Doing Religions Right in DCC

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The Valar by Dan Hainsworth https://www.etsy.com/shop/dthains
"The Valar" by Dan Hainsworth

Contents

Notes

Every role playing game that I have ever run into with the exception of Dogs in the Vineyard has done religions wrong in role playing games. These are my notes on how to get Dungeon Crawl Classic (DCC) closer to a religious system that works for a believer and a role player.

Religion in DCC

very role playing game that I have ever run into with the exception of Dogs in the Vineyard has done religions wrong in role playing games. This is my attempt to close several gaps. The first is the gap in Role Playing Games in General. The second is to close the gap in DCC. I believe that DCC addresses many of the gaps in role playing games already, but leaves open a huge hole in patrons and deities. This is my attempt to address these gaps.

The Deity

My view of a deity in a Role Playing Game is an NPC who serves the purpose of the story and provides power and limitations to those powers to magic users. These two aspects need to be balanced with the intention of allowing players to have fun.

I would also stress that the creation of a deity is probably something a player should work out with their Judge. I can see running through this set of rules focusing on a given mythology or religion and ending up with very different views of the same deity. These rules are not going to reproduce a complete cultural and religious framework, they are only there to help the player and the judge come up with answers to problems presented within the narrative.

Morality of Good and Evil

One of the first questions you need to address in building a religion and a deity for your game is the question of good vs. evil or order vs. chaos. In DCC the spectrum is law vs. chaos. This is a very post-modern approach to classifying religions which is under 75 years old. The more classical approach is good vs. evil when it comes to religious conflicts. The reason that law vs. chaos was introduced is that good vs. evil doesn’t really address the question of what makes something good or evil or what makes something lawful or chaotic.

Role players are not the only people who have attempted to address these questions. Psychologists and anthropologists have studied these questions for many years. The model presented below is a variation of Moral Foundation theory by Jonathan Haidt. It states that there are at least 6 major flavors of morality that are universal, and there are uncounted number of minor flavors. Everyone puts a different emphasis on these domains and collectively a Moral System codifies their practices and beliefs. Not everyone who follows a religion has the same mix of flavors, however over time as a group people within a religion tend to move towards a consensus regarding these different aspects.

Formally a moral system is the interlocking set of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technology, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate self-interest and make cooperation possible.

What we will attempt to do here is to use this theory to start to document the nuanced differences between two different deities within a DCC game.

With each moral foundation you will rank (+2, +1, 0)how the deity feels about that given aspect of morality. You will then give several examples of what provokes the deity to anger and why the deity values their position.

For an example, I will be using Manwë from Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

Description Manwë is King of the Valar and Morgoth and his wife Varda are the only ones who rival him in strength. No Valar stands above him in seniority. Varda, his spouse, and Manwë are bound in enduring love that knows no limits and gives each other strength and power that equates to more than the sum of their parts.

Manwë appears as a wise King bearded with white hair, clear skin and blue eyes. His robes are rich blue. He carries a blue scepter made of Sapphire.

Manwë’s powers are from the air, seeing, his voice, and his authority as the King of the Valar. Eagles are his friends.

Care or Empathy

Cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm.

Mammals have an unusually long period of development during which they are dependent upon their caretakers. Therefore, caretakers who were more sensitive to the needs and distress of their children were more likely to have children survive into adulthood. This sensitivity generalizes beyond our own children, and can be activated when we learn of other people’s children or even see artwork of animal babies that activate our urges to care and protect. This can be linked to anger toward the perpetrator of the harm.

Note: This domain is the primary domain for political progressives.

Manwë As King of the Valar, Manwë is keen on seeing that everyone reaches their full potential and purpose. This is the defintion of moral goodness for the Valar, to fufill the purpose for which you were created.

  • Care: +1
  • Harm: -1

Manwë wishes to see his followers cared for and not see harm come to them, however he is also a realist who takes Eru’s long view of things and allows for temporary harm in the service of some greater purpose.

  • Manwë does not like to see people take the easy way out.
  • Manwë does not like it when people deviate from their purpose
  • Manwë does not like it when people act do not consider their purpose or design when making decisions
  • Manwë likes it when people show empathy for others
  • Manwë likes it when people help others to understand their purpose in life

Fairness or Proportionality

Rendering judgment according to shared rules; opposite of cheating.

