While we're talking about the subject of constructing religions, I'd like to bring up the concept of the Creed. The creed is nothing more than a simple statement of the religion's beliefs, meant to be recited. If you cannot write a creed for your monotheistic religion, it probably needs work on internal consistency. Creed examples:
The Nicene Creed summarizes the essential beliefs of Christianity, and the creed is shared by the Catholic Church and most modern liturgical churches. Originally written in Greek by a full council of Bishops at Nicea, it is as follows:
'We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.'
The underlined words are accepted only in Western churches, and represent a source of significant theological contention. If one were to dismantle the Nicene Creed, one could reconstruct a church very similar in intent to the Catholic Church, despite the similarity or dissimilarity of rituals, and the church would be instantly recognized by any Christian who entered it as Christian. Other important creeds to the christian faith are the Apostole's Creed and the Athanasian Creed, though the Athanasian has largely fallen into disuse.
Now, by writing such a creed, a belief-statement, we can effectively write an entire religion, and the behaviour of our priests will then depend on how we view the creed through the interpretive light of a single person.
A declaration of faith for the Cult of the Dreamer, then, might be as follows:
'I believe in the True God Sogna,
not of this world,
but of the next.
I believe in the Truth of the Dreaming,
the mortal Glimpse of the next world.
I believe in the Voice of Dreams,
the words the Lord of the Dreaming
I believe in the passage of man,
From the dreams of parents,
to the dreams of self,
to the Dreams of the Lord.
I belive in the illumination of dreams,
in the end of the dreams of the false ones,
in the bringing of the True Dreams.
I believe in the dreams of the Disciples,
through which all dreams may be Illuminated,
and through which this world may be brought into accordance with the next.
Subject to deconstruction, our 'Dreamer's creed' establishes the following as tenets of the faith:
First, that there is only one god, Sogna, and that he is not to be seen as a part of the mortal world. Second, that Dreams are a view of the world of Sogna. Third, that Sogna may speak to mortal man by dreams. Fourth, that Dreams are the source, substance, and end of all life. Fifth, (and this makes the religion 'dangerous') that others must be shown the truths above. Sixth, that those Sogna speaks to are the ones whom have been chosen to perform the will of Sogna. In one chanted prayer, then, the tenets of faith are taught, and the church of this god is established.
Yeah, so, uh, I love religion in games. It adds an entirely new level of life to a culture, a society, where their beliefs, hopes, dreams, and fears are encapsulated.
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? Responses (13)
Interesting points, must be considered.
I once had to come up with actual words for every priest spell I used in one game I played. I got a lot of information reading on ancient Gods and ritual practices. This is a wonderful idea and I will definitely use this to flesh my religions. I have codes of conduct but nothing like this. Kudos Siren wonderful job.
Now, if by chance you had a few links to such resources, it might be interesting...
...and here it was actually done! Okay, not words for spells, but actual prayers.
This should not have fallen to the wayside and needs to be resurrected and added to.
We need creeds people...
Updated: Edited this into a scroll for ease of addition of further creeds.
Tools for the GM toolbox; this is one of those things that can add both vitality and depth to a game world.
Creeds are harder than prayers. Prayers of Our Faiths
Creeds take more effort as they are effecitvely a mission statement for the religion or sect. It also takes into consideration the mindset of the believers.
Still this is a worthy thread and needs to be bumped
Bumpage. You have a religion in your game world (unless you're playing in Kerren). Your religion needs a creed. Polytheism isn't an excuse, you just need to have more than one creed for each of the deities in your campaign, because inevitably there are those who 'only' worship said deity.
Useful for creating faiths in gameworlds.
Really darn good idea. Since each creed is hard, to make it would be excellent for collaboration to create a nice resource here. Perhaps as full subs linked to this one, so they can be voted on appropriately.