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How do the various pantheons influence modern politics?

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  • #16
    Gods, this makes me want to spoil the Donnie fic we got in recently really badly. But that really needs to be presented in its full glory. I've got a bit of a crush on 2e Donnie, ngl.


    Rose Bailey
    Onyx Path Development Producer
    Cavaliers of Mars Creator | Chronicles of Darkness Lead Developer

    Retired as forum administrator. Please direct inquiries to the Contact Us link.

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    • #17
      It's important to keep in mind that the gods rarely interact with people in their full glory, they spin of Incarnations like Neall said
      "t
      heir Callings and Fate lock them into roles and relationships and they get tired of it after a while. This is also why they spin off Incarnations - to interact with mortals while Fate is running in the background and on the meta scale, rather than binding them into a thousand dramas in microcosm." that limits the amount of change they can achieve
      And Neall also said Gods need humanity as mirror. their mantles change. I Think Even someone sexist Like Zeus would become aaat least little bit more nice to women with the rise of feminism among his followers

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      • #18
        Gods can't change with their mortal flocks! ...except for Ares, who goes from a bloodthirsty savage to a stately conqueror-farmer.

        So maybe the gods can change and there's absolutely precedent for it after all, and efforts to the contrary are looking for an excuse to add oppressors to the setting.


        Just call me Lex.

        Female pronouns for me, please.

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        • #19
          It's been thousands of years. You don't live thousands of years without growing up. But not everybody grows up well. There are gods who play well with mortals and gods who don't.

          There are rather few gods who call down all the fires of the heavens to protest US foreign policy, but it's always possible that if Ronald Reagan had asked his priest to read Mars' will in the flights of DC's pigeons, the US might not have invaded Grenada.


          Rose Bailey
          Onyx Path Development Producer
          Cavaliers of Mars Creator | Chronicles of Darkness Lead Developer

          Retired as forum administrator. Please direct inquiries to the Contact Us link.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
            And Neall also said Gods need humanity as mirror. their mantles change. I Think Even someone sexist Like Zeus would become aaat least little bit more nice to women with the rise of feminism among his followers

            I thought that the gods being altered by mortal perception of them was being removed from 2E?

            Last time I checked, there was something about Fate and mortal perception being influenced by how the gods behave around them, instead of the other way around. If a god is a sexist tyrant, Fate would guide their development towards that and mortals will attribute them to being as such.


            Meaning that Zeus could be misogynistic all he wants and the worst that happens is he gets a bad public reputation. I mean, Fate has already decreed he's going to be deposed by a man, so it's not like he has anything to fear from women.


            Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
            It's been thousands of years. You don't live thousands of years without growing up.

            You do if you're a god. Those old empires lasted a pretty long time and the gods showed little interest in maturing over the centuries.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

              Meaning that Zeus could be misogynistic all he wants and the worst that happens is he gets a bad public reputation. I mean, Fate has already decreed he's going to be deposed by a man, so it's not like he has anything to fear from women.
              Yeah, or Zeus could have gotten smashed beyond all belief one night at his son's party, gotten a drink thrown on him by a Maenad he was chatting up with some kind of "golden shower" line, and spent the next three hundred years with a hangover wondering how the simple fact that he wanted his dad not to digest his family had gone so wrong.


              Rose Bailey
              Onyx Path Development Producer
              Cavaliers of Mars Creator | Chronicles of Darkness Lead Developer

              Retired as forum administrator. Please direct inquiries to the Contact Us link.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                I thought that the gods being altered by mortal perception of them was being removed from 2E?
                It works like this: when you do something shitty, people remember. They'll expect you to do something shitty in the future. When a god does something shitty, they suddenly find themselves in a lot of situations where they are expected - inclined and encouraged, even - to act exactly the same way.

                Zeus has a wandering eye and fights with his wife all the time, even though he loves her. Fate conspires to put a lot of women in his path.


                Neall Raemonn Price
                Beleaguered Scion Developer

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Manannansun View Post
                  I was curious as to how the various pantheons influence modern politics. How exactly would they manipulate the political system in ares where they have interest? Is it subtle like through dreams or omens? Or do they get directly involved using their incarnations? Or would they influence the system through cult members, allied legendary creatures, or by way of the the inspiring bar meeting?
                  As everyone here has discussed, this sort of thing is predicated on the exact sort of world an individual Storyteller is running their games in. It's sort of a crossroads between two big choices Scion Storytellers normally make when running their games. Did the Pantheons Withdraw, and Did the Pantheons Modernize? Any combination of these, with any number if small detailed changes can make for fun games. Withdrawn Pantheons, but Modernized. Present Pantheons, but Stuck in their Ways. Or even something like breaking down the questions to specific Pantheons. Modernized Present Netjer, Withdrawn Archaic Bogovi, Present Archaic Tuatha, etc. Or even break it down on the Divine Parent level.

