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  • Esotericism in Scion

    Wanted to call topic ‘Occult in Scion’, but thought it would be confusing with games Occult Skill. 😎 I want to talk here about ‘magical traditions/practices’ in Scion setting. We lately analyze that Scion and Mage: The Awekening has A LOT of common elements. I wonder if we can deepen it on full esotericism and ‘magical traditions’ in Scion?

    For example…

    ( DISCLAIMER: Can we assume that in this topic, we are sticking to MYTHICAL reality - not the historical facts? Scion is based on idea that pagan gods are all to real - and our history and scientific reality points otherwise. In Scion we also have Rainbow Bridges, Giant Oak Tree in center of Cosmos, 8 Realms of other realities - and I only points to Aesir believes here - and our real world Earth science seems to point those things do not exist.

    So, returning to topic - If myths and legends says Tarot came from Egypt from times of pharaohs, in Scion it SHOULD be at least partially true. )
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-17-2020, 09:57 PM.


    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ through Ages
    LGBT+ in CoD games

  • #2
    Tarot

    Historically speaking, first Tarot decks are found in 1450s. Highly allegorical, cards quickly conquered occultists imagination. Used to divinations and allegories, they taken many reference in magical practices, even to nowadays.

    As to Scion interpretation, many elements in deck are similar to Theoi ideas or ascetics. Some legends say Tarot was given by Hermes Trismegistus to mortals to broaden their occult understanding. Others points to Egyptian god Djehuty (Thoth). Some stories points even Egypt as origin of Tarot deck, in ancient pharaohs times.

    Setting implications: What would be Tarot setting implications? That Netjer and Theoi ‘fight’ over it’s control? That both Pantheons are fond of the deck and it’s usage? What do you think?

    EDIT: Ravian idea on the matter:
    Originally posted by Ravian View Post
    At absolute minimum, a scion of Hermes and/or Thoth who got really into Tarot for whatever could maybe achieve apotheosis as an Incarnate of Hermes Trimegistus and will their own Tarot cards into retroactive existence, but even then that's a big if on whether Fate behaves as you'd like it to, something that Fate is notoriously not known for.

    Mechanical implications: Are there any? Maybe Tarot deck simply givers Enhancement on divination rolls?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-18-2020, 03:08 AM.


    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ through Ages
    LGBT+ in CoD games

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    • #3
      I think that there may be more playspace in this when we get the full Sorcerer rules, but for now I feel like some of these things will be methods and tools more than anything.

      Like a Tarot deck might give some Enhancement on rolls that use the Occult skill for divination, on the "The right tools for the right job" ground.

      You can also allow other situational Enhancement, like an amulet of amethyst to prevent you from getting drunk (Trivia tidbit: In medieval eras, not only was this done, but it was also considered a perfectly acceptable form of natural magic by many clergy, as the properties of the gem itself prevented intoxication, and thus was viewed roughly akin to wearing wool to keep warm. Perfectly normal and in line with God's design) may actually give some Enhancement to fight off hangovers.

      For people with more mystical heft than the average slumber party breaking out a doll or a makeshift Ouiji Board to try and talk to the dead, I wager we may see things like School-based Motifs for when Sorcerer PCs are a thing. Like something similar to the methods shown in the Ars Goetia may grant a Motif of "Summoning and binding the right demons allow anything to be done"
      Last edited by Kyman201; 11-17-2020, 01:59 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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      • #4
        This is a great topic for me too actually. For years, I was primarily a Mage: The Ascension fan, but ultimately have found the setting a bit too messy for me recently. Mage: The Awakening was OK, but in Scion I have found a game that explores a similar concept of competing paradigms of belief, but is a bit more grounded and more consistent in tone and overall premise I feel. However, I love esotericism in RPGs, and would love to see more opportunities to develop Scion around my own table in a Mage-ey way.

        The magic systems in Scion are more ability specific, rather than Mage’s freeform system, although I am wondering whether it will become a bit more freeform as we see DemiGod and the God books? You could also involve Tarot cards too - and indeed, the ones made for Mage: The Awakening don’t actually look that bad for purpose.

        I would like to see an idea develop of some secret societies in the Scion world which may, or may not, involve Scions (they could be antagonists) and it would be good to see some sort of ritual magic system integrated into the game perhaps.

        Interested in what other ideas emerge from this actually.

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        • #5
          Fun fact, the Tarot is of Christian origin. It was used as a portable concealable preaching aid. Any Theoi or Netjer involvement is post 1800AD. The first major claims for the occult power of the Tarot cards comes with the first phases of the 19th century Occult Revival in Paris.

          Now the Occult Revivals of the 19th century is juicy gaming territory.

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          • #6
            Tarot are just playing cards created in 14th century Italy to play a type of bridge called tarocchi. Their origin is completely mundane, and they have no connection to anything religious. It isn't until the 18th century that any kind of occult connotation is added to them. They definitely weren't used as a preaching aid in the 14th and 15th century, the decks were super expensive and were hand painted, it’s unlikely any preacher or cleric could afford one.

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            • #7
              The Tarot were invented by the Grand Arch Mage Wisen Dokatang Dinz in the 27th century. He used the cards as a portal in order to travel through time and space, and ensure that Fate of the Universe was maintained and unaltered. Unfortunately he suffered a brain embolism in 6026BC, which scuppered everything planned for the future and shows why everything we now know is wrong. He was also known for inventing pi which he ate (he suffered from dyslexia).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Trippy View Post
                The Tarot were invented by the Grand Arch Mage Wisen Dokatang Dinz in the 27th century. He used the cards as a portal in order to travel through time and space, and ensure that Fate of the Universe was maintained and unaltered. Unfortunately he suffered a brain embolism in 6026BC, which scuppered everything planned for the future and shows why everything we now know is wrong. He was also known for inventing pi which he ate (he suffered from dyslexia).
                You are wise in your generation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Trippy View Post
                  The Tarot were invented by the Grand Arch Mage Wisen Dokatang Dinz in the 27th century. He used the cards as a portal in order to travel through time and space, and ensure that Fate of the Universe was maintained and unaltered. Unfortunately he suffered a brain embolism in 6026BC, which scuppered everything planned for the future and shows why everything we now know is wrong. He was also known for inventing pi which he ate (he suffered from dyslexia).

