Writing advice for a fantasy novel with religious themes?

Isaiah Carter
Isaiah Carter

I'm not asking for advice about charactes, plot etc. but rather about religious themes, morality and how these things should (and shouldn't) be portrayed, so that my book can have good Christian morals.

I'm working on a fantasy novel that puts a lot of emphasis on philosophical and religious themes. I noticed that in a lot of novels and other forms of fiction (movies, manga etc) that I know of, these things aren't portrayed or are portrayed poorly. Characters follow vague ideas of good and evil, without going into detail how or why things are good and evil in the first place (this applies especially to works set in different universes than ours). Some works that portray such themes often just scratch the surface and create questions without even suggesting answers. Religion is skipped or portrayed on a very shallow level, not as something that affects the entire worldview and all actions of the religious. That's what I want to avoid.
I also don't want to just write a parable. I want to give a lot of attention and quality to characters, setting, worldbuilding etc but that's not the topic of this thread.

What I'm asking is what should I do and what should I avoid doing if I want to portray a fictional world in accordance with Christian truth?

Some info about the setting and some things I'm unsure about (in pink):
Setting is late-medieval-like
Most of the plot happens in a part of the world that doesn't know about the Christianity-equivalent religion
The world and everything in it is created by the one true good God, there are no other (real) gods
There are angels and demons (fallen angels) (this part of the setting isn't expanded at all so far)
There was a Fall of man, similarly to our world (also not expanded yet/not too important to the story)
Timeline wise, most of the plot happens before the Christ-equivalent's incarnation and earthly life - there is something like the God's Chosen People but they are geographically far away, rather insignificant and unrelated to the main plot
In the location where most of the plot takes place, there is a dominant pagan religion
This location is ruled by an empire (consisting of vassal kingdoms), which is very focused on the religion. The emperor is the central authority and is believed to be chosen by the deities of this religion. Religious devotion is one of the most important duties of the citizens.
These deities, as mentioned before, aren't gods/God - but they do actually exist
<and they aren't demons either. They are humans ascended to a higher level of consciousness/existence/nature. This "ascension" only happened because demons/the devil-equivalent gave them the power to do this (for their own foul ends - so that people would be led astray and into sin by these deities [who believed they were doing something good]).
<They received physical immortality/invincible bodies and could perform false miracles, which they used
along with their other skills to sway masses of people to serve, believe and worship them
I'm not sure about the humans achieving godlike powers thing, I mean I would like to include it as it's pretty important to the story so I'm trying to solve this by attributing their apparent powers to demonic sorcery
they are eventually defeated, and their earthly bodies destroyed
<but they are banished to a different dimension, where they still have consciousness and can control themselves, however they can no longer directly influence humans
their existence does not depend on people's belief in them, but the more people worship them the more power they receive
the main plot plays out several hundred years after these events
they are starting to manifest/influence the world again for reasons I don't want to spoil
many characters in the story live according to Christian virtues, despite not knowing the Christianity-equivalent religion or the Old-Testament-Faith religion; this is not their own achievement but rather the result of all men having God's law written on their hearts/conscience and being unknowingly guided by God for a greater purpose
<there is magic in the setting, however it is sorcery, it comes from demons, it always has negative side effects; it's also rare and limited - not important to the worldbuilding and story, except for the deities
there is no "good magic", however there are miracles performed by God through holy men/prophets who know him (rare)

There's much more to the story and stuff, but these are the things I'm most concerned about and I don't want to reveal too much so people don't steal my unique 100% OC ideas :) . I appreciate all advice, if you have any questions about the setting related to the issue of the thread then I'll answer.

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Robert Garcia
Robert Garcia

Expanding on the Angels and Demons aspect in a Faustian way would be interesting.

Parker Carter
Parker Carter

Are there any major prophets active in the story? A "wizard" that the pagans hate?

