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Author Topic: Christian RPG Design  (Read 5854 times)

Clinton R. Nixon

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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2006, 08:07:20 AM »
I'd propose that there's already quite a few Christian thematic RPGs. Now, my views on Christianity make me swine to the modern-day-American-Christian version of RPGPundit, whoever that might be. As a person who took the themes and good parts of Christianity and carried them on past whatever this bizarre thing the American church has become, what I believe is not mainstream.

But, look at Sorcerer, for example, seriously. It's a pretty stark portrayal of man's lust for power, and the temptation to damn one's self for it. The concepts of temptation and damnation are fundamental to Christianity.

To toot my own horn, my last game, The Princes' Kingdom, is all about Christianity. You play young princes in service to their father, the King of all the world they know. You travel throughout his kingdom and find out how people actually live and help them with their problems, as the King can't go out and see every person. There's a pretty strong anti-war kick to go along with that. This game came from a lot of places, but my own meditations on Christianity were a big part of it.

Both of those were thematic games, which I think are easier to do with Christian themes than adventure games. By their nature, adventure games aren't really as much for transmitting themes as they are for straight-up fun! "The Way," an RPG put out by the Church of Sweden, which is basic D&D, basically, but with adventures that sneak-attack you by asking moral questions at the end, like "that guy in the road attacked by bandits who begged you to put him out of his misery - was that ok?" is the closest thing I know. (That's a real example from the game, and it highlights the difference between Swedish Christianity and American Christianity, to be sure.)

Like the Pundit, I want to see more games set from 0-300 AD. That era is ripe for adventure or thematic games.
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Zachary The First

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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2006, 08:08:12 AM »
I'm a Christian, and I enjoy the games Cactus Games puts out--they're fun, and they don't try to hit you over the head with anything.  To be honest, I like being the head with Christian themes about as much as I do being hit with the pinko feminist neo-hippie crap of Blue Rose.

Actually, I think it would be interesting to see someone do an RPG or game about the early years of the church.  A truly challenging time to be a Christian, set against a backdrop that will be at least moderately familiar to anyone with an interest in history.  But I think part of the problem is that the gaming hobby, as someone noted in another thread, is by and large a hobby that attracts people "deviant" (his word, not mine) to mainstream society, which, as the major religion of North America, Christianity is a part of like it or not.  So any Christian RPG out there is going to get the dogpile from the get-go, I imagine.  Hell, people are still bitching about Dragonraid and Multiverser after all this time.  If one really wants to go about it, the way to go with a Christian game is subtlety--not as in subliminal brainwashing values, but in portraying the basic (sometimes ignored) tenets of the religion in a light that makes them inspirational to others.

(BTW, Pundit, not to derail the thread, but killing civilians in the Left Behind shooter affects you negatively (in fact, you chances in the game improve when you recruit them, not slaughter them wantonly, which is considered a bad thing), the UN isn't evil in the game in and of itself, but has been changed into the fascist Global Community through the aims of the AntiChrist (a pretty good excuse), and your true enemy is considered demons and the armies of the AntiChrist, I'm told.  Interesting article on it here).

MysticAges

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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2006, 09:52:50 AM »
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Like the Pundit, I want to see more games set from 0-300 AD. That era is ripe for adventure or thematic games.

I agree.

I forgot one real intriguing game, a 24 hour rpg, called Last Supper. You can download it on the 24 hour rpg site, I think - but it's all about Jesus' teachings when he institutes the Lord's Supper in his final hours. And, it's essentially about theology and dogma - which dogma is Jesus going to institute that will carry on in the church... and which can the disciples influence? I really dug the concept, although I'm going off the top of my head.

And Clinton, I'd love to check out your last game -- where is it?

