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Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:59 pm
by shadowmane
Okay, I've decided to tackle the Church of Tah. I know, most of you are thinking that its good the way it is. However, I felt like fleshing it out a little bit. What's linked here is my first draft. I'll be working on this until I finish it as my first work for this game. After that, I'll be moving on to flesh other things out. I intend to ultimately do a work up of the City of Beth as part of this Supplement. I also intend to add some rules about clerics, paladins and monks of Tah eventually, though that may be beyond the scope of this supplement. I haven't decided on that yet.

What I've done is added two additional sects to the Church (The Urdish Orthodox Church and the Free Church), as well as a beginning blurb for the Cult of Shaitan. I've fleshed out the other sects a little bit, adding some meat to them.

Since this is only dealing with the Church of Tah, I've removed the information on the Hundred Gods and the Druids. I may tackle that if someone else doesn't in another future supplement. So, here it is in all its unfinished glory. Its not even at release 1 yet, so don't get your hopes up. However, it does have a great deal of the information I'm going to ultimately flesh out in it. Enjoy and please give feedback.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:07 pm
by SmootRK
first thing first. The images contained within the BFRPG core rules are generally not for re-use. Each contributing artist has their own agreement with Chris/Solo, which has been boiled down to a general "no" on reuse to make things simple across the board (even if some images have been used in multiple places in the past (such as within the core rules and Morgansfort)).

I am sure another copyright free (or vintage ink image) or something can be found instead. That is how I try to do things with supplements that I so embellish.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:12 pm
by shadowmane
Okay, I fixed the picture. So here's a question I'm asking myself right now. What, exactly, goes on in a Church or Chapel of Tah? I admit I'm kind of drawing a blank. I know what goes on in a Catholic Church, and I know what goes on in a Protestant Church. I know what happened in the Jewish Temple, and what goes on in a Jewish Synagog. I even have studied how some of the different pagan religions worshiped. So I guess I'm asking what, in your mind, goes on in a Church of Tah?

Here's some thoughts I've had. Perhaps, as the Zoroastrians do, the Priest keeps a holy fire lit on the altar. Or, perhaps there are animal sacrifices at the altar, which would mean it would have to be either an outside altar, or a well drained altar with water readily available. It could be like an altar of Mithra, where they had a meal just like communion in a Catholic Church.

What goes on will kind of help determine what a Cathedral of Tah would look like. It would also speak to what goes on in a Free Church, which rejects the Priesthood. Anyway, there's the question.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:44 am
by SmootRK
Seeing it as a rough approximation of the early Church (right after the major schism between Catholic & Protestant), I would start there.

One could and should dress the aspects up differently but,
Religious Education classes/training (youths and adults)
Baptisms or similar 'initiations' into the faith. Perhaps even tiered so that other non-clerical members have a structure to follow (deacons, altar servants, educators, missionaries).
Seminary (a series of studies and/or prayer & reflection for entry into the Clerical class).
Living quarters for clergy, dedicated staff, and seminary students.

More monastic (as in having to do with a monastery) orders would have functions like a small town or village... having blacksmithy, baker, gardeners, wineries... just about everything it takes to run a small community independantly (or with limited trade with another local community).

Now on the more protestant oriented side, being "newly" formed organizations, the central functions would revolve around building up the organization with a major drive to Evangelize, Missionary missions, calling for charitable giving (to the church of course), and otherwise making 'spreading the word' the primary goal. They don't have the advantage of massive wealth (including a vast array of art, religious icons/relics, and valuable assets), land holdings, political power, and such that the main church would deploy... they must rely on a central mission of recruitment to continue.

Other functions of either sorts of orders might include special Convents for Nuns, Libraries or Archives, and on the fantasy side of things, perhaps structures built around evil magical items to protect and shield them from others; similarly evil beings (devils/demonic/etc) bound and held in religious prisons of sorts.

On the meaner side of things, there could be Inquisition-like places where the damned are sent to be cleansed (great idea for adventurers to explore).

There can be religious orders of Fighters that fight (thinking of Muslim-like extremist types - and no offense meant by bringing up the idea). These guys form religious militias that fight against foes of the church (rather independently) or in places where the church effectively rules, might form a sort of "morality police". Likewise, the other classes of MU might have a special sort of religious order that labors against underworld (but otherwise real in the game) forces. Thieves (acting more like assassins) might even have a religious order/counterpart (much like found in certain movies).

Anyway, just some ideas to help you expand upon your endeavor.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:43 am
by Solomoriah
You have taken the Tahists much further than I had envisioned. I approve of this endeavour. You have done the OGL correctly (always a plus) and the material looks good.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:39 pm
by shadowmane
Solomoriah, thanks.

I'm at work today and tomorrow. I'll pick back up on working on it Friday.

