Starting with questions

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Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:13 am

First musings to get things started:

Are player suggestions to have a realistic chance of actually making something happen? The existence of this forum would indicate that the admins are listening.

Are the religions IG or strictly forum RP?

Aztec religions are lethal. TN rules are not. Will someone sacrificed click a button and heal immediately with a transplanted heart?

What is required to sacrifice someone?

Will there be religious warfare?

What kind of religious facets are possible? Monotheism, heretics, fanatics, polytheism - and if that, from a list or anything goes?
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Post  PrincessMuin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:20 pm

My thoughts on this.. please add yours, all of us have equal say and knowledge in here.

chasca wrote:First musings to get things started:

Are player suggestions to have a realistic chance of actually making something happen? The existence of this forum would indicate that the admins are listening.

I have mailed LJS asking if they have an idea of what they will call Priests, Bishops and Archbishops in TN, IG, and will wait for his revert. If he says he will let us tell him, then we will suggest.

Are the religions IG or strictly forum RP?

There will have to be IG religion when we reach level 3 (details will be got when LJS is back and reverts).. till then I guess it will be only RP.

Aztec religions are lethal. TN rules are not. Will someone sacrificed click a button and heal immediately with a transplanted heart?

Good question, my thought is we make people slaves or indulge only in bloodletting rituals with IG characters, limiting our "ripping the heart out" to NPCs unless someone requests such an RP themselves.

What is required to sacrifice someone?

Discuss? The encyclopedia says people often participated in bloodletting voluntarily, as a ritual. But sacrifices were usually of slaves or captives, the stronger and more well-known the better. I REALLY am not comfortable with the idea of sacrifcing REAL players in RP, but will go majority decision in here.

Will there be religious warfare?

The religion IS war, I guess, let's hear some other thoughts on this as well.

What kind of religious facets are possible? Monotheism, heretics, fanatics, polytheism - and if that, from a list or anything goes?

Heretics/Fanatics would not be applicable for a religion like this which worships nature, because everything stems for nature. You are either weak or strong, and that's it. Monotheism also would not be applicable because of the diversity in deities. (I mean we could go into an ooc discussion of how the source of all spirituality is one, but that is out of place, I guess, in a game discussion.)

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:37 pm

Of course, we can have a religion similar to the Universal Roman and Aristotelian Church here, with new imagery and titles..
  • Deacon -> Priest
  • Town Priest -> Clan High Priest
  • Church -> Temple
  • Weekly mass -> Weekly sacrifice
  • ..


..and be done rather fast. However, the church in RK that I see is not really captuing the hearts and minds of people, so this would mean losing an opportunity. I suppose we will wait and see what LJS feels about this. Seeing the gods walk amongst us and participating in the discussion would be a very promising sign. =)

Strictly RP it is for now. When we do get someone to Priestess Path, I wonder if there will be something to do IG other than provide weekly mass x2. Or not.

Non-lethality means that people don't respect death, end up overproducing, and eventually go rogue or get bored and quit since the game is not open-ended, that is, you can't keep growing forever. This is something that has to be dealt with somehow. What I would wish to see is death that can be taken very seriously, even as far as sacrificed = eradicated. What makes one eligible for such is a trickier question. If someone is a fine enough roleplayer to volunteer, such a person is not the kind to be removed from the player gene pool. Perhaps, ingame dead means one can be captured. Captured and still IG dead can be sacrificed.

Unless we are to accept that being a L3 priestess is to be lethal in a mess with me and you mess with the gods sort of way. It's a LONG way to be one, and in RK involves clicking a button twice a week so that people can get free beer. Since Aztecs live and breathe religion there needs to be WAY more here. Mostly it is forum RP for sure but IG functions sanction it. This is what makes life hard for non-URAC religions in RK; no church usage and no IG relevance hurts credibility.

Religion is war.. ok in principle but what kind and how does this work in pratice? For there to be conflict, we need a battleground, a way to keep score, at least two (preferably more) sides to the struggle, and a way to conduct the struggle. For example, a few main gods and goddesses to choose amongst when reaching L1. Switching allegiance would be painful in some way, and the gods would draw strength from their followers and reward them in some way. Random events RK style certainly quality; not mood related but faith related and responding to the power of the god one follows. It can be a static bonus, or a chance, but significant enough to matter, and relevant to what you follow; for example, it would make no sense for someone to follow the god of agriculture unless one has fields. If you switch, for a while you follow none.. a time of religious uncertainty, meaning lost benefits The stronger the god, the better to dibs, but usually also spread amongst a wider populace which dilutes the effect. How does one convert..?

As for facets, what I mean specifically is this. If there is one god and everyone believes alike, the story ends right then and there. If anyone can believe how she wishes, once again the story ends and there is no way to continue the discussion. Weak vs strong is only one of the dimensions; another is With Us or Against Us, and the third is Holier than Thou. What you speak of is one way, pantheism.. we would worship everything, but since all is the same - stemming from nature - there is no real freedom of choice, and no relevant decisions to be made. This is no different from monotheism.

