Talk:Religion

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Links (2018)[edit]

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: Have you ever wonder why there is no mention of islamic religion in Traveller when it comes to solomani?
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 10:27, 10 November 2018 (EST)

Notes (2018)[edit]

Hey Bruce, this is Maksim from the wiki.

  • You are not acquainted with some of the religions actually in Traveller. Please send me a PM so we can discuss.
  • There's a lot to explore, much of it resembling your statements. You might enjoy learning about the greater body of knowledge that exists.
  • The other thing is that the wiki has an in-universe tone. You are not maintaining that.
  • Thank you for your contribution.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 18:27, 12 May 2018 (EDT)

Please see Manual of Style for our take on article content. Thanks. Tjoneslo (talk) 07:11, 13 May 2018 (EDT)

I noticed the article had basically sat as a stub for over a year (19 April 2017‎) so I figured that the 32 year old information from Dragon #101 was better then what it had (ie something is better then the nothing there). It does raise the question regarding how well the author of that article knew Traveler or what the state of the game was 32 years ago.

- BruceGrubb (talk) 07:36, 13 May 2018 (EDT)

It's great start and I appreciate your contributions, Bruce. Thank you very much!

  • Even in that early period, there was more than the Drag Mag author stated.
  • I really think we could benefit from some more communication. Creative exchange.
  • You definitely have insights that I do not and vice-versa.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 10:40, 13 May 2018 (EDT)

GDW made an editorial decision early not to have much discussion of religion in Traveller. I thought there was an editorial comment in JTAS (the print version) about it and couldn't find it. I went looking through the JTAS online archives and found these three items:

We never dealt with some subjects because we didn't want to provoke a controversy. Religion is a good example – if we say the Third Imperium is atheistic, then we may offend many devoutly religious people. If we say the Imperium is Christian, then we may offend those of other religions. Religion is a topic we never covered in detail (we occasionally mention religions, but we never dealt with the question on an Imperium-wide basis), so we could leave the question up to the individual GM to decide.
Loren Wiseman, JTAS Online, Shoe Salesmen of the Third Imperium, published April 11, 2000

And

Religion: Religion is a highly charged issue (indeed, the TML has just had its semi-annual science-vs.-religion flamewar*) that always seems to metastasize into a dozen smaller (but equally virulent) discussions. We've specified a few religions in various publications over the years, but we have never specified any "official" religion of the Imperium – and we never will. I leave such questions to the individual GMs to deal with or ignore as they see fit.
* I wish we could get a restraining order – "Religion must stay at least 1,000 yards away from science at all times." It would save a lot of wasted electrons, and let the TML get back to important discussions, like the infamous near-C rock-dropping argument.
Loren Wiseman, JTAS Online, Hot-button, published February 13, 2001

And

Those of us who worked at GDW liked to get together, away from work, from time to time. We'd gather at a central location (often Frank's house) for dinner and conversation, bringing friends, significant others, and assorted "hangers on" (as we used to call them). Since we had learned to stay from religion and politics,* our gatherings focused on the same conversational topics: history (mostly military history) and science fiction.
* We agreed to disagree on these subjects. Some people enjoy discussing them with friends, but we discovered that we could not do so without arousing great anger in all concerned.
Loren Wiseman, JTAS Online, To each his own..., published February 5, 2002

Also, there are a fair number of stubs and placeholder articles hidden around the Wiki. I have it on my list of things to do to a review and fix them.

Finally, I going to update the article slightly to address the desire to keep primary articles in the "In-Game" perspective. Tjoneslo (talk) 14:02, 13 May 2018 (EDT)


IMHO one can have religion in an RPG without turning it into a kind of a third rail. Look at D&D; even if you exclude the borrow from other sources religions, it had a rich mythology as early as the early 1980s unseen in many RPGs. Heck, the whole science-vs.-religion thing is relatively recent in the West. For a long time science was seen as just another tool for better understand God's creation and through that God himself. It was during the Renaissance where things started going pearshaped until we have the "fun" mess that exists today.

--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:32, 13 May 2018 (EDT)

I agree. The third quote gives a little insight as to why Traveller wasn't more open to the idea. Like so many topics, it depends upon who is involved that makes this a source of conflict or a source of inspiration. Tjoneslo (talk) 07:03, 14 May 2018 (EDT)

It's a modern sense of agenda and entitlement that make it any sort of issue.

  • Marc Miller has issued rules for it.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 08:04, 14 May 2018 (EDT)

The reasoning given above just seems so, well, empty. Why would the Imperium have a single religion? As D&D shows any religions that existed didn't have to integrated into the setting but their presence would give some idea of what was out out there. Heck, Dragon magazine was going nuts expanding on the pantheons that appeared in Deities and Demigods (1980) so even a crude road map would have been something. Though to be fair it was until GURPS Religion (1994) that some actual "neutral" guidelines on how to build religions came out and by that time GDW was heading to oblivion. --BruceGrubb (talk) 16:10, 14 May 2018 (EDT)

Bruce, you are not familiar with the setting again.

  • The Imperium has far more than a single religion.
  • There are guidelines for religions.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 19:16, 14 May 2018 (EDT)

Then why in the name of sanity say "If we say the Third Imperium is atheistic, then we may offend many devoutly religious people. If we say the Imperium is Christian, then we may offend those of other religions."? That by its very nature implies a single religion for the Imperium. Heck they say "we occasionally mention religions, but we never dealt with the question on an Imperium-wide basis" which again points to this focus on the Imperium having a single religion.

The "We never dealt with some subjects because we didn't want to provoke a controversy. Religion is a good example" also doesn't make sense because if you have guidelines then you "dealt with" religion. More over "Religion is a topic we never covered in detail" also at odds with guidelines. I again point to how D&D and later GURPS handled Religion as a topic. D&D went nuts with the various pantheons with regards to the details of the various faiths that ran around in the various settings.

This is another reason I feel the comments are "empty"; the logic presented is such a non sequitur that it is nonsensical. It is like whoever wrote the comments couldn't really separate religion as a topic from actual religions nor knew what GDW had done regarding the matter.--BruceGrubb (talk) 09:32, 15 May 2018 (EDT)


The only defense of Loren Wiseman's fifteen year old writings reminiscing about thirty or forty year old events is to note that your statement "couldn't really separate religion as a topic from actual religions" is a true statement for a significant number of people. Most people dislike controversy. So if one person on the GDW crew was a inseperatable person, the rest may simply have thrown their hands up and moved on, attempting to avoid office confrontations.

The rest of Loren's "Shoe Salesmen of the Third Imperium" editorial is about how GDW knew they couldn't cover every topic and attempted to picked the ones they thought important. Loren's editorial comments in the print run of JTAS where that he was the target of decisions made by GDW in all of their publications. It is an interesting read to go through all the JTAS editorials in one sitting. It's quite clear they were learning as they went. Tjoneslo (talk) 10:35, 15 May 2018 (EDT)


I think that 'learning as they went' is true of nearly every game out there especially of RPGs in the 70s and 80s. Looking through old Dragon magazines one sees a lot of RPGs that i doubt people today even remember. Like the Elfquest RPG by Chaosium as well as Flashing Blades and Psiworld by Fantasy Games Unlimited and Boot Hill by TSR. Then there are all the play by mail RPGs that were advertising like crazy.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:39, 15 May 2018 (EDT)

Notes (2017)[edit]

  1. External Link: Religious-Monastic-Orders-in-Traveller?
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 16:09, 19 April 2017 (EDT)