August 10th, 2010

Happy Place

Palladium Crack

Someone mentioned running RIFTS, and I just had traumatic flashbacks.  Anyone else remember this sort of thing:

A 10th level character with the proper skill can jump 22 feet straight up, and 23 feet across.  So, a Coalition rifleman can leap up 20', fire off a single shot at an opponent, then land before anyone sees a thing.  Or, alternatively, using triangulation, a Coalition sniper fires through a town, the buildings between him and the target getting perfect holes in them (SDC structures don't diminish an MDC shot), and blows a hole through the opponent on the other side of the town while having perfect cover.

Anyone else have any Palladium Crack to share?
  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical
Voodoo Dolly


For a roleplaying setting I'm using, I have a religious group called the Joshuites.  This group is somewhat like a Judaic faith, but when their prophet came, he was assassinated and thier homeland was nuked by God (called Adonai in the religion).  They were cast out, forced to wander west, led by the wife of their prophet, until they found their chosen land.  Having settled in, they bumped up against a rival faith (the Arin faith).

The Arin faith is somewhat Greek in layout, with the pantheon being an extended family under the solar god.  The goddess of blood's worshippers attacked the Joshuites when they first came onto the land, and in return the Joshuite faith almost wiped the Arin pantheon out.  Since then, the Joshuite religion has settled in and for a long time owned most of civilization.   The Arin faith laid low, but in recent years has started gaining strength.

Now, leading up to my points / questions.  The Joshuites follow the seven virtues, and oppose the seven sins (Catholic).  They're tolerant (if not entirely comfortable) with other faiths, considering other pantheons to be 'wrong' -- IE, those who worship the other gods (or some would say 'false gods') are damned to die, then return, having never had the opportunity to rejoin Adonai in paradise (the 'third garden').  According to their religion, Creation is an enigma, and once the Joshuites have solved this enigma, they will be closer to Adonai... so the Joshuites promote science, higher learning, and the study of magic.  They're very intense on wanting to know how things work.  In general, the Joshuite religion is pretty decent (I'd say in D&D terms, they're Lawful Good).

The Arin pantheon is a motley of different gods.  Some are fairly neutral, others are tempermental, and one has an 'olympic' style event once a year, with the winner being ritually sacrificed in an attempt to resurrect the head of the pantheon in creation to bring about the end of the world.  She's also the local fertility goddess, so sacrificed are made for healthy babies, and for promoting the crops and such.  She's got a thing for hecatombs involving the slaughter of criminals, deadbeats (those who give nothing to society) and the odd hero.  (I'd say in D&D terms, the pantheon as a whole is Neutral).

So... here's the thing.  Almost nobody is willing to play a Joshuite, and instead wants to play members of the Arin pantheon.  I'm fine with that, really.  But the intolerance of the Joshuite faith blows my mind.  There are a number of players who adamantly refuses to say anything nice about the faith, heaps all sorts of calamities and wrongs upon the heads of those who are Joshuite, and talks about wiping the faith off the map.  It goes completely beyond reason.  Others simply want the faith as the 'bad guys' to be defeated.

One player got a bit hostile when I enforced the goddess of blood's actual bloody sacrifices as an in-game event.  The hecatomb, the games, and even one player wishing to have her character become a champion of the goddess (which required the murder of almost a hundred people over the course of one winter).  I was accused of 'artificially inflating' just how evil this goddess is... she is a part of the pantheon, and she does do good for society, but she is a goddess of blood and murder (and midwives, and fertility, and the defence of children and women... she's pretty complex).  I've mentioned time and again that she's a nasty piece of work... 

So, one player told me that I should play down the evil part of the goddess, and I should actually make the Joshuites the 'bad guys' "because that's what the players want".  Seriously?  I'm more for a balanced approach, both sides have their good points and bad points, but all in all, neither side is 'bad'.  Yeah, the evil goddess is there, but that doesn't make the entire pantheon evil, and you'd think the good characters in the game might be morally oppossed to the actions of the worshippers of the evil goddess... but they don't want to do anything about it... and instead want to show intolerance to the actual decent Joshuite faith.

So, what do you think?  How screwed up is this?  And, what would you do?  And, have you had similar events or strange mindsets show up in your games?
  • Current Mood
    confused confused
Voodoo Dolly

In Relation to my Other Post

It got me thinking... faith in a roleplaying game setting.  Specifically, the degree in which gods interact with the faithful.  A priest who is capable of performing miracles should be in alignment with the wishes of the god in question, right?  If you aren't in alignment, then you don't get the miracle -- the god in question simply goes 'uh-uh, no way', and that's that.  But then comes the question... what happens if the person in question is acting in opposition of the faith?  Shouldn't the god then inform those who are faithful of this fact?  Or, alternatively, what if the faith has something in place to deal with such a problem?

See, the Joshuites (re: earlier post), had to deal with a threat called the rukshasa -- shape-shifting creatures who serve Ravana, and who are the enemies of the Joshuites.  The rukshasa have this horrifying ability to weave illusions ... and as long as they keep this illusion active, the illusion is treated as 'real and true' by reality.  So, if the rukshasa performs an illusion to transform into Joe X, then any spell to identify them indicates they are Joe X.  If they weave an illusion of a house being on fire -- the house is on fire and burns to the ground -- until they end the illusion.  Those inside will suffer horrible burns -- until they end the illusion.  As my wife puts it, 'they piss on the tapestry'.  It was a rukshasa who killed the prophet of the Joshuites, stabbing him in the chest while disguised as a member of the faithful, and it was the rukshasa who Adonai blew up in retaliation.

So, with the full knowledge of these horrors being the enemy, the Joshuites made two internal 'police' to deal with the problem... weeding out corruption in their midst and creating a group who can see through the lies of the rukshasa.  This is fairly decent protection, but it has the side effect of also ensuring that the faith's internal structure doesn't veer too much from what the Archangels say -- if you're out of line, the internal police will find out, and they'll deal with you.

The thing is... there's very few RPGs I've seen which deal with religion that seriously.  Take the Forgotten Realms as an example -- in the older editions, you had these gods nudging up against each other, without rhyme or reason, and some of them you had to wonder 'why would anyone worship these people?'  They didn't give anything to the community, and they were more intent on tearing things down... or they were completely self-serving.  But then when you look at even some of the nicer gods, they were horribly superficial.  (Then there's the entire Mazteka trilogy... seriously, you'd think the gods would have looked at their faithful and said 'you know what?  You're really stepping over the line here...')

I've seen some players just stare blankly when I've asked them what their character's faith is... even in games they know religion will be a big part of, as if the question shouldn't even matter, and then they get more confused when religion does matter in the game.  (7th Sea, L5R, Scion, and nWoD all come to mind...).

Yeah, partially rambling here.  :D
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative