mfbrandi Posted April 30 Report Share Posted April 30 Spun off from this in the Real-world Inspirations thread, as to take it further there would dilute that thread. 11 hours ago, mfbrandi said: So where did it all go wrong for Gloranthan religion? 8 hours ago, svensson said: It all 'went wrong' in the Godtime with the advent of competing gods of different Runic associations and pantheons. Sorry, it is my fault for being sarcastic. (What, again?) I meant: where did it all go wrong in the minds of the Earthly creators of Gloranthan religion? We had before us an example of a culture whose religion was not dogmatic, not priest-ridden, not obsessed with the life to come, not in charge of morality, and didn’t see gods as figures to emulate (so we could have them behaving very badly indeed) — but did we make the PCs’ religion like that? Nosirree, Bob! We had a bunch of jihadis/crusaders who’d cheerfully murder their own family members if they were square pegs — “Sorry, buddy, wrong rune. Say goodnight.” Still, that needn’t be fatal to MGF: no one plays a Zorak Zorani (or in that other game, a Cthulhu cultist) under the impression that their character or their character’s religion is pleasant, admirable, or sane. We all like a bit of satire of religion, and in Psycho, Norman Bates was clearly the best part. But there seems to be a tension in the presentation of Glorantha: on the one hand, the Nysalorean illuminates are right: the warring sides in Glorantha don’t really have a casus belli — “These people and their gods are all crazy. Why can’t we all just get along? Stop choking me!” — still, it looks like fun, I’m gonna hit something; on the other hand, there is an intolerable hole-which-is-not-a-hole in the world — Earth or Glorantha? In this person’s mind, probably both — and we must fill it with blood; Orlanth is a stand-up chap, and anyone who doesn’t think so can duke it out with Robert Bly. I get the feeling — maybe wrongly — that some people want Orlanthism/the Lightbringer religion to be acceptable as an IRL religion of the religion-must-tell-you-how-to-lead-your-life stripe. But some presentations of Orlanth make one think that one of these must be true: it was written by a crazy person; it is satire and we are supposed to be in on the joke; it is a joke at our expense. If you don’t believe me, take a peek at this — it must be stressed — no-longer-canon description of the big O: Spoiler Orlanth is the vital motive force of the universe. He is active and works in complete harmony with his wife Ernalda, who is passive. All active people worship Orlanth. Like Orlanth, men are active. Thus, all Orlanth worshippers are men and all men worship Orlanth … He is the source, protector, and maker of all that [the Heortlings] do. They follow his examples … and uphold his virtues … he is also the force of responsibility … people must take responsibility for their actions if the world is to be a good one … He made the laws that govern people, societies, and the cosmos so that everything would know its proper place. — Thunder Rebels, p. 209 Charity would lead us to go for option : it is a joke, and we are in on it. But (a) there has been so much effort over the years to try to get us to play this kind of awful person (i.e. an Orlanthi) and — I think — (b) some effort lately to make PC religion more PC, and that throws us back to our dilemma, right? Are Orlanthi virtues and religion a put-on or wishful thinking? But the Greeks offer us a way out: offer the right sacrifices, don’t knock the penises off the herms, but whatever you do, don’t imitate Zeus — he is a thoroughly bad lot. If the player characters’ religion doesn’t come with any morality, then it doesn’t have to come with a morality acceptable to moderns. The characters — and the players — can be moral (if that’s their bag) without having Orlanth tell them what that looks like or modelling it for them. ———————————————————————— PS: I don’t know whether anyone this side of the Atlantic read Edith Hamilton. I must confess, I had never heard of her, but if there is one thing that I know, it is that I know nothing. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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