I am/was writing a Wushu game called Liberators, based loosely off the ideas of liberation theology. Still, it was intended to be fun and action-packed. Think thugs turned Christian spiritual warriors, battling demons with kung fu, bullets, and knives. Demons latch onto folks and bring about the evils of the world - addiction, sexual predators, greed, violence, hate, oppression, poverty, etc.. So, as a bad ass spiritual warrior, you got to slay these demons, but you also get a chance to make some sort of difference in your community. Both are ways to fight back against the evil. The easier one to do is to pull out your gun.. but it might have consequences, especially because the demons love to get innocent bystanders in the way...

I should finish that someday. But school started this week.

Other ideas - an rpg where the players are Desert Fathers or where the heroes are pilgrims going to see the Desert Fathers, a game about traveling evangelists/missionaries trained by Paul to keep the churches staying strong amidst the Roman culture, a game about Christians struggling to stay alive and keep the faith amidst persecution in Rome, a game about the lesser known Disciples who traveled east and south to spread the gospel, a game where you form a Christian sect somewhere around Jerusalem and battle competing theological concepts (like Gnosticism) as they come about... I could do more, but I won't. :)
i write games from time to time.
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Clinton R. Nixon

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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2006, 10:11:26 AM »
Quote from: MysticAges

And Clinton, I'd love to check out your last game -- where is it?


It's at http://www.crngames.com/the_princes_kingdom.

Quote from: MysticAges

... a game about the lesser known Disciples who traveled east and south to spread the gospel, a game where you form a Christian sect somewhere around Jerusalem and battle competing theological concepts (like Gnosticism) as they come about...


Both of these sound fantastic. I've had a long-standing wish to write a game set in the 1st century where you all play people who had a passing encounter with Jesus, and all are believers, but may have very different opinions on his message.
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Zachary The First

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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2006, 10:17:23 AM »
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
It's at http://www.crngames.com/the_princes_kingdom.



Both of these sound fantastic. I've had a long-standing wish to write a game set in the 1st century where you all play people who had a passing encounter with Jesus, and all are believers, but may have very different opinions on his message.

See, and it's games like this I think the hobby has lacked until now.  Some of the attempts at Christian games have contained various efforts of [SIZE=-1]proletyzing (in various degrees of heavy-handedness), rather than focus on a setting where some of the really cool bits of Christianity (its run-ins with history, the early Church's struggles to stay alive, doctrinal conflicts) could shine.  There's really no need to hit people over the head in that sort of game--its an exciting period, a theme that would likely interest a lot of Christian and non-Christian gamers alike. Or maybe that last bit's just wishful thinking on my part, but I think it sounds fantastic. :)[/SIZE]

cnath.rm

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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2006, 10:47:34 AM »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
One game/sourcebook that hasn't been brought up yet is the Inquisition sourcebook for the oWoD.  Some fantastic stuff it there that would fit the ideas mentioned in the OP
I enjoyed reading that one, don't know that I'd ever want to play a campaign of it, but it was well written I thought. (course, I normally enjoy reading WW books, just depresses me that (judging from my experience at least) a rl game wouldn't actually allow a lot of the discovery. YMMV  Great read, sold it off awhile ago in the hope that someone else would enjoy it.

Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
But I agree with MysticAges and the Pundit.  A "Christian RPG" would be bad for the same reason that "Christian" "music" is almost universally dreadful.  One-dimensional and if the writers/musicians could cut it in the "real world" they wouldn't need to confine themselves to the ghetto
I think a major problem in both games and music when you add "Christian" is that people focus on the one side over the other, either the game/music is great but there is nothing "Christian" about it, or it's tightly "Christian" focused but the game/music compunant blows.  I do think that there are people who have made it work, (I can think of more music artist then games, but I'd expect the Settlers of Canan to rock as Catan does) just that it's rare. As a christian myself, I find some of the attempts to be not just lacking, but insulting as well. But when the combo works, it's great.

