How often do PCs "get religion" in your games?

Do your PCs actively worship the Gods?

  • No, they're a bunch of godless heathens who have better things to spend their coin on!

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  • Yes, they worship their racial/regional God(s) and stay true to their original religion no matter wh

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sure, they'll worship any God who happens to be local & can easily "lend a hand"... they're "Prayers

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not Really, they respect the powers of the God(s) but they're keeping their coins for ale & whores.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
I've been reading over the section in the main Conan d20 rulebook about the benefits and requirements for "religious observance" and I was wondering how many PCs actually "get religion" when playing?

I don't just mean the occasional "By Ymir!" curse uttered by the Vanir Barbarian, but PCs who actually actively fullfill the demands of religious observance and thus gain the benefits of their respective religion/god.

Also is there a fair amount of "god switching" as the PCs end up traveling from place-to-place? I would imagine that it can be tough for the Nemedian Soldier to tithe to Mitra every month if the campaign is currently set in Khitai and the same could be said for Ymir if the Vanir is currently in Kush. Of course Cimmerians would never give up Crom (or rather it would be quite bad for them if they did rulewise).

So do PCs who actually try to gain the benefits of worship tend to switch to the local deities as they travel?
I don't have anyone in my group that is really all that fanatical about displaying religion. They're a bunch of D&D players, and coming from that game they really like fighting and general character development stories more than anything else. I havent introduced religion as a main aspect of the world yet, but will soon with a central villain, so maybe their attitudes and play styles will change afterwards, but I doubt it.
Mine surprisingly can really get into religion. They even create cults based off RL pagan dieties for their character and I retcon it into the world. I however keep the REH ideal- no demigods or angel walking around the world just mostly silence and some vague feelings and advice at most and always the idea that their 'god' might be a mask of something fasr more terrible and more powerful than their feeble minds oculd understand. But hey, that's just me. 8)
Given that my party consists of two thieves (one a temptress thief), one sorceress and an Argosean pirate/soldier in Zamora... and that most of what they've been exposed to involved the horrible deaths of those whO DID worship the gods.... yeah, none of them are overtly religious or have a proclaimed god. So goddless heathens all the way here. :)
considering the few (scarce) interaction between gods and mortal in the hyborian age, worshipping seems only good for NPCs.
i have a cimmerian barbarian and a stygian sorceress in my group. after some adventures together (and developing some sort of "neutral friendship") they are beginning with their religious "attitude". the cimmerian tries to convert the stygian away from set :)

"you can't be happy worshipping a demon...and besides...what kind of god is it if he chooses the form of a weak animal i can crush with my boot...tztztz... snakes"

the female stygian is still faithfull to set....but the talk of the barbarian (and some story elements moving around other stygian priests) is beginning to open her's becomming more and more interesting :wink:
The King said:
considering the few (scarce) interaction between gods and mortal in the hyborian age, worshipping seems only good for NPCs.

Well there are "game mechanics" benefits to worship. You have Faith which adds a +2 to Wills Saves. There's Atonement which is nice for regaining one's lost Code of Honour (and the Code's benefits). Finally there's Spells available for Scholars who become Priests.

Of course not every God/Pantheon provides all 3 benefits but many provide at least 2. Granted, Spells are really only useful for Scholars who want to become Priests... though I imagine a "faithful" warrior who is also a Dabbler might get some benefit from this (such as learning Counterspells for instance).
Granted, but no Howard's heroes do worship any god (I'm speaking of active worshipping rather than Conan's own belief). And most villains do worship demons.
Overall, it depends on the character really. I think part of the problem is that our traditional attitudes towards religion and peity are not really appropriate for Hyborea. The concept of "faith" isn't really an attitude for people from this time period.

Take, Sigurr, a character from our games. The Asgard KNOWS Ymir exists, at least to the extent that anything else occurs. Ymir lives about 12 mountains down, he lives in a gigantic palace of spears, and he has a hot daughter whom is a total ****. Ymir will take his spirit upon death but only if he lives up to X creed of barbarian courage.

It's like someone walking up to you and saying "How do you know the world is round?" "Have you ever been in space and seen it?" "How do you not know that others have lied to you about it being round?" Sigurr doesn't have 'faith' per say because the idea of not believing in Ymir is just ridiculous.

Likewise, Ymir doesn't ask for sacrifices from the Aesir to my knowledge. You might throw a few sacrifices his way or consult one of his Half-Mad Snow Priests for insight but really, worship doesn't have any intristic value to the god. There's no Prayer Mats, Pews, Churchs, or similiar concepts.

The closest thing in Hyborea is Mitra.

In the civilized world, barring Mitra, you pretty much have a huge host of deities to choose from. Again, the issue is largely an economic one. No one believes that anyone made up Morrigan or whatever Ape-faced god from the Dark Continent that's erected a temple in the area. They accept them and their promises as pretty much literal fact.

There was a fun period in our campaign where they consulted a Stygian for a blessing against the magic of an Asuran priest.

The conversation went like this.

Albios: Why are we asking for a blessing from an Arch-demon?

Sigurr: Well, all Stygians are wizards. Set hates all other gods. The Asuran is a priest of another god. We're going to kill him.

Albios: But we hate Set.

Sigurr: Yes, but we sacrificed a Bull and havent' killed any of his priests...yet. I'm sure that earns us some favor.
Granted, but no Howard's heroes do worship any god
Hmmm... what of Solomon Kane?

