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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