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Don't get me wrong, Somna. I understand the underlying idea. It's not like I can't comprehend the point. It's that I reject it.

 

On the other hand, I've had my say and there doesn't seem to be any more to add at the moment. I still hope they break out of the trend, but if the majority of folks want to stick with something familiar, I guess that shows the true power of belief. It doesn't make it true, but it can sure as hell influence the devs, can't it? :Cant's wry grin icon:

 

Anyhow, no hard feelings. I'll take my lumps like everyone else when it comes to design, but I'm still going to push it as long as it's up for grabs. That's my own particular power of belief. :Cant's **** eating grin icon:


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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I always think some of the more interesting gods and schools of thought have to do with hedonism. The pursuit of pleasure. Wine, beer, food, sex. Certainly could fit into the game.

 

 

Can we choose a God (or none) to worship as a character creation option? Most likely just for flavor, not effecting the game. N

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I always think some of the more interesting gods and schools of thought have to do with hedonism. The pursuit of pleasure. Wine, beer, food, sex. Certainly could fit into the game.

Slaanesh has lawyers too, you know.

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Have all the Gods be linked to souls.

First Soul: Uber=god shared consciousness of all souls not in a body

The the other gods some for lost races that have not been reborn to new, slowly fading out.

More animilistic Gods, are really from animals with maybe some rangers thrown in etc...

If you believed strongly in a certian god in life you join that Gods awareness in death, Sort of a group mind

 

Be carefull who you kill maybe they become the focal point of their god after they die and start plotting for revenge.

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... I am the things that are, that will be, and that have been. No one has ever laid open the garment by which I am concealed. The fruit which I brought forth was the sun....

 

... I am in my name. My name is a god. I do not forget it, this my name...

 

Must the pantheon be another watered-down take-off of over-simplifications of Greek or Norse belief? It's a bit boring, isn't it?

 

Why should a god be 'of' anything in particular, and why shouldn't they interfere in whatever they damn well please to, or not?

Why should a god manifest in any particular form?

Why should the gods care?

Why should the gods not be two, seemingly exclusive, things at once? Or three? Or sixty-three?

Why should there be a set doctrine of the gods?

Why should the gods fit our conception of deity?

Why should the gods be known to the masses, and why should they manifest to anyone except their priests?

 

There should be semantic, not formal-logical, associations at play in the religions of this world.

 

In short, why should the system make sense from an RPG-writer's point of view? This is meant to be a religion, not a splat-book article, or a mathematical equation. Ambiguity/multivalency make a religious system (or asystem) more interesting, not less.

 

There has to be something transcendent about a god, or at least other, to make them worth worshipping.

 

Some suggested names, which may obliquely indicate something of the gods' natures:

 

Gath, the Unwinding Serpent or The Lapis-Eyed One

The One Who Is Not

Ashar of the Great Place

She Who Loves Silence or The Smiling Weaver

Yuehueloti, the Veiled Mirror

Wind

Unhearing

The Dreadful One or The Six-Fold Chrysanthemum

The Jade Bottle or The Mother of Knives or Smiling Shalu

The Nine Copper Lords

He of the Southern City

Gath-Ashar, the Weary Spider

Yuehueloti-Shalu, the Angry One or The Tomorrow-Ruler

Wearing-Two-Masks

Kishgal the Bailiff or The Lord of the Roof or The Standing One

 

and so on.

 

it would be interesting to see some gnostic influence on the religion here. i am not sure how the soul will factor into the game mechanic, but i think the gnostic idea of everyone having a piece of the divine within that has been corrupted by the material earth which can be awakened by pursuing spiritual knowledge would be interesting. also, some of the dualism in gnostic teachings, a creator god who is the source of all that is good and all that is evil might be refreshing when compared to recycled Greek and Nordic pantheons you usually see in fantasy games. the rest of the pantheon could be filled out with aeons/archons and maybe a separate demiurge are removed from the divine by a flaw that is also representative of the portfolio they cover. maybe through in some Zorastroan ideas of chaos and creation to give it a little more flavor, and perhaps reinvent the traditional alignment grid that you usually see in D&D inspired worlds.

 

otherwise, Camazotz. nothing cooler than a bat god of the underworld who represents death and uses severed heads to play basketball.

 

Why not borrow Blake's pantheon?

Edited by Darth InSidious
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This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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There are so many possibilities that are automatically excluded if you tie the power of each god to the number of his or her followers.

 

Well, there are also many interesting story and lore possibilities that become available thanks to this very mechanic. It opens up a huge (and credible) source of conflict between gods and between groups of believers, and conflict makes for good stories.

