Jump to content
Steve Long

MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

Recommended Posts

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

To the extent I want to write about that' date=' I've already done so on FH 374-83. That's about all I think the average gamer needs on the subject. That's not what MH has ever been intended to be about.[/quote']

 

Well, you did ask what we wanted to see, not what we expected to see. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

If you think that’s interesting' date=' read The Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren. It goes into how voodoo practitioners use Catholic saints as focuses of worship for voodoo loa. For example, the statue of one saint is used as a focus of worship for the loa of snakes because the saint’s portrayal typically has the saint crushing a serpent under foot.[/quote']That's loa-ing the tone of this conversaton ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I can see the need for Mythic Hero and Legendary Hero to be separate books due to size, but part of me feels that the subject matter goes hand-in-hand. The legendary heroes in most ancient traditions are either descended of the gods or rubbed elbows with them. Then you have tales like those of the Arthurian legends where some include faerie beings powerful enough to be considered demi-gods. I have a great interest in both subjects. I just hope the eastern gods and heroes get as much coverage as their western counterparts. That's my main concern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

For servants of the gods, perhaps in addition to specific write-ups for beings like angels and valkyries (and I really hope to see a valkyrie write-up in the Norse pantheon section), there could also be templates included for use in making new sorts of divine servants.

 

I'd also like to see some discussion of the relationship between the divine and the mortal. Why do gods need mortal worship? Does a god derive some form of "nutritition" from it, or does it just make their ego feel good? A discussion on half-divine offspring would also be nice.

 

If there's room, maybe some faith-based or divine bloodline gifts that a mortal could take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Characters with firm belief in their deities rarely falter. To reflect this, a talent that allows characters with strong beliefs to act ahead of those with similar Dex during a single segment. It could be called faith-based initiative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I cast my vote for both Mythic Hero and Legendary Hero. I think you could put a lot of interesting, useful stuff in Legendary Hero, and that it would be easy to use in multiple genres. But Dr. MID-Nite's suggestion of doing it as a PDF only might be a good one until you can gauge general interest. Personally, I'd prefer it as a printed book.

 

As for Mythic Hero, I very much doubt I would ever use it, but it sounds like a really cool book that I'd like to own just as a reference and idea mine. And so I could figure out whether Zeus or Thor would win in a fight. Speaking of which, much as Hero does in the villain books, I think you should include suggestions on powering deities up or down to suite a particular campaign, as this will allow for greater flexibility and cross-genre utility.

 

This may be adding too much to an already huge book, but perhaps some write-ups of godly realms, i.e. Mt. Olympus as a base for the Greek Gods, Asgard as a base for the Norse gods, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Let me second the request for write-ups of godly realms like Asgard and Mount Olympus.

 

I third this request. Although I wonder if this falls into its own book of realms/planes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I personally think that both Mythic and Legendary Hero would have a place on my shelf. Just wondering as well, when dealing with the Chinese pantheon, would you approach it from both a Buddhist and a Taoist perspective? Though they have many similarities, their outlook/approach is somewhat different in my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

OK' date=' now this is an intriguing suggestion. I have the Bonnefoy book and will see what I can pull out of it (it's one of many books I have that I'll review as I write MH, and that may cause me to expand or change my ideas of what'll be in the book). The Heissig book sounds intriguing but that's more than I'd like to spend on this subject, but we'll see how things go and perhaps I'll change my mind. I doubt they have it over at UNCG but I can probably check there too if necessary. Thanx![/quote']

Happy to have helped if I did, Steve. My high-end PC invokes Yer Tanrı, Tengri, and Koyash for a bunch of spells, so I'd be thrilled at the chance to see those gods and their fellows appear in a sourcebook.

 

If you'd find a more in-depth look at the practice of Mongolian Shamanism from an insider's viewpoint useful, Sarangerel Odigan's Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism is available pretty cheaply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Some suggestions for mythos:

African, Navajo, Inuit, Eskimo, Incan, Persian, Aboriginal, Siberian, Korean, Baltic, Maori. For the Greek/Roman, I would go back to their start, not just the Olympians. Information about the Gods main homes would be good.