The example of mixing things that comes to mind is Shaun of the Dead, :jaw-dropping: nope, not mixing in Christianity, but in mixing movie types, like it says on the box, a Romantic Comedy with Zombies.  They set out to make a movie that was both a good Zombie movie, and a good Romantic Comedy.  If either side of the equasion failed, the movie wouldn't be as good. Myself it think they pass the test with flying colors. It's rare, but possible.
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2006, 12:35:26 PM »
Quote from: Zachary The First


(BTW, Pundit, not to derail the thread, but killing civilians in the Left Behind shooter affects you negatively (in fact, you chances in the game improve when you recruit them, not slaughter them wantonly, which is considered a bad thing), the UN isn't evil in the game in and of itself, but has been changed into the fascist Global Community through the aims of the AntiChrist (a pretty good excuse), and your true enemy is considered demons and the armies of the AntiChrist, I'm told.  Interesting article on it here).


Dude, the concept is still the same. Children in the United States are being taught that the U.N. WILL become the tool of the antichrist, if they aren't being taught that it already is.  They're taught that everyone who isn't an evangelical christian protestant will end up serving the anti-christ, and let's not forget the little detail about believing that all of these people will be doomed to the lake of fire after Jesus comes back...

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Zachary The First

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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2006, 12:43:11 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit
Dude, the concept is still the same. Children in the United States are being taught that the U.N. WILL become the tool of the antichrist, if they aren't being taught that it already is.  They're taught that everyone who isn't an evangelical christian protestant will end up serving the anti-christ, and let's not forget the little detail about believing that all of these people will be doomed to the lake of fire after Jesus comes back...

RPGPundit

Some kids in the US are, sure.  I have my own issues with some strains of evangelical Christianity, and I grant you there's a lot wrong with how they're seeing things nowadays.  But I'll save the rest of my griping on that in Off Topic. :)

Hastur T. Fannon

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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2006, 02:01:55 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit
Dude, the concept is still the same. Children in the United States are being taught that the U.N. WILL become the tool of the antichrist, if they aren't being taught that it already is.  They're taught that everyone who isn't an evangelical christian protestant will end up serving the anti-christ, and let's not forget the little detail about believing that all of these people will be doomed to the lake of fire after Jesus comes back...


It's "This Present Darkness" all over again.  I still get "My Little Pony" flashbacks...
 

Aos

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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2006, 03:13:04 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit
Dude, the concept is still the same. Children in the United States are being taught that the U.N. WILL become the tool of the antichrist, if they aren't being taught that it already is.  They're taught that everyone who isn't an evangelical christian protestant will end up serving the anti-christ, and let's not forget the little detail about believing that all of these people will be doomed to the lake of fire after Jesus comes back...

RPGPundit

I know some of this is true, but it is a bit of a stereotype. I have never seen any of this in action personally, and I sure as hell don't know anybody who is teaching their kids this kind of stuff. Not to say the US doesn't have it's share of snake handeling fools, though...
You are posting in a troll thread.

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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2006, 03:31:11 PM »
Quote from: Zachary The First
Some kids in the US are, sure.  I have my own issues with some strains of evangelical Christianity, and I grant you there's a lot wrong with how they're seeing things nowadays.  But I'll save the rest of my griping on that in Off Topic. :)


Did you see what the sales figures were for the "Left Behind: Teens" series of books?

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Zachary The First

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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2006, 03:36:12 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit
Did you see what the sales figures were for the "Left Behind: Teens" series of books?

RPGPundit

From what I hear, they're through the roof.  That whole franchise is, though, so its really no surprise.

JongWK

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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2006, 03:54:04 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit

Hell, Jong's character was Joseph of Arimathea!

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Zachary The First

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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2006, 04:07:00 PM »
Quote from: JongWK
Don't forget the Holy Grail listed in my gear section. ;)

Well, you would have rocked in any Arthurian setting. :p

JongWK

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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2006, 04:11:03 PM »
Quote from: Zachary The First
Well, you would have rocked in any Arthurian setting. :p


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