And these things are automatically excluded because we remove a straightforward correlation between worshippers and power? Why can't some gods and some worshippers vie for more influence because it's a common motive. People with money still long for influence. The President of the United States isn't made superhuman by the number of votes he receives. He's made more powerful by his influence over the apperatus of government.

 

You could apply the same mechanism to deities. More followers equals more power, not because "my lightning bolt is bigger than yours!", but because my followers are more powerful/influential/dominant and so shape the world in my image. You could say, the end result is the same, even if for different reasons. I feel like playing Populous again. Good thing I grabbed it off GoG.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I always liked the idea that gods exist because people believe in them. The more people that believe in a god, the more powerful that god is. Conversely, when the last believer of a god dies, that god also dies. I wrote an adventure once where one of the story lines revolved around a woman who was trapped in Limbo - between her life and her afterlife. In life, she was a preistess of a [very spiteful] minor god. She betrayed her faith, and her spiteful god killed her lover. To avenge her lover's death she killed herself - suspecting that as one of the last people who remembered this god it would either kill him or severely limit his power. Fearing that she was his last worshiper, he trapped her in limbo so she couldn't die. Unfortunately, since she was his last worshiper, he was trapped in Limbo with her. In the adventure, the characters meet up with the former priestess as she's on her final journey to kill this god once and for all.

 

"Crazy God ideas": I always liked the H.P. Lovecraft Azothoth - "the blind Walpurgis god".

Lum the Mad was good for a laugh or two.

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And these things [such as intriguing among gods] are automatically excluded because we remove a straightforward correlation between worshippers and power? Why can't some gods and some worshippers vie for more influence because it's a common motive. People with money still long for influence. The President of the United States isn't made superhuman by the number of votes he receives. He's made more powerful by his influence over the apperatus of government.

 

You could apply the same mechanism to deities. More followers equals more power, not because "my lightning bolt is bigger than yours!", but because my followers are more powerful/influential/dominant and so shape the world in my image. You could say, the end result is the same, even if for different reasons. I feel like playing Populous again. Good thing I grabbed it off GoG.

I agree with this whole heartedly. Some gods will have divine power, but still long for influence to mold the world. This entails a structure where the gods aren't inherently more powerful for having more worshippers, but much more influential. Unless there is some supreme being like God (who would exist beyond worldly care), ideas will always be the most powerful forces among sentient beings. I suppose the natural physical world is the boundary of our existence, but nations are created and destroyed, wars are fought, over ideas, and that has a power that transcends physical prowess because that power decides where that physical prowess is applied.
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Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I always liked the idea that gods exist because people believe in them. The more people that believe in a god, the more powerful that god is. Conversely, when the last believer of a god dies, that god also dies.

Hmm, there's perhaps a few problems with this idea. If my PC starts believing in a god of rhubarb, does that god suddenly pop into existence and start granting priestly powers? It's a chicken-and-the-egg situation. If the supposedly factual creation myth states that the gods created humans, but humans created the gods, then how did humans pop into existence?

 

What if there was the godly equivalent of souls? These paragon souls take a more refined shape, form, and function from the interaction with mortal beings, but they continue onward, in some manner, after their last believer has died. Perhaps they slowly return to the primal essence from whence they came, then are reshaped, or reshape themselves, into another divine being.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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What about a pantheon of gods that existed before mortals had souls, and souls are actually a form of extraplanetary contamination and(from the viewpoint of the gods) must be expunged for the good of the world(and purity and such). So the Gods would be against any use of soul powers. Using soul powers is almost guaranteed to provoke the ire of any gods nearby and you might even end up on the bad end of the so-called 'good' gods because you ... accidentally? used a soul power without realising it.

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I am currently reading the Malazan series by Steven Erikson and liking it alot. I like the way he has the gods affecting the lives of the mortals in the series. They are vain, vindictive, and at times suseptable to 'death' at the hands of mortals. I guess I don't have a care of a specific god per se but I like the interactions between the god and mortals.

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The Lost Seer. So he's called. Or she. One of many names for this god, and if god's were patrons by the nature of which one would most likely hear of them, the Seer would be a god of whispers, gossip and rumors. But alas, that is not the Lost Seer. Those on the outside would more commonly refer to the Seer as the patron of the outcast, the lost and the crippled. A benevolent force seeking only to guide the downtrodden to glory in the afterlife, for they shall reap the seeds sown with their sorrow and enjoy rich rewards for the soul after death. Or so they think.