Two books of Mythic Heroes and Legendary Heroes would be a good idea. Even though several heroes can be mythic, they are also legendary. It would allow you to put more information in each book.

 

-olallafur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I just hope the eastern gods and heroes get as much coverage as their western counterparts.

 

Quite honestly -- they probably won't. I'm certainly going to do my best, but the fact remains that the best-known Western mythoi are far better chronicled in English (and far more consistently) than the Eastern mythoi. Nor does it help that trying to chisel a single coherent body of, say, Chinese myth out of thousands of years of history and multiple cultural variations within China ain't exactly an easy task. ;) But I'm going to give it the ol' college try and will let you judge the results for yourself. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I can see the need for Mythic Hero and Legendary Hero to be separate books due to size, but part of me feels that the subject matter goes hand-in-hand. The legendary heroes in most ancient traditions are either descended of the gods or rubbed elbows with them. Then you have tales like those of the Arthurian legends where some include faerie beings powerful enough to be considered demi-gods.

 

I don't want to go into here, but I have a pretty clear and, I think, consistent vision of what goes in which book that I think most readers'll be satisfied with. After MH comes out you can take a look and I'll explain my reasoning in more detail if you like. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

For servants of the gods, perhaps in addition to specific write-ups for beings like angels and valkyries (and I really hope to see a valkyrie write-up in the Norse pantheon section), there could also be templates included for use in making new sorts of divine servants.

 

Folx, let's use some common sense here, please. ;) Of course MH is going to include character sheets for common divine servants. What kind of a write-up of Norse mythology would it be with no valkyries? The same goes for similar servants in other pantheons.

 

As for Templates -- no. As I've already said, Chapter One is going to have write-ups of common divine abilities that you can use to build your own gods if you like, but that's it. There won't be "Generic God" character sheets or anything like that. If you want to customize a divine character sheet, there'll be plenty throughout the book you can easily adapt. :)

 

I'd also like to see some discussion of the relationship between the divine and the mortal. Why do gods need mortal worship? Does a god derive some form of "nutritition" from it, or does it just make their ego feel good? A discussion on half-divine offspring would also be nice.

 

If there's room, maybe some faith-based or divine bloodline gifts that a mortal could take.

 

Generally speaking you're not going to see any of this -- that's not what MH is about. I've written about things like how religions work and so on in FH, and that's about all I have to say on the matter.

 

There'll probably be some info in Chapter One about divine-mortal interactions and offspring, etc., but that's about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

This may be adding too much to an already huge book, but perhaps some write-ups of godly realms, i.e. Mt. Olympus as a base for the Greek Gods, Asgard as a base for the Norse gods, etc.

 

Well, as I mentioned in my intro post, I am going to cover the cosmology and "setting" of each mythos to some extent. That's about it on this subject, though; I'm not going to write up Asgard as a Base any more than I'd write up the Kingdom of Vestria as a Base in The Turakian Age. But the Norse section does include a few paragraphs on the Nine Worlds and on Asgard, with other bits of Norse geographic fun scattered throughout the section; other mythologies will get the same treatment to the extent possible. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

10. This touches on the topic of potentially offending religious believers. I struggled with this a good bit in deciding to include Chinese' date=' Hindu, Japanese, and Voodoo, all of which are living religions. I ended up including them because (a) it's not like we have a lot of readers who belong to those faiths, and (B) the book would seem distinctly sub-par without them, since they're major mythoi. Also, as a more or less atheist to some extent I think that all religious believers are nuts, regardless of faith. ;) However, I decided against including Christian mythology because (a) most of our readers are Christians, making it much more likely people would get offended, and (B) it's a complex enough subject that it would add a huge amount of work to what's already going to be an enormous book. At the most, I might include some angels in the Demonology section, but that'd be it. ;)[/quote']

Thank you for explaining your reasoning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I mentioned above something called "Legendary Hero." This is a book we've vaguely considered that would feature characters and beings from famous legends that don't rise to the level of mythology (i.e.' date='[/i'] that don't generally involve gods and the like). I'm interested in doing this because (a) it would let me shorten MH a little, and (B) it would let me cover fun subjects that are totally inappropriate for MH.

