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D&D 5E The Bible Is A New 5E Setting

The Adventurer’s Guide to the Bible is a 5E setting and adventure set in the first century AD.

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The 350-page book, created by Bible enthusiasts, included four new lineages, a range of subclasses, and an adventure for character levels 1-10, along with a full first-century AD setting with locations like the Library of Alexandria and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, NPCs, and monsters such as giants, seraph serpents, angels, and demons. The adventure itself involves a search for three missing Magi.

It's $25 for a PDF, or $39 for a hardcover.


Cleopatra is dead. Rome and Parthia struggle for control of the Fertile Crescent in a bid for world domination, while local politics in the Middle Kingdoms become increasingly divisive. The prophecies of the so-called “Messiah” have long been forgotten, and an ancient Evil lurks in the shadows, corrupting the hearts of humankind. Three of the wisest mystics known as the “Magi” travelled to Bethlehem following a star they believed to be a sign. They never returned. Hope grows dim as the world descends into darkness. What we need are answers... and those brave enough to seek them.


This isn’t the first biblical era setting for D&D, although it might be for 5E. Green Ronin released Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era for 3E over a decade ago.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It seems like kind of an oddly specific timeframe for the setting. If it's for Christians, then Jesus isn't really a thing yet and it would have made more sense to do something starting around 100 AD instead. If it's old school old testament, I would have set it far earlier.

But maybe it's just my style, years or even decades pass over the course of a single campaign. I'm not particularly interested in the setting (I'd rather pick up the Theros book) but it feels limiting for grander stories. There would be a lot to mine from the persecution of Christians era to the beginnings of the modern church.
The time period takes place after the Magi and before the Tora-teaching activity by Jesus. Judging by the chronology that I prefer, somewhere between 1 BCE and 30 AD.

During this period, Romans severely persecuted Israel (including Judea and the Galil, as well as Samaria). Even Jesus’s own family suffered persecution, and had to flee from Herodos who was a personal friend of Augustus the Roman Emperor, and was puppet government for the Roman Empire.

Also, this time period is the world that Jesus himself grew up in. He studied the Judaism of this time period. It is a chance for Christians to become more familiar with the humanity of Jesus, as a person, rather than the dehumanizing mythification of him.



For gaming purposes, it probably is better if Jesus doesnt show up yet. Because statting him can be theologically difficult for some Christians. Personally, I would just stat Jesus up as a normal human, Jewish (proto) rabbi, in the tradition of Hilel. Hilel himself is also a descendant of David, and the two families might even have been related to each other.

In any case, a game like this can be an opportunity for Christians to explore and maybe even connect with the social identity that Jesus himself had.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The time period takes place after the Magi and before the Tora-teaching activity by Jesus. Judging by the chronology that I prefer, somewhere between 1 BCE and 30 AD.

During this period, Romans severely persecuted Israel (including Judea and the Galil, as well as Samaria). Even Jesus’s own family suffered persecution, and had to flee from Herodos who was a personal friend of Augustus the Roman Emperor, and was puppet government for the Roman Empire.

Also, this time period is the world that Jesus himself grew up in. He studied the Judaism of this time period. It is a chance for Christians to become more familiar with the humanity of Jesus, as a person, rather than the dehumanizing mythification of him.



For gaming purposes, it probably is better if Jesus doesnt show up yet. Because statting him can be theologically difficult for some Christians. Personally, I would just stat Jesus up as a normal human, Jewish (proto) rabbi, in the tradition of Hilel. Hilel himself is also a descendant of David, and the two families might even have been related to each other.

In any case, a game like this can be an opportunity for Christians to explore and maybe even connect with the social identity that Jesus himself had.
If you set it after the crucifixion you don't need to worry about Jesus as an NPC either. Of course you could run into apostles, which I'm not sure is better.

But again, it's probably just because of how I run my campaigns, I'm sure you could shift the timeline one way or another fairly easily.
 

ART!

Legend
If you set it after the crucifixion you don't need to worry about Jesus as an NPC either. Of course you could run into apostles, which I'm not sure is better.

But again, it's probably just because of how I run my campaigns, I'm sure you could shift the timeline one way or another fairly easily.
This begs the question: what if Jesus is born (or dies), say 5 years earlier, or 5 years later? 10? 20? 50? 100? Regardless of the historicity of the NT, alternate timelines for the rise (or lack thereof) of Christianity could be pretty interesting.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
If you set it after the crucifixion you don't need to worry about Jesus as an NPC either. Of course you could run into apostles, which I'm not sure is better.