With a rich pantheon, it can mean for example that though the divine life force is the one and the same, the numerous deities give multiple ways to channel that energy. A farming community would place it on the fields, and it would show as a richer crop. Another community could worship the war god and the very same energy would make the worshippers more dangerous on the battlefield. A fanatic could say there is but one right way to worship and all others need to be eradicated. A heretic would feel different on some key matters, such as the necessity and manner of sacrifice.

I wonder how faith overall could work. My preference is that everyone generates faith points in worship, but can't / won't keep them all (unless L3 and a priestess?). The points give some sort of a benefit, such as the ability to bless a field. It could work like a pyramid scheme..

oh well, time to get off the soap box and let someone else speak. And wait to hear the word of the gods.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:52 am

Just one point which Condor mentioned, would be nice if accepted. When sacrificed, you cannot play as yourself anymore, but your son.. or re-incarnation, or whatever. In which case we come back to Chasca's point again, sacrifice must be voluntary or after serious crimes are committed. How serious? Discussion time again. study

Or could we pull of being true to history and have a set of duels, and the loser is sacrificed if "captured"? These duels would specify that the cost of losing would be to assume a new identity, maybe some people would be interested in a game with such high stakes.

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:57 am

Rules are called for here. Not really something we can set. IG dead would should be one condition. Definitely qualifies as "capture."
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:11 am

Yes, actually this needs a lot more thought and input.. come on, everyone! Smile

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:37 am

What to sacrifice.. one thing worth noting is that we will need to be more PG than Aztecs were.

Why and how..
Making the various gods distinctive in worship is also called for. We need not have millions.. seven would do just fine, or five. Something I considered once.. overall, when you please a god, some other gods might not be so happy about it.. and they would not forget. For example, you could have divine favor and divine distaste figures. for every god in the pantheon, ranging from -100 to +100 each. Every time you worship someone, the divine favor leaps quite a bit. Say +20. At the same time, another god gets 2 points of distaste for you and two more 1 points of distaste. A gift is soon forgotten, the next day the favor might only be +10 or so.. distaste, however, does not fade with time. The effective value is the sum of the two.

Of course, you could when you go to war offer services to a war death god and in times of peace to life god, getting +20 when you need it, but each time you do it the permanent figures increase. At some point you'll have -20 at distaste from each, and giving them a tapir only returns you to zero; +20 and -20.

To get rid of the bad values, you'd need to do penance. It does not give favor, but erases a point of disfavor permanently.

further.. there could be rank lists. You don't want to be the one gods like the least in your clan.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:28 pm

OMG numbers! KILL KILL KILL! Twisted Evil

I mean, please go on, it sounds great, of course I will be terribly confused till you make me a formula driven excel sheet... omg... mathematics..

Ok ok I am being evil. I'll shut up.

Shuts up.


Last edited by PrincessMuin on Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:45 am

I'll save excel work for That Other Game for now. Laughing

Here's an example. Let's say there are five gods - earth, fire, water, wind, and spirit. Seven is better but five shows the point just as well.

Jothlo the peasant decides to grow stuff. Gods don't care, so he gets no bonuses or penalties on anything. He gets married and has sex. Life's good.

With his wife pregnant, Jothlo sees a necessity to get a huge harvest, to feed the huge family of three - so he does an act of worship to the god of earth. After all, that's where the maize comes from. As a result, he gets a +20 bonus to his relationship with the earth; but the god of winds does not like it as earth binds air, and the god of spirit does not like it either, as earth worship is so material so they frown at his offering. What's worse, Jothlo gave them nothing.

Results:
x earth +20 / 0
x water 0 / 0
x fire 0 / 0
x spirit 0 / -1
x wind 0 / -1

The maize grows strong and true, and Jothlo is happy. However, new worship and new offerings from others cause Jothlo's offering to be gradually forgotten reducing him to earth 0 / 0 again. The grudges of spirit and wind remain forever until penance is made. Occasionaly Jothlo loses plants to cold winds and birds that eat the seeds, and his son is born a bit simple.

x earth 0 / 0
x water 0 / 0
x fire 0 / 0
x spirit 0 / -1
x wind 0 / -1

With his wife pregnant again, Jothlo takes no chances. He worships the god of spirit for a change, getting a +20 temporary bonus less one of distaste for a net bonus of +19. Earth and Fire do not like spirit magic so Jothlo gets a permanent -1 distaste penalty on both.