Adam King
Adam King

in a Faustian way
I like this suggestion, now that you mention it, this is a topic that I like in a lot of the fiction I consumed but I didn't know the name of it.
I really need to (and want to) read a lot more before I start writing.

Yeah, there is exactly a character like that, he's in fact one of the most important figures of the main plot. He appears rarely, but has an extremely significant role in regard to the protagonist.
The pagan establishment actively seeks to find and get rid of him, also preaching that he is a dangerous rogue sorcerer and people must watch out for him. However, he is hidden from them.

David Rodriguez
David Rodriguez

It's your story and I know my suggestions go against your plot but I can say how I would like a book to be written.
I think you shouldn't even say there is a Christian like religion elsewhere or use strictly Christian vocabulary. And skip enlightened humans altogether by keeping it at demonic magic. There are many ways you can hint the pagan gods are demons by reading on possession. For example, demons really like to call humans meatbags of shit and piss. They also start lying about your dead ones being in hell.

Elijah Young
Elijah Young

Tfw wanting to do a webcomic with Christian themes and lurking to see what the board thinks about this kinda stuff

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Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter

I think you shouldn't even say there is a Christian like religion elsewhere
Well, it's not outright stated; as I said it's concentrated in a small geographical area far, far away from the main-plot-land and nobody there even knows about it. The only sign of it is the prophet I mentioned in my previous post, but he doesen't just straight up info dump reveal it; he only gives the protagonist small and general insights into some things, over the course of a very long period of time (not because he's a "look how smart and mysterious I am" jackass, but because that's the way God wants him to do it), so it's not known.
or use strictly Christian vocabulary
I also think I shouldn't do this. I plan to have the Christianity stuff be very subtle/hidden and only be fully revealed in the very epilogue of the story mainly to bait nonbelievers and atheists into reading this thing and getting into it, to have the proper build up so it can be convincing and not heavy-handed. I personally knew people who said they loved Lord of the Rings and yet they were big time atheists, which was weird to me. So that's my inspiration here, but I want to go a small step further, to keep it subtle but more obvious.

As for the second part of your post, I don't really want to go for that at the moment. While I believe it would be more theologically sound, right now I'm just getting to writing down ideas and scenes that have been emerging in my head for the past several years, so for now too much of the plot hinges on this element for me to change it, though I'm still open to considering it.

Tell me more

Ryan Cox
Ryan Cox

Avoiding a heavy-handed representation is key. I dint think there are many good Christian fictional works outside of LOTR because so many of them are just so blunt.

Josiah Robinson
Josiah Robinson

I'd really just go through, Tolkien, or really, C.S Lewis's works of,The Chronicles Narnia, and i've started reading it, and i'm having a blast so far. Even in the first few chapters, of, Digory and his, Uncle Andrews. There's a brilliant part in, The Magicians Nephew. Where Digory more or less says and Paraphrasing here but, *Alright i've come to believe in magic and it does exist so what? You're still an evil magician holding all of this power*. Which i love cause that's such a nice easter egg, of C.S Lewis Journey out of atheism, or more properly. Out of Atheism, Into Philosophical Idealism, Stepping down into Theism, then finally coming down into the, Christian worldview/ethics. Stuff like that,is really lacking in modern novels. Personally i like the, C.S Lewis approach in his Fantasy just because i like it better when someones worldview is out there. And C.S Lewis was proud to be of his faith. And i respect that. Tolkien was more Crypto in his faith, in his novels. But has that really converted anyone? Sure some people.Which not doubting has played a part for people. but if you're gona do a novel. I'd go with C.S Lewis's method. Just because it's i think it's a better approach. Because at the end of the day, you're never going to appease the hard boiled skeptic who's just gona revert to his dogma anyway. For me anyway. I didn't go into fantasy novels. I went into Philosophy and Apologetics for the Christian faith. So i took a more direct approach, but sure i've heard of people converting from, Novels of men of faith. But i would argue, really you should get back into philosophy, get back into Apologetics. Which i view as Rubber hits the road type analogy. Ok, it's nice to have some milk, but at some point it's time to grow up and get to some real meat lol.

