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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    Magic is a form of sorcery called weaving , and involves using the mana of the world around you and bending it to your will. Ritualized magic is essentially passive and formulaic, with the individual "borrowing" the world's mana, feeling it flow through them and guiding it along to perform a spell through a ritual circle. These steps are meant to control the flow of magic into the real world, and coax the energy into a specific form, similiar to cooking.

    Reality exists inside of a goddess's body. All things, including people, plants, animals, etc, are parts of the goddess's physical form. The creation mythology*hinges around a goddess weaving the fabric of reality multiple times to create the world. Furthermore, her loom is literal physical manifestation of our world. First Man and First Woman were woven inside this loom, as well as all of creation. Manaweaving was given to mankind as a gift in order to shape his surroundings. Performing a spell, including its steps and using its ingredients, is a way of accessing god's consciousness and communicating with him directly. You are using its power to shape the world, and he is granting it to you according to your talent, raw power, and skill.

    Mana weaving is a sacred bond between humanity and their creator, and is a necessary part of prayer. The first weave is a right of passage, kind of like a bar mitzvah. One is entering communion with God with every subsequent use, and is the basis for every religion on earth. Now, when the individuals weave, this is viewed as an echo of the the creation of the world and their loom is in effect a copy of the goddess. Aka, weaving is a very, VERY spiritual act yet also quite mundane

    The form of government that developed is a magocracy based on theocratic rule. The queen-priestess lies at the top, followed by church priestesses serving as a governing council. Below them are the elected officials given authority over parts of the country. Why would an organized and structured religion based on magic develop when everyone has access to it?

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    I can think of a few options:

    -People weren't always able to weave and the church was started in the past by the first Manaweavers. The modern churches branched off from one another.

    -The nature of weaving is such that some people can harness it far better than others. These people can be seen as blessed by the goddess or prophets or something. It might even be possible that these beings might be worshipped as gods. Regardless of whether the power is inherent or learned, these being could have had enough power and influence to create a stable religion

    -Same as above, but these beings show up every few generations and people believe that they are reincarnations of previous super manaweavers. They would be trained in the facets of the religion, and expected to lead, much like the Dahli Llama.

    -Since manaweaving inherently connects one to the goddess, perhaps it also allows people to gain glimpses of her. The more complex a weave the more visions you have. But the visions are uniform enough that people can regularly interpret them into doctrine. And purpose of the church is to find people with unique visions and interpret them.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Mann View Post
    -Since manaweaving inherently connects one to the goddess, perhaps it also allows people to gain glimpses of her. The more complex a weave the more visions you have. But the visions are uniform enough that people can regularly interpret them into doctrine. And purpose of the church is to find people with unique visions and interpret them.
    This is the simplest one. If magic were to be visibly drawn down from the moon, the existence and praiseworthiness of the moon would be self-evident and wouldn't need justification. The existence of the goddess can be self-evident to anyone who communes with her energies.

    As for why a religion would form, that would all depend on how involved the creator goddess is. If she has any history of intervention, she could have easily delegated some authority so that her church looks after people while she's busy making sure that reality keeps working the way that it should. If she hasn't interacted within historical memory, well, the obvious existence of a god will inspire some people to worship. The specific forms of worship, hierarchy, and the like that the church embodies just happen to be what historical accident provided.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    In the real world, everyone in a college town has direct access to a lot of books, but all the tenured Professor of Literature jobs go to the people with PhDs who also put in a lot of time as an adjunct instructor.

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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    In most systems and settings I've seen, people with access to stronger magic can no-questions-asked crush people with access to weaker magic. So if anyone who challenges the queen gets fried, then that could provide an obvious reason.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    There are plenty of reasons why hierarchies develop, and magic is just one of them. In the real world, we have hierarchies in science, in math, heck, even in cooking... and everyone has access to those.

    If there's any amount of training, any amount of mystery, any amount of certification, any bit of doing things the 'right way' (as opposed to the 'wrong way'), then a hierarchy can (and will) form.

    Sprinkle in your mythos that the weaving of magic is all part of the Goddess' body, and voila, it's a theocracy.

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    OK few things in this are a bit confusing (or confused?). Maybe that's intentional, as confusing spiritual mumbo-jumbo often is?

    • Reality exists inside of a goddess's body. All things, including people, plants, animals, etc, are parts of the goddess's physical form.
      • OK

    • The creation mythology*hinges around a goddess weaving the fabric of reality multiple times to create the world.
      • So she wove it, and it's inside her. Maybe that's just a figurative, spiritual "inside."

    • Furthermore, her loom is literal physical manifestation of our world. First Man and First Woman were woven inside this loom, as well as all of creation.
      • So, no, not figurative. she wove it on a physical loom which, being a physical object is part of reality, and is therefore inside her body. That must have been some tricky weaving!

    • Manaweaving was given to mankind as a gift in order to shape his surroundings.
      • To shape or re-shape the goddess's innards. Ooooh K.

    • Performing a spell, including its steps and using its ingredients, is a way of accessing god's consciousness and communicating with him directly. You are using its power to shape the world, and he is granting it to you according to your talent, raw power, and skill.
      • She, He, or It? Would you like to pick one?

    All right, I'm renowned among my friends and family for being completely spiritually blind and metaphorically impaired, so if all that makes perfect sense to you and not to me then suit yourself and go with it.

    • Mana weaving is a sacred bond between humanity and their creator, and is a necessary part of prayer. The first weave is a right of passage, kind of like a bar mitzvah.
      • You're welcome.

    • One is entering communion with God with every subsequent use, and is the basis for every religion on earth.
      • This is key. Since everyone casts, everyone enters this communion at least once. Hang onto that thought.

    • Now, when the individuals weave, this is viewed as an echo of the creation of the world and their loom is in effect a copy of the goddess. Aka, weaving is a very, VERY spiritual act yet also quite mundane.
    • The form of government that developed is a magocracy based on theocratic rule. The queen-priestess lies at the top, followed by church priestesses serving as a governing council. Below them are the elected officials given authority over parts of the country.
    • Why would an organized and structured religion based on magic develop when everyone has access to it?


    In the real world, all governments rule by the consent of the governed; the biggest difference between governments is how that consent is obtained. Is it by threat of force? By public participation? By demonstrated success? In a theocracy, it is supposed to be by belief in their holy righteousness and/or the threat of Hell (and is all to often through threat of force). What it never is in the real world is by the deity actually telling people to obey the clergy.

    So, in this world, since everybody has at least one experience of communion with the goddess, if she wants her clergy to rule then everybody can know that, and that's the way it is; what goddess wants, goddess gets! And the threat of force may still exist as well; let me explain.

    When I suggested the bar mitzvah thing, what I talked about (and what may or may not be what you're going with) was that everybody does a very small weaving, a cantrip. And that most people learn to do a small number of additional cantrips during their lives. This is distinct from people with class levels in cleric and/or sor/wiz, who are full casters with access to high level magic. And that has two implications: First, it is self-evident proof that those people have closer, stronger communion with the goddess. And second, it means they have to ability to crush opposition.
    Last edited by jqavins; 2018-01-03 at 04:18 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: how can a theocratic magocracy develop when everyone has access to magic?

    Good governance is not the sole property of democracy. A religion which helps to improve the lives of citizens, educates them, and offers them productive occupation can win out against other types of governance.

    The fact that your government is a theocracy is independent of the fact that your world is also a world of magic.

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