Smoot, you have some very good ideas there. As a student of church history and comparative religion, I can add a lot of stuff in there. Some of the things you've suggested I've thought of. I hadn't thought of the Reformation as something recent. I'll have to approach it from that angle. I was thinking the Reformation would be at least 100 to 150 years in the past, but could move it to a much closer time (maybe Solomoriah can give us a sort of semi-canonical time frame in reference to the Morgansfort adventure). I have to admit I had visions of Free Church Villages under the charm of a cleric, who is sort of the power behind the village elders. Kind of like the town in Footloose, only with a Medieval flavor. The cleric isn't evil, per se, just extreme.

I'm basing the Reformed Church of Slateholm on the English Reformation, with other sub-sects based on the Continental Reformation. There's all kinds of potential for strife there, with the Bethite Church's Court of the Inquisition meddling where it can. I plan to flesh a lot of this out before I move from Draft to Release.

I've thought about basing Beth not on Rome, but on Constantinople, with its great Hagia Sophia in the center near the Imperial Palace (the Imperial Palace here being, of course, the Patriarchal Residence). Of course, then there's the Magister Heirarchs, who also have Cathedrals located on the many hills surrounding the city. The Imperial Palace would be something along the lines of Avnignon, just to sort of throw some flavor in it. Something magnificent, calling on the wealth and glory that is the Patriarch of Beth. This is the palace of a man whose political and spiritual power extends beyond the boundaries of the Empire of Urd, and he knows it and flaunts it at every turn.

Anyway, good stuff. If you think of more, don't hesitate to throw it out there.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:28 pm
by shadowmane
Okay, here's my night's work. Remember, this is still pretty much in draft form. I've been working primarily on the history of the church. I had to figure out what has happened before so I can figure out what is happening now. It will help me when I get to writing about the organization of the different churches. I've also piddled some more with the Urdish Orthodox Church and the Bathite Church a little as well.

Also, here's a nice little picture for you to dwell on.


Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:48 pm
by shadowmane
I've been doing more research for this thing. I've been researching the Puritans and the Pilgrims (interestingly, they are two different groups which I wasn't aware of before... I originally approached this thinking they were one and the same), and have come up with a sort of faction that will bleed over into both the Reformed and the Free Churches (I'm calling them the Purists). I'm also thinking about renaming the Free Church, and re-doing a few things in regards to all of that. I think I'm also going to add a few cities to the map so that I can give the Tahist Reformation a better history. This whole thing seems to be getting a bit of a Baroque feel to it, and I'm feeling that it may have to be spun off at some point into a more Baroque (as in Enlightenment Era, not art... think 16th and 17th Centuries) setting, instead of the standard Medieval setting (anybody got rules for early matchlocks and blunderbusses?).

I'm wanting to add some aspects of the real Reformation from the Netherlands. I plan on adding a city of Dutz as a sort of play on "Dutch Reformed". Another city I plan on adding is Vetinberg as a stand-in for Whittenberg, where Martin Luther nailed up his 95 Theses, thereby beginning the Reformation. I'm also planning on adding some aspects of Reformed Judaism in there as well.

I'm trying to come up with a conglomeration of things that will seem familiar, but have enough of a twist to make the suspension of disbelief honest. I'm also trying to bring this back from being too far out of what Solomoriah has written in the Morgansfort Adventure. I do, after all, want it to be compatible with that setting.

What other elements could I add to this that would make it more unique?

I already plan to flesh out four different religious sects (five if you count the Cult of Shaitan). I plan on adding three cities and one additional setting within the political influence of Slateholm. I'm not going to tackle Slateholm itself, though I do plan to do something with the Reformed Cathedral that I'm setting there. My biggest goal is to work up the city of Beth itself. That'll be quite a bit of a challenge. And ultimately, I would like to add at least a mini-adventure for all of the factions. But hey, I love research, and I love Church History, so I get to scratch two itches at the same time, while writing for a hobby I love.

Edit: Okay, I just discovered 7th Sea, and its D20 clone Swashbuckling Adventures. I guess that nixes the expanding this to setting idea.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:25 pm
by shadowmane
I was able to do about 45 minutes of work on this today. I expanded and re-worked the Reformed Church section, working the "Free Church" back into it and eliminating it as a separate church entirely in favor of a sub-sect of the Reformed Church. I'm still working on the history section, and there are other sections that will follow in the future. Enjoy.

Re: Church of Tah Expansion Supplement

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 6:47 pm
by shadowmane
I finally found the file again after searching my new server. I'm going back through the draft right now to make corrections and what not. I'll be adding to the content over the course of the next few weeks. I hope to have another draft out soon.

Hmmm... I wonder if anyone on the art forum has seen my request for art on the general forum. I would love to use original art in this supplement.