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  • Which New Pantheons do you want?

    Now, new in this case means that The Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Aztec, Voodoo, Japanese, Persian, Irish, Vedic, and Chinese, pantheons are already covered. Which other non-fictional pantheons do the people on these boards want? Note: Fictional Pantheons would describe the Atlantean Pantheon and the Nationalistic Pantheons in the WWII setting in the Scion Companion. It would also cover Tolkien's elvish pantheons or anything by Moorcock or Fritz Lieber. This thread focuses on mythology.

  • #2
    An Official Mayan, Inuit, or Arabic Pantheon might be nice.

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    • #3
      A Native American pantheon would be cool and an official slavic/russian would be interesting.

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      • #4
        Inca first and foremost. Then Maya, personally. Less personally, Polynesian, Mesopotamian, and Inuit. And, in my dream-world, Guarani

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        • #5
          Mesopotamian. Hands down. I've become obsessed with them in recent years. They are just the coolest!

          Polynesian would also be welcome. As would the various Native American pantheons. Slavic/Russian are also cool.


          "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
          Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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          • #6
            Cherokee, Navajo, Iroquois, or Russian would all be really cool.


            I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

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            • #7
              I would like a Polynesian Pantheon, but it's not like you can really encapsulate that much difference in just one. It's not quite "American Indian" bad, by any means, but the myths of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Tahiti are about as different as those of Greece vs. Rome, Russian vs. Polish, Germanic vs. Norse, so one pantheon for both might work there. But those two together are distinctive from Hawaii that it's probably too much glomming together of things that are pretty different. More like Irish and Welsh or Baltic and Slavic. Distinctive enough that it's probably a disservice to mush them up together. Then you have something like Rapa Nui (Easter Island) which has gone it's own weird way from either of those.

              Otherwise, in no particular order: Mesopotamian (which is big, messy and chronologically deep, but can probably work as one pantheon, just like I don't see the need for Mycenean AND Greek pantheons), Hopi, Navajo, Inuit, Inca, Cherokee, Slavic, Canaanite, Lakota, Welsh, Tengriist...

              And, more generally: An Australian Aboriginal pantheon, something from West Africa, something from Central Asia (one, at least), something from Melanesia, something from the Amazon basin, something from the American/Canadian Northwest Coastal region

              And, of course, always.... Hittite.

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              • #8
                I'd like something...animist-like. Archaeologists continue to find evidence of animal worship, and as they seem to have been among the the first deities I'd like to see some representation...hmm. There are typically 6 early civilizations that probably deserve mention; Mesopotamia (Sumer which becomes Babylon a few millennia later); Egypt we already have; Indus Valley (India) we also have here; China (primarily Majiayao culture); Norte Chico civilization (Ancient Peru); And Mesoamerica (primarily the Olmecs). I have to admit I'm not fond of the word "civilization" in certain contexts.


                Mankind was once an endangered species. It will likely be so again. And mankind will only have itself to blame.

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                • #9
                  Good luck with the Indus Valley since there essentially no translated documents. It would be largely fictional with some nice extrapolated artwork. It makes the Gaulish pantheon look like a wellspring flooded with information.

                  And Norte Chico is going to be worse. Since there's no names, literature, anything to work with. Essentially, "I'm the son of the Staff God!"

                  With the Olmecs, at least you have a LOT of cool art. But nothing else to work with. No language. No stories. Unless you want to backtrack later Mesoamerican myths... which doesn't really help, as you probably have at least one of those pantheons probably in play. And end up with the same problem as with Norte Chico... "I'm the Son of the Maize God", "I'm the daughter of the Banded Eye God!", "Yeah? Well, I'm the grandson of the Fish/Shark Monster!" (Or Gods II, VII, VIII respectively.)

                  There is a law of dimishing returns with a lot of ancient pantheons for which there is really no supporting information to use to build them up. A game of myths and these cultures don't have anything but the vaguest hints of what their mythologies actually were...

