Theocracy
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Basic Information

A theocracy is a form of government dominated by some form of religious establishment - or perhaps one directly ruled by the worshiped entity in question.

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Game and Story Use

  • A theocratic government can play any role from villain to good guy, depending on the religion involved (and on how that religion is actually put into practice). And in settings where some form of "divine" magic exist, they can make especially potent enemies or allies.
  • An interesting version would be a largely autarchic state with little or no government but a strong theologically derived legal code such as sharia or the Mosaic Law.
  • The literal theocracy - where a god rules directly - requires a communicative and probably interventionist god. It's almost certainly also autocracy, especially if the god has the mental power to act as an entire government on Their own.
  • Where gods tend to be more secretive, there are potential overlaps with virtually every other form of government: a Technocracy based on memorization of holy scriptures and theological debate, a Demarchy based on the assumption that the god will make Their will known through random events, a Magocracy ruled by divine spellcasters…
  • Regardless of hero/villain status, and the tendency or lack thereof of the god to issue commandments, any theocracy is likely to end up as a religious version of an ethnocracy. Quite possibly both at once if the religion is tied to a particular ethnic group.
  • Any kind of theocratic state is going to blur the line between schism and civil war.
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