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Isaac Jones
Isaac Jones

Gaining power from worship is such a cliché thing nowadays and is related to the consensus reality concept, which is incompatible with Christianity. I think it could be better if wanting to be worshiped was just an ego thing (or possibly being deceived about the importance of worship/being abandoned by demons after becoming irrelevant). The demons could have intentionally chosen to elevate (mainly or solely) narcissists because of the damage they can cause.

Gavin Gonzalez
Gavin Gonzalez

Expanding on the Angels and Demons aspect in a Faustian way would be interesting.

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Nathaniel Thompson
Nathaniel Thompson

High school adventure/comedy set in a cynical, corrupt, self-absorbed town, so stained with sin that when the Main Character prays to God to help them all, He miraculously shows them the error of their ways… by turning them into bestial monsters, corresponding to the blemishes they bear on their souls. Main cast is driven to repent, and tragedy and comedy follow the earnest struggles of badly catechized young people to attain and maintain themselves in a state of grace while they fight to thwart the demonic forces destroying their town and its people. And to try and save friends and loved ones without getting called faggots. Can they save the town? Can they even save themselves?

If it works it should strike a balance somewhere between Gremlins and That Hideous Strength.

Would you ever read a story like that?

John Wilson
John Wilson

Also, I think that you give demons too much credit, like this
This "ascension" only happened because demons/the devil-equivalent gave them the power to do this
All powers come from God.
Regarding human gods (non-Theosis one, what you mean), I think that you should stick with the undead trope, let them behave like usual pagan gods, maybe give them a bit spooky undead outlook like that of Aztec dieties.
Though to be honest, I think that this one works better in post-resurrection setting, when humans will actually have Christ-like bodies, but reflecting their spiritual state and looking appropriately. Damned would be an """excellent""" version of chthonic pagan dieties, but if setting is set post-resurrection you will need actual fantasy races instead of humans.
Whatever, I think that I went too far on this.

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Gavin Hernandez
Gavin Hernandez

many characters in the story live according to Christian virtues, despite not knowing the Christianity-equivalent religion or the Old-Testament-Faith religion; this is not their own achievement but rather the result of all men having God's law written on their hearts/conscience and being unknowingly guided by God for a greater purpose

I'd be careful with this, as though the intent may be noble, it can dissuade a reader into being invested in a character.

It takes away agency from the characters actions, be it wrong or right, thereby making them unrelatable. It wasn't "them" who "saved the day", but rather that it was always meant in such a way; there is no struggle or choice if the choice is already made for them. Without struggle, both within and without, there is no story.

I am not saying this cannot be done, for there are no true "rules" in fictional writing, but there are things to keep in mind: namely the audience. To grab their attention, and drag it along from beginning to end is paramount to any successful story no matter its content. This all depends on who your target audience is, and understanding them. It will need finesse; these characters will need to be challenged not just by external forces, but by their own inner, human senses. You have to know your audience, place them in your characters' shoes by putting yourself among them.

I, too, have been working on a (space fantasy)setting with religious themes for the past ~10 odd years. One of the hardest lessons I've learned, being an autodidact, is to avoid picking up bad habits. One of mine was going off on long, overly-descriptive tangents that distracted from the plot progression(AKA "worldbuilder's disease.")

My advice to you would be to take it slow. Write every day, find your own unique style and prose, and decide who you are writing for. Of course the best authors always write for themselves first; if they don't like it, who will? However, that does not undermine the importance of others who will read it. Know them, understand what they would want to read, and develop your story from there.

For example, things which may appeal to an already-religious audience could be off-putting to a curious, but non-religious audience. If your goal is to use your work as a subtle way to evangelize, then you will have to practice just that - subtlety. Keep your themes between the lines, not heavy-handed/ham-fisted. Conversely, that which is written to reach out to a non-religious audience may be distasteful to those already faithful. You are never going to please everybody, which is why a target audience is necessary. Whatever your audience, the last thing you want to do is annoy or insult your audience.

