Showing posts from December, 2015

Religions of Erce, pt 2: The New Order

This is part 2 of three parts. For intoductory notes on all three, see  Religions of Erce, pt 1: The Old Faith. The New Order Unlike the individualistic mystery cults of the Old Faith, the New Order is strongly community oriented and wholly focused on the rise and betterment of mankind. Over 1700 years ago, just prior to the founding of Nydecia, the Nine Gods of the New Order joined to make something wholly new: A unified pantheon working for a common goal: The  undeterred growth and expansion of civilization. Where the Old Gods were satisfied with their co-existent hegemony over Chaos, the Nine proposed a new world order: To altogether drive Chaos from human lands and establish realms where denizens of Law could do more than just exist; where civilization could grow, prosper and develop entirely free of the threat of the monstrous forces of Chaos. Thus were the Dominions of Law born, with Nydecia the first and mightiest of its kind. With the rise of the empire, the

Religions of Erce, pt 1: The Old Faith

Ponderous Introduction There are three major religious streams in Erce - The Old Faith, The New Order and the Hearthstone Church. Each represents an evolution (in the context of the setting, meant here in a neutral sense) of the human worldview and its relation to Law, Chaos, Others and Oneself. Briefly, the Old Faith reflects the fragmentary tribal warrior societies where survival, personal glory and achievement and prosperity for one's nearest are at the forefront - It is a religion where Law is the strongest, but not necessarily dominant, hegemony that lives in proximity to the forces of Chaos and must need be flexible in its dealings with these. The Nine Gods of the  New Order are more akin the Roman gods - A state religion (though, rather than state-sponsored gods, it is a case of states sponsored by gods) whose devotion and spread is intimately connected to the welfare and prosperity of the realms it patronises. It is community oriented and seeks the greater good

Ponderous Notes on Gods, Religions & Similar Creatures

There's a special conceit in Erce concerning gods - They are strictly for humans (and their related lawful races such as Dwarves and Halflings). In D&D, it is common to find racial pantheons - The elves have their own pantheon, the dwarves, orcs and oozes and jellies all have their own racial deities. I am not going that direction, because it's not what I am observing in European mythology as being the case and I think running with this a bit not only plays well into the themes I have set out for Erce, but also makes for some interesting angles for a game world - Curiously, given that I am cripping earth mythology here, I haven't seen much of this in fantasy. So anyway, in places mythologies like the Nordic and Celtic ones, we see that gods is generally something connected to humans. Other beings like trolls, elves, dwarves, etc don't enjoy their favour or patronage. The supernatural races are as often, if not opposed, then subjugated to the gods. More

Alignment in Erce

Being a write-up of how alignment works in Erce and a few ponderous notes on said write-up. Pic unrelated. Alignment Alignment in Erce runs on either a 2 or 4 point axis. The most fundamental and unavoidable one is Law vs Chaos – This is an either/or disposition. If you are not Lawful you are, by definition, Chaotic – There is no in between. This alignment axis is more of an allegiance, or even obligation, than an ethical or philosophical outlook that dictates ones actions – It is most fundamentally choosing sides in a cosmic battle. An adherence to a metaphysical, but very much tangible, faction. The other polarity is an ethical one: Good vs Evil – Unlike Law and Chaos, most people are not strongly aligned with these to be truly considered either. Though good is known and valued all across the West, the notion that people ought to be guided wholly by ethical choices is not a universal one. Being morally upright is a value that must be weighed against other values lik

Law & Chaos

Although Erce has simmered in the visions of authors like Zelazny, Poul Anderson and Moorcock and in many ways seeks to make sense of the original Law/Chaos dichotomy of old D&D (such as presented in Keep on the Borderlands ), the primary inspiration for its alignment structure (and developed well before my encounter with the OSR inspired me to take things up a notch) is Nordic mythology. A brief sketch of their worldview will go a long way towards understanding the worldview of Erce - The Aesir , the gods, were the upholders of Law, who kept humanity safe from the Chaos of the wilderness (which is full of predators, Jotun and monsters) and even built great cosmic walls to keep them at bay. The Aesir may rule the roost before Ragnarok, but they are essentially usurpers of the cosmic order and self-aware of being so (they know Chaos will get the upper hand again at Ragnarok), having killed the first Jotun to shape the world and subjugated the rest to fit their world order. In