How much heresy is too much?

I’ve been mooching through the religion section of the wiki recently and I have to say there’s a lot of really cool stuff in there with huge potential for debate and discussion IC.

So in mulling over character options for the future I wondered: what (roughly) was the ‘religious game’ on the field in year one? Was it overwhelmed with special little flowers spouting all manner of filthy heresies? Were the religious deviants a good addition to the game (i.e. fun)? I’m mindful that it is our responsibility to uphold the setting of the Empire society, and so I am wary of leaping full-on into the depths of controversial opinion if the game is already creaking under the weight of screaming heretics.

I don’t want to pry into who did what IC, just to get a flavour from those already engaged in that aspect of the game as to how it was and what might or might not be fun and welcome in the future.

Thanks in advance.

I don’t know much about the religion game as a whole, but heresy (and lack of tolerance thereof) has provided some of the best game for me and my group in the first year. First excommunication FTW?

Yeah Heresy got quite a bit of play last year, the ones that I ran into were “The Abraxian Schism”, “The Lucidian Blasphemy / Auran Idolatry” and some nonsense about Orc’s having souls ahem. But if you go an have a look here - profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … dom_Heresy :slight_smile:.

There’s plenty of room to play with the ones that haven’t been touched, but I’d suggest going the subtle route to start with as a counterpoint to the race to excommunication that some people ran this year :slight_smile:.

There is also plenty of room to interpret the Virtues in “divergent” ways that are not heresy but can provide discussion and conflict. Be creative!


OC: Henry Who Hates Forums

IC: Brother Jared of the Suns of Couros Chapter, Highguard; Steward of the Dead, Magister of Winter, Cardinal of the Path of Loyalty

There’s loads of room to experiment with other priests and try and find answers to the big questions. If you want to play the heresy game it is up to you, I know a certain person enjoys causing a bit of chaos and being confrontational, so it’s entirely up to you.

The past year the religious game was fun I thought, lots of questions being asked and trying to find the answers through experimentation. There’s lots of stuff going on and can always start your own religious debates, like the orcs maybe having souls business, which of course is rubbish :stuck_out_tongue:

So yeah, lots of stuff to discuss, just depends what kind of game you want. You can hunt heresy, start debates or just be a good priest and spread the Virtues.

Thanks for the replies so far: at least I’m not getting the “oh my god, not ANOTHER special snowflake” vibe that comes with there having been too much weirdness and not enough orthodoxy in the game, so that’s nice.

The wiki is indeed great and wonderful for giving ideas for ‘interesting’ views - and leaving enough gaps to raise a few new questions as well.

Since I have an existing (non-dubious) character for at least the next event, I might well plan ahead, expand my knowledge, and get my enthusiasm flowing by sketching out some ideas in the form of a pamphlet or booklet for a future character to wave around, covering a range of issues - some peripherally ‘religious’ and others more political … everyone enjoys reading a nice pahmphlet now and again I’m sure! And surely putting ideas down in black and white can’t make them any more problematic…

Roll of Easter.

Wow, I didn’t realise that by claiming Drunkeness was a Virtue that I was just echoing the Vitalist Heresy. :laughing:

It seems to be that the balance is pretty good so far with “enough” people representing Orthodoxy (not that orthodoxy is entirely unified and argument free) that “heretics” have had some people to bounce off.

It feels like most of the debate has been around the fringe aspects (e.g. Lucidian/Auran, Vitalism) rather than any out-and-out Blasphemers or Idolaters (which, to be fair, are harder to argue from safely without being burned).

What we’ve not had is any concerted effort to change the Doctrines which determine what is/is not heresy, which I consider to be the ‘final word’ in any theological debate.

I think there has been some change to doctrine in regards to egregores…

Not according to any of the Synod reports, certainly I think there might be people who might wish for a change in Doctrine in regards to Egregores.

If a Doctrine of the Egregores had been created, I’d know.

The only Doctrinal judgment put to through the Synod last year was at Summer 377YE[1]

Dimitri of Varushka tried to add the following Doctrine:

“All citizens of the Empire, whether they be lineaged, or without lineage, are all equally capable of being virtuous”

It did not achieve the necessary >50% of the Synod. It also sparked lively discussion because the wording was “citizens of the Empire” as opposed to, for example, “humans”.

In year 1, there was a belief that getting >50% of the Synod to agree on anything was “impossible”. However, this has happened twice in the first year in the form of an Excommunication and a veto of a Senate Motion, so who can say what will happen in year 2?