To go back to the highlighted example: those already religious probably would not mind this as they can relate to this and understand it well, but such a thing would not draw in anyone who does not see things this way. In a most blunt sense, such characters would be seen as "mary sues", which boils down to a character that is not only unchallenged, but has no agency to their actions and whatever potential challenges they could face.

In the end, write what you want to write, but be shrewd and tactful for writing is, no matter the means or methods, a form of communication. To summarize; what is your goal? Who is your audience?

Also, for a bit of advice on how to organize a pre-write, is to decide on an ending first. After that, work on the beginning(the beginning is the hardest part for a writer without an existing following, because it does not matter how good the rest of a story is if they're yawning by the first few pages. Why do you think the pilot episodes of TV shows are often full of action and adrenaline?) You have to get the buns on the plate before you can grab the burger.

In a fantasy setting, allegorical or not, creative liberties will have to be taken. Otherwise the story serves no purpose and may as well not be written. It's the literary equivalent of having two copies of the same painting decorating the same wall.

Charles Ross
Charles Ross

Philosophy and Apologetics is like 80% of what I personally read, however I'm too much of a brainlet to actually write it myself and besides, there's already hundreds of works by Saints and pious Christians who have already done it, and done it better than I ever could - so what's the point?
I've never written anything before, heck, I didn't even read that much at all - this thing has mostly been an exercise of creativity and mind for me, which somewhere along the way I decided to turn into something useful, and I'm convinced this is a good and virtuous thing to do.

Well, their main goal, at least at the start was to control humanity as much as they can, so they could, at least in their view, give everyone happiness. Think of them somewhat like The Patriots from MGS2. They wanted to create a worldwide "utopia" where everyone would be equal, too dumb to care about things like purpose of life and just occupy their time with trivial pleasures, something like our civilization is trying to achieve right now.

I could cut the power-from-worship thing out, but the idea worked somewhat because after their first defeat they are banished to an interstice dimension between the mortal world and the world of souls so they are strenghtened by human memetic belief power.

I think it could be better if wanting to be worshiped was just an ego thing (or possibly being deceived about the importance of worship/being abandoned by demons after becoming irrelevant). The demons could have intentionally chosen to elevate (mainly or solely) narcissists because of the damage they can cause.
Well, my current ideas for the group is that
it was initially created by two people - a sage/occultist and his apprentice
the rest three joined along the way, they were mostly taken in by the two so they could use them to accomplish various tasks they needed
these three are, in the most basic way
the formal leader of the group - charismatic, proud guy (the de facto leader is the sage guy, but he believes he should give main authority to someone else)
the strong warrior guy
a woman
All of these people have some big faults/vices. The leader guy is a vain, proud little shit who becomes the deity of authority and ruling, the most important deity of this religion, the patron of the crown kingdom of the empire so he's the one that cares the most about people worshipping them.
The strong guy is well, violent and stuff so he becomes the deity of war (and conflict), which is very prevalent in the world.
The girl becomes the deity of carnal pleasures and comfort.

Their spheres are mostly related to what's most important to humans and what a lot of them seek after - power (both in the authority and physical strength ways), pleasure, knowledge and immortality/fame.

