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[2E Setting Hack] Gods in Hiding and new Mythic Age

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  • [2E Setting Hack] Gods in Hiding and new Mythic Age

    NOTE: This topic is for those agreeing that Gods in Scion should be hidden to the most of the World - i.e. hack to basic setting of Scion 2E gameline - or at least buying into concept for this topic discussion. If you not agreeing with that premise - i.e. you support original setting - be so nice and do not spam in this topic, go somewhere else on the forum. We all talk here about alternate world to original line.

    EDIT: Fixed Mythic Mists rules are here.

    Ravian sum up best the way I wanted to run 2E Scion games before reading actual corebooks, which seems to clash with those idea. So I'm starting topic about changes that need to be made to accustom this kind of running game. Basic idea is that Gods were with humanity from ancient times, but by they own doing needed to move away. Now, in modern nights, the next Mythic Age returns and with them direct involvement of Gods. Read original Ravian post on this:

    Originally posted by Ravian View Post
    My personal approach has been (and I admit that I've probably ripped off a lot of stuff from these forums for it.) that all myths are true in the fact that they all began in what effectively exist as different realities, these are the mythic pasts, where the most fundamental myths of the pantheons began, though its unclear whether they came first or if humanity retroactively created them through their beliefs. However for each and all there has been an essential decline of direct involvement, usually following the sealing and binding of the titans and other major threats to humanity. Once humanity became relatively free to exercise their freedom upon the world, they started affecting the Gods through fate bindings, something that the Gods didn't terribly care for. As such, they withdrew from the world, and with their departure went many of the elements of the mythic pasts. What remained without these mythical textures is essentially the Bare World, a singular world without the divisions set by the mythic pasts, where humanity instead was allowed to operate among themselves without the rule and supervision of Gods. In the Bare World, all the natural laws as we understand them today function. However humanity never truly forgot the mythic pasts, The Greeks remember the Age of Heroes, the Aztecs recorded the cycle of previous worlds, the Celts knew of a time before the Tuatha de Danaan departed from Eiriu, etc. they all are essentially successor states, or perhaps refugees from the mythic pasts, now adapted to living within the Bare World. Within that cultural memory, many continued to honor them, perhaps not as directly as worship, but through superstitions and rites.

    But the world was never fully bare, the Gods never truly left their creations, and they have always been inclined to meddle, even despite the consequences of fate-bindings altering them. The involvement of gods has waxed and waned, often exerting themselves during pivotal times of their favored cultures' history. Often this has even led towards pantheons being destroyed, as the conflict between cultures mirrored itself in the realm of the Gods, though it's important to note that lack of worship or knowledge of a pantheon is not a cause of that pantheon's destruction, but a symptom. Some gods even submitted to fate binding and the creation of new mantles, or even sub-pantheons (such as the Loa) as a sacrifice for the benefit of those they favored.

    And then of course there are scions. Though not as common as during the Mythic pasts, scions have always remained in the world, and their existence in and of itself helps to reassert that Pantheon's mythic texture. As a scion grows in legend, they bring more of that texture with them, often unconsciously, as they face similar challenges to the heroes of their mythic past. This was often a harrowing experience for most scions and the world around them, and it has often been the policy of the Gods to avoid visitations precisely for the reason of avoiding too much of the mythic bleeding onto the bare world.

    More recently however, there is increasing degrees of titanic activity. What its cause is is unknown, but most worry about impending apocalypses, Ragnarok and such. The titans, less concerned with the fate bindings of man, are ready to wreak havoc on the World, and the Gods believe that humanity is ill-prepared to deal with them. With renewed Titanomachy, the world is already beginning to be drawn back into the mythic, their textures reasserting themselves onto the bare world. However with all of this occurring more or less simultaneously, rather than the World once again splitting into its Mythic origins, the World instead has begun melding into a much more chaotic mishmash of these cultures. The Gods themselves worry that even aside from the dangers posed by the Titans, that this degree of contradiction could in effect damage the stability of fate itself and cause damage to everything. They now debate among themselves on whether they could stabilize the World, either by once again scourging the Mythic from its surface, or if instead they could guide it towards some more harmonious singular texture.

