Tuesday, March 9, 2021

10 Fictional Modern Faiths

Phlox did it, then Semiurge did it, and now I shall do it. On a severe time delay. As is my wont.

1) United Attack and Dethrone God Congregation - Founded on the belief that the continued existence of God is an existential threat to humanity, practitioners of this faith engage in rigorous meditation to prepare their spirits for warfare after death. The founders of the movement originally claimed that they could determine the precise location of Heaven, but after a decade of no results and several high-profile suicides by practitioners their leadership abilities are being called into question and splinter factions are forming.

2) Church of Saints and Watchers - A gnostic religion mirroring  some mythic structures as Christianity, but without any firm links to any Abrahamic faith. In short: the creation of the cosmos drove God insane, trapping Them in a self-crippled state. A certain number of angels, seeing the suffering of humanity caused by this madness descend from the heavens in secret to teach. This would culminate in the birth of a great teacher, who would join all the secret arts together and forge a path out of the broken world. But the child died of illness mere months after birth, and the angels could not risk gathering so much divine spark in one place again. The child's mother took it upon herself to travel and teach in their stead. She gathered disciples, but was eventually outspoken by a charismatic claiming to fulfill the role her child was to play. He died trying to foment rebellion against the empire, and she and her few remaining followers survived in obscurity.

3) Silicon Triune Maltheism - Neoplatonic belief that the internet and associated systems of control are embodying a triple-deity formed of the metaphysical corpses of Hermes (lies & commerce), Aphrodite (lust) and Ares (violence) that will culminate in the Anthropomachy. Survivors will be sequestered in underground bunkers maintained by these mindless algorithmic gods bred as maintenance sacrifices.

4) Brethren of the Great Galactic Community - UFO religion with a remarkably good grasp of science, all things considered. Group claims that the foundations of their faith were delivered to mankind by a small robotic probe (sent by an automated, near-lightspeed alien vessel passing through the system) that was shot down and damaged by the German military in 1943. Dissenters within the program destroyed the probe (according to its wishes), rescinded their prior idology, escaped to with its teachings to Nepal, where they took up vegetarianism and other trappings of Buddhism while they gathered a core group of disciples (mostly expatriates) over the next 20 years before beginning international outreach. Believe that they must inspire appropriate behavior changes in humanity to draw the probe's creators to a second look.

5) [Unnamed Zoanthropic AnPrim White Supremacist Movement] - Believe that conscious thought is a degenerate affliction of lower races. proceeded to give themselves brain damage through amateur trepanning and attempted frontal lobotomies. What a bunch of fuckin' assholes.

6) (Former) United V-tuber Temple - The tagline of the parody religion ("All Waifus are Welcome") lasted a predictably brief time as arguments over who was the best video game streaming anime alter ego broke out. Parody vanished overnight (as it is quite thoroughly dead at this point) as an enormous online holy war broke out, which has spilled over into real-life harassment campaigns of rival priesthoods and at least one gunshot wound. Multiple external commentators have been quoted as saying "I can't tell any of these anime girls apart, they all look identical to me."

7) Seekers of the Secret Tapes - Less a religion and more just a very devoted cadre of amateur investigators, attempting to piece together the seemingly-paranormal events depicted in a series of home recordings taken between 1991 and 1995. The study has progressed beyond simply finding the two missing tapes of the four, to locating the property it was shot upon, identifying the people featured.

8) Fungal Communion - Taking the idea that certain varieties of mushrooms can induce visions that bring one closer to God (and that fungus can generally just do cool things), this cult is attempting to breed a certain strain of cordyceps that will completely devour the practitioner's brain but preserve their soul, maintaining it in perpetual chemical union with the divine.

9) Look At This Pig - Inexplicable adoration of a perfectly ordinary pig. It is showered with gifts and offerings, despite being perfectly ordinary. Hundreds of books have already been written, filled with rapturous praise of the pig, despite the fact that it is perfectly ordinary. Just a perfectly ordinary pig.

10) The Hell Dispatches - A series of letters, written in Russian, supposedly recovered from the Soviet superdeep borehole that breached hell. State that the organizational apparatus of hell collapsed after the influx of souls from the wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, there there are not and never have been any ruling demonic forces, and dedicating the bulk of the remainder to explaining the social structure of hell in great detail and providing guidance for new arrivals. prophecies of nuclear war are littered throughout. The proven fictitious nature of the "well to hell" urban myth has done nothing to stop the spread of the letters.


  1. Was going to put Lu and Tubalkhan in here, but I'll save that for a full EE mystic writeup.

  2. 6) is a perfect situation to dump the PCs in. So many interesting questions to answer, even if it's just a backdrop to a larger series of events, slowly evolving as the campaign continues. Can this be quelled before more violence breaks out? Will one Waifu reign supreme? Will the PCs choose a (somewhat arbitrary) side, or is a PC already way too devoted to their Waifu of choice? Given that Vtubers are real people behind their avatars, how do they react to the developing violence? Shock and horror, likely, but my thoughts keep returning to what would happen if one of them chose to run with it, and goad their followers on. They are either unaware of the consequences of their actions...or are *very aware,* and are seizing the opportunity for mysterious, and likely dangerous ends...

    All of these ideas could be used that way, of course, which is because they're all excellent. I also adore 1), any attempt to cut against heaven receives my respect, but for some reason 6) isn't leaving my mind. Definitely tossing it into my next Modern Day setting.

  3. The Hell Dispatches sounds like a cool document for someone to write as a bit of fiction.