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Immaculate Philosophy, Prayer Calendar, and Heresies/Offshoots

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  • Immaculate Philosophy, Prayer Calendar, and Heresies/Offshoots

    So I have some interesting discussion questions. Lets get the clarification stuff out of the way.

    So one of my Players didn't realize the ideal immaculate doesn't direct prayers towards the Dragons because the Dragons are supposed to be beyond such things in their perfection, with Nirvana/Moksha being achieved by attaining oneness with them. Thus actually praying to the dragons would be something perceived as provincial, or a bad habit for folks like Dragonblooded. It can be an odd quirk if a village without monks start directly worshiping the Dragons, viewed maybe in a similar fashion to how Christianity argues over whether praying to the Virgin Mary is okay, or Santa Muerte being a thing. So when he took the Lore Specialty of the Immaculate Philosophy he became aware of this.

    How does an immaculate layman get over killing a dragonblooded, in self defense. The same player killed a Dragonblooded when one was wiping out his Dojo. Once again he didn't seem to fully understand how this is as much of a sin as it is. Killing a Dragonblooded is probably the one thing you could think of on the same level as trucking with Anathema. So that kind of broke his faith/made him a penitent.

    And how do you think the Immaculate Faith would evolve if a population of adherents were separated from the Order? For instance my game is set in the Far North West, and the PC mentioned earlier has raised up relations with Realm Expatriotes, and families descended from Immaculate Followers. The region is isolated from the Order itself though and the nature of the Order really needs Monks to help guide folks spiritually, if not outright Dragonblooded themselves. So I wager families of Immaculate Followers separated from monks/the church would start simplifying the religion and worshiping the Dragons, and other iconic figures, such as the Empress.

    This ties in with another question. The Immaculate Philosophy supposedly only worships according to an established Calendar. And it is said the mortals actually address worship towards the Dragonblooded of the Order who direct it to the appropriate Gods. How do they do this? Do you think its like a sermons and such where the Monk or Lama says and we our heads in thanks to Black Rice the God of the Flavorful Patties, or do you think its more the people are like "I send generic prayer to the Lama" and the Immaculate Lama then goes "I pray these prayers are directed to so and so". Some other books seem to imply the Immaculate prayer Calendar can just make it kosher to pray to specific gods directly at these certain times. I guess a mix of both ways is probably the likely answer but thoughts?

    Also they are Unclear but the Immaculate Prayer calendar, is it one huge monolithic thing composed and updated by the Order or does the order design and separate calendars by the regions, like maybe major gods whom they bought the favor of would have wider groups if not all immaculates worship them on the agreed upon time, and then smaller weaker gods have prayers only in regions they are associated with, so Bilbear god of the glen gets the valley and mountain associated with his territory to aim prayer at him, but not the folks on the neighboring mountain?

  • Lundgren
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    I'm just not convinced, the books never seem to back such extremes.
    While I neither have interpreted the books that way, there is no need to reach a concensus; that's for each gaming group (or for the ST to decide and the players to find out ).

    There is after all a lot of contradicting stuff in the books, so it is possible to have two games being completely incompatible with each other; while both still being Rules/Setting As Written.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zale
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    I believe the Roman state religion worked the way I'm describing; as I understand it, your average person did not pray to Jupiter or Vesta.
    Well, you probably could in private, but as I understand it public prayers and festivals were usually headed by experts and specialists who wouldn't mess up like a lay-person. After all, ritual and tradition were everything to the Romans; screwing up meant starting the whole thing over.

    But the feeling I get isn't so much, "There are gods to holy for you to worship," but rather, "Leave this to the people who are trained in the proper rituals and formulas for propitiating the gods."

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    The books indicate that Gods do a have a prayer calendar
    That's where this all started, wasn't it?

    ​No matter how many people might be performing the actual prayers, it's only supposed to be happening a few times a year?

    ​So do the highest Celestial Gods only have their Cult ratings for a day or so?

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    One person just isn't a direction
    Elle est l'etat.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    I do not think everyone the empress prays too receives that much prayer.
    Certainly. I'm not trying to change your mind, just to establish the credibility of my own perspective, rooted in a combination of the ambiguity and versatility of the rules and wanting the intriguing premise of prayer as fueling gods in Exalted to intersect with the intriguing premise of the head of state as high priest.


    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    The books just don't ever describe the very specific way you are describing prayers to work.
    ​The books describe a variety of situations, and provide a number of blank spaces in which to fill with my imagination and subjects that inspire me.

    ​Certainly, the Antagonists chapter this time took the novel step of actually describing what the nature of each spirit's Cult was, and many of them are quite diverse and deviate from the strict image constituted by a literal reading of the Merit.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    And I don't believe very many cults at all restrict others from praying completely if they aren't their elite priest caste.
    ​I would find this to be a case in which certain noteworthy historical examples are being discounted from the setting out of hand.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    I believe it is a situation where only the Elite can hold rites, and often those rites derive from the bounty given up by the greater whole, and with others taking part in the rite with their awe and giving of thanks.
    ​That's an example I've already given.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    I believe only things like secret mystery cults work the way you describe.
    I believe the Roman state religion worked the way I'm describing; as I understand it, your average person did not pray to Jupiter or Vesta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    I'm just not convinced. The books indicate that Gods do a have a prayer calendar, and that Immaculate Dragon Blooded direct prayer from the Laypeople.

    One person just isn't a direction, and I do not think everyone the empress prays too receives that much prayer. I just believe their does need to be some quantity of actual prayer, and some level of intent from lots of folks. The books just don't ever describe the very specific way you are describing prayers to work.

