Of Templars and Religion

Breten

Artisan
So as seen in the Biata costuming thread, one of our PC's is playing a Templar and on his Tabard and Shield are typical Templar icons. A couple people have made comments about this, though no one in our chapter has said anything about Danny's costuming. So I bring it up for discussion.

If people are concerned about having religious iconography in-game, and Alliance "takes it seriously", then maybe calling one of the classes a Templar, whose very definition is a religious knightly order, is kind of stupid, to be blunt.

Don't misunderstand, I am pretty sure that we all know the reasoning for the "banning" of religion in game. No one wins during those discussions, but there should be some civil discussion OOG about this.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
"Templar," "Scholar," "Scout" etc are OOG names given to the classes and shouldn't be part of IG conversations as they are just the names given to show the database how much you pay for skills. We could call the same classes "Pink," "Sandwich," and "Hummingbird" and it would be the same thing. I do agree that the word Templar does have real-world religeous overtones, but IG PCs shouldn't be calling themselves by the mechanical name of their class.
 

Breten

Artisan
Robb Graves said:
Considering the game has been around since '93 or so.. don't you think these discussions have already been had?
Oh so that means we can't discuss it when it's being brought up in new chapters? Suck it up. Especially since there seems to be tons of talk about revising the rules, this would make it the PERFECT time to discuss some more.

I'm pointing out that if you want absolutely no religious things in the game using one of the most obvious words as a class is pretty foolish. So calling someone who happens to have an actual Templar tabard with a Templar's icon on it, and telling them to get a new costume is kind of assinine.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
yeah, I have come to see Templar class as more of Battlemage/healer now.
 

KyleSchmelz

Fighter
If it were up to me, I'd call the class "Battlemage" or "Spellsword" or something like that. I'm sure there's a better name out there.

That said, while I can understand his reasoning, the player really shouldn't style his character after the knights templar and definitely shouldn't use religious symbols in his costuming. While the rulebook never explicitly says "don't wear a cross", it stresses a couple times that the game should be religion free, and given that, I think it's pretty reasonable to ask him to work on getting some new costuming.
 

Gandian Ravenscroft

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
Robb Graves said:
Heed the words of this guy all ye Rules writers since we adopted the joint class system years ago. You are foolish and stupid and this is how you have a civil OOG discussion about it. :thumbsup:
In my opinion, the less unhelpful snark these forums have, the better.

Anyway, I play a Templar, but you will never hear me say the word "templar" in-game, for the same reason I don't inherently call the backstabbing gas-chuckers in town "rogues": they are out-of-game terms to refer to the most effective build makeup for a character.

However, to play a cross-wearing vanguard that proclaims himself a Templar, in my opinion, is not exactly ideal. To say "get a different costume" may sound jerky in the end, but it is a rule, written out clearly in our rulebook, that displaying big religious things ain't cool. There are LARPs in which such religious symbols are okay/encouraged, but to use that costuming in a LARP that disapproves of such things shouldn't be done, in my book. I'm not offended by this whole affair, as someone else might be, but I like to see that the rules are being followed so that nobody gets offended and starts hating our game just because of something simple like this. Get a friend to make you a different tabard or something.
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Breten said:
Especially since there seems to be tons of talk about revising the rules, this would make it the PERFECT time to discuss some more.
To be fair, if you ever get super bored you can look back through the forum and see there has always been tons of talk about revising the rules. That being said, I agree templar was the wrong term to use. Spellsword or Cookie Monster would be a lot better terms.

Just because the classes are an OOG device doesn't mean misconceptions like this won't happen or don't exist. I think using the new chapter as a perfect example of some of the rules we see as clear may not be to someone in a brand new, fairly isolated chapter.

In the end the powers that be will argue the not calling it templar thing into the ground or simply ignore it (since it has been around for years now with plenty of customer complaints). But a clear piece of iconography affiliate with a religious order would be banned in most chapters. You also don't see the use of pentagrams, christian crosses, etc. Your chapter owner and plot team can choose to allow it but that doesn't mean they won't catch flack for it. On a personal note I think people get super oversensitive about the no religion rule but a standard has been set and people should follow it for better or worse.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Paladin of Flame said:
Please keep the discussion civil.
-P-Flame
I love the nickname.
 
Breten said:
Oh so that means we can't discuss it when it's being brought up in new chapters? Suck it up. Especially since there seems to be tons of talk about revising the rules, this would make it the PERFECT time to discuss some more.