All social animals interact with each other, and while there are debates as to whether any non-human animals have a sense of “fairness”, there is little debate that the sense of fairness can be found across human cultures emerges well before the age of five, and possibly before the age of one and is related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. People monitor the behavior and reputations of others; those linked to cheating become less attractive as partners for future interactions.

Manwë As King of the Valar, Manwë is the final authority and judge within the Valar, there are other Valar whose job it is to judge and measure the Children of Eru.

  • Fairness: 0
  • Cheating: -1

Manwë will allow the other Valar to judge the children of Eru. However he abhors cheating as it is a way of taking the easy way out.

  • Manwë does not like to see people take the easy way out.
  • Manwë does not like it when people cheat each other

Loyalty or In-group

Standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal.

There are finite resources and coalitions compete for these resources. The coalitions that are most cohesive tend to prevail over less cohesive rival coalitions. The intuitions generated by this foundation generalize to brand loyalty, political partisanship, and sports fandom today. When people show signs of being disloyal, they are labeled as traitors and may be ostracized from their groups, or even put to death (e.g., treason is an offense punishable by death in the US). When people are loyal group members, they are extolled as virtuous (e.g., as patriots).

Manwë Insert something

  • Loyalty: 0
  • betrayal: -1

Insert something

  • Manwë does not like…
  • Manwë does not like…

Authority or Respect

Submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion.

This is the traditional model in role playing games of lawful vs. chaos where chaos is seen as subversion or the freedom to buck authority and being lawful is seen as following authority and their laws.

Primates evolved for life in hierarchies. Non-human alpha males are generally more like bullies than like leaders. Human alphas can go either way, but there can be little doubt that the psychology of authority is essential for understanding human political behavior. Groups and companies that have clear lines of authority, in which the authority is respected and seen as legitimate, generally function better than leaderless or normless groups, or groups with autocratic and domineering leadership. People who do not respect authorities or traditions are often ostracized or punished for insubordination.

Manwë Insert something

  • Authority: 0
  • Subversion: -1

Insert something

  • Manwë does not like…
  • Manwë does not like…

Sanctity or Purity

Abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation.

Pathogens and parasites threaten survival, and organisms that avoid contact with these contaminants are more likely to survive than their counterparts. The adaptive pressure to make accurate judgments about disease risk is especially strong for a group-living species whose diet includes scavenging, as seems to have been the case for early humans. The uniquely human emotion of disgust seems well-tuned as a “guardian of the mouth” for a highly social and omnivorous species. “Behavioral immune systems” shows that contamination concerns can be generalized to social practices including being fearful of dissimilar others (e.g., immigrants) and a rejection of people who do not live in accordance with the group’s sacred practices.

Manwë Insert something

  • Sanctity: 0
  • Degradation: -1

Insert something

  • Manwë does not like…
  • Manwë does not like…

Liberty or sovereignty

Disgust for the coercion by a dominating power or person; opposite of oppression.

Evolved in response to the adaptive challenge of living in small groups with individuals who would, if given the chance, dominate, bully, and constrain others. The original triggers would therefore include signs of attempted domination. Anything that suggests the aggressive, controlling behavior of an alpha male or female can trigger this form of righteous anger.

This foundation operates in tension with the Authority / Respect Foundation.

This domain is the primary domain of political libertarians.

Manwë Insert something

  • Liberty: 0
  • Oppression: -1

Insert something

  • Manwë does not like…
  • Manwë does not like…

Other Foundations

There are a great many other sorts of morality that can be measured. The above are the big ones. The following are examples of things that can also be measured as well within humans. Feel free to create your own.

Equity or Justice

Ensuring that equality instead of fairness is used to render justice according to shared rules. Opposite of Grace.

This is justice over judgment. This is law over forgiveness.

This foundation operates in tension with the Fairness or Proportionality and is a different take on the results observed in that domain. The focus here is insuring that the law is always kept.

Honesty or Integrity

Does communication match reality as seen from an impartial omniscient observer; opposite of Lying.

Bonds, Oaths, and Religion

In ancient times until today the idea of making promises and oaths was a part of everyone’s life. In the past there were heavy religious connotations to this. Today we can see this in court proceedings and the holding of public office where oaths are still made.

Parts of the Bond

Oath taking has a pattern that is still followed today. It consists of the following ideas.

The Preamble: Identifies the parties involved in the treaty, the author, the title of the sovereign party, and usually his genealogy. It usually emphasizes the greatness of the dominant party by mentioning their epithets as well.

