Therefore, it was interesting last week to read ”Religion and Gaming”, a piece by Greyhawk Grognard that addressed his take on the churches of St. Cuthbert and Pholtus, the Lawful Hatfields and McCoys of the Greyhawk pantheon.
My Pagan faith also informs my interpretation of those Gods who are depicted as less than tolerant of other faiths in the Flanaess; Pholtus, St. Cuthbert, Wastri, etc. More often than not, I indulge my sense of humor (which is appreciated by my current playing group, most of whom are pagan themselves, and two of whom are actually playing clerics) in describing those faiths and the actions of their heirarchies and believers as a parody of the worst practices of the Christian church, both in medieval times and today. It should be noted that Gary Gygax himself was a very dedicated Christian for his entire life (which is in and of itself an ironic piece of information), and was the creator of the notion that followers of St. Cuthbert beat nonbelievers over the noggin, and that Pholtus was the embodiment of "the blinding light". I just flesh it out a bit.
As a Christian of the “shouting Methodist” variety, I’m certain my religious views differ vastly from those of Greyhawk Grognard, but I think his portrait of the doctrinal squabbles would make for some damme fine gaming.
All this talk of St. Cuthbert reminds me that while I was watching The Longest Day recently it hit me just how much Royal Navy Beachmaster Colin Maud (played by Kenneth More) reminds me of St. Cuthbert. There’s the crumpled RN black beret. There’s the blackthorn stick. There’s the facial hair. And there’s the unyielding authority. If they would have made Greyhawk: The Movie back in the early sixties, Kenneth More would have been a shoe-in.