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How much do people actually know of Mythic reality?

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  • How much do people actually know of Mythic reality?

    After reading about Terra Incognita in the latest Scion2 Kickstarter update... I am left wondering just how much people actually know about the Mythic Reality of the World, Gods and Scions. It seems that from the information presented... that everyone knows the Gods are real... that they sometimes walk amongst them... and that there are monsters and hidden lands... they just tend to ignore it when they aren't directly affected by it.

    ​I don't know why... but this attitude seems to make the Myths of the World less... Mythic to me. I mean if everyone knows that the lone hill in Central Park is the home of the Fae... and it is best left alone... then the Fae just become another mundane feature of the city... one that people avoid... but still less mythic than if they kept themselves hidden and kept people away through illusions that made the hill seem like it wasn't actually there.

    ​There is a difference between not actually knowing something exists... and knowing it does yet pretending it doesn't.

    ​This why I liked the concept of Fate in the original game... it allowed the supernatural and the mundane to coexist without actually interfering with each other. The Giant a Scion fights would look more like an exceptionally large man to the average person... rather than the huge monster it really is. Police officers won't let you past just because you claim to be the Son of Thor... but rather will be too busy herding civilians out of the way to notice you slip past to deal with the Giant tearing up Central Park. Central Park (or at least a portion of it) may get torn up in the epic throw down between you and the Giant... but somehow no clear pictures of the fight is taken... even if it draws a crowd... cameras malfunction, are destroyed or the pictures are just not clear enough to tell what actually happened... so that the belief that some animals escaped from the Park Zoo seems a little more plausible than a Giant and a Godling tearing up the place. Fate helps keep the two realities separated... and only those touched by Fate (directly or through Fate-bindings to those with Legend) get a glimpse of the truth.

    ​Sure, stories will be spread... a Journalist may insist that 12 ft giant tore a tree out by its roots (and wasn't hit by a lightning bolt... at least not yet) and used it as a club against an incredibly strong young man who shot lightning from a gun... but his camera was shattered when that tree fell on it, destroying any actual proof he had. This could lead the journalist on a fate-bound quest to prove that the young man is more than he seems... but until Fate decides it is time for the truth to be exposed... coincidental events will keep things on the down low. Even the crowd the fight attracted will have conflicting stories of what went down... as they try to fit what they saw into their limited view of the world (and their lack of fate-binding to keep their memories accurate). Some will remember and spread the tale of the hero who battled a giant in Central Park... but it will take on a mythic quality quickly... becoming an urban legend that few take seriously... especially when the news says that it was a freak storm that accidently released some animals from the Park Zoo that caused all that damage.

    ​Somehow having people treat the Mythic with the same jaded attitude we see so often in todays world just makes these Myths seem... less Mythic. Sure... all legends may be true... but does humanity in general need to know this?

    ​Am I alone in seeing that this new setting seems to be treating Myths as if they were merely mundane facts? Or am I just worrying about a non-issue?


    There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
    I reject your reality and substitute my own!

  • #2
    On the one hand I don't disagree, I like a bit of a masquerade or some vagueness. On the other, I think 2e is meant to be really moddable for things like that.

    And on a third hand, I'd argue that something being 'mythic' means that the supernatural just is. After all, in myths there's no 'oh dear me no, there's no magic'. You just know there's a freaking Sphinx on the road and if you pass it and don't answer the riddle it'll eat you. You don't go into the forest because that's where the Nemean Lion is and it'll eat you. You don't screw around with fairy circles because fairies will eat you. I may agree with you on liking a bit or a bunch of a masquerade, but it is almost the opposite of mythic.

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    • #3
      For the majority of people, nine times out of ten they'll never come across a God or an ogre or a secret thing - and when they do, they won't notice. Your third girlfriend was a kitsune. Your first boyfriend was a satyr. Your six-foot-seven boss is actually a giant, and the runt of his litter. Just because irruptions of sacred into profane are sometimes prosaic doesn't make them less sacred - that's the trade-off for these characters having lives.

