Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adventures with religion

JB in this post asks where the heck is religion in RPGs? Religious thought and institutions have been a major motivator throughout human history but we don't touch on it much in RPG land. Many people falsely believe there isn't much adventure to be had with religious themes and religiously motivated characters. I'm going to mention a few films and the books that go with them where religion is behind the adventure.

Black Robe, 1991 film adapted from the novel of the same name. This film covers the journey of a young Jesuit to seek a remote Catholic mission in Huron territory in 1634. He's bringing his faith to a wild an dangerous land, his journey and communication challenges his faith and that of the Hurons. It's a beautifully filmed movie and the young Jesuit doesn't go off character and become rambo with a cross at any point despite the constant and ever present threat of violence.

The Mission
, 18th century jesuits try to protect the local south americans indians from falling under the yolk of slavery. Rodrigo Mendoza is a daring Spanish adventurer who is a cad , scoundrel and killer who is motivated by politics and religion to do the right thing.

The Name of The Rose
, 1986 film staring Sean Connery as William of Baskerville is embroiled in a deepening murder mystery in a 14th century Benedictine Abbey. Baskerville is nonconformist and intellectually motivated but he doesn't turn from his faith. The story is all about how the world of religion effects and motivates the deeds of men in wide sweeping matters and very personal ones. The flm is entertaining but the book is wonderful. There is an excellent puzzle based dungeon adventure in the film that is a must see for dungeon adventure writers.

Dogma, 1999 flippant road comedy that is most certainly a religious adventure. At it's root it's all about the relation of each character in the film to their faith and the divene along with the realization of how personal it is in a world where politics and irreverence have squashed that personal relation for many. After the sex and potty humor it's still thought provoking.

There you go 4 films full of mystery, murder, epic battles, personal challenges all with religion as a significant portion of the adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Funny...I own (and love) everyone of those. :)

    Religion used to be bigger in rpg games (at least where I lived and played) but the whole backlash from organized religion, resulting in the well known company-editing of rules really put the damper on it and now you have to really dig in the stacks to find the books and articles that deal with it.

    I've been compiling information on the subject and will gladly accept any help if you know of a link or post or article that will aid me further.

    And that means you readers! :)