x earth 0 / -1
x water 0 / 0
x fire 0 / -1
x spirit +20 / -1 = 19
x wind 0 / -1

Jothlo's daughter is eventually born, fine and true and beautiful, and Jothlo is enthralled by the girl so that he starts neglecting the worship of the god of spirit. Eventually, his offering is forgotten and he's at these values:

x earth 0 / -1
x water 0 / 0
x fire 0 / -1
x spirit 0 / -1
x wind 0 / -1

Then his fields start turning sour, birds eat the seeds, his dog considers him a burglar and bites him in the leg. When a shed burns down, Jothlo notices that everything goes wrong except that there is still fish in the river.. so he starts fishing, and makes an offering to the god of water, which annoys earth (eroded by water) and fire (obviously). But he does get a lot of fish for a while.

x earth 0 / -2
x water +20 / 0
x fire 0 / -2
x spirit 0 / -1
x wind 0 / -1

When his wife gets pregnant again, Jothlo takes no chances.. he offers penance to the god of spirit, rather than an offering.

x earth 0 / -2
x water 0 / 0
x fire 0 / -2
x spirit 0 / 0
x wind 0 / -1

So; you can get a big bonus with an offer, but it does not last, and causes permanent penalties in the relationship with other gods. Or you can buy the permanent penalties off one point at a time with penance The best permanent status is 0 / 0 in each though; there is no permanent favor, and all disfavor is permanent. Gods are fickle with their favorites, and they sure can carry a grudge.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Nexcoyotl on Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:11 am

Aztec religion was not nature-based, persay, as one might say many of the northern tribes were, it was more everything based. Further, the philosophy of the state "sponsored" (perhaps more accurately, associated) religion varied in some key ways from the religous beliefs as held by the scholars, priests, and philosophers (I need to research this more, but I have heard the Aztec schools of thought actually had more philosophical theory/documents/etc... than even the ancient greeks). We have to consider if we want that to play in.

As for the OOC discussion about the source of all spirituality, etc... I think that is a) entirely appropriate for this game, as I think Tribal Nations offers us an exquisite opportunity to expand our knowledge, philosophies, and general intellectual capability and this is a good way and b) that was a major philosophical concept of the Aztec religion (Teotl).

I think Heretics and Fanatics would be applicable. A heretic defies the state sponsored religion and pantheon and won't accept it. Fanatics may devote themselves to one god, and one god alone, which could set back society by upsetting the balance of the gods. Aztec morality was based on the concept that the moral world was like a sharp mountain or spearhead - one tried to stay on the top, but getting to far off to one 'side' (i.e. forgoing balance in life) was a way to 'fall off into the darkness'. Fanaticism, by its very definition, is an imbalance (tilting to much to belief in one concept, one action, one idea) - immoral - and thus would be discouraged by the religion. Naturally there can be 'favoritism' towards a god or ideal... but it becomes a slippery slope. Monotheism could be done, however that puts a big red 'sacrifice me' sign on you if you follow it...

If RP opportunity opens itself to sacrifice a real RP player, do it. If not, don't.

Religous war, I think, could be encouraged by groups devoted to one particular god who struggle for supremacy amongst themselves. Not dedicated in a fanatic sense, mind, but dedicated enough to justify 'sides'. Otherwise it just gets settled through flower wars or merely clan rivalries (one clan has done enough to mine that we wouldn't mind feeding the gods with it, I know). This could even be done through RP, but it would be nice to see some extra options in the transcendental menu potentially... I think there was one thing, and I haven't even looked to see if I could find it in the new game system.

Limits do exist. They're lose but they do exist. There is an official pantheon. There are official concepts. There is a defined morality. Its weird to our globalized, western, 21st century minds, but its there. It may take a bit to recreate it, but I for one think that would be an awesome opportunity to attempt to understand a culture that is radically different from the type that has, at this point, dominated the modern world and our society.


As for numbers, I would oppose them. The Aztecs, time wise, were pretty specific but I don't think they would label that idea with numbers, its implying a division which is really a misconception of human perception really... Its a more general thing, to many subtleties.

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:10 pm

These are great thoughts. I'm very much in agreement. (Again, will refain from going into explaining that worshipping nature does not mean worshipping the elements in their true form always, but have a God of Fertlity that one honours during harvest, a Snake King who people worship out of fear when they live in snake infested areas, a God of warmth and cold that people in deserts worship to pacify him to give a more temperate climate, etc etc. I somehow find a lot of similarity between some rituals I am used to and the Aztec ones, the one of tying blouses together at weddings and feeding each other, for example. It is a symbolism of always being together and taking care of each other. Also the presents to the bride's home on the morning of the wedding. Opposite ends of the world and so many similarities, interesting!)

Actually, just like real life, everyone defines and would define religion and spirituality differently. So even when they gather in groups, each group would come out with a different conclusion on what to follow, depending on who the most influential orators were in that group, and how many like minded were together.

