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  • What would the Gods think.

    Hello everybody. I was thinking about how the Gods interact with the modern world, and occurred to me that would be interesting to discuss how would be the opinion of the Gods in different question of modern society, like women rights, gay marriage, polygamy, pollution and global warming, consumerism, transgenic foods, etc. I think it would made them much more real if they all had different opinions, and can be the bases of a whole adventure. (like a adventure to change the opinion of a homophobic god). Also, there is much of mythologies I don't know nor understand, so would be nice see other opinions and discover new things. I dont want to make statements for any opinion, nor reduce the importance of any of those topics, just think that is worth a conversation of how that would work in the scenario of scion. Plus, have in mind that those Gods were born in very far, very distant societies, with different conditions and social stigmas, paradigms and taboos.

    To start the discussion, what about gay relations and gay marriages?
    The old Greek society, as far as I know, were okay to exist gay sex between a man and a younger man, considered a woman, but it would stop as soon as the younger man start growing a beard, when he would start to be a man. The young man would be over the protection and patronage of the older one. There was no legal homosexual marriage, and gay sex between woman was known but also not taking serious. Is worth remember that women on the old Greece were usually not much more than property. Romans civilization were better on the women rights, but not on the gay rights.

    I think the official opinion of the Theoi would be Zeus opinion, and I think he would be the traditionalist kind, with a very old Greek opinion of gay marriage and women (what would explain is usual cheating, raping and generally unpleasant behaviour), and unapologetic about it, but I don't see him making a lot of fuss to change the world about it. Hera's opinion on the gay subject maybe would be the same (goddess of family and all that), but I can see she being more open to it (a gay marriage is a marriage, after all). Apollo I think would be more than okay with both the sex and the marriage, as would be Athena and Artemis, specially of the female kind. Ares would be okay too with gay relations (gay relations were common on armies after all) but wouldn't care if two gay people marry. Poseidon I don't know, maybe traditionalist (he is the oldest of the Gods, I think). Hades wouldn't care. Hermes would be okay, most modern of the Gods. Hephaestus I also don't know, maybe just don't care. Aphrodite I would say is okay and happy with it. Demeter I see as traditionalist, but not as much as Zeus. Dyonisius would be happy about it, for sure.

    Norse mythology, and society, I dont know so much, but I think most of the Gods would be okay. They seem too worried with their own problems (be Ragnarock, giants or just the problems they find for themselves) to care much if society became open to different relations, but besides Balder (as all loving and all loved God) and Tyr (as God of justice and fairness) I dont think they would fight for gays rights unless they feel involved somehow. At least they would probably see men and women marriages as equal.

    Egyptian mythology I am not comfortable making an final statement, would depends if someone knows if homosexuality was okay or not in old Egyptian society. I think I saw somewhere that it wasn't, and once I saw that one of 42 judges judged that, but it was a long time ago and I don't know the source, so I could be wrong. If it is true, the gods linked to those judgement and the most "moral" and followers of old tradition would be against it, but the less traditional, the better to adapt to a new culture would be more open to it. I also think Egyptian society were more equal in men/women rights (they allowed women as governors and pharaohs, but they should sometimes dress as a man), so they would see both kinds of homo-relations as equal, or close.

    Old Japanese society had a similar tradition of an old man mentoring a younger one, but I don't think they accepted gay marriage. Also, they arent great on women rights.

    The other mythologies I know very little about both about the myths and the societies, so I just gonna point what I think would be the general opinion, but if someone knows better please feel free to correct me:
    Manitouk: The tribes were many, but I saw somewhere some had gay marriages, so I think they might be okay, but would be a very diverse opinion, with no official statement.
    Deva: I think they would be okay. Hinduism at least seem very open to different versions and different concepts, so I guess they would be okay.
    Tuatha de Dannan: I dont know. I honestly dont know much of them, so no idea.
    Teotl: Also no idea. I never saw anything about Aztecs having gay marriages, but I might just be uninformed.
    Shen: I guess against. Very traditionalist, very restrictive society, and a very bureaucratic pantheon so unlikely to change. Also, not very great on women rights.
    Orisha: I dont know, I guess might be the same as the Manitouk, but I know even less about African and African descendent religions.

    I think it covers the basic. Hope you guys can bring some new information and new opinions to the table.
    (and forgive me any misspell or grammatical error, English is not my first language).

  • #2
    Short answer is they don't interact with modern society, at least not to the extent they used to. Fatebinding is what caused them to retreat from the world in the first place and now they only return when they have business to take care of (or to sire children).


