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Old 09-09-2016, 09:22 PM   #21
Gef
 
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

eems like nobody's addressed the original question yet. I don't use special abilities like DF clerics have in my game, but I can take a stab at some from scratch based on your moon god's properties, related to

Moonlight
Resurrection
Protection, in specified instances
Wisdom
Change
Travel
Healing
From moon, may we infer tides?


Many of the DF special powers seem to have modest pricing, so I'll try to stay there:

Travel = Absolute Direction (PM -10%; 5)

Wisdom = Common Sense (PM -10%; 9)

Protection from demons = True Faith, and that's one of the standard ones, neh?

Protection on journeys = Afflict 1 (Advantage: Trivial Destiny to reach destination +10%, Permanent until destination reached +150%, PM -10%, Touch/Contact -60%; 19)

Tides = Control Water Level (Natural Phenomenon +100%, PM -10%; 19/lvl)

Healing = Healing with such modifiers as you feel appropropriate, such as Afflictions Only for infertility

Resurrection - guidelines are found in GURPS Powers, Cosmic Afflict Extra Life with one try, as I recall.

Moonlight. This should be more than a candle or torch. I'm thinking it should halve darkness modifiers over a large region, represented as the moon appearing, or appearing brighter. So this is a little out-of-the-box, but what do you think of Obscure 5 (reversed) as a Potential Advantage? In the worst case, absolute darkness, it relieves 5 levels of darkness penalty, but in torchlight, it removes only 1. As a special effect, the source of moonlight is high overhead, meaning that the volume is greater than normal, but the drawback is, any overhang will cast a shadow where the darkness isn't reduced - not so good for dungeon fantasy, I'm afraid. Base cost is 5pt for 2yd, hike it up to 512 for net 22pt.


EDIT: Judging by our respective forum posts, our GM styles are dissimilar. I run with low totals, which allows me to be blasť about abusive builds; I even encourage them. So for instance, if I were to use gifts like these in my campaign, I'd slap a -40% Gadget limitation on 'em (for the holy symbol) and make them alternate abilities, at the bare minimum. In any case, these are off-the-cuff; I haven't playtested anything.

Last edited by Gef; 09-09-2016 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

His model was patron of astrologers, so I'd suggest Oracle. Also Visible True Faith.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:46 PM   #23
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
His model was patron of astrologers, so I'd suggest Oracle.
Or Blessed (Astrology)?
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
His model was patron of astrologers, so I'd suggest Oracle.
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Originally Posted by Gef View Post
Or Blessed (Astrology)?
I considered Oracle, but the three PCs who elected to go into the light are more action oriented (martial artist/bard, warrior and fire-infused sorcerer). I gave them, respectively, Common Sense, Intuition and both Blessed (Very Blessed) and Precognition, suitably modified, to reflect divine inspiration. The NPC wizard who went with them might become an Oracle.

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Also Visible True Faith.
Is Visible an enhancement or limitation for True Faith? Where is it from?
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:23 AM   #25
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
As the moon is an astronomical object make her a patron of sailors.
Again, this is a male god. In Babylonian culture, the bull is lunar, not solar as we might be more used to in those mythologies that are more familiar to us in the West. It is, however, still a male symbol and the long-bearded, masculine Su'en, riding his winged bull, is a male god.

In any event, the sun and the moon do not appear to have been symbols of the male and female principle in Mesopotamia to the same extent as they were in Indo-European mythology. The male and female principle were instead linked to the sky and earth, respectively, much like various steppe peoples did.

The name of the deity I'm using in my campaign* is Su'en or Sin in Akkadian, Na-an-na or Nanna in Sumerian. Nannaru is an appelation that means 'Lightbringer' in Akkadian, but also has an obvious similarity to the Sumerian name of the deity, which is likely to have contributed to the use of it among Akkadian speakers who still retained some Sumerian for liturgical purposes.

It is tempting to have a role for my version of Su'en as a patron of boatmen, mariners and sailors among the Untheri** people. There isn't a powerful local god with that role at the moment and, in my setting, gods constantly compete for worship.

Does anyone know whether the historical Su'en was associated with marine endeavours in any way?

