Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rosicrucian: The Occidental Monk

Before I started blogging about games I went through a five or ten year period where I did a lot of reading of kook books. Not cookbooks, kook books. It started with the Principia Discordia and the Book of the Subgenius and the Illuminatus trilogy but soon led me to conspiracy theory rantings and academic/pseudo-academic texts on Freemasonry, Rosicrucians, and such. I note that this was my obsession before I started my gameblog because what I'm about to tell you is something I would have reported immediately on my blog.

In a text compiling earlier sources on Rosicrucians, most of these source being in German as I recall, I came across a report of secret Rosicrucian fighting techniques. If memory serves the story was of a Rosicrucian adept who was thrown into a pit with a hungy lion. This fellow escaped his fate by using punches and throws taught to him by his Rosecroix masters. It was a brief account with little detail, but it was clearly a description of a Western occultist using the fighting arts. On a lion, no less.

I bring this topic up now for two reasons. 1) I had hoped I would find my source for this tale as I clean out my game room in preparation of moving. So far no luck. So I bring you my hazy secondhand report. Better than nothing. And 2) it looks like the kung fu Monk of old may be on the chopping block again in 4e. Now, I'm no big fan of the Monk class, but cutting the Monk from 2nd edition AD&D was boneheaded back in the day and it would be boneheaded to do it again. Some people want to play Monks and anyone considering cutting the class is doing a disservice to those players.

If the reason the Monk may be going away is that it is too Asian-themed, I present the Rosicrucian mysteries as an escape hatch. A new Monk that was built as a karate-chopping internal alchemist could be wicked awesome. Swap out the black belt for a white apron and let the asskicking commence!