I'm pointing out that if you want absolutely no religious things in the game using one of the most obvious words as a class is pretty foolish. So calling someone who happens to have an actual Templar tabard with a Templar's icon on it, and telling them to get a new costume is kind of assinine.
Chill guy, I get it; You're new to LARP, and somebody from another country is telling you that your buddy's costume is wrong, that's probably frustrating. We pretty frequently get other teenagers in here that have the same "But why can't I" sorts of questions that you do, and to a lot of the longer time players the quickest answer is "Because that's not how the rules work." I get that that's not necessarily a very satisfying answer, but you can look into the past posts on this forum and look at the answers the last few people got when they asked the same questions the last few times, and get a little more background there before jumping in with the snark.

To your second point, there's really not much talk about revising the rules going on. You'll notice that we've got a forum titled "Rules Theory," which is dedicated to people talking about ideas. Topics on that board live and die in a matter of days or weeks, and occasionally they get turned into proposals that an owner can bring to the Symposium, which happens every two years. We happen to have one coming up this year, but it doesn't sound like much is in the works as far as proposals go. Most proposals don't make it, and even big proposals don't change very much. Something like changing the name from "Templar" to something else has a chance, but the alternative would be have to be pretty good.

The rule you're on about, the "No Religion" rule, isn't going to change. The fact is that the guy's costume isn't allowed, and it shouldn't have been allowed in to begin with. The rules there are pretty clear. The problem is that you can't possibly remove all potential things that might be seen as religious from the game. We've got Resurrection, Rituals, Spirits, and a whole host of other things that are arguably religious, and so at some point the "No Religion" rule has to cover it, otherwise you're skipping down a slippery slope.
 

Breten

Artisan
Robb Graves said:
Heed the words of this guy all ye Rules writers since we adopted the joint class system years ago. You are foolish and stupid and this is how you have a civil OOG discussion about it. :thumbsup:
Not trying to pick a fight, but when you throw out unconstructive comments expect to get the same back. You've added nothing to the discourse except, "nevermind it's old and should never change because I said it's old" you aren't helping anyone. As it relates to revising rules, we heard from our chapter owner there was some kind of rules review going down, hence the logic in bringing this up. If people have nothing constructive to add other than being condescending, why even post in the thread?

You'll note that at no point in my posts have I called anyone foolish or stupid. Just that the idea of using a religious term, Templar, when you want to not have religion creep into a game, is kinda foolish, stupid, absurd, half-baked, ill-advised, choose whatever term you find less offensive.

Just because the classes are an OOG device doesn't mean misconceptions like this won't happen or don't exist. I think using the new chapter as a perfect example of some of the rules we see as clear may not be to someone in a brand new, fairly isolated chapter.
This would be my main point. We have a new Chapter up here and as much as people seem to think this rule set is error-free and easy to understand it's been pointed out numerous times this is not the case. Hence trying to open it up for discussion. I din't forsee Cory asking Danny to go out and buy a new shield or buy a new tabard at this point. That's a quick way to not have anyone pay to play your game.
 

Breten

Artisan
obcidian_bandit said:
Chill guy, I get it; You're new to LARP, and somebody from another country is telling you that your buddy's costume is wrong, that's probably frustrating. We pretty frequently get other teenagers in here that have the same "But why can't I" sorts of questions that you do, and to a lot of the longer time players the quickest answer is "Because that's not how the rules work." I get that that's not necessarily a very satisfying answer, but you can look into the past posts on this forum and look at the answers the last few people got when they asked the same questions the last few times, and get a little more background there before jumping in with the snark.

To your second point, there's really not much talk about revising the rules going on. You'll notice that we've got a forum titled "Rules Theory," which is dedicated to people talking about ideas. Topics on that board live and die in a matter of days or weeks, and occasionally they get turned into proposals that an owner can bring to the Symposium, which happens every two years. We happen to have one coming up this year, but it doesn't sound like much is in the works as far as proposals go. Most proposals don't make it, and even big proposals don't change very much. Something like changing the name from "Templar" to something else has a chance, but the alternative would be have to be pretty good.

The rule you're on about, the "No Religion" rule, isn't going to change. The fact is that the guy's costume isn't allowed, and it shouldn't have been allowed in to begin with. The rules there are pretty clear. The problem is that you can't possibly remove all potential things that might be seen as religious from the game. We've got Resurrection, Rituals, Spirits, and a whole host of other things that are arguably religious, and so at some point the "No Religion" rule has to cover it, otherwise you're skipping down a slippery slope.
Well, firstly, I haven't been a teenager in quite some time. Secondly, you guys throw out the "whoah on the snark" but sure seem apt to dish it out yourselves. Anyhow...

