I’m looking for domain ideas (ala Magic Burner) for a Jesus-like demigod. He’s not the son of God per se, but the son of a titan who loves humanity. I think he would be sent to the world to help humanity strengthen themselves in preparation for a coming orcish apocalypse.
Here’s my domain ideas so far: peace, enlightenment, blessed afterlife, outcasts, wine, healing
Let me know what you think. Any ideas are welcome, whether for the historical Jesus or a BW analog.
I wasn’t sure where to post, the Magic Burner and other forums in the Revised BW area look a little dated.
On the face of it, I reckon you have to draw on the difference between old and new testament.
The two big differences that I see is that the old testament god is not particularly forgiving whereas the New testament god is really into forgiveness. That seems to be his “killer app”. The other angle would be “brotherly love” the whole love thy neighbor as thy self. So rather than expose your neighbors (and by extension foreigners) to judgement, tolerate them. I would contrast this with the old testament god doing a fair bit of kicking in the teeth of enemies and bringing down fire and vengance.
Is he getting them ready for the orcish apocalypse in the “make amends with your neighbors now before the orcs come and kill you all” way or the “behold, I bring you the machine gun” way? Does he want the people to give up on this life and look to the next one, or band together and fight bravely by the light of hope?
Further to what I was on about before, historically speaking christianity got a big boost during the plagues that swept the Roman Empire. The prevailing view was that disease was an act of divine vengance (check out the opening lines of the Illiald with plague in the Hellene camp and people being struck down by the arrows of Apollo), so to help the sick was to confront the agent of divine justice. The christians did not abandon the scik to their fate. They provided basic nursing, water food, comanionship, that sort of thing. The result was they had many survivors and were seen to have had thier god “win”.
More recently christianity has had many converts among tribal people. Prior to the conversion payback killing was the norm. This results in long cycles of vendetta. Also if someone has transgressed or done a wrong, killing them is often the only punishement. Christianity offered another option, forgiveness. This provided a “good” reason not to kill and/or break a cycle of vendetta. Untill I read a book called “One River” by Wade Davis, I never understood why tribal people would ever want to convert. I always just assumed that conversion had happened at swordpoint.
I am not trying to get into any metaphysics here, I am just pointing out some of the social technology that the religion offered, and hence possible domains for a game.
Thanks for the replies. Justin in Oz, I was thinking more New Testament, actually I was thinking exactly along the lines of Hirram’s comment about Prometheus. This god would be the Flamebringer’s son who is continuing his work. Whereas the Flamebringer brought fire and taught arts and crafts (physical things needed for survival) the son would be providing spiritual tools and continuing his father’s work. The cult would be in opposition to the Pantheon, as the son isn’t the son of the chief god.
This is where the confusion comes in. I thought it might just be easier to make him a son of the chief god of the pantheon, which gives him access to established things in place, like a heaven for those that merit it. It makes it a little messy with two “heavens” for people to choose from.
I also like the idea of this cult being a mystery cult which doesn’t honor the accepted gods, perhaps being a source of radical ideas like equality, which is used by revolutionaries and putting it at odds with the dominant religion.
Jesus was in large about being a nice guy, and the political message of his teaching was ‘the corrupting influence of money on the temple and secular politics must end’. As the children of Abraham already has a concept of heaven, I always viewed the preaching of ‘my way is the only way to heaven’ as a pretext to achieving his temporal goals… serious political change. He was in favour of ending the colaboration between the Jewish and Roman authories.
I seriously think he as a pre-marx-socialist, some biblical scholars think he was claiming to be the messiah only the establish the perfidy of the Temple authorities, as they moved at every opportunity to thwart him fulfilling prophecies about the coming of the messiah.
I’d go for things along the lines of Healing, Enlightenment(self knowledge and knowledge of the world), Community (Peacful co-existence, catering for parties - wine, loaves & fishes, primary production and trade skills), Transformation (i.e. changing of the ways, redemption of the outcast, transmutation of the mundane, the transmogrification and immortality of the spirit)
I hope this helps. I’m more confused now. I think I need a nap after a long week.
On further thinking I’d consider Compassion as a domain too, or a sub-domain of Community. I think it’s a big part of his ministry. This was from thinking about a Buddhist monk I saw speak last month. I’m thinking Jesus might have been Buddhist.
Actually, there is something people are overlooking here. “Conviction” was another big theme found in the New Testament. As it’s told there, Judaism had fallen into a sort of slump, with the Pharisees upholding an insular tradition of super-stick-to-it legalism regarding the laws of Judaism, overlooking the idea that there was a point behind the laws. That’s why they chafed at the company that Jesus tended to keep, because the people who followed them were generally outside and beyond the laws. (I mean, really–one of the Gospel writers was formerly an IRS agent for the Roman Empire.)
The theme of “conviction” comes out most sharply in that famous scene where Jesus makes a whip, and chases out the merchants who were selling people sacrificial offerings at exorbitant prices, right inside of the Temple. I believe the actual line is something like “you have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves”. He wasn’t all nice and fuzzy-wuzzy. He was about making things right and offering people second chances–but also about redefining things to be about love instead of legal adherence. Also about rooting out corruption. Did I mention that in aforementioned Cleansing of the Temple, he was beating down merchants and kicking over their tables/booths?