Sunday, May 23, 2021

New Religious Frameworks for RPGs

Summary: Here I posit several religious frameworks which may be novel to RPGs, and lay out several classifications for polytheism.

I am doing this because I am planning to post a maximalist gonzo weird fiction city-state generator soon. It is intended to produce a home city for one's player character. Each city-state is intended to come with massive implications for the character’s culture and life experience.

These religions plug into that city-state generator.


Experientialist Reism
Experimentalist Reism
Exploratory Reism
Inhabitationist Reism
Metamorphic Reism
Refiner Reism
-Individualist Reism
-Specist Reism
-Planetary Reism
-Sociocultural Reism
Transcendentalist Reism
-Occult Reism
-Theistic Reism
Vier Reism

Monadic Accretionism
Radiant Monadism

    Hero Societies
Hero Cult
Hero Caste
Hero Lodge
Hero Company

    Millenarian Esoterica


Affective Polytheism
Archetypal Polytheism
Exemplar Polytheism
Hyperspecialized Polytheism
Psychosyncretic Polytheism


There is a Universal Consciousness underlying time and space.

Human beings are manifestations of the UC.

We are God born on earth, but stripped of universality and made particular.

We have forgotten all that we knew before our birth, but we can feel the presence of the greater whole in the transcendent and in other people. 

What is intended by the UC? That is the great question.

Reist Schools of thought

    Experientialist Reism
The UC is attempting to experience as much as possible about the world. Humans can be conceptualized as the UC’s fingertips, tongue, eyeballs, nerves and so forth.

A practitioner may believe that he or she should experience as much of everything as possible (most often pleasure, knowledge and aesthetic experience), or they may feel that they have a specific phenomena which they are meant to receive as a bellwether for the UC.

    Experimentalist Reism
Each practitioner believes that one has a very specific purpose resting upon a theory or proposition and that one must discover and enact it.

    Exploratory Reism
Humans are the UC’s way of mapping out physical (or conceptual or metaphysical) existence. This might be the duty of every man, woman and child, or it might be for a chosen few whom the rest of the human race supports like a pit crew.

    Inhabitationist Reism
The damned moderates of the Reists. 
The UC seeks to inhabit reality. We are its means.

The conscience is the voice of the UC. It speaks for your circumstances, so it is ok if it says something different from someone else. It’s ok if there’s conflict: think of this like the friction and strain of gears that are turning inside of a harmonious mechanism.

There is pointless strife, suffering and deceit among mankind first because the human chassis malfunctions, but also because faulty first principles have developed that we attend to rather than the voice of the UC. The conscience is really the common soul that we all share; that we all are.

    Metamorphic Reism
The goal of the UC is to shape the physical universe into a new form: a physical superstructure, some kind of energetic node system, or into a completely new phase of matter.

    Refiner Reism
The UC intends to refine the human race, the Earth, or human society.
Refiner schools of thought:
-Individualist Refiners seek to improve themselves in particular ways (e.g. athleticism or self-mutilation)
-Specist Refiners seek to enhance all humans (e.g. eugenics, health and wellness programs, or occult genetic modification)
-Planetary Refiners seek to turn the world into a kind of beacon, factory, engine or stockpile (physical or spiritual)
-Sociocultural Refiners seek to bring humanity under an ideology of social conduct intended to channel humanity’s spiritual energy such that the UC can directly manifest, or so that it can fulfill its true purpose via the network.

    Transcendental Reism
The purpose of mankind is to travel to another dimension.

This will transmit the packet of essence contained in the person to a new universe as is appropriate.

Most Transcendentalists believe that this happens during death, though Occult Transcendentalists feel that the situation has been misapprehended and that humans must discover how to physically transcend the universe during life. As soon as that happens we can serve as the UC’s conduit to other universes, with everyone going over once they’ve reached maturity, or most people ASAP with a small stay-behind vanguard to continually produce more people, or only a few chosen elites at a time.

Why are manifestations of the UC going to other universes?

-Perhaps there is an energy ecosystem that Universal Consciousnesses are part of, and for an unknown reason they MUST transmit small portions of consciousness between them.
-Perhaps the UC is colonizing another universe, one that is empty or inhabited by hostile or Undesirable Consciousness(es).
-Perhaps the UC is practicing sacrifice, or is even suicidal, and is giving portions to itself to higher powers, or carving them off and tossing them into the void (its equivalent of into the pond or over the fence).
-Perhaps the UC is a kind of natural resource, like an oilfield, and is percolating naturally into other universes the way groundwater fertilizes a field.
-Perhaps the portions of the UC are used to explore, link together, or conquer foreign universes.