*It's set in a fantasy setting that is not Earth, but the people who worship Su'en were transplanted there a millenia ago from a place that was Earth or a very near analogue of Earth, taken as slaves by a portal-using civilisation ruled by powerful wizards. The deity is therefore based on our historical Nanna/Sin, but not identical to it, as the people and their culture have developed in ways that our history never allowed.
**The people eventually established by the descendants of the Babylonian (and some other Mesopotamian) people taken in slavery many generations before.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:38 PM   #26
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Again, this is a male god. In Babylonian culture, the bull is lunar, not solar as we might be more used to in those mythologies that are more familiar to us in the West. It is, however, still a male symbol and the long-bearded, masculine Su'en, riding his winged bull, is a male god.
Indeed, from what I can tell in my own research, the Greco-Roman "Sun God/Moon Goddess" is an aberration among Indo-European and Semitic mythologies, likely due to Egyptian influence. In almost all other Indo-European mythologies, the sun has a feminine aspect and the moon a male aspect (like the Norse goddess Sol and god Mani, as a better-known example).
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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Indeed, from what I can tell in my own research, the Greco-Roman "Sun God/Moon Goddess" is an aberration among Indo-European and Semitic mythologies, likely due to Egyptian influence. In almost all other Indo-European mythologies, the sun has a feminine aspect and the moon a male aspect (like the Norse goddess Sol and god Mani, as a better-known example).
On the other hand, the Vedic sun god Surya has to be one of the older actually attested forms. In those texts both gods seem to be male. Gods actually change name and gender and portfolio and relationship through time in ways that seem baffling to modern Westerners - "wait, the son of the Sun god this cult statue is of to was the sister of the Sun god in the dedication inscription of the shrine it is in?"

Incidentally one weird connection I found paging through a list of lunar and solar deities is that in addition being the Semitic moon god, the name Sin(a) is used for several Polynesian moon goddesses and spirits (possibly from a root meaning something like silver haired), see for example the Samoan myth on the origin of coconuts Sina and the Eel.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:51 PM   #28
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

No idea which gods and goddesses the people sailing to Dilmun and Meluha worshipped. We probably know for the West Semites, but they had another set of gods.

I would not do much with tides because there are not big tides anywhere that South Mesopotamians sailed (pretty sure that the Strait of Hormuz and the Chaldaean marshes have a similar effect to the Straits of Gibraltar). I seem to remember that the sea next to this country is an inland sea in the Realms?

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On the other hand, the Vedic sun god Surya has to be one of the older actually attested forms. In those texts both gods seem to be male. Gods actually change name and gender and portfolio and relationship through time in ways that seem baffling to modern Westerners - "wait, the son of the Sun god this cult statue is of to was the sister of the Sun god in the dedication inscription of the shrine it is in?"

Incidentally one weird connection I found paging through a list of lunar and solar deities is that in addition being the Semitic moon god, the name Sin(a) is used for several Polynesian moon goddesses and spirits (possibly from a root meaning something like silver haired), see for example the Samoan myth on the origin of coconuts Sina and the Eel.
It was also common for the priests of a rising god to explain that a bunch of other falling gods were only aspect of their patron. There are some tablets laying out relationships like that.

The genders in Sumerian are personal (gods, women, ...) and impersonal (rocks, slaves, cattle, ...) and its easy to write divine names logographically as "storm god, sun god, ..." so sexing deities is not always straightforward. The logograms also encouraged equating deities in different places with each other.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:59 PM   #29
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

I may be late, but weren't gods of the moon linked to the themes of Fertility, Water, Shadows/Darkness, Spirits/Otherworld, Healing, and Time?

Given the Lunar crescent, wouldn't you arm them with bows and scimitars?
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:24 AM   #30
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

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I may be late, but weren't gods of the moon linked to the themes of Fertility, Water, Shadows/Darkness, Spirits/Otherworld, Healing, and Time?
All of which, for some gods, certainly. I've established Su'en as being linked to themes of shadows/darkness in that as the 'Lightbringer', he is who humanity invokves against the dark and anything which lurks in the dark. My version of him is also a fairly straightforward guardian of humanity against the nasty parts of Spirits/Otherworld.

