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Old 03-19-2009, 02:14 AM   #21
Peter Knutsen
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humabout
Incidentally, if you want an interesting read, look up exactly what the Church requires to perform an exorcism. It's freaky as hell. And they require video evidence of it. Additionally, as a caveat, Catholic.com actually says that the Bell Witch is the only spirit recorded as taking a life. Look up that fun legend; the Church doesn't normally support things like that openly. Also, no where in the Bible (make sure you have the King James version, or a similarly Chuch-sanctioned one for whatever translation you require) does it say that the Devil or his underlings are unable to take a life; that is merely dogma produced by the Church--it may or may not be true. They also play up the fact that while the Devil may not take a life, he sure as hell can torture the crap out of you.
Thanks, for your post, it's well worthit. As for the Bible version, I do have a King James, chosen mostly because I know it is legal to quote from it since it is out of copyright.


As for demons taking lives, at least in my Ärth setting they don't often want to do that. They can, but it's much more fun to corrupt people and make them bad. Feed their inner badness. Satan gives you brownie points for corrupting mortals (and thwarting the efforts of Divine entities such as Saints and Angels), not for killing mortals, or even for tormenting them (although tormenting mortals is fun; most demons are more or less sadistic).

Usully if a demon kills someone, it is because it is on a strategic mission of some kind (and the human is just a random speed bump), or because by killing one person or a few persons it hopes to be able to intimiate some other people into corruption, or because it loses its self-control in a fit of rage (some demon types are more prone to this than others).


As I understand Christian theology (not very well), the highest goal of a demon, in terms of an individual mortal victim, is to get said victim to renounce his faith, renounce Christianity, but I'm not sure how well that works on Ärth, since first of all belief in the existence of one or more particular gods wasn't the issue at all in medieval times (existence was taken for granted; no Christian would deny that Odin exist - they'll just define him as a Devil or Demon, and likewise no Norse pagans deny that White Christ exists; they just refuse to sacrifice to him because they regard him as an effiminate and weak god), and specifically on Ärt all religions are obviously and evidently true simultaneosly. Some Christian clergy, as well as some Christian lay preachers and even non-preachers, do exhibit miraculous powers, and sacrificing to the pagan gods does sometime produce results.

I think my solution to this is to have demons instead strive to get people to do evil things simply for the sake of being evil, i.e. not steal because they're starving or have pre- extramarital sex beause they're in love, but do it because it is fun and gratifying, with no higher reason. And I imagine that that works better on Christians and on other Abrahamics, because pagans generally don't walk around assuming there's anything whatsoever wrong with enjoying life (as long as you do it in a calm and orderly manner; men are expected to exhibit self-control at all times, although more so among the Norse than among the pagan Kelts[1]; being drunk or horny-out-of-control, or being shouting angry, is embarassing, even if it happens quite often. Women and girls are expected to have much less self control, but often surprise the men-folk in this regard by failing to live up to the stereotype. I expect it often goes along the line of "most women are very emotional and prone to tantrums, but (thank Frigg!) my woman is calm and level-headed most of the time").

[1] The British, especially in York where they know much about Vikings, often joke about the "stiff Norse upper-lip". (Yes, Ärth is alternate history - Arthur Pendragon kicked Saxon butt and drew the Germanics into the sea, so Britain is still Keltic.)
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:18 AM   #22
Peter Knutsen
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Location: Europe
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin
I have some material for this, but it's 3e and heavily houseruled, so it may be of limited interest. Private Message me if you'd like it emailed to you.
I won't be able to use any of that directly. Ärth is late 10th century, so there are no formal mendicant orders (no Domincans and no Franciscans; only wandering monks who behave like friars, although since they wander without a sanctioned mission they are frowned upon by the Church) and certainly no Jesuits at all.

Still, I've sent you an email, because I might be able to find some inspiration in your material.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #23
walkir
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Germany
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Don't forget the church is as centralistic as it's possible.