 

However, if we're going to do it, we need to decide before MH goes to layout. There are two parts of MH -- the Arthurian Legends and the bogatyr section of Slavic/Russian -- that are more appropriate for "Legendary Hero" than MH. Other possible subjects for inclusion in MH are:

 

Robin Hood

The 1,001 Nights (Haroun al-Rashid, Sinbad, Alladin, Ali Baba, all that fun stuff)

Roland and other such folx from various European sagas

 

I'm not sure that there's enough material there for a whole book of the size that we like to publish. Nor am I sure there's enough consumer interest in "Legendary Hero" to justify considering it as a separate product. So, if you'd be interested in seeing a Legendary Hero book that's distinct from MH, let us know!

 

I don't have much to say about the first post as I am pretty content about the plan and I trust you will treat the subject well (to put it clearer, this book is a must buy for me) but I must admit that I have an even higher interest in a book like Legendary Hero. My take is that you will have too much material to cram in a book and you will have to limit yourself to a more era and geographical area.

 

Arthurian Legends and Bogatyrs are a must but I'd also like to see Beowulf, Ring of the Nibelungen, Dietrich, Attila. There is lot to cover only among these and aside from the Bogatyrs* which are centuries later, all of the others take place in western, northern Europe during the decline and death rattle of the Roman Empire (from the 4th to the 6th centuries). I'd buy this book faster than you can print it.

 

*Unless you venture into the Primary Chronicles and the tales of Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv which are, maybe, around the same period as the others.

 

Robin Hood, Roland and 1001 Nights are also interesting but take place at a later time. Not really a problem, just an observation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Count me as another without a lot to say, but who will buy both books if they are split - great source material whether for direct or indirect use.

 

Given the extent of your research, I doubt I could add anything of significance. I would like to see Greco-roman and Norse not get overplayed - it's easy to do so as they're best known and have the most source material (and that makes them the most popular, and likely a focal point for many buyers).

 

Others have mentioned fictional deities, and you've answered. I could see a niche, but it seems like most would fit better in either a genre book (presumably, Lovecraftian will get a nod in certain upcoming publications), require licensing (Melnibonean deities, for example) or be best suited to a setting book (why would the Dwarven Gods in Turakian and Valdorian settings be the same?) so I trust we'll likely see them in the format that best suits them. I like the aproach to these books focusing on real world myths and legends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I like the idea of mythic hero, I also like the Idea of ledgendary hero.

 

As far as Mythic hero goes of course I want to see sections on Greek/Roman, Norse (Thor has always been one of my favorites even before the comic) and Egyption among others. Of couse I'd like to have write ups for each god and discriptions on how they came to be and how any noted items of power that they weild came to be, as well as how they interact with other gods (relationships, enemies). A sumerised story or two would be good as well. one that realy sets up the character of the god (the fishing expedition thor had to catch the midguard serpent always a favorite). I would also like to see how the priesthoods and worshipers interact with thier gods, comon pactices, rituals, superstions (like throwing spilled salt over your shoulder is supposed to ward off demons, did any followers have a daily practice outside of "church" thats suppose to give them the gods favor). Punishments for hericy and crimes against the god, things like that would be interesting too.

 

Ledgendary hero I really would like to see the summerised history of each character, how they lived, why they were considered ledgendary, again what thier followers did and how they viewed them.

 

I'm sure youve probably thought of these things already just putting my two cents in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

For me..I am more interested in running a Scion Hero type campaign...what that means for me is that i am less interested in the stat-ing out of individual deities but more interested in a coherent system in which to operate. By that I mean both the psychology and quirks of the deities as well as how they interact with each other. I think a discussion of ways the various pantheons would/could interact. To me there is plenty of things to discuss to help make a more coherent setting IF having multiple pantheons coexist. (like if each pantheon has a lord of the dead...how can each be the ruler of hell/sheol/hades/paradise etc).

 

Also...for the stat-ing out...it may make sense to make different power levels of the same deities to better fit into some settings.

