Monday, May 17, 2010

Things that Make Me Go Hmmm...

As I've been paying attention to spell descriptions in OD&D lately, I ran across this interesting little tidbit in Men & Magic:

Note: There are Anti-Clerics (listed below) who have similar powers to Clerics.Those Clerical spells underlined on the table for Cleric Spells have a reverse effect, all others functioning as noted.

What is listed below are the level titles for the Anti-Cleric. Compare them to the regular Cleric level titles:


Evil Acolyte
Evil Adept
Evil Priest
Evil Curate
Evil Bishop
Evil Lama
Evil High Priest.


Village Priest

Note that the only level title that does not get the designation "evil" is the Shaman — an explicitly pagan title. It seems to me that (beyond the already largely Christian level titles and spells) that this is the strongest evidence I have found to suggest that the original conception of the Cleric class was of a pseudo-Christian.


Roger G-S said...

Level titles are just funny. I mean, you can't argue that the cleric is anything but a medieval Bishop Turpin type. But the idea of taking a break from Satanism to study Native American medicine-work, or from Christianity to take an ecumenical sojourn in the Himalayas, is just a little bit mind-boggling. Was the idea to provide a fig leaf as far as the depiction of authentic religion is concerned?

Anonymous said...

"Acolyte, Adept, Bishop, Curate, High Priest, Lama, Patriarch, Priest, Shaman, Vicar..."

This is the strongest evidence I have found to suggest that Gygax was writing with his thesaurus.