Hey Guys! So after my last LARP Adventures experience I am really excited to start crafting my main character for a more long term RP persona. Long story short, I'd really like this character to be a Druid, and I'd like some advice on transferring Druidism to an RP Character, when Druidism itself exists in the real world as a religion. Maybe a discussion on creating RP World religions and their practices?
With many things in RP, like magical creatures and elves, these things don't exists IRL, so we can have free reign sort of. But what are the 'rules' for crossing over things that exist in real life? The thing that prompted this is during the last LARP Adventures event, Julie/Meryn and I had a brief discussion about Crystal Healing and Chakras. Both elements people believe exists IRL she had been able to bring to her character through her healing magic.
Since Celtic religion crosses over so closely to a lot of the RP elements, especially with magic, do you guys have any suggestions for how best to use Druidism, without disrespecting that actual religion its based off of?
Or, does anyone know any Druids they could direct me towards who have crossed into the RP world?
I'd like this to be an open conversation about RP religions, so feel free to throw in any ideas or suggestions!
Also, do want to clarify I did clear this conversation with Skip, since it involves religion, but since its mostly RP based religion, we are good to go.
So as with many such questions the answer here lies at the heart of role play and reality. The best way to approach this is academically.
When creating a fantasy persona with a strong belief system, it's fantasy and a continuing story so you don't have to have it all figured out to start with. In fact, it may be a better experience for you to start by creating the base tenants of a faith structure, I find it best to start with a creation myth, or some prophesy that interest you and calls to the character you are creating.
Basing your story on the framework of a preexisting mythos or within one and tailoring it to your character is a good way to begin to flesh the persona out. Making it a personal exercise to learn all about an ancient culture and role playing it with reverence is cool, doing that without offending someone one and having respect for others is a good goal.
Like the way we created the Tharros myth and styled it like an ancient Greek myth and then linked it to our characters in various ways. That made it personal and allowed us to weave that story into the world.
It can be a very fun and enlightening exercise, broadening your perspective on faith, religion, and storytelling.
I think you can use the term druidism. It seems to be a ubiquitous term in the fantasy genre already. Also, incorporating practical everyday knowledge like herb lore in role play isn't really "stealing" from a culture, it is just a fact. I'm pretty sure you aren't stepping on cultural toes by using lore that is practical. Like you said, it's the mystical regionally specific things I feel you need to wary of. For example, Celtic druids specifically worship the goddess Brigid. She is one of their most revered goddess and is in charge of healing, poetry and smithcraft among other things. In deference to the actually religion, make up your own strong female goddess and her attributes.
As for astrology, I'd use the base knowledge - Sagittarians are free spirits, Libra seeks balance, etc. - and just give the constellations, stars, planets new names. I think that western astrology is also part of the public domain, and you won't be antagonizing anyone who wasn't already looking for a fight.
Thank so much for your insight guys! I was questioning the "specifics" exactly, as I wasn't sure if it was better to make-up my own meanings for things, or if it would be more respectful to maintain the original meanings. I didn't want to just transfer their concepts, but at the same time is it worse to directly copy and use the same terms, when I don't necessarily believe them? Especially with nature and plants I wanted to be able to combine real things into the magical dramatization of it, like plants with actual healing benefits into healing spells, but wanted to take the more spiritual elements, like deities, and create new ones for the RP world.
I also want the character to be into astrology, but I am thinking of creating new "stars" to base star signs and predictions off of.
At this point would it be best to use a new name instead of "Druidism"? I was kind of hoping to use that so I didn't need to explain a system that was essentially druidism under a new name.
I agree with Julie, just drop the specific elements of the Celtic religion and use the theory of it. Think of it as the philosophy behind the magic you are creating, and incorporate elements of your own imagination into it to create your own RP style of religion. For me, I always see druids as utilizing the concepts of nature in their faith and channeling those concepts to enhance their abilities as opposed to directly forcing changes in them like a Wizard or Sorcerer would. Outside of RP you can incorporate these same ideas in costuming, sticking with natural colors and layering while making sure your clothing is pragmatic as a druid would be spending a lot of time outdoors. I'm really excited to see new concepts begin to enter the world of Osterra! :D
I feel like if you take the main theory behind druidism such as communing with nature to enhance your character's personal power and loose the specifics of the Celtic religion you should be good to go. That's what I tried to do with Meryn and her work with elementals/gems/tuningforks... So keep the idea of using spirit animals for guidance but make up your own meanings. Use plants to enhance your spells, but make up what they are used for. Keep the idea of using stones, bones or found objects to cast divinations but don't use ogams as your runes. Druidism is found in every culture in the world and is a great foundation for building your own RP version of something that exists IRL.