But again, it's probably just because of how I run my campaigns, I'm sure you could shift the timeline one way or another fairly easily.
According to Luke there were 70 Apostles sent out, and I think it would be kinda cool for characters to meet with them - especially the more obscure ones like Phillip or even the likes of Priscilla and Aquila.

I’d even be fine with NPC Apostles as quest givers and even as PCs - eg the Apostle Thomas sent Thaddeus to heal King Agbar in Edessa, setting up a journey adventure :)
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Sparta around this time is kinda funny (in a darkly ironic way). Their real power had been broken hundreds of years prior, the whole area was ruled by the Romans. But Sparta was allowed to keep running itself in a small way, kept alive basically as a theme park for wealthy Romans who'd bought into all the same myths so many today do, about the stern asceticism of the Spartans, their courage, their discipline, and their peerless warrior ethic, etc etc blah blah blah. The Romans brought their disappointing shiftless youth on pilgrimages to Sparta to try to instil some backbone, when said youths would much prefer to be lounging on divans being fed honeyed dormice and playing the lyre.

So you COULD play a spartan in 25AD, even a conventionally-armed and clad one. THey certainly still existed, even if they didn't actually fight any more. You'd just be completely anachronistic, and you'd more likely be a bard play acting for the tourists than a serious warrior.

As for slavery - everyone in this period is a slave society. Romans, Parthians, Egyptian and Jews (both under the umbrella of their Roman conquerors), etc etc. It'll be interesting to see how the book handles it.
The "spartha as a tourist trap" is indeed how they end, and yes, I can imagine a young spartan becoming weary of this and going on adventure, this is totally a legit character concept...

buuuuuuut does it need a subclass? And why the Spartan vs dozens of other historical warriors from the era? This tells me it's probable that they took it because they think "Spartans are cool and noble!" But they are not - they are despicable

Yes, slave ownership is common at the time (and by that time, the power of Sparta being broken, they are no longer doing this because they can't), but in the 600-300 year BC range (their "main" era), they were were brutal. Other slave owning greeks (who were not very nice to their slaves either) thought that the Spartans took it way too far.

 

bulletmeat

Explorer
If you set it after the crucifixion you don't need to worry about Jesus as an NPC either. Of course you could run into apostles, which I'm not sure is better.

But again, it's probably just because of how I run my campaigns, I'm sure you could shift the timeline one way or another fairly easily.
Well, technically to the lore, he would be stated as a normal human, right? If the PCs were to kill Jesus it doesn't matter, he would still be coming back.

Some interesting campaign ideas for after the crucifixion could be either the PCs are the ones to originally crucified Jesus and are cursed, looking for redemption or even Jesus returning right after & the PCs dealing with the apocalypse.

Ironically the very first time I played D&D it was a christian style fantasy setting where we fought numerous demons and eventually defeated the devil (not through battle but w/holy relics). It's gonna feel like '89 again...
 

Religion/politics
Aside from all the other stuff about Spartans that people have mentioned, I would be very uncomfortable playing one, if I even could at all, because of the documented "relationships" the adult soldier had with his underage trainee/squire/name I can't remember. Not to make light of it, but it would be a class that fits some Catholic priests or the members of NAMBLA.
 

bulletmeat

Explorer
Aside from all the other stuff about Spartans that people have mentioned, I would be very uncomfortable playing one, if I even could at all, because of the documented "relationships" the adult soldier had with his underage trainee/squire/name I can't remember. Not to make light of it, but it would be a class that fits some Catholic priests or the members of NAMBLA.
Be the exception, the Spartan that defied the idea.
Also, I believe this was not exclusively a Spartan or Catholic priest issue. The problem is beyond specific religions or cultures.
 



@Dannyalcatraz Don't worry, I know that is not true for the majority, which is why I said "some", and yeah, I realize naming a specific religion violated the rules, but knowing someone personally that it happened to, I will not apologize for calling them out that time, I just won't say it again here.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
@Dannyalcatraz Don't worry, I know that is not true for the majority, which is why I said "some", and yeah, I realize naming a specific religion violated the rules, but knowing someone personally that it happened to, I will not apologize for calling them out that time, I just won't say it again here.
Dude, I could ding you for challenging moderation for responding to that post in thread. I’m not. Don’t do that again, please.

As for your personal experiences?

I personally know 3 pedophiles from my social ( non-professional) life. Only one was a Catholic*. One was an atheist and the other a Wiccan. None of them harmed anyone I know, though the one in my RPG game group victimized his own kids. (I never met them.)

