Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by clehrich, January 18, 2003, 01:52:00 AM
QuoteMy biggest criticism concerns some thematic content. I'm really starting to wonder about the god-lists and religion in general in Fantasy Heartbreakers. It's a unique phenomenon; I don't think it's possible to imagine anything less like religion in any sense. It includes a lot of highly-imitative or downright dumb names, direct correspondence with player-character options (as opposed to societies or organizations), and lots of un-fun strictures. The best of the bunch is Forge: out of Chaos, probably (as I read it) because this material was taken the least seriously and written for fun imaginative-background rather than as a personal fantasy opus. What's odd is that most Fantasy Heartbreakers take great pride in their world-settings: maps, elaborate histories, wars, borders, economies, cataclysms, wilderness areas, and more. I'd think that religion, as such a major feature of culture, would get a bit more intellectual consideration beyond "what must a cleric avoid doing in order to get his healing spells back" or when a character gets a minor bonus.
Quote from: clehrichSo how come religion gets such short shrift?1. ...I associate this sort of fantasy world with science-engineering types....2. These games tend to be mechanistic in one sense or another... 3. ...a dislike of things like theology, liturgy, and so forth. 4. ...an unwillingness or inability to deal with culture more broadly.
Quotelet's please avoid the use of the term "scientific mind-set," as the attitude that it's usually applied to is rabidly nonscientific.
Quote from: clehrichSo the question returns: why does this audience have such trouble with, lack of interest in, dislike of, or confusion about religion?
QuoteI think that for a decent chunk of them it is this way because that's how D&D did it and it's as etched in stone as rolling 3d6 for your stats.
QuoteThat's what a religion is in these games. It's like an alignment which is just a way to limit or inhibit the spiraling ever upwards character power.
Quote from: clehrichTo end this rant, I did think of one other possibility. Since many of these games still adhere to what Ron calls the Myth of RPG publishing, i.e. they have grand dreams of writing the new AD&D which will sell like hotcakes and whatnot, I wonder whether some designers avoid religion because they think it will make their products controversial. After all, a lot of the really vicious and paranoid attacks on D&D and other fantasy RPGs came from the religious right-wing.
Quote from: John KimI think that this is actually somewhat unfair to RPGs. Now, I'm not that widely read in fantasy literature, but it seems to me that religion is given short shrift in modern fantasy literature in general. Certainly it is largely overlooked in seminal works like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Ursula Le Guin, and others.