Unduly influenced by Passion, for better or worse, this week’s Monday Mashup is going to be the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You can do it straight, as an evocation of faith; you can do it cynically, if you’re that kind of person; or you can say “Geeze, that’s too close to the line, I’m not gonna do this one.” I figure if it’s OK to express one’s faith by making a movie, though, it ought to be OK to do it in an RPG. (Also, I didn’t answer WISH 75, so this will have to do.)
Me, I’d be inclined to play it straight. Your average D&D campaign doesn’t really touch on the gods so much, except that there’s a cleric who’s getting spells from a rather detached force. (Not always, but on average.) So we’ll do the generic D&D game, set in the generic fantasy setting. Somewhere around 7th or 8th level, when the PCs are sufficiently powerful to get involved in local politics, I’d introduce a messiah figure who preaches the clearly inaccurate doctrine of monotheism. It’d be best to splinter this off an existing sun god sect if possible, I think.
From there on in, I’d just replay the Gospels, using whichever of the conflicting stories worked best for me. I don’t have any expectations for where the PCs would go — best not to try and force that sort of thing. I’d have a Pilate figure, and I’d have an existing religious heirarchy threatened by the new messiah. If the PCs decided to save the messiah, he’d have to go back and accept his role, I think. Hm. Or her role. Actually, definitely her role. It’s more interesting that way.
I wouldn’t want to make it a heavy religious parable. I’d be more interested in seeing what the players got out of it, and playing that aspect up.