Chung, without the Wang

We’ve finished up the prayers for Chungism, the only religion we sort of made up. Sort of.

When looking at the largest religions in the world today, “Traditional Chinese” always makes an appearance. (Unless you’re a fundamentalist who sees any religion other than your own as a cult. And if you are, why are you reading this? Don’t you have to pray for our heathen souls or something?) However, that label doesn’t explain anything to the average gamer, who’ll probably assume it has something to do with takeout. Say a character is Islamic and you’ll get some nods; say a character is Traditional Chinese and you get people wondering if he knows kung fu.

Traditional Chinese includes Taoism, Confucianism, and various old folkways still present in Chinese culture. Rather than break this into different religions, we changed the label to Chungism–a bastardization of the term Chung-Kuo, which in turn is a bastardization of the Chinese language word for China. (We like bastards here at Happy Bishop Games.) We also threw in Shintoism because, although we fully realize that’s Japanese, not Chinese, there’s some similarity in ancestor and spirit worship.

Our current favorite prayer? We have two:

  1. Mandate of Heaven – Grant +1 to an ally’s next target number for each level of success you roll on an Effort Check. If you roll a Major Win, you grant +2TN (up to 9).
  2. Wu Wei – Do nothing on your turn to grant (path/3) extra dice to another.

Both capture the essense of the religion (Confucianism and Taoism) while being useful in the game. That’s our design goal, and like watching Fox News, it’s harder than it looks.

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