The Prologue: Lists the deeds already performed by the dominant party on behalf of the vassal. This section would outline the previous relationship the two had up until that point with historical detail and facts. The dominant party would document previous events in which they did a favor that benefited the vassal. The purpose of this would show that the more powerful group was merciful and giving, therefore, the vassal should obey the stipulations that are presented in the treaty. It discusses the relationship between them as a personal relationship instead of a solely political or religion one. Most importantly in this section, the vassal is agreeing to future obedience for the benefits that he received in the past without deserving them.

The Stipulations: Terms to be upheld by the vassal for the life of the treaty; defines how the vassal is obligated and gives more of the legalities associated with the covenant.

The Divine witness to the treaty: These usually include the deities or powers that witness the sovereign party and the vassal, but put special emphasis on the deities of the vassal.

The Blessings and Curses: Blessings if the stipulations of the treaty are upheld and curses if the stipulations are not upheld. These blessings and curses were generally seen to come from the Sovereign instead of punishment by the dominant party.

The Provision for regular public statements of affiliation: Generally a public announcement of affiliation would be made, along with a stated regularity. This would be done to renew the bond and to make the public aware of the commitments.

The Sacrificial Meal: Both parties would share a meal to show their participation in the treaty. This meal will also most likely be associated the public statements of affiliation as well.

Types of Bonds

Parity

Both parties are equal and bound under the covenant

Laben and Jacob bind their families together as equals

Laben said, “Let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.”

So So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.

Jacob said to Laben, “Gather stones.”

And so they took stones and made a heap,

And they ate there by the heap.

Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, which means “A heap of Witnesses” in his language.

Jacob called it Galeed which means “A heap of Witnesses” in his language. Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.”

Together they called it “Watchpost”

Laben said “The Lord watch between us, when we are out of one another’s sight. If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”

Promissory

This is the type of covenant in which two parties establish a new relationship to guarantee future performance of stipulated obligations.

Josiah Restores the Temple

Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of the country and the capital to him. The king went up to the top of the mountain where the Temple was with all the men of country, and with him all the inhabitants of the capital—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And the King read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the Temple.

Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.

Patron

The more powerful party gives something to the lesser

Land Grant

Whosoever in later days of the brethren, sons, family, relatives, or household of Bit-Ada, there be anyone who shall rise up and shall put forward a claim concerning that land, or shall cause one to be put forward, or shall say: ‘The land was not a gift!’ or shall say ‘The seal was not sealed,’ whether he be a future head of the House or Bit-Ada, or a governor of Bit-ada, or a prefect of Bit-Ada, or an administrator of Bit-ada, or an official of Bit-Ada, or an agent or other future official of Bit-Ada who shall be appointed: and shall say: “The land was not measured,’ or shall say ‘The Seal was not sealed’ or shall present this land to a god, or shall appropriate it for himself, or its limit, boundary, or boundry-stone shall alter, or curtailment or diminution in land shall bring about, may all the jofs who are upon this stone, and all whose names are mentioned, curse him with a curse that cannot be loosened!”

Suzerainty

One party is more powerful than the other and demands things of the weaker

‘Treaty of Mursilis II of Hatti and Niqmepa of Ugarit’

The Preamble: Thus says the Sun, Mursilis, Great King, King of Hatti.

Prologue: As for you, Niqmepa, I brought you back to your country and made you sit as king on the throne of your father

Stipulations: The country to which I brought you back and you, Niqmepa, along with your country, you are my servants, and you, Niqmepa, from now on into the days of the future shall be faithful to the king of Hatti, your Lord, and the land of Hatti, and as you, Niqmepa, hold your person, your wife, your army and your country dear, so shall the person of the king, the sons of the king and the land of Hatti be forever dear to you. In days to come keep this pact of friendship with the king of Hatti, the sons of the king, the grandsons of the king and with Hatti!

Now come before the king at the appointed time! When I summon you to the court, come! And if you keep not the appointed time of your coming, report to me what hindered you!

To my friend you are friend and to my enemy you are enemy. If the king of Hatti is engaged with Hanigalbat or Egypt or the border of your country, which are enemies of the king of Hatti, or any of the countries which are near the border of your country which are friends of the king of Hatti, (Mukish , Aleppo, Nuhassi, turn about and make war on the king of Hatti as the king of Hatti is setting out on campaign, then, if you, Niqmepa, with your army (and) your chariots be not faithful with all your heart and if you do not do battle with all your heart, and if the son of the king or the chief general with his army and his chariots, Niqmepa, …against another country I send you in a campaign….

