A Sneak Peek at HARP Beyond the Veil

Copyright Jonathan Cassie and Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd © 2019

Edited by Kristen Mork for The Guild Companion

"...the nature of the gods, goddesses and spiritual forces that can be combined to make up a religious system is as varied as can be."

Creating a Clerical Perspective

In this section, we will look at each of the races in HARP Fantasy (and a select few from HARP Folkways) and investigate the ways in which their racial qualities and cultural qualities might combine to form unique takes on the Cleric profession for your players to investigate and develop.

To recap the previous sections, a religion or spiritual system is an organized, coherent, self-reinforcing philosophical system that answers critical questions about the meaning and purpose of life for its believers. These systems spell out the nature of what is divine or meaningful, tells stories about its heroes and gods, engages in ritual and liturgical practices, builds community, defines sacredness, defines eschatology, expresses itself materially and, for game purposes, has Clerics who act in the world on behalf of that system.

What follows is an assortment of charts to inspire you as you design religions and spiritual systems in your own campaigns, or, if you are so inclined, you can create a coherent spiritual system for your games by making some die rolls on these charts and then weaving the results together. After the charts, I will do precisely this for each of the HARP Fantasy races before explicating the different realms of divine authority that might exist and how they might express themselves in gameplay.

Nature of the Divine or Spiritual

If there’s anything to learn from the previous chapter, it is that the nature of the gods, goddesses and spiritual forces that can be combined to make up a religious system is as varied as can be. So, start here, assessing the fundamental nature of the religious or spiritual system in your setting. How many gods/goddesses are part of this tradition? Is this a monotheistic tradition instead, and if so, how do the believers of this monotheistic God relate to others who have a different set of beliefs? How universalist is this tradition? Does it see itself as part of a broader story of the development of spiritual belief, or does it perceive itself to be the sole holder of a truthful understanding? Perhaps it is even somewhat areligious or secular, but feels these beliefs with such fervency that they pass or function as though they were religious.

d100 Nature of the Divine or Spiritual
01-10 This religion features a wide variety of gods and goddesses. The most important of these gods and goddesses are responsible for “areas of influence” that are deemed the most important for the culture.
11-20 This religion worships more than one god, but not more than a handful. These gods are all in some way considered related to each other in some way.
21-30 This religion worships two or three gods who may represent aspects of their culture, abstractions that are deemed crucial or who are in opposition to each other in some meaningful way.
31-40 This religion is monotheistic, but not rigidly so. It acknowledges that other gods could exist, but rejects their claims.
41-50 This religion is strictly monotheistic. Its agents work tirelessly to extirpate infidels, non-believers and the servants of other gods.
51-60 This religion is centered on an abstract social concept and doesn’t personify its gods.
61-70 This religion believes that everything is divine in some way or another and doesn’t privilege one way of knowing the divine over another.
71-80 This religion has a public face that it shows to others that masks a private and secretive religion that ministers to a select segment of society.
81-90 This society has elevated reason to a divine status. Its Clerics are intellectuals who draw their power from the strength and force of their arguments.
91-99 This religion’s spiritual system is based on a dream-world or alternate plane. Its Clerics’ powers wax and wane based on a complex calendar understood only by them.
100 This society is strictly atheist. Its Clerics derive their power from the ferventness of their disbelief.