Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-01-2017, 01:27 PM   #1
Anders
Banned
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Resources for Fantasy religions

What resources do you have for developing fantasy religions? I tend to go look for the early progenitors of polytheistic religions - the ancient Proto Indo-European (PIE), Semitic and Uralic religions. Here are some links in case anyone is interested:

Wikipeda: Proto-Indo-European Religion
Wikipedia: Ancient Semitic Religion
Wikipedia: Uralic mythologies

For Proto-Indo European religion, there is also this page by a Ceisiwr Serith. He has done a lot of work trying to reconstruct PIE religion. Whether his results have anything to do with actual PIE religion... who knows? But it's fertile ground for generating world building ideas.
Another good source is this YouTube playlist for "Crash Course Mythology. A little bit of silliness, but a great resource.

As you notice, I am terribly eurocentric, so if anyone has good resources on proto-Sino religion or the various religious systems of the Americas, that would be great.

And of course, let's keep this thread agnostic about the existence of divine figures. This thread is explicitly about gaming purposes.

Last edited by Anders; 08-01-2017 at 01:30 PM.
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 03:28 PM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

I found Dumézil's "tripartite ideology" theory of Indo-European religions a very helpful source.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

Personally I have recently used catholicism as a base for the social aspects of the major religeon. As well as using the various Christian/Jewish faiths as models for off shoots.
This is flavoured by the use of fictional religeous sources such as Small Gods and The Tales of the Bard series.
__________________
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
(E) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
thastygliax
 
thastygliax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lexington, KY
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

For gaming-oriented sources to help you generate ideas, we'd be horribly remiss in not mentioning GURPS Religion. That book was a great help to me with both flavor and mechanics when I was fleshing out my homebrew fantasy GURPS campaign.

Green Ronin's The Book of the Righteous gives a multitude of worked examples of fantasy religions, and a chapter with advice on how to do it yourself. (The original was for D&D 3.0, but GR recently Kickstartered an update to 5E. The PDF is available in their online store, and the print version should reach backers and stores soon.)

For the past decade or so, I've been running a Greek myth-based solo BESM campaign for my wife. One of the best sources I've found for ideas for that is Robert Graves' The Greek Myths. As recently discussed on the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast, Graves is valuable both for his concise retellings of the myths (including alternate versions of many stories) and for the crazypants but eminently gameable theories that litter his footnotes.
__________________
Tim Emrick / my blog: Studded Plate / my gaming site: Thastygliax's Vault
thastygliax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
JMason
 
JMason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cockeysville, MD
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
What resources do you have for developing fantasy religions?
http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/Religion/

:-D
__________________
---
My Blog: Dice and Discourse - My adventures in GURPS and thoughts on table top RPGs.
JMason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2017, 02:22 PM   #6
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

I've been getting some good use out of an older book series called The Mythology of All Races at the local library. It's got definite pre-WWII writer's bias to it in places (the book on African religion is most egregious about it, I've noted). Still a fairly decent resource for building up for gaming purposes.
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:03 AM   #7
Pomphis
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

There is also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_deities

There was

www.godchecker.com

but that wasn´t available when I checked right now, so maybe it´s gone.
Pomphis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2017, 04:49 AM   #8
Anders
Banned
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

GURPS Religion is a great resource. My copy is falling apart so I'm glad it's available as a pdf. Godchecker works for me and has been added to my library. Thanks!
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
RyanW
 
RyanW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southeast NC
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pomphis View Post
There was

www.godchecker.com

but that wasn´t available when I checked right now, so maybe it´s gone.
It's up now, must have been a temporary down. Looks useful.
__________________
RyanW
For sale: Turing test cheat sheets
Check out my GURPS (et al) wiki, Sweetcandle. Latest addition: Avatar style bending in Fate Core
RyanW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2017, 02:47 PM   #10
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Resources for Fantasy religions

There are quite a few old threads on this topic:

How to invent plausible religions
Help building a religion
God and Pantheon Creation 101
Need some help with my gods

There are lots of textbooks on comparative religion out there too - two I personally rather like are The Phenomenon of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Moojan Momen (1999) and Reader in Comparative Religion. William A. Lessa and Evon Z Vogt (1956). Though often the most useful thing you can do with them is just look at the chapter and section titles and think about what (or whether) your religion has any important element of that.

Also, I think a lot of advice on this sort of thing is misaimed. Unless you are building a religion which is "true" and the story is going to be about cosmic issues the family tree of the gods and the details of their myths or deep philosophical discussions are not what you need. You want the stuff that outsiders can *see* - symbols, dress, food or other taboos, what the temples look like, key life stage rituals, what sort of things ordinary people might sacrifice, or do in the course of a day or a month or a year, when the festivals are, what happens on them, and five sentence or shorter summary of what they are about the locals will tell the foreigners. You need the little gods and saints that have street shrines or that people swear by, and the tradition of including an extra penny in any payment you make to be thrown into a well as an offering, not the "High Gods" nobody but scholar priests care about, or the once in a millennium Grand Royal Sacrifice. Recognizing those are different and showing it in your story is a great way of adding a touch of realism.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fantasy, game resources, religion

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.