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Old 12-22-2009, 05:30 AM   #1
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Default [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

I am in Thailand now for vacation and I have been going to various wats (temples to Buddha) and I have been thinking about how I would make a cleric for a DF game. There is no god of course but there is enlightenment so possibly through prayer a cleric could attain enlightenment and of course learn divine magic to use in dungeon delving. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to create a Buddhist monk cleric. Would they have to only wear an orange robe? (i.e. no armor) And what kinds of spells would you give this kind of cleric? Maybe they aren't clerics, they are something else? If anyone has any better understanding of the religion and such please help me create a Buddhist cleric, thanks.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

I suggest you investigate Chan/Zen Buddhism and Japanese schools such as Tendai and Nichiren. I think most of the other branches forbid monks to bear arms or use violence.

The only regular orders of Buddhist clerical warriors that I know of are the Japanese sohei of Mt. Hiei and possibly the Chan monks of the Shaolin monastery.

In theory Buddhism doesn't have priests, because the academic doctrine is that religious rituals are of no effect, and that there is no consecrated state of ordination. Theoretically, Buddhist bikkhus are analogous to lay brothers (and bikkhunis to lay sisters), not to priests. However the practical differences are sometimes hard to spot, and in folk Buddhism [some] monks are priests to all intents and purposes (just as the theoretical differences between buddhas and bodhisatvas on one hand, and gods on the other, can seem abstruse to an outsider).
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

There is an article in Wikipedia on the rules of conduct for Buddhists, novices, and monks, but it doesn't mention, for instance, that monks are required to beg for their food.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

But DF is an entirely different cookie. I'd say that Buddhist clerics can't do holy/unholy stuff, but that they can put a serious hurt on the squid-god. Make them immune to mind control magics and have a dispel illusions abilities. Then give them psychic powers instead clerical spells. Let their powers be tied to various hand gestures (the buddhist cleric points to the ground with his index finger and says "the earth is my witness" which destroys all illusions). The bit where all the armies of hell fire their flaming arrows at the buddha and they turn into flower petals? Now THAT is worthy of dungeon fantasy. Only it doesn't matter if its the armies of hell or the sword of the archangel - one of the buddhist cleric's biggest powers is near immunity to holy/unholy magics.

Legendary buddhist priests defeated entire pantheons of gods and converted them - many of the 'good' gods just converted, but not all of them went peacefully A good, cinematic tact is that the Buddhist cleric is on the side of mortals, and against all immortals, be they angels or demons. This makes the Buddhist cleric a nice counterpoint to both Druids and holy/unholy clerics

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Old 12-23-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

If we go back to DF's roots the Martial Artist basically is a Buddhist monk of the cinematic Shaolin variety.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

Thanks for the help. I guess I am hoping to create a DF character with a lot of "historical" and real world elements thrown in to add color. As I look at all the wats here I really begin to think about how cool real world religious stuff is and how it would be fun to incorporate that into a DF world as opposed to a generic "cleric" or "martial artist." White wolf added a lot of pseudo historical touches to their games and I feel it added some ambiance. Anyway thanks.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

Quote:
Originally Posted by tantric View Post
But DF is an entirely different cookie. I'd say that Buddhist clerics can't do holy/unholy stuff, but that they can put a serious hurt on the squid-god. Make them immune to mind control magics and have a dispel illusions abilities. Then give them psychic powers instead clerical spells. Let their powers be tied to various hand gestures (the buddhist cleric points to the ground with his index finger and says "the earth is my witness" which destroys all illusions). The bit where all the armies of hell fire their flaming arrows at the buddha and they turn into flower petals? Now THAT is worthy of dungeon fantasy. Only it doesn't matter if its the armies of hell or the sword of the archangel - one of the buddhist cleric's biggest powers is near immunity to holy/unholy magics.

Legendary buddhist priests defeated entire pantheons of gods and converted them - many of the 'good' gods just converted, but not all of them went peacefully A good, cinematic tact is that the Buddhist cleric is on the side of mortals, and against all immortals, be they angels or demons. This makes the Buddhist cleric a nice counterpoint to both Druids and holy/unholy clerics
Is this your favourite mudra? I think it is no less than the third time this year that you mention it. BTW, I find the whole idea of gesture-magic running somewhat counter to the basic teachings: aren't rituals pointless?

Otherwise, sounds interesting.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

Yep, it's saved me from many an Elder God experience. Seriously, I have lucid dreams sometimes, and in those dreams I use that mudra to stop things from getting out of hand weird. Ritual for its own sake is pointless, but some ritual help focus the mind, like tea ceremony.

Last edited by tantric; 12-24-2009 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

Buddhist monks were the inspiration for D&d monks, or DF's Martial Artist. They fit in quite wiell as a result and just emphasize the Philosphy/Theology aspect a bit more. Also see Banestorm's An'FoTama monks, who ARE a branch of fictionalized for adventuring purposes Bhuddhists.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

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Yep, it's saved me from many an Elder God experience. Seriously, I have lucid dreams sometimes, and in those dreams I use that mudra to stop things from getting out of hand weird. Ritual for its own sake is pointless, but some ritual help focus the mind, like tea ceremony.
Sometimes ritual for it's own sake IS the point.
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