Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?

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Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?
« on: November 25, 2014, 03:44:14 AM »
I don't even need THE Roman Catholic Church... but I am curious about the lack of A Church. Will there be more or is the game rewriting a benign version of Roman polytheism as the dominant force in the Empire? (And thereby removing religion as a source of power and conflict in this game)

Even G.R.R. Martin has the Septons & the Red Witch to go with the Old Gods & the Weirwoods. The game just needs something there.

The idea that there ought to be a separation of Church and State is super modern, and yet I feel like there's a separation enforced by the way People & Strongholds are created.

Yes, places like England were not wholly Catholic at the start of the Medieval period... but even Ireland was indentifiably Christian by the fall of the Romans, and that's pretty far "West and North of Europe" when it comes to the game setting. A lot of the invading Germanics converted pretty early on, although the Scandinavians didn't do so until later in the Medieval period.

So is this a game about revisionist Paganism over all others in the world? Because really strong Paganism (aside from the Norse) seems like a very definitive statement about the game setting, especially amongst the ruling classes in the West & North, and how the game world never was like ours.

Should there be more tension between the Old Rights & the New in the development of a character? What does this clash between Clannish cultural traditions & the aspirations towards Roman glory really mean? Or is it just a check box?

I see that there was a "Common Knowledge" thing in the past of this game. It doesn't exist now in what we have to playtest. And, really, bits of knowledge/setting are not so important. I don't care if it's Christ or not for a Church. It's the temporal Church part that's important, and those are the parts that are not there (yet) that are open questions for me.

Priesthood. Marriage & the implications of succession. Clan/familial relationships (not Hx, but Rights & Power within a relationship). (I now see the Marriage Rite in the list of Rights, but it speaks of a mutual bond between a spouses... not the Clan & Familial links that make for interesting Medieval marriages.)

I don't want Hx in this game. I want Clans, and how Rights work with Clans & Families. Clan loyalties mean more than individual ones, I think. The game should be about Power relationships, I think, and not individual Hx. Almost every one of the AW:DA playbooks looks like a Gang leader of some kind when compared to the future Apocalypse.

I just don't get including Latin & Greek (and Arabic prior to the Crusades) if there's no Catholic or Orthodox church. It's an odd inclusion if this is a history that never was.

Okay, enough rambling. I don't write any part of this game, anyway.

Re: Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 11:10:59 AM »
Here's my BS for a Priest of the Roman Order because I hate (HATE) the marriage rites in the existing rules.

Cleric of the Order
(prime stat will be "Good", not "Weird" like a pagan)

Rights (some lifted directly from the rules, others invented):
  • You have the right to excommunicate any member of the faith. This allows any member (of any birth or station) the ability under religious law to deny the rights of the excommunicated.
  • You have the right to induct and confirm any person as a member of the faith, thereby conferring the rights of personhood and community upon that person. (Perhaps including the excommunicated... perhaps not.)
  • You have the right to receive gifts and offerings as the spiritual head of your community.
  • You have the right to consecrate a marriage.  Roll with Good. On 10+, the MC must ask you 3 of the following. On 7–9, the MC must ask you 2. On a miss, the MC must ask you 1. (The MC may answer any question left unanswered.)
    * Do the persons involved in the marriage consent to this Union? What is their relationship?
    * Do the Heads of each Clan or Family consent to this Union? What is their relationship?
    * Does the Union of these peoples settle the differences between their Clans or Families? What is their ancient grudge?
    * Is the Union of these peoples blessed by the god(s)? How might they be blessed or cursed in the days ahead?
  • You are literate in Latin and Arabic / Greek / Hebrew / Persian (circle 1 in addition to Latin). You have the right to own and read books, including religious, legal, historical, and administrative texts, and to conduct written correspondence beyond simple message-passing and note-leaving.
  • You have the right to write your betters for aid (i.e. the Pope in Rome). When you do, treat it as mustering warriors from among them, but roll Good instead of Bold.
  • You have the right to solemnize the funerals of the dead. When you do so, roll Weird. On 10+, choose 1 of the following; it is true. On 7–9, choose 1; we will suppose it to be true. (See the Options in the Rights PDF)
  • You have the right to throw down demons and lawless spirits. When you try to do so, roll Weird. On 10+, choose 2 of the following. On 7–9, choose 1. (See the Options in the Rights PDF)
  • You have the right to call others to repentance and confession. When you do, roll Good. On 10+, ask them 2 of the following
    questions. On 7–9, ask them 1. They must answer truthfully and aloud. Before they answer, they can ask for privacy, which you may grant but need not. (See the Options in the Rights PDF)
  • You have the right to declare any group (aside from the People of your lands) to be Anathema. (Whatever that means, but I bet the Jews are involved!)

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Munin

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Re: Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 12:46:25 PM »
A thought on repentance and confession - you might have the right to call, but only the faithful would answer. A number of these moves presuppose that they are performed in the context of others of the faith. If the faith is far from universal, then many of these need to be reworked. Or maybe not, maybe it sets up situations where rights are routinely denied and maybe that's a good thing. Righteous indignation, and all.

Re: Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 01:12:43 PM »
A thought on repentance and confession - you might have the right to call, but only the faithful would answer. A number of these moves presuppose that they are performed in the context of others of the faith. If the faith is far from universal, then many of these need to be reworked. Or maybe not, maybe it sets up situations where rights are routinely denied and maybe that's a good thing. Righteous indignation, and all.

I think that's a good tension for a Cleric to have in this Dark Age. Nothing should be universal in the Apocalypse except threats and danger, I think. Just because a Keep Liege has a Bishop around doesn't mean that good things will happen at all.

At the same time, I don't think any of the Rights in the game are Universal. I need not acknowledge the Keep Liege as a War Champion, so why should the Keep Liege care about being excommunicated? That should be why we play. The fact that you have to claim your Right, and I can choose to acknowledge it or not... that's great tension there :)

Of course, if Universality means "playable in the context of the game world", then I think it'd be a giant dick move on the MC's part to say, "You're a Bishop, but you have jack all to do because Catholicism sucks". Either it's in the world or not. I don't think it's necessary, but if a player wants to run organized clergy, it's a bad thing not to include it as a condition of the People (i.e. a Universal truth of the game world).

...

Organized superstition is a good thing! I wish there were more of it... both as a help to fight against the centrifugal tendencies of semi-civilized society, and a way to screw over the Keep Holder by using Canon law against the Rights of the Keep Liege.

Yes, we have the Bandit-Nobles... but there's also the Church, or the Blot gatherings of the Vikings, or whatnot. If the Dominus of the region must exert control over the peasantry, so should a Bishop over the congregation.

Religion isn't a natural state in itself, but a process of exerting control (and I say this as a Catholic)... I think that exertion should be part of a Dark Age, whether on behalf of our Roman Church or the Church of the Empire of Eagles or the Septons of Westeros or Neo-Paganist Asatru. Why not have those aspects of tension as well?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 01:22:59 PM by made of cheese »

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lumpley

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Re: Why so strongly Pagan & so little of an organized Church?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 02:15:38 PM »
This is useful feedback, Made of cheese, thank you! Your other post is too.

-Vincent