Many Transcendental Reists believe that this world’s religions and ideologies are the memetic magnetism of conduits and gates to other universes.

Whichever religion a person follows determines what universe that person’s consciousness energy will enter upon their death.

Each of the UC’s manifestations is intended for a particular universe, and the call that one feels to a deity or way of life is a manifestation of that universe drawing the supplicant towards it.

As a result, many Transcendental Reists practice a theistic religion, or feel that they should but haven’t yet figured out which one they’re meant. These are Theistic Reists.

Atheists are either meant for a specific kind of universe or are malformed vessels which will helpfully return to the UC when they die.

Some Theistic Reists feel that we should shape the constellation of cosmoses by promoting certain religions and ways of life, while preventing the spread of others. This may require the presumption of a view of morality privileged by one’s manifestation in physical reality; that the UC is a kind of animal intelligence or well of consciousness energy.

They don’t want to bolster universes which would take a certain kind of person unless they serve as prisons for that form of energy.

    Vier Reism
The earth is a kind of game for the UC to play. It is like a single person is playing every character in an MMO and experiencing each one in sequence, or all at once somehow.

Many who believe in Vier Reism seek out an enterprise to compete in: mountaineering, sports, business, seduction, war, and so forth. Most often they pursue an enterprise for which they are well-adapted, so this can manifest as things like stamp collecting or mass murder.

It is a criticism of Reism that there is no specific mechanism preventing war. If humans are all instantiations of the UC, we can kill each other freely, being freed into the enlightened whole upon death. Warlike Vier Reists embrace this at least tacitly, but more common among the Reist family is the view that the UC’s enterprise is harmed by damaging individual manifestations if they haven’t become totally pathological; that every human is made of the divine.


There was once a sect that held that people were probably accidental manifestations of a nonsapient, animalistic, or baby-like UC; this idea lacked motive power, however, and the sect ended up dying out.


The Monad is like a spiritual sun that is outside time and space, or is a plane of infinite power. 

Human beings contain a kind of conscious spirit-energy.

We are all aggregating to the Monad. We can feel this in our constant attraction to the transcendent, which we fail to wholly define. This is the Monad. 

Our job is to become as aligned with the Monad as possible. We must prepare to join it in life as a kind of enlightened transcending saint, or in death when we submit our accumulated, refined and purified energy to the Monad.

Monadic Schools of Thought

    Monadic Accretionism
You should seek states of positive energy, which are evidence of the accumulation/purification/sacralization of one’s spirit energy. Seek to instantiate these states in others. Seek to mitigate and minimize useless suffering. It erodes spiritual energy.

The muscular manifestation of this is the cultivation of great health.

If you are more mystically-inclined, you can add meditation and elevated states involving ecstasy, singing and rejoicing to the point of visions and glossolalia.

The more we empower the Monad, the nearer to the living we bring the blissful paradisiacal divine.

    Radiant Monadism
You should torture and/or kill people to bolster the Monad, particularly people who have reached the likely height of their spiritual power (heroes, charismatic archpriests, famed industrialists, saints, lawgiver-kings), or those who are thought to have uncorrupted or uncomplicated spiritual essences (children, virgins, pacifists, engineers, members of certain spiritual sects).

Your extreme sensations while you do these things are the radiance of the Monad as It receives your gifts.

You will join the Monad someday, but for now you can personally do more to empower It than the average person and so you should survive as long as you can.

Through this sacrifice, you refresh and enhance the spiritual vibrancy and vitality of everything that exists, for the Monad is the center of all energy.

Hero Societies

Worshippers are brought up in or are inducted into societies dedicated to mythological figures.

Each hero society provides models for emulation. Some societies are private matters, others are tight-knit and hereditary social structures that determine what role an individual will have in society.


Animal (as food or model for emulation)
Natural phenomenon

    Hero Cults
These exist within a culture but they are not the culture’s primary manner of social organization.

Starling & Shrike ancestor detective spirit societies. These manifest as dinner clubs, discourses held at shrines, and prayer meetings where they may attempt to commune with and channel the ancestral detective depending on the nature of their faith.

    Hero Castes
Children are born into societal stratums conceptualized around mythological heroes.

The builderhero caste in the Empire of the Twin Canals has become dominant by erecting a manifold of monumental structures, but their influence is eroding in the age of explosive shells.

The builderhero is said to have heard of wind from the fisherhero. He built a fastness for the fisherhero in exchange for food.

