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Sources for Mythology in the Modern World?

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  • Sources for Mythology in the Modern World?

    So, I finally have gotten around to reading Rick Riordan's books, having finished the original Percy Jackson series and the first two books of the Magnus Chase series, and am enjoying them quite a bit. So I'm wondering if anyone can suggest other media involving gods and other mythological beings in the modern world? While I'm fairly familiar with urban fantasy series which use magic in the modern world (CE Murphey's Walker Papers with First Nation and Celtic shamanism in Seattle, Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series, etc.), I'm not really aware of much involving demigods and the like. So I welcome any ideas. Thanks.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

  • #2
    Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, and the comic “Wicked and Divine” by Kieran Gillen are probably the two biggest direct influences on Scion 2E outside the original myths themselves. So those are my first two recs.

    I agree Riordan a lot of fun (especially his more recent series like Magnus Chase and Trials of Apollo, since he started pushing the envelope on LGBT rep in kids’s lit; and how he played with his setting metaphysics for the Egyptian gods and Magicians in the Kane Chronicles was clever). He isn’t as direct an influence on Scion, but obviously there’s a great deal of overlap since his story structures echo roleplaying campaigns as strongly as they do. He’s also now promoting with his own imprint for books set in living traditions he doesn’t feel comfortable writing himself by diverse writers. The first “Aru Shaw” book by Roshani Chokshi (drawing on the Mahabharata) was a great deal of fun, even while I do think she put to much emphasis on imitating Riordan’s style.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-13-2018, 06:28 PM.


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    • #3
      American Gods, both the books and the recent TV series. Thank me later ^^

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      • #4
        As a side note, since we know we’re eventually getting setting shards (as well as a platform for fan-written material including alternate settings), I think a Riordan homage setting with a summer camp for young scions would be really appropriate. Specifically I was imagining it being multi-pantheon based, with each cabin being tied to a different pantheon instead of a different god ala Percy Jackson. Then have Anansi running the camp

        An American Gods based shard where the “old faiths” of the West did die out ala reality (reconstructed faiths being valid, but fundamentally different, and much smaller than the religions as portrayed in the World), and the gods are weak and struggling, while “New Gods” have risen as their own Pantheon rather than the old gods adapting to cover modernity in their purviews, would also be cool.
        Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-13-2018, 08:48 PM.


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        • #5
          Also, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, if you view the Endless as a pantheon of Gods.

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          • #6
            Anansi Boys is also a good one for the whole demigod thing seeing how it centers around two of the sons of Anansi. It is more low key than other stories, but you also get a few interesting scenes of normal humans trying to deal with divine abilities.*

            Dresden Files does have some interface with it like an security company that will hire out valkyries as consultants and security details for dealing with the supernatural.

            A. Lee Martinez also wrote a novel called Divine Misfortune which deals a bit with the whole thing of a world where the gods run around and exist fairly independently of their own worshipers, but I wasn't able to get that far in the book to say how it works as a source for Scion. The most memorable thing I recall was a scene early on where a person sat on a bench with a misfortune or heartbreak goddess and that apparently counted the mortal as a follower and well things went bad almost immediately.

            *A lovely scene of a cab driver spending an entire night trying to reach a building around the corner and failing because his passenger was cursed not to return home that night.
            Last edited by nalak42; 07-13-2018, 09:21 PM.

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            • #7
              The comic series "Fables" is more about fairy tale characters living in the modern world, but I seem to recall it including some mythological creatures as well. I could be wrong on this, as it has been a while. Either way, I remember enjoying it a lot and it would probably serve well for inspiration.

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              • #8
                I was worried about Mythologies not frequently accessed here in the West. Like the Netjer, Orishas, Shen, etc.

                About the Japanese folklore, I tried that not so famous anime Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro. Not disappointed. The yokai struggling to live in the Japanese urban world, the social innuendos... It'll surelly be a great source of inspiration when I make my game. Besides, it's short. 17 episodes so far I know, around 20 minutes each. Almost all are closed stories in themselves.

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                • #9
                  Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I've read American Gods and will get around to reading Ananasi Boys at some point. (It's sitting in a stack with about 50 other second hand paperbacks.) Fables I was also a big fan of. I've also read Willingham's sadly aborted series Proposition Player, involving various gods of death and the afterlife in Las Vegas, which was interesting and fun, and I would've enjoyed seeing the ideas explored a bit more. I'm clearly going to have to read some of A. Lee Martinez's books, especially Divine Misfortune and Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest. I'm moderately familiar with anime which involves yokai and other spirits (especially kitsune), I never seem to come across very many which involve full fledged dieties, with the exception of Kamichu! (which I've only seen clips) and Kamigami no Asobi (which in spite of it's interesting premise, I just couldn't get into for some reason). Apparently the trope of actual deities interacting with the modern world is one that hasn't been mined as deeply or as widely as if could be.


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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