I just got done writing the chapter on Religion for Faith & Demons: The Rising core setting guide. Due to the era of the Dark Ages, a lot of religions were influx due to the spread of Christianity. As such, a lot of old “pagan” beliefs were being replaced by supposed true Christian beliefs and the old religion was turning into child’s folklore. However, there were still pockets of believers and entire towns and tribes still clung to their old beliefs. With this in mind, religion becomes a part of the foreground considering all the deities that can be chosen during character creation.
To support this theory, six religions are included in this core setting guide: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Germanic Paganism, Shinto and Slavic Paganism. This allows the characters to choose their deities as is appropriate for their chosen Nation. In addition, it adds to the historical aspect (and mythological aspect) of Faith & Demons: The Rising. For with Faith in yourself and your deity, you can rise above evil and stop the armies of chaos (comprised of undead, demons and their controllers).
Each religion or deity has an associated list of Aspects, Duties and Sins to correspond with the faithful followers (especially Priests who channel their power through their deity). These mechanics not only create associations with spellcasters and what powers their deities are associated with, but also with the religious motivations of your character while fleshing out their background. This includes good and evil deities.
Here is a preview of two such deities.
Perun is the god of thunder and lightning. He is the highest of the Slavic deities and additionally attributed to fire, mountains, oak, weapons and war. He is described as a rugged man with a copper beard, riding a chariot and carrying an axe. Perun uses his axe to rid the land of evil people and spirits.
- Aspects: Purity, strength, willpower
- Duties: Protect the land from the forces of evil.
- Sins: (Minor) Failing to punish unlawful deeds. (Major) Allowing allies to become tainted by chaos. (Mortal) Succumbing to the lure of evil.
Veles is the god of earth, waters and the underworld. He is associated with dragons, livestock, magic, music, wealth and trickery. He is the stark opponent of Perun and considered an evil god.
- Aspects: Heresy, destruction, wickedness
- Duties: Further the deeds of evil beings across the land.
- Sins: (Minor) Any orthodox behavior. (Major) Failing to prevent good from triumphing over evil. (Mortal) Conspiring with pious individuals.
Perun and Veles are essentially polar opposites (both Slavic deities) and can be used in a number of ways. Perun could be worshiped by champions of good, priests, paladin-types, crusaders, or any warrior dedicated to combating evil. Veles could be worshiped by necromancers, shamans, thieves, dark priests, tyrant nobles, sorcerers, witches or any number of characters who harness the power of chaos.
Watch for additional previews in the upcoming months as I get closer and closer to publication.