Divine witness to the treaty: Aruna [the God of the Sea], Ellel [the of the Sky, Treaties, and Oath], the gods of the Habiru [these are rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, bowmen, servants, slaves, and laborers that lived between the Hittites and the Egyptians], and Telepinus [the Hittite of farmers. A storm God who is worshiped at an Oak tree.] are witnesses to this sworn treaty, every word of the sworn treaty which this tablet records.

Blessings and Curses: If Niqmepa does not keep the words of this sworn treaty, may these divine oaths destroy Niqmepa himself utterly together with his wife, his sons, his city, his country and all his possessions. But if Niqmepa keeps the words of the sworn treaty which this tablet records, then may the divine oaths keep him together with his wife, his sons, his city, his country and all his possessions.

‘Treaty of Muwatallis and Alaksandus of Wilusa’

The Preamble:These are the words of the Sun, Muwatallis, the Great King, King of the land of Hatti, Beloved of the Weather-God

Prologue: When, in former times Labarnas, my grandfather, attacked the land of Wilusa, he conquered it. The Land of Wilusa never after fell away from the land of Hatti, but remained friends with the king of Hatti.

Stipulations: Thou, Alaksandus, shalt protect the Sun as a friend! If anyone says an unfriendly word about the Sun and you keep it secret from the Sun then you, Alaksandus, sin before the oath of the gods; let the oath of the gods harry you!

Blessings and Curses: If thou, Alaksandus, break the words of this document, which are placed on this document, then may these oaths wipe thee out and wipe thy seed from the face of the earth.

But if you keep these words, then may the thousand gods keep you, your wife, your sons with friendly hand.

Divine witness to the treaty: The Sun God of heaven, lord of the lands, Shepherd of men, the Sun Goddess of Arinna, the Queen of the lands, the Weather-God

Provision for regular public statements of affiliation: Moreover, let someone read thee this tablet which I have made for thee three times every year.

The Religious Journey

{Insert stuff}

The Calling

How does one become a believer?

The Sacred Vocations

The Cleric

Follow the rules in the book.

The Pastor

This is a believer who is a part of the formal religion around the deity. They are focused on helping other believers. In game terms they are a cleric that gets an additional +1 bonus on spells when they are assisting and leading people who are also believers of the deity for each additional believer who has the potential to interact with the ritual. In exchange for this bonus, they get a -1 bonus on spells for each person who has the potential to interact with the ritual whose alignment is one step away, and -2 for each person who has the potential to interact with the ritual whose alignment is opposed.

The Paladin

This is a believer who is part of the formal religion around the deity. They are focused on defending other believers. In game terms they are a cleric that gets access to forbidden weapons however they will not have access to as many spells, and the spells they do have access on are those that focus on their own self defense and the defense of the believer.

The Monk

This is a believer who is a part of the formal religion around the deity. They are focused on studying, meditating, and extending knowledge of their deity and the religion around it. In game terms they are a cleric that gets at least an addition +2 bonus on spells when they cast when presence of other believers. If a non-believer is present, they do not get this bonus. They get an additional +1 bonus if only other monks are present. They are also limited to spells that focus on the domain of the religion and diety they have bound themselves to.

The Missionary

This is a believer who is a part of the formal religion around the deity. They are focused on reaching out to the unreached and the Anathematized. They receive at least an additional +2 bonus on spells when they cast them in the presence of their outreach group. If a non-Missionary believer is present, they do not get this bonus.

The Secular Vocations

The Believer

These are people who believe in deity. They pray and make oaths in the name of this deity. They however do not have a Sacred Bond with a Patron deity. They can however have a bond with a deity.

Divine aid: As a devout worshipper, a believer is entitled to beseech his deity for divine aid. The believer does not have spells, the ability to turn the unholy, or the ability to heal, so any such request must be recognized as an extraordinary act. To request divine aid, the believer makes a spell check at the same modifier that would apply were he casting a spell. This extraordinary act imparts a cumulative +10 penalty in the event of a failure to future disapproval range. Based on the result of the spell check, the judge will describe the result. Simple requests (e.g., light a candle) are DC 10 and extraordinary requests (e.g., summon and control a living column of flame) are DC 18 or higher.

