Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Ysidro
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Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Ysidro » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:07 pm

So, I'm still learning about the setting. But one thing I want to get straight is the way organized religion works in Aventuria. Are all "priests" (or other officials of a religious organization) Blessed Ones? Will you go into a random Middenrealm village and find a Blessed one in a church? Or are Blessed Ones more rare? Is it a wonderous thing when one comes across someone who is truly blessed by the gods? Can you become a Blessed One without being a member of your god's cult/church/whatever? Or do you have to learn the liturgical chants and ceremonies from someone else?

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Lambert
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Lambert » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:22 pm

No you get plenty of followers of the gods who have not been inbued with power,
that includes priests. Now in the meta-plot of having entered a new age, and changing to 5th edition, priestly miracles have become a lot more common place and as the gods both find it harder to intervene personally AND require to reassure and keep their (or even gain) followers and worshippers so that when balance is restored they find themselves still in power.

I would bet that almost all PC priests are blessed ones and that the priest without power is an interesting niche character to play.
Last edited by Lambert on Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Shinxirus
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Shinxirus » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:17 pm

Ysidro wrote:Are all "priests" (or other officials of a religious organization) Blessed Ones?

The upper ranks of churches and their associated orders and organizations consist of blessed ones. Some churches also have acoluthes, people who are learned about the cult in question but are not blessed ones (essentially lay priests).
Ysidro wrote:Will you go into a random Middenrealm village and find a Blessed one in a church?

That depends on various factors. First, the settlements size and/or distance to centers of the relevant cult. A middle sized town may well have one or more temples with their own blessed ones, wheras a small farmer village way out in the province may only have a shrine tended to by an acoluthe, if the relevant church has them, or an elder villager who feels close to the deity in question. Alternatively, neighbouring villages may occasionally be visited by a blessed one who tours them regularly without ever staying in one for a prolonged period of time.
Another factor to consider is the size of the church. Some churches have numerous members, increasing the chance of meeting a blessed one. Other churches, like that of Firun, have rather few members, which decreases the chances of meeting one of them.
Ysidro wrote:Is it a wonderous thing when one comes across someone who is truly blessed by the gods?

Generally people know blessed ones exist, and that they can invoke the power of the gods. How they react exactly depends on the person in question.
Ysidro wrote:Can you become a Blessed One without being a member of your god's cult/church/whatever? Or do you have to learn the liturgical chants and ceremonies from someone else?

Usually blessed ones receive their powers at the end of their noviciate through the liturgy ORDINATION, which is known to senior priests and causes the applicants' soul to be exalted towards Alveran, so that their deity can either judge them worthy (thus imbueing them with karma) or reject them. It is theoretically possible for a deity to directly imbue a mortal with their power, thus creating a being known as a chosen one. The most famous (or rather infamous) chosen one currently is the Aikhar Brazoragh. However, this only happens in extremely rare circumstances.

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Bosper
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Bosper » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:59 pm

Most people with some godly influence, who aren't blessed ones or part of a church are zealots. They got limited powers that are either Visions or Sermons, Visionaries can get godly help for themselves, Preachers can apply their gods influence on others. Blessed ones can learn both kinds in addition to chants and blessings, Zealots only one and no chants and blessings.

Ysidro
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Ysidro » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:35 am

Hmm, this gives me some ideas on conflicts between church hierarchy led by non-Blessed vs up-and-comers who have been actually Blessed by their god. Not every god's church mind you, but I could see Praios' going through this, especially in Gareth. In other cases, there may be a more local conflict between a holy person who has been around for ages, but cannot perform actual miracles vs the new person who has come to the village and actually can? And what if they don't even worship the same god? Or one of them is actually a Nameless One cultist....

antema
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby antema » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:09 am

We've established that not all Priests are Blessed Ones, but the title also holds the question of vice versa. Are all Blessed Ones Priests?

Now even IRL there are significant difference between what defines a priest between varying religions. For example in their education, there are churches that require all priests to have a master's degree in theology, meaning 5 years study at a university, making their priests highly educated academics also. In other religions priests may have no formal training whatsoever. And in some religions priesthood is achieved through a spiritual journey involving meditation in a secluded monastery.

But what most of these priests have in common is that they are leaders in their community, they hold mass and provide religious services such as funerals and weddings, they provide spiritual comfort, they offer guidance and rules to their parishioners and they help people understand their religion and sacred texts.

I think that the question of whether all Blessed Ones are priests is a lot more open than vice versa. Is a Blessed One of Rondra so well versed in the intrigues of their church to provide priestly services to the common people? Or are they only interested in serving their God through actions, not words? Making them perhaps more similar to christian crusaders in the middle ages than to priests.

On the other hand. All the Blessed Ones have the 12 Blessings. So technically a Blessed One of Phex could officiate a funeral ceremony and burial, and use the Grave Blessing to bring forth the God's blessing. A Blessed One of Rondra could perform an infant baptism using the Birth Blessing and at the same time hold a religious naming ceremony. A Blessed One of Boron could officiate a wedding or at least a betrothal ceremony with Oath Blessing. And so forth.

