The world was created by the interflow of the cosmic forces. The First one is distant and not a "god" in any sense. In the spiritual turbulance of the cosmic forces, spirits of great power were created. Many call these spirits Gods. While they are things to be respected, they need not be worshiped.
Pandjit was a magi and philospher several hundred years ago. He used meditation, prayer (focused) dance, and soul access to determine the nature of the universe. He discovered a form of magic which did not require empowerment from any so called God or powerful spirit. This magic provided a strong degree of defense against the powers of the so called dieties and enhancement of the mind and body.
He discovered the re-incarnation of souls, that the Gods could only manipulate the destiny of a soul... rather than created it. Everything occured in accordance to the interplay of cosmic forces. It was the contemplation of the cosmic forces that lead to "Great Understanding". The greater ones understanding, the more a person could manipulate the world around them.
The Movement his discovery created threw down the Priest Kings/ Wizard Kings (secular sorcerry was actually just empowerment by spirits that did not require worship, just barter and exchange). New, more secular, rulers were installed. After the Removal, the movement lost momentum. The various leaders in the movement touted their version of Pandjit's teachings (and associated fighting techniques) were the best. This fragmented the Movement, into dozens of sects supported by schools that taught their "way".
Anyone who wishes to be considered "On the path (to Great Understanding)" simply declares themselves. One should be able to back up ones claims by performing feats requiring "Great Undersanding". These feats and the philosphy behind them are taught at a variety of schools and retreats. While most of the schools teach martial arts in addition to the various mental techniques and philosphy, some school simply teach philosphy and the occasional non martial mental technique.
Most schools of thought/ technique have their own "uniform". It is normally a shaved or partially shaved head with a painted tattoo, but some schools have uniforms as well.
This is more of an inspiration piece than something you should be using directly; unless you want to create a campaign setting around it.
The effects of Pandjit's teachings will of course vary by tastes and game systems used. There are many options. Ideally a mental magics system or psionics would be the best fit. Mind powers, illusions, telepathy, telekinesis, various clairsentiences, etc, etc, would be the order of the day. Add to these some physical adept abilities (magics focusing on the body) then you would get everything you would need for this.
The next best fit would be an elemental magical system. This would be a fundemental universal force view of things. Add to this some things for the body, channeling the effect into the body would be an good compliment to the standard generate/ manipulate/ remove elemental powers.
You could use just about any other theme for a magical system as well. A system of force sorcery, (solid energy - shield, blast, and other solid forms) would be great compliment to the church.
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? Responses (6)-6
This should have a 'handle with care' label.
I get this whole India/ Hindu vibe from this. Again, if this is your cosmology, it will effect the entire campaign. This defines the campaign. It also changes the way most games structure magical powers.
Updated information of piece.
An interesting concept and useful if you were defining a new campaign of magic.
Seems like there would be a great potential for con-artists among the supposed 'followers'. Nice story.
'An inspiration piece' I wonder what piece of RPG focused work isn't supposed to be inspiration.
Overall, this is rather a week repackaging of eastern philosophy This take on the secular origins of taoism confucianism and how they differed from other deity based philosophies of ancient times brings nothing new to the table. A more inspirational work have been a fact based essay eastern philosophy. The mind over matter skills that are eluded to in this post are not developed thus all it does is repackage historic events and doesn't build on them well. I also found the intro clunky.