A to Z: P is for Priests

I’ve mentioned before that a large number of the deities for Aldeboran are stolen directly from “The Church of the Subgenius” (and thus will prevent me from ever legally publishing a ‘canon’ version of this world). Others are taken from mythology, other source books, etc., and still others have been included simply to satisfy some urge or include a reference to some other item or allow me to include an NPC or a published adventure.

For example, if I were to want to include Jacquay’s “Dark Tower” adventure, I would toss Set and Mitra into the mix. Of course, references to the Cthulhu Mythos would be scattered about so I could take advantage of Goblinoid Game’s excellent “Realms of Crawling Chaos” book. And since players who read Conan would want to say, “Crom!” I better have Crom in there as well… The more the merrier!

I’m also not above placing references to ‘real world’ religions and belief systems. I’ve considered (but not yet used) a cult of people who preach that “dragons don’t exist” because one of their holy books has a passage that could be interpreted as saying so… so if a dragon attacks the village, the priest has anyone who dares mention the “dragon problem” burned at the stake as a heretic. They have statues of four saints in their churches — one who covers his eyes, one who covers his ears, one who covers his mouth and the last one holds shut his nose… “Don’t be fooled by the heretics who would have you believe in dragons my people… the good book says they don’t exist… (blast of flame from dragons mouth hits the priest) aiiiighhhh! There are no dragons… there are no dragons…

Ironically, if the players destroy or drive off the dragon, they will not be rewarded and will instead be deemed ‘heretics’ if they mention the deed.

One of my Aldeboran favorites is the hermaphroditic god Dormammu and his/her Sister/Brother Ummamarod. Both gods are often confused, but Dormammu is male/female and evil while Ummamarod is female/male and good.

I’d love to steal a page out of the book of Rotted Moon and/or PoleandRope and come up with custom spell lists for each god. including a ‘sleep’ type spell for priests of Hypnos, the god of sleep and dreams, for example… I did some custom ‘domain’ lists for 3e but I don’t know how that helps me (yet) since I really don’t want to DM d20/3e. As of this writing, I’m leaning towards Labyrinth Lord and/or OD&D, either with a pack of house rules.

Those who don’t know me might assume that, given the nature in which I portray religion and priests in this post that I am an atheist or a cynic or something similar. I will admit a distatse for organized religions… mostly due to how so many of the people who belong to organized religions behave, especially those who parade their faith in public (like Lynn Westmoreland from Georgia’s 8th District who wants The Ten Commandments displayed in the State Capitol even though, when Stephen Colbert asked him to name a single commandment, he failed). Didn’t Jesus have some pretty harsh words for those who made great show of the outward signs of faith without honoring the commitments in their hearts?

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