So Aventurian Blessed Ones can perform many deeds that IRL priests would perform, but in many other senses Blessed Ones have a very different job description than we would normally associate with priests. Of course this varies between Blessed Ones. Rondrians would be very different, but for example followers of Peraine or Praios may have more in common with IRL priests.

So are all Blessed Ones Priests?

antema
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby antema » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:18 pm

Well, since there doesn't appear to be any more need for discussing on the matter. I'll just conclude by answering my question myself.

Are all Blessed Ones Priests? As far as the rules are concerned, yes. To quote from the core rules "The Blessed Ones, priests of the Aventurian gods." Are Blessed Ones Priests in the way that most people IRL understand them? No. As I said earlier, some Blessed Ones have duties and act similarly to real life priests, deacons, monks or missionaries. Yet others have usually virtually nothing in common with IRL clergy. A Blessed One of Phex's thieving aspect is in fact in many ways the opposite of what one would assume a priest to be. Essentially the situation with Dark Eye Blessed Ones is the same thing as with Clerics in D&D and other such games.

As for what any of this matters? Well if there are Blessed One PCs at your party they may be interested in pursuing the priestly aspect of their character. On the other hand some players may be uncomfortable with playing a Priest, even if they would be totally comfortable with playing a Cleric, Paladin or a Blessed One. Some players may choose to play a Blessed One of Rondra because they want to play a Paladin archetype character. The idea of playing a priest, a preacher and a man-of-faith may not even have occurred to them.

I'm not sure how funerals and weddings are done in Aventuria, as there is very little information on the subject in the Almanac or Core Rules. Some of the German players may be able to answer that question. But based on the available English material, marriage is called Travia-bound. This would seem to imply that only Travia's Blessed Ones hold weddings. If I would have to guess, I'd say that weddings other than Travia facilitated must exist. As for funerals. The Grave Blessing can be performed by any Blessed One, but only Boron's Blessed Ones are said to perform funerals.

So if your group is open to it, you may consider presenting the priestly aspect of Blessed Ones at least once in a while. As a GM you may present situations for your party's Blessed Ones that would call upon them to perform more priestly deeds. Your party may arrive at a village far from everything and who haven't met a Blessed One in almost a year. In such a village the families may request a Blessed One in your party to perform the Grave Blessing for all the people who passed away in the past year. As well as blessing all the children born. They may also be interested to hear the words of wisdom from a true Blessed One. Perhaps they ask your Blessed One to hold mass or offer a sermon. They may also ask them for advice on how to please the Gods in their acts until a next Blessed One arrives. These pleas may be offered regardless what Gods servant(s) your party has. And just like in any other "quest" the village will then offer the Blessed One something as thanks for their benevolence.

If your a player of a Blessed One, you may ask in-character the villagers if they have need of spiritual guidance, or religious services. Of course for any of this, you should have a consensus of what role, if any, will actual religious matters hold in your game. As I said earlier, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of an actual Priest in the game.

So not all Blessed Ones are Priests, but all of them could be, if they so choose.

Denshi
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Denshi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:25 pm

Hi there!
Though I don't consider myself an expert on the matter, there are some things I want to add:
antema wrote:Some players may choose to play a Blessed One of Rondra because they want to play a Paladin archetype character. The idea of playing a priest, a preacher and a man-of-faith may not even have occurred to them.

I feel like this is a problem especially in the non-German world. There's need of a guide for new players to introduce them to how common fantasy RPG archetypes map to Aventuria. The sample characters in the official source books might help with that.
The “Aventurian Gods” book (only available in German™) has sample characters for the blessed one of Swafnir, the Amazon, and the Golgarit; all of which could be classified as paladins.

antema wrote:I'm not sure how funerals and weddings are done in Aventuria, as there is very little information on the subject in the Almanac or Core Rules.

It's in Aventurian Gods (almost half a page). Most marriages are held under the protection of travia because she is the goddess associated with family life and running a household. Marriage is therefore often referred to as a “Travia bond”. There are rarer cases of people sealing their bond in the name of a different god, the more common being Rondra and Rahja. I could also imagine other gods under special circumstances (Efferd for sailors marrying at sea) but I don't have official sources to back me up.
Keep in mind that all that only applies to the pantheon of the twelvegods. Other cultures my have other rites. The Elves for example know a song for them to form a soul bond.

antema wrote:In such a village the families may request a Blessed One in your party to perform the Grave Blessing for all the people who passed away in the past year.

Actually the grave blessing is not performed for everyone. Most common people only get a non-karmic funeral with some words from the priest. The main purpose of the grave blessing is to protect the grave from desecration. Thus in such a small village I don't think they would wait a year for a formal funeral but send for a (non-blessed) priest or just let the mayor perform it (or maybe they could turn to a local druid or witch).

As a side note: I hope the Aventurian Gods book will get a translation. It would add much needed background and many playable professions (15 blessed ones and 3 non-blessed).

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Lambert
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Re: Are all priests Blessed Ones and vice versa?

Postby Lambert » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:04 pm

Denshi wrote:As a side note: I hope the Aventurian Gods book will get a translation. It would add much needed background and many playable professions (15 blessed ones and 3 non-blessed).


Me too.


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