Faith

Faith against vampires doesn't require any near-magical levels of true faith. Instead, it just requires pure and simple religious faith. Ranked under 'Skills', faith works against a vampire if the person has both faith and a blessed object that embodies that which their faith is in. For Christians this can be a bible or a cross. For those of Jewish faith, a Star of David or the Torah (and perhaps a Menorah). For those of other religious faiths, different symbols and objects would apply. Although for a Christian, a blessed object can be used repeatedly, a Star of David will only work once for a person of Jewish faith until the next sundown (contact with a Gentile vampire renders it 'unclean', unless the vampire is Jewish as well). Unlike the Christian standard of normal vs blessed, Judaism has a standard of normal vs unclean (so blessing is not required for a Star of David unless it is a Rabbi attempting to resanctify it pre-dusk). For Islam, the object would be portions of the Koran written in Arabic, the "blessed" being free of visible grime or impurities, the mindset of the bearer not feeling any fear.

A standard 'necklace' type symbol does the bearer's Faith in damage each pose of contact. The larger hand-held does this plus 1d<Faith>. For very large symbols, Faith with each square foot of contact adding 1d<Faith>.

To get a symbol to start glowing, a faithful person has to be as close to it as their Faith in feet and thinking anti-vampire thoughts. To bless an object, Faith:15 is required as a minimum. With more than that, the person themselves is considered 'blessed' for as much as their Faith is over 15 (EG: Faith:16 can do 4 damage by laying of both hands on a vampire, or 16+1d16 with a cross).

The descriptive qualified levels of "what level of Faith means what?" aren't exactly the way they work for the other Skill-types listed in 'news skills':

Faith 00 Atheist, Agnostic, or just apathetic
Faith 01-10 Standard religious person.
Faith 11-20 Clergy or Zealot. 15+ can bless things.
Faith 21-25 Zealot Clergy.
Faith 26+ Modern-day Saint, Apostle, Bodhisattva. 30+ can work miracles.

With enough Faith (and possibly some Occult), one may qualify for the Faithful category of funkiness.

Although holy items generally have no anti-vampire effects when not carried by someone with Faith, there are exceptions. If a blessed holy item is used to ward a portal (window, door, cookie-jar lid) against vampires, it will "think anti-vampire thoughts" if a vampire attempts to open the portal. For the sake of damage math, it's as if the door/window/cookie-jar has Faith:15. It is also as if it were a portal to a home the vampire wasn't invited into (unless the symbol is removed, destroyed, unblessed, etc..) This doesn't work all the time with everything, but is just a side-effect of the "can't enter uninvited" vampire-contract clause (EG: If you hang a blessed cross on your car door and a vampire knocks the cross off with a broomstick, they can now safely pick up the cross and hotwire your car).


Fairy Faith Footnote

It is rare for a Fae to have Faith. Most Fae who prescribe to any sort of religion tend to follow what can best be called a "Pantheistic Animism" where the material and the spiritual are one in the same, and all combined are the stuff of the divine (IE: If the Divine is a wall, every object in creation is a brick of that wall). The idea of a specific being or beings that embody the divine (IE: God) is alien and creepy to most of them, as is the idea of an afterlife. Given a lack of symbols in this belief system and vampires being a part of the Divine, Fae-Faith tends to do little against vampires. As such, there is no real reason to quantify it for them.


Yahoo Faith Footnote

It's not unheard of for situations where someone is slightly mentally unhinged, and think that their cat (Miss Paws) is the controller of the universe. They work up their own little one-person religion, with a stylized representation of Mis Paws' head as the symbol, and devise a blessed/not-blessed system based on a cat cleaning itself. Generally, these sorts of yahoo religions have little to no effect on vampires, until the religion has a solid footing in the world (be it currently, or historically).

Surprisingly though, someone with Faith in such a yahoo religion can exhibit Faithful tricks with enough Faith (and even use those tricks to slap vampires around, but not with the 'glowing cross' effect).


NOTE TO SELF: "According to Leo Ruickbie, Augustine's arguments against magic, differentiating it from miracle, were crucial in the early Church's fight against paganism and became a central thesis in the later denunciation of witches and witchcraft. "

http://www.academia.edu/2554175/Augustine_and_the_Invention_of_Magical_Dissent

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