Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cosmology of the Universe

I hope the title doesn't scare you away, but I'm actually going to touch on 2 topics in this post:
  1. Religion in my upcoming Pathfinder game.
  2. The planes in my upcoming game.
I don't intend on being preachy and I'm not a fan of any singular religion.


In the current PF game I'm playing in, I'm the token Cleric and the church of my characters religion (which also happens to be the predominant religion for the empire) has started to spin out of control since the newest emperor happens to have been a high priest. Corruption shakes its very core, and inquisitors seems to be everywhere. Because the party I'm in is such a thorn in the side of the church, they have actively started to take action against us. (There's a longer story to this, but I hope you get the basic idea.)

At the moment, my character has claimed his birthright as county lord in one of the duchies of the empire, and he's seeking to form a new church based on the original tenants and beliefs he was originally raised on without the corruption of politics.

This got me to think about my own PF campaign. If anyone happens to decided to play a Cleric or (God forbid) a Paladin, I'm seriously considering creating a structure for their chosen religion rather than the "I visit the church and yada, yada, yada." I don't want religion to be a consuming aspect, but there must be more to a Cleric's faith than just the ability to heal and cast spells.

Religious holidays are an aspect that I don't think I've ever really encountered in any fantasy setting. In other games, I've never once seen a Cleric who was devout enough to actively tithe on a regular basis, confess, take part in regular church ceremonies (mass, communion, bris, etc.) or anything like that. I know it's not very conducive to an adventuring campaign, but I think there should be more expected from someone who has chosen to play a faith-based character.

My only issue on the topic of religion for my game is how it will be affected by the next topic...

The Planes-

My original concept was to run a campaign in a singular setting with a few key adventures/modules. As I worked to acquire the necessary books for this undertaking (Yes, though I do have the digital copies I still prefer to have the physical books), I started to re-think my original idea. This was born out of a question I posed regarding the interaction of the different campaign settings. I wasn't 100% certain if they were parts of a single planet or if they were individual planes unto themselves. The response I received from my query was that they are each individual planets, but could be traveled to via magical means.

So I thought long and hard on my options, and I think I will incorporate all the settings into my campaign design. But now the crux of my current dilemma... what about religion?

If a Cleric of Mystra were to travel to the lands of Greyhawk, what would happen to their powers? Greyhawk has it's own pantheon, but would the deities work together? As my personal belief system would welcome the thought of all the deities of the various religions being able to work together, I just don't see it happening with large groups of deities. Sure, I can belief that Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh and such can either be a single deity or work together, but for Zeus, Mystra, St. Cuthbert and Cthulhu I don't see it reasonably happening.

I guess the question I'm dealing with is how do I keep the plan of hoping settings intact without disrupting the abilities of Clerics or Paladin's? I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on these topics.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Using literary characters as NPC's

If you've read or watched "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" or read the comic book series "Fables", you've noticed how literary characters can be brought into play in different settings outside of their specific books. Another good example of this would be the TV series "Once Upon A Time".

As I'm currently reading the latest volume of the "Fables" trade paperbacks, I was thinking how interesting it might be to add literary characters into a game setting. I'm sure that all the purists who are reading this (if there are any that actually do) are cringing at the idea.

For franchise games such as Star Wars and Star Trek, I've already admitted to being "one of those guys" who usually includes some of the major characters from their respective series when I GM a game. The last Star Wars game I ran had the PC's fairly buddy-buddy with the high rollers of the rebellion. Yes, I occasionally allow twinkies in my less than serious games. Even though he's actually stated in one of the published books, I've never actually used Dracula in any of my World of Darkness games... but I've been tempted. With the topic of this post in mind, he is a literary figure.

I'm wondering if any of you have used literary characters in your games, and if so, how did they work for you or were they just added fluff in your game? Did they make an actual contribution or just sit there being pretty?

Just an FYI to my regular readers who don't follow me on Twitter or haven't friended me on Facebook... You may have noticed that my year-end post is missing. Unfortunately, while I was working to get rid of another post I was developing for later this year, I accidentally deleted the year-end post. Blogger, the platform I use to post my blog, does not have a recycle bin where I can un-delete from. I could try to re-create it, but I usually write in the moment, and the message I originally conveyed would be lost if I attempted to.