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Which New Pantheons do you want?

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  • Nyrufa
    replied
    Would Buddhism / Hindu be interesting? You could have Scions walking around with like 6 to 12 arms. Might be a little bit risque because it's a modern day religion, but if they can get away with the Loa, I don't think it would be too complicated.


    Also, if we're going by real world mythology, I'd like to pose the concept of Cthulhu and friends. Yes, there are actual cults dedicated to worshiping them, so the idea has merit!



    Buddhist / Hindu Scion in Action


    On an additional note, I would also like to see an "independent pantheon" at some point. Gods and goddesses who operate on their own, such as the Lord of the Harvest and so on. I think a monotheism faction could be an effective means of independent Scions.
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 09-24-2016, 05:56 AM.

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  • The Revenge of TV Head
    replied
    What I really want, is guidelines for homebrewing Pantheons. Because there's no way they can fit every Pantheon on the world into one book, or even a dozen books. Empowering their fanbase into filling in the gaps just seems like it'd appeal to me.

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  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by DShomshak View Post
    I think Mesopotamian is the game's biggest gap. It's an important culture; and it's well-documented, with lots of vivid personalities and stories, making it easy to adapt.

    Dean Shomshak
    I agree. It's all of those things and the material is MUCH more accessible than many other pantheons out there. It may not be as widely known as the Greek and Norse, but it's definitely on par with, say, the Irish. And, probably overall, more well known than, say, the Aztec. (The Aztec, however, have high a shock value and people have some idea about the Aztec people, so they are a good choice for the level of interest they can generate as opposed to general knowledge.)

    Having said that, though, there are a lot of cool pantheons out there, like the Yazata, which aren't part of the zeitgeist. I think there needs to be a balance between a culture to culture "popularity contest" vs. accessing the more obscure, but very cool, stuff that is lurking out there. A nice mix (slanted to the popular) would be fantastic.
    Last edited by Ajax; 03-20-2015, 12:08 PM.

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  • Shadowflame
    replied
    *nods*
    Sumer, like Egypt, went through several periods that saw some changes.
    I for one would like to see how such changes are made to fit in with today's timeframe. After all humanity has changed over the millennia. It seems fitting that the gods would too.

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  • DShomshak
    replied
    I think Mesopotamian is the game's biggest gap. It's an important culture; and it's well-documented, with lots of vivid personalities and stories, making it easy to adapt.

    Dean Shomshak

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  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by Arlecchino View Post
    Polynesian, personally. Focus on either Hawaiian or Maori, as they're probably the most well-documented. Though for islands thousands of miles apart, their mythologies do have a surprising amount of overlap.

    Edit: also, the creation story with Rangi and Papa vs their children really fits the Gods vs. Titans theme.
    Less so than, say, the Irish and Welsh and merging those two would make people scream.

    Papa (Hawaiian) and Papa/Papatanaku (Maori) are very similar, as are Rangi (Hawaiian) and Rangi/Ranginui (Maori), but, to the Maori, they are VERY Titan-like, probably including their oldest son Tawhirimatea as well, to the Hawaiians, they definitely give off a "divine ruler couple progenitor" gods vibe (with a friendly Titan in Kane)

    Personally, I'd go with the Maori because of the absolutely awesome and fitting-for-the-game story about Ranginiu & Papatanaku, Tawhirirmatea, Tumatauegna, Tangaroa, Haumiatiketike, Tane & Rongo. It's lacking in a few goddesses, but with JUST those guys, you almost have enough material for divine parentage right there.

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  • Arlecchino
    replied
    Polynesian, personally. Focus on either Hawaiian or Maori, as they're probably the most well-documented. Though for islands thousands of miles apart, their mythologies do have a surprising amount of overlap.

    Edit: also, the creation story with Rangi and Papa vs their children really fits the Gods vs. Titans theme.

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  • Ajax
    replied
    It's hard to boil the Hopi down into a one sentence pitch.... So I won't try. Here's a fast, dirty and messy pitch -

    Unique worldview but some familiar tropes, so easier access than they would otherwise seem. There are definitely some Mesoamerica-esque features - like Pahana, a Quetzalcoatl-like figure ("white" god, went away to east but will come back, thought that he had when the Spaniards showed up, but they TESTED the Spaniard in question so they knew he was NOT Pahana... I bet Monteczuma wishes he'd done that...) - but still very very differen, so it's not retreading old ground. Rich detailed myths with the gods doing lots of cool things (which is something we don't actually have for the Loa... but do for the Orisha): Hahti Wuti - Grandmother Spider, who led people from the last world into this one and made sure they learned what they needed to know in order to live... also patron of the Spider Clan, Masauwu, Lord of Fire and the Dead (the entrance to his underworld is where the 2 rivers meet in the Grand Canyon) with his flaming whips made of braided yucca plants, Pookanghoya and Palongahoya, sort of their version of the Hero Twins from Mayan myths (only not), etc.. Lots of "other beings" to slot in. (Including "witches", "sorcerers" and "wizards", oh my, who all do different things) and the Anasazi get some mileage here as well. Potential cool relics. (I want the bag of magic corn meal!) There's enough there to get a good PSP out of (which can be a very key factor in trying to create a new pantheon.... if you don't know enough about them to have them have a power of their own... they are probably going to be too flat to sustain a lot of stories), probably something to do with the religious aspects of the "Kachina dolls" only done with more understanding and reverence for the issues.

    If I were to have to pick an American Southwest tribe to detail out as a pantheon, the Hopi would be my No. 1 choice. Only very slightly edging out the Navajo for that spot. It's a shame to not have all the other very very different groups there detailed as well, but you can't have everything.
    Last edited by Ajax; 03-18-2015, 05:32 PM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    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, 05:53 PM.

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  • Shadowflame
    replied
    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*

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  • Ajax
    replied
    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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  • Shadowflame
    replied
    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.

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  • Ajax
    replied
    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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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    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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  • Ajax
    replied
    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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