Author Topic: What makes a good BM religion?  (Read 14361 times)

Foxglove

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
    • View Profile
What makes a good BM religion?
« Topic Start: January 16, 2013, 07:32:06 AM »
I'm curious about what people think makes for a good, interesting and fun religion in Battlemaster. What qualities of a religion would enhance the game for you, or what would make a religion fun for you? Or, if you tend to avoid the religions, what do you think the in-game faiths get wrong (in terms of not being fun for you)?

Do the religions your characters follow actually effect their actions in the game and become an active part of who they are, who they ally with, and who they war against?

Norrel

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 841
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #1: January 16, 2013, 07:56:40 AM »
Do the religions your characters follow actually effect their actions in the game and become an active part of who they are, who they ally with, and who they war against?

Yes. Religions that proclaim that they do not get involved with politics and are never aggressive are meaningless. If your religion doesn't impact the way my character acts, your religion might as well not exist. Most people prefer religions that abide their RL sensibilities though.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • Exalted Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 8220
    • View Profile
    • BattleMaster
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #2: January 16, 2013, 09:47:49 AM »
A good religion has, first and foremost, enemies. If it doesn't create any conflict, then it doesn't have a purpose.

Almost all BM religions are way, way, way too forgiving of heathens, heretics and people of different belief. Throughout RL history, I think it can be safely said that religion is the #1 source of violent death, war and conflict.


Draco Tanos

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 1128
    • View Profile
    • Nova Roma
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #3: January 16, 2013, 09:59:08 AM »
Unfortunately, Tom, religions that do that in BM tend to get destroyed by those that do not.

Anaris

  • BM Dev Team
  • Exalted Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 8491
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #4: January 16, 2013, 03:46:07 PM »
More accurately:

Religions in BM that try to create conflict right out of the gate die on the vine. No one wants those religions around, unless they're created as a state religion. Trying to create one in a realm that already has any religions in it will be nearly impossible. Trying to get one into a realm other than the one it was created in similarly.

If you want to create religious conflict in BM, you first need to have a strong, established religion. Then you declare that another religion is evil, or a realm over there (that also happens to be refusing you entry) has blasphemed against the True Gods, and all the faithful must rise up against them. Or even that Duke Nogoodnik of Keplerstan is a heretic who must be executed.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10849
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #5: January 16, 2013, 04:08:20 PM »
In order for a religion to have staying power, and keep the interest of its members, it has to get involved in what is important to them. I.e. politics and war. You have to choose how you do this very carefully. Too aggressive, and you will attract too many enemies too quickly.

Religions that try to exist solely on RP find their members bored too quickly, and uninvolved. The rich, diverse religion is a labor of love of the founder, and no one else really cares.

You have to give your people something to do, and a goal for which to strive. That's how you get them involved. You do need the religious "window dressing", but it can be useful as a way to drive external conflict.

But no matter what, relate it back to what is important to your members: war and politics.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Kwanstein

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #6: January 16, 2013, 07:02:33 PM »
What I would like to see, is for the SA realms to declare war on all heretics and heathens. Then there'd be an epic, cataclysmic, war of extinction. Realms with both SA and rival religions present would be torn in half; massive armies would assemble and march from all corners of Dwilight; everyone would be involved and everything would be at stake. Would be lots of fun.

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10849
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #7: January 16, 2013, 08:02:27 PM »
Most likely such a declaration would cause SA to fracture into several small, impotent factions. There simply not enough support from the nobility for that sort of thing. Too many members claim that SA has no right to interfere with the religious rights of other nobles and their commoners.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Norrel

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 841
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #8: January 16, 2013, 08:44:52 PM »
I think the main issue is that religions don't really *do* anything, mechanics wise. Loyalty to a realm's secular politics almost always comes first because it produces men, gold, prestige. Religions gain nothing from expansion and thus gain nothing from risk.

BardicNerd

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
  • Evans Family
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #9: January 16, 2013, 08:49:45 PM »
Throughout RL history, I think it can be safely said that religion is the #1 source of violent death, war and conflict.
That is a rather simplistic and almost certainly incorrect statement.

