Bloodless Xristos

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Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2014, 05:08:17 PM »
Don't worry. If "Bloodless Xristos" is ambiguous enough for you, everything I write will be.

-Vincent

Cool. So far, without an additions, it is ambiguous enough. Not that I wouldn't play AW: DA if you just flat-out stated it is the dark ages, because I would.

--

And just because I thought of a couple examples that amused me about the differences, as I see them, with analog vs. ambiguous:

A dragon is an analog of a lizard. Sure it flies and breathes fire. But ultimately it looks like a lizard. Scales, head, legs, etc.. But with a few fictional additions.

A platypus is an ambiguous animal. What is it?!? A duck because it lays eggs and has a bill? A beaver because its a mammal and has the fur and the tail? And then add in the poisonous spur. It seems ambiguous to me rather than analogous of a specific animal.

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2014, 05:13:42 PM »
Oh, I hope we keep the ambiguity. The ambiguity is part of the reason I assumed that Bloodless Xristos broadly covered all Abrahamic religions, and I like that fact! I want my playgroup to be able to define the religions for their setting themselves, rather than the books; that's why I love the original Apocalypse World, and that should be no less true for this one.

Also, please don't be afraid to potentially insert new possible faiths and such. There's no need just to stick to real ones. Other than the big ones, the rest should be easily removed if unliked, and it might be interesting to see some things that never were.

Then again, that might force you to write more playbooks, so I suppose its up to you (or perhaps expansion playbook material?)

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2014, 05:44:57 PM »
Don't worry. If "Bloodless Xristos" is ambiguous enough for you, everything I write will be.

-Vincent

I feel I should add that the simple sentence at the end of the paragraphs on Bloodless Xristos makes it ambiguous:

"it is a matter of interpretation and opinion".

Pretty much sums it up. It is up to interpretation and opinion.

If that sentence were to be lost in editing I'd say the game should make it clear it is a dark ages analog and is not meant to be played as an an analog of A Song of Ice and Fire. Which is totally fine, and as I've said before I'd still totally play the heck out of it. I love me some historical fiction RPG action (more than playing in pre-made fantasy worlds).

But that should be made clear that that is what the game actually is.

*

lumpley

  • 1291
Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2014, 05:59:44 PM »
Irminsul, it's time to stop worrying and wait and see!

-Vincent

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2014, 03:14:38 PM »
This has been quite an interesting thread to read!

I don't want to add to it, but I'll say a few things:

* I think Benjamin's contributions here are very valuable, and I'm glad Vincent feels that way.

* The whole issue of inventing religions which don't correspond to real-life religions (and potentially look like mockeries of them!) is a serious challenge. It reminds me of some conversations we had over at Story Games perhaps a year ago (or two?) about how we can create alien races and societies that don't seem like stereotypes of human races or cultures. Not an obvious task, to say the least! There seem to me to be some common issues in those two discussions.

Drawing lines which connect the game to real-world history also gives us interesting material for player, however (like some kind of "outsider" playbook roughly modeled on historical Jews brought to Dark Ages Europe).

* If we are to create a "Wandering Jew" kind of playbook, it might be interesting to draw on Arabic knowledge, science (e.g the Library of Alexandria) and philosophy for inspiration. An outsider how not only is foreign and doesn't bow to the local gods, but perhaps also knows things, ancient things, which are at once more advanced than the local culture but also suggest a lineage of wisdom going into a past that has been forgotten (by everyone who lives *here*, anyway - this comes from a faraway place!).

So: a philosopher, a scholar, an "exotic" character with access to arcane knowledge (whether it's scientific, philosophical, or mystical in nature).

* Benjamin: I will now go seek out some of your work! I'm looking forward to reading some.

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2014, 10:24:58 PM »
Drawing lines which connect the game to real-world history also gives us interesting material for player, however (like some kind of "outsider" playbook roughly modeled on historical Jews brought to Dark Ages Europe).

* If we are to create a "Wandering Jew" kind of playbook, it might be interesting to draw on Arabic knowledge, science (e.g the Library of Alexandria) and philosophy for inspiration. An outsider how not only is foreign and doesn't bow to the local gods, but perhaps also knows things, ancient things, which are at once more advanced than the local culture but also suggest a lineage of wisdom going into a past that has been forgotten (by everyone who lives *here*, anyway - this comes from a faraway place!).

That doesn't necessarily have to be Arabic in nature though - Jews in the early medieval period filled the same role (and like Benjamin, I'd rather they not be excluded when other religions are included, and again, it would be a bit weird to have Christianity, Pagan Celtic gods, Roman gods and some form of Islam, and exclude Jews). After all, in the period we're talking about (pre-Nicene), Judaism was a rival to christianity, not just in proselytisation, but in scholarly debates and the like. There was even a Turkic Khanate (the Khazars) who converted to Judaism after one such debate.

When Jews were often barred from landowning, they took the vocations open to them, which is why so many were involved in mercantilism or medicine / scholarly professions that weren't under the church's purview. Then of course there were places like the (albeit later medieval period) university of Salamanca, which not only embraced Jewish and Muslim scholars, but also women scholars.

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2014, 01:30:45 AM »
So plausiblefabulist and I already hashed this out via email.

But since you, Antinomian Tendencies replied I'll take another stab at it.

I'm not talking about excluding ANYONE. I'm talking about not putting ANY real-world religion in AT ALL. Which means by that definition it would actually be IMPOSSIBLE to EXLUDE a real-world religion.

