bible question

how would the various chapeters of the bible be handled as seperate books(I know how you people would handle the normal books,but what about the banned one's?)

[color=red]size=117 WARNING- I'm not a mod, but iirc it is against site policy to talk about "Religion" (among other predicatably hot topics) - so let's try to keep this theoretical and centered on game mechanics, and discuss the concept of multiple books and authorities and skills, not express views on the content of those books in question![/size]

(Or this thread will probably get locked so fast it'll slap the religion outa ya!) :wink:

After some thought and several deletions, I believe you don't. "Handle them as separate books", that is.

So, what you have could be seen as one, single, loooong text on Theology. If a Summa, Level would be relatively high (it IS the Authority!), and the Quality would be... a subject of debate, since the lessons of the Bible often require interpretation, and are not as "intuitively obvious" as some high Quality, careful secondary explanation might be.

However, each individual book could also be viewed singly as an individual (low-quality?) Tractatus on Theology. And/or Divine Realm Lore, (and even less so on Infernal, and again even less on Magic) since a good variety of miracles, and a few Demons and Magicians show up in various places. Thus, after reading the Bible, all the books, those various Tractati add up to the sum of what it has to offer on "Theology".

Note! By "low Quality" I only mean that the text in question does not add a huge amount of information easily to Theology. If monks study the Bible for decades before they begin to feel they "know" it, and still come back for more, there is something to be said for a Cliff's Notes version, with careful explanations and thorough footnotes to the original, a text that might give one a Score of 4 in a few seasons, which would be more what we think of as a "high Quality" text(s) on Theology.

As for the banned ones? More Tractati on Theology, tho' ones that might change a character's "specialty" in Theology to "Heresy", and/or even create a separate Theology skill, (in the same way that Islam and Judaism are purchased). The Albigensians, tho' their roots are Christian at base and beliefs based on that same Bible, had almost nothing in common with the beliefs of the Catholic Church, and certainly viewed themselves as at complete odds with the interpretation given by the Catholic church, making them, in essence, a different religion.

would the banned ones even be noticable to people of the time for what they are?

What are your thoughts on writing something such as this? Think it's worth a bonus to your skill on writting. (no book on hand to look up the exact terms so I'll try to clarify) eg: If i have can write 30 points in level/quality. Might "clarifying" a text such as this increase that level to, say, 35? Or possibly allow you to write an extra tractatus, over what the rules allow with your scores, on the subject?

IIRC, clarifying a text is something do to a magical text to remove the mundane properties (ink and parchment and such), leaving you with a magical text in all regards... Can't be done to any non-magical text...:stuck_out_tongue:

(BTR, one lowers the Level to raise the Quality. 'Covenants' has some rules about illustrations & etc to do likewise.)

The Bible is an odd situation because it is listed BTR as an "Authority"- that is, a root source of all "knowledge" in an Ability ("Theology").

So, in theory, if you could study "everything" that the Bible (and Sentientia) had to offer, you'd also know everything that there is to know about that Ability. How high a score is that?...

But the original question of a work broken into multiple "books" (or aka "chapters") is not easily addressed. Let's say we have a text, "Gary's Big Book of RPG's", in two volumes. Chap's 1-3 (Vol 1) are basic, and 4-6 (II) are more advanced. And we only have Chapters 4-6... how do we account for that? (4th ed did it nicely, but those rules have been dropped in core, sadly.)

Well, if the Big Book is comprehensive, then each is a Summa, and you could rule that the higher Level Vol 2 has a lowered Quality without Vol 1. (In 4th Ed, there was a "Target Level", a Score that the Reader should be familiar with- the further off from that the Reader was, the lower the Study Total.) If the Big Book is just a list of fun facts, then both can be treated as a separate Tractatus, and we ignore their pairing (without House Rules.)

4th ed book rules were slightly more complex (actually just more extensive and varied), but solved some issues like the above that were just not addressed in 5th.

I'd say that past a given point, you'll have exhausted the raw content of the Bible and have to come up with interpretations (which may prove heretical) by yourself. That is improve your Theology through practice. That would be my main argument for limiting the Bible's level rather than make it an ArM4 Authority. Those levels you have acquired past the book's would purely represent knowledge of how other people have interpreted the Bible in the past, which have been ruled canonical by the Church, etc.

I have no problem with house-ruling things like incomplete books on a case-by-case basis. Merely reducing quality is a bit dull, although I can quite see how it is desirable from a player's point of view (including mine :slight_smile:). Of course, I've already made my opinion known in the last thread on Authorities.

by banned books I meant book of the bible not put in the official cannon of course,but seriouslly what would be the common quality of said books?

In our saga, or at least one of them, we decided that the Bible had an infinite level, but a very low quality.

I take it you're talking about The Old Testament Apocrypha and the Pseudopigrapha?

Assigning them quality wholly depends on your game world view of the Bible. If you and your troupe consider the Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha to be just as true as the canon (but if they were, they'd be in there, wouldn't they?), then by all means, give it the same source quality.

