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[2E] Historical Pantheon-Focused Campaigns?

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  • [2E] Historical Pantheon-Focused Campaigns?

    So, I am thinking up concepts for historical campaigns focusing on singular pantheons (2 at most) at specific points of history the people of those pantheons are most well known for, and I was wondering if anyone out there has any advice or suggestions for historical periods. Here is what I have so far.

    Aesir: A hybrid game with the Tuatha taking place in northwestern Europe (Namely the British Isles and Scandinavia) during the height of the medieval age.
    Deva: I have nothing much for the Deva, for the same reasons as below, unfortunately. American education for you. Most I have is a campaign taking place during Ghandi's Protests, but that feels a bit too recent, this is meant to take place in the times where swords are still common weapons.
    Kami: A game focusing on adventure and personal courage taking place during the warring states period.
    Manitou: A slightly alt-history game focusing on espionage and guerrilla tactics during colonial times, fighting off the Spanish and British, who would most likely be backed by the Aesir or Tuatha. I say alt history because there of course would be a chance that the protagonists can fight off the colonials and of course that isn't what happened in real life.
    Netjer: I really like this one. A game with a little bit of everything, espionage and religious conflict and high fantasy adventure, taking place during the Reign of Akhenaten.
    Orisha: I do not have anything for the Orisha (Sorry, outside of egypt I know very little of African history. Leave suggestions!) but I could see a Loa/Atua game taking place during the golden age of piracy.
    Shen: A war and political-focused campaign focusing on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
    Teotl: I admit to not having anything for the Teotl, same reason as the Orisha.
    Theoi: For greece, I could see a sort of high fantasy adventure game set during the Peloponnesian Wars as a backdrop. For Rome, the same thing may work, but for the time of Hannibal instead.

    And we already have one featuring the Tuatha, as stated above. So what do you guys think? Could these campaigns have potential? Would you be interested in any of these games, either as a GM or a player? Do you have any ideas for games yourself or perhaps advice for one of the ones listed? Let me know!


  • #2
    I mean the elephant in the room with the Teotl as a plot?

    "Go tell this Cortez guy to go fuck himself" and have a Band of Teotl Scions fighting against the Spanish War Machine. Maybe they have some Sorcerers here and there, if you want to avoid bringing any Christian God into this.

    Cortez can just be an ambitious mortal though. Sometimes you just need some very greedy people.

    Edit: Also, as a general rule, I would go into a Historical Eras game fully anticipating that your players will decide to run RIGHT off the rails of history.

    And why else WOULD you play a Historical game, frankly? Yeah, go hog wild. Have the Aztec people maintain their independence.

    Also if you're gonna do an Age of Piracy thing that may touch on the Orisha? May I recommend this very high-quality homebrew Pantheon that happens to touch on the Gods of a group of cultures native to the Caribbean Islands?
    Last edited by Kyman201; 02-21-2020, 05:53 AM.


    Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Storyteller323 View Post
      Teotl: I admit to not having anything for the Teotl, same reason as the Orisha.
      I know the most immediate thing that springs to mind for people is the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish, but there are tons of different ideas to go with here for a purely mesoamerican-focused campaign.

      - (Origin level) An Aztec princess is to be escorted from Tenochtitlan to the lands of the hostile Purepecha. She is to be given to the Purepecha emperor and be sacrificed in their name and this gesture will broke peace between the two empires. But there are plenty of factions and political players who do NOT wish for peace and they will be coming for you. Expect such things as bandits, assassins, rogue Purepecha generals and their soldiers and fanatical cults of the war god to stand in your way.

      - (Hero level) One of the Tzitzimitl star-demons escape the clutches of the gods and crashes into the earth in the form of a comet. Soon enough it takes form and starts to haunt the cities and settlements of humans, ripping people up and devouring them. THe players must undertake a diplomatic journey to make the cities and empires around to ramp up their sacrifices, or try to find a way to somehow defeat the star-demon yourselves. Try to survive the ravages of vampire societies, titanspawn that came with the star demon such as screeching blood-beings, vengeful giants and so on.

      - (Demi-God level) Coyolxauqui is bolstered. The Moon is gradually growing in size and intensity as a result. It will be less than a year until it becomes big enough to rival the sun and the earth's balance will be upset, leading to the end of the world. The players will have to go up against the brothers and children of Coyolxauqui, everything from scions and their powerful cults to the formidable 400 moon serpents.

      These are just a few ideas that spring to mind.
      Last edited by Aristarkos; 02-21-2020, 07:32 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Storyteller323 View Post
        Deva: I have nothing much for the Deva, for the same reasons as below, unfortunately. American education for you.
        - Do an entire historical war and family drama around the conflict between two or more huge royal families who claim family ties all the way up to the gods themselves. Yeah, basically your own version of the Mahabaratha. This will feel a bit anachronistic since it features ancient superweapons and advanced Vimana airships.

