Hârnic Henotheism

Hârnians practice a curious form of polytheism that might be called 'henotheism.' Hârnic society acknowledges the existence of numerous gods and goddesses, but expects each individual to devote him/herself to the worship of just of those gods.

Which god an individual worships is usually a function of family/tribal tradition or social expectations— not a personal or individual choice.

The Adherent trait (described on the right) is used to specify the god of the Hârnic pantheon of which the character is an adherent.

Adherents of Many Gods

Though rare (and theologically risky), Hârnians can be adherents of more than one deity. In game terms, this is achieved by taking the Adherent trait multiple times (once for each god to be followed.)

The first Adherent trait is a 'free' trait, given as one of the Hârnic cultural traits. Subsequent versions of the Adherent traits must be purchased with trait points (4 pts) during character creation, or granted in play though a trait vote.

Barbarian Adherents

Members of Hârn's barbarian tribes will typically be adherents of their unique tribal gods. Tulwyn characters, for intance, will typically take this treat as Adherent of Kekamar.

Barbarian tribes such as the Kubora, who equally revere multiple tribal gods, can take this trait as Adherent of Kuboran Tribal Gods.

The Adherent Trait

The Adherent trait specifies which god a character follows:

Adherent Dt Cultural Trait

This trait indicates which Hârnic god the character follows. The deity must be specified when the trait is taken. The trait should be written on the character sheet as "Adherent of Agrik," Adherent of Peoni,", etc. The trait modifies Faith as follows: A character with the Faithful trait may only receive help on Faith tests from those who are Adherents of the same god.

At GM/group discretion, the Adherent trait may limit the kinds of miracles that a Faithful character may perform or modify Faith rolls. For more information, see the Spheres of the Gods page.

Adherent is a Cultural Trait given to all civilized Hârnians. It can only be removed by taking/earning another trait that eliminates it, such as Lost Faith, Quiescent, or Godless.

Believer vs. Infidel

The Believer vs. Infidel section of Burning Wheel Gold (p. 524) recommends that the GM/group decide at the outset of a game whether Faith works on all characters or only on those who share the priest's religion.

For Hârn, I recommend that Faith be capable of affecting all characters in the game, regardless of which god(s) they follow. That said, in cases where a priest seeks to use Faith to aid followers of another god (e.g. a priest of Larani, seeking to bless a group of Ilvirans), a disadvantage penalty may be appropriate.

Helping with Faith

Per the Happy Helping Faith section (pp. 344-345 of the Adventure Burner), help can only be given on Faith tests only if the helpers are Adherents of the same god.

Priests of different gods can help with Faith only if they first succeed in a Ritual test. Please see the Ritual & Helping Faith section of the Ritual page for Hârn-specific guidelines.

Godless Characters

Some Hârnians do not follow any gods. These individuals are are not necessarily atheists, but they they have, for whatever reasons, declined to be followers of any of Hârn's gods.

For those who were previously faithful, this can be represented with BW's Lost Faith trait. For those who were not, this can be represented through the Godless trait:

Godless Dt Cultural Trait /4 pts

The character is not an adherent of any of gods. Faith (used by others) can still affect the character, but s/he may not possess the Faithful trait or any other religious-themed traits (such as Adherent, Aura of Martyrdom, Believer, Faith in Dead Gods, etc.)

For members the Hodiri tribal nation, Godless is a Cultural Trait, automatically given in character creation. For all others, it must be purchased with trait points (4 pts.) during burning, or granted as a trait vote in play.