                  The exact answer to any of your questions Manannansun will depend on the sort of story you, or your Storyteller wants to tell. All of them can make awesome games, explore different ideas, all sorts of fun things that will work for an individual group. There is no one definitive answer to how the Pantheons influence modern politics, or how they do it. It all depends on the individual Storyteller's worlds. Maybe people could give examples of how they run their Pantheons interacting with mortal politics in their games since there is no real definitive answer. I can talk about mine, I would love to hear how other people do it!

                  I'll start with the Tuatha since, well, you know. It's me, what do you expect. Of course I'll talk about them. So, in my games the Tuatha normally start both Archaic, and Withdrawn. The Tuath is bound by the pact forged with The Sons of Mil, they have relinquished their rights to Ireland, and withdrawn into the Sidhe Mounds. They really are not supposed to be making incursions into the normal world. They do, but they're not supposed to do it. Add to that almost all of their big names are dead, the Pantheon essentially doesn't get out much. When they manage to drag the dead tribe members out of the paradisiacal afterlives, and decide to break their deal with the Sons of Mil, they will totally get all involved in mortal politics. They won't use dreams, or legendary creatures though. The Tuatha are a conquering Divine Tribe, holding a bit of a grudge against The Sons of Mil, and almost obsessively focused on holding Ireland as their own land. The Tuatha normally set about a reconquest of Ireland. They loose the Sidhe on the mortal populations, they come out of the mounds, and do what they do best, conquer, and deal with the details later.

                  So, less 'influence politically,' and more 'colonization and conquest.' Technically, that is using their incarnations though! Just more 'hands on' than one may expect.

                  The other Pantheons in my games are not as... Tuatha-y as the Tuatha, and the rest would be satisfied with manipulating the situation in various ways upon their returns to the world. Some Pantheons open with threats of destruction and apocalypse if humanity doesn't 'get back on track.' The Theoi, Anunna, and Shiunesh are big on that sort of thing. The Anunna would be really annoyed that their cities have somehow vanished. The Shiunesh would just snap and start purging cities because the Shiunesh are pretty scary, getting themselves almost instantly locked into conflict with the Yazata since they overlap heavily. The Theoi would be half-self-satisfied their cultural concepts have been carried so far across the world, but they would also be freaking out about all the things that looked like hubris to them. So, those three would influence the world politically through big displays of Divine Might. Plagues, famines, tidal waves, earthquakes, take your pick. The Theoi would probably loose the Furies to prove a point if they could pick out a few mortals they specifically thought particularly bad and would be good examples to the rest of mortals.

                  Some would be totally content using cults, dreams, and various miraculously interventions. The Deva, Shen, Orisha, and Abosom influence their regions through cults, traditional religious practitioners, all that sort of thing. They never really 'left,' at most are just a bit distant. Not any more distant now than they have been at any other point, I just mean distant compared to when they were running around doing their things, shaping the world, organizing things, all that. The Abosom would be continuing their support for the local Ashanti nobility, the King of the Ashanti is important to them, sort of business as usual for them. Anansi would be wandering around in incarnations doing Anansi-things, maybe trying to whisper in the right ears to acomplish some things he wants.

                  So, they would be big in the category of influencing the mortal political situation through their traditional believers, oracles, and the like.

                  The Kami are fun since their first move is very obvious. The first thing on the agenda of the Amatsukami would be returning the Emperor of Japan to his political and religious position. That's objective number one. Possibly the deploying of Takemikazuchi to the Land of Plentiful Reeds again, or perhaps just through a big, overt display of Divine Power like withdrawing the sun or something similarly massive. After Amaterasu has gotten her descendant sorted out, things would probably continue as normal. Things are going okay for the Kami with the exception of that, so after dealing with that, things would shift to being far ... less direct I guess. The Kami are sort of obsessively exact, so I would expect they would put pressure on the Emperor to put in various political policies. I don't think they would do this to be subtle, but just because this is how they exert their will on the Land of Plentiful Reeds. Individual Kami would interact with mortals and try to sway them in various ways through their oracles, but they would likely mostly keep to their Godrealms. The Kami are not huge on hanging out with mortals with a few exceptions.

                  That would be an opening move of 'Miracles and Incarnations,' but after that mostly just using their existing religious practitioners, and the Emperor.