[1] profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … it,_377_YE

And for no good reason…

In the four events of year 1, there were 52 judgments put before the Imperial Synod.

19 - General Assembly
5 - Assemblies of Pride, Vigilance, Courage and the Assembly of Nine (total 20)
2 - Assemblies of Prosperity, the Way, the League and the Navarr (total 8)
1 - Assemblies of Loyalty, Dawn, Urizen, Highguard and Wintermark (total 5)
The other Assemblies elected not to exercise any of their powers

In the same period, the Senate addressed 62 motions (averaging 15 per event).

And that’s political life in the Empire…

Interesting - is it just me who thinks it amusing/wrong that the AMBITION Assembly is one of the two virtue assemblies that did not exercise their powers?

Matt D aka High Inquisitor Abraham of The Shattered Tower

To answer the original question from my point of view -

There was not really ONE ‘religion game’ but actually many overlapping religion games.

There were some blatant Heretics (both PC’s and NPC’s) to keep us anti-Heresy types busy investigating and chasing them. But not so many that it became ridiculous.

There were a lot more characters with ‘dubious’ religious ideas. Lucidianism for example - not (yet :wink: ) against doctrine but considered suspect by some. Discussing these ideas is a different religious game to chasing Heretics. ‘Orc Souls’ falls into a similar category. These beliefs often held by characters who are otherwise virtuous. There was a lot of religious game in this category and it was excellent - but certainly room for a lot more - as there are many suspect areas that were not explored at all.

There is also of course the various ‘political’ games in The Synod - part of the ‘religious game’ but really about politics.

In my opinion The Way is a design masterpiece - not only does it go beyond Black & White to add a Grey area in the middle - it goes even further. Even completely orthodox characters have plenty of room for disagreement.

So - there is NOT too much Heresy - but playing a blatant Heretic - going around saying the Labyrinth doesn’t exist, virtues are all false, gods exist etc. would be a short-lived game and probably not much fun (unless you did it covertly). Having more subtle disagreements and even Heretical but believable beliefs works much better I think.

And Pamphlets are a thing of awesomeness.

Matt D aka High Inquisitor Abraham of The Shattered Tower

I’ve got a lot of game out of pamphlets. Please more pamphlets. :slight_smile:

My first draft “pamphlet” is currently more of a “book” … but I have plenty of time to prune it down, split it up, and tone down the more obviously questionable bits. Certainly researching and drafting has done nothing to reduce my enthusiasm for getting stuck in to this aspect of the game at some point - as has been said, The Way seems to be very well designed indeed.

On a related note, not sure if this info is out there somewhere; I can’t find it: do we know how many recorded True Liao visions there have been? Is it thousands, or hundreds, or dozens? It’s probably in the depths of the wiki somewhere, eluding me…

“On a related note, not sure if this info is out there somewhere; I can’t find it: do we know how many recorded True Liao visions there have been? Is it thousands, or hundreds, or dozens? It’s probably in the depths of the wiki somewhere, eluding me…”

In terms of numbers, in year 1, PD delivered 20 visions. If you extrapolate that across the 377 years of the Empire, that’s 7540 visions. This figure is influenced by:

  • Hypothetical improvements in the distillation process (it may not have been 20 pe annum in 76 YE)
  • The fact that there has never been a legal requirement for visionaries to disclose what they have experienced
  • The creation of True Liao also pre-dates the Empire by an unspecificied number of years

So the answer is thousands, but now look up Emperor Nicovar the Mad.

There may have been thousands of visions, but there are not thousands of recorded visions in the world (the wiki is detailed but not that detailed).

On a tangent, amongst my ambitions/dreams would be to arrange some kind of Ecumenical Council (possibly a sanctioned event) and encourage the codification of a collection of stories/parables/texts around Paragons, Exemplars and other such religious literature into a single corpus.

That is, after all, how the Bible was ultimately shaped - at which point, the Way will have its Holy Book, which would be another tick in the “feels like a real religion” box.

That’s a down-the-line thing though as there is development work needed in the world of Paragons and Exemplars.

Cheers; the fact that there are thousands have most likely been recorded (even if a lot were lost or not recorded or whatever; there could easily still be thousands in various archives) is pretty much all I wanted to get my head around. The detail aren’t important, I just wanted a vague idea of the ‘sample size’.

Many thanks for your support!

I will be writing more pamphlets though they may not be the pamphlets you are interested in. :imp:

Matt D aka High Inquisitor Abraham of The Shattered Tower