Healing is at least a minor sphere of interest, given that Su'en responded to a prayer to save Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim (PC), when the divine light started to flay infernal gifts from his body, by granting Abadas (PC) the power to heal him at the cost of his own health. And then Abadas himself was miraculously healed from the edge of death, as a reward for his readiness to embrace selfless sacrifice.*

Fertility, Water and Time haven't come up, in the same way.

Shussel, the last city where Su'en was worshipped, is a port city and during its height, trade was the most important industry there. Even now, in the much reduced city, many of the inhabitants are ship-builders, longshoremen, bargemen and fishermen.

Those who work around water still call on the names Enki and Nanshe for calm weather and good catches, Marduk for protection from Tiamat and her spawn and Sirsir for skill and wisdom in their boathandling. It's been a good long while since any of those responded, however.

There is certainly room for a mate and/or some servitor deities under the auspices of Su'en to fill some of the vacant divine roles among the local pantheon. If not, interloper gods from neighbouring lands will move in and the Untheri pantheon will become just an ancient fable.

The hilly ground, played-out mines and generally poor state of the irrigation systems around the city means that the environment is pretty far from that which gave rise to Ningal as the consort of Su'en. Ningal is a southern goddess and the rebirth of Su'en is happening in the northern part of Unther, in a climate closer to the mountainous parts of Iran than to the delta in Mesopotamia.

Whatever being comes to be worshipped as 'Ningal' (lit. 'Great Lady'), the consort to Su'en, might lack associations with reeds and cow-herding in the marshes and instead have completely different aspects. She might take on the feminine aspects of the moon, connections to female sexuality and fertility and possibly prophecy and oracles. She might also be linked with Time.

On the subject of Time, nine out of ten of the inhabitants of Shussel were taken by a mysterious fog some three years ago. The PCs met them on another plane of existence, formed into a crusading force by the name 'The Legion of Nanna-Sin'. I'm wondering if these three years should have passed at the same rate for the abductees as the people left behind.**

*The reward also extends to the Healing power now being granted Abadas on a more permanent basis.
**The main reason for deciding that it didn't being that it's difficult to justify effective archers if they have only three years to practice. Let alone mounted archers on flying beasts.
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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Given the Lunar crescent, wouldn't you arm them with bows and scimitars?
I thought immediately of axes with crescent heads. Sickles, saparas (Mesopotamian sickle-swords) and scimitars all fit the theme as well.

Bull-headed helmets with horns are also associated with Su'en. One unit of cavalry, at least, will wear horned helmets and wield axes.

Archers are both appropriate and useful, but unfortunately, archers good enough to be worth anything on a battlefield are raised from a child, not trained.

The Legion have had more than three years of intensive training under divine servitors. By the grace of their god, the abductees' Will and Charisma is about one standard deviation better than normal human levels and only very few of them escaped buying into some version of Code of Honour and Sense of Duty, so motivation and unit cohesion would be excellent.

But their physical attributes are normal human levels, before training, with the average person having ST 10; DX 10 and HT 10.* Male and female muscle is equally strong, but women are smaller on the average and have less of their weight devoted to muscle compared to healthy males, so their ST averages 8 (upper body) / 9 (lower body).

Those who had experience with bows for years before this, such as those who were archers in the militia, nobles with an interest in bow-hunting or sailors who carried bows for defence against corsairs, might benefit enough from a three year intensive training in archery to become valuable on the battlefield. As for those who had never held a bow before, I doubt that three years would be enough to make them into archers.

Probably be a more efficient use of time if they focused on becoming spearmen or javelin-throwing skirmishers. You can teach the basic skills for that in months, leaving plenty of extra time to make them extraordinarily disciplined, well-drilled and proficient compared to other such units.

*Being taken to what is for all intents and purposes Heaven and infused with divine energy did not grant super-strength or speed. It did, however, cure all diseases, nutritional deficiencies and degenerative damage to the bodies of the abductees, making them all extremely healthy and well-fed examples of their sex and age. Only the oldest people have less than 10 in physical Attributes.
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