Turn unholy: A believer wields his faith to turn away abominations. At any time, a believer may utilize a spell check to deter unholy creatures. An unholy creature is any being that the believer’s scriptures declare unholy. As with all spell checks, the turn unholy spell check is made as follows: 1d20 + Personality modifier + caster level + deity approval rating. Failure increases disapproval range.

Sacrifices: A cleric may make sacrifices to his deity in order to regain favor. Sacrifices vary according to the nature of the deity, but, in general, any offering of material wealth counts. Other acts may count as well, at the discretion of the judge. Please see the sections on Sin, Absolution, Devotion, and Discipleship.

Lay on Hands: These rules are the same, except that the believer must be praying for a creature who is a believer in the same deity or praying for a non-sentient creature that isn’t unholy.

Luck: A believer’s Luck modifier does not apply all divine aid checks.

Warrior as a believer

A warrior might get a deity patron to protect a group of believers in doing something. This could be as simple guard duty at a shrine that houses a priceless relic. This could be a crusade. This could be escorting collections from the various shrines to the temple.

Roles in the Guild

The Lord: The big boss who runs things.

The Princes: The people who report to the Lord

Task Master: Set out jobs, matches up crews for job, matches the right levels and number of thieves to the right jobs, gives briefings and debriefs, helps assess target before a job and helps plan best method and time of theft. Also plans escape plans, escape routes, safe houses and bail money in the event that illegal activities need to take place. Also in charge of recruiting people into the fold. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Quartermaster: Issues out standard gear and equipment. Receives and stores it all when job is done. In charge of maintenance of tools and weapons. A standard warrior’s kit could consist of: a uniform, cloak, backpack, bedroll, rations, studded leather armor, short sword and shield, and a whetstone. Also maintains Guild’s chapter house. Organizes basic food and drink and beds for those who stay at the HQ. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Accountant: Runs the accounts and gold storage. Ensures all parties get their share of the payment for jobs and that the Guild gets its cut from each job. Runs the books. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Melee Combat Training instructor: Best weapons and techniques to use whilst melee fighting. Emphasis on fighting as a military unity. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Ranged Combat Training instructor: Best weapons and techniques to use whilst in ranged combat. Emphasis on supporting melee units in grouped combat. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Information Specialist: This person is the liaison officer to the spy network that a patron might have. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master and the spy network.

Engineer: This individual specializes in the building of combat related buildings while in the field. They also specialize in building bridges and other accordances to cross difficult terrain quicker. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Jobs for people within warrior guilds.

Guard / cop: These warriors patrol a given area and protect it for their patron. They may also protect defensive structures such as the headquarters, city walls, official buildings, or even jails. Also guards may be assigned to caravans, barges, or boats.

Bodyguard: Generally a Guard who has been promoted to protect a given individual. This can be in the form of an official honor guard or as a personal assistant.

Runner (Courier): Ensures that messages are moved through the Guild.

Thieves as believers

A thief might be a believer. The alignment of the deity and the thief needs to match. Also, there needs to be a great back-story as to how this occurred. The thief would get his orders from the religious hierarchy and not from the deity itself or the guild. This means that the thief needs to trust the hierarchy.

Roles in the Guild

Guild Master: Sets up policy, dictates targets and decides goals of Thieves’ Guild. What is and isn’t allowed, what areas or people are off limits, dictates how the Thieves’ Guild operates. This person may have a Deity as a patron.

