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Subject: What mythology would interest you the most? rss

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S Hilliard
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In an adventure game with character progression, which mythology would you most like to see your character interact with? (Through flavor text, etc.)
Several world mythologies
A single mythology (like Greek)
An entirely fictional mythology (hmm, is that redundant?)
Other
      87 answers
Poll created by SJH1510


I've got an idea for a game in a modern setting with a mythological background. In the setting, rationalism has pushed mythology into a thing of the past, and the players control characters who rise to become new deities to face an approaching evil. When I first had the idea, I imagined a real world-spanning setting, where the cards incorporate flavor from a variety of world legends. Is this the way to go? Other possibilities include a completely fictional world, or focusing on a specific region, like Greece/Rome (which I believe is the most familiar mythology for North American and Western European). But I recognize that gaming is truly a worldwide thing, so I don't want to focus on one setting that might be less interesting for a portion of the world population. I'm definitely curious if people's nationality affects their preference.
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Mr Osterman
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Depending on how you intend to handle the mythologies, and if you have any concerns about offending others, your best best is to go 100% fiction. You can draw from known mythologies (a god of thunder, a god of the crops, a god of.... etc) but if you do ones that exist (did exist) you risk offending current practitioners.

The next thought I have with that is the the power source of these "new gods"? Is it that they are divine beings or are they products of our collective beliefs?

In the case of the latter, you open up a "God of Commerce", a "God of Information", a "God of Weather" as these are ideas that people "put faith in" these days, almost to the point of being deified themselves. "We" believe that markets are good ways to manage prices. We believe in the power of knowledge (or we say we do), etc etc.
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S Hilliard
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MrOsterman wrote:
Depending on how you intend to handle the mythologies, and if you have any concerns about offending others, your best best is to go 100% fiction. You can draw from known mythologies (a god of thunder, a god of the crops, a god of.... etc) but if you do ones that exist (did exist) you risk offending current practitioners.

The next thought I have with that is the the power source of these "new gods"? Is it that they are divine beings or are they products of our collective beliefs?

In the case of the latter, you open up a "God of Commerce", a "God of Information", a "God of Weather" as these are ideas that people "put faith in" these days, almost to the point of being deified themselves. "We" believe that markets are good ways to manage prices. We believe in the power of knowledge (or we say we do), etc etc.


Good comments. Part of the idea for the game setting came from Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," so I thought about the idea of "modern" deities.

I've also thought some about the potential for offense. I'm a Christian, so I had to think if I'm okay with designing a game in which the goal is to be a god, and there is power associated with people, places, and things from various world mythologies (I grew up in a very religiously conservative home, so that's why I had to consider that question). I decided that I am okay with it, but that I wouldn't include anything Judeo-Christian in nature (monotheism doesn't really work with the theme, anyway). But I can see the possibility for someone who believes in, say, Hindu mythology (to some extent or other), to not enjoy the game as much if it places Hindu, Norse, etc. mythology on the same level. That's why I'm curious in this poll.
The safest route is definitely to use a generic fantasy setting, but that loses some of the enrichment that people might enjoy from acquiring, say, Mjolnir, vs. generic Weapon of Destiny.
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maf man
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Its your game, do what fits your ideas best.

Its a game and I doubt you'll do much to offend people, judging from the simple fact that it worries you enough to ask. I voted for fictional because it gives you the most room to grow and it kinda sounds like your game's setting would be the spark of a new mythology rather than an old one coming back, just the way it read.
If you were the type that really knew greek mythology then id vote that because the level of interest and knowledge shows through a game.
 
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Mr Osterman
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SJH1510 wrote:
MrOsterman wrote:
Depending on how you intend to handle the mythologies, and if you have any concerns about offending others, your best best is to go 100% fiction. You can draw from known mythologies (a god of thunder, a god of the crops, a god of.... etc) but if you do ones that exist (did exist) you risk offending current practitioners.

The next thought I have with that is the the power source of these "new gods"? Is it that they are divine beings or are they products of our collective beliefs?

