Archive | December 2014

Faith and Fantasy: How Gods Are Written

I said that religions in gaming is broken already, and I mentioned that how gods are written up is a leading problem to this. In order to understand why we should look at the pattern that has been followed closely for nearly the entirty of fantasy table top games, and why that pattern is restricting opportunities for role playing. Before we do that, I want to say that I do not think creating a restrictive pattern was the intention of any game designer, and I do not make any assumptions about their own religious affiliation. I do think that fear of angering an audience motivated some of the choices, as some non-religious players might feel less threatened by the current methods of writing about fantasy religion than they would with other methods. I would agree that most of the decissions were a result of influence mythology and the fantasy genre had on early gaming. 
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Faith and Fantasy Gaming

Faith and religion in fantasy role playing games is broken. On the surface it works to give characters a higher being to follow, an opportunity to justify personal beliefs, and to provide religious organizations within the game world. Deep down, many of the religions created for fantasy RPGs just do not hold up and allow for actual faith, and instead look like something more closely resembling a government or fraternity.

The problem comes from how the religions are written up and the mechanics behind divine spell casting in games like Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons. Certainly who is creating the gods for the games makes a difference, but nearly every writer for table top games has been following the same patterns for the last few decades. This legacy has been followed closely for all these years, enhancing the problem with each new god. Read More…