    As for the advancements of society, that would depend entirely upon the pantheon. Zeus NEVER wanted humanity to become self reliant, and is probably scowling at us as we speak. I imagine that the modern world pisses him off to no end.


    The Aztecs are another possibility that would not adapt well to the modern world. Their culture had iron clad gender roles and they did NOT approve of homosexuals. Also, they sacrificed people because they believed it staved off the apocalypse. So finding out that human sacrifice is now illegal in modern society probably hasn't improved their relationship.


    The Norse also wouldn't take kindly to homosexuals, I think. Their word for a man baring homosexual tendencies was 'womanly' and it was considered one of the greatest insults of Norse culture, if I'm not mistaken. As for gender roles, however, I don't think they'd have a problem with treating women as equals. They had shield maidens and Valkyries on the battlefield, after all.


    Remember that the pantheons are not mortal men and women. They are deities of ancient cultures and pagan religions, any one of which claims to be responsible for creating humanity in the first place. One of the PDF pantheons (Yazata, I think?) specifically created humans to serve them as a slave race! Customs which would be appalling to modern man are considered sacred to them. To put it bluntly, the Pantheons have outdated beliefs, and in order to prevent being warped by the machinations of Fate and the world view of mortals, they chose to distance themselves and act in the world through proxy agents.
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 02-01-2017, 10:30 AM.

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    • #3
      I am about to walk out the door on my way to class, so I can't give a huge in-depth answer, but I can actually direct this question to GBN's old blog who did a huge writeup on every single one of these Pantheons and their perceptions of homosexual relationships. Unfortunatly, most of them are not great, the Aesir for example don't really care about male homosexuality, as long as you are the top. If you are bottom, you are the subject of a colossal amount of social stigma, and accusations of such behavior come up Mythologically as seriously dire.

      The Tuatha are slightly odd since we have no records either for or against homosexuality. We have their complex marriage system left, which does not make any mention of homosexual marriage, but we do have a very homoerotic scene between CuChulain and his foster brother Fer Daid. The way the Tuatha approach their own social systems, and morals however, as long as you are over the top, ridiculously bad ass, and the like, they will probably not care.

      The Teotl, unfortunately, will kill men and women for having homosexual relationships. It makes sense within the cosmological system desperate to keep the sun alive and the ever present need for more citizens. I believe the executions were strangulation primarily, and somewhat interesting for acknowledging the existence of gay women.

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      • #4
        "Zeus NEVER wanted humanity to be self-reliant"

        Alternatively, Zeus emphatically did want humanity to be SELF-reliant, and was furious over Prometheus giving us a hand-out instead of us pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.


        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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        • #5
          Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
          "Zeus NEVER wanted humanity to be self-reliant"

          Alternatively, Zeus emphatically did want humanity to be SELF-reliant, and was furious over Prometheus giving us a hand-out instead of us pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.


          Really?

          Really...?

          The pantheon with the biggest reputation for punishing mortals for the simple crime of being more talented than the gods at anything has just been misunderstood this whole time?


          Also, the reason Zeus banned humans from having access to fire is because he screwed up when choosing what humanity should sacrifice to the gods. I don't remember exactly how the story goes, but basically humans would eat all the tasty meats and plants, while giving the scraps and bones to the gods. It was supposed to be the other way around, with mortals surviving off the scraps left over by the gods. Zeus took away fire so that they couldn't make the sacrifices, holding their food supply ransom because he didn't bother checking before making a snap decision.


          When Prometheus gave fire back to humans and allowed them to resume their lives, he punished him for it.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 02-01-2017, 11:25 AM.

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          • #6
            I was mocking bootstraps ideology, it was meant to be facicious


            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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            • #7
              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
              I was mocking bootstraps ideology, it was meant to be facicious

              Oh.

              Sarcasm is hard to convey in text form.

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              • #8
                Thing is, the Scion world is different from ours because all these pantheons are real there, and their worshippers still exist and have influence on society. And here lies the problem: if one assumes that the Scion pantheons are real, and their worshippers active, then they have put their own views and beliefs in to practice. So unless it is also assumed that the Gods and Goddesses can change their views and rules over time, it may actually be a moot point to discuss how the rights of women, minorities, the LGBT community, etc, are handled, because it is entirely possible that those movements never came to pass. Worshippers of (for example) a traditional Zeus wouldn't exactly view women as equals. It's known that Tlazolteotl of the Aztecs punished homosexuality and infidelity horribly. Most old cultures and the religions were at best cautious of strangers from strange lands. You really have to allow that the worship and the God's have changed over time to the present day to have a world that resembles our own. Otherwise, there could be some really unpleasant ramifications to consider in the game.