In the case of the latter, you open up a "God of Commerce", a "God of Information", a "God of Weather" as these are ideas that people "put faith in" these days, almost to the point of being deified themselves. "We" believe that markets are good ways to manage prices. We believe in the power of knowledge (or we say we do), etc etc.


Good comments. Part of the idea for the game setting came from Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," so I thought about the idea of "modern" deities.

I've also thought some about the potential for offense. I'm a Christian, so I had to think if I'm okay with designing a game in which the goal is to be a god, and there is power associated with people, places, and things from various world mythologies (I grew up in a very religiously conservative home, so that's why I had to consider that question). I decided that I am okay with it, but that I wouldn't include anything Judeo-Christian in nature (monotheism doesn't really work with the theme, anyway). But I can see the possibility for someone who believes in, say, Hindu mythology (to some extent or other), to not enjoy the game as much if it places Hindu, Norse, etc. mythology on the same level. That's why I'm curious in this poll.
The safest route is definitely to use a generic fantasy setting, but that loses some of the enrichment that people might enjoy from acquiring, say, Mjolnir, vs. generic Weapon of Destiny.


As a fellow Disciple of Christ, I'd pitch to you "Why not include Judeo-Christian?" If you're going to put in Thor, why not Yahweh? I suspect it's because it can hit close to home and that's fair.

That said you might also muse on the (later work) of having enough richness in your cards and flavor text as to create that same sense of "cool!" that comes with having a more well known "fabled weapon". The Weapon of Destiny doesn't work as well, but that could be where (if your game is solid) you and your writers can make something really stick that is fun for players to get into.

I'm doing that with "Pencils Down!" in the sense of making sure that every individual student and teacher card has a personality to it, so that as you play you can create some fun narratives around your "school" be it from the Cheerleader with the Fallout 4 flavor quote or the inside jokes on the "Scandal Card" (which has the flavor quote of "Don't stand- don't stand so close to me"
 
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Kai Bettzieche
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I voted for "several":

As much as I get it, the point of your game is becoming a god.
With several mythologies included, you will get more options:

Players either go the path of one pantheon only or they go through different pantheons on their way of becoming a god (which would make them a truly unique god).

Also, you could always expand the game with more pantheons, throwing in even more options for your players.
The different pantheons could be linked to different tasks the players have to solve.
Roman and greek gods might task them to perform some wicked stunts, Norse gods might ask for bloodshed and Aztec gods might go for linguistic quests (say "Quetzalcoatl" 5 times without breaking your tongue; you've got 3 seconds - go!)



Just some thoughts...



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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I'd love to see someone explore one of the more obscure mythologies. Celtic would be interesting, bringing historic gravitas to the game that a purely fictional mythology would not.

I've seen enough Greek and Norse mythology to hold me for the rest of my life.

S.
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Pat Smith
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I agree with Sagrilarus, it would be cool to give exposure to a more obscure mythology than the usual Greek/Roman or Norse deal.

I also think a fictional mythology can work great for a modern setting, you could just go to town with all the awesome dieties that are possible.

Goddess of Social Media
God of Student Loan Debt (probably an evil or trickster god)
Goddess of Public Transportation (sworn enemy of the God of Crude Oil Futures)
 
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Take inspiration, do research, but don't be afraid to invent and do your own thing.
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I would like to see something from one of the Native (North or South) American pantheons. Remember these fondly from Deities and Demigods. Celtic,would be cool too.
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Stephen Cappello
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Plus, Quetzalcoatl is fun to say.
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S Hilliard
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Huh...the results are very inconclusive. Still, that's very informative. That basically tells me that I can pursue whatever path I want.
-The most surprising thing I learned from the poll is that people are not tired of generic fantasy settings. If I go that route, there would be a lot of flavor involved, because I think the strength of the game is in the story that it tells.
-Definitely seems to be a strong preference for less familiar mythologies.
-Whatever I do, it'll be a lot of work to do it right. Whether it's cohesively tying together multiple mythologies, extensively researching a single mythology, or developing a fantasy world, there are a lot of options on the table.
 
