Faith in Gaming—Forms of “Priest” | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons

In earlier articles I’ve considerably simplistically used priest as a normal time period for a non secular chief. It’s not the best choice by any means but it surely’s a practical one at the very least by way of “one who is main the spiritual neighborhood indirectly”. However even that may be a very broad class and the position of any “priest”—be they an Imam, Shaman, Vicar, Rabbi, Abbot and so on—in any religion is normally very totally different to that of their friends. Utilizing any title at all times comes loaded with inferences and assumptions of each religion and tradition so there isn’t actually a conveniently impartial model.

However the issue did remind me that it’s price breaking down a few of what any spiritual chief is anticipated to do. There are myriad totally different obligations and every religion can demand very various things of those that serve their neighborhood. So, on this article I’ll try (once more painfully simplistically) to interrupt down the assorted issues any spiritual chief can imply to their neighborhood. To outline phrases right here, once I use “priest” I’m referring to any spiritual chief of any type, and “adherent” is anybody who follows that faith as a lay member of the neighborhood.

Any specific religion may anticipate such leaders to be all of these items and even simply one in all them. There may be a complete sequence of roles protecting every of those choices inside their religion. However chances are you’ll create some fascinating roles by merely combining two or three because the obligations of a priest of any specific religion. In some faiths all these obligations may be parcelled out in several methods to a wide range of totally different roles inside the religion. How these roles work together inside the religion and draw traces between these obligations will create a extra fascinating and particular person background to your religion.

Ritual Chief

Some of the apparent roles is for somebody to steer spiritual rituals. This may be grand events like a marriage but in addition the day-to-day rituals of normal worship like a mass. There could even be sub-qualifications for what kind or stage of priest can carry out which sorts of ritual. The place the priest takes in such rituals may also be various. Some may be thought of a manifestation of the deity indirectly, however may simply as simply simply be somebody to start out the singing or information folks on when to sit down or stand. A lot of this job will depend upon the rituals themselves. If they’re particularly grand the priest may be extra like a conductor directing a wide range of lay members and adherents in a wide range of duties. In easier rituals they may simply be handing out a songsheet.


It’s common to many religions for the priest to supply some type of sermon to the adherents at common worship. Whereas this may be a part of a job of guiding ritual this does require a bit extra work on the a part of the priest. As a substitute of following the set ritual plan, as a speaker they should provide you with a speech.

It’s price noting that this is without doubt one of the essential instances the adherents can see the private character of the priest and listen to their private interpretation of the religion. A superb speaker may draw new adherents, and if their phrases are reported far and large their private view of the religion could collect folks to them particularly fairly than the religion as a complete. In some ages this energy has led some clergymen to play a major half in politics. They information the religion of their neighborhood and converse brazenly for or towards the rulers of the day and if their insurance policies are according to the religion (or at the very least how they see it).


A extra private model of speaker is as an advisor in not simply spiritual but in addition private issues. The most typical recommendation is for easy methods to observe sure points of the religion and resolving and battle with every day lifetime of inconsistencies inside the spiritual lore. However it’s also frequent for priest advisors to supply relationship counselling, focus on one of the best ways to boost youngsters or take care of youngsters and even provide profession recommendation.

So whereas most adherents wish to know easy methods to lead their greatest life in line with the religion, they may come to the priest for recommendation on main life selections, whether or not or not they impression their religion. In some instances a priest may be sought out by folks exterior their religion if their recommendation is at all times recognized to be useful.

Fortune Teller

Folks usually wish to know the long run, though some faiths could take into account it a heresy to try to predict the plans of the Gods. Even so, many clergymen, particularly within the historic world, had been recurrently requested to behave as oracles. This may be on a private stage or in grand augurs to the assembled populace. It is usually doable such perception may be reserved just for specific folks, reminiscent of leaders or excessive rating members of the trustworthy. The character of the predicting will depend upon the faith in query. There are as some ways to foretell the long run as there are religions, from tarot playing cards, to tea leaves, to fireside studying to investigating entrails.


Whether or not they use magic or not, clergymen are sometimes additionally healers. They could provide full medical help or work inside the area of their religion. So a priest of fireside may solely heal burns, a priest of struggle may be a battlefield medic and so on. Even when they don’t seem to be full physicians, clergymen will usually function midwives and nurses for his or her neighborhood and provide their locations of worship as hospital services. Some faiths may provide therapeutic for greater than the physique. They could have strategies to take care of psychological sickness in addition to magical or demonic illnesses.

Charitable Donations

A part of ministering to a neighborhood is ministering to its poorest members. Many clergymen gather sources for the underprivileged of their neighborhood. In some instances it’d solely be inside the religion neighborhood however few examine the beliefs of these in want. Whereas cash is an apparent donation, meals and clothes are additionally generally given and shared. Some faiths provide a easy meal to anybody who involves their temple.

Generally, clergymen are thought of figures of belief, so even when they don’t gather cash they may be thought of the very best folks to maintain it. If the church can also be an lively donor to the charity the clergymen could extra of the amassing and distribution. Some faiths additionally encourage their adherents to donate recurrently, which might even be administered by the church.


Whereas not particularly frequent exterior martial faiths, a priest could also be referred to as upon to bodily defend the locations and individuals who observe their religion. In a excessive magic recreation they may be anticipated to keep up blessings and wards to maintain folks secure. However they may simply as simply be anticipated to select up a weapon and combat. Whereas that is the traditional” cleric” it’d simply be a job suited to adherents. In historic Japan, warriors of the Samurai caste usually retired to life as a monk. Ought to their monastery or the neighborhood it served endure an assault they had been anticipated to take up arms. Even of their twilight years, most had been deadly fighters.

Monks might also be anticipated to combat much less bodily enemies as properly. They’re usually the entrance line towards demons and evil outsiders. As such, their abilities in warding and defending, in addition to exorcism, may be in excessive demand if demons are commonplace.


Whereas it’s implied within the job description, many clergymen may also serve for example of main a virtuous and holy life. That is extra evident in faiths searching for enlightenment. There the monks stroll the laborious path to enlightenment to show it may be performed so long as you have got dedication and dedication. However even when the religion doesn’t insist on casting apart all materials possessions or fixed meditation, it’s cheap to imagine any priest will maintain the legal guidelines of the religion. Having stated that, it’s doable they’re anticipated to stay a extra “worldly life” so they may stay near the extraordinary folks they serve. Such clergymen may be anticipated to surrender their likelihood for enlightenment on this lifetime to assist others in the direction of it.

Serving for example may not simply relate to peace of thoughts or good ethical character. Some faiths consider that honing the physique is as essential as honing the thoughts and that your physique is a present it is best to guarantee is at all times in peak situation. That is very a lot the ethos of the Shaolin monks whose bodily regime by way of martial arts is principally practiced to assist them attain bodily perfection as in addition they work in the direction of enlightenment. It simply so occurs to additionally make them exceptionally expert combatants.


There are sometimes a number of buildings and shrines owned by a religion and somebody must take care of them. Gods not often provide their energy to carry out fundamental constructing upkeep and the very last thing you need is for the roof to fall in throughout worship. So it’s common for clergymen to be charged with the accountability to maintain a number of religion buildings. How this works will rely of the character of the religion’s buildings. The most typical is for a priest to maintain the central constructing of worship that serves their neighborhood. However a travelling priest may spend their time strolling between roadside shrines and keep them as they journey round. Some may even be charged to maintain historic shrines hidden in darkish and harmful locations the place they may want a celebration of adventurers to assist them attain it.


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