Task Master: Set out jobs, matches up crews for job, matches the right levels and number of thieves to the right jobs, gives briefings and debriefs, helps assess target before a job and helps plan best method and time of theft. Also plans escape plans, escape routes, safe houses and bail money. Also in charge of recruiting people into the fold. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Quartermaster: Issues out standard gear and equipment. Receives and stores it all when job is done. In charge of maintenance of tools and weapons. A standard burglar’s kit could consist of: a black hooded cloak, studded leather armor, sap and dagger, crowbar, rope and pulley, thieves’ tools. Also maintains Thieves’ Guild HQ / hideout. Organizes basic food and drink and beds for thieves in HQ. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Accountant/ Appraiser: Launders money, runs the accounts and gold storage. Ensures all parties get their share of the loot and that the Guild gets its cut from each job. Ascertains worth of items - rare antiquities, old paintings and artworks and jewels, gems and jewelery found. Runs the books. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Locksmith: Designs and tests locks, creates thieves tools, skeleton keys, ‘bump’ keys, acid vials, freezing potions and other aids to get through locks. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Magician: Gives magical assessment of the target, their magical capabilities and defenses, small magical aids to help with jobs, assessment of magical items brought back. Scrying and divination to assess target before a job. Shielding and obfuscation to prevent anyone using magic to locate the stolen goods or track the thieves. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Melee Combat Training instructor: Best weapons and techniques to use whilst melee fighting. Emphasis on dirty fighting, small concealable weapons, sneak attacks, improvised weapons and distracting maneuverer that give Guild members time to flee e.g. Smoke sticks, smoke bombs, tangle foot bags, oil and tinder twigs. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Ranged Combat Training instructor: Best weapons and techniques to use whilst in ranged combat. Emphasis on sniping, sneak attacks and distracting maneuverer that give Guild members time to flee. Flaming arrows, arrows with strangely fluted arrow heads (noise makers) for distraction purposes. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Information Specialist: Informant, spy and information network, has many spies distributed amongst beggars, merchants and servants. Collects information to assess target before a job and help plan best method and time of theft. Manages the blackmail section of the Thieves’ Guild. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Alchemist/ Poisoner/ Potion Master: Works on poisons and potions. Sleep potions, knockout drops, sedatives, memory blockers (for retrograde amnesia) and tranquilizers. Poisons to fake illness or fake death (to cause a distraction or get out of a jail cell). Poisons to cause a temporary illness (a violently vomiting victim is easily stolen from). Deadly poisons to get rid of problems permanently. Agility potions, healing potions, darkness potions, cats eyes potions (for dark vision or low light vision). Smoke bombs, grease potions to throw off pursuit. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Engineer/Architect/ Bureaucrat: Has access to floor plans and layout of various buildings, can tell you which walls to break through to get into vaults. Can get members passes and dispensation to go into restricted areas. False papers and cargo inventories for smugglers. Knows who to blackmail / threaten / seduce within the bureaucracy / city to get results. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Fence and Smuggler: Get goods into or out of the city without prying eyes or taxes, knows who to bribe or where to unload goods entering or leaving a city, knows what goods will sell in different areas, knows what trade goods are common/legal in one area but uncommon/illegal in another area, knowledge of local roads, waterways and country side - knows where to set up ambushes and highway robbery. This person may have a Deity as a patron, but only if it is the same patron as the Guild Master.

Disguise master: Having all sorts of makeup and wigs, many different outfits and uniforms, works closely to the quartermaster/weapons master to make sure the weapons and clothes are appropriate. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Trapsmith: Specializing in creating, detecting, bypassing and disarming traps. Teaches how to identify different traps and disarm them. Salvages traps and remakes them. This role may not have a Deity as a patron.

Jobs for people within Thieves guild.

Enforcer / Thug: Ensure protection rackets, to body guard important or skilled Thieves’ Guild members, protect entrances to Thieves’ Guild HQ/ hideout.

Lookout / Distraction: Ensure that teams working in the field have situational awareness. They also distract others from the activities the group is engaged in.

Runner (Courier): Ensures that messages are moved through the Guild.

Second story men: Someone who specializes in breaking into a building without leaving any trace.

Con artists: Someone who specializes in building and exploiting confidence.

Pickpocket: Someone who specializes in stealing possessions off of a victims body without their awareness. May require coordination of a Lookout / Distraction.

Shadower: Follows targets to gain information

Wizards as believers

A wizard might get a deity patron however, this is very rare. The Wizard takes power from another power source and uses it to their own ends. Depending on the moral composition of the deity, this could become a big problem quickly. The recommendation is to avoid this relationship. However if you wish to proceed, the following needs to be taken into account.

  • A Believer submits their will to the deity. Thus a believer’s patron bond will be one that places the deity above themselves.
  • A Wizard’s shapes reality to match their own will using power from their deity. Thus a believer’s patron bond will be one that places the deity at the same level of the believer or it will place the believer above that of the patron.
  • A deity that has certain moral values around Authority or Liberty will place heavy burdens on the wizard as by definition the patron is an NPC with power only limited by the needs the story the judge is telling.
  • A Wizard with a Patron Deity will experience the effects of both deity displeasure and corruption from spell burn.
Elves as Believers

The elf in DCC is a combination of the Warrior and the Wizard. An elf may have a Deity as a Patron if they meet all the qualifications for both the Wizard and the Warrior. An Elf may not be called to any sacred vocations. While elves do have priests within their race, they do not specialize as the humans do.