        - The age of Ashoka, the king who tried to supplant Hinduism with Buddhism. Espionage, revolts and disgruntled Hindu gods result from this.

        - The Mughals have ruled the north of India for a long time, but it is slowly falling apart and new players are entering the scene to fill the vacuum. One of those players may be you.

        - The British East India company is dominating the entire Indian subcontinent, managing entire armies and playing out Indian princedoms against each other in the name of greed and empire. Lots of drama, espionage and guerilla wars against this foreign power. Expect a powerful Sepoy rebellion and clashes between Christians, Muslims and Hindu.

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        • #5
          For the Orisha, I'm thinking you could spin plenty of plots around the slavehunting kingdoms of West Africa who were given rifles and other trade goods in exchange for hunting down other Africans and selling them to the Europeans as slaves. The players are part of the resistance against these greedy and cruel kingdoms and must not only adapt and fight against their superior weaponry but maybe also eventually have to go up against the European colonial powers themselves as these send war parties to save a very lucrative business model.
          Last edited by Aristarkos; 02-21-2020, 07:56 AM.

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          • #6
            Aristarkos

            About your Origin-level Teotl campaign...

            Obviously you can't force your players to do anything, but I hope they would spirt the princess away to safety instead of giving her to the Purepecha. Would YOU want to have your heart ripped out with an obsidian knife (or any knife)?

            I do like the Orisha campaign idea though


            The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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            • #7
              *spirit her away to safety*


              The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                Aristarkos

                About your Origin-level Teotl campaign...

                Obviously you can't force your players to do anything, but I hope they would spirt the princess away to safety instead of giving her to the Purepecha. Would YOU want to have your heart ripped out with an obsidian knife (or any knife)?
                That's part of the fun of the campaign. If the GM makes the princess a likeable character and she develops relations with them it will be all that much more agonizing for them to choose between her life and doing their duty as well as stopping a terrible war.

                Also, it's an alien mindset for us today but for an Aztec it was an honor of the highest degree to be sacrificed and something many aspired to, so I devised the campaign along those lines. Maybe the princess leans towards the Sacrifice virtue in the beginning and then slowly inches towards Hunger as she develops her sense of self after travelling the world for the first time with the players.

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                • #9
                  Aesir: The Danelaw period in England in the 9th century AD. If you've seen the series The Last Kingdom series (on BBC or Netflix) or read the Bernard Cornwall books the show is based on, then you have a starting point to play around with.

                  Aesir + Manitou: Vineland, the 10th/11th century Norse attempt at a colony in what was probably now Canada's east coast (Newfoundland and Labrador).

                  Manitou: The Beaver Wars in the 17th century, with Algonquins and their French allies verses the Iroquois for economic supremacy in the Ohio Country.

                  Deva: The Gupta Empire in the 4th and 5th century AD in northern and eastern India.

                  Netjer: Egypt's 19th Dynasty under Ramses the Great, about 1200 BC, with conflicts against the Hittites and other regional powers.



                  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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                  • #10
                    Aristarkos that’s actually pretty awesome. Thanks 😊.


                    The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                    • #11
                      While I do like the idea of the Origin-tier adventure Aristarkos recommended, I went ahead and contacted a friend who knows far more about Aztec sacrificial practices than I do... And while it's good that you're taking steps to NOT present it as a savage process, there are some things he noted.

                      Namely, the intended victim, and the context of the offering. Apparently there's no reputable records of a noble woman being put up as a sacrifice historically (though there may be some casesin a mythic context). In practice, an overwhelming number of sacrifices by the Nahual people were either slaves, or war captives. There's not a lot of precedence for this kind of Tributary Exchange with sacrifices between warring parties. In fact, there's basically none. Most offerings given to the Teotl came either from slaves (whom few would miss) and from prisoners taken from battles.

                      So, Aztec Princess being offered to another nation for the sake of a peace treaty... Not really something that happened in those cultures. If that kinda sours the soup, then well, now you know.

                      However, like I said, I do like the idea. And I definitely like the potential story drama of having to safely get someone to where they'll need to be offered to the gods.

                      And I really like the idea of opposing cultists or maybe glory hunters trying to prevent the captives or slaves from being sacrificed. There's a lot of political drama to be had there, as who would try to deny the Teotl blood that they're due? Who would put the sun at risk? I'd build on that.