It's an opinion that's going to vary between gaming groups. It's also something you should discuss whether or not it's comfortable with them.

Um, that has nothing to do with the discussion (and it was suggested you not go there.)

The Catholic Church (CC) dictates what is "Truth" only for the Catholic Church (and its many followers), and while they work hard to maintain a monopoly on religious thought* and interpretation of the Bible, they are not without their competition. Since standard ability "Theology: (Catholic) Christianity" is the doctrine of the CC and the CC only, these books would not be so relevant for that ability (since the CC says they aren't, end of that discussion). However, they could be quite useful for some Christian heresies (which don't have to be all that diff to cause a furor!). "Theology: (Albigensian) Christianity", anyone? Or Jesuits, Gnostics, Rosicrucians, Manicheans, the Templars, followers of St. Francis of Assisis, etc- some of which were more or less acceptable or persecuted at various times. (Not all are perfectly contemporary, but whatever.)

Throughout all Medieval Europe there is one paradigm shared, that the Big G is the only authority for "Truth". However, exactly what the Big G says differs depending who you talk to. Your Mileage To Heaven May Vary.

(* The word catholic (small "c", pron. "c'th-OLL-ic") means "of the people"- a somewhat appropriate claim for the time, but not without its exceptions.)

I apologize. In hindsight, I suppose that was uncalled for.

Either way, it's still your call as storyguide. Both Apocrypha and pseudopigrapha aren't USUALLY going to be seperate books. They're either in the copy you're looking at, or they're not.

The seperations of the apocrypha from the canon would suggest that the individual scribing the bible itself considered them heresy (as in the case with Martin Luther, but he won't be born for another 263 years...that was just an example) If you do get a seperate apocrypha, I would personally treat it as a Tractatus, purely due to the fact that a seperate apocrypha would not cover a broad subject, but the Canon AND the apocrypha would.

Then, of course you could have an entire LIBRARY of the letters and gospels written by various prophets and disciples. How about the gnostic gospels? The list of "apocryphal" material can go on and on. Some are considered divinely inspired, others not, and continue to be disputed to this day (and that is something I CAN say).

Perhaps, Abe, a good fix for your dilemma would be to make these "apocryphal" books collectively tractatus. Individually, they don't cover very broad subjects. If these apocryphal books are intigrated into the canon, as you would most likely find them, THEN you would just consider the book, in its entirety, a summa.

It still boils down to (and I'll watch my wording) whether you and your players consider these apocryphal works to be divinely inspired (God's word). That will be the deciding factor on your source quality.

That would be a very touchy discussion. Some groups are lucky and all collectively either have the same views, or are mature enough to not bring their personal bias into an RPG...other groups have disbanded over this kind of stuff.

A better fix yet, if this will be an issue, is to not even bring the apocrypha vs. canon into the equation. Just say that the Bible is the Bible, and that is that.

Tread carefully, Abe.

don't forget there was at least 2 or more banned books about jesus bible wise. not sure what the quality level of those books would be though.

Whatever the storyguide want it to be.

I'm not forgetting anything, Abe.

Are you talking about Dan Brown's DaVinci code? It's FICTION. I'm not sure what the hell you're talking about anymore, as I'm sure you're now getting into those "Jesus Mystery" or "Jesus Conspiracy" paperbacks in the New Age/Spiritualism section at Barnes & Noble.

The ministry was my first career choice. It was my BUSINESS to know. If you're going to get help, you've got to be more specific than "banned Jesus books."

EDIT: Fruny said it best.

see the history channel show "books banned from the bible" for more details on what I mean.

Abe, you are asking folks to comment on spell and item designs when you haven't done the heavy lifting of reading the supporting texts. I really have to question the fairness of you asking someone to see a show (rent a disk, download leagally or not, whatever).

You expect some here to make of for the lack of availability of information that you have readily admitted to, yet you seem curiously unwilling to extend the same help by not answering a simple question.

Please, just answer the question when you know the answer. Seems more than fair. If you don't know it, admit it, so we can just move on.



Abe means Gnostic books, like Gospel of Thomas etc I think. In 1220 the Church has a set (though technically not confirmed canon) of some 800+ years standing, which includes the Apocrypha, as indeed the Catholic Church (and technically though not pragmatically) the Anglicans today. The Orthodox canon is slightly different i believe, and you would have to check if that predates 1220. Jewish canon is clearly different again.

Abe, some of the gnostics were probably known in 1220, but most were long lost and have been rediscovered by modern scholarship. Treat them as sources for magical breakthrough research (as in Ancient Magics), cnosticism is discussed in TMRE (especially under Theurgy) and some are undoubtedly Infernal, while others may contain Divine truth.

What you do with them is whatever works for your story!

Hope that helps--
cj x

Thanks, cj. Entirely concur if in fact those are the books he was looking for.