He heard of lions from the planterhero so he built a wall around the garden, but not around the fields. It is the shepherdhero to defend those.

The builderhero is enduring, patient, and extends his welcome to all so long as they abide by his code. This is critical in their hurricane-prone archipelago. They must render him a portion of their produce. 

Only the shepherdhero paid him no tribute, and only the shepherdhero is barred from his house.

The builders of the builders, the slave caste, worship a figure of non-attachment.

    Hero Company
Members serve in some kind of productive enterprise dedicated to an appropriate figure.

The Anarcho-Syndicalist religion in the City of Fasciatus.

This will be stamped out should the City of Leagues ever form an Anarcho-Syndicalist empire.

The Union of Red Copperleg: Red Copperleg was the spirit of the Milkweed Bootleggers (now the Distillers’ Union). He haunted the pipes and alembics, whistling when the brew needed love or whispering with the vapor of methanol. He is channeled at the Seance of the White Lightning.

The Union of Old Barnabas: The salty ancestral foreman of the Longshoreman’s Union is a figure of worship for foremen as such.
A “union of foremen” is an extremely controversial enterprise. It helps the Unions coordinate, but it also smells of an upper class and an undue adornment for the Longshoreman’s Union.

The Union of Mother Milkweed: The Union of Mothers competes amongst itself to bear as many workers as possible. Heroic effort is required to meet the new production quotas and the city must have more helping hands if the work is ever to be finished. 
Mother Milkweed is said to have bore twenty-nine children, taking only a single day off between birth and conception and only then on holidays. Her children formed the twenty-nine unions.

The Union of Brother Hartman: The Teamster, Brother Hartman, once drove through the sky with the gold and silver plundered by Legs Domino, ancestor of the Bank Wreckers’ Union, from the unfathomable industrialists between the stars.

As humanity’s understanding of the sun and moon has evolved, Brother Hartman has become less of a literal figure. This metaphorization has led to a crisis of identity amongst the Teamsters’ Union. The Revisionists say he’s a model for timely delivery. The Old Guard say he’s real and that the Teamsters shouldn’t accept the rates and workloads that they do if Brother Hartman isn’t a serious part of the cosmology.

As such, an undersecretary has taken up astrological occultism so as to hunt for entities between the stars. He will find what he’s looking for.

    Hero Lodge
Lodgemembers live apart from society, or from the other lodges if society is made up lodges.

Some take after animals. Members of a cheetah lodge can act as ambush predators in hunts, wars, or stock manipulations, depending on the society.

Warrior lodgemembers may live apart from the women and their parents until they reach a certain condition (e.g. over 30, taken a scalp, or had one’s first prophetic vision and a quest); a beaver lodge is committed the construction of watermills or hydroelectric dams; a lodge for the psychopath god is a prison, but in war its members are parachuted into enemy territory as ranger berserks on a terminal chevauchee.

An agrarian society may have lodges emulating edible foods; members seek to emulate their foodstuff in order to bring it into their larder. Thus the grain lodge is solar and outdoorsy, the boar lodge is aggressive and paranoid, the cherry lodge is sweet and sultry, and the grapevine lodgers are lazy drunkards.

The Affidavit Spider Lodge. These hunters gradually transform into spiders the longer they go without eating. Generally they begin their fast as soon as a hunt is called, and over the course of the next several days they develop arachnid characteristics.

End of Day 1: The hunter has developed a second set of humanlooking eyes, a hemolymph-based hydraulic system in his legs, and full-body fur with setules and calamistrum.

End of Day 2: The hunter has developed a third set of eyes, functional spinnerets, and venomous mandibles. The venom is paralytic they kill you by wrapping you in silk and then drenching you with digestive enzymes before a ritual feast. This venom is also anti-apoptotic so even if you escape after a bite you will likely develop leukemia.

End of Day 3: The hunter develops a final set of eyes, additional sets of arms and legs, complete radial symmetry in the limbs, and barbed urticating bristles which can be blasted into foes.

If the hunters haven’t gotten you by Day 3 they will usually give up and find some other food because at the end of day 4 they will lose their humanity. They return to normal after they eat, leaving behind exuviae.

Millenarian Esoterica

This is the belief that specific conduct will bring about an unspecified but transcendent final state for the believers or for all humanity.

The more these behaviors are practiced, the faster this utopia will come about.

It is rife in industrial areas suffering from lead and mercury contamination, and in societies which have been subjugated or otherwise crushed and now hope for an end to the world.