      I'll also note: the idea that the divine isn't among us not being widely held by folks doesn't always hold up. The Norse of old believed their gods were as men in Asgard, simply far mightier. Various Voudoun sects or religions say they're ridden by spirits. I mean, I'm Christian, I think God came in the form of man to save us all.

      If you really preferred 1e's Fate more, we'll be presenting it (and the 1e setting) in the 1e conversion guide.


      Neall Raemonn Price
      Beleaguered Scion Developer

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Neall View Post
        For the majority of people, nine times out of ten they'll never come across a God or an ogre or a secret thing - and when they do, they won't notice. Your third girlfriend was a kitsune. Your first boyfriend was a satyr. Your six-foot-seven boss is actually a giant, and the runt of his litter. Just because irruptions of sacred into profane are sometimes prosaic doesn't make them less sacred - that's the trade-off for these characters having lives.

        I'll also note: the idea that the divine isn't among us not being widely held by folks doesn't always hold up. The Norse of old believed their gods were as men in Asgard, simply far mightier. Various Voudoun sects or religions say they're ridden by spirits. I mean, I'm Christian, I think God came in the form of man to save us all.

        If you really preferred 1e's Fate more, we'll be presenting it (and the 1e setting) in the 1e conversion guide.
        ​Wait, when you say people don't notice, do you mean they're actually not perceiving it or that it just wasn't that big a deal? Like, was I aware my third girlfriend had a tail or did she cleverly disguise that?

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        • #5
          kitsune disguising themselves and keeping themselves secret is in keeping with folklore. No comment on the satyr or giant though.


          Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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          • #6
            The answer to this question would have to vary between chronicles and what the story teller chooses to go with. Also, it might depend on the depths to which the mortals believe in the supernatural. These aren't fables told around a camp fire, they are legitimate religions that people believed in and some continue to practice even to this day. It seems kind of silly to worship something if you don't actually believe it exists, and not everybody agrees with the concept of such stories being just allegory and metaphor. Even in today's world, there are many people take their religions quite literally, even if it sounds ridiculous at times.


            I think the idea of them ignoring it seems to be accurate for the most part. People might believe the mythic reality exists, but as long as they're not personally involved with it, they don't really have a reason to go poking at it with a stick.

            It's like "Oh, that 15 foot tall psychopath just ripped the side off an armored truck... I think I want to avoid whatever's going on over there."
            Last edited by Nyrufa; 01-27-2017, 03:42 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
              It's like "Oh, that 15 foot tall psychopath just ripped the side off an armored truck... I think I want to avoid whatever's going on over there."
              "... Well THAT looks like a big steaming cup of not my problem!"


              Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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              • #8
                People have a tendency to break out Olympic grade mental gymnastics to believe or not believe what they want to believe. In this world there are people who believe beyond all reason in everything from faeries to dragons. In the World of Darkness or Scion those people are right.

                "I have a book that says that Earth is a 6,000 year old flat object at the center of the universe and that an all powerful intelligence from another reality whimmed everything into existence because it wanted a fan club. My book can't be wrong because I believe in it and I'm right. So anything that contradicts my book is a lie, it has to be because I'm right. Every single person who claims to have proof that my book is wrong (a list that includes anybody who works in sea or air travel, anyone who works in astronomy, anyone who's job requirements include understanding the Coriolis effect, anyone who works in telecommunication, anyone who's ever talked to me from another time zone and said the time there was different from the time where I was, anyone who's ever successfully used to GPS system to find out where they were and many more) is part of a demon worshiping conspiracy that creates lies to disprove my book, because if they aren't my book would be disproved and I would be wrong and I'm right. People who don't believe my book is true are part of a religion people who agree with me call Scientism. And people who believe in Scientism are wrong because they disagree with me and I'm right. This makes perfect because it's the only way I can be right and I am right."