                  The Bogovi are the Bogovi and would have the official policy of 'Ignore the mortals,' and then all of them would immediately go break this policy. Probably lots of trying to start up secret cults. Not secret to hide them from other mortals, but secret to hide them from the rest of the Pantheon. The Bogovi are so much fun, I still want to make a PsP for them based around violating their Virtues or something. Got all these ideals, have so much more fun not following them.

                  So... I guess that would be through Incarnations. Perun would probably be happy with inspiring bar meetings though, he's a fun guy. Rather nice to mortals too.

                  The Teotl would be right back to things, trying to kick-start their cults back into existence with a sort of frantic desperation to get the system back up and running. They really don't want to have to make the world again a sixth time, it's a lot of effort. The Teotl really need their cults back up and running, so a few utterly barren harvests, a few overt displays of Divinity, something to kick things back into gear. I think you would see Incarnations to start with since the Teotl need things back up and running yesterday, so Huitz hanging out as an eagle to guide his chosen people, Tezcat wandering around as The Night Axe just so scare people since Tezcatlipoca is, you know, a bit of a dick. What you might actually see is Tezcatlipoca trying to subvert the attempts of the rest of the Pantheon in bringing back their cults as a method to end the Fifth Sun so he can have another crack at being the sun when they hit the sixth try at creation.

                  The Netjer are sort of complicated because of the political system they backed historically. I can see them potentially trying to push for a new Pharaoh, maybe some internal jockeying for position when the cults are being revived. Like a lot of the Pantheons, in my games they normally start with getting their normal religious systems back up and running, and then slipping back away from the material. I think they would be really into modern printing methods as an aside.

                  The Sgā’na Qeda’s, Haida Pantheon, is in a weird situation since there are so few trained oracles left for them, and they require very specific ritual behavior from their oracles to do their own Divine Possession thing. They would probably use Incarnations mainly to influence the world, encouraging traditional systems, trying to revitalize things, that sort of stuff. Xhuuya would probably show up somewhere and do something big and flashy since that's what he does. Might just show up in the House of Assembly or something similar during an official political gathering.

                  The Aesir... probably are content to do their own things. I would expect a decent amount of Incarnations until their religious systems get back up and running again, and then returning to their life as usual. Hanging out, traveling the Nine Worlds, doing their thing. I can see Odin, Frigg, and Freya doing some political manipulation to steer things in a way they personally desired. Freyr would probably show up on the Sweedish Royal Family's front door to get the lay of the land, see if he likes this new dynasty. He would probably be the most direct in just suggesting things change one way or another. Might be a bit confused about the monarchy not being totally dominant.

                  After writing all of this, I think the big thing is however the Pantheons want to interact with mortal politics is the Communication Method. Some Pantheons have their communications systems still up and running, others (a lot of them) really need to kick things into gear a bit and probably need a bit of hands-on or at least using Scions as intermediaries to get things back up and running. After they have laid the divine phone lines, they can then get back into the world and start seeing what they want to do with it! And, of course, this is just how I run it, everyone else has their own systems, and that's what I love about Scion. The game is really different from table to table, with everyone enjoying something different. It's what makes Scion such a great game in my mind, the sheer amount of variation one can have from table to table in the stories that are told. It's awesome

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post

                    Yeah, or Zeus could have gotten smashed beyond all belief one night at his son's party, gotten a drink thrown on him by a Maenad he was chatting up with some kind of "golden shower" line, and spent the next three hundred years with a hangover wondering how the simple fact that he wanted his dad not to digest his family had gone so wrong.
                    I'm skeptical that a Maenad would turn down a golden shower.

                    But like I said, I'm not opposed to the idea of change coming to the pantheons. I just prefer it to come in the form of the next generation of gods (i.e Scions).

                    It's more believable that way. Since the other option seems more like it's trying to pull the same trick God Machine did; implementing religion without offending anybody.

                    My head canon is that the cycle of usurpation is Fate's way of updating the pantheons throughout the ages. The Scions will cast off the outdated ways of the old pantheon and establish a new, modern approach. Then, in time, they too will become outdated and another generation will; supplant them. And so on, and so on.
                    Last edited by Nyrufa; 08-02-2017, 09:42 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                      I'm skeptical that a Maenad would turn down a golden shower.

                      But like I said, I'm not opposed to the idea of change coming to the pantheons. I just prefer it to come in the form of the next generation of gods (i.e Scions).

                      It's more believable that way. Since the other option seems more like it's trying to pull the same trick God Machine did; implementing religion without offending anybody.

                      My head canon is that the cycle of usurpation is Fate's way of updating the pantheons throughout the ages. The Scions will cast off the outdated ways of the old pantheon and establish a new, modern approach. Then, in time, they too will become outdated and another generation will; supplant them. And so on, and so on.
                      Again, Nyrufa, like I've said; the gods can and have changed historically. For all you talk about the Theoi being set in their ways, some of them are already noticeably different in their Roman guises, some of them quite drastically! The gods are alive, and just as dynamic as any mortal.


