • The Keeper of the Mind
  • The King of Storms and Oceans
  • Vengeance
  • Father Fate
  • The Craftsman
  • The Scales of Balance
  • The Peacebringer

Please note that this is just a starting list. I may decide that some of these may not be needed in my game, and I will definitely add a few more before its over. If any of these interest you, let me know. The ones that have interest shown in them are the ones I will likely put deeper thought into.

Druids, Favored Souls and Spirit Shamans: Still to come.