True Faith
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Basic Information

In settings where religion equals magic is not in force - that is, outside the normal fantasy canon - it may still be possible for a character's religious faith to achieve some kind of supernatural effect. When this is allowed, there will usually be some game-mechanical effect to track which characters have an authentic and effective faith capable of achieving something and which don't.

The effective kind is then known as true faith.

How much good it does a PC will vary from setting to setting, but as a rule of thumb, the GM should not introduce it if it won't do any good - how hard it is to acquire and maintain and the price of the power is up to him. That price should probably be paid in roleplaying as much as in character points.

Prospective users should be cautioned that the existence of this trait in RPGs can lead to significant theological disputes in the wrong hands and may be better omitted if either GM or players are not sufficiently mature to take it seriously.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • So you've decided to include rules for True Faith in your game. Here's a few of the things you'll need to work out:
    • What qualifies as True Faith?
      • What degree of faith do you need? Do you "merely" need enough to die for your cause, or do you need more?
      • What counts as a valid object of faith?
        • If the power flows from a god, which religion is true? How strict are the criteria for someone to be in "good standing"? Do you have to do your best, or can you break the criteria unknowingly, by compulsion, or otherwise against your will? Ritual purity may be a big part of this for some religions.
        • If the power flows from the believer, what can they believe in? Some abstract idea of Nature? Humanity? Themselves?
        • Can the Devil or some other Lord of Wrong grant True Faith? Does it have the same effects (in which case it's probably a tool of deception) or are they somehow inverted?
        • In a functionally polytheistic setting, what must faith be in to make it effective? In one of the gods, or in the pantheon? If in one god, what bearing does that faith have on the followers of rival gods from the same pantheon? If in the pantheon, what happens in internal conflicts1. If there is more than one pantheon, how do they relate to one another? Is the fire god of one pantheon closer to the fire god of another pantheon, or does tribal loyalty trump the similarity of domain?
    • What can you do with True Faith?
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