Friday, February 28, 2014

Dual Underworlds and Predestination

Okay, so a friend of mine and I have several times discussed Max Weber's Protestant Work Ethic, which he hypothesized was based on John Calvin's doctrine of predestination, and their deleterious effects on American culture (but I digress).  So that got me to thinking: what about a game world where there is predestination?  That is to say, every creature with a soul, including the player characters, is already predestined to go to a Nice Place or a Nasty Place after death--but no one knows which.  How would that affect their playing style, choice of class, and choice of deity?

But then I was wondering how that would work in the typical polytheistic game world.  You could have a deity of Fate who decides all things but who cares not for the affairs of mortals.  People in such a world would be quite literally fatalistic.  But that seemed a bit boring to me.  So, how about there are two gatekeeper guardians of the afterworld, one for "heaven" and one for "hell".  They are equal in all other ways, maybe even twins, and share everything equally--including the souls of the departed.  As each new soul comes to them after death they decide who will get it, perhaps through a game.  It could be a game of chance or one of skill; since the two are exactly equal they have an even chance of winning a non-chance game.

But what if a character dies and is resurrected?  Does that give away the game?  If it is decided by Fate, then yes, which is interesting if they find our they're going to hell.  If the decision is not made until the twins play their game, then no, but a bummer if they found out they got into heaven and then got yanked back by the resurrection.

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