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Vinga: the cult in the game

A new cult in an old world

The cult of Vinga was first introduced as "Orlanth Adventurous for women". The reasons given for needing such a cult vary: "because women can't join Orlanth" (sounds good, but how many existing campaigns could make that switch?): "to give women a role-model apart from the Babeester Gor fanatics" (if the cult of Orlanth is not gender-specific, do we need one?) and recently, because Vinga is mentioned in King of Sartar and hence needs a documented cult.

My own reason for writing this is a combination of the above, plus the need to give female adventurers a fairer chance in play. We start off with lower STR and SIZ, but get no bonuses for higher DEX, or anything else. Very few female PCs ever get a damage bonus, and not that many can run round in full plate without collapsing. Realistic, yes: fun, no.

This version of the cult is specifically designed to help overcome the weaknesses of female adventurers, and to capitalise on their strong points. It should give all the game-relevant bonuses of joining Orlanth Adventurous, plus just enough of an edge to make up for the lower stats. Once enough mythos and background has been added to explain all this, it's also a fun cult in its own right, game relevance aside.

The only way in which there is still a disadvantage is at Rune level: I couldn't think of a reason why Vinga should be a combined cult, so there is only one rune level rank. Ordinary Orlanthi can become Wind Lords without needing to qualify as a priest: Vingans need to do both. But then they get away without the poetry, so it balances out.

Retro-fitting a new cult into an existing campaign is obviously going to be difficult. Having Vingan shrines inside existing temples saves re-mapping cities, although personally I prefer them to have their own building (and no men are allowed within it: tricky if it's inside the Orlanth temple). Any existing female Wind Lords can be converted to Daughters of Vinga without too much trouble - just explain why their hair's the wrong colour. And remember than even compared to other Orlanthi cults, the cult of Vinga varies enormously from one place to another: you don't need consistency between temples, just make them fit the existing plot.