Sunday, December 8, 2013

In Defense of Crystal Dragon Jesus

I decided to consult with some external perspectives on the matter that's been eating at me this week. And so far I've gotten a good amount of response, both at RPGnet and TheRPGSite (Reddit has been more lukewarm). Over on RPGnet, Aaron Peori said this:

If you're going to have a European fantasy pastiche that looks like Europe you need a centralized, hierarchical, institutionalized religious authority that exists in a constant state of detente with secular Kings and feudal lords. Whether this Church is going to have monks and nuns and rosaries and convents and cathedrals is really just set dressing; though having those things is a damn sight easier than creating whole new set dressing out of nowhere.
 And by gum, I think he's right.

With this in mind I may yet learn to love Crystal Dragon Jesus-- and Its clerics-- after all.

8 comments:

StevenWarble said...

Also, remember that the powers of the D&D Cleric are not as Christian-centric as you might think. Many of the Old Testament / prophet powers are standard magic for all the Middle Eastern holy men (Judaic, Egyptian, Canaanite, Babylonian), while the Christian Saint style powers are fairly common in Celtic and some Germanic fairy tales. We just see them as dominantly Christian because that is the framework most of us first encountered them in.

Rachel Ghoul said...

Yeah, but... Sticks to Snakes... Ugh, I'm making myself angry just thinking about that spell.

StevenWarble said...

Sticks to Snakes was classic Egyptian magic. When Moses did it, it was to prove that his god could do anything their god did, and better.

What about it invokes such anger?

Rachel Ghoul said...

The fact that so far as I'm aware, outside of Exodus there's no mention of Egyptian priests ever doing any such thing. It's aggressively, intrusively biblical.

ProfessorOats said...

I still don't get why that's such a problem. Embrace it! Simon Belmont/Van Helsing sounds way cooler than some generic warrior priest afraid to offend any real world religions

Rachel Ghoul said...

It's not an issue of offense, it's an issue of it breaks my suspension of disbelief.

StevenWarble said...

I'll try to dig up my reference books and get back to you. I remember that snake shaped wands are typical Egyptian ritual implements, and that the animation of graven images was considered an especially Egyptian magic effect... also some odd notes about animating crocodiles that I do not remember the details of.

Rachel Ghoul said...

I'd be interested to get that followup. Even then, though, that sounds more like a magic item than anything.