                There are people in this world who actually believe that. And not only do they manage to take showers without drowning but their able to hold jobs, raise children and even create things. You'd never know that you were talking to someone who has willed themselves into insanity out of arrogance and resents you for not fallowing along. So if there were actually gods who's various back stories all contradicted each other then there would be people who would refuse to believe it.
                Last edited by Brian Orcus; 01-28-2017, 01:26 AM.

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                • #9
                  Hey Brian, welcome to the forum, but... Er, maybe you could have used a slightly different example?

                  My go-to example of "People can be very stubborn with their beliefs" tend to be things like...

                  "So, how many people refuse to accept that many dinosaurs had feathers?" if I'm feeling silly.

                  Or "Well consider how people can desperately cling to the belief that vaccines cause autism" if I'm feeling vindictive.

                  Like, going after religion and insulting people who hold those beliefs is a bit insensitive. And given the game this is a forum for, maybe a bit on-the-nose.


                  Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry. I'm a little punchy on the subject lately because I've got someone trying to save me on a gods damned daily basis, and they're just not taking the hint. At this point I'm not even trying to be her friend, I'd settle for her not acting like I'm a child in need of guidance.

                    But you see my point, right. If there were gods and other divine entities out there there would be people who would outright refuse to believe it no matter what they had to tell themselves.The gods not caring sure seems to help.

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                    • #11
                      Not to be attacking other folks' sincerely-held beliefs, but I agree with the point; people who steadfastly believe in something [whatever that is] often refuse to accept any evidence to the contrary, because it upsets their mental apple cart. I once had a friend who admitted, "If I think I'm right, I won't admit that I'm wrong - it doesn't matter what evidence you show me, I won't change my mind." [We aren't friends anymore, partly for that reason]

                      There would undoubtedly be people in the Scion Universe who would deny the existence of any deity or mythical being that didn't fit into their cosmology - even if that cosmology actually included other deities and mythical beings ["I don't believe in fairies, but UFOs and aliens are real for sure, and the government knows about them"]. How much the presence of such beings is known to the masses, is a GM's call for each individual campaign, I would guess. And that's probably best, because every player/GM would see things differently anyway.

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                      • #12
                        Oh, not disagreeing that some people would steadfastly ignore them.

                        Just that considering Neall's said in another thread that the last thing he wants is to make anybody's religious beliefs out to be suckers or chump choices, so going after someone for religious beliefs felt a bit poor taste. No hard feelings.

                        And yeah, I know people can be stubborn with their beliefs. That's why I went for things like "I don't care what those scientists say, my dinosaurs don't have feathers" or say, "PLUTO IS STILL A PLANET, SHUT UP!"


                        Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                        • #13
                          I think it is more of me getting an incomplete picture of the setting... mere pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle that don't quite fit together (yet) and no idea what the final picture will be that has me concerned.

                          ​It isn't that I have a problem with the supernatural coexisting with the mundane... that was quite evident in 1e that giants, kitsune and the like had lives in the real world... but more that their supernatural nature wasn't seen unless one had Legend, fate-bonded to someone with Legend or an instrument of Fate. It wasn't so much ignoring the Kitsune's multiple fox tails... and more not even seeing them (except maybe out of the corner of your eye when the moonlight hit her just right).

                          ​Now it seems that all of these beings can almost flaunt their nature in front of everyone without drawing any real attention from a crowd... almost as if the supernatural occurrences are so common place as to have lost their awe. Yes, they are still the stuff of legend... and using one's Godly strength will be impressive... but more like how people in comics treat heroes like Superman doing the same... impressive, but expected. "Yes, yes... we saw you use the Empire State Building to knock that monster across the Atlantic... just make sure you put it back where you found it when you're done," sort of thing. "I know you are the Son of Zeus... but your name isn't on my list... and if I let someone who isn't on the list in... well, let's just say there will be Hel to pay."