    I see this all as kind of a vehicle for the player's choices to shape the nature of the World. Initially as the Titans begin to awake, things slowly become more chaotic, as the mythic springs back into the world unguided and unrestrained while the players struggle to keep up, however as the Player Scions begin to amass their own legend, they have the opportunity to begin to shape that world. If certain pantheons are more prominent in your story, than the World begins to look more like them, people, seeing the power of those scions and the effect they have at stemming the influence of the Titans, begin to reassert the worship of their pantheons, and the world itself begins to shape itself to conform to those mythologies' cosmology.

    So to give your contemporary Poland example, for most of history it all occurred as expected, though some of the old Slavic pagan traditions may have survived hiding, either directly, or metaphorically, within the local culture. However after monsters and titanspawn start showing up, if a band of Slavic Scions started going around beating them up, than gradually the world would start to look more and more like how that mythology recognized it, and the people themselves would, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the Slavic Gods existence and power, begin to adopt that faith. That being said I don't necessarily give the Abrahamic faiths a wide berth in Scion, so it could just as easily be a Band of Christian (and other Abrahamic) scions helping to assert God and his angels' powers on the World in a more direct fashion in the face of Armageddon.

    In essence, I like to run Scion in a more Apocalyptic fashion, regardless of whether or not the Titans and the destruction they wreak are the direct threat, the world is on the brink of fairly direct change, and its up to the players to help decide what that change is.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-31-2020, 03:50 AM.

  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    So my player have a bit of healing problem. At the Origin Tier they only suspect now existence of Gods - they have confirmation at magic, beasts and all the rest, beside the Gods. We run a big pulpy adventure in vain of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones series. They got beaten easily when facing Monsters enemies. And then healing days of game time, even on fast healing rules...

    I putted minor NPC 'witch' that healed them by the miracle of Apollo ( whose priestess she is, in reality ). However, as we run pulp genre game - action move quickly between whole world. So I need other solution...

    I was thinking about giving to characters healing potions, basically. I just wonder how to introduce it to the characters life. We run Gods in Hiding on Iron Myth game - so something like lowered power Percy Jackson world. Selling magic potions on the streets corners, like in vanilla Scion 2E setting, is rather out of way. Selling those in 'small occult shops' every time may be tedious. How to solve this in-setting requirements? From what makes them in each Pantheon? For example, knowing Theoi and Aesir legends, I suspect those 'healing potions' could be Ambrosia vials and Idun apples?

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  • Purple Snit
    replied
    Sorry, it's the opposite - unless they are hidden (the opposite of interactive Scions and Gods), the default world makes no sense IMHO, and I'm not a "masquerade" fan at all. But I support your right to make your game whatever you want.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I'm a bit shocked - Purpule Snit agrees with some 'Gods in Hiding' usage ideas -

    Originally posted by Purple Snit View Post
    I think this is one of those things that really shines a light on the weaknesses of "The world of Scion is the same as our world, but with more Gods" - I have never felt that the world could possibly be the same if all of the old faiths continued to exist as powerful and distinct organizations/cults/gatherings across the globe. And the presence of Scions throughout all those millennia would absolutely have a direct impact on how history went, and how it will go in the future.

    For all of the failings of Scion 1st Edition, the plot device of "once the Titans were defeated, the Gods became semi-retired, and life went on; now the Titans are awake again, and Gods and Scions will return to the World" made it a lot easier to start with "our world", and go off from there.

    But unless you are going to write an alternate history supplement that fits the official game world [and it's pretty obvious that no-one would agree on exactly how to do that], it's up to every ST to figure it out for themselves. And if you want Scions to alter the world in your campaign, you can and should go right ahead and do that,

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    Scion Demigod public preview on Legend trait shows more canonical information on Scions status in the World - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/2953433
    You're banned from all threads you've posted this in. Take an infraction too. Post an announcement next time.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Scion Demigod public preview on Legend trait shows more canonical information on Scions status in the World - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/2953433

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Lat discussion on visibility of Scions in setting spring great posts of Matheus on the matter I think sum ups hacks idea.

    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    Defintelly "HOLY SHIT it's a HERO" is the effect I want, but I also want people not believing it was real when the witness tell people. That would be a reason to form a cult around the Hero or end up fatebound to the Hero, as the witness may be following them to get a better picture or learn more.

