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Questions of Religion in a world awakening to magic (HELP)

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Gossamer:

--- Quote from: Darkstand on August 26, 2013, 01:12:40 PM ---I have always held that in the 'typical' high fantasy world (like D&D) that the belief in gods was never in question, but rather their worthiness to be worshiped. Its hard to hold a atheistic belief  when the gods can flex their power so obviously, or even walk the land themselves on occasion, but its easy to say they are not worthy of worship, that they do not follow through on promises, or that the aspect itself is flawed (such as refuting a evil god).
The issue here is this world is transitioning from one type to another, and the belief system has not changed.
If the gods were inclined to keep their peace, and remain silent, then I could see this happening. IT would only take one, though... maybe there could be a divine accord that prevents contact, even with the seal broken. Any one breaking that rule would face the wrath of the other gods. It becomes a little more complicated with mortal magic in the mix though. Not at first, but when people start getting the hang of magic again they can begin to pierce the veil if I don't obscure it intentionally as part of cosmology.

--- End quote ---

Gods don't really make appearances in my Campaign, other than in legends, and possibly in disguise. Simply because I don't like the concept of gods. They're already showing all their cards. If you're standing face to face with Lolth, you have a pretty good idea that she'll one up you somehow. And like I said, even if most people believe in the gods, and maybe even take divine magic as proof of their existence, there's also the fact that arcane magic could do pretty much everything divine magic could, any miracle could just be an illusion. So what can be perceived as proof of their existence, could also be perceived as proof that they don't exist. Another reason for my gods not to show themselves so openly, is that it would invite their enemies to do the same, and wreck havoc on the planet in a larger scale than any stray summoned demon ever could. Plus, as a PC, the only fun way to interact with a god is defeating them, I would say.

Dossta:
I see an opportunity here for you to use the Seal to your advantage.  Perhaps the gods *did* communicate and were more-or-less visible in the lives of mortals before the Seal was placed (back during Arthurian times).  However, they were locked away or prevented from extending their reach in the world afterward (maybe Merlin had something to do with that).

Now that the Seal is broken, the gods could potentially resume their old roles and schemes.  They might start interfering with life on "Earth" in a big way, and there might be many who resent the intrusion.  I can imagine that a lot of religions held to a certain doctrine, in absence of divine guidance.  Now that the boss has returned, however, the Church may find that they were doing something wrong the whole time.  Or perhaps the deity just wants to shake things up, replace people in key positions within the Church.  There could be huge splits within the larger religions -- between those that accept the return of the god, and those who are losing power because of it.

For many, this would be akin to the Second Coming, happening for all the worlds' religions, all at once (oh, so *that's why Jesus never came back :P).  Gods would reward those who stayed faithful, or try to regain control in places where they had been forgotten.  Whatever changes had occurred in their absence might be very displeasing to them, so expect the rites, ceremonies and beliefs to be rolled back to the way they were over a thousand years prior.  Old forms of punishment and reward would be reinstated.

In other words, it would be complete and utter chaos.  Perfect fodder for a campaign :D

What the gods actually *are* and whether or not they are worthy of worship is another matter altogether.  No answers here, but I'll leave you with a couple of questions: how powerful are these beings, really, if they can be sealed away like all the other mythical creatures?  And where do they come from in the first place?

Darkstand:

--- Quote from: Dossta on August 26, 2013, 03:30:11 PM ---I see an opportunity here for you to use the Seal to your advantage.  Perhaps the gods *did* communicate and were more-or-less visible in the lives of mortals before the Seal was placed (back during Arthurian times).  However, they were locked away or prevented from extending their reach in the world afterward (maybe Merlin had something to do with that).

Now that the Seal is broken, the gods could potentially resume their old roles and schemes.  They might start interfering with life on "Earth" in a big way, and there might be many who resent the intrusion.  I can imagine that a lot of religions held to a certain doctrine, in absence of divine guidance.  Now that the boss has returned, however, the Church may find that they were doing something wrong the whole time.  Or perhaps the deity just wants to shake things up, replace people in key positions within the Church.  There could be huge splits within the larger religions -- between those that accept the return of the god, and those who are losing power because of it.

For many, this would be akin to the Second Coming, happening for all the worlds' religions, all at once (oh, so *that's why Jesus never came back :P).  Gods would reward those who stayed faithful, or try to regain control in places where they had been forgotten.  Whatever changes had occurred in their absence might be very displeasing to them, so expect the rites, ceremonies and beliefs to be rolled back to the way they were over a thousand years prior.  Old forms of punishment and reward would be reinstated.

In other words, it would be complete and utter chaos.  Perfect fodder for a campaign :D

What the gods actually *are* and whether or not they are worthy of worship is another matter altogether.  No answers here, but I'll leave you with a couple of questions: how powerful are these beings, really, if they can be sealed away like all the other mythical creatures?  And where do they come from in the first place?

--- End quote ---

This was more or less both what I had in mind and my worst fear about the issue.
My thinking is that the Gods still existed, but were prevented from interacting with the world by the same thing that sealed the other worlds away from reality - and magic with it. Hrmmm... that does make the idea of a religion hating magic kinda self destructive though.

Gossamer:
2 Ideas;

The sun used to run counter-clockwise around the world, and that somehow let magic into the world. When magic returns, the world's rotation will start to slow down until it reverses.

Like the ozone layer, a kind of anti-magic layer exists somewhere beyond the moon, for whatever reason that layer has now started to wane and letting magic through. This also implies that it could be true in our reality, since noone has ever travelled beyond the moon.

In both of these cases, the moon could somehow act like a lock or a seal, somehow.

Darkstand:

--- Quote from: Gossamer on September 01, 2013, 12:43:26 PM ---2 Ideas;

The sun used to run counter-clockwise around the world, and that somehow let magic into the world. When magic returns, the world's rotation will start to slow down until it reverses.

Like the ozone layer, a kind of anti-magic layer exists somewhere beyond the moon, for whatever reason that layer has now started to wane and letting magic through. This also implies that it could be true in our reality, since noone has ever travelled beyond the moon.

In both of these cases, the moon could somehow act like a lock or a seal, somehow.

--- End quote ---

Interesting idea... the moon as a Lunar Seal. Maybe the Sealing happened on the moon, with Merlin and a few other mages enacting the ceremony on the moon, away from prying eyes. This could be how a ARCANE seal could stop the flow of magic without defeating itself. They would have to get there through the other planes (a trip through the Fey realm perhaps... ) and once the ceremony was done, they could not get back.
Perhaps they were, themselves, made into a part of the seal (a living contradiction; a arcane creation blocking off magic from earth and the mages who created it living forever locked away from time). When the seal broke (what broke it is still undefined) they could have been released, and make their way back to earth... eventually.
Could also become important if the PC's need to get to the original Seal itself for some reason, and divination points straight up...

It does raise the question of, from a magical point of view what is unique about the moon. Werewolves and other creatures are already known to respond to it...

For the record, I am going with the 'gods silent' method for this game, and save the ideas about religion for next time. There is enough to play with with magic alone, I don't want to muddy the waters this time. The Church IS going to be highly anti-magical, will probably give the faithful abilities to Dispel magic.

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