                      Just call me Lex.

                      Female pronouns for me, please.

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                      • #26
                        Everyone can run their games how they want, the variance is what makes Scion a really fun game! Gods can change, they stagnate, they can be present, withdrawn, on an individual level, on a Pan-Pantheon level. It's cool, people can play the game how they want to, there is no right way to play. It's whatever an individual Storyteller or Game Table wants. And, we have strayed a bit from the conversation about the influencing of Politics, I think Manannansun's question was about the method, not the function, it's a neat question. I'd love to know what people do at their tables in this regard.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                          I'm skeptical that a Maenad would turn down a golden shower.
                          If there is anybody who is super-particular about their own kinks and has a FetLife profile full of "and don't even message me if" bullet points, it's a Maenad. They do not take shit from anyone. Except potentially as a side effect of eviscerating them.

                          For the record, I don't mix it up with Maenads. I admire their fierceness and devotion to non-assimilation, but I can't condone the normalization of involuntary dismemberment.

                          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                          Since the other option seems more like it's trying to pull the same trick God Machine did; implementing religion without offending anybody.
                          The God-Machine isn't about religion, particularly. The God-Machine is the military-industrial complex, the patriarchy, the system we are born into without our consent. It might have a nuclear plant under the Vatican, but it's also got kinetic collectors installed along the entire interstate highway system and has figured out how to run a small factory off of the tears of neglected children in a hopelessly racist and underfunded foster care system.

                          But now that you mention it, I really am surprised that basic thesis didn't offend more people.

                          (And if you want to talk about this further, we can do it in the CofD forums. This is Neall's show.)
                          Last edited by Rose Bailey; 08-02-2017, 10:02 PM.


                          Rose Bailey
                          Onyx Path Development Producer
                          Cavaliers of Mars Creator | Chronicles of Darkness Lead Developer

                          Retired as forum administrator. Please direct inquiries to the Contact Us link.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post

                            If there is anybody who is super-particular about their own kinks and has a FetLife profile full of "and don't even message me if" bullet points, it's a Maenad. They do not take shit from anyone. Except potentially as a side effect of eviscerating them.

                            For the record, I don't mix it up with Maenads. I admire their fierceness and devotion to non-assimilation, but I can't condone the normalization of involuntary dismemberment.



                            The God-Machine isn't about religion, particularly. The God-Machine is the military-industrial complex, the patriarchy, the system we are born into without our consent. It might have a nuclear plant under the Vatican, but it's also got kinetic collectors installed along the entire interstate highway system and has figured out how to run a small factory off of the tears of neglected children in a hopelessly racist and underfunded foster care system.

                            But now that you mention it, I really am surprised that basic thesis didn't offend more people.

                            (And if you want to talk about this further, we can do it in the CofD forums. This is Neall's show.)
                            Id be fascinated if you told me about the god machine in the demon forums Rose, I always like to hear what creators think of their characters especially their villains

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Neall View Post

                              It works like this: when you do something shitty, people remember. They'll expect you to do something shitty in the future. When a god does something shitty, they suddenly find themselves in a lot of situations where they are expected - inclined and encouraged, even - to act exactly the same way.

                              Zeus has a wandering eye and fights with his wife all the time, even though he loves her. Fate conspires to put a lot of women in his path.
                              Now I imagine fate being like a stadium full of drunken Bros yelling "Cheat on her! heck yeah"

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                                Again, Nyrufa, like I've said; the gods can and have changed historically. For all you talk about the Theoi being set in their ways, some of them are already noticeably different in their Roman guises, some of them quite drastically! The gods are alive, and just as dynamic as any mortal.


                                As I understand it, the Greeks and Romans had entirely different views on who / what the gods were. They worshiped the same pantheon, but not in the same fashion. So that doesn't really hold up all that well. And this is only one pantheon in particular.

                                When I look up information about people worldwide who still venerate the old gods, I tend to find evidence of them sticking to ancient customs and traditions, rather than embracing the modern world. These religions have been around for thousands of years, far longer than monotheism and yet they have refused to adapt to the advancements of society. Hindus still have a caste system, while bathing in a sacred (lethally toxic) river, and the Shinto still ritually burn millions of household objects every year to prevent them from becoming possessed by demons.



                                If you or some other Story Teller wants to modernize the pantheons in your game, I'm not stopping you. But on a personal level, I do not see it being plausible in a world where the gods stuck around and continued to influence society. In my games, society would be completely different from the world we know today, because there is valid evidence to support it.

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