Religion (please read before jumping to conclusions)

Ok, to preface this I am not interested in religious debate of any sort. I just want to add some more flavour to what feels like a fairly empty part of the game. Also, this has been conceived and written up on very little sleep. Please forgive basic errors, etc.

Hi everyone, I’ve noticed that churches and cathedrals feel rather barren. I propose adding new items, and perhaps an accompanying trait ‘Religious’. I also think new religious locations are worth discussing.

  1. New items.

Churches and cathedrals as they stand feel almost more like an abandoned town hall than a place of worship. I believe that adding bibles, crucifixes, rosaries, priest clothing, etc. would change the atmosphere of these locations entirely.

I also believe that adding items such as these could perhaps offend some more sensitive souls as many people seem to feel that adding individual, distinct religions to the game could spark conflict. I am of the belief that Cataclysm should do it’s best to emulate the real world with divergent events, and as such I feel that distinct religious objects would be immersive.

However, to address concerns regarding individuals beliefs I feel that more generic objects could be substituted.

Instead of a Bible, Quran, or Tanakh there could simply be a “Holy Book”.

Crucifixes, rosaries, prayer mats, and even Menorahs could be streamlined into “Religious Icon”.

Hymn books (idea courtesy of Sheb) could become “Song books”, although I don’t think that many could find offence with a book of hymns being found in a church.

I’m not certain what generic versions of clerical collars are. Perhaps just collar? I’m not sure if we really need this, but it would make roleplaying a priest feel a little more organic. It could also be an addition to a “Priest” profession.

Even if all of these ideas are rejected on the merit that religion is too much of a touchy subject I would really, really love to see candles in churches and cathedrals.

  1. Trait.

Okay, this is probably going to be the most touchy thing I’m bringing up in this topic.

I believe that if the aforementioned objects are added a “Religious” trait should make it’s way into the game. On the most minimalist end of the slider this trait could simply allow one to 'r’ead Holy Books for a higher morale boost than would be received from a novel.
(This could be special cased as 'a’ctivate “Religious Icon” for illiterates perhaps?)
The reasoning behind this is people tend to take comfort from Holy Books if they are religious. It’s that simple. If you honestly believe that there is an afterlife and that your friends and family are there then of course your morale is going to be (at least) slightly higher than those that believe that once you die you are gone forever.

On the opposite end of the slider could be things like taking different morale hits from killing child zombies (perhaps you’re more shaken up by it because most Holy Books condemn killing, perhaps you feel like you’ve layed their soul to rest. I don’t really know, this is more speculation than solid idea), and perhaps certain conducts such as not being able to eat non-kosher meat, or having to pray five times a day or be hit with a penalty of some sort.

I think that a balance between gameplay and flavour can be found, and that the inclusion of a ‘religious’ trait would add rather than detract to the atmosphere, replayability, and overall flavour (this goes under atmosphere too I guess, but three points are better than two!).

  1. Locations.

Finally, I think that ideally it would be really amazing to have things like Mosques and Synagogues implemented in the game as well as the generic churches (ideally along with their own distinct Holy Book and religious iconography), but I understand that this can also be a sore-point with people. I don’t see a lot of point in adding these before the implementation of Z-levels, but I think these locations could be worthy and distinct additions to the game after that.

Okay, thank you for reading this proposal. Feel free to shoot it down in as many ways as you want, but try to keep the criticism constructive. If you don’t like an idea please let me know why, and perhaps list some changes and improvements you would make.
I am open to new ideas, and I am not strongly opposed to these ideas not making their way into the game. However, at the very least I’d really like to see generic religious objects implemented in the future.

Also, thanks Sheb for brainstorming this with me.

Just going to point out that Leper is/was really tired at the time of writing, so don’t hold anything against him.

I don’t think the lore has much to say about religion, other than for the cults worshiping creatures from the Netherworld, but we do have churches and cathedrals, and adding more religion-specific items would give them more atmosphere. I also support a religious trait, although I think it should be as generic as possible (morale bonus for reading an Holy Book and wearing a small relic.)

Generally, I oppose having various religion. It seems a can of worms to me, as people tend to get offended/offensive really quickly when we talk about various religions. I would suggest making it cannon that at some time in the early 21st century, major religious denominations came together to resist increasing secularism and that religion is now under the iron fist of Unitarian Popimamrabbimonkguru Dude the First, with reference to that religion being fairly generic. Church could still be called church because most of those building would have been former Christian churches reconverted into Unitarian stuff.

But that’s just my 2 cents.

I support the idea of a unified fictitious religion.

I’m not an expert on Cataclysm lore, but with xenophobic tensions rising there would be ample reason for America to clamp down on religion. Religion can be a weapon, because people will do things in faith that they would never consider doing otherwise. It also serves as a set of moral guidelines that perhaps the government wishes to revise (read: control). I think it would be realistic for the American government to recognise this and unify the major religions under their control, perhaps even using it as a propaganda tool to demonize China, etc.

That said, I really, really love the diversity that comes with religion and it’d be nice to see that in the game.

My brain says that a unified fictitious religion will let me have my cake, AND eat it.
My heart cries out for the romanticism of religious iconography, because crucifixes are iconic, damn it. Though, I’m biased towards just including the things that are found in the real world with no regard for people’s feelings.

Objectively though it looks like the unified fictitious route is the path of least resistance, and it does seem to fit quite nicely into the Cold War-esque paranoia between China and the US.

On the generic level you suggested, i do believe it needs more indepth aspects to it, but it still has merit.

As for the specifics, lets just leave that to the modders to play with.

To add something like this for only a few shaby moral boost items isnt really worth the trouble.
Since you dont want to offend anyone, you shouldnt implemet something like this too serious.

We got the nether, zombies, bionics so a religion should be something crazy as well.