But the fact is that by singling out Catholic priests ignores that- prior to the post-Dallas reforms of 2007- the incidence of pedophiles reported in the American Catholic Church was 5%*. That is statistically average for all religious and secular organizations dealing with kids.

The reason it looks like so many is because of the tyranny on large numbers: Catholics make up a large % of the nation’s population. Ditto the number of clergy. So by sheer force of absolute numbers, Catholic priests will account for the largest number of reports compared to the clergy of other faiths.

Singling them out like that distorts the real picture. Singling out ANY group- other than NAMBLA and the like- distorts the real picture.

And doing so as an attempt at sarcasm is going to fall flat in some circles. Such as here, as long as I’m an ENWorlder.


* In fact, was part of the Dallas diocese’s pedophilia sex scandal, and is currently in jail.

** since 2007, it’s dropped a percentage point. Not great, but going the right direction.
 

Dude, I could ding you for challenging moderation for responding to that post in thread. I’m not. Don’t do that again, please.

So just a general question on this. If someone replies to a mod after a post is flagged, is that always considered challenging moderation, even when it is not meant that way at all? I am genuinely curious because of the times I have seen other people reply to you or the others in a way that did not look like a challenge, but was called that anyway. Is there anything in the official site rules that I missed reading that says not to reply back at all to a mod message?
 

So just a general question on this. If someone replies to a mod after a post is flagged, is that always considered challenging moderation, even when it is not meant that way at all? I am genuinely curious because of the times I have seen other people reply to you or the others in a way that did not look like a challenge, but was called that anyway. Is there anything in the official site rules that I missed reading that says not to reply back at all to a mod message?
According to EnWorld: yes.
 

If you set it after the crucifixion you don't need to worry about Jesus as an NPC either. Of course you could run into apostles, which I'm not sure is better.

But again, it's probably just because of how I run my campaigns, I'm sure you could shift the timeline one way or another fairly easily.

If you set it before the crucifixion, and the worry is players might interfere with the crucifixion, one possible solution is to take a page out of the Last Temptation of Christ, where Jesus steps of the cross and sees his life if he had lived it as a normal man and not been crucified. He eventually encounters Saint Paul who is still teaching about the crucified and resurrected Christ (and he gets in an argument with Jesus because Jesus wants him to stop lying about him). Or you could just get everyone on the same page and be like "the crucifixion needs to happen so don't interfere or get overly involved in it, even though it is happening during get period the campaign is set in".
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If you set it before the crucifixion, and the worry is players might interfere with the crucifixion, one possible solution is to take a page out of the Last Temptation of Christ, where Jesus steps of the cross and sees his life if he had lived it as a normal man and not been crucified. He eventually encounters Saint Paul who is still teaching about the crucified and resurrected Christ (and he gets in an argument with Jesus because Jesus wants him to stop lying about him). Or you could just get everyone on the same page and be like "the crucifixion needs to happen so don't interfere or get overly involved in it, even though it is happening during get period the campaign is set in".
Well, there's also the simple solution that the PCs don't know what's going to happen.

Like I said, this isn't really for me, but it would be odd to have the PCs directly cross paths with JC. How do you RP that?
 

I actually think some of the more mystical aspects of the setting could be good or at least be used if your like easily offended at stuff and don't want to strictly adhere to the base material.

You could be a Lazarus-Lite character who goes around the Roman landscape, fighting LEGIONS(demons that take over humans) while riding around on your Angelic MagiTek Motocycle, just cruising around and chilling with your Magi companion. Maybe one of the Grigori has gone rogue/come out of hiding and now you gotta team up with one of Pharaoh's sorcerers to fight back against its forces.

Or your party has to escape an Eldritch Abomination infected Sodam and Gomorrah and your party has just been informed by an Angel that you have to escape the city before the Powers that Be pillar of salt carpet bomb the place to prevent said Eldritch Abominations from escape.

Or you use the animal rules from Humblewood/Animal Adventures and your goal is to reach the Ark before it takes off. Cue the Vengeful Dragon that ends up pursuing you throughout the adventure in anger.

What, why are all of you giving me looks.
 
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Well, there's also the simple solution that the PCs don't know what's going to happen.

Like I said, this isn't really for me, but it would be odd to have the PCs directly cross paths with JC. How do you RP that?
PCs: Yo Jesus, can you spare us some wine?

Jesus: I got ya bro/dette.
 

Well, there's also the simple solution that the PCs don't know what's going to happen.

Like I said, this isn't really for me, but it would be odd to have the PCs directly cross paths with JC. How do you RP that?

I think the RP thing would be very group dependent
 


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