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The God-Machine (and demons) and religious trapping

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  • The God-Machine (and demons) and religious trapping

    I applied for a game of Demon: the Descent, and submitted a Hindi character with a four armed, three-eyed demonic form made of flesh-like metal and a desire to build a cult. I was denied on the grounds that the Hindu trappings are confusing and restrictive. The ST said the God-Machine is more monetheistic, and Hinduism is polytheistic. And since cults are just infrastructure it makes no sense to use Hindu trappings.

    I really have no good arguments and am thinking I should just rewrite the character. I brought up that reinterpreting the mythology through a non-Western lense is a valid approach, but the reason is not valid enough. Anyone have some justification for m choice?


    My Homebrew
    Star Wars d10
    The Fallen for Demon: the Descent
    Requiem for a Masquerade: VtR 2e Cainite Conversion (Vampira Roma)

  • #2
    I would say your idea was perfectly fine and your Storyteller should be more open minded, flexible, and willing to play along. Extra Mechanical Limbs is right there, and the recent Enemy Action supplement openly includes a four-armed Unchained "rakshasi.".

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    • #3
      All I would ask, is why does your character's cult have Hindi trappings? Is it a conscious choice on the Demon's part to exploit that religion? Or does the demon have their own beliefs that lead there?

      The point of the questions is to flesh out the character, not to discredit the idea.


      (he/him/his)


      Backer #2010

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      • #4
        I'd counter that the God-Machine could probably care less regarding Monotheism vs Polytheism - It uses whatever works for Its goals. Monotheism is simply convenient in that there are no potential competing voices. But delegating a collection of Angels to serve as the gods? Perfectly workable.

        As stated, what do you mean behind the Hindi trappings for the Cult? (I'd still reject the "cults are just Infrastructure" response as illogical. They are Cults, regardless of what purpose they are used for.)
        Last edited by Vent0; 04-13-2018, 04:23 PM.


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
          All I would ask, is why does your character's cult have Hindi trappings? Is it a conscious choice on the Demon's part to exploit that religion? Or does the demon have their own beliefs that lead there?

          The point of the questions is to flesh out the character, not to discredit the idea.
          I sent you a pm on that. But yes, it was thought out as a teapping for the Cult the angel was an infrastructure of. It also ties into the demon's belief about themselves.

          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          I'd counter that the God-Machine could probably care less regarding Monotheism vs Polytheism - It uses whatever works for Its goals. Monotheism is simply convenient in that there are no potential competing voices. But delegating a collection of Angels to serve as the gods? Perfectly workable.

          As stated, what do you mean behind the Hindi trappings for the Cult? (I'd still reject the "cults are just Infrastructure" response as illogical. They are Cults, regardless of what purpose they are used for.)
          I am unsure how to get across that a Cult is a cult. I brought up that a cult would have trappings, since humans are in them. I have not got a response yet. Unfortunately, it is the only demon game I have found.


          My Homebrew
          Star Wars d10
          The Fallen for Demon: the Descent
          Requiem for a Masquerade: VtR 2e Cainite Conversion (Vampira Roma)

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          • #6
            There are two ways to look at this:

            1. The ST's interpretation is flawed - "Demons" have a long history in many religions and myths. Perhaps under different names and different interpretations, but using them in a different polytheistic setting is perfectly acceptable. Studying history, theology and mythology will shows this. (Japanese spirits, Zoastrianism, etc.) - You can easily explain "other gods" as Archangels, Demons or powerful spirits (such as Demon: Inferno).

            2. The ST has a specific reason to keep it monotheistic and doesn't know how or doesn't wish to reveal why - There could be storytelling elements that your ST may not want to reveal and your character may simply not fit the story arc that he/she wants to go to.
            Last edited by Ghostdriver; 04-13-2018, 04:35 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dreaminggod View Post

              I sent you a pm on that. But yes, it was thought out as a teapping for the Cult the angel was an infrastructure of. It also ties into the demon's belief about themselves.
              Just read through it. Yeah, that's a pretty fully realized character. As a Storyteller, I would have no issues with it (I previously had a player have a character that 100% thought that the God-Machine was the Catholic God and they were one of its very strictly Dante inspired Angels turned Demon).