Maybe at the start choose a religion like:


But also stuff like:
Flying spaghetti monster

Or even gods from other worlds:
The seven
The old gods

And give those something special like:
Christian: Praying to a Cruzifix will rise attack for x time.
Satanism: Sacrafice something for to gain trait x

and so on.

Maybe have a religon skill that gives you some special powers on level x.

This is something I want to absolutely avoid at all costs. Cataclysm is science fiction. Divine intervention is a big no-no for me, unless it’s somehow justified in setting. Even then, would a Netherium monster really care if you worship it, let alone grant you aid? From what I’ve seen the answer is “No, that sucker’s gonna eat you like a gummy worm.”

If there are going to be any special powers they should be a result of something like quantum entanglement, and even then I’d say no. I think artefacts are the exception to the rule because they’re so uncommon and undocumented.

I think we need to keep religion more realistic, whether it be the unified religion or real life religion.

I could be wrong, but I think the rules of Cataclysm are along the lines of outlandish is okay, but use at least semi-plausible pseudo-science to back it up. Otherwise it’ll end up with kitchen sink syndrome, like NetHack.

That said, I really like the idea of being able to choose a religion with the trait, similar to the martial arts traits. I can only see it working if the conducts are implemented though. In my opinion this is unlikely because of the amount of work that would need to go into it.

I’d love for the religious trait to be more than a “x has y effect on your morale by z amount” type deal. Ideally there should be a penalty, a positive, and it should be fun to play. It shouldn’t be too tedious or involve way too many keystrokes. This is where I think things like praying five times a day could be bad, but on the other hand it could force you to make interesting tactical choices.
Do you raid the town now and hope you’re out in time, or do you make sure that you’re devout with your prayer so you can definitely get into heaven? If you don’t pray should your intelligence be lowered by 1 to simulate the anxiety your character would be feeling when thinking these thoughts?

I’d like to see the way the religious trait interacts with drugs, actually. THAT could be an interesting penalty. I’d just want to find a positive a little more interesting than higher morale.

This is actually how my thought process works, but all typed out. Kind of scary, huh?

Problem with religious conducts is that it’s going to degenerate into “Religion X actually doesn’t imply Y.” discussions all over the forum. If a modder want to add them, fine, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to have it in the mainline.

Yeah, that’s definitely an issue. It’s kind of funny that many holy wars started over that basic concept.

Maybe a goal could be to have randomly generated religions eventually? Similar to the way factions are going to be. That would open up some interesting gameplay and scenarios, especially if religion ends up interacting with factions on a large scale.

I might be wrong, but I think some religious stuff with factions is already planned.

We have mutations of all sorts, such a superpower can be just another mutation like X-Men powers just activated through your believe in a specific religion.

I really dont see a realistic religion benefiting the game in any way.

A randomly generated fictional religion on the other hand could have some potential.
Depending on the pros and cons that would come with them.

It could be a mutation you rationalize with your belief system, but how do you justify an atheist not getting that mutation? Is atheist DNA resistant?

The Atheist would get the mutation as well, why not, its a mutation?!

To be honest, it’s a roguelike. Sure, stick religion in. Give us the ability to pray to your chosen deity for a boon.
Pray too often and you might piss him off. :wink:

I don’t know, I think procedurally-generated random religion would break immersion for me.

I was thinking something more along the lines of Nethack. It’s real laid back. You wouldn’t even need to use it if you didn’t want to, or you could just be an atheist.
Sometimes praying does nothing, sometimes it grants miracles and depending on the god, sometimes he just takes the piss out of you or punishes you. You can also sacrifice make offerings to your chosen deity. Due to the rather comedic nature of the system I think it would actually decrease the amount of religious rants and generally annoying holier-than-thous that a more in-depth system could generate.

Good old cursed amulets of strangulation. ( @ x @),y==~,
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Aaaanyway, As to the original suggestion I do think the churches and cathedrals could be fleshed out a lot more. Priest robes, brass goblets, grimoires and holy books/symbols etc etc… I think someone found a hidden cultist building of some sort, which would be cool too. Good suggestion Leper. I hear they’re planning to implement religion with factions iirc, but factions will be after NPCs are sorted out. Don’t see why we can’t have some new items in soon though.

  1. Don’t say “I was tired when I wrote this, don’t hold it against me”, it’s pointless. If you knew you were tired and can’t stand behind what you wrote, don’t post it, and check that it’s worth posting when you aren’t tired or otherwise impared. That having been said, the disclaimer was also unnecessary because there’s nothing wrong with it.
  2. Religious powers: NO
  3. “Religious” or “Spiritual” trait, sure why not, but it needs down sides to go with the benefits, so it’s not just “take this for free morale”, this is simply a balance issue. The trait ittself should be religion-agnostic (see what I did there? :wink:
  4. Religious iconography is fine, and feel free to add specific ones, such as the bible or the torah or whatever, I don’t see any point in pretending these things don’t exist, however they shouldn’t have any in-game effects attached to them specific to their particular religion. A caveat to this is that there’s nowhere specific* to spawn Torahs and such, since the religious buildings we have in-game are fairly specifically christian.
  5. More (specific) religious buildings, yes please.
  • Of course they’d still spawn in normal library collections, there’s just nowhere to guarantee their spawn.

No religious powers?
How else will i get the power to shoot Buddha-Jesus-FSM-Muhamed-Zues-Beams out of eye and immolate babies?

Why would the religious trait need a downside if it cost creation points?

[quote=“detahramet, post:16, topic:2842”]No religious powers?
How else will i get the power to shoot Buddha-Jesus-FSM-Muhamed-Zues-Beams out of eye and immolate babies?[/quote]

With the power of, RELIGION!

Religions are bad m’kay?

…do not go there xLemor. It will derail this already precarious thread.