Best Practices for Religious Representation, Part I: Check for Traps

Religion suffuses role-playing’s most basic structure: the adventuring party with a fighter, thief, wizard, and cleric. Fantasy mainstays like demons, dragons, heavens and hells, pantheons, diverse monsters, and magic originate in religious lore. The decisions people make without thinking about their cosmology carry ideological weight that validates some demographics and denies others—and not even just in terms of religious identity. This article is a toolkit to help creators and players of games and fiction build religious characters and organizations, portray them with fairness and respect, and draw on real-world lessons to craft fictional religions which sing.

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Best Practices for Historical Gaming

I’d like to share some principles I follow when I work with historical and real-world settings, either in play or in design. For shorthand, I’m going to refer to them as “historical,” but many of these principles also apply to games set on contemporary Earth. This article refers to choices I made in Thousand Arrows, but it isn’t really about Thousand Arrows, so you still get a proper Imjin War-focused Part II later on.

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