I'm also considering the idea that each of these deities has their own dimension of "afterlife" which is not real, and not actually afterlife. It's an illusion, a vision that is given into the consciousness of those who have died worshipping them, in a state between life and death. They would be separated from their bodies and essentially put into virtual reality where they would continue to willingly and consciously engage in the same sins they loved in their earthly life. The debauched hedonists would go into the "realm" of the deity of pleasure and so forth.
<This would however only apply to those who would normally be damned because they lived wicked lives and would probably? choose sin over God even if they knew Him.
I stress once again that this would only be a vision/illusion. The real afterlife would be the Sheol/Hades equivalent where all people would go until the coming of the Christ-equivalent.
This whole idea kind of stinks to me, but it's useful from a storytelling point of view as it gives people a big reason to worship these things, and also another reasons why demons would use them - so they would lead people to even more sin and further from God. (Though if they were damned already, then I'm not sure that works, which is why I'm not certain about that part.)
Also some significant plot points and scenes I imagined had to do with the protag directly meeting the deities in their realms, so throwing that out alltogether would mean I'd have to redo this too, so once again I'm trying to find a way around that.

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William Russell
William Russell

Forgot to mention: Also, after their "ascension" the deities themselves are more and more warped by their own vices. Over time they move away from wanting to create their vision of "utopia" for people, and much more into each following their own desires - worship, pleasure, violence and hatred, etc.

They do, in reality, look spooky and demonic. Also I don't know how else to go about it. God wouldn't directly give them powers, before they would do evil. They also couldn't just acquire all those powers by acts of their own will and strength. Demons is the only way I can think of it right now, but God allowed all of this to happen, because it's all a part of the master plan of salvation if you know what I mean.

Levi Hughes
Levi Hughes

I'd be careful with this, as though the intent may be noble, it can dissuade a reader into being invested in a character.
It takes away agency from the characters actions, be it wrong or right, thereby making them unrelatable. It wasn't "them" who "saved the day", but rather that it was always meant in such a way; there is no struggle or choice if the choice is already made for them. Without struggle, both within and without, there is no story.
Also forgot to mention two important things in my post:
those "virtous" people are rare, most are wicked, and those "virtous" ones are far from perfect paragons, they all have some vices, even major ones because they don't have detailed knowledge of morality.

Also the agency and struggle thing you mentioned is very important to me too. I only gave you guys an insight about how it works, but that's not revealed in the book (until the very end). The characters go through A LOT of trials, and achieve a lot by struggling, failing, rising again and training to become stronger. It is in fact one of the biggest themes of the story - great/exceptional people, what separates them from the mediocre ones, how much one can achieve.
The protagonist especially, achieves a lot, and suffers a lot, and he thinks that every single thing he has achieved is due to his strong will, determination, skill and training.
It's only in the epilogue, where he experiences a revelation and is told that he only managed to do all those impossible deeds because God allowed him to. And if it wasn't for that he could have been a meager and mediocre nobody, so he shouldn't worship his powers.
The protagonist completely rejects these revelations at first, as they seemingly go against everything he believed and did up to this point. It's also hard for him to submit to God, after fighting against the deities all that time. So I am keeping this in mind and it's a major source of conflict.

Also, for a bit of advice on how to organize a pre-write, is to decide on an ending first. After that, work on the beginning(the beginning is the hardest part for a writer without an existing following, because it does not matter how good the rest of a story is if they're yawning by the first few pages. Why do you think the pilot episodes of TV shows are often full of action and adrenaline?) You have to get the buns on the plate before you can grab the burger.
I do have an ending in mind, and most of the story, as well as the begninning. Now I'm fleshing out the details, without yet filling in the blanks between the big important plot events.

Sorry for multiple posting but it's hard to keep this all in mind at once lol

Jayden Collins
Jayden Collins

Here.

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Grayson Garcia
Grayson Garcia

This video might inspire you. Also all the other stuff on the channel about angels, demons, spiritual warfare.
For symbology you can look at Jonathan pageau's youtube channel and read some of his recommended reading list books on his website.

Carter Young
Carter Young

If you explain it with demons, you are in effect adding to the story new characters with their own goals and some ability to achieve them. If all you want is a simple plot device for the backstory, it would be better to use something that doesn't generate even more potential plot holes that need to be bridged. Since it's fantasy, you could just choose to be really vague, I guess, and refer to some terms that never get properly explained to the reader.

