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  • map of pantheons

    So, I've tried to make a map of which parts of the World are dominated by which of the pantheons. Thoughts?

  • #2
    As our previous topic on similar idea - Pantheons conflicts regions - the map should be MUCH MORE complex, many Pantheons are overlapping the same areas - or even fighting about them.


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    • #3
      I don't like these kinds of maps because they lead to the idea that Gods are really region-locked. They're not.

      I also don't like the idea of phrasing it as 'Gods fighting over territory' because while there have been squabbles in the past, going "And they fight over territory" really paints interaction between religions as being "Now let's fight for supremacy" which while yes it HAS happened, isn't the only way it's worked out. In fact, through history, it was more likely for the religions to blend and influence one-another. I now just go with the assumption that "Gods exist and appear where their followers call them"

      If you have some worshippers of Thor praying to him and asking his aid, but they happen to be located in the Bengal region of India... He'll still answer, even if theoretically people would go 'Wait that's Deva territory'

      Heck, for most of human history, the idea of what we call 'nations' basically didn't exist. If you want to play up the long perspective of some of these Gods, they probably don't give two shits about national boundaries.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by rj.au View Post
        So, I've tried to make a map of which parts of the World are dominated by which of the pantheons. Thoughts?
        An accurate map would have Christianity and Islam dominate most of the map with Hinduism a distant third. Those are also religions with their own Pantheons, or at least that's how I treat them. And yeah, as has been said before there are numerous enclaves and diasporas which make this complicated.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
          I don't like these kinds of maps because they lead to the idea that Gods are really region-locked. They're not.

          I also don't like the idea of phrasing it as 'Gods fighting over territory' because while there have been squabbles in the past, going "And they fight over territory" really paints interaction between religions as being "Now let's fight for supremacy" which while yes it HAS happened, isn't the only way it's worked out. In fact, through history, it was more likely for the religions to blend and influence one-another. I now just go with the assumption that "Gods exist and appear where their followers call them"

          If you have some worshippers of Thor praying to him and asking his aid, but they happen to be located in the Bengal region of India... He'll still answer, even if theoretically people would go 'Wait that's Deva territory'

          Heck, for most of human history, the idea of what we call 'nations' basically didn't exist. If you want to play up the long perspective of some of these Gods, they probably don't give two shits about national boundaries.
          I'll have to disagree with you. Such maps can be good for those who are unsure of where followers of the different panthons are located. It is very handy for someone without a workable knowledge of religious geography.

          Also such a map does NOT say that the gods are restricted or that they are engaged in territorial squabbles. It just shows where their devotees are concentrated, just like similar real world religious maps. It mainly shows where a certain god is more likely to be active since they are through fate bound more to their followers. Sure, Thor CAN operate in Japan if he wants to and no Kami try to intervene. But since there likely aren't many devotees to him there he rarely has reason to go there.

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          • #6
            I suppose it's nice to see the Atua rule the world, rather than merely Poseidon or Njord. Or is their dominion only the islands, rather than the oceans?

            I'd love to see someone build a culture map in the same vein as CK3 and use that as their Pantheon map instead. Even more impressive would be to build a map of virtues. How many people are most concerned with audacity versus fatalism in India versus Argentina? I bet there's a good number, no matter how many more are fixated on conscience and duty.

            But it is sad to see the world reduced to land-area calculations, rather than sizing things according to population densities, but I suppose that'd be challenging at a technical level since most people aren't even aware that you can draw maps in different ways.


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            • #7
              A less contentious map would be a map that shows where the worshippers of the pantheons originated from.


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              • #8
                It's not the right approach to say that Gods are something you sort by geography. Sure some Gods have places that are important to them, the Tuatha are almost single-mindedly focused on Ireland, the Kami are rather particular about the importance of Japan, and the Netjer pretty focused on the Nile's importance, but for most the focus is on People, not Dirt.

                If someone's a worshipper, than they're important to that Pantheon. Not always to the same degree, but they're still more interested in them than someone who doesn't worship them.

                In that regard I don't imagine many gods care much regarding borders, only the broader cultural affiliations of those that revere them. Obviously sometimes that will cross into Geopolitics due to the demographics of the populations living in places, so if Sun Wukong goes on a Wild Vacation down in Mexico, the Teotl are likely to have something to say about it. But that has far more to do with the fact that they have so many Worshippers there that he's likely disturbing with his antics, and if he instead took his vacation in Atlanta and still run roughshod over a local enclave's Bodega and they brought some prayers to Quetzalcoatl about it, Monkey would still likely get himself into trouble over that.

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                • #9
                  Yeah making a note of region of origin for the Pantheons isn't a terrible idea, I'll admit. Like I've had some times when I've glanced at some homebrew that said "The Gods of the [X]" and gone "Great!" and then booted up Google to go "Who are the Taino people?"

                  I wouldn't frame it as "The Absolute Territory of the Gods" or anything like that, because that gets to things like "Yeah but if Ares goes to Mexico he'll lose a lot of his powers" which yes I have seen in all sincerity before. And like, there are Shinto shrines outside of Japan. There's a few in Washington State, there's a major one in Hawaii. Are they to be considered irrelevant because they're outside of Japan?

