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Author Topic: Clerics, Druids, and Animism in Endless Horizon  (Read 260 times)
The Captain of Crunch
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« on: April 23, 2017, 06:05:00 PM »

Hi everyone. Since my writing has stalled, I'm primarily thinking of my setting as a D&D game setting again. I want to think on religion in the setting for a while and see what comes of it. The world of Endless Horizons is an Animist world. "Gods" are benevolent spirits that people worship to earn their blessings (or just because they're nice), while "Demons" are malevolent spirits that people worship to stay their wrath (or direct their wrath). I'm currently reading up on Shinto and other more animist religions for inspiration, but I'm questioning what the difference between Clerics and Druids would be in a more personal and regional religious system. Originally, I thought hat clerics would worship ancestral spirits while druids would worship nature spirits, but I'm thinking it would be a little different. There are "greater deities" of the world, things like the spirits of the Knights (the saviors of humanity) and other revered ancestral spirits, as well as major nature spirits like the Five Elements, the spirits of the Sun and Moon, and others. Most spirits, though, would be more local.

An adventuring cleric, then, would either follow one of the world-spanning spirits, or would venerate whichever spirits area in the areas they travel to within their domain.

How do you think Clerics and Druids would be differentiated in an Animistic setting?
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 06:43:53 PM »

One way you could do it would be less about what Clerics vs Druids worship/tap into and more how they go about it.

Like, maybe "Clerics" are basically priests tending shrines and the like in human settlements, like Kannushi in Shinto, intermediaries between human beings and spirits. These would primarily be religious leaders, responsible for the spiritual needs of a community, practicing sacrifices and rituals and the like to ensure that human beings relate to the spirits properly.

On the other hand, "Druids" could be more like weird recluses and mystics who live outside of human communities, more like Yamabushi: mostly solitary ascetics who occasionally form small groups but who are defined by their isolation from human settlements, as opposed to their proximity to them.

They could be worshipping the same entities, but the manner of that worship (and consequently the powers they receive) would be subtly different, much as Clerical vs Druidic magic is different.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 06:45:53 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 06:49:44 PM »

Xeviat

Hi everyone. Since my writing has stalled, I'm primarily thinking of my setting as a D&D game setting again. I want to think on religion in the setting for a while and see what comes of it. The world of Endless Horizons is an Animist world. "Gods" are benevolent spirits that people worship to earn their blessings (or just because they're nice), while "Demons" are malevolent spirits that people worship to stay their wrath (or direct their wrath). I'm currently reading up on Shinto and other more animist religions for inspiration, but I'm questioning what the difference between Clerics and Druids would be in a more personal and regional religious system. Originally, I thought hat clerics would worship ancestral spirits while druids would worship nature spirits, but I'm thinking it would be a little different. There are "greater deities" of the world, things like the spirits of the Knights (the saviors of humanity) and other revered ancestral spirits, as well as major nature spirits like the Five Elements, the spirits of the Sun and Moon, and others. Most spirits, though, would be more local.

An adventuring cleric, then, would either follow one of the world-spanning spirits, or would venerate whichever spirits area in the areas they travel to within their domain.

How do you think Clerics and Druids would be differentiated in an Animistic setting?

Is that the case for all peoples of your setting? You might find it more "realistic" - and more interesting - if you still have relatively small groups of pantheistic or monotheistic religions hanging around.

As for Clerics and Druids, I'm not sure that there'd be much of a difference between them at all, unless you try to focus more prominently on how their mechanical differences affect the world around them. Even then, if you look at their spell lists (their single largest class feature), and then say to yourself "which of these spells would your average cleric and/or druid use most often?", you might find that they'll either be using the exact same ones most of the time (heals, various minor information-gathering spells, maybe some buffs). This is also considering that most of them will be relatively low-level, where the differentiation isn't so great. Druids are still going to be a bit better at hanging out in the middle of nowhere, while clerics are going to be better off in urban areas, so that might end up being something you need to focus on. I think Steerpike effectively summarized how you're probably going to find them shaking out at the end of the day, really.
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The Captain of Crunch
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 11:04:12 PM »

Since, with a little work, you can see and hear and touch the spirits, no one in the world really doubts their existence. There are some specific faiths that hold some spirits over others, and there are those that don't believe the spirits deserve worship (they're just powerful beings; the king is powerful, we don't worship him), but those wouldn't be quite the same as monotheistic religions.
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Endless Horizons: Action and adventure set in a grand world ripe for exploration.

Proud recipient of the Silver Tortoise Award for extra Krunchyness.

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