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  • Abrahamic Pantheon?

    Discussion moved here from the Scion: Origin thread.


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

  • #2
    It wasn't even an argument in the original thread, just healthy discussion. At any rate

    I think there should be one. I think it would be cool.
    Some arguments are it doesn't have a Pantheon. It was brought up that Vodoun doesn't either.
    Other arguments are that it doesn't have the same feel, which I don't really understand


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    • #3
      Before I delve into the discussion, I must ask: what exactly do you mean when talking about the "Abrahamic Pantheon"? Which gods should it have according to you?

      There are some different ideas behind that name, and I would like to know what we're talking about this time.
      Last edited by Cinder; 11-02-2013, 04:02 PM.


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      • #4
        An Abrahamic Pantheon is tricky. On one hand it doesn't fit into the Pantheon system we have already, screws up the "gods vs titans" thing and of course skews things towards a judeo-christian morality mindset rather than the mythic tales of powerful heroes beating down monsters because they can.. However the current LACK of one is rather disturbing and the "Ankhenaten" theory rubs me the wrong way so bad that I demand a counter argument.

        The closest I ever got to a homebrew solution that didn't equally churn my stomach was based on the Catholic Saints. Real historical figures who lived and died, but through canonization achieved a form of godhood all there own. Of course it doesn't really "address" the issue of the Abrahamic faiths since in it, God isn't actually doing anything to help or hinder the war (yet) save to empower the Saints to act in his stead. But it's the best I've got.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          Before I delve into the discussion, I must ask: what exactly do you mean when talking about the "Abrahamic Pantheon"? Which gods should it have according to you?

          There are some different ideas behind that name, and I would like to know what we're talking about this time.
          Well I was the one who initially brought it up, I don't have any gritty details in mind or anything. It wouldn't needs "Gods", Archangels could work just as well or Saints (as Scions that ascended) or important Biblical figures (Moses, Noah, Daniel, etc).

          Originally posted by Kandagger View Post
          An Abrahamic Pantheon is tricky. On one hand it doesn't fit into the Pantheon system we have already, screws up the "gods vs titans" thing and of course skews things towards a judeo-christian morality mindset rather than the mythic tales of powerful heroes beating down monsters because they can.. However the current LACK of one is rather disturbing and the "Ankhenaten" theory rubs me the wrong way so bad that I demand a counter argument.

          The closest I ever got to a homebrew solution that didn't equally churn my stomach was based on the Catholic Saints. Real historical figures who lived and died, but through canonization achieved a form of godhood all there own. Of course it doesn't really "address" the issue of the Abrahamic faiths since in it, God isn't actually doing anything to help or hinder the war (yet) save to empower the Saints to act in his stead. But it's the best I've got.
          Yeah, like what he said, Saints would work fine.

          But you bring up a good point about Titans, though I'm sure if we rolled ours sleeves up, dove in and got our hands dirty we could drum up a Titan for Judeo-Christian Pantheon


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          • #6
            Basically, the issue is that Scion says "All Myths Are True" and there's a conflict there. Monotheism specifcally says that All Myths Are NOT True. Only their myths are true. So there's a conflict between Abrahamic God and the polytheistic Gods like Odin, Thor, Ares, Shango. If Abrahamic God is right, then he's Legend Infinity. He's all powerful and all knowing. The other Gods are basically just pretenders, and so are the Titans.

            So there's a few soltuions, all of which compromise either a basic assumption of monotheism, or a basic assumption of the game.

            1) God is really God. He is the ultimate power of the setting, all other Gods are wrong, liars, stupid or pretenders. This renders the entire setting moot, since God could solve everything with a blink of His eye. No conflict, no drama. Scion assumes active Gods, and if God is active and He is All Powerful, He ends the Titan War instantly. Also Titans don't exist, or are really demons, because God is the only God.

