Shrine Offerings: Awesome Concept, But Aren't We Forgetting Something

Followers of Crom do not want him to notice them unless they are doing something very very worthy.

First off, I think it’s a great idea that Crom followers be able to destroy sacred artifacts of other religions. I also really like IPL_Victim’s idea that they break down into usable practical materials. Why? Because it seems to me that Crom is a sort of god of science. Well, he’s the god of the Cimmerians, but they have a debased scientific way of looking at the world. This is fitting as in REH’s lore the Cimmerians are of Atlantean blood (and bloodlines seem to have real effects in REH’s world).

If we think about how the religions work in this game in particular, it seems clear that the gods are real. You can summon them and they smash stuff. It’s not clear what they are, but Yog for example seems to be some kind of Lovercraftian alien, which again is very fitting to REH’s mythos. Only Crom is not summonable, which fits with Crom’s_Faithful’s lore post above – the Cimmerians don’t really think he cares.

I can see two possibilities from here. Either Crom isn’t real at all, and the Cimmerians just think he is… or he is as real as the other gods - it’s just that they’re right, he doesn’t care much, if at all. Either way, the Cimmerians fall back on their own skills and grit, which results in them having technology beyond their general social level. They are barbarians who are good at smithing, i.e. they are good at science like their Atlantean ancestors. Just like real life scientifically minded people (who are often flat-out atheists), they don’t really see gods as an important thing to worry about.

So my opinion FWIW is that Crom followers should be able to break down other faith’s items at a forge into oil and steel or something. I strongly disagree that they should get any sort of “magical” bonus or item. Crom’s_Faithful has pointed out that in the lore there are weapons dedicated to Crom, but I fear that having something like craftable in game would give too many advantages to Crom followers when the whole point is that choosing Crom in a world of gods who actually answer people’s prayers is choosing to sort of go at life alone, in hard mode. Likewise I don’t think you should be able to learn Crom’s faith in the world as a feat. At least not without erasing any other faiths you know. Because it’s not really a faith, a person who already worships a god that answers them is going to have no use for one who doesn’t. Conan OTOH can learn other religions because so what? Crom doesn’t care.

I think there should be a benefit though, something like what Taemien said: I think choosing Crom should give you bonus feat points at character creation, perhaps equal to the cost of learning a religion (50 I think?). I got this idea from 3rd ed. D&D, where if you pick human as your race you get no fancy modifiers or night vision, but you get bonus feats. It doesn’t feel like much but in the end it’s very powerful.

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Something I don’t see mentioned too often in these Crom threads is that, the EL gods are actually NOT real. They are false manifestations created by strong belief and possibly the Convergence. Much of the text and lore lends to that view, and is directly called out by Conan. “But nowhere have I seen gods as I see them in this land. These avatars that stalk and spread destruction in their wake. These are not gods. These are what men want the gods to be. Weapons.” The Outcast (Ymir religion trainer) says the whole Exiled Lands aren’t real and the Lore for The Disjunction says that it has the power to make belief into reality. “There was a clashing of sorceries here in the past and it created a… disjunction. Belief can be a powerful tool that shapes the will. In this place, belief can shape the world. If enough believe it to be so, the gods themselves can manifest.”

The REH lore reasons for there not to be a Crom manifestation don’t hold up to the above in-game lore. It would be fitting actually for Crom to have a manifestation, believers have corrupted the idea of their gods into weapons and the Cimmerians at the Mounds of the Dead should be no exception.
I don’t really have an opinion on whether Crom should have a unique mechanic from the other religions but I definitely think Crom should have something and not be the “Atheist” choice…

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That’s really interesting. I have to admit I hadn’t noticed those snippets of info. That sort of thing is one of the real treasures of this game that are so underrated and rarely mentioned.

I don’t know if the REH world is an atheist one though :thinking: I suppose there’s no direct evidence of the physical reality of gods like Mitra or Ishtar… kind of like in the real world. But there are certainly ancient creatures, some of which are explicitly extraterrestrial, and which people worship as gods. Some of them are extremely powerful. And then there are things like the giant temple snakes of Set, which are seen as manifestations at the very least. So yeah, maybe REH was aiming at a world where the gods are made up, but then there are physical beings with supernatural powers, so in a way there are gods. Or at least demi-gods.

You’re right though, if the EL is what makes the gods a reality, then that should probs work for Crom too. Except that the Cimmerians wouldn’t call on him in the first place because they’re taught he won’t answer!

FWIW, I’ve always considered Crom (in Conan Exiles) to be the only real god, rather than the atheist choice, precisely for the same reasons you described. All the other “gods” in Exiled Lands act like cosmic vending machines: insert Manifestation of Zeal, get something tangible in return. But Crom is the only god you have to have faith in, without any assurance of recompense.

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I’m reasonably certain that Mitra’s faithful aren’t taught to call upon their god to stomp their enemies’ homes to the ground, either. Exiled Lands “teachings” may have evolved pretty far way from the original dogmas, Crom included.

From Howard’s original sources, the only example of an actual divine intervention that comes to mind in in the beginning of Black Colossus, where Mitra tells princess Yasmela to seek out Conan and make him the general of her armies. And although the advice was spot on, it’s still debatable whether it came from Mitra himself, or whether it was some priest with a deep voice pulling a prank. (Also worth noting that the princess was a worshipper of Ishtar, who hadn’t helped her despite her prayers.)

From this perspective, I think the “expanded universe” represents the gods as too active players in the setting, Crom in particular. Unlike gods in e.g. Greek Mythology, who meddled with mortal affairs for giggles, or Dragonlance, or even Raymond E. Feist’s Midkemia saga, Hyborian gods kept their distance to the mortal world. One could even say that Crom was no different from the others in actuality - his followers simply understood the futility of prayer.

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I genuinely feel that at the very least we Crom worshippers should have this option to throw rival religions artifacts into the dismantling bench like @IPL_Victim says. It is not like there is anything magical about it, and at least it is something. I honestly am not even worried if it doesnt provide any components, although perhaps it should.

Perhaps they could render down into coal to then be burned in a furnace or for cooking… Not spectacularly valuable, and likely not resulting in a large quantity, but useful nonetheless.

Poetic after a fashion. Crom worshippers burn the relics of the other gods to fuel the creation of more weapons and armor (or food) to take on those misguided fanatics of other gods… and whatnot.

Apologies, not trying to bump here. And I was more than happy to let this one rest. I just wanted to link this to my Crom overhaul thread as it is related to Crom’s in game role, and in game mechanics/features which I genuinely feel are needed.

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