 

I would be interested in discussion of various ways to use the pantheons in modern or even future settings.

 

Also, as mentioned above...how to deal with the subject of worshipers...I think, handled properly could spill over nicely into other types of games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Frankly a list of gods with their HERO stats is not a compelling product for me. I already have a copy of Legend and Lore and, better still, Bullfinch’s, and I do not need a phone book of deity stats without the rules support to run them in a setting.

Legendary HERO is much more compelling both because the principles would be more relatable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Seems to me the Hero stats are the focus of the book. Otherwise, it becomes a book of abilities for the servants of those deities. Whether the stats are presented (or used) as "This is the deity in full glory" or "This is the avatar which typically is used by the deity to interact with the mortal world, and reflects only a tiny fraction of the true grandeur and power of the actual being" is irrelevant (I can easily switch between the two should I so desire), but the stats are important.

 

The tough balancing act is making them credible (ie sufficiently powerful) as deities without making them so powerful as to be useless (ie they cannot interact meaningfully with the characters anyway). As has been pointed out by others above, these powerful beings seem to be at a level competitive with (but not overwhelming to) Supers, so that's the rough point base (or at least CV/Defense/DC guidelines) I'd aim for - knowing that the Pantheon Head will be more powerful, and a fringe demigod less powerful.

 

So I guess what I most want to see is deities with power levels that permit them to interact with PC's in some meaningful way, not huge point-bloated monstrosities whose mere presence overwhelms any meaning the actions of the PC's could possibly have. Of course, they have different uses in different genres, and even different games (in Supers, many would make for decent PC's, villains or up to master villains, while Fantasy characters would have to be extremely powerful/skilled to compete with a deity in open conflict).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Thinking on it, especially for Legendary Hero, I'd like to see some discussion of establishing just what level of ability qualifies one as "Legendary". Existing products establish a baseline in some regards, but it seems like a "Legendary" CU strength would make Hercules a laughingstock rather than a Brick to be reckoned with. Does the baseline depend on the milieu, or is it a fixed value regardless of setting?

 

Not the main thrust of the book, to be sure, but to me a legend should be a force to be reckoned with in any game, not a fish out of water because we moved Robin Hood from his traditional Fantasy setting to a High Magic Milieu, or a Supers or Sci Fi setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Thinking on it' date=' especially for Legendary Hero, I'd like to see some discussion of establishing just what level of ability qualifies one as "Legendary".[/quote']

 

I would ideally like to see legends that are peers of, or slightly better than, competent heroic PCs, with very highly experienced heroic PCs out-classing most legends.

 

Then again there’s a huge sliding scale in the legends category. I mean Fionn mac Cumhaill is going completely overpower Johnny Appleseed any way you slice it. Given this, I would assume that the quality of being a legend is more a reference to one’s status in folklore than a measure of the legend’s abilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I would ideally like to see legends that are peers of' date=' or slightly better than, competent heroic PCs, with very highly experienced heroic PCs out-classing most legends.[/quote']

 

This is where the issue becomes problematic. For use in a fantasy game, I think that's the right benchmark - we want the PC's able to move into "legendary" status, not be outclassed and overshadowed by what are, ultimately, "just" NPC's. Even into Mythic, we don't want Dragons the PC's can only fear, not overcome, and Deities will fall into the same category when they are statted out.

 

But we also don't want Hercules in a Supers game or Robin Hood in a Sci Fi setting to be pathetically weak comparatively.

 

STEVE: Are these books intended to be directed primarily at a specific genre (most likely Fantasy - that's where the characters derive from)? If so, that's clearly where the benchmarks need to lie. If not...well, I don't envy you having mobile benchmarks!

 

Then again there's a huge sliding scale in the legends category. I mean Fionn mac Cumhaill is going completely overpower Johnny Appleseed any way you slice it. Given this' date=' I would assume that the quality of being a legend is more a reference to one’s status in folklore than a measure of the legend’s abilities.[/quote']

 

A valid point, but the legends mentioned to date are combat-capable. Johnny Appleseed wasn't a legend for combat abilities, and could certainly possess legendary level agriculture skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×