            2) God is NOT really God. He's just an idiot and he's really on the same level as all the other deities. That causes issues because then God is by himself in his "Pantheon" of one. If you want to have other figures in there at Legend 12, suitable for standard Divine Parents, then you have to assume that figures like Jesus, Mary, Lucifer, Gabriel, etc, are equal to God and that's not following the mythology. Cept maybe Jesus, and that depends on if you believe Jesus is God or if he's the son of God.

            Either one has some pretty big issues. If you want really in-depth discussion, because this comes up a lot, here are some links to the foremost Scion Blog (one of like, two) and some very cogent thoughts on monotheism in Scion.

            http://johnsscionresources.blogspot....ts-on-god.html
            http://johnsscionresources.blogspot....an-spirit.html
            http://johnsscionresources.blogspot....bel/monotheism


            ​Basically, I don't think monotheist religions work in a polytheistic game. I don't get a good feeling from the idea of playing a Scion of Jesus because that means Jesus had to come down from Heaven, have sex with a woman and then leave her by herself, carrying his child, to fight off pagan monsters. And the last time Angels had Scions... well, they were the Nephilim and there was a Flood related to that. Saints don't work for me because they very clearly are not Gods. At all. You have to entire re-define what a "God" is to make a Monotheistic Pantheon work and that causes cascading issues.

            If you want something related to the Abrahamic religions, use the ancient Semitic religions like Caananite, Babylonian or Arabian.


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            • #7
              I think there are extreme issues with the Abrahamic faiths that make it a thorny issue in Scion.

              The first is that, while there are worshippers of many of the pantheons detailed in Scion, the primary audience for the game is the US and Western Europe, who by and large tend to be members of one of the Abrahamic faiths. As such, doing them justice is going to be a challenge. Moreso because many people at the same table are likely to have strenuous arguments about whether Moses was a Scion or not, among other possibilities. It's going to be hard as hell to make the figures of these religions into something that will make everyone happy. People have split off and founded their own religions because of arguments like that. I care less about courting controversy here as I do about making sure that no one playing gets into friendship-destroying arguments with each other. That shit has the potential to get UGLY.

              Second is the fact that the nature of Abrahamic faiths is that there are no other gods aside from God/YHWH/Jehovah/Allah. All other gods are false gods, either folded in as Saints or made into demons. Many of the Elohim, the gods of the neighboring Caananite tribes, were made into demons by Christianity (Baal, Dagon, etc.). This view is incompatible with Scion's premise, that of mythical figures of different cultures banding together to fight old threats. It's like trying to fit an AC plug into a DC outlet

              Regarding the fact that Vodoun isn't a pantheon, I'd say that's why a number of us want to see the Loa revamped and brought more in sync with the Orishas, their Yoruba, West African roots rather than the New World, heavily-syncretized-with-Christianity Loa. That's something I hope happens in 2e, so that they seem more like a group of gods than of saints and whatnot.

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              • #8
                Try to look at it this way: The Abrahamic God is Fate (in Scion). He is the metaphysical string that ties all the world myths together and all are under his purview.

                This way He is powerful as in the Bible, but uncomprehensible by human and god minds. We can only see the effects of his works.

                If you accept this, then you can place the Angels, Archangels, Saint and others into the category of Creatures of Fate, the same that contains the World Serpent and the Feris Wolf as Fate Titans. Two sides of the same coin, but both necessary tools for God to place Humanity on the right path, even if it means to start anew.


                On the other hand, if you really want to be the Scion of (Arch)Angel X or Saint Y, I can't see any reason for why it wouldn't be possible in the game mechanics. It changes nothing in comparison to the other Scions, I just think the Abrahamic God and his followers work better as NPCs.
                Last edited by Man in Black; 11-02-2013, 05:04 PM.


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                • #9
                  The idea of God=Fate doesn't really jive with what Monotheism says about him. As GriffinGuy pointed out, if you start messing with monotheism and treating it like it's equal with other religions, it becomes touchy for the core audience. I'm not saying that there aren't polytheists in the Scion audience, but just as a broad observation they seem to get less prickly about their religion than monotheists do.