However I think including the demons has potential. You just need to consider their motives and powers. Making people into "gods" implies a lot of capability at least in specific things. What other things the demons have done? Are there any around in the present? Could they produce new humans with super powers, at least if someone knew the ritual?

Brayden Collins
Brayden Collins

Demons is the only way I can think of it right now
if they have some powers bestowed by God, humans can have it too.
Also, as far as I know, demons can, at best, grant information and knowledge, not powers themselves. Or help in illusions.
They also couldn't just acquire all those powers by acts of their own will and strength
Humans are made in image and likeness of God, so why not? Although, it's your setting and your fiction, so I dont want to meddle with it a lot.
I don't know if you will be interested or not, but I tried some fantasy worldbuilding and setting was post-resurrection, with actual fantasy races like elves and so on. Main "supernatural" beings were angelic and human beings, with demons and damned tried to influence various races for their purposes and sort of waged war with eachother. I had demons act like, well, demons to work in shadows, deceive and ruin stuff, while damned would act like pagan deities and demand sacrifices to wage war against demons (latter was sort of inspired by Aztec tales about Huizilopochtli) . Both of them opposed by faith about one true God and faithful protected by Saints and Angels.
Anywho, I just brought up this because, while I said that power by their will and strength is technically possible, I think that such thing works in post-resurrection setting far more better, but it's a bit tricky and needs a lot to work on.

Camden Sanchez
Camden Sanchez

Ok, I think I just figured this thing out!

In the first drafts, magic existed and was unrelated to any demons, angels or anything else, anyone who knew how to could use it.
It worked something like this:
Other than the mortal dimension there was a different, overlapping immaterial dimension
This dimension was an infinite void, but the human "souls" were located in it
At human conception, a new soul would be created, however a part of the soul would be transferred into the material dimension, into the human body (although not physically don't even ask how this works) - the consciousness
At death, the consciousness would return to the soul, seeming like eternal unconsciousness to the human
As the human would grow in wisdom, willpower and deeds, so would grow his soul - represented as a shining, star-like orb - in the immaterial dimension
The souls in the soul dimension radiated beams of energy - the "bigger" a soul, the more energy. Also the energy would be increased by the souls having relations, corresponding to human relations in the physical dimension - love, hate etc
Magic was basically being able to reach into this dimension, take the energy into the phyisical dimension and manipulate it.

I thought this idea might have to be tossed away because I read somehwere on the internet: "Magic in Christian fiction bad", so I thought maybe just explain it as "demons".

However, now I think I've found the best solution. Tell me what you guys think.
The ability to use this "magic" was given by God to the pre-Fall-equivalent humans, to make them more powerful and in His likeness
Everyone could use it, but it's intensity depended on how much one truly believed he could do with it, and how much he could focus - think of it like faith moving mountains but in a more literal way
The demons/devil-equivalent told the humans that they could unlock an even more powerful form of "magic", that they would then be like gods - by connecting their consciousness, body and soul
Doing this would be against what God told them, but they did it - and that's how they fell
Then God took their "magic" away and commanded humans to never use it again
Now the 5 deities I mentioned before could do the same thing - their leader (the occultist scholar) would find a way to do this procedure (revealed by demons maybe?) and thus they would ascend, but it would be something evil in nature.
So what do you think?

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Aiden Gomez
Aiden Gomez

by turning them into bestial monsters, corresponding to the blemishes they bear on their souls.
I like this kind of theme, so I think I'd read it

Owen Scott
Owen Scott

magic in Christian fiction is bad

Whomever said that has never read "On a Pale Horse" (pic related) and is doing themselves a great disservice.

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Samuel Lopez
Samuel Lopez

I think that newer one is far better, far simpler while less convoluted.
Also first one was somewhat Origenistic.

Eli Nguyen
Eli Nguyen

The "soul" dimension thing still exists in the newer version, with most of it's features. However it's less uh, heretical and no longer a form of afterlife.

