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Are gods geographically / ethnically restricted?

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  • Are gods geographically / ethnically restricted?

    I suspect the answer will be "your game, you decide" but I still want to ask:

    Could there be a spontaneous scion of Thor in a Brazilian jungle where they have never even heard of the Aesir? Must every scion of the Teotl be Mexican or of nahuatl descent? Are there (or should there be) geographical and ethnical divisions and restrictions on how gods operate and produce scions? How do you handle this in your games?

  • #2
    In the default setting, there are no metaphysical restrictions. The Teotl might be pissed about Thor mucking around with indigenous tribes in the Amazon, but he could. Most major population centers are cosmopolitan enough that most of the Pathenons probably have a presence. In more isolated places, remember that Scions can be adopted instead of born/made as part of a Pantheon. If a Scion that hasn't had a visitation yet it hanging around, potentially any of the deities could adopt them (though this wouldn't necessarily be taken well by others).

    So, for me, areas are dominated by the local religions like you'd assume, but it's a product of social and political dealing between the Pantheons rather than some magic force stopping cross-cultural/ethnic Scions.

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    • #3
      In my games, I don't consider the gods limited geographically, but they certainly would have a bigger presence in their home countries, as well as any region with a strong presence of their population. Mexico, for example, would have more Teotl influence and Scions than other parts of the World, but any region with big Mexican populations, or at least big Teotl worshiper populations, would be affected too.

      They also wouldn't be limited by ethnicity, especially as in the World probably the religions are no longer so ethnically defined, but I would say that the gods keep withing their own worshiping communities, or at least unto areligious or not strongly commited people. If for no other reason to avoid making, for example, a Scion of Ogun in a strongly Theoi worshiping family. I would consider variations, but that would be my rule of thumb.

      I wouldn't say that gods would not have Scion's in areas they are unknown, but I would say that is more unlikely. I would consider that this happens or due to this person being awesome enough to deserve the god's attention to become a chosen Scion, or just by the fact that the Incarnation of that god wandered quite far.

      Either way, the moment of visitation would be awesome, with Thor, for example, appearing in his glory, in his goat pulled cart, magnificent coming down the clouds with Mjolnir in hand, stop near him and say: "You, Marcos of Amazon, I am Thor Odinson of the Aesir, and due to your fighting prowess, you have become my chosen hero!", just to be answered with a confused "Who Odilson of What?".

      And, in my games at least, other pantheons wouldn't care who other gods make of Scion, unless they take some special members, like descendants of a special lineage or something like that. (Like a Thor taking a distant descendant of the Royal Lineage of the Aztec as a Scion). More interesting would be two gods fighting over who would make X person their chosen Scion first, and on ending angry for having lost.


      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      The Teotl might be pissed about Thor mucking around with indigenous tribes in the Amazon, but he could.
      Also, I don't think the Teotl would have a strong foot in the Amazon Jungle, they are more Central America. The K'uh of the Maya, the Apu of the Inca, and other Indigenous pantheons of the Amazon would have a far more strong claim there. Even many Orisha would have a stronger footing, considering the spread of African-Religions in Amazon.
      Last edited by Manbat; 01-17-2020, 09:15 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        In the default setting, there are no metaphysical restrictions. The Teotl might be pissed about Thor mucking around with indigenous tribes in the Amazon, but he could.
        As an example, one 2e ready-made character is a child of Loki from Iraq.


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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          In the default setting, there are no metaphysical restrictions. The Teotl might be pissed about Thor mucking around with indigenous tribes in the Amazon, but he could. Most major population centers are cosmopolitan enough that most of the Pathenons probably have a presence.
          I'm pretty sure the various Pantheons of the Amazon area would also pretty pissed about the Teotl from, you know, Mexico, sticking their noses into who can and can't make Scions down there

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          • #6
            The way i run it in my games is that unless geography or ethnicity is important for the god or the pantheon, as with Ireland and the Tuatha De Danann, the element they look more for the purpose of making a scion is the Virtues.


            Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les Légendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 2year old daughter anf a 1 year old son.

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            • #7
              I house rule the reason Gods stay “local” or “ethnic” is to avoid an even larger fatebinding range. You can’t fatebinding to people you don’t interact... also, they are already bound to a certain population and must fulfil what fate expect from them to that population...

              But, in modern days, with all the people moving around, they are already bound to people around the world and will interact (and make Scions) with all kinds of people as long the people match with their expectations...


              The proper answer to “Hello There” is, obviously, “General Kenobi”.
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              • #8
                I think they actually never were. Not even in the 1st edition, where we have an Afro-American Scion of Tyr.

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                • #9
                  Any such restrictions would be political in nature, not metaphysical - i.e. the pantheons coming to an agreement to respect each others' "turf".

                  What such agreements might entail and how closely they are adhered to is a campaign decision.


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                  • #10
                    I believe there might have been a sidebar or a section in one of the storyteller's sections in 1st ed about not sterotyping the gods of a culture by tying them to one ethnicity or appropriating them by white washing them.

                    Basically, I think the official stance is "Don't be a jerk*". But there is no in-game limitation.

                    *Language intensity lowered for forums.


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                    • #11
                      The way I do it is that "Gods tend to go where they are called". Like yeah, ultimately, if Durga wants to go anywhere, nobody's gonna be able to stop her. But she'll most likely appear in places where She Is Needed, or at Devotions and rituals in her honor.

                      This means that, since many of her worshippers are in India, that she probably would appear in India quite often.

                      Now some are probably a bit more... FOCUSED in their regions. The Tuatha de Danann are primarily concerned with Ireland first and foremost, but even they may get the whim to Incarnate and go for a walk in some other country. The Kami are pretty focused on Japan, as the bulk of their worshippers are there, but even Sarutahiko and Ame no Uzume are officially Enshrined at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in Washington State, so I see no reason why the Kami won't be able to appear at Shrines outside of Japan.

                      Ultimately, if you need a God to appear in a certain place for your game, nothing's stopping them, for your story. A bit like another forum member, Watcher, I don't often go "No" with Scion. Instead, I tend to go "Okay~" and maybe make some notes. Like, if Xochipilli crashes a party in Athens, Athena may have Questions.


                      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                      • #12
                        I'm assuring my characters if this in our new 1E game, but I do wonder about Ametarasu, who is expressly said to be interested in strengthening Japan through her Scions and their works. I could see her potentially influencing people of Japanese descent outside the land, as "her people" is also mentioned in Hero, but if her whole point is written as being centered on Japan, why would she bother to bear scions that wouldn't serve her goals?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kylike View Post
                          I'm assuring my characters if this in our new 1E game, but I do wonder about Ametarasu, who is expressly said to be interested in strengthening Japan through her Scions and their works. I could see her potentially influencing people of Japanese descent outside the land, as "her people" is also mentioned in Hero, but if her whole point is written as being centered on Japan, why would she bother to bear scions that wouldn't serve her goals?
                          Well there's the problem of Amaterasu's writeup in 1e being... Not good.

                          Like, next to no God writeup in 1e is very good but some are even more Not Good than others.


                          Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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