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Eric Jome
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Aww. I was hoping to rate various specific mythologies.
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I do like to explore different mythologies, but I very much dislike the hodgepodge mixup crossovers of very disparate settings and characters in a single game without some kind of thematic reason, and that time-travel, time warp theory has already been way overused. It's fine if you have different scenarios or expansions in different settings or with different mythologies, but don't throw them all together which then makes the game lose a distinct thematic flavor.
 
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S Hilliard
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cosine wrote:
Aww. I was hoping to rate various specific mythologies.


Well, that might be a follow-up poll. See, I've got this idea that's probably too big for my britches. Despite the fact that I've never designed even ONE game, I want to design THREE games (with entirely different mechanics and goals) that tie together. This is the first one, where players control characters who grow in power over the course of the game. The second one would be more of a civ/city builder, where the players can use a generic character or one they created as a result of the first game. The final one is more of a war game, that involves repulsing a foreign threat.
But this thread gave me more inspiration to see how these all tie together, and I think I can see it taking shape:
1) Take a mythology that's been "subjugated" thanks to the efforts of conquering people. Just for an example, let's take Native American. At the start of the game, the players receive a "call to adventure" to prepare for an impending threat.
2) Players control tribes with powerful leaders, again preparing for this impending threat.
3) Bam. Colonists show up on the shores. Now, it's an alternate history scenario, where players control tribes, now armed with mythological weapons and powers, against the superior technological abilities of the colonizing powers. Now, that's a game I really want to play.

Note: I recently read "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell," which takes place in an alternate timeline Britain during the Napoleonic wars, where two men bring magic back to Britain (GREAT book, btw, with an incredible amount of depth). It's definitely some of the inspiration for this, thematically, along with Neil Gaiman's "American Gods."
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Charles Ward
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Sagrilarus wrote:
I'd love to see someone explore one of the more obscure mythologies. Celtic would be interesting, bringing historic gravitas to the game that a purely fictional mythology would not.

I've seen enough Greek and Norse mythology to hold me for the rest of my life.

S.


I would love to see Africa and Asia better represented.
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Glen Dresser
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jhaimowitz wrote:
I would like to see something from one of the Native (North or South) American pantheons. Remember these fondly from Deities and Demigods. Celtic,would be cool too.


Olmec!

As you progress in the game, you get increasingly large miniature giant heads!

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Blake Womack
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Hindu mythology, or religion depending on how you view it, is extremely interesting.
 
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Blake Womack
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SJH1510 wrote:
cosine wrote:
Aww. I was hoping to rate various specific mythologies.


Well, that might be a follow-up poll. See, I've got this idea that's probably too big for my britches. Despite the fact that I've never designed even ONE game, I want to design THREE games (with entirely different mechanics and goals) that tie together. This is the first one, where players control characters who grow in power over the course of the game. The second one would be more of a civ/city builder, where the players can use a generic character or one they created as a result of the first game. The final one is more of a war game, that involves repulsing a foreign threat.
But this thread gave me more inspiration to see how these all tie together, and I think I can see it taking shape:
1) Take a mythology that's been "subjugated" thanks to the efforts of conquering people. Just for an example, let's take Native American. At the start of the game, the players receive a "call to adventure" to prepare for an impending threat.
2) Players control tribes with powerful leaders, again preparing for this impending threat.
3) Bam. Colonists show up on the shores. Now, it's an alternate history scenario, where players control tribes, now armed with mythological weapons and powers, against the superior technological abilities of the colonizing powers. Now, that's a game I really want to play.

Note: I recently read "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell," which takes place in an alternate timeline Britain during the Napoleonic wars, where two men bring magic back to Britain (GREAT book, btw, with an incredible amount of depth). It's definitely some of the inspiration for this, thematically, along with Neil Gaiman's "American Gods."


Also wanted to say... Thinking big - go for it. Games that can create alternate time lines of past events are interesting. Involving myth and legend taps into the unconscious veiled layers of our intellect. A game that gives birth to the next game sounds interesting. I always think of BIG games that create a framework for players to create narratives - games that can become like literature - a story that gets told as you play. As a new member here I keep getting blown away by the ideas and the intelligent posts. I keep thinking back to Tolkien, and the hard time he had getting his work published. We are all glad that he thought big and went for it.
 
