Posts belonging to Category Religion

Reprise: Do Gods Need Religion?

I originally wrote this for an early RPG Blog Carnival on the subject of gods and religion. It all came down to one question: were the two necessarily mutually dependent?
I’ve always been partial to chicken-and-egg questions, particularly within the context of invented worlds. And I always come back to this one: Do gods [...]

Untouchable Concepts

In any world, there are some things you don’t question. They are, and that’s all there is to it. Or at least, that’s what everyone says. (Which of course means that some main character, particularly if what we’re dealing with is a game because those things beg for PC questioning, is going to question them.) [...]

Creating Ambiguity

Yesterday, I talked about how ambiguity in the creation of a world can make it more interesting than clear right/wrong binaries can. But how does one go about making a world in which these things are clearly ambiguous?
To understand that, it helps to understand how not to do it.
It’s pretty easy, and pretty common, to [...]

A Case for Ambiguity

One of the things I’ve noticed about many created worlds, and felt that it might be good to reverse the trend of at some point, is that there isn’t much vagueness. In our world, you have a lot of things that may or may not be real or effective depending on who you ask, from [...]

A Genealogy of Stories

So you’ve got a world in which religions grow and flourish for a while, and then die down (usually, one of those places where the gods and the religions aren’t joined at the hip). And you have to wonder, just what happens to the gods of the religions that are left behind? Are they remembered [...]

Creating Rituals Through Symbolism

A well-described ritual can be an excellent tool: it lets storytellers create immersion, and allows RPG players to make their actions sound nifty and their crazy magical schemes just the slightest bit more plausible. But how to go about figuring out what they look like? In my experience, the best way to do so is [...]

On the Appropriation of Holidays, or The History of Valentine’s Day

One sign of a living world is that its features have visible changes, particularly over time. Not everything stays as it began, after all.
Holidays may seem constant to us, but they do a lot of changing over time: sometimes with help, sometimes without. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite examples.
While it has never been [...]

Religion and the Individual

An excellent way to introduce diversity of character types into a religion is to consider what they’re doing there. They’re not all coming for the same reason, after all—and while not all reasons are created equal, most of them can at least do something for your story.
Of course, there are the truly devout; aren’t there [...]

Having Sects

I’d been planning this topic for a while, but seeing this post by A Butterfly Dreaming pretty much demanded that I write it now. And by now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what it’s for.
So we have religious sects: subgroups set apart by a focus, difference in tradition, or other tenet that [...]

Religion and Divergence

deas change as they travel, morphing to fit their cultures, their regions and their eras. Would the images of gods be any different? I doubt it.
There’s a lot about a god’s image that can change over time and space. Name, for instance, particularly if a language shift is involved. Peripheral associations as well: while you’ll [...]