Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mythology, Part 3

I think I’m pretty much done with the gods.  Sure, there are a bunch more deities I could detail, and it would certainly be fun.  But I honestly don’t want to get bogged down into too many details at this point, and I’d like to leave the rest of the Pantheon relatively undefined so I can approach them as needed in the game.  I might even work with a player if they want to play a cleric to come up with their particular cult.

But, there’s still two more things to do—Cosmology and Myths.  Cosmology is the physical layout of the solar system, while Mythology is the tales of the gods.  I’m not entirely sure how important Mythology is, at least as a bedrock of world creation.  Generally I like to work in the myths of the gods based on the adventures I’m working on, and I love having them be mutually contradictory.  I have a general idea for a gods war and creation, but I doubt that’s ever going to come up.  In fact, I’m going to skip this part—not because mythology and sagas aren’t important, but because I feel the players will only care if the tales are directly related to the events in the game.  Since I have “meddlesome” gods, I’ll try to work them into each adventure as much as possible.

Not that each adventure a different god with show up, but use that they were and are meddlesome to explain magic items, creation of temples, particularly grisly deaths, etc.  The myths and tales of the gods are worked into the very landscape, and each location has their own particular take on things.  Also, I’ve often felt that the cult of the god is more important than the general stories and tales about them.

But, I still need to work out the actual physics of the system.  There is, of course, a chart in the World Builder’s Guidebook but I can only follow it so far.  I am, after all, dealing with a flat world here.  So, “real physics” are right out, and instead decide to go with an Aethereal Sea/Spelljammer like space.  Only, instead of the typical Spelljammer setup of crystal spheres, there are instead hundreds (perhaps an infinite number) of these planetary planes, spreading out in all directions.  The gods themselves reside on nearby planes (most of which are much smaller than the worlds).  If one were able to fly, it is possible for one to go to the domain of the gods, or to visit entirely different worlds.
Of course, one would still need a vessel of some sort, or extremely powerful magics.  The void, while transversable, is not kind to mortals.

I am rather interested in how many planets and moons were dealing with, though.  I imagine that the world is a fragment of a once massive plane, which contained all of creation.  During the gods war, this plane was shattered, and drifted off into the void.  The moons and planets are smaller fragments of that original world, and the nearest bodies in the Aethereal Sea.

Rolling on some tables in the WBG, I get 7 planets and 1 moon.  Next, I roll to see what kind of planet or moon they are--Fire, Earth, Water, Air, or Other.  Each of these determines what the general theme of the planet would be--an Air planet would be a Gas Giant, for example, while a Fire one would be covered in Lava.  For the planets, II get Air, Earth, Fire, Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.  For the Moon, I get “Other.”

I’m not sure what this means for the moon.  All it tells me is that the Moon is NOT anything resembling a real sphere--its a giant tree, or the body of a dead god, or an ancient weapon system (“that’s no moon....”).  I do have a Goddess of the Moon (Celene), so the moon could actually be her, physically.  But, that seems rather boring.  For now, I’ll say the Moon is the remains of an ancient space station which has been turned into a prison for the Old Ones, and guarded over by the gods.  Various mad cultists and power hungry mages seek to reach the moon somehow, to either release these foul beings or tap into their ineffable power.  

So, yes, it is entirely possible for Conan to fight Cthulhu on the Death Star.

And with that, we wrap up Mythology.  Next up--HISTORY!


  1. You've got so far a very clear world - an active creation of the gods, who are very physical and petty and fight over it all the time. You have the equivalent of a tower of blocks that Suzy did in preschool, and here comes Trevor looking for all the world like HE wants that red block, and Suzy's gonna cry over it.

    It may not be the world you had going in, but it certainly is distinct...

  2. Todd. I want to bring your attention to this:

    "not because mythology and saga’s aren’t important,"

    "creation of temples, particularly grisly death’s, etc."

    Here, you've used the possessive on "saga's" and "death's" when you mean to use the plural, e.g. "sagas" and "deaths."

    We all abuse punctuation. D, for instance, has been launching several heinous assaults on the comma, and I personally hate the "ai"/"ie" combinations. But I want to point out the damage you do to the poor apostrophe here...

  3. "I have a general idea for a god’s war and creation, but I doubt that’s ever going to come up."

    This means that you have a general idea for how one typical god might be created and have a war. You know, a god's war. If instead you mean (as I think you do) that ALL the gods will get together and have ONE COLLECTIVE WAR, and ONE COLLECTIVE CREATION involving multiple gods, then I think you mean "a gods' war and creation".

    Fighting the good fight, for the English language...

  4. Fixed to save the English language. Now, no one will ever misuse an apostrophe again.

  5. Going back to the original point of this post, I again can't shake the impression that the gods of your world are players. As in they are similar to a bunch of petty people sitting around playing some RPG themselves and wiping out each other's sandcastles in a snit. You could perhaps push this a little. Yes, think of them in grand cosmic terms, but also think of them as sitting around the dinner table and giving each other the stinkeye.

    You know, god X exhorts his priests and paladins to hunt out and kill the followers of god Y, to wage bloody campaigns and genocides against them, because god Y implied that god X was getting a little fat about two millennia ago. Or god X's creation was the mossmen, and god Y created the humans, and now god X is jealously petty...

    Similarly, we could have Sol and Baal being pals, even though their alignments and portfolios are vastly different, just because they get along...


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