But I think the reason why it sometimes looks that way does explain in large part why we lack much of the same conflict in BM -- historically, religion was much more closely tied to (secular) politics and money than it is in much of the world today and than it is in BM.  To some extent it is in SA, though not as much, I think, as it historically was in BM's time period.

This is partially due to our modern conceptions of religion -- we think religion should be about well, religion, when historically it often was not, and partially, I think, because most religions in BM are fairly small and don't have the sort of dynamic that Christianity and Islam did with secular rulers in the middle ages.  When SA does something, people care, so it's worth it for secular rulers to try to influence it and be seen as supporters of it.  Most other religions in BM just don't have that kind of island-wide influence, and so there isn't much reason for a ruler of a realm to give them much support.

Without secular politics getting involved in religion, there just isn't that much to drive conflicts -- a few purely religious conflicts started by the odd true believer here and there, but those were historically rare.  And those that do happen will probably be small, and quite possibly limited because no secular authority supports it, and so actual war is possible.

Which of course means that it is somewhat a chicken and egg problem, but there you have it.

Though yes, if there was more mechanics-wise to be gained from religion, rulers might see more benefit in getting involved, and then want to spread the religion so they gained more benefits, or to gain favor with the religious head, who might then cut them in for a larger share of the benefits. . . .

Chenier

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 8120
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #10: January 17, 2013, 12:50:47 AM »
In order for a religion to have staying power, and keep the interest of its members, it has to get involved in what is important to them. I.e. politics and war. You have to choose how you do this very carefully. Too aggressive, and you will attract too many enemies too quickly.

Religions that try to exist solely on RP find their members bored too quickly, and uninvolved. The rich, diverse religion is a labor of love of the founder, and no one else really cares.

You have to give your people something to do, and a goal for which to strive. That's how you get them involved. You do need the religious "window dressing", but it can be useful as a way to drive external conflict.

But no matter what, relate it back to what is important to your members: war and politics.

The Blood Cult managed to accumulate significant power, despite being clearly antagonistic. It got up due to intensive OOC recruiting, though (IRC and friends), and pretty much fell when most of these people got tired of BM as a whole. It also got many strong members purely IC, but these people seemed somewhat more prone to getting themselves persecuted, and were less likely to return if deported or make a new character if executed.

One of the problems, I think, is that nobody wants to, overnight, become enemies with a bunch of people they don't know, especially for so little return. Because really, when you join a religion, you get your reputation tied up to the religion's, and you accept yet another guy above you against which no rebellion is possible. If it's an antagonistic religion, it's likely not an official state religion, and as such probably has limited means to repay your sacrifices. So what incentives are there for players to join such religions?

I think the number one cause of the lack of hostile religions is that characters have no interests in joining hostile religions to begin with.

Penchant

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #11: January 17, 2013, 04:52:34 AM »

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10849
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #12: January 17, 2013, 04:58:25 AM »
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Indirik

  • Exalted Emperor
  • ******
  • Posts: 10849
  • No pressure, no diamonds.
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #13: January 17, 2013, 04:59:54 AM »
...expanding your religion really gives no benefit to any but those on top...
Then you joined a sucky religion. (Or at least one with [email protected]#$ty leaders.) Religious leaders should focus on being of benefit to their members. Gotta keep the members happy so they stay and help out.
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving.

Penchant

  • Honourable King
  • *****
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: What makes a good BM religion?
« Reply #14: January 17, 2013, 05:11:51 AM »
Then you joined a sucky religion. (Or at least one with [email protected]#$ty leaders.) Religious leaders should focus on being of benefit to their members. Gotta keep the members happy so they stay and help out.
You might get promoted for making a temple, which could result in monthly grant or more debt is allowed. Otherwise what ways are there for a non-priest to expand faith? Convert nobles but the grants and allowed debt can also be bad as the gold has to come from somewhere so the more benefits they have the more they are going to want their members to donate. Gotta keep the, happy but other than giving gold, what is there to do? And if its just gold it's sucks either for the members for needing to donate a bunch to support the rewards or its asking a ton of gold from the religious leaders which results in people not wanting to be religious leaders.