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  • Other Native American Gods

    I noticed that the two Native American god group are from very distant areas the one is Central America based and the other is more northern based. Is there plans on covering other groups like like the south west or Great Plains? Has anyone worked on these? Or other North American groups? What about the South American mythology’s yea we has some of that with the central but there is much more. I know the Onyx Path can’t do all of them and the Native American mythology’s are both Hard to get information about and include a large number of different groups.

  • #2
    God is slated to have the Zemí, the gods of the indigenous Caribbean Taíno, and it's been hinted another North American pantheon will be included.


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tytalan View Post
      I noticed that the two Native American god group are from very distant areas the one is Central America based and the other is more northern based. Is there plans on covering other groups like like the south west or Great Plains? Has anyone worked on these? Or other North American groups? What about the South American mythology’s yea we has some of that with the central but there is much more. I know the Onyx Path can’t do all of them and the Native American mythology’s are both Hard to get information about and include a large number of different groups.
      It's not so much that information is always hard to come by and more that with Native North American Pantheons, Scion has set very high standards for itself, requiring writers with an appropriate cultural background and a general support from the culture in question for being represented like that. I've heard that some Native American Pantheons that had been planned were cancelled because of pushback from the communities in question - which really just goes to show how solid the depictions we are getting there are. Sadly, that also means that we will be getting a lot fewer Native American Pantheons than if the quality standards were lower.

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      • #4
        Something else to consider. We take Norse and Greek mythology as standard/typical. They really aren't. Many mythologies don't arrange the gods (if they even think of their beings of power as such) into families and/or narratives of the type we're used to.

        Some fascinating Native American mythologies would need to be violently torn apart and clumsily shoved back together to be made workable for Scion. That's viable for D&D but not for Scion.

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        • #5
          Demigod will have a South American (Inca) pantheon too.

          The good news is that Scion is pretty customizable. The hard part is coming up with a Pantheon Specific Purview, but you can always fall back to the Covenant rules from Mysteries of the World

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
            Something else to consider. We take Norse and Greek mythology as standard/typical. They really aren't. Many mythologies don't arrange the gods (if they even think of their beings of power as such) into families and/or narratives of the type we're used to.

            Some fascinating Native American mythologies would need to be violently torn apart and clumsily shoved back together to be made workable for Scion. That's viable for D&D but not for Scion.
            That is a very good point.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tytalan
              What do you mean “appropriate cultural background”? If you mean they have to be from that culture I would disagree but if you mean they have to legitimately studied that culture as in have a credible degree in studying that culture I would agree with that. Anyone who has studied sociology and anthropology will tell you that just because someone is a member of a culture does not mean that they understand their culture and or mythology. A good example is if you ask any 10 people on American streets what the civil war was fought over and they will say slavery. This is actually wrong it was fought over states rights vs federal rights. Slavery was just a rallying cry for the north. The concept that only someone from the culture can understand and has the ability to write about it is a fallacy. If that were true than the only American writers for the difference mythologies would be the native Americans ones. You would also have a very hard time finding a Celt to write about our mythology since the Catholic Church did a awesome job wiping it out.
              In principle you are right, but when it comes to still living cultures, especially ones who have been violently persecuted by Colonial powers, and most scholarly research has been done by said Colonial powers, complete with biases and often gross inaccuracies, a "scholarly expert" on the subject isn't much of a trusted authority figure, as opposed to, say a tribal elder or dedicated tribal storyteller. In these kinds of situations, when the cultures in question are still struggling to survive and rebuild their culture, misrepresentation from outsiders only compounds the issue further.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tytalan
                What do you mean “appropriate cultural background”? If you mean they have to be from that culture I would disagree but if you mean they have to legitimately studied that culture as in have a credible degree in studying that culture I would agree with that. Anyone who has studied sociology and anthropology will tell you that just because someone is a member of a culture does not mean that they understand their culture and or mythology. A good example is if you ask any 10 people on American streets what the civil war was fought over and they will say slavery. This is actually wrong it was fought over states rights vs federal rights. Slavery was just a rallying cry for the north. The concept that only someone from the culture can understand and has the ability to write about it is a fallacy. If that were true than the only American writers for the difference mythologies would be the native Americans ones. You would also have a very hard time finding a Celt to write about our mythology since the Catholic Church did a awesome job wiping it out.
                What I mean by an appropriate cultural background is ultimately something that depends on the individual case. As Grevnor has hinted at, for many formerly colonised peoples, a White "expert" is insufficient. Too much hurt has happened, there would not be the necessary trust in that situation. That doesn't mean that people can only speak about their own cultures. It is exactly the question of trust and legitimacy that needs to be solved. Scion solved it pretty well for the Manidoog (Manitou), hiring a writer who was not himself Anishinaabe, but Lakota and on good terms personally with a number of Anishinaabe people. However, not all cultures trust outsiders at all to represent them, and that absolutely needs to be respected. And again picking up on what Grevnor said, there is a difference between living, (formerly) colonised cultures who still practise their beliefs and want to see them protected, and the question of reconstruction pre-Christian Celtic beliefs. In the latter case, a scholar is still not the same as a cultural insider, but probably the closest you can get (unless, of course, you want to focus the project on modern Neo-Pagan reconstruction rather than the historical one, in which case an actual Neo-Pagan of course is the better choice). Bonus points if you get a scholar with an ethnic Celtic background like, say, Watcher :P

