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Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:55 pm
by Havard
This thread is great! :)

-Havard

Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:24 pm
by Tim Baker
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:47 pm
I feel that the fact that a common person know about the masks is not that good, though. This is one of the secrets that I feel should be for gods only.
I like that mortals (at least some mortals) know about masks, because it fuels tension between churches. It sparks the kind of intra-pantheon debates and conflict that mirrors the real world. You could still do this without masks, but they give the GM an easy plot hook to hang these types of events on. You could have factions within a given church that believe a deity is or isn't the mask of some other deity. They could argue and perhaps even splinter the church without escalating to open aggression. It could even lead to interesting intra-party discussions, if the players are into this kind of RP.

There's nothing wrong keeping it hidden from mortals as well, but it would be harder to make that aspect of the pantheons matter in actual play. Perhaps if the PCs are unique in that they learn this secret, it could drive a whole campaign. What do they do with this knowledge? Keep it to themselves? Try to convince churches that are at war with each other over what they view as opposing deities, but are actually the same god? So there's potential there. Or you could simply choose to keep that knowledge as GM information to help drive a world that feels more real, even if the players can't pinpoint what's motivating the gods to act in such a way. I'm less of a fan of that approach, but there's no reason why it couldn't work for your game.

Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:01 am
by ripvanwormer
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:47 pm
I feel that the fact that a common person know about the masks is not that good, though. This is one of the secrets that I feel should be for gods only.
Even the gods don't necessarily know who is whom behind their masks. "Veles spoke the Words of Peace, which compelled the gods to no longer make war openly, and induced them to wear masks, that they might not know one another." Mortals may believe that, for example, Perun and Thor are either brothers or the same deity behind different masks, but no one knows for sure.
I like this more than Planescape "all gods are ascended mortals" stuff.
Planescape generally left the origins of the gods mysterious. Some are thought to be ascended spirits, some are ascended mortals, while some might be older than the planes.

Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:56 pm
by Isuru
The masks concept as I understand it is a short hand for syncretism, but done in a way to make it easily game-able. It's also contains elements of religiocentrism, ethnocentrism, conflation, appropriation, and assimilation without leaning too hard into real world politics and religion.

The Pantheon section should not be read as a true neutral omniscient narrator, but rather each entry is from the slightly skewed prospective of a narrator more-or-less "friendly" to the deity in each entry (imo). This holds true for most of the entries, even for the dark gods with some exceptions (usually bits about what ails the god).

The use of the actual term "Masks" in game as an academic term is also probably isolated to theologians and the most devout and/or knowledgeable followers. Most normal folks may just know that their god Mavros is known as Perun in the east and Thor in the Northlands, or something to that effect. Take a follower of each, ask them who is right. They will say "I am", each one of them.

Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:06 pm
by ben_mcfarland
Isuru wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:56 pm
The masks concept as I understand it is a short hand for syncretism, but done in a way to make it easily game-able. It's also contains elements of religiocentrism, ethnocentrism, conflation, appropriation, and assimilation without leaning too hard into real world politics and religion.
That's correct, and the way I've always been told to treat it when writing material
Isuru wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:56 pm
The use of the actual term "Masks" in game as an academic term is also probably isolated to theologians and the most devout and/or knowledgeable followers. Most normal folks may just know that their god Mavros is known as Perun in the east and Thor in the Northlands, or something to that effect. Take a follower of each, ask them who is right. They will say "I am", each one of them.
Also correct. The conversations Brian and I have had about masks have been very humorous on occasion, in a nerdy worldbuilding game designer way

-Ben.

Re: [Let's Read] Midgard Worldbook

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:31 am
by Tim Baker
ben_mcfarland wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:06 pm
That's correct, and the way I've always been told to treat it when writing material
...and...
ben_mcfarland wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:06 pm
Also correct. The conversations Brian and I have had about masks have been very humorous on occasion, in a nerdy worldbuilding game designer way
I love learning little tidbits like these. Thanks for passing them along. :)