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                • #9
                  Neall's thoughts on the subject:

                  This actually ties into an interesting element of '''Scion''', though - you're modern characters, and modern people, interacting with ancient mores and divinities and social codes. In much of the modern day, who gives a shit if it's a womanly act or a specifically feminine practice? (Besides all the Æsir.)

                  If you're a male Scion, is your masculinity defined by the magics you perform? Do you bow to social pressure, or do you tell Thor to choke on his hammer, you'll wear a dress if you feel like it and magic all day? And this goes way beyond the Norse. The Greeks do all kinds of inappropriate shit, and still do. The Aztecs are expecting their blood or the sun don't rise. What's it ''mean'' to confront this sort of thing head-on, these belief systems?
                  the Gods of '''Scion''' are not the actual gods of these religions, but the gods through the chosen lens of mythology and fiction for game purposes. Loki uses the singular they. I'd be much happier saying Caeneus is a trans* Scion of Poseidon. On the other hand, there's the danger of [...] effectively whitewashing the myths and de-fanging the pathos you get from these radically different ancient mores in the modern era. It's a balancing act, one that needs to actually be taken on a case-by-case basis.


                  Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                  • #10
                    Some of the best stories I have seen play out in Scion rely on the Gods retaining their original cultural positions. Scions placed in positions where they have to fight tooth and nail to resist, or force their Pantheon into allowing certain things. Netjer Scions desperately resisting being married to a sibling of theirs, Anunna Scions who treat mortals as people, not things, Scions who violate gender norms, etc. My favorite theme of Scion is that of culture clash, and it has given me so many awesome characters and stories over the last almost decade of playing.

                    I still want to come back to an Anunna Scion who cares for mortals, especially dead mortals, and tries to make the afterlife less dismal for everyone involved, even Ereshkigal. I love the idea of challenging ancient norms, easing the Gods into it, and bringing about change through the actions of an individual.

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                    • #11
                      And that's really the big difference between the worlds of first and second edition; in first, it's the world as we know it, until the Titans escape, and suddenly the Gods are back, and everything changes. In second, the Gods have always been here, "all myths are true" [they should put that on a t-shirt - I'd buy it!], and the world has always had their influence. In the real world, religions are "bottom-up". The culture has created Gods and Goddesses that reflect the realities of their world, or how they want it to be, and the priests/priestesses espouse their rules within the framework of "God X says to do this, and I speak for them, so you should do what I/They say." In Scion, it's "top-down"; the deities are demonstrably real, and so are their rules, the cultures are directly influenced by that, and the priests/priestesses really do have a line to their deity. Such a world would have differences from ours in many ways, but it's up to the individual GM to decide how much or how little to involve those differences in their games.

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                      • #12
                        Who's to say gods cannot change? Mars the noble, agricultural patron of the Romans is a far cry from the insufferable brute he was as Ares, after all.

                        To me, locking in all of the gods to a very backwards, conservative mindset is an entirely too limiting view of things, one that suffocates interesting story potential at best and is actively looking to artificially echo existing oppression at worst. It's absurd to me to say that the gods can figure out a cell phone but absolutely have to come down hard on homosexuality or women's rights, especially given hundreds of thousands of years of cultural shift among their followers since their ancient heydays. Odin's already practiced "womanly" magics, Loki has already given birth, the Theoi are drowning in homosexuality... there's zero reason in my eyes to pin current conservatism on these figures.

                        You're welcome to have your gods be stuck in the past if that's what you want to play, but to me Scion is a game of modern mythology: these gods aren't dusty throwbacks, they're here and alive and just as much a part of the world as you or me.


                        Call me Regina or Lex.

                        Female pronouns for me, please.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                          Who's to say gods cannot change? Mars the noble, agricultural patron of the Romans is a far cry from the insufferable brute he was as Ares, after all.

                          To me, locking in all of the gods to a very backwards, conservative mindset is an entirely too limiting view of things, one that suffocates interesting story potential at best and is actively looking to artificially echo existing oppression at worst. It's absurd to me to say that the gods can figure out a cell phone but absolutely have to come down hard on homosexuality or women's rights, especially given hundreds of thousands of years of cultural shift among their followers since their ancient heydays. Odin's already practiced "womanly" magics, Loki has already given birth, the Theoi are drowning in homosexuality... there's zero reason in my eyes to pin current conservatism on these figures.

                          You're welcome to have your gods be stuck in the past if that's what you want to play, but to me Scion is a game of modern mythology: these gods aren't dusty throwbacks, they're here and alive and just as much a part of the world as you or me.
                          I don't think anyone is arguing to pin current conservatism on these figures at all, not in the slightest. The really shitty stances discussed here are from, what I linked to at least, far from modern. All of those stances were historical, drawn from the populations that worshiped the Pantheons.