Because really, by your definition the game should include EVERY religion present during the early Middle Ages. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And there are a bunch YOU are excluding too then.

Do I get to be all huffy that MY religion would be ignored??????

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2014, 09:04:29 AM »
Unless you're also Paul T., I wasn't replying or talking to you. Calm down dude.

*

lumpley

  • 1291
Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2014, 10:11:56 AM »
I'm the guy you have to convince, anyway. Arguing amongst yourselves is guaranteed fruitless.

-Vincent

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2014, 11:26:21 AM »
Although this is slightly off-topic, it arises from some conversations in topic so I'll post it here. I would quite love for their to be a playbook that amounts to "I am the Hand of the King/Royal/Noble/Whatever" ruler in all but name of a holding style playbook. Perhaps that could tie in to the various religions, old and new. Or perhaps it could allow for that plus other sorts of things (like in Game of Thrones, the maesters).

There's a lot of space in genre for this type of character, and I think the discussions in this thread definitely raised the possibility to my attention as something that might be a lot of fun.

If you do go with a member of a pre-Xristos religion, you can always look to stuff like the Ionian physicists of the ancient world for precedents - especially since AW:DA isn't a straight historical work, you can play around with the chronology a lot and just pull stuff from lots of places. During my M.A. I actually took coursework on Ancient thinkers (like, before Socrates) - and their literary DNA is actually really conducive to outsider archetypes/grand vizier archetypes. I'd be happy to put forward a couple names to read short bios on if that'll help the creative juices flow.

Re: Bloodless Xristos
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2014, 09:46:17 PM »
I enjoyed the OP for this thread, and reading the discussion of religion and the various analogues. However, I believe the onus is on the GM to make every aspect of religion as dark as it is idealistic. That is, if his players fail to do so for him. Sure, the Bloodless Xristos is all about a utopian vision, but so are many real-world religions. There's nothing to say that The Bloodless Xristos won't remain a fringe religion, nor that if it gathers enough momentum that it can't become painful and controlling.

The game currently contains:
a) a (cool, funhouse-mirror, reimagined) fictional analog of pre-Nicene-council Christianity
b) a (cool, funhouse-mirror, reimagined) fictional analog of Teutonic/Celtic paganism
c) a (cool, funhouse-mirror, reimagined) fictional analog of Roman civic religion.

Why? Why not just represent different aspects/stages of religion?

The Old Gods
Are at first glance a reflection of the earliest religions and cults. Not just Teutonic/Celtic, but with the potential to represent any "tribal" community. It's the stuff you bring with you when you convert. The stuff that penetrates so many religions, even if it wasn't intended. The people who stole holy water to help their crops grow. That makes it the most open to interpretation - any religion/cult/fairy tale could fit into this bubble.

The Gods of the Empire of Eagles
The simple words "Empire of Eagles" bring the Roman Empire to the front of your mind. This makes me think of the old gods as much as the Roman Cults. Remember that in most homes in Rome you were likely to find house gods, and major roads had crossroad shrines... I can't imagine the Roman pantheon without all the little guys sitting in corners waiting for their turn. The greek myths were stories before they were gods, and were a poor mirror for how to live your life. What if this represents the aspects of religion that exist in the home, with stories by the fireplace and little statues on the mantle. What if the old gods represent bigger issues and are worshipped by whole towns at once?

The Bloodless Xristos
If you didn't have the sentence "some worshipers place him within a trinity of deities" I wouldn't even think of christianity. Ok, maybe a little... but there's so much more there that's more interesting to me.
The Bloodless Xristos makes me think of the early christian church far more than organised catholicism. The most defining thing about early christianity was that it said "This is a new God, and yours are now wrong". The Roman Empire not only accepted most cults, but when they conquered a new place they added the new gods to their own set. Assuming an appropriate analogue, the only reason Xristos isn't added to the mess is that believing in him is mutually exclusive to believing in anything else. Meaning this represents trouble making and dissent. Christianity has spent longer as an organised religion than it has as a start-up cult. So treating this as christianity is adding a lot of pre-conceived ideas. What if Xristos is part of a family as large as Zeus', but still says "your old gods are nothing but carved stones". It has the same impact. Also, Christianity was incredibly secretive in it's early days because they were afraid of persecution. Making it more like a mystery cult than like it's dark age derivative.
The thing I like most about the Bloodless Xristos is the name. If your blood is the most important thing in determining your worth, then joining a bloodless faction means joining a rankless faction. It means that a peasant has the potential to own land one day. That's huge politically. Infact, that could easily be the darkness that plausiblefabulist is missing out on - this could be the opportunity for the poor lower classes to become as cruel and opressive as their current leaders.

My point
Because as much as "I like the sound of my own voice", I ought to have one. I love the blurry lines. I recognise the ambiguity, and I'm glad it's there. Instead of breaking history down into the different religions people followed, why not break down the different aspects of religion. Personal understanding meeting individual needs, Organised religion and it's impact on politics, The young punk who wants to shake things up. Also, I think judaism is different enough that it fits - it's about community, and about being an outsider who's not an outsider. It highlights the fact that when people move around, they bring their religion with them so that religion and myth don't evolve linearly.


I wonder what it would look like if you didn't have christianity in mind when you thought about Xristos, and if you didn't have the Roman/Greek Pantheon in mind when you thought about the Empire of Eagles? It's only a subtle difference, but what would change?