    I want their stories told by Bards not reality shows basically. It loses the mystery of it is on E! And not in History chanel (with some crazy people telling thy are Aliens).
    I just want to support Mateus here - I know it's personal preference of Storyguide and a hack to the main line of Scion 2E - but his description perfectly pints to how I want the game to be run.

    Deifans - if the even exists in this Gods in Hiding Scion - are publicly think as Conspiracy Theorists, chasing after some 'Urban Legend'.

    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    Exactly, Legend is not Fame, Legend can be much more subtle. Your deeds can be great, you become a legend, even if they don’t know you are the one that did that, so you don’t get the fame.

    Imagine something like Batman, nobody see him, but when they see him first time they already know about him, because they know a guy that knows a guy that watched a guy dresses in black kick 5 bad guys asses at once.

    Modern media make it even easier, things that were recorded can be edited and, while people saw a video in YouTube of a guy stoping a moving car with his hands, most people don’t believe (can be edited) and the ones who believe still don’t know who the guy is.

    Urban Legend and Conspiracy theories is the key for “hidden gods“.
    And general Mateus write-up...
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    What I understand from this discussion is that Gods NEED worshipers, otherwise they are forgotten and loose their Legend... If that's the point, American Gods is just an step ahead, as you don't need only to remember them, but also need to dedicate thoughts and prayers to them.

    I think the point on Legend, following the idea of very low activity gods (gods are hiding, if you prefer), when you get Evidence dial to Heroic or even Iron, is that Legend is your relationship with Fate, and Fate affect people and make them know about your deeds, even if they don't really believe or know it was you. Urban Legends, Conspiracy Theories, etc, can be much like regular Legends, and so result on you power growth.

    My ideal setting is closer to 1e than 2e on the masquerade part at least. It's not that the gods are hiding effectively, it's that the god are not that active, never were, they just like to give people space and do their business.
    Origin Level Scions are the real moves and shakers, they are everywhere gaining powers from their patrons even without knowing it, some are good, some are bad, and most of them just think they are lucky or blessed by the gods, even not knowing which one or if they exist.
    Heroes are the most active of all the "legendary", at least to the open world, they do stuff, save lives, kill menaces, stop evil cults, etc. Their supernatural powers are there, but not seen often (they dot have all that legend and not all that many booms), people that see the powers being used will know it was supernatural, but not many people believe in the stories, that become urban legends and conspiracy theories.
    Demigods are doing their business, climbing up Olympus and Yggdrasil, going down to the 9 hells, visiting the sea of monsters and the 3x10th Kingdom, you see them only once in a while and not many of them exist (Heroes dies tragically, usually). They are so few and away from the mundane world that its even harder to have a large number of people seeing their powers showing up.
    Gods are even further, they come to World, but usually just as low powered bodies, like heroes and maybe demigods, if not only through merging into people or incarnating again for a new adventure, they don't use their full might against anything in the world, their powers are vast but usually subtle, usually more symbolic than the Heroes and Demigods. They just don't get much to do with Earth, disasters are caused by some of them, and others save large amount of people as if it was lucky (the helicopter listens to the walk talk, the dog sniffs the survivor in the still strong room under the fallen building, a fireman shows up to save many people just to disappear as if never existed).
    Religious people will notice Deities and Demigods Omens and their workings, but not the regular people (as it happens in real world, who believes it's a work of a god will die for that belief and the rest just say "there must be a reason for that").

    Of course, in my ideal setting you will not find a miles high golem or a flying and fire breathing dragon around downtown, they exist but most of them are on Terra Incognita or isolated places in the mundane world. You may find them, try to study them, but in the end any proof you find will be treated with the same respect as proofs of big foot or alien presence.