                      If I were to rework the core of this quest, and it's a questline I do like to repeat myself, I'd shift some of the circumstances. Maybe the Origin PCs are guides and warriors, who just finished a battle. They have a number of Captives who would make fantastic offerings to the Gods, they just need to go back and have the rituals be performed, for prestige awaits those who brings back good offerings.

                      But along the way, they're constantly waylaid. But by whom? Are they kin of the Captives, hoping to save their promising warriors so that they one day might bring their own sacrifices back? Are they in fact rivals to the PCs, who don't want these upstarts to get the glory from bringing in these captives? Or is there something more sinister, and someone is trying to actually deny these offerings to oppose the Gods?

                      ... Okay shit I may actually write this out in more detail-


                      Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        While I do like the idea of the Origin-tier adventure Aristarkos recommended, I went ahead and contacted a friend who knows far more about Aztec sacrificial practices than I do... And while it's good that you're taking steps to NOT present it as a savage process, there are some things he noted.

                        Namely, the intended victim, and the context of the offering. Apparently there's no reputable records of a noble woman being put up as a sacrifice historically (though there may be some casesin a mythic context). In practice, an overwhelming number of sacrifices by the Nahual people were either slaves, or war captives. There's not a lot of precedence for this kind of Tributary Exchange with sacrifices between warring parties. In fact, there's basically none. Most offerings given to the Teotl came either from slaves (whom few would miss) and from prisoners taken from battles.

                        So, Aztec Princess being offered to another nation for the sake of a peace treaty... Not really something that happened in those cultures. If that kinda sours the soup, then well, now you know.

                        However, like I said, I do like the idea. And I definitely like the potential story drama of having to safely get someone to where they'll need to be offered to the gods.

                        And I really like the idea of opposing cultists or maybe glory hunters trying to prevent the captives or slaves from being sacrificed. There's a lot of political drama to be had there, as who would try to deny the Teotl blood that they're due? Who would put the sun at risk? I'd build on that.

                        If I were to rework the core of this quest, and it's a questline I do like to repeat myself, I'd shift some of the circumstances. Maybe the Origin PCs are guides and warriors, who just finished a battle. They have a number of Captives who would make fantastic offerings to the Gods, they just need to go back and have the rituals be performed, for prestige awaits those who brings back good offerings.

                        But along the way, they're constantly waylaid. But by whom? Are they kin of the Captives, hoping to save their promising warriors so that they one day might bring their own sacrifices back? Are they in fact rivals to the PCs, who don't want these upstarts to get the glory from bringing in these captives? Or is there something more sinister, and someone is trying to actually deny these offerings to oppose the Gods?

                        ... Okay shit I may actually write this out in more detail-
                        Fair enough, I'm not an expert on mesoamerican cultures either and am bound to get things wrong of course. As you say, a sacrifice of a noble person can be justified in a mythic context. Maybe the players are led to believe that they are escorting the noble in order for him or her to get married to a foreign ruler, and then later find out that she is actually meant for sacrifice in order to stop an approaching catastrophe such as the release of a titan, since only her blood is divine and potent enough to stop this catastrophe from happening. My thoughts about the questline was that in this way it would make it so that the players would actually like their escorted person and see them as a friend (or even a loved one) rather than as a means of societal mobility. Then when they learn that their charge is actually about to be sacrificed they have to face agonizing dilemmas as to whether or not to let it happen or stop a catastrophe (think of it as "The Last of Us", Aztec version).

                        I took the main inspiration from what I've heard about certain sacrifices being worth far more than others; taking a common foot soldier captive was prestigious but taking a jaguar warrior captive was astonishing. This was due to the belief that the life energy of certain people is stronger and better. I'd be interested to know from your friend if I'm mistaken as well on that.

                        Possible plot twist: In the end when the players finally reach their destination they learn that they have worked for a titan all along! The noble they were escorting is not meant for a marriage as you were briefed but is about to be sacrificed by a cult of titan worshippers to give life to their dead master!

                        Possible plot twist 2: the players finally reach their destination and are suddenly made aware that it is THEY who are thought of as worthy sacrifices, since they are clearly strong and divine enough to give the gods the strength they need to stave off a coming catastrophe.
                        Last edited by Aristarkos; 02-22-2020, 12:06 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Aristarkos or one of the PCs of either gender falls for her, but you can’t force that. It’s gotta happen naturally.


                          The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                          • #14
                            A probably somewhat depressing one, and not one that well known: The Orisha in World War One (1914 - 1918), either West African colonial troops serving in France, or in the West African Theater (the Togoland Campaign, the Bussa Uprising, the Kamerun Campaign, and the Adubi War).





                            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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                            • #15
                              Holy hell, I’m gone for a couple days handling school stuff and all of a sudden this thread goes all “The More You Know,” it’s awesome.

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