                  Sorry, I stand corrected.

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                  • #10
                    Can we assume that in this topic, we are sticking to MYTHICAL reality - not the historical facts? Scion is based on idea that pagan gods are all to real - and our history and scientific reality points otherwise. In Scion we also have Rainbow Bridges, Giant Oak Tree in center of Cosmos, 8 Realms of other realities - and I only points to Aesir believes here - and our real world Earth science seems to point those things do not exist.

                    So, returning to topic - If myths and legends says Tarot came from Egypt from times of pharaohs, in Scion it SHOULD be at least partially true.


                    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                    LGBT+ through Ages
                    LGBT+ in CoD games

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                      So, returning to topic - If myths and legends says Tarot came from Egypt from times of pharaohs, in Scion it SHOULD be at least partially true.
                      No. No it's not. That's not a myth nor is it a legend. It's Advertising.

                      When we say 'All Myths Are Real', it's important to remember that the following are not myth:
                      • Bad PR - Kali's portrayal in Temple of Doom in no way influenced Real Kali.
                      • Advertising - Some mystic may be able to get actual power out of Tarot cards, claiming that the Tarot cards originate from the days of Egypt will be lying.
                        • Similarly - Lies to try and establish legitimacy are not magically true. If I were to tell the World that I'm Odin, I'd be a liar. Unless I put in the legwork to claim the Mantle of Odin, and at that point I'm not a liar anymore, because I'm Odin.
                      • Other Goddamn Lies - Lies used to placate people are still lies. Things like Trickle-Down economics and fad diets don't actually work in the World of Scion, because those are Goddamn Lies, not myth. Many scams are not true in Scion.
                      Tarot cards I'd allow for characters to use, but they're not gonna have claims of legitimacy for them being older than they are. I'd go with something like 'In the 1800s, some people have learned how to see patterns in the Tarot cards and learned how to divine meaning from dealing them. Shockingly, there are also schools who claim see the future in things like poker hands'


                      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 wyrdhamster View Post
                        Can we assume that in this topic, we are sticking to MYTHICAL reality - not the historical facts? Scion is based on idea that pagan gods are all to real - and our history and scientific reality points otherwise. In Scion we also have Rainbow Bridges, Giant Oak Tree in center of Cosmos, 8 Realms of other realities - and I only points to Aesir believes here - and our real world Earth science seems to point those things do not exist.

                        So, returning to topic - If myths and legends says Tarot came from Egypt from times of pharaohs, in Scion it SHOULD be at least partially true.
                        Based on what we know thus far, the "all myths are true" element of the setting comes primarily due to the influence of beings of God tier, and even then usually only indirectly.

                        Reality in Scion is subjective to some degree. A Demigod can achieve apotheosis and retroactively exist since the beginning of time, creating new versions of myth with them involved.

                        But this is relatively rare, difficult to control, largely rooted on deeds the being did do, and wholly outside of the scope of most weaker beings.

                        So, a group of bored French nobility who got really into parlor trick divinations and wanted to make up some justification for why playing cards can predict the future can't just will the existence of Tarot cards back to being an ancient Egyptian practice.

                        At absolute minimum, a scion of Hermes and/or Thoth who got really into Tarot for whatever could maybe achieve apotheosis as an Incarnate of Hermes Trimegistus and will their own Tarot cards into retroactive existence, but even then that's a big if on whether Fate behaves as you'd like it to, something that Fate is notoriously not known for.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ravian View Post
                          At absolute minimum, a scion of Hermes and/or Thoth who got really into Tarot for whatever could maybe achieve apotheosis as an Incarnate of Hermes Trimegistus and will their own Tarot cards into retroactive existence, but even then that's a big if on whether Fate behaves as you'd like it to, something that Fate is notoriously not known for.
                          Great idea, consider it stolen for my games!


                          My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                          LGBT+ through Ages
                          LGBT+ in CoD games

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                          • #14
                            Now that the Tarot question has been definitively resolved, other things you might do with esotericism* in Scion:

                            - A Cult devoted to an obscure Mantle of a God, allowing its members to ask for miracles that the exoteric religion does not. Anyone can ask Dionysus for a moment of ecstatic clarity, but only a few know the right prayers to ask him to retrieve a shade from Hades with a good chance of success. The Cult is led by your typical Scion who picked the absolute minimum number of crossover Callings and Purviews as their divine parent, then went off to do their own thing.

                            - A set of esoteric teachings that give access to an otherwise unknown Axis Mundi or entire Realm.

                            - A cross-pantheon mystery religion whose initiates can receive the benefit of a specialized or otherwise alternate PSP from its Gods. The pantheon is made up of former Scions who retained their connection after Apotheosis but didn't want to leave their original pantheon completely. Instead, they came up with a shared Motif and a common theme that changes their innate PSP.

                            - A magical tradition that allows an occultist Scion to replace their pantheon's Motif with a different one. Mortal sorcerers can tap into the same Motif, although usually with significantly less effect.

                            * In the interest of saving time, I'm going to skip the part where we try to define esotericism or magic.

                            -g.

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                            • #15
                              I like all of those ideas Geoffrey

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