Direct rule by an antediluvian, extracosmic, protocosmic, phenomenological, or inexplicable entity that represents itself as the agent of a divinity, or simply a/the powerful divinity itself. This may or may not be true.


There are five types of polytheism represented here.

Affective Polytheism: The divines embody affective states that command human behavior.

Archetypal Polytheism: The divines embody universally-recurring figures in human experience.

Exemplar Polytheism: The divines embody important or enduring societal roles.

Hyperspecialized Polytheism: Exemplar Polytheism where each god has an Archetypal overlay.

Psychosyncretic Polytheism: Archetypal Polytheism where each god is flavored by an Affective state.

    Affective Polytheism
A pantheon of d20 deities roughly embodying affective states, example list with associated symbols:

Rage (spear, bomb, broken bottle)
Lust (bower)
Envy (an abacus)
Pride (a vast hat)
Generosity (a beggar king)
Self-Abnegation (a man with a shoe stuck in his mouth)
Ennui (a well)
Interest (lightning)
Diligence (a forge)
Hedonia (wine and mushrooms)
Sadism (a deer with a broken neck)
Love (a hermaphrodite)
Gratitude (a garden)
Awe (the priest of the gods)
Attention (the eye)
Prudence (chess set with hourglass)
Bravery (an Atlas figure; a rain of arrows)
Greed (a dog fight)
Sloth (a sloth)
Solidarity (a nation)

You may reroll results of 1; a society with no duality in its value structure might go off the rails, however you can also structure this concept however you like.

Perhaps a society with one god, a sleeping god, has a mythology focused on energetically performing the activities required to awaken the god or give it inspiring dreams which manifest in reality.

A lone Goddess of Lust may be conceived of as a devouring mother that must be propitiated or held off by a strict, continent, and monogamous way of life. Perhaps the society has flower wars to transform the God of Ennui into the Hero God. Up to you!

If you keep a result of 1, record the city-state as Monotheistic.

    Archetypal Polytheism
A pantheon of deities embodying the following characters and their associations.
Note that not all societies will have each one present, and there’s a great deal of variation in how their principles are acted out by societies. For example some states represent the Prince as a pacifist and the beast-slaying is metaphorical, but in another society he is the most successful conqueror in history.

Great King: The Lawgiver, Gardenbuilder, Bulwark, House of Light, Civilization

Great Mother: Giver of Good, Weaver of Blessings, Abundant Life, Sacrificer of the Prince into Legend

Tyrant: The Blind King, the Undead God, the Unsound Tower, Drought, Civilization

Sage: Initiator, Lanternbearer, Swordgiver

Devouring Mother: The Cradle of Grown Men, the Hater of Young Beauties, Aging, Disease, Poisonous Nature, Mother of Monsters, Cancer

The Shrewd Uncle: The Power Behind the Throne, the Wicked Vizier, the Mad Scientist, the Evil Genius, the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Prince: Rescuer, Restorer, Explorer, Slayer of Beasts, Enricher of Friends, Self-Sacrificer, Leader, and He Who Turns Over the Garden

Princess: Tamer of Barbarians, Inspiration, the Beheader of Cowards, the Artist Who Makes Hard Hearts Remember Love

The Fates: The Forces of Causality Divorced from the Archetypal. Gatekeeper, Facilitator, Arbitrator, Culminator and Extinguisher

Agent of Chaos: Corruptor, Arsonist, Entropy, the Revealer, the Serpent in the Garden

The Friend who Reaches Across Darkness: Boon-Companion, Puller from the Pit, the Resurrection

Trickster: Cynic, Hedonist, Thief, Desire; the Chrysalis of Good and Evil

You can choose d12 of these deities or freely take all of them as a gestalt pantheon. These figures are suspiciously similar in the polytheism of many city-states which share common ancestors in prehistory. 

    Exemplar Polytheism
d12 deities roughly representing important, noteworthy and/or enduring societal functions, e.g.
Fisher God
Javelin God
Mother Goddess
Goddess of Rapprochement
Demonic Outlaw
Whispering Voice (for thieves, madmen, and those tortured by their conscience for good or ill)

    Psychosyncretic Polytheism
Archetypal Polytheism where each deity has come to be associated with an Affective state.

    Hyperspecialized Polytheism
Exemplar Polytheism where each deity is also assigned an Archetypal role (or their myths take on the valences of Archetypal roles). This normally comes about when a society has engaged in its current core economic activity for a thousand years or more, and specific enterprises or segments of society and their corresponding gods have become mythologically associated with specific Archetypal characters.

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