Monday, 4 March 2013

Fantasy Europe. Random religious convictions

Religious strife is very important in Fantasy Europe, so if you are randomly generating a character, it may be important to understand where they stand.
This is intended for non player characters and henchmen, but can be used for player characters as well, if the player is uncertain or wants a challenge.

There are three possibilities:
"The one true God"
"Defender of the Faith"

In addition, a character may be a heretic.

This system can easily be applied to any other religious system you use in your campaigns, of course.

First, roll 1D6 for the characters conviction in the dominant faith in his culture. For a barbarian, this would be Pagan, while a character from western civilization would have the true god as their dominant faith.

The roll is read to indicate strength of conviction. 5's and 6's indicate very strong, solid beliefs. 3's and 4's are significant beliefs, but not dominating, while a 1 or 2 indicates a lack of belief.

Next, roll for the other two faiths. This will give you 3 totals.
If the character is a follower of the dominant faith in the region (3-6), the scores for the other paths are read as levels of tolerance. A high score indicates strong tolerance or even admiration, while a low score indicates distrust, intolerance or even outright hostility. The bigger the difference in scores, the stronger the antipathy.

For example, a True God follower with a 5 in his own faith, and a 1 in pagan faith is likely to react with intense hostility to characters that are openly pagan.

If the roll for the dominant faith was a 1-2, the highest scoring of the remaining faiths is taken as the characters actual faith.

A character rolling 1's and 2's on all three faiths is assumed to be a non-believer, or simply a character of particularly strong pragmatism. Of course, such a character may still follow basic rituals and some belief structures as a matter of cultural background.

Any character that has a faith rated over a 2 has a 1 in 6 chance of being a heretic. This indicates the character follows a branch of the faith that is reasonably distinct, or even problematic. The characters alignment and background can help determine this.For pagans, heresy is generally a different cult than what would be found in the area.

Characters that are not heretics have a 1 in 6 chance of actually being subversives. In this case their true belief score in this faith is a 1, but they superficially have the original, rolled score.

Of course, this can be adapted to any other setting where religion is a key factor.

What do you think? Let me know!