 

There are whispers among the top clergy of the Lost Seer. Whispers that hint of a completely different nature. Whispers that do not reach the beggars and the peasants that worship him from down low. He's from somewhere else they say. No, not from a different land--a different place altogether! You know, another world. In hush tones, the High Priest delivers the will of the Lost Seer. The will of a waylaid traveler, a broken god.

 

He came, you see, exploring. Yes, gods get curious too. He travels places, travels in the way a god would travel. He slips between the cold, hungry void between worlds and visits all kinds of places. Yes, he's shown me visions of where he's been. Terrifying places, all of them. Desolate, barren worlds. Alien peaks twisting like a witch's fingers. Sickly skies rumbling in eternal maelstrom. No life, he told me. He found no other life until he came here. And it was too much. His magic, attuned to anchor him to worlds already dead, backlashed the moment he stepped here. He needs the help of us, and his worshippers, to rebuild. Recuperate. And then, my brothers, he will take us with him. He's shown me visions of where he's from. It's...glorious. Beyond words. If we die, my brothers, before it is time to travel, he can take our souls. Fear not. Dedicate your lives to him. And he will give unto you what is yours.

 

So it is told unto every initiate into his circle. And they believe. They believe in the deliverance that this benevolent traveler promises them. But they are not gods. They do not know the Lost Seer. They do not know how long he's been here, how long he's been stuck on this alien world. Diminished of power, cut off from everything he knew--yes, gods get bitter too. Sometimes, they get angry. And sometimes, they get malevolent. The Lost Seer is determined to find a way to restore his power so he can go home and he's willing to destroy this world trying.

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One of the things which Rune Quest did well is its use of religions as worldviews of the characters, which play an important role in identifying themselves in social context of the imaginary world. Gods actively fiddling with human politics makes them as one of the key political players rather than just being objective of worships. In narrative sense, they may appear as NPCs like in Mask of the Betrayer. However religions/beliefs are going to be presented, I'd like them as one of the aspects of human conditions. Rather than just one-shot philosophical twists, I'd like to see religions have their histories and deeply rooted lives in the imaginary world. Also, while polytheism may be somehow standard in fantasy world, I'd like to see some animism/shamanism, too. Some sociologists/anthropologists interpret Totemism as a way of connecting natural environment with social identifies, for example. This kind of thing may have some twists to "druid" images in a conventional fantasy world, while giving some backbones to the setting.

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I quite like the idea that the 'true' gods (those not created by mortals or these gods, the gods that have always existed) have realised that the likelihood of several all powerful beings becoming extant seemingly simultaneously is highly unlikely. They have conclusion that one of them created the others and they react to this in different ways: paranoia, self delusion, egotism etc.

 

On your travels you run into one of these gods, this is terribly uncommon as these gods are far more concerned with determining the one 'real' god than the affairs of mortals. Later, another of these gods comes to you to pump you for information on the first. To be visited by two gods is near unheard of in this age and so more gods visit you, believing you to be someone of importance.

 

You of course are not, but perhaps you are. Is their prophesy self-fulfilling? Is one of them actually more powerful, or are they all equally powerful, or are none powerful anymore, or perhaps they aren't powerful but are a collection of self deluding mortals?

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I don't have an idea for a god here, but how about a prison for gods. Maybe run by ex-servants (angelic beings) or disgruntled followers/magic users. They see all gods as inherently destructive (even those who seem benign) and so see themselves as crusaders out to protect and free the world from the gods, by removing them from the world at large and imprisoning them. Maybe even have these crusaders somehow drawing on some of the power of these imprisoned gods to enable them to take on tougher and tougher gods (sort of like reverse clerics)

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It would be interesting if gods purposely hid their existence because they discovered potential dangers in souls and faith.

 

Maybe souls are like beacons in the metaphysical realm. When people pray or worship, they draw attention from other worlds and planes of existence. Gods from other worlds and realms can sense the devotion of mortal souls and will try to encroach upon this world.

 

Perhaps due to the eternal nature of souls, every soul has the potential of becoming a god through some way of retaining all the knowledge and experience of every life it has ever lived. However, the gods do not want newer gods to rise and challenge their power so they conceal themselves and hide the secrets to obtaining godhood.

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I would like to add something to my former comment: Gods get more powerful than others by the number and faith of their believers but they have still some kind of minimum level of power even if all of their believers have died. Also gods can maintain their level for some time, even if they lost their people who worship them. At this time they either have to change the concept wich they represent (accompanied by a massively change of their self-concept) or they have to wait for/find new followers.

 

Maybe some methods for gods exist to raise their minimum. This could be also the major difference between the younger and the older gods.