In my campaign, my players aren't religious at all, but they're all pretty superstitious and fearful of the gods. And that's the way I play most of the people they meet too. The Hyborian world is a dark age of ignorance. Most people don't have access to education. I have six players in my campaign and four of them can't even read. I play a lot on superstitions and unrational fears, and I'm doing my best to show my players how much their hyborian counterparts think and see the world differently than the average RPG geek.
Solomon Kane doesn't pray but I remember him being described as a man of Faith (though it's been a while since I last read the books). I don't see him as an Elric type offering the souls of his victims to his god.
Marylin,” said Kane gently, stroking her' curly hair, “methinks you lack somewhat in faith, both in Providence and in me. Nay, alone I am a weak creature, having no strength or might In me; yet in times past hath God made me a great vessel of wrath and a sword of deliverance. And, I trust, shall do so again.

“Look you, little Marylin: in the last few hours as it were, we have seen the passing of an evil race and the fall of a foul empire. Men died by thousands about us, and the earth rose beneath our feet. hurling down towers that broke the heavens; yea, death fell about us in a red rain, yet we escaped unscathed.

“Therein is—more than the hand of man! Nay, a Power—the mightiest Power! That which guided me across the world, straight to that demon city — which led me to your chamber — which aided me to escape again and led me to the one man in all the city who would give the information I must have, the strange, evil priest of an elder race who lay dying in a subterranean cell—and which guided me to the outer wall, as I ran blindly and at random—for should I have come under the cliffs which formed the rest of the wall, we had surely perished. That same Power brought us safely out of the dying city, and safe across the rocking bridge—which shattered and sundered down into the chasm just as my feet touched solid earth!

“Think you that having led me this far, and accomplished such wonders, the Power will strike us down now? Nay! Evil flourishes and rules in the cities of men and the waste places of the world, but anon the great giant that is God rises and smites for the righteous, and they lay faith him.

“I say this: this cliff shall we descend in safety, and yon dank jungle traverse in safety, and it is as sure that in old Devon your people shall clasp you again to their bosom, as that you stand here.” And now for the first time Marylin smiled, with the quick eagerness of a normal young girl, and Kane sighed in relief. Already the ghosts were fading from her haunted eyes, and Kane looked to the day when her horrible experiences should be as a dimming dream. One glance he flung behind him, where beyond the scowling hills the lost city of Negari lay shattered and silent, amid the ruins of her own walls and the fallen crags which had kept her invincible so long, but which had at last betrayed her to her doom.

A momentary pang smote him as he thought of the myriad of crushed, still forms lying amid those ruins; then the blasting memory of their evil crimes surged over him and his eyes hardened.

“And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.

“For Thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defended city a ruin; a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.

“Moreover, the multitude of Thy stranger shall be like small dust and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth suddenly away; yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.

“Stay yourselves and wonder; cry ye out and cry; they are drunken but not with wine; they stagger but not with strong drink.

“Verily, Marylin,” said Kane with a sigh, “with mine own eyes have I seen the prophecies of Isaiah come to pass. They were drunken but not with wine. Nay, blood was their drink and in that red flood they dipped deep and terribly.”

Nor am I at all convinced that Howard's gods are in any sense remote. In the Conan tales we meet Ollam Onga, Khosatral Khel, Atali and her brothers and Thak. Conan is cursed by the gods of darkness for using the Sign of Jhebbal Sag, and Epimetreus is famous for defeating Set. Not to mention Mitra's oracle to Yasmela.

And in his non Conan tales?

I approached him warily, a strange cold fear, that I could not understand, gripping me. Ax ready to dash out his brains, I bent over him, and recognized him as the chief who had slain Prince Murrough, and who had mown down the warriors of the Gael like a harvest.. Wherever he had fought, the Norsemen had prevailed, but in all other parts of the field, the Gaels had been irresistible.

And now he spoke to me in Norse and I understood, for had I not toiled as slave among the sea people for long bitter years?

"The Christians have overcome," he gasped in a voice whose timbre, though low-pitched, sent a curious shiver of fear through me; there was in it an undertone as of icy waves sweeping along a Northern shore, as of freezing winds whispering among the pine trees. "Doom and shadows stalk on Asgaard and hero has fallen Ragnarok. I could not be in all parts of the field at once, and now I am wounded unto death. A spear-a spear with a cross carved in the blade; no other weapon could wound me."

I realized that the chief, seeing mistily my red beard and the Norse armour I wore, supposed me to be one of his own race. But crawling horror surged darkly in the depths of my soul.

"White Christ, thou hast not yet conquered," he muttered deliriously. "Lift me up, man, and let me speak to you."

Now for some reason I complied, and, as I lifted him to a sitting posture, I shuddered and my flesh crawled at the feel of him, for his flesh was like ivory--smoother and harder than is natural for human flesh, and colder than even a dying man should be.

"I die as men die;" he muttered. "Fool, to assume the attributes of mankind, even though it was to aid the people who deify me. The gods are immortal, but flesh can perish, even when it clothes a god. Haste and bring a sprig of the magic plant-even holly-and lay it on my bosom. Aye, though it be no larger than a dagger point, it will free me from this fleshy prison I put on when I came to war with men with their own weapons. And I will shake off this flesh and stalk once more among the thundering clouds. Woe, then, to all men who bend not the knee to me! Haste; I will await your coming."

His lion-like head fell back, and feeling shudderingly under his corselet, I could distinguish no heartbeat. He was dead, as men die, but I knew that locked in that semblance of a human body, there but slumbered the spirit of a fiend of the frost and darkness.

Aye, I knew him: Odin, the Grey Man, the One-eyed, the god of the North who had taken the form of a warrior to fight for his people. Assuming the form of a human, he was subject to many of the limitations of humanity. All men knew this of the gods, who often walked the earth in the guise of men. Odin, clothed in human semblance, could he wounded by certain weapons, and even slain, but a touch of the mysterious holly, would rouse him in grisly resurrection. This task he had set me, not knowing me for an enemy; in human form he could only use human faculties, and these had been impaired by onstriding death.