Ghostwalk Like An Egyptian?

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willpell
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Ghostwalk Like An Egyptian?

Post by willpell » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:00 pm

I was thinking about ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and funerary customs today, and it occurred to me that it might be an interesting variant on Ghostwalk to adapt the idea of the True Afterlife to an Egyptian model. After all, what better explanation for the extreme specificity of Egyptian myth, than to imagine that someone had actually returned from the Afterlife, with perhaps just a vague memory of, say, having still been wearing the same clothing he died in, and the priests interpret that as proof that you always carry all your possessions into the Afterlife with you, and thousands of years later this results in pyramid-building and all the associated customs. Just a thought.

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Re: Ghostwalk Like An Egyptian?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:50 pm

Interesting choice.

I can see some clashes between the two things that might need some tweaks.

Ghostwalk canon suggests that it is impossible to come back from the True Afterlife with any memories of the True Afterlife. (There is a set of magic items that can be assembled to allow someone to escape, but nobody is suppose to know about them...yet. I'm still not sure how the players were supposed to figure the puzzle out)

In standard Ghostwalk, people send bodies through the Veil of Souls, to make the dead person in the True Afterlife stronger. (I'm not sure how they know to do this, but there you go.)

In Egyptian mythology, people preserve bodies (with mumification) and surround them with grave goods, so that the soul can return and come back into the body.

But there is some art in the Ghostwalk book, in the section about Coil, that shows a pyramid, so exploring an Egyptian Ghostwalk reboot might be something that could tie into that.

Having Set as the deity of the yuan-ti would possibly something you might want to look into.
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Re: Ghostwalk Like An Egyptian?

Post by willpell » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:16 pm

I rewatched Gods of Egypt last night, and this thread feels less random than before I did so. We never see their Afterlife, and the worldbuilding around how a different God-King can change the rules of how the dead are judged is never properly explored, but the idea that Apophis is somehow "devouring" the Afterlife *before* he reaches the source of the Nile, while probably just bad writing in actuality, creates the *suggestion* that it might have had a reason behind it, which would be interesting to get into.

I'd forgotten about them shoving the bodies through the Veil. That does put kind of a crimp in the parallel, but it's an odd enough detail that I would probably change it anyway. It might be more interesting to say that rather than the Veil being a gateway, it's instead a giant necropolis, that the Manifest Ward is somehow generated by the presence of thousands of ancient, preserved corpses being gathered in one place. I like that idea better as an explanation of why the Ward would be localized in a particular area, rather than the somewhat cheesy idea that all the dead all over the world have to pass through this one location "just because". The latter smacks of being the mythology of a single particular culture, which doesn't make sense when taken as literally true of an entire world.

I'm not a fan of the thing Ghostwalk does with Yuan-Ti; I don't especially like them as creatures, and it seems weird to focus on them specifically, when any race of Monstrous Humanoids or Magical Beasts or even Giants would have the same issues with the Ghost template being humanoid-exclusive (and there's no particular reason why that needs to be true anyway). It seems really forced, almost as though they felt like they needed to insert some Product Identity into the setting to keep Monte Cook from being able to publish it as non-Wotco property or something.

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