Archives of Nethys

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Infinite Worlds / Religion

Low Religion

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 118
There are also numerous worlds where religion holds little influence. Perhaps the gods are so removed from and uninvolved with the population that the residents of the world are little more to deities than ants are to humans. Religion might never have evolved, isn’t a natural expression of the inhabitants’ psyche, or became illegal following any number of disasters or secular coups. On these worlds, religion, divinely-powered magic, and spiritual practices and traditions are implausible notions—either shocking onlookers due to their taboo status or baffling witnesses due to the faith’s unfamiliar underlying assumptions.
Consider when a society’s low-religion attribute manifested. A recent change might mean the inhabitants are actively converting, burying, or destroying old symbols. An ancient change might result in gradual amnesia with inhabitants following traditional holy days and performing prayers, despite not knowing why they continue to do so. Perhaps the populace came to the realization that their world has no gods or that the gods don’t listen. These practices might offer communal solidarity but provide little else.

Low-Religion Adventure Hooks

D20 Adventure Hook
1 When a world outlaws all religion, the faithful seek aid in smuggling relics offworld before they’re destroyed.
2 Divine magic suddenly ceases working on a planet in the middle of a religious festival.
3 Copies of a banned religious text suddenly begin appearing everywhere, all with the same passages highlighted.
4 An anti-religion crusade sweeps through dozens of settlements, damaging church-owned property and harming the openly faithful.
5 Ancient beings return to a world that once worshiped them to find its inhabitants have abandoned all forms of religion.
6 Archaeologists discover ancient temple ruins under the capital city of a world with no religions.
7 A group of escaped criminals poses as gods on a world with no religions.
8 A planet that disdains all deities and religious magic now needs holy magic to combat a plague.
9 Several missionaries disappear while traveling to a remote world of sentient machines who are suspicious of religion.
10 When technology begins to fail on an atheistic world, a stranger arrives claiming to have the ability to “heal” the machines with divine magic.
11 Recently uncovered paperwork reveals that a certain company owns a warehouse full of holy paraphernalia for a religion no one has ever heard of.
12 To stop a catastrophe, a collection of ancient religious relics must be retrieved from the vaults of an organization of skeptics.
13 Scholars find a map that depicts the domains of various minor gods in a state of flux.
14 Religious pilgrims make regular stops on an atheistic world, and the xenophobic residents want it to stop.
15 A religious corporation is suspected of illegally operating on certain worlds through supposedly secular subsidiaries.
16 A popular religion’s clergy are revealed to be shapeshifters, causing a crisis of faith.
17 A group claims to have slain a god and will do so again unless their demands are met.
18 A portal opens onto a small, remote settlement populated by outsiders who seem unaware of their origins.
19 A market for illicit religious art will soon hold its annual auction.
20 A mysterious figure has the power to radically alter a person’s religious views with only a touch.