So if we let each Clan decide on their own what they want to do (ask for Clan Forums and I'll create them, just didn't want too many empty places to begin with) we will have plenty of different thoughts and some may even be "fanatical" about their beliefs, and consider others "heretics". This would lead to great RP at the Province level.. an example being some who posted in the Main Forum, that she worshipped the Fertility Goddess and thus had no interest in human sacrifice. (Of course she got the basic concept a bit wrong, but that's not the point.)

One caveat, we should have some sort of "common ground" somewhere at the Provincial level, because in Aztec land, the Priests were also the leaders of the Military more often than not, and so we must anticipate, when Armies come, Provinces warring against each other. At that time, a thread uniting the Clans would help. And alliances could be formed with other Provinces if we worshipped one or some common Gods, based on "common faith".

And lol, Nexo, some of us have globalised, 21st Century EASTERN minds.. hehe!

Wars by the way, were not just for "conflicting beliefs", they often just happened because Aztecs needed captives for sacrifice, and the stronger and more well known the victims were, the more pleased the Gods would be. That's why, now, Armed Groups will have every excuse to go out robbing people and make them into "slaves" or offer them as sacrifice.

How will we handle this IG and in RP? How much consent would we require from the victim? What else can be a REAL issue later?

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:32 am

I used the nature example simply to demonstrate the mechanics, not to suggest an elemental pantheon. Want something => sacrice to the right god at the right time, and for a while you will be favored by that god; but some or all others will be mildy annoyed it, and favors fades whereas annoyance is permanent. Getting back in the good graces of a god requires another offer; and favor and annoyance are not mutually exclusive. The numbers would also be invisible to the players, simply game mechanics. What Jochlo sees is that birds eat his seeds, his son is born a simpleton, and his daughter a sheer example of perfection. What the actual role of the gods in that is, if any, he could not know.

State associated religion that depends on a thinker or priest sounds very promising. Perhaps to the extent of, the state religion is that of the high priestess. It could be a fanatic's focus to one god, or the spear tip balance concept - or a heretic's something-else. There could be a few things that are deemed acceptable, and those one can do well or poorly (the slippery slope; or failing from a fanatical faith).

Monotheism should also mean a big 'sacrifice me' sign if you DO follow it, especially if you are a high priest and the general public does not like your faith.

Human sacrifice.. could there be non-player characters who are more of a fair game? That would be up to the gods of course.

Picking sides.. you'd get a benefit that depends on two things; your strongest faith in one god, or your weakest one. If you are a fanatic, you'd go for the former kind, all for one; if a balancer the latter, one for all. Anything else is worse, slipping into the dark.

Jihads.. two possible kinds; between groups or within a group?
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  juck on Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:48 am

IRL, highplaced aztec people offered themselves as a sacrifice. So that makes it easier for us Razz And we can simply use NPC's for a sacrifice.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:06 am

Er.. they offered their blood, not their lives...

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  juck on Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:35 pm

silent

Maybe we can use robbers or other criminals for sacrifice.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:45 pm

Now if you could convince a guy called Escuman to agree to being sacrificed.. hehehe!

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Tlaca on Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:21 am

I got a response.. his one-man unarmed revolt attempt was apparently a bug. Or so he says. He did not exactly say no to being sacrificed but seemed less than enthusiastic.
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:48 am

Ask him if he wants to come and do voluntary bloodletting (make a gash in his arm/leg and offer a bit of his blood to the Gods) as a penance and we will ask for the case against him to be dismissed. Wink


Last edited by PrincessMuin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Condor on Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:31 pm

Princess Muin wrote:I have mailed LJS asking if they have an idea of what they will call Priests, Bishops and Archbishops in TN, IG, and will wait for his revert.

Current translation goes something like this:

High Priest
Grand High Priest
Exalted Priest..


Other terms:
-Tribal Council of the Faithful
- In order to appoint a High Priest, you have to have two High Priests at the same place. You must also have the explicit consent of the Exalted High Priest.

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:44 pm

And what about "Mass"? Sacrifice? Question

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Condor on Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:29 pm

It says "ceremony" I think

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Baiboe on Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:39 am

Before this goes on, Quetzalcoatl didn't approve of human sacrifices, just animal.

Translations

Mass - Ceremony
Deacon - Acolyte
Priest - Priest
Church - Temple
Archdiocese of (Diocese) - (Religion)'s (Diocese) Precinct?
Archbishop - Tlamacazqui
Diocese Council - Tlatoani

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Choklat on Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:58 am

I'll start with a really thick question - who created this forum? TN admins? Embarassed

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Re: Starting with questions

Post  Demonight on Mon May 25, 2009 6:21 pm

sacrifice in Aztec culture was usually an honor
there a specific sort of sacrifice that traps the persons soul so they may never rest...
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Re: Starting with questions

Post  PrincessMuin on Mon May 25, 2009 6:49 pm

Looks at Demo and waits to hear more...

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Re: Starting with questions

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