                  To say nothing of HISTORICAL. Like, do we count the entire reach of the Roman Empire over its life as Theoi Territory? What to the Anunna think about the religions that spread over what used to be THEIR territory?

                  Like, pulling out a pen and going "And the Tengri originate from THIS area-" and drawing a clumsy circle is probably fine, but trying to go "And today THIS is Tengri Territory" opens a lot of implications. Nah, best let it map to Worshipper Demographics. And not in the case of "If you're not in India, Durga will ignore you", in the sense of "If you live in India, Durga will be there more often, but she always has time for her worshippers. It's just that there's more people celebrating the Durga Puja in Bengal right now"


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                  • #10
                    Most religions have sacred sites and regions were their holy stories/myths take place. Those are mapable within limits. And those limits can be very odd to our ways of thinking. But we don't live in those cultures. Joseph Campbell once said that the "Holy Land" was a way of looking at the world an insight he said he got from Black Elk. That's mostly true but the killer word is "mostly."

                    Your map requires radically different groups to have mainly similar definitions of territory and dominion. Humans didn't really have that with nations until well into the 19th century. And some cultures like China and Saudi Arabia don't accept those ideas yet. Deities would be far less accepting of maps as limits.

                    As a critique of your map itself, the number of pantheons that would claim the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with dramatically overlapping claims would be vast. The overlaps in Latin America would be orders of magnitude greater. If the mapping idea worked, the project of mapping the influence of the pantheons would still be impossible.

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                    • #11
                      I definitely agree that the Pantheons should not be restricted to certain geographic areas.


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                      • #12
                        Gods are definitely not restricted to certain geographic areas. They may have some preferred places, as they probably are fate bound to certain places related to their myths (demigods are, why not gods), but not restricted to it.

                        The gods have probably some preferred kinds of people when picking their scions and partners, and it would make some places more related to some pantheons than others, but it would not be a rule, some gods would mate anything (animals, objects, concepts and EVEN people once in a while). The Theoi and Aesir probably pick most of their scions and partners from Southern European and Northern European descendents respectively, the Kami probably are even more restrictive to Japanese descendants, maybe the Shen a bit to Chinese descendants, and most of the Scions of the Orisha are African descendants.

                        It's fun to see the map with USA painted blue, while there are SO many Theoi references on the US culture (Libertas is standing in front of NYC, Iustitia with her sword and scale, Nike, Minerva for many Universities, etc), while the largest Aesir reference is Santa... well, Santa is the most prominent mythical figure in modern Western countries...


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                          Gods are definitely not restricted to certain geographic areas. They may have some preferred places, as they probably are fate bound to certain places related to their myths (demigods are, why not gods), but not restricted to it.

                          The gods have probably some preferred kinds of people when picking their scions and partners, and it would make some places more related to some pantheons than others, but it would not be a rule, some gods would mate anything (animals, objects, concepts and EVEN people once in a while). The Theoi and Aesir probably pick most of their scions and partners from Southern European and Northern European descendents respectively, the Kami probably are even more restrictive to Japanese descendants, maybe the Shen a bit to Chinese descendants, and most of the Scions of the Orisha are African descendants.

                          It's fun to see the map with USA painted blue, while there are SO many Theoi references on the US culture (Libertas is standing in front of NYC, Iustitia with her sword and scale, Nike, Minerva for many Universities, etc), while the largest Aesir reference is Santa... well, Santa is the most prominent mythical figure in modern Western countries...
                          The US would not be predominantly Aesir. I agree, if anything they would be Theoi, at least at the higher levels of government and the more prestigious educational institutions. Certain regions might have a strong Aesir influence, just like the rulebook says Boston is a Tuatha stronghold. The Manitou are very influential among the descendants of the Iroquois Confederation and maybe the other First Nations of the northeast.
                          Last edited by Penelope; 09-28-2020, 12:17 PM.


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                          • #14
                            I liked the Imperium sourcebook from STV.


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                            • #15
                              The US would, honestly, include nearly all of them.

                              This is the sort of setting where southern Illinois being named "little Egypt" and the area having so many towns and cities named after Egyptian ones (Cairo, Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, etc.) is not just the result of early 19th century Egypt-mania, but likely something deliberately planned out by the Netjer as a way to advance their own interests (or just having powerful mythical significance). Likewise for other pantheons.
                              Even if you're running a campaign with the Evidence dial turned down a bit so that things are at least sort of on the down low, a major urban museum's big Mesopotamian exhibit may double as a fully functioning Cult temple to the Anunna. (Heck, with the Evidence at default, Marduk probably has his own openly practicing religion/society devoted to creating the New Babylon or something.)
                              And that's a "long dead in the real world" faith, as opposed to ones like the Orisha or Deva who are "real world active". And this is the sort of game where the PCs end up having to go to Miami (or the south of France or wherever) and visit the neighborhood where The Monkey King, Aphrodite, and Durga all have their vacation homes is part of the genre.

                              IMO, at least, the best idea for a map would just show where each pantheon originated from as opposed to trying to guess any kind of modern influence zones. Because I'm not really sure how one measures, say, certain cultural influences like the Theoi on Western Europe and its subsidiary cultures (the US, Australia, etc.) vs that of a "living and active in the real world" religion of the Deva and the Hindus who live around the globe as a sign of pantheon strength/influence.


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