I'm not trying to get anything regarding the Religion rule changed, just bringing up how it's a bit of a contradiction. You mention the Symposium which is what our owner was chatting about. So I thought I'd bring it up since there seems to be a lot of issues surrounding it. My solution dump calling it Templar and you have no one whining about it. But putting up a wall and saying "Oh that's how it's always been, we're not gonna change it, don't be silly" is another slippery slope. I've been involved in game design and rules writing myself for years so it's not like I don't know what I am talking about. I'm just trying to make things better.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Breten said:
Robb Graves said:
Just because the classes are an OOG device doesn't mean misconceptions like this won't happen or don't exist. I think using the new chapter as a perfect example of some of the rules we see as clear may not be to someone in a brand new, fairly isolated chapter.
This would be my main point. We have a new Chapter up here and as much as people seem to think this rule set is error-free and easy to understand it's been pointed out numerous times this is not the case. Hence trying to open it up for discussion. I din't forsee Cory asking Danny to go out and buy a new shield or buy a new tabard at this point. That's a quick way to not have anyone pay to play your game.
For the shield, it is fairly easy to buy some fabric and elastic for a quick shield cover (many in Oregon/Seattle chapters use one). The bonus of these is that you can make the cover pretty much any color you like, add a design with various iron ons, fabric paint, etc...
 

Breten

Artisan
For the record I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm genuinely tying to create some discussion here. If the owner's wanna take a hard line and say F You we're not changing it that's fine. I'm pointing out as long as it stays you're gonna run into people working on backgrounds creating religion for their character then going whahuh?, people using Templar costuming for their character that's not a Templar. But is.
 

Paladin of Flame

Artisan
Moderator
Seriously folks, keep things civil. There is no sense in arguing back and forth about who is sassing who. Please keep the conversation on topic. Thanks a bunch.
-P-Flame
 

evi1r0n

Baron
Taking the "Templar" word out of the equation we are left with a costume that violates the rules. This is unfortunate but it is clearly stated in the rulebook to avoid religions themes and iconography for your character (regardless of the templar contradiction). Your rules marshals/staff should have caught that and addressed it.
I agree using templar is silly since it is almost exclusively used for the knights templar (unless your character is trying to be a British lawyer). Many players have been asked to change something about their costume to fit within the rules and maybe it has driven off a player or two, that is sad but some games just aren't for everyone.
Nowhere in the templar literature does it suggest you are actually playing a knight templar, to paraphrase it says your a dude who combines magic and melee might so that misconception may have come not reading the rules thoroughly. At a glance I can see where the misconception could occur.
 

prashka

Scholar
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Breten said:
For the record I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm genuinely tying to create some discussion here. If the owner's wanna take a hard line and say F You we're not changing it that's fine. I'm pointing out as long as it stays you're gonna run into people working on backgrounds creating religion for their character then going whahuh?, people using Templar costuming for their character that's not a Templar. But is.
I can understand the confusion. I, myself, had to scrap my first character concept before I started playing because I realized before I sent it in that it was way too religious. But, religion in the game (or, rather, the lack thereof) is specifically addressed in the rules as a no-go:

Rulebook p. 14 said:
One of the quickest ways to get your character history rejected is to draw too heavily on religion or religious themes.
Rulebook p. 14 said:
The Alliance attempts to remain religion free as much as possible, and we do not wish to add elements that would offend anyone. This is especially problematic, for many people consider much of folklore to be fair game, but unknowingly and ignorantly trod over religions that are actively practiced (in particular paganism) because they mirror fantasy gaming. While it’s less likely to cause a problem in a tabletop game, with more people playing in a LARP you have to keep in mind there are more things that can be offensive to a larger number of players.
Rulebook p. 31 said:
Because of our modern ideas of justice, we can’t use the traditional medieval ways of determining guilt or innocence, nor do we want to. In those days, trial-by-combat was seen as just because the “hand of god” guided the righteous and made sure the good guy won. Obviously, in a religion-free game as ours this would not be acceptable.
I would love to see the terminology of Templar changed, though. I agree that it can be a source of confusion. Would you be interested in writing a proposal and submitting it to your local owner? I don't think anyone can guarantee that it will either fail to pass or pass, so it's worth the effort to try, I would think.
 

ASFDan

Scholar
Honestly? I have to disagree with the majority of respondants so far. Unless he's running around shoving a cross in peoples' faces and/or generally playing up the historically religious aspect of the historically religious templar then I wouldn't stress it over the particulars of his costuming. As far as things go it's just not that big a deal when it comes to the greater picture. The religion-free stance of Alliance is about trying to avoid accidental disrespect and/or discomfort for players of various OOG religions, not about abolishing everything of potentially religious symbolism from the game, everywhere, always. Can he worship/prostelytize/convert/pray/etc? No, that is prohibited by the rules of the game. Should he be crucified (see what I did there?) for having a cross on his shield or what have you? Absent the aforementioned RP to hold it up as religious in significance I'd suggest it's pretty nitpicky (to be polite) to do so.

As far as Templar as a class name? Come up with something better. Write it up and have your owner submit it for discussion at the symposium. Worst that happens is they stay the same (or get called Wylderkin from now on :funny: ).
 
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