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 > GURPS

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 12-28-2009, 12:22 PM   #27
demonsbane's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Spain —Europe
Default Re: [DF] Help with creating a Buddhist cleric and holy warrior

Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
Thanks for the help. I want to say that I am not looking for any true buddhism just sort of the fluff and kewl stuff that goes with it. I also would like to say that a Christian cleric would be fine for a DF PC too because they would be like the Hollywood vampire slayer cleric and would fit fine in a DF game IMO.
Your point was clear from the first post.

However, when you put "pacifist" things like Buddhism or Christianity into an action and fantastic "frame" as Dungeon Fantasy for creating characters ready to kick butts, you're forced to distort them. That leads to the assimilation of misinformation, and to spreading it. (Some nuances regarding chivalric orders would be suitable here, but I don't want to expand about that now)

My personal stance here is to make fictional religions and worlds for Dungeon Fantasy, so you avoid to denaturalize things and imagination flies with more freedom.

In your case, I would do a template borrowing cool ideas from Buddhism and other sources, for instance (it happens every day), but I would never call that a Buddhist character. Or instead maybe you could try to play in the Yrth/Banestorm setting . . . This is my personal view. And no, I don't agree with DF 7: Clerics concerning the use of real world gods' names for Dungeon Fantasy characters; in fact, Shiva is mentioned and is one of the worst examples because that god is too many things. I see the point in the ideas of that box but the drawbacks too.

Anyway since you really want to try this, you have another figure to look at from the point of view of Buddhism as Holy Warrior: Guesar de Ling.

Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
I don't see the point of ascribing some mystical specialness to the things 'handed down' from some guru. That sound dangerously close to treating guru as some sort of low-level deity.
You don't see the point of that because you think there aren't such supernatural element. It's normal.

But however, that is how it works, always, in all spiritual ways, independiently of the potential drawbacks. Buddhism isn't different. It doesn't need to be in the way people would like it to be. It is as it is, independiently people finds that comfortable, dangerous, or not.

A guru isn't like an university teacher, but a completely different thing. A guru is, in some senses, "the supreme deity" for the disciple while this is still unable to know his own Self by himself (btw, the Self in the ultimate sense is the same than Buddhist Paranirvana). A master is a kind of external projection, and the disciple needs to know this beforehand for not falling into idolatry which is one of the many forms of ignorance and keeps the ego untouched, like the duality between principle and effect, god and creature, Buddha and ego. The guru is there for helping and not for abusing of the disciple. Additionally a true master is egoless, he doesn't get anything at exchange. A guru is pure compassion, even if his methods can be harsh sometimes. He stands for something that isn't really human, but transcendent. And that sort of "deity status" is only provisory, a means to an end. Some methods require a minimum of physical relationship with the master but this doesn't changes anything. When the disciple, through his own achievements, has no need of that external help and with the supernatural element already bestowed to him, then he can/must be left alone, but always thanks to the previous steps. Such previous steps can be followed quickly or slowly. They can be more apparent or less apparent, but they are needed in all cases.

Also you can check Power Investiture. In real life that is obtained through a guru, despite the advantage is not very deep in a rules-wise way, for saying the least, regarding the Awakening.

Of course, adherence to a guru is dangerous if he's not a true guru, and this happens a lot. Specially today, but not exclusively. Anyhow, lots of things in life are dangerous, and because that there were warnings about false masters. Nobody can to achieve Buddahood without a true master, without the empowered means, only by reading books or in company of deluded people. Many times the supernatural element is handed down in non-obvious ways, making people to think that no transmission happened, leading to errors about the nature of spirituality. Also, to fact of pertaining to the Shanga, to be an ordained Buddhist monk or nun, . . . doesn't grants one the benefit of the supernatural element. Something more is required.

Buddhism is barely known by contemporary people, despite they talk and talk about it. Buddhism as it is presented to westerners and as they understand it, is only a sophisticated and subtle forgery. "Broad-minded", "prejudiceless" people angers if someone try to speak about Buddhism properly, because this spiritual tradition, subtly twisted and distorted, has been turned into an important part of modern thinking.

Originally Posted by tantric View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by 'real' here. Is there an official stamp of approval? No. Is the Gautama Buddha the only source of real wisdom? He said rather specifically that he was not, but you can believe as you choose, and it is certainly possible that he is the only source for you, as he is for me.
Official stamp of approval? Yes, something like that, but prescinding of bureaucratic and social structures and in secretive ways. There are/were reasons for that. However official documents about this were known in Japanese Zen, as can be seen with Dogen, but that is extremely unusual for saying the least -regarding studies, "specialists" often cut the parts they dislike, thought.

Originally Posted by tantric View Post
Are you familiar with this koan: What do you do if you see the Buddha walking down the road? Hit him with a stick. The Gautama Buddha is not irrelevant to the path towards enlightenment, but he does sometimes get in the way. The dharma itself is all the information we need to get to Nirvana, yet we are still grateful to the Buddha and the sangha for preserving that information.
I'm afraid you're not understanding what I was saying. OTH I know the doctrine enough well, thank you. And I can say the things aren't so simple, despite sometimes they are portrayed in a way making one to think they are so simple at the beginning specially when real teaching is lacking.

Originally Posted by tantric View Post
NP. I like talking about Buddhism. Give me half a chance and I'll babble for an hour. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person is being argumentative or just eager to debate, especially on the internet. I'm just talking.
I am not argumentative, but informative. It happens true Buddhism often offends contemporary people because it clashes with their assumptions, but that isn't my fault nor makes me argumentative.

Originally Posted by tantric View Post
I see it that rigid adherence to anything is dogmatic. When a person reaches a state of satori, then we look back on his life and what lead him there. That is the 'real' Buddhism. Whatever works.
Doesn't matter how individuals see that. It's the nature of things. "Dogmatism" isn't but a label you're putting there, nothing more. "Whatever works", of course . . . nobody ever achieve satori without the means, it just doesn't work. Buddhism isn't for individualists nor for "freethinkers". It just isn't available for contemporary minds if they aren't willing to step outside of the current mental frame and values. Forgeries are, of course, easily available everywhere. Forgeries of this sort can be dangerous, and are very difficult to spot. For too many individuals it is, indeed, impossible without careful guidance.

Originally Posted by tantric View Post
My suggestion, my nefarious plan, as a Buddhist, is to employ skillful means
Originally Posted by tantric View Post
There is no 'real' Buddhism (...) to avoid offending or misrepresenting True Buddhism is silly
I would say here is an incoherence. You declare yourself to be a Buddhist (?), while at the same time you deny the reality of Buddhism. Do you "walk" along a path you don't believe in? Maybe that explains some things?

My suggestion, my nefarious plan, as a Buddhist, is to employ skillful means to teach about the dharma while having fun. To this end, I suggest the yamabushi template in GURPS Japan. It needs Discipline of Faith to be sohei. If the OP is interested, we can work out some lenses.
Sure. Go on.
"Let's face it: for some people, roleplaying is a serious challenge, a life-or-death struggle."
J. M. Caparula/Scott Haring

"Physics is basic but inessential."
Wolfgang Smith

My G+

Last edited by demonsbane; 12-29-2009 at 07:50 AM. Reason: typo
demonsbane is offline  

clerics, dungeon fantasy

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 11:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.