The priest who baptized me was wrongly accused of child molesting.
That went straight to Rome. Our local bishop was allowed to suspend him and inform the community by writing letters, but nothing more.
And even after the attorney's office said there was no evidence to believe that story and stopped the investigation, Rome went on for at least two moths.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:48 AM   #24
The Benj
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Platform Zero, Sydney, Australia
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs
That's one of the uses I got from it. One of the PCs in my Buffy the Vampire Slayer campaign was a member of the Congregation for the Righteous Use of Forbidden Knowledge.
C.R.U.F.K.?

They need a better Marketting department.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:27 AM   #25
Pagan
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Also, don't underestimate getting people to do wrong or evil out of necessity. Some of your great morality role-playing will come out of this. It's easier to do the wrong if it seems it is necessary but it's still the wrong thing. The hard part is doing the right thing even when it's not convenient or it hurts. Yes, steal when you're hungry, hurt others when it seems justified, lie to save someone's feelings from greater pain. You'll get great mileage out of making these moral quandaries.

Also, linking up a group of small, seemingly unrelated evils to create a greater evil is also fun. And the pcs realization when they see the greater evil is priceless.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:56 AM   #26
Xenarthral
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen
I think my solution to this is to have demons instead strive to get people to do evil things simply for the sake of being evil, i.e. not steal because they're starving or have pre- extramarital sex beause they're in love, but do it because it is fun and gratifying, with no higher reason. And I imagine that that works better on Christians and on other Abrahamics, because pagans generally don't walk around assuming there's anything whatsoever wrong with enjoying life.
I'm reminded of something that was written in one of the Wizard specials on supervillains from the mid-nineties or so (with blatant disregard for the
separation of superhero universes):
"Neron should spend less time trying to corrupt Captain Marvel and focus
on pushing Wolverine over the edge."
Or, in other words:
It's easier to tempt someone who just needs a shove to succumb ("There's
nothing wrong with enjoying life!") than someone who needs a twelve step
program and an instructive booklet ("You can enjoy life?").

If there are demons actively trying to tempt people into doing evil things for
the sake of being evil, then there is an objective line they are trying to get
people to cross, no sliding scale depending on what gods people worship.
The stereotypical pagan "enjoying life" may still be safe, but he is closer to
the line than the stereotypical devout Abrahamic who has different standards
of behaviour.
Thus getting the stereotypical pagan to cross the line is easier, even if
pagan standards for behaviour are normally enough to stay safely on the side
of good, but getting an Abrahamic to do so is more rewarding (gives more
brownie points).
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:52 AM   #27
shadowmane
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: [Thaumaturgy] Esoteric Catholicism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkir
Don't forget the church is as centralistic as it's possible.

The priest who baptized me was wrongly accused of child molesting.
That went straight to Rome. Our local bishop was allowed to suspend him and inform the community by writing letters, but nothing more.
And even after the attorney's office said there was no evidence to believe that story and stopped the investigation, Rome went on for at least two moths.
Don't forget, there was a split in the 11th century over the issue of the Pope's universal jurisdiction. One group, the East, said he had Primacy of Honor only. The other group, the west (coincidentally, the part of the church the Pope oversaw), said the Pope was the "Vicar of Christ" and had Universal Jurisdiction over the whole church.

If the Arth setting has Christians, there will certainly be people from both parties scattered everywhere. There were certainly church leaders in the West who held to the view of the East until the Pope declared it a heresy and made them recant. There were also those in the East (the Armenians among them) who believed in the universal jurisdiction of the Pope.

When dealing with all of this, you have to pull back from your own world view and look at the bigger picture. I know all of this because I spent two full years researching it. Before my research, I held to the typical Fundamentalist Protestant view that the Catholic Church was not Christian. After my research, I am more tolerant, and research everything out before I open my mouth.

As far as Celtic Monks, they had something called the White Martyrdom, where they voluntarily banished themselves from their home and went journeying. Oftentimes, they would just cast off in a Carrick (a Celtic well built boat) without oars or sails and where they landed, they would start proselytizing. Often, they would have a whole group of monks with them, who were their followers. By the 10th Century, the Benedictines and the Franciscans had overtaken them.

I think you guys are pretty much on target with the Demons and what not.
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