How’s your fitrah today?

Islam is a complicated faith, especially when you don’t practice it but want to comb it for super powers.

In Triune, characters have kewl powerz called prayers that are tied to a specific faith. For example, a level 1 Muslim can select “Ghowras’ Lesson – Cause one character to drop a weapon.” It’s based on a Qu’ran excerpt where Mohammad is confronted by an Arab chieftain named Ghowras. Ghowras held up his sword and asked Mohammad who would save him from death. Then a force knocked Ghowras down, causing him to drop his sword.

The fun part is finding unique powers based on a religion’s uniqueness, such as the prayer “Surrender – Take an automatic failure on a die roll to grant an automatic success to an ally.” (The word ‘Islam’ means surrender, after all.) The tough parts are 1) how much research can we do to figure out what parts of Islam to include, and 2) how do we show respect for the faith we’re using as a dimension in our roleplaying game?

Take the concept of jihad. At first, a prayer built around jihad seems obvious. It’s a famous Islamic term. Yet Islam forbids killing innocents, placing most, if not all, jihadists in violation of their own religion. Do we include a Jihad prayer that gives a character a bonus to combat, or is that stereotyping Muslims? Would that lead to Muslims in the game coming across as terrorists and fighters? That definitely is stereotyping.

On the other side, fitrah is an Islamic term meaning (I think) a person’s inner moral compass. It directs you to moral decisions. Could we mechanically include a Fitrah prayer that forces a target to make a “moral” decision? Although that sounds cool, morality is slippery and would be very difficult to codify for an rpg rule. In the end, we decided that this prayer could force a target to avoid conflict (fighting, arguing, etc.) for a round–peace sounds moral.

We’re also working on including kafir, shaheed, and sirat as prayers in hopes of creating nine prayers specific to the Islamic faith. If anyone has any suggestions, we are definitely ready to hear them!

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