    Edit: And you may ask, why don't the Heroes and Demigods show them self in public? Because it would make their lives harder, imagine you want to track down and kill a Hydra, but there are paparazzi after you everywhere, or there are cultists doing weird stuff to talk to you. Also it would expose people to an unnecessary risk, Medusa can turn into stone thousands at time, a Golem can follow people and destroy a few blocks in a town before being defeated if the Hero dies and their followers run away.
    But what if YOUR hero wants to become really famous, than he will be, and may raise the awareness of the gods workings, but people do that all the time and we still don't believe in anything. Think about all the psychics around and magicians that do magic that others can't explain, but are sure it's a trick. The Heroes become famous for a while, the government or some agency that want to hold the panic may go after them or the enemies now know where to find them. The Heroes just disappear (dead, locked in a distant place or even become a god), and for a few years nobody remembers them. After 5 or 10 years there is this special on TV "Where are that Hero?" and nobody find them and they become a legend.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-15-2020, 03:18 AM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Real question is this - Can God survive without worshipers in Scion? Answer - YES, they can! It's the WHOLE GIST of Incarnation Scions - that you are last parts of the God that is technically DEAD.

    In Scion, once you achieve Godhood, you ARE practically immortal. Once you are limited only to the Incarnations Scions, it can take you millenia, to be' bodied God'- but you HAVE possibility of rebuilding your Mantel ( or, rather, God-body, as Mantle IS immortal already) . And from that point of view, worshippers are irrelevant to you.

    We can make Gods Legends to be related based on their active cults in the World - basically replicating American God's premise - but still God's Mantle once created, it's always exist. So God's are immortal in Scion.

    ( Outside of other Gods actively hunting your Incarnations Scions, buts that other thing entirely.)
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-12-2020, 02:58 AM.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    I was writing, but all that I can say is written in one of my previous posts. I am just lazy now...

    Ravian, I think you may be correct for most games, but, if the idea is that gods don’t show up often, demigods and heroes can also be subtle, maybe working more often in Terra incognita or staring below radar or covered by mist or whatever it is called. my approach is basically, if you want the gods stay hidden, you can play heroes as urban legends, demigods as operating out of reach and gods being subtle.

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  • Astromancer
    replied
    Wasn't there a Greek altar to "The Unknown God"? From my readings in Greek, Celtic, West African ( that's a plural), Hindu, and multiple Native American mythologies, the idea of an "unknown god" seems kind of commonplace.

    Although, that said, most mythologies I've read, seem to imply the Gods crave worship. Some seem to imply a need for humanity's prayers and sacrafices. The later Greek philosophers sternly attacked the idea. But isn't this game about mythology.

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  • Ravian
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
    I don’t believe I am the one writing this, but Gods don’t need worship or even religion, and if they do they would not willingly hide, as they would die.
    The gods in American Gods become faith beggars because they lost their worshippers, they didn’t willingly hide, they were forced down by the lack of faith, that reduce their powers causing the reduction of faiths and so on, spiraling down.

    About striping back the veil, you don’t need to, it just make the miracles less miraculous. A cult may surge around the miracle that happen, and millions can go to see the face of the new got in the mountain, or what ever the miracle was, but it don’t need to be seen as universally accepted.
    As I said, miracles happens everyday and many people believe in that, just happens that we don’t see the divinity in the event, so we don’t care, we see as random event that would happen anyway.
    A Titan attacking the coast can be seen as a hurricane out of season, or a bushfire affecting an entire state or country (that long storm that eventually extinguished the fire may be the work of a god). That is what the people see, UFOlogists may see as the work of aliens *add the Greek guy here*, and Christians will see as the work of their god, but you, as a god, knows it’s results of your job.

    Also, gods have things to do out or the World, they deal with Titans, inter-pantheon and internal conflicts in their god realms, that is more than enough of you think you have to deal with it until the end of time.
    I'm more saying that I think a God that nobody knows about is a little paradoxical. Also I really don't think the divine being out in the open makes things less miraculous. I think the main thing to focus on is that the World in Scion for most people isn't actually that different that different from our world, assuming that you are a religious person. Like yes, those of us from a religious background don't necessarily expect the God(s) we worship to manifest themselves and bring about miracles again, but for most that hold those beliefs the possibility that it could happen certainly isn't out of the question.

    I've generally cooled on the whole Gods in Hiding thing, but I particularly don't find it terribly congruent once we're up to Demigod tier. Heroes don't incline themselves towards anonymity, Demigods practically announce themselves. Once you're a Demigod you've basically decided that you're going to make a significant mark on the World. That's not something you can do in perfect secrecy. Like if we assume that a Gods in hiding world is like out own at first, than a Demigod is very literally like Jesus Christ coming back to Earth and starting to go around healing the sick. It ought to feel like a game-changer.