                Meanwhile, having anthropology and sociology stand in for the claim that members of a culture are inferior experts on it to outsiders is pretty strong stuff. That is the kind of claim anthropology may have made in the 19th and early 20th century, but I don't think that any serious scholar of that field since the 70s or 80s has subscribed to that view. The whole rationale of participant observation as developed by Malinowski and still practised by anthropology today is that you have to become as close to a member of a given culture as possible to even approximate understanding of it. The example of the American Civil War, distasteful as it is (I'll address that below) actually shows a misunderstanding of what cultural comprehension in an anthropological sense means. Culture doesn't consist of "facts" and knowing a certain canon of facts. It consists of an ingrained awareness of a universe of symbols. Being a member of US culture (if we suppose, quite inaccurately, that the US have a single culture) would not mean knowing certain verified historical facts about the country, but being aware that the debate about the meaning of the Civil War matters, that taking a specific side in that debate signifies political alignment, that someone who espouses the views on the matter you just did risks accusations of racism, and so on. Culture is not so much about what things are, but about what they mean.

                Which leads me to what I see as a necessary critique of the example you used. Without meaning to derail the threat, I do think historical revisionism and the bending of facts need to be pointed out where they occur. The American Civil War was absolutely about slavery. That is the overwhelming consensus among serious scholars on the topic. I will simply point to Wikipedia here, since they give a more complete list of sources than I could currently supply: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americ...il_War#Slavery The "states' rights" explanation has time and again been shown to be a post-facto piece of Southern apologism. And even if it were not contradicted by historical evidence, which it is, I think the explanation can be reduced to the pointed question John Oliver delivered in his discussion of the issue: "States' rights to do what?"

                Please mind, I say all this only in an effort to correct the fact. I don't mean to accuse you of anything. I don't know whether you are yourself American and where you got this version of events from. Like I said above, I think it is a feature of US culture(s) that this kind of discussion can spark accusations of racism. I don't mean to make such accusations; like I said, I nothing about you or your intentions. But if nothing else, I think this situation delivers a prime example of what culture is and who interprets it (the question originally raised by your thread).

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                • #9
                  Indeed. Not to put too fine a point on it; but prior to the Civil War, one could argue that it was the northern States that were having their rights violated, as things like the Dred Scott case were gradually forcing them to permit slavery into their borders against their express wishes. To the extent that the Civil War was fought over States' rights vs. federal control, the trigger was that the southern states saw their dominance over the federal government* slipping away and so decided to collectively take their ball and go home.

                  * Ironically, the only reason why their dominance over the federal government could be broken was because of the much criticized 3/5 rule in the Constitution, which was actually about apportionment of seats in Congress: had the slave states had their way during the Constitutional Convention, every slave would have counted in full toward how much influence the South had in Congress, despite the slaves not being able to vote; and that in turn would have given them enough seats in the Electoral College to prevent Lincoln from becoming President nearly a century later. Not to mention enough votes to pass laws in Congress forcing the free states to recognize the rights of slaveholders to own property.


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                  • #10
                    The point is that, in cases where the culture in question is a living culture, efforts should be made to make sure the content of the game reflects that culture in a way that is recognizable and embraceable to members of that culture. It's easy to get wrong, and so Onyx Path are rightly cautious. I think contracting with some of the developers of Coyote and Crow, if they're available and interested, would be a great idea.

                    Also, I'm curious as to why the threads you start often seem to turn into places for you to argue neo-Confederate talking points? Do you perhaps have some other agenda in participating in this forum than discussing role-playing games?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tytalan
                      I love it when people quote Wikipedia as a legitimate source it not! Here one of many many sources that tell the true tail of the civil war. https://medium.com/@jonathanusa/ever...g-9e94f0118269 I’ll not go into details but claiming the civil war was about slavery is lazy history.