                          In my games, the Gods mostly don't really 'get' cell phones, or cars, or much of anything outside the direct period of their dominant mortal worship. (I have them locked in their Overworlds / Underworlds / Not Involved for the period for various reasons. Except the Shen, Kami, Deva, etc) I love the story forcing the Divine to change, forcing them to confront the new reality with confusion and occasionally anger. I don't feel that by doing this I am actively suffocating interesting story potential, I think I am creating it. The Gods will change, and they will be changed by their Scions. The Theoi will look at the world, and rage at it, throwing morals several milenium out of date around until a Scion stands up and challenges them in their own field. The Tuatha plot to emerge and enslave the entirety of Ireland's mortal populace, or kill them all, and a Scion of theirs tries to bridge the gap between the warring peoples. A gay Son of Thor stands strong against the Aesir, and employees their Epic Intelligence and Epic Manipulation to twist their own anti-homosexual narratives back upon themselves, justifying his relationship as the heights of masculinity.

                          Essentially, in my games there will be change, nothing is static, I just like for it to happen 'on screen,' for my players, or myself if I am a player, to get to be the catalyst for it. Change the world for the better, make a kinder afterlife, embark on a pro-homosexual theological debate with the Four Tezcatlipocas, you are a Scion, you are great, and you will change the world, that sort of thing.
                          Last edited by Watcher; 02-01-2017, 06:00 PM. Reason: I am terrible at formatting things.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Watcher View Post

                            I don't think anyone is arguing to pin current conservatism on these figures at all, not in the slightest. The really shitty stances discussed here are from, what I linked to at least, far from modern. All of those stances were historical, drawn from the populations that worshiped the Pantheons.

                            In my games, the Gods mostly don't really 'get' cell phones, or cars, or much of anything outside the direct period of their dominant mortal worship. (I have them locked in their Overworlds / Underworlds / Not Involved for the period for various reasons. Except the Shen, Kami, Deva, etc) I love the story forcing the Divine to change, forcing them to confront the new reality with confusion and occasionally anger. I don't feel that by doing this I am actively suffocating interesting story potential, I think I am creating it. The Gods will change, and they will be changed by their Scions. The Theoi will look at the world, and rage at it, throwing morals several milenium out of date around until a Scion stands up and challenges them in their own field. The Tuatha plot to emerge and enslave the entirety of Ireland's mortal populace, or kill them all, and a Scion of theirs tries to bridge the gap between the warring peoples. A gay Son of Thor stands strong against the Aesir, and employees their Epic Intelligence and Epic Manipulation to twist their own anti-homosexual narratives back upon themselves, justifying his relationship as the heights of masculinity.

                            Essentially, in my games there will be change, nothing is static, I just like for it to happen 'on screen,' for my players, or myself if I am a player, to get to be the catalyst for it. Change the world for the better, make a kinder afterlife, embark on a pro-homosexual theological debate with the Four Tezcatlipocas, you are a Scion, you are great, and you will change the world, that sort of thing.
                            But I don't want a world where the ultimate powers in the world need to be convinced of what I consider to be fundamental rights, and I think it's silly to think they would be unchanging until my player character stumble along to say "hey, treat women like people" or "don't murder queer folks!"

                            I think the narrative of a transgender woman who finds that her divine parent is more supportive than the mortals around her is way more potent than yet another story where the characters have to justify our existence.


                            Call me Regina or Lex.

                            Female pronouns for me, please.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                              But I don't want a world where the ultimate powers in the world need to be convinced of what I consider to be fundamental rights, and I think it's silly to think they would be unchanging until my player character stumble along to say "hey, treat women like people" or "don't murder queer folks!"

                              I think the narrative of a transgender woman who finds that her divine parent is more supportive than the mortals around her is way more potent than yet another story where the characters have to justify our existence.
                              Fair enough! I totally understand that side of it, we've had discussions about it from within our own game group before based around not wanting to deal with the same discriminatory shit they face in reality as in game. Changing the Gods normally happens slowly, through political moves, adjusting theological stances, or just having overwhelming Epic Charisma where going, "Hey, so, like, don't kill me for being gay?" actually works pretty perfectly.

                              Our games are primarily political, focusing heavily on social changes, social challenges, and dealing with Gods returning to the world, so this sort of thing comes up a lot. We also have to have, "Okay, right, but the mortals are people too so you can't kill the entirety of Anatolia because they forgot to worship you." conversations with Divine Parents.

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