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Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

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Anime Fan's picture
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Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

I see some of you are grousing over the fact that in 4E, Devils are fallen angels, and complaining about the overly-Christian content. Well, from the very start D&D has used this kind of material! Names like Asmodeus, Belial, Mammon, and Moloch are drawn straight from the pages of the Bible (or in the case of Asmodeus, from Jewish lore.) A lot of the names of Celestials are Hebrew (Zaphikial, for instance), and Pistis Sophia is from Gnostic lore... Yes, I don't want a D&D that is a carbon copy of Christianity in all details, but at the same time you gotta admit that it has had an influence thru all the editions (remember Triel the Fallen, aka Baalzebub? - there's that fallen angel story again...) and the Silat Bridge comes from Muslim lore (there's more Muslim stuff, but I can't recall it off the top of my head...)

Clueless's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-30
Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

... Is there a question in this post, or are you just making a commentary on the behavior of others on the forum?

Charles Phipps's picture
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Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

Dungeons and Dragons is a blender mythology. It takes the elements of ancient Mythology and Religion that it likes before blending them together. It doesn't make any real value judgments but seems to accept these issues on the basis of how they were supposed to be portrayed by their culture.

Hence a lot of questionable acts in modern times are ignored so long as a god was meant to be good. Also, they blanketly change the role of some gods as well (Sif and Tyr)

Iavas's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2006-07-12
Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

The problem is turning the rather interesting amalgam that Charles mentioned into a rather bland story biased on Christian lore. The idea of making many Christians uncomfortable aside, the idea lacks a lot of flavour by turning it into a fight of Good against Fallen-Good (aka Evil). It just doesn't feel like D&D, where multitheist deities of all alignments have traditionally been separate from planar beings such as angels, faeries, demons, and devils. I don't know how to describe it except to say that it oversimplifies and stereotypes a previously interesting world.

Charles Phipps's picture
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Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

I don't necessarilly have a problem with Planescape incorporating Judeo-Christian-Islam lore. I think that there should be some interesting Archangels to contrast against the forces of the Nine Hells and Abyss because the Forces of Good are treated as BORING by comparison to the forces of Evil and they need to have some of that genericness removed.

God is optional.

The Prophecy, Constantine (blasphemy as it was to Hellblazer), In Nomine by Steve Jackson Games, and other sources provided very interesting takes on the forces of good equal to the bad guys.

Besides sometimes I *DO* think that while the Blood War is awesome, Good not fighting against evil in equally epic battle sort of causes a sense of dry distaste.

Anime Fan's picture
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Question?

Sorry, should have posed that as a question: "What's wrong with having (some) Judeo-Christian/Muslim material in the game?" Yeah, I don't want a complete steal verbatum from the Bible (i.e. ALL Fiends are Fallen Angels), but using Hebrew names for Celestials or Fiends doesn't bother me. D&D and Planescape material is multicultural, and so why leave out the lore of three major religions? (I don't see YHVH as LG, but if some "Official" source lists Him that way and put Him at the top of Mount Celestia, I'm not gonna throw a tissy-fit! Besides, DMs and Players routinely modify material they don't like, anyway...) Oh, almost forgot... the Genie Rulers all have Muslim names!

Iavas's picture
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factotums
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Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

Oh, in that case, yea. Nothing wrong with incorporating it in modified bits. There's plenty of that in there already.

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Webmonkey
Joined: 2008-06-30
Judeo/Christian/Muslim material in D&D/Planescape

[mod]
At this point I think we've scraped the bottom of the barrel on this particular topic.

We've established a few variant alignment possibilities and their reasonings why. We've pointed out existing elements that can be easily modified into use in any particular DM's game. And we have a few example writeups that fit one or the other camp of opinions.

We've also throughly explored this subject's true relevance within Planescape, which was more interesting to me as an administrator. It seems that we came to the conclusion that 'God in Planescape' is such a complex subject that it requires so many qualifications, so much hand-waving and theological equivocation to even begin to work in the setting - that it's neigh irrelevant to even bring up in Planescape.

Given that - I think it's time to throw in the towel on this one.

What I'm going to do is link to this thread and the previous incarnations of it from our FAQ. It'll be a closed topic, but anyone with simular questions should be directed to these threads. They'll be able to find whatever answers they need here. I don't think there's much more that we could cover that wouldn't be divisive, or simply expand upon the various camps of thought that we already have established. It's pretty clear there's no single answer, and if we keep trying to find one it'll just be an exercise in frustration and futility.

Thank you to everyone for keeping your heads in the right place on this thread, and I hope you'll enjoy applying all of that energy to other threads on this forum.
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