                  There are other great examples out there of mythologies that look great, but all we've got is STUFF, no stories: the Anasazi, Cahokia and/or the SouthEastern Ceremonial Cult Complex, the Gaulish/Celtic/Celtiberians, there's a completely new Mesopotamian-era-equivalent culture in Iran that's just being discovered, Lepinski Vir (those cool fish men idols), Gobekli Tepe (sorry, no diacriticals), what may have been some pretty hardcore cool civilizations in the Amazon basin (I'll defer to Griff on this as it's not my area), the Minoans (we've got more on them than Indus or Norte Chico.... even Olmecs really since have SOME clue about names and stories... but not enough), the Vinca culture, etc. (and I'm just too lazy to get up, walk 3 steps and pick up my books on the archaeology of Africa right now).

                  Oh, I want to add Tibetan/Bon to my list.

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                  • #10
                    Oy; where to begin?

                    First, I’d like to see the Voodoo Pantheon replaced by one or two of the West African Pantheons from which Voodoo is derived, under the premise that Voodoo is a human-founded religion based on said West African Pantheons.

                    Next, let me draw a distinction between “detailed Pantheons” and “outlined Pantheons”: the former are given enough detail that you can play characters tied to them; the latter are described in just enough detail to give a general sense of what they’re like and, more importantly, what distinguishes them from the detailed Pantheons with which they might otherwise be confused — but they’re not actually fleshed out to playable status. So, for example, I might pick one Polynesian Pantheon to receive a detailed treatment (say, one based on Hawaiian beliefs), and complement it with “Pantheon outlines” for a couple of other Polynesian Pantheons (such as ones based on Easter Island and New Zealand beliefs). The outlined Pantheons could later be turned into detailed Pantheons given sufficient interest in doing so.

                    North America should get a detailed Inuit Pantheon (to deal with Alaska and Western Canada), a detailed Algonquin Pantheon (for Eastern Canada and the northeast United States), something from the Great Plains, and something west of the Rockies, in addition to the Aztecs. It should not get a generic blend of Native American mythologies lumped together into a single Pantheon, and “outlined Pantheons” should be used liberally to make it clear that the Pantheons that are detailed are a mere sampling of the North American Pantheons.

                    I’d like to get Gaulish and Arabian Pantheons; but given the lack of solid information on these, they’d end up qualifying as fictional Pantheons and thus outside the scope of this thread.

                    I’d like a Phoenician Pantheon, a Sumerian Pantheon, a Slavic Pantheon, and a Mongolian Pantheon, with Baltic and Caucasian Pantheons being outlined rather than detailed.

                    And I could keep going…


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Oy; where to begin?



                      North America should get a detailed Inuit Pantheon (to deal with Alaska and Western Canada), a detailed Algonquin Pantheon (for Eastern Canada and the northeast United States), something from the Great Plains, and something west of the Rockies, in addition to the Aztecs. It should not get a generic blend of Native American mythologies lumped together into a single Pantheon, and “outlined Pantheons” should be used liberally to make it clear that the Pantheons that are detailed are a mere sampling of the North American Pantheons.
                      West of the Rockies as in NW Coast (Salish, Tlingit, Haida, Kwakwaka'kawakw, etc.)? Or West of the Rockies as in CA (Chumash, Tongva, etc.)?

                      I really want to throw the Hopi/Zuni/Pueblo and/or the Navajo/Dineh in there.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                        Good luck with the Indus Valley since there essentially no translated documents. It would be largely fictional with some nice extrapolated artwork. It makes the Gaulish pantheon look like a wellspring flooded with information.

                        And Norte Chico is going to be worse. Since there's no names, literature, anything to work with. Essentially, "I'm the son of the Staff God!"
                        That's ok.
                        That's ok. I'm not looking for a paper on archaeology. I'm looking to see what stories get created from what does exist. Which means "largely fictional" is fine. (I'm pretty sure this is still a game.) "Creative" and "entertaining" are what I look for. And I haven't been disappointed yet.