Dwarves as Believers

The dwarf in DCC is a super Warrior, and may be a believer. A dwarf may not be called to any sacred vocations. While Dwarves do have priests within their race, they do not specialize as the humans do.

Halflings as Believers

The Halfling in DCC is a thief hybrid. The halfling my be a believer, however they must drain their luck pool before they can call on their deity in prayer per the normal rules of Thieves as believers. A dwarf may not be called to any sacred vocations. While Halflings do have priests within their race, they do not specialize as the humans do.

Level 0 Occupations

Some deities might consider some occupations as unclean. This might be for many reasons. I have included a table below based on some historical moral issues and monopolies some religions have had on certain domains. Please consider this for each religion you create.

Occupation Morality Monopoly
Butcher Handling dead animals might be unclean Deity might have this as their domain
Alchemist Might be considered demon worship Deity might have this as their domain
Animal trainer   Deity might have this as their domain
Apothacarist Might be considered demon worship Deity might have this as their domain
Astrologer Might be considered demon worship Deity might have this as their domain
Barber Might be considered unclean  
Chicken butcher Handling dead animals might be unclean Deity might have this as their domain
Cutpurse Might be considered illegal  
Fortune-teller Might be considered demon worship Deity might have this as their domain
Gambler Might be considered illegal or immoral  
Gongfarmer Handing of feces might be considered unclean  
Grave digger Handling dead humans might be considered unclean  
Guild beggar Might be considered illegal  
Gypsy Might be considered demon worship  
Healer Might be considered demon worship  
Herbalist Might be considered demon worship  
Hunter Handling dead animals might be unclean  
Indentured servant Might be considered immoral  
Jester Might be considered immoral  
Moneylender Might not be allowed  
Mushroom-farmer Handing of feces might be considered unclean  
Outlaw Might be considered illegal  
Rat-catcher Handling dead animals might be unclean  
Scribe   Deity might have this as their domain
Shaman Might be considered demon worship Deity might have this as their domain
Slave Might be considered immoral Deity might have this as their domain
Smuggler Might be considered illegal  
Soldier Might be seen as murder Deity might have this as their domain
Squire Might be seen as assisting a murderer Deity might have this as their domain
Tax collector Might be considered illegal  
Urchin Might be considered illegal  
Vagrant Might be considered illegal  
Wizard’s apprentice Might be considered demon worship  
The Unreached

These are people who have never heard anything about a given deity or religious system of practice.

The Anathematized

These are people who have heard about the religion and have rejected it. They may be formal enemies or they may be

The Life of the Called

Devotion

How does the deity want believers to show their devotion?

Discipleship

How do believers level and grow in their understanding of the deity?

The Sin Chain

How does sin escalate with the deity?

The Path to Absolution

How does sin get forgiven with the deity?

The Organization

The World View

Who are we?
Where are we?
What is wrong?
What is the solution?