                          ​Yes, the Gods do exist... but does anyone really believe that the one-eyed US Marshal is the Son of Horus? Do Scions drop the names of their parents and expect people to be impressed rather than think they are delusional? Okay... maybe after they have demonstrated some of their "godly" blessings, people might not think it is such a far fetched idea... but still... it is wise to advertise what and who you are? The Gods had many enemies... Hera was notorious for killing not only the women Zeus forced himself upon... but also took delight in making the lives of the children that came from those liaisons the stuff of horrific legend (to say nothing of what Titans would do to such children when found). Of course this brings up another interesting possibility... holding Gods accountable for their actions. We know from legend all too well that few Gods took no for an answer when they found a particular mortal attractive. Even if seduction proved ineffective... many Gods would decide that it wasn't a mortal's place to deny them... and had their way regardless of the mortal's desires. If people know the Gods are real and walk amongst them... could one potentially find and try to hold them accountable by mortal law (yeah... many Gods would tend to treat such laws with contempt... but still... it would be interesting to see the Monkey King being forced to accept the son he sired by a Celestial version of the mortal court systems). Then there is the whole "divine punishment"... which didn't always fit the crime committed... how would Athena justify turning Arachne into a spider as just punishment for being a better weaver than the Goddess.

                          ​When the supernatural and the mundane blend in such a manner as this... sooner or later one sees such happening... or at least some expect it to happen. I hope that I am wrong and that when I see the final product as a whole (with all the pieces in their right places and a clear picture of what it is), I will see how things work better.

                          ​I wasn't really expecting a Masquerade-like effect... where the Supernatural is kept hidden (intentionally or not) that must not or can not be broken... but more of a subtle "tweaking" of key items to throw doubt on the truth... rather than keep it hidden. Sure the Reporter knows what he saw... but his camera with the video he took was smashed (or the lighting was surprisingly poor) leaving him with no (or suspicious) evidence. It may keep more reputable papers from publishing such a story... but not a tabloid or any number of conspiracy sites from pursuing it (just that people are less likely to believe stories from such sources... even if they are surprisingly truthful and accurate). Sure, the fight happened in Time Square in front of thousands of eye-witnesses... but when one of the fighters crashed into a power pole, it blacked out the area for blocks and caused a power surge that fried all the security cameras that had a direct view of the fighters (or maybe caused a small EMP that erased such data)... and the eye-witness accounts vary dramatically... from saying it was as if the Gods themselves were fighting (which they were), to some terrorist plot to shut down NYC (sort of... but more of an unintended consequence than actual intent). In other words... I guess I am expecting such things to be treated more like Big Foot and UFO sightings... and less like the latest paparazzi scandal of the Gods for all to see (and judge, before going back to the more entertaining fiction on Facebook or Fox News).

                          But like I said, I am willing to wait until the books are out before I decide which I like better... when I have a more complete picture of the new setting. Just wondering if anyone else had noticed this and was growing a little concerned as I am.
                          Last edited by Shadowstripe; 01-28-2017, 06:49 PM.


                          There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
                          I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brian Orcus View Post
                            People have a tendency to break out Olympic grade mental gymnastics to believe or not believe what they want to believe.

                            That's how indoctrination works, unfortunately.


                            In fact, let's take a look at Leo, a character from a recently posted Scion chronicle on these very forums. He's a Scion and has been subjected to blatant evidence of pagan gods existing. But because he was raised in a strict, Christian household, he's convinced that these so called 'gods' are actually demons, and he's the son of a demon, and therefor destined for Hell. Very few people can willingly change their entire world view. Such things tend to happen through prolonged exposure, or sudden trauma.


                            As for Kitsune tails being ignored, I think I remember reading something about how they would wear thick clothing and flowing garments to make concealing their tails easier. Most art on the internet likes to depict them wearing casual or tight outfits, so their tail is just waving around for all to see. Which is just poor craftsmanship for a trickster.
                            Last edited by Nyrufa; 01-28-2017, 08:15 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                              Which is just poor craftsmanship for a trickster.
                              Poor craftsmanship for a trickster, or deliberately catering to targets with exotic tastes? :P


                              Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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