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Egor Kaparulin
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I think Egypt mythology will suit your theme. If you call your game adventure this is the right track, because it will subconciensly remind players of Indiana Jones or Stargates which are great examples of adventure
 
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OTHER - a reprint of Up Front ...whistle

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Stephen Williams
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Normally, I would say stick to a single mythology, whether real or fictional, to maintain a certain thematic consistency. However, if spanning all of the world's mythologies is a central part of the game's theme, then it could probably be made to work.

If you are going to use multiple mythologies, I'd suggest using the real-world ones (or fictional counterparts that are very, very close to the real old world pantheons.) Making a whole slew of completely made up pantheons would be (a) a lot of work and (b) risky, in that people who don't "get it" would be more likely left with the impression that the game's theme is a bunch of random nonsense.

I wouldn't worry so much about offending players based on religious content - I'd worry more about simply portraying each religion involved in a respectful manner.

Glorifying animal sacrifices (even if historically accurate) is an example of something that would likely make your game offensive, and not necessarily on a religious basis. However, proclaiming that Zeus, Thor, and Ra were once real and now you as players are becoming their modern avatars is the sort of thing that probably wouldn't offend too many. Those who do get offended by something that basic (and obviously fictional) are probably the sort to get offended by ANYTHING concerning religious beliefs different from their own.

You can't please everybody, and walking on eggshells only risks making your theme seem "watered-down" or "pasted on." You have to draw a line somewhere between "worrying about what people will think" and "making the game you WANT to make."

People who disagree with what you produce don't need to play the game.
 
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Barry Harvey
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Are not the Admins at BGG like unto gods?

Do we not worship them with every click of a mouse button?

Can they not destroy you with a gesture, or gift you with riches in the form of Gold?

Have we not recently sacrificed $15 to receive their blessing?
 
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Thomas Gagniarre
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oneilljgf wrote:
OTHER - a reprint of Up Front ...whistle



? : done already. Your quest is over, my friend :

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/148406/Up-Front-Complete...



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Tiarnan Murphy
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SJH1510 wrote:
MrOsterman wrote:
Depending on how you intend to handle the mythologies, and if you have any concerns about offending others, your best best is to go 100% fiction. You can draw from known mythologies (a god of thunder, a god of the crops, a god of.... etc) but if you do ones that exist (did exist) you risk offending current practitioners.

The next thought I have with that is the the power source of these "new gods"? Is it that they are divine beings or are they products of our collective beliefs?

In the case of the latter, you open up a "God of Commerce", a "God of Information", a "God of Weather" as these are ideas that people "put faith in" these days, almost to the point of being deified themselves. "We" believe that markets are good ways to manage prices. We believe in the power of knowledge (or we say we do), etc etc.


Good comments. Part of the idea for the game setting came from Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," so I thought about the idea of "modern" deities.

I've also thought some about the potential for offense. I'm a Christian, so I had to think if I'm okay with designing a game in which the goal is to be a god, and there is power associated with people, places, and things from various world mythologies (I grew up in a very religiously conservative home, so that's why I had to consider that question). I decided that I am okay with it, but that I wouldn't include anything Judeo-Christian in nature (monotheism doesn't really work with the theme, anyway). But I can see the possibility for someone who believes in, say, Hindu mythology (to some extent or other), to not enjoy the game as much if it places Hindu, Norse, etc. mythology on the same level. That's why I'm curious in this poll.
The safest route is definitely to use a generic fantasy setting, but that loses some of the enrichment that people might enjoy from acquiring, say, Mjolnir, vs. generic Weapon of Destiny.


It seems like maybe a good way to go is to use mythologies that few if any people still practice, such as Greek and Roman. I doubt if there's many people who still worship Zeus or Mars.
Other good mythologies that are commonly known are Norse and Egyptian. Possibly also Native American or one of the many East Asian mythologies, but if I'm not mistaken they still have not inconsiderable followings.
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