Henry Fisher
Henry Fisher

No, I didnt mean immaterial world in general. I was talking about sphere stuff.

Jaxon Jenkins
Jaxon Jenkins

Metal Gear Solid 2 was a good game.

Ryan Barnes
Ryan Barnes

Hey guys, not to derail this thread but I am also a writer, trying to use religious themes.

Do y'all think it would be out of the 'Spirit of Charity' to like, have a kind of Christian terrorist group that goes around killing corrupt people in government, etc, basically taking America over by force.

I want them to seem badass but Christian, what do you guys think?

What do you guys think about Christians disposing of pacifism and finally beginning to kill their existential and racial enemies?

Jonathan Butler
Jonathan Butler

Checked, Sounds cool I heard a guy from another site say this quote what I thought would be cool for Christian militant: In life, war. In death, peace. In life, sin. In death, atonement but I think it’s a copy form a quote from Warhammer 40k

Henry Reyes
Henry Reyes

The only way I would approve of this would be if they were fighting a future authoritarian regime that takes over. Like the whole UN black helicopters Agenda 21 scenario people used to worry about. I don't think showing Christians committing terrorism in a setting that is pretty much like our world today would be a good idea, for a number of reasons. Also if these Christians are supposed to be the heroes they should conduct their war in a moral way.

Isaiah Gray
Isaiah Gray

ewtn.com/expert/answers/just_war.htm

Brayden Murphy
Brayden Murphy

Christian terrorism is an oxymoron and goes against everything Christianity stands for.
Id advise going just war route in Huntingtons "Clash of civilizations" scenario.

William Davis
William Davis

Whenever I think about religion in fiction, I think of Okami. It's mostly Japanese mythology/Shintoism, but the main character is the sun goddess reincarnated into a wolf. The entire game is about helping people and the animals you come a cross, while also stopping the evil from taking over the land. There's a part near the end that I always found heartwarming, though. The main character is about to ascend and leave the planet, so she has to leave behind her companion, a little spirit named Issun. He realizes that for the battle she is about to face, she needs to get all the power she can, so he paints posters and flings them at every person he can, proclaiming something along the lines of 'you can ask the gods for help and they will surely help, but meed you to believe in them, and pray for them too!' It made the main character strong enough to defeat the final boss, where the game ends soon after.

Not entirely related, but I bring it up because religious themes tend to have two types: subtle and thoughtful, or 'this is my opinion dammit acknowledge it.'

John Williams
John Williams

Pagan as heck, but a beautiful vidya game none the less.

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Ryder Mitchell
Ryder Mitchell

Thinking in the scope of worldbuilding for games, be it vidya or PnP, I have this line of thinking. There won't be any immediately obvious stand-ins or counterparts to any real-world religion; even the actual Christianity counterpart will look a little alien on the surface owing to variant developments in cosmology and society. All featured religions are presented in varying shades of gray, all of them have their good and bad points, with some fringe cases more black. But only one can be considered completely right (of course, whatever one resembles Christianity the most), which a player can determine if they pay attention to various details, much like how the worldbuilding in the Elder Scrolls works. The biggest point of separation between not-Christianity and other pagan religions is the not-Christians' worship of a non-physical, invisible entity (being an aspect of the Lord in the same way Eru and Aslan are), where other religions orbit around physical superhuman entities, ostensibly of mortal origin, but also in rare cases resulting from demonic activity.

My goal is to build a landscape inspired by the best and more underutilized parts of European culture and Americana (but not directly copying it), and decorating it like a JRPG. Setting and tech will be more reminiscent of the colonial period. I want it to be an optimistic work.

I still haven't solved the problem of magic, since I know it has to exist in the work in some capacity but I'm still not sure how I'm going to reconcile it with scripture. I know, though, that it needs to preserve the idea of evil being the easy way out of life problems.

Not sure whether to continue developing this or not.

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