Example - Tolkien’s Valar

Manwë

Name Value
Name Manwë
AKA Súlimo
Role Aratar
Profession Mage / Cleric of Eru
Position Lord of the Breath of Arda
Title Ruler of Arda,
Other Titles Chief of the Valar, The Elder King, King of the Valar, Vicegerent of Eru, Husband of Varda, Brother of Melkor, First of all Kings, Lord of the Realm of Arda, Ruler of All that Dwell in Arda.
Epithets Dearest to Ilúvatar
Domain Air (sky, wind, weather, sight, empathy, wisdom)
Color Blue
Hair White
Eye Color Sky-Blue shining with pure white star light
Clothing Blue Robes
Gender Male
Location Ilmarin, Taniquetil
Affiliation Eagles
Source of Inspiration Zeus
Alignment Good
Description He appears as a wise King bearded with white hair, clear skin and blue eyes. His robes are rich blue. He carries a blue scepter made of Sapphire
Overview Manwë is King of the Valar and Morgoth and his wife Varda rivaled him in strength. No Valar stands above him in seniority. Varda and Manwë are bound in enduring love that knows no limits and gives each other strength and power that equates to more than the sum of their parts.
Symbol Eagle
Weapons for followers Sword and Spear
Unholy Balrogs, Dragons
Powers Vision, Voice, Authority, Air Spells
Sins against Self Inability see themselves within Eru’s greater plans (Lack of Vision)
Commission sins of Self Taking the easy path
Omission sins of Self Not taking the time to contemplate actions on which decision to take
Sins against Others Inability to find a path of compassion
Commission sins of Others Harming someone else
Omission sins of Others Allowing someone else to get harmed by not getting involved
Morality the deity favors  
Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm  
Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating  
Loyalty or in group: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal  
Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion  
Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation  
Liberty (opposite of oppression): coercion by a dominating power or person  
World View of the Deity and their followers  
Who are we?  
Where are we?  
What is wrong?  
What is the solution?  
What Sacrifices does this deity like?  
Title for Level 1  
Title for Level 2  
Title for Level 3  
Title for Level 4  
Title for Level 5  
Title for Level 6  
Title for Level 7  
Title for Level 8  
Title for Level 9  
Title for Level 10  
1 The supplicant realizes that mistakes have been made in the choices made, in not aligning actions with Eru’s Music. The supplicant must do nothing but contemplate the sound of the wind and listen for Manwë’s voice for the next 10 minutes, starting as soon as he is able (i.e., if in combat, ait until the danger is over).
2 The supplicant must pray for forgiveness for a lack of vision and empathy immediately. He must spend at least one hour in prayer, beginning as soon as he is able (i.e., if he is in combat, he can wait until the danger is over). Failure to finish the full hour of prayers within the next 120 minutes is looked upon unfavorably; he incurs a -1 penalty to all spell checks until he completes the full hour.
3 The supplicant must serve another one of Eru’s Children by listening and counseling them in order to allow them to reach a fuller potential. If the supplicant does not do this by the next sunrise, he takes a -1 penalty to all checks on the following day. This penalty resets after 24 hours.
4 The supplicant must teach another one of Eru’s children to listen and counsel others teaching them to
5 {A Test of the Valar’s Principal Emotions / Activities}
6 {Restore Arda to Eru’s vision}
7 {Simple Doom of the Valar with external and stat consequences}
8 {Out of Tune with the Music of the Valar}
9 {Give to others in need}
10 {Rely on your own strength}
11 {Daily Meditation on the emotional state of the Valar}
12 {Focusing on the lessons learned in the past}
13 {Rely on your own strength}
14 {Build or rebuild something to meet the original plan of Eru’s}
15 {The sins of the past haunt you}
16 {A focus on self instead of on others}
17 {Out of tune with the music of Eru}
18 {The light of Eru no longer shines brightly in your face}
19 {A Mark of Melkor mars your body}
20 {An encounter with the Valar}

Varda

Ulmo

Aulë

Yavanna

Námo

Oromë

Nienna

Melkor

Irmo

Tulkas

Estë

Vairë

Vána

Nessa

Examples of bonds in Middle-earth

‘Why, O people of the Noldor, why should we longer serve the jealous Valar, who cannot keep us nor even their own realm secure from their Enemy? And though he be now their foe, are not they and he of one kin? Vengeance calls me hence, but even were it otherwise I would not dwell longer in the same land with the kin of my father’s slayer and of the thief of my treasure. Yet I am not the only valiant in this valiant people. And have ye not all lost your King? And what else have ye not lost, cooped here in a narrow land between the mountains and the sea?

‘Here once was light, that the Valar begrudged to Middle-earth, but now dark levels all. Shall we mourn here deedless for ever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the thankless sea? Or shall we return to our home? In Cuiviénen sweet ran the waters under unclouded stars, and wide lands lay about, where a free people might walk. There they lie still and await us who in our folly forsook them. Come away! Let the cowards keep this city!’

‘Fair shall the end be, though long and hard shall be the road! Say farewell to bondage! But say farewell also to ease! Say farewell to the weak! Say farewell to your treasures! More still shall we make. Journey light: but bring with you your swords! For we will go further than Oromë, endure longer than Tulkas: we will never turn back from pursuit. After Morgoth to the ends of the Earth! War shall he have and hatred undying. But when we have conquered and have regained the Silmarils, then we and we alone shall be lords of the unsullied Light, and masters of the bliss and beauty of Arda. No other race shall oust us!’

Then Fëanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leapt straightway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches. They swore an oath which none shall break, and none should take, by the name even of Ilúvatar, calling the Everlasting Dark upon them if they kept it not; and Manwë̈ they named in witness, and Varda, and the hallowed mountain of Taniquetil, vowing to pursue with vengeance and hatred to the ends of the World Vala, Demon, Elf or Man as yet unborn, or any creature, great or small, good or evil, that time should bring forth unto the end of days, whoso should hold or take or keep a Silmaril from their possession.

Example - DCC Deities

Gorhan

Justicia