              Originally posted by Dreaminggod View Post
              I am unsure how to get across that a Cult is a cult. I brought up that a cult would have trappings, since humans are in them. I have not got a response yet. Unfortunately, it is the only demon game I have found.
              Depending on what you hear back, it kinda sounds like this Storyteller is assuming that all things God-Machine are very obvioulsy God-Machine, that is, somewhat Abrahamic and extremely tech focused. If so you may just have to go with a character that fits the game or not play. I hope that isn't the case though.


              (he/him/his)


              Backer #2010

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              • #8
                Last message I sent them is if they want me to rewrite, and how? Here's hoping.

                How else has anyone used the God-Machine and/or demons with religious trappings?


                My Homebrew
                Star Wars d10
                The Fallen for Demon: the Descent
                Requiem for a Masquerade: VtR 2e Cainite Conversion (Vampira Roma)

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                • #9
                  The God Machine in Hinduism is incarnated through the the cycle of Samsara itself, not through any individual god within that pantheon. Had I gotten a stigmatic and a demon instead of two demons, Sanjha would have been all about being an Asura trying to achieve Nirvana by shattering Samsara(the God Machine) by breaking the chains of karma and dharma that permeate the world. Which, really, is what Descent is all about-defying the invisible systems that determine where you start and where you will go.

                  But I got two demons, and once it hit me that I could do Wednesday and therefore had to do him, he had way more claim to that scale, so Sanjha got scaled down.

                  ANYWAYS, point is Hinduism is rife with God-Machine iconography, but in order to see it you have to move beyond the figures that feature in that landscape and focus more on the forces that even the gods were subject to.


                  Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                  The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                  Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                  Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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                  • #10
                    Sean (can I call you that, is it weird?) can I direct the ST to your quote? That is a beautiful description, many times better than I could equivocate myself.


                    My Homebrew
                    Star Wars d10
                    The Fallen for Demon: the Descent
                    Requiem for a Masquerade: VtR 2e Cainite Conversion (Vampira Roma)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dreaminggod View Post
                      Sean (can I call you that, is it weird?) can I direct the ST to your quote? That is a beautiful description, many times better than I could equivocate myself.
                      Abso-fucking-lutely(on both counts-I do prefer Arc, but I don't care enough either way). And if he wants me to elaborate, I will happily do so.

                      The God-machine as incarnated through Hinduism is a subject I have wanted to tackle since Demon was announced. It was one of the reasons I jumped onto Enemy Action as hard as I did. Descent always needed a rakshasa/i.


                      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                      Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                      Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        Abso-fucking-lutely(on both counts-I do prefer Arc, but I don't care enough either way). And if he wants me to elaborate, I will happily do so.

                        The God-machine as incarnated through Hinduism is a subject I have wanted to tackle since Demon was announced. It was one of the reasons I jumped onto Enemy Action as hard as I did. Descent always needed a rakshasa/i.
                        Oh yes. More elaboration is always great, Arc! I found them to mean together well, and am at a loss how to explain my view in a cognizant way. Let me send you the proposal I submitted so you can crituque it, if you don't mind.


                        My Homebrew
                        Star Wars d10
                        The Fallen for Demon: the Descent
                        Requiem for a Masquerade: VtR 2e Cainite Conversion (Vampira Roma)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think I said this before on the WoD boards - too many people think the God-Machine is Autochthon (from Exalted), when it’s actually the Weaver (from Apocalypse).

                          As a side note, now I’m thinking of a Buddhist demon cult, where the teaching of “You need to let go of your attachments” has been corrupted into “You can and should give away your attachments.”


                          MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dreaminggod View Post

                            Oh yes. More elaboration is always great, Arc! I found them to mean together well, and am at a loss how to explain my view in a cognizant way. Let me send you the proposal I submitted so you can crituque it, if you don't mind.
                            It'll probably take me upwards to two days to respond to it(mainwork+magical girl rpg work), but I'll do what I can.


                            Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                            The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                            Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                            Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                              I think I said this before on the WoD boards - too many people think the God-Machine is Autochthon (from Exalted), when it’s actually the Weaver (from Apocalypse).

                              As a side note, now I’m thinking of a Buddhist demon cult, where the teaching of “You need to let go of your attachments” has been corrupted into “You can and should give away your attachments.”
                              Love that idea, truly.


                              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                              Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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