“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
Hiding in the dark corners of your Star Wars universe are a myriad assortment of religious fanatics and cults. Each of them are backwards, strange, and deadly. Many can be found leading villages of primitive civilizations at the galaxy’s edge, or preaching their dogma to the masses on the busy streets of a core world. Z is for Zealots provides a way for Galaxy Masters to step out of the rational and dip their toes into the mad.
When a bizarre cult is needed, this is the place to look. Try not to get hung up on the Force and Force traditions from previous Star Wars media when designing zealots, as this is creating something distinctly different in style and occupies a different storytelling niche altogether than the honorable, fallen Jedi. These cults are not necessarily magical or supernatural, though perhaps they have control of a powerful A is for Artifact which grants them such powers. These groups of fanatics are weird, scary, dangerous, and maybe even a little depressing in their mania.
To create a cult of zealots, one must design a name, a principle path to enlightenment, and a principle sin to rail against. Cult names tend to take on the format “Name of the Adjective Noun“; so to create a new cult, simply choose or roll 2d10 three times and consult the table below.
Thanks go out to In Places Deep for their hard work that inspired the naming section of this entry.
The ideas of virtue and sin are different for each cult; however, the vast majority of cults that should be designed extol core values which most would find repugnant and then label many norms of society as vice. While not all cults follow this generalization, the ones that don’t do so tend to make for boring stories, and are not worth our consideration. Choose or roll 2d10 once for both the Path to Damnation & Sin and the Path to Salvation & Enlightenment from the table below.
|2d10||PATH TO DAMNATION & SIN||PATH TO SALVATION
|2||gluttony||pacifism / peace|
|3||pride||truth / omniscience|
|6||the poor & unemployed||personal combat|
|8||lust / love||cannibalism|
|9||greed / money||species purity|
|10||false idols||physical pain|
|11||the Force||The Emperor|
|15||human dominance||resurrection / immortality|
|16||machine AI / droids||military conquest|
|19||sloth||hunger / extreme fasting|