                      as for my other point you made it yourself when you point out that a credible outsider wrote manitou section of the book. Dismissing anthropologist and sociologist as credible sources is a current social bias. Now I would agree that a member of that society who is considered credible is definitely preferred and I support Onyx’s decision to limit their sources to such individuals. Now I haven’t heard of any push back from the Native American societies. I would encourage Onyx Path to contact various leaders from these groups to see it this is a issue that could be resolved. My suggest would be contacting this group if possible to help resolve any issues https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...jectdomino.com
                      I did not point to Wikipedia as a source, I pointed to the list of sources in the footnotes of that Wikipedia article, which seems like a good starting point to me. Nor did I dismiss anthropologists and sociologists as sources, I dismissed them as the optimal choice of writer for certain projects, which is a huge difference. Given the high regard in which you hold academic scholars, though (as a historian, I cannot help but approve), I do have to wonder why you cite an article by a non-expert journalist rather than any of the rich historical works published on the topic (to a list of which I was, as I said, trying to point with my reference to Wikipedia). I can only repeat that the scholarly consensus on the issue is that the American Civil War ignited itself over the issue of slavery and that the narrative of "states' rights" is to a large part the product of post-facto apologism. I am myself not an expert on US history, but I've read the basics, and if you want, I can ask the colleagues in my Slavery Studies group to recommend some reading for you to inform yourself on the topic.

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                      • #12
                        Mmm… take a look at the link tytalan provided. It doesn't quite say what tytalan claims it does (i.e., it doesn't say that the Civil War was about states rights); but it does say that the causes of the war were more complex than just the issue of slavery. Rather, it cites economic factors as the main impetus for secession: namely, tarrifs that were helping northern states and hurting the southern economy; and Lincoln's election platform included one more tariff that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

                        That's not to say that slavery wasn't an issue; over half of the seceding States cited it as the reason why they left the Union. But it didn't become the rallying cry for the North until a couple of years later, with the Emancipation Proclamation. The article argues that the initial reason why the North fought against the secession was that the loss of income from tariffs on southern states would wreak havoc on a number of northern states that had come to depend on that income.

                        I don't buy everything the article has to say; in particular, it downplays the significance of the slavery issue (e.g., what I described as “over half of the seceding States”, it describes as “only six states”). So definitely read it with a critical eye. But it does bring up some facts that generally aren't disguised or widely known these days, and I'd say it should be fact checked rather than summarily dismissed.


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                        • #13
                          At best, saying that the Civil War was about state's rights, not slavery, is woefully inaccurate. At worst, it's rhetoric used by racists to disguise that they're hiding their bigotry behind a veil of legitimacy by waving a flag for a nation that lasted fewer years than Pokemon Go.

                          It was about the rights of States... To own slaves.

                          There were economic reasons... When many states had economies built entirely on owning slaves.

                          And if you look at the Confederate Constitution here, you'll notice that it is in many ways identical to the US constitution at the time, with a few additional notes. Of note...

                          Originally posted by Article I, Section 9, Line 4
                          No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed
                          Originally posted by Article IV, Section 3, Line 3 (Partial Quote)
                          In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.
                          So yeah it wasn't about slavery, slavery was just so important that they put in two parts making sure it was illegal to prevent the ownership of other people, AND a line making sure that new territory added ALSO had Permanent Slavery No Abolition. /s

                          Frankly, going "AHKTUALLY, the Civil War was about State's Rights, not slavery" is a dog-whistle so loud I'm surprised it didn't wake up every dog in my neighborhood.

                          For the topic of the OP: Given the history of colonialism involved with many of these Native faiths, OPP has elected to be careful with them. There are tribal groups that have made it very clear that they would prefer NOT to share their stories with the people who've already taken so much from them, and it's within their rights to do so. And the not-dickish thing to do in those instances is to go "Understandable, have a good day".


                          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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver
                            Yeah; that's part of why I was pointing out that the linked article does not say that it was a states' rights thing. If you're going to criticize it, at least be sure that it's saying what you think it's saying before slamming it.
                            I hope it didn't seem like I was criticising the article out of hand. I just pointed out that since we were speaking of the value of academic work, it seemed strange to bring journalistic takes on things into it. In any case, I think we've been bothering a tangent for long enough here, so maybe we can bend this back somehow to the topic of Native American representation in Scion. It is definitely a thorny topic, not just to write, but to play as well. I feel relatively comfortable using the Manitou as written, given exactly these high standards we were speaking of, but I know a lot of people still avoid using them because they're afraid of perpetrating just another act of hurt to a marginalised culture. So I guess the question I want to throw into the room is: Given the very solid writing standards we have seen from Scion 2e at least for Native North American representation (I think it is common knowledge that I have my quibbles with a few of the other parts of the books), what can we as GMs and players do to increase comfort surrounding these Pantheons at the table? Because I think once a good representational take like the 2e Manitou is out there, people should engage with it. It helps humanise Native Americans, who in modern pop culture are so thoroughly othered, it helps you learn about their culture in a way that has had at least some checks for accuracy, and thus it helps keep these threatened cultures alive. It is a real shame, though thoroughly understandable, that guilty conscience and hesitancy regarding playing Manitou characters remains among some people. So how can things be smoothed over there?

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                            • #15
                              The Confederate States of America Declaration of Independence lists slavery as its reason for existing. Consider it a matter of policy and reason for post deletion to claim otherwise.

                              Carry on.



                              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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