                  It's the issue of "mythology". I've gotten into arguments with people when I use the term "Christian mythology" in comparative religion because they don't think anything Christian is mythological. It's real. Absolutely true and you can get into some hot water with folks for comparing Odin to God or Jesus to Moloch. It's two very incompatible world views and the monotheist side tends to be a lot stronger and more opinionated in modern, Western culture.


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                  • #10
                    Hi Telgar, nice to see you.

                    Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                    The idea of God=Fate doesn't really jive with what Monotheism says about him. As GriffinGuy pointed out, if you start messing with monotheism and treating it like it's equal with other religions, it becomes touchy for the core audience. I'm not saying that there aren't polytheists in the Scion audience, but just as a broad observation they seem to get less prickly about their religion than monotheists do.
                    If there are people that don't like the position a games places his world view, they can do what people always have: ignore it.

                    Scion is a game about playing the child of a god with other children of gods, so unless they all play as children of God and deny the existence of other Gods and instead battle the Titan Devil they will have to get along.

                    Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                    It's the issue of "mythology". I've gotten into arguments with people when I use the term "Christian mythology" in comparative religion because they don't think anything Christian is mythological. It's real. Absolutely true and you can get into some hot water with folks for comparing Odin to God or Jesus to Moloch. It's two very incompatible world views and the monotheist side tends to be a lot stronger and more opinionated in modern, Western culture.
                    People are constantly wrong and those people you are talking about, definitely are.


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                    • #11
                      for me, this is really a question of the metaphysics of Scion, whoever you choose to run it. I tend to the "humans create gods via belief" view, but it's by no means the only one. In that view, the way I choose to handwave away the necessity of the Abrahamic faiths is that there are so many different conceptions that are supposed to apply to the same being (trinitarian vs unitarian, et cetera) that the actual being in question is not able to develop the coherent level of consciousness required to take active part in the World.


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                      • #12
                        Something brought up in discussions I've had about this came up that I feel should be brought up:

                        Whenever you bring the Abrahamic faiths into something, it has a tendency to supercede everything else.

                        This happens frequently in fiction (Sandman, Supernatural... Old World of Darkness) that when you have a big ol' melting pot of mythological stuff, and the Judeo-Christian-Islamic stuff is added, it overpowers the rest like a shot of Bailey's in a mixed drink (I may be mixing metaphors here).

                        Then there's actual mythological syncretism like the Loa being Christian Saints or Brigid becoming a Saint, or St. Patrick summoning Cuchulain's ghost. If you add that in here, you are giving the Abrahamic stuff greater power and sway over everything else. This is not a precedent we should set.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by griffinguy24 View Post
                          Regarding the fact that Vodoun isn't a pantheon, I'd say that's why a number of us want to see the Loa revamped and brought more in sync with the Orishas, their Yoruba, West African roots rather than the New World, heavily-syncretized-with-Christianity Loa. That's something I hope happens in 2e, so that they seem more like a group of gods than of saints and whatnot.
                          But it's the same in the Yoruba mythology - the supreme God is Olorun/Olódùmarè

                          EDIT: This is not to say I want the Loa/Orisha/what have you cute - far from it - but the 'no monotheism EVER' idea tends towards the European definition of pantheism, which doesn't hold up against others.

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                          • #14
                            Mmmm. Yes, he was seen as a creator god, but not the only god. The Orishas were still very, very much seen as divine beings and gods. They were worshipped directly, not like the saints that you asked for intercession on your behalf with the real God.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                              Mmmm. Yes, he was seen as a creator god, but not the only god. The Orishas were still very, very much seen as divine beings and gods. They were worshipped directly, not like the saints that you asked for intercession on your behalf with the real God.
                              The Orisha are a fundamental part of the world, but Olurun is the only supreme God. Orisha reflect a part of the divine, and are left in charge of certain parts of the world but gain their power from Olurun.

                              At least, that's how the Yoruba I know explain it to me - I'm Esan, personally.

                              EDIT: Also, less of the 'was',, please. the religion of the Yoruba is still very much known and practised in its pre-colonial form.

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