    And I don't believe very many cults at all restrict others from praying completely if they aren't their elite priest caste. I believe it is a situation where only the Elite can hold rites, and often those rites derive from the bounty given up by the greater whole, and with others taking part in the rite with their awe and giving of thanks.

    I believe only things like secret mystery cults work the way you describe.

    I'm just not convinced, the books never seem to back such extremes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Aaaaand we're past Christmas. Slightly tumultuous day, but mostly enjoyable.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

    I still don't think it would bestow a Cult of 5, that is extreme for a once a year prayer. So if the empress skipped a year how would you handle it.
    ​With a very angry god, mostly.

    ​I think you're trying to ascribe a level of granularity to Cult that is neither present in the system, nor really necessary to the question of why any given god demands any given type or frequency of prayer.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    But you are saying cult 5, that has no real room for improvement, and this is the soul source of the cult rating... I don't see why it has to be a five in this case?
    ​It's 5 because they're being worshipped by the entire Direction.

    ​The Cult Merit makes no description of type or frequency of the prayer, merely geographic scope.

    ​Hell, Ahlat is primarily worshipped by warriors and their families, but still has Cult 5 because they're people throughout the South. It raises the question of how one portrays the effects of a Cult that is spread across an entire Direction, but exclusive to a certain class of people.

    ​Like I said in the other thread, does it make sense for a god that is worshipped exclusively by the super-elite across a Direction because they're the only ones who are entitled, to have a less powerful Cult than a more homely god who is worshipped by a technically larger number of people across the same area?

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    So are you saying the Empress could boost the Cult past 5 if she was serious?
    Given that the Merit describes the possibility of super powerful Cult ratings, probably. That's one that's going beyond the scope of the described Merit and the geographic levels it describes at each dot, mind.

    Originally posted by Eldagusto
    Or that it doesn't matter at all if she goes through even crazier lengths like forcing Celibacy nationwide for a month just for this god, and fasting in prayer?
    ​The question is why any given god wants any given practice. Some of it is for Cult, some of it is for other reasons.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    It's not about the person, it's about the institution, the office.

    ​Also, like I said, it's a matter of such rites being reserved and only working for spirits that would be known throughout the whole Isle. I even thought that, ideally, the rites should sacrifice tokens drawn from numerous far flung communities.

    ​I'm not positing that the Scarlet Empress individually counts as Cult 5 for any Podunk god she opts to bestow favour upon, barring using her authority to institute a massive campaign of increasing prestige throughout her domain.

    Hmm, it's time to go quiet for the day. Happy Holidays to all.
    I still don't think it would bestow a Cult of 5, that is extreme for a once a year prayer. So if the empress skipped a year how would you handle it. I mean I can see something like the pageantry and fame of the ritual may make such a tradition 2, a stretch for 3, as it resonates throughout the year and through folks minds, and awe can even count as prayer resonance. But you are saying cult 5, that has no real room for improvement, and this is the soul source of the cult rating... I don't see why it has to be a five in this case? So are you saying the Empress could boost the Cult past 5 if she was serious? Or that it doesn't matter at all if she goes through even crazier lengths like forcing Celibacy nationwide for a month just for this god, and fasting in prayer? It seems kind of weak to me...

    Happy Merry, Played Exalted right after Xmas dinner!

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Hm? I don't think I'm getting your reference.
    There have been mentioned occasionally of jobs such as full time prayer priests, such as in the Compass of Auto book there are monks even their that have their whole job as just prayers, forgot which of the nations mentioned it, I think it was Nurad which was in dire straits and thinking of canceling such a position.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    I mean that is why Exalted have full time prayers as a job.
    Hm? I don't think I'm getting your reference.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    It's not about the person, it's about the institution, the office.

    ​Also, like I said, it's a matter of such rites being reserved and only working for spirits that would be known throughout the whole Isle. I even thought that, ideally, the rites should sacrifice tokens drawn from numerous far flung communities.

    ​I'm not positing that the Scarlet Empress individually counts as Cult 5 for any Podunk god she opts to bestow favour upon, barring using her authority to institute a massive campaign of increasing prestige throughout her domain.

    Hmm, it's time to go quiet for the day. Happy Holidays to all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    All I'm saying is I don't think the Empress has the power to casually bestow Cult five with one gesture... Wouldn't that mean her Cult rating is at least one step above 5 if not 2....

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I suppose this is simply a matter of different perspectives. I like the idea of diversifying the Merit and rooting it in numerous inspirational religious practices, rather than saying that any given one is less adequate.

    ​Not least because this is a setting in which gods are liable to make the deficiencies known; I can't reconcile the idea that Amaterasu wouldn't tell the Emperor that his rites are worthless and demanding that the worship be made more equitable or else she's going back into that cave, meaning that such a practice would be non-existent, and I want it to exist.

    ​I prefer to focus the types of practices less on quantity and more on social capital and the personal preferences of gods. Whatever else you could do for him, Ahlat wants his hundred head of cattle, and he wants people competing over the best offerings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lundgren
    replied
    One important thing to decide is what constitute a pray in the sense it gives the god anything. An "only formalized prayers counts" is a very different setting from "any thought toward a deity, backed with a feeling is a prayer."

    When it comes to her redness praying, I would put it that she thinks her prayers are more important; while mechanical wise giving as much "prayer" as any random peasant. The people in the setting are trying to interpret their world to the best of their ability, it doesn't mean they know how it works and makes optimal decisions. For me, if someone is just going through the motions of a prayer, it will not count as a prayer no matter how important they are in the setting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Wing it. Cult one could be maybe a handful of Full time dedicated worshippers, or occasional prayer from a community, or occasional prayer from a nation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    How do you represent that in the Cult Merit?

    Leave a comment:

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