                        Mankind was once an endangered species. It will likely be so again. And mankind will only have itself to blame.

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                        • #13
                          To butcher Gertrude Stein, "There is no there there."

                          There is just no mythology for those cultures: A picture of a fish man on a cylinder seal is not a mythology. An image of a guy with a head-dress and a stick is not a mythology. An image impressed onto a silver cauldron, a bunch of syncretistic references in another cultures documents that are inconsistent and illustrative are not a mythology. A bunch of glyphs that seem to have something to do with the mythologies we have from subsequent cultures are not mythologies, especially with no accompanying material that associates them with the later myths. A large amount of ceremonial desposits but nothing more than figures, etc. are not a mythology.

                          Mention of a "lost" people who are associated with visible remains, considered to be ancestors, "Others", divine beings, demons, etc. probably gets you a little closer, but, really, what it gets you is what you get for mythologies we do (sorta) have records for... analogues of the Alfar, or Nymphs/Dryads/Satyrs, Djinn, etc. So, sure, you can try to shoehorn the Olmec big heads into Mesoamerican myths as some mythological figures in their mythology or use the Anasazi the way they were perceived by the Navajo and/or the Hopi, but then you are using the memory of the culture/people in a mythical way from someone else's mythology, not as a mythology that you just don't have. The Anasazi pantheon probably has a lot to do with the Hopi pantheon, but who knows?

                          You're right though, this is largely NOT about archaeology, so if all we have is archaeology or textual/ethnohistorical information that's tattered onion-skin thin, at best, then those pantheons should go down with the Great Old Ones, the "Folk-Tale" pantheons of WW2, the Atlantean pantheon, the Valar, etc. Pure fiction.

                          We do have stories for some really cool weird off-kilter stuff that CAN be done. Hittites LEAP to mind.

                          And the OP wanted actual mythologies, actual pantheons. Not fictional creations.

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                          • #14
                            The Gaelic pantheon can't be anything but a fictional creation, as well as the related "druid pantheon." I certainly hope it won't stop anyone from making one however.
                            However I agree that the OP wanted to focus on the actual existing myths, so my digression can't be welcome. *bows out*


                            Mankind was once an endangered species. It will likely be so again. And mankind will only have itself to blame.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It’s also not a treatise on comparative religion/mythology, which is why care needs to be taken in distinguishing between which Pantheons should be detailed (because oh wow! There’s something there that players and narrators would love to dig their teeth into) and which ones should just be outlined (because as interesting as they may be, you can’t justify a full write-up for them).

                              Frankly, I don’t know enough about most mythologies to make that determination; I’m really only familiar with the Greek and Norse Pantheons. What I’d love to see would be a hundred-Pantheon list of elevator pitches: one sentence about each saying why it deserves to be given a detailed treatment. That would at least give me a sense as to what the options are, beyond geographic region. For instance, you mentioned the Hopi: what do they bring to the table other than being situated in the American southwest? (I’m not disagreeing with the proposal; I just don’t know anything about the Hopi beyond their name and region.)

                              I think it’s also worth considering the game’s initial focus: as much as Onyx Path has an international audience, its primary audience is still North American — specifically, the United States. As such, the initial selection of Pantheons ought to be ones whose influence is likely to be found in the United States, as the default game is likely to be set there. Which isn’t nearly as restrictive as it might sound at first, given its “nation of immigrants” nature. This informed my earlier suggestions: you say that there are (at least) three distinct Polynesian Pantheons, based in New Zealand, Hawaii, and Easter Island; I say that if we only get one of those, all else being equal, it should be the Hawaiian one (because Hawaii is a State) — this coming from someone who lived in New Zealand for a while and would personally be interested in that Polynesian Pantheon. And that’s almost an argument for choosing a Voodoo Pantheon over a West African one — almost. I still prefer “Voodoo is how [West African Pantheon] manifests itself in North America”. That is, elements of Voodoo should be there; but they should be build on a West African foundation.
                              Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-18-2015, 04:53 PM.


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