    One of the things I particularly like with Demigod's manuscript right now is that it makes the change between tiers a really significant change. It's not just big numbers getting bigger. Origin to Hero is a Visitation, it's a mark that you are a person that the World will take notice of, for better or for worse. Hero to Demigod is almost the reverse, it's a call that you let out to the World that you will demand it's attention. The former conceivably works in anonymity, the second just seems to be stretching the premise beyond the point of usefulness.

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  • Mateus Luz
    replied
    I don’t believe I am the one writing this, but Gods don’t need worship or even religion, and if they do they would not willingly hide, as they would die.
    The gods in American Gods become faith beggars because they lost their worshippers, they didn’t willingly hide, they were forced down by the lack of faith, that reduce their powers causing the reduction of faiths and so on, spiraling down.

    About striping back the veil, you don’t need to, it just make the miracles less miraculous. A cult may surge around the miracle that happen, and millions can go to see the face of the new got in the mountain, or what ever the miracle was, but it don’t need to be seen as universally accepted.
    As I said, miracles happens everyday and many people believe in that, just happens that we don’t see the divinity in the event, so we don’t care, we see as random event that would happen anyway.
    A Titan attacking the coast can be seen as a hurricane out of season, or a bushfire affecting an entire state or country (that long storm that eventually extinguished the fire may be the work of a god). That is what the people see, UFOlogists may see as the work of aliens *add the Greek guy here*, and Christians will see as the work of their god, but you, as a god, knows it’s results of your job.

    Also, gods have things to do out or the World, they deal with Titans, inter-pantheon and internal conflicts in their god realms, that is more than enough of you think you have to deal with it until the end of time.

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  • Ravian
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    So reading Demigod book Kickstarter manuscript, I came to a bit problem with Gods in Hiding implementation in Demigod tier - Book literally point you are starting to be religious figure - and are even some rules for it.

    In Origin or Hero tier those are negligible as human worshippers are only background - but once you start to become God - your religion should spread around the world. Mythical nature of Demigod trials make it much more visible than before actions of Hero, with in-setting repercussions.

    Thinking about it, I may run in Gods in Hiding setting it that character start it's own Pantheon-based secret cult, that slowly, becomes more and more mainstream. When you go through Apotheosis and end with Theophany - cult become almost mainstream, but very small, religion. So you start the God tier with small religion of yours. Sounds plausible?
    You know you don't have to advance to Demi-God. If your setting is literally about how Gods are all in hiding and can't be prominent, then it doesn't really make much sense if people have a lot of power to just ascend and achieve Apotheosis

    Like the game itself points out that the vast majority of Heroes never make it to Demi-God tier, it takes a concerted effort and you're very likely to die during your attempt. Like arguably out of the whole Greek pantheon of heroes only two or three (maybe four depending on how you count it) probably made it to Demi-God tier.

    Additionally I'm just not sure how you conceivably bring a new God into a world where Gods are still hiding. Like yeah, to be a God you have to be worshiped. Gods are beings that are worshiped, that's just kind of how it works. Like American Gods plays around with this by having Gods that used to be worshipped and now are stuck largely without that reverence despite deeply desiring it. Noticeably in that story, the new gods that arise are also beings that have achieved worship, just through less direct ways, families crowding around the altar of the Television in their tv-dinner prayers and helping Media achieve Apotheosis for instance.

    It seems if you're keeping in theme with that at a certain point you need to figure out when you want to strip back the veil.

    Like in your example of a Demi-God secretly achieving Apotheosis you're still essentially having to create a whole religion revering a figure whose deeds you're unwilling to actually allow others to see. It just seems like you're putting more effort into trying to preserve a theme than the concept allows. Every character in American Gods is Hero-tier at most, most of them Origin, even the largest Gods, heck even the New Gods aren't terribly impressive, since their power is only what they can gain through indirect worship. If you want your characters to be Demi-Gods it seems much more expedient to just reveal themselves and let the rest of the world deal with them instead of insisting on continuing to sneak about terrified of attention.

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  • CassieCataria
    replied
    With their carefully planned campaigns/purviews being turned in completely unexpected ways? Sounds about right :P

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I don't expect them to do that; but if they did, would that mean that Primordials are akin to Storyguides?

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