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Author Topic: Pagan dieties in modern day america?  (Read 1896 times)

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Offline Czernobog

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Pagan dieties in modern day america?
« on: August 31, 2004, 01:08:31 PM »
i dont know if anyone is familiar with the book american gods by neil gaiman, but im sure some of you are. I really think there's potential in the concept of present day america being populated by the long forgotten gods of pagan antiquity. In the book, gods are created by the simple fact that some shaman or tribal storyteller or other dreamt them up. They are sustained by belief and the rituals that their peoples attached to them. Since the gods were brought to north america by travellers through the ages-i.e. lief Ericcson brought Odin and Loki and Frigg with him, in his mind, 1000 years ago. The tragedy of the story is that the old believers died off or converted, leaving these deities to fend for themselves in todays society. some are con artists or beggars, others do well for themselves by finding small pockets of worshippers. The potential for an intersting game is obvious, and the more obscure the god the better.

  The physical nature of the gods
             The gods appear as human in the material world. They do have limited diefic abilities but, it would be easier for say, Thor, to use a pistol than hurl a thunder bolt. maybe the gods abilities could rely on belief. The gods cannot die of natural causes or even mild flesh wounds. Loki or Czernobog will never get lung cancer or syphyllis, nor would a wound become infected. But a bullet to the heart or brain would put them out. Possibly they could bleed to death from a severed limb. In accordance with the novel, if a god dies, and he is forgotten, then he dies for good. but if there is even the slightest belief left for that god, they will rise again.

Two worlds
  In the novel continuum ( bear in mind that I am not implying that the book souldn't be deviated from at all, i just think the premise is enticing)
there is the material reality and there is "behind the scenes." A surreal desert expanse with a lavender starry sky. in this "dimension the gods appear as they truly are(i.e. Ra, the egyptian, would simply be a young middle eastern looking man in reality, but behind the scenes he has a hawk head). They also have full use of their godly attributes. Humans cannot linger behind the scenes for a long time without a tonic called Soma. Soma is pure belief distilled into a potent liquer. it sustains gods in the real world and sustains humans behind the scenes. its extremely rare.

The new gods
   Almost any abstract concept can become a deity in the American Gods world. The internet is a god. A pudgy acne faced geek, filthy rich like some dot com tycoon. Media is a godess, a perfect hair and makeup news anchor-like women who speaks in the euphemistic jargon of newscasters. There are UFOs, not true aliens, but since people believe in them they're there. there are men in black/G-men who exist on the same premise. There are drugs that are gods. Heroin would look something like sid vicious while Ecstatsy would be some archetypical raver.do you grasp?

Im not sure how the system of a game like this would work but this is just a rough idea. feel free to add ideas....C Bog

Offline Ria Hawk

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Pagan dieties in modern day america?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2004, 05:25:24 PM »
Okay, first of all, don't use a white font.  It's painful.

Douglas Adams did something similar in "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul," the second (and sadly last) of the Dirk Gently series.  In that book, it was just Norse gods, though.

It's a cool idea, and one that might merit more looking into.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Pagan dieties in modern day america?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2004, 05:31:36 PM »
American Gods, that's a good book. The bit at the end about the God of the Internet and such somewhat reflects a more Spirit-like approach to gods (the one I usually use), which has a god for EVERYTHING, for every brick and every bottle.
For instance- there is a God of This Brick and a God of All Bricks, a God of This Flower and a God of the Flowers, and whatnot.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Pagan dieties in modern day america?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2004, 12:24:46 PM »
One word: Noblis. A very expensive game, but it covers exactly what you are talking about. any other game system would require some significant modification to be useful in such a game. Noblis would require only minor tweaking to run such a game.

A quick word about your post. It was hard to read and I am not talking about the font. Can you preview your posts before your submit?

The world background for American Gods is quite interesting. It would be tough to run. The mystic realm, subastreal, that these people travel to does not require much of a mechanic, it just requires the PCs and the GM to have a familiarity with symbolism and the concept.  

Such a game would serious require everyone to "be on the same page".  Every player would have to be VERY familiar with the world and the setting variation the GM has created, otherwise much of the feel for the books would be lost.
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Offline Maggot

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Pagan dieties in modern day america?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2005, 01:53:10 AM »
I would like to see God of Lawyers. One so savage and vicious,that Huitzilpoctoli himself would tremble before that deity.
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