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I have to admit, I'd like to see a god of Secrets / Mystery that isn't automatically also linked to Lies, Theives, Murder, Assassins, etc.

More of a neutral toned god that no-one else truly understands where he/she is coming from. Even the other gods... :shifty:

 

Great for that pawn-moving and catspaw making with no one getting the grand plan and manipulation... Without an automatic "that guy is an evil git / good guy"


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Okay so after considering it.... Diety concepts....

 

I think it would be nice to see one of two, or both of these types of deities.

 

1: The deity as the "land". Be it a mountain worshiped by dwarves that is sentient, an elven forest with living trees and a sense of will power, or a massive natural cave where followers go to worship that is actually the buried "body" of the god itself I think this sort of thing can be cool and lead to some neat gameplay options.

 

2: The slightly more cliche but still cool god of many faces. Be it a ultra powerful god whose enemies split into pieces each becoming a lesser and independent being, a deity who became so at odds with themselves they had to "create" an offshoot of their own identity, or perhaps a more interesting take a deity that split into different beings due to a division that happened with their own worshipers each moving their faith in a different direction. Also I think it would be cool to see something similar to what you get in the Malazan novels.

 

For example in those books there was one god that was sundered by it's own worshipers because they wanted to steal his power. The result turned him into this massive sky blackening swarm of locusts, bees, flies, and other insects. Each one was no smarter than a normal insect but they had a sort of hive mind and could always communicate with each other meaning if one fly found food the other 10 million insects in the swarm would bee line there. imagine a giant, mobile, flying, inexhaustible, creeping doom that never stopped. That's what this dude was.

Edited by Karkarov

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Why should the gods be known to the masses, and why should they manifest to anyone except their priests?

 

True, a god whose name/history/avatar/properties, or even his very existence, is a closely guarded secret among his priests, could make for an interesting story.

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This may be a bit used, particularly considering that almost all of us would have played Baldur's Gate, but still:

 

A god of murder.

 

The god of murder who's position has been usurped and changed over the many years. As the story is told now, the former lord of murder saw his chance to rise to new heights but to achieve this he needed followers - particularly strong followers, someone that people would fear. Men and women who would force peasants and lords alike to fall to their knees at bedtime, praying to him that the god should not find them wanting.

 

Growing in power and confidence the god granted some of his divine powers to the highest of his order, unknowingly thinning the border between god and man. These now semi-divine men and women struck fear into everyone. Many rose to challenge them, only to find a dagger in their back, poison in their drink or betrayal in their midst. These leaders of the cult became so feared in fact, that they too rose in power as the cult spread it's terror across the land. Slowly the god of murder saw a gaping hole in his plan. He was losing power. The people were no longer fearing him, but rather his highpriests. Outraged he set out to do what he did best, intending to murder the people who had once been his pride. The god died, but so did the cult.

 

As one of his highpriests ascended to godhood she learned from history. Knowing that a too strong leadership might turn to worship. Without much regard she killed the oldest members of the order, striking fear into the heart of the cult itself, causing a divide like never before. This is how the cult remains today, scattered and diminished in power, but dare you forget the evening prayer and test the wrath of the new lady of murder?... supplicant.

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I love the idea of a goddess of luck/debauchery, Goddess of the party, and the hangover, the jackpot, and the loser.

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What are gods in a world where souls yield power?

Due to Project Eternity's unique concept, instead of suggesting individual gods, I would like to suggest a wholly different approach to godhood.

 

I cannot stop thinking about them as giant accumulations of souls which come to live like a giant leviathan. Their dead followers's souls merge with these creatures and in the whole shape what they are: A god of seafarers will be a seafarer, a god of thieves will be a thief, and so on...

Yet even though that is their image, outsiders would still see the cuts and seams of these giant fabrications of faith. Frankenstein gods, created by their faithful to fulfill their vision. For the faithful, perfect representations of their faith and their way of life; to outsiders, erratic monstrosities.

 

Meanwhile they are not only creatures of power, they also represent a distinct vision of the afterlife, as every believer is going to join the god or (most likely romantically glorified) its realm, once he or she dies. Thus is becomes very important for families, clans, etc to worship the same god in order to join in their god's afterlife together.

Thus the world would be somewhat henotheistic like hinduism: The faithful agreeing on the existence of various gods, whereas always disagreeing about which one to worship.

 

Meaning that different cults and strong religious ties would be present everywhere, whereas certain people (maybe like elves) would completely reject the notion of godhood as something abominable.

Edited by kaminkatze

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