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Old 11-18-2019, 11:38 PM   #1
Coinage
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Theogony

Is there a way for modelling a Theogony, sort of like from Hesiod or from mythology? I know this was a weird one. Maybe I could use and modify the "Blessed Events" article link here: http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=1384.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Theogony

Do you mean a way to randomly generate one? Taking Greek mythology as an example, you might need a "Things That Move" table to generate mothers for semi-divine beings.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Theogony

It would need to be a nested table. Something like this:

Table 1 (roll 1d):
1-Human (see Table 2)
2-Supernatural (see Table 3)
3-Animal (see Table 4)
4-Plant (see Table 5)
5-Natural Phenomena (see Table 6)
6-Other (see Table 7)

Table 3 (roll 1d)
1-Own pantheon (see Table 3a)
2-Enemy pantheon (see Table 3b)
3-Neutral pantheon (see Table 3c)
4-Nature spirit (see Table 3d)
5-Ancestor spirit (see Table 3e)
6-Other (see Table 3f)

Table 3a (roll 1d)
1-Father's Mother
2-Father's Sister
3-Father's Daughter
4-Father's other female relative
5-Adopted female member of the pantheon
6-Other female member of the pantheon
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:40 AM   #4
Coinage
 
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Default Re: Theogony

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It would need to be a nested table. Something like this:

Table 1 (roll 1d):
1-Human (see Table 2)
2-Supernatural (see Table 3)
3-Animal (see Table 4)
4-Plant (see Table 5)
5-Natural Phenomena (see Table 6)
6-Other (see Table 7)

Table 3 (roll 1d)
1-Own pantheon (see Table 3a)
2-Enemy pantheon (see Table 3b)
3-Neutral pantheon (see Table 3c)
4-Nature spirit (see Table 3d)
5-Ancestor spirit (see Table 3e)
6-Other (see Table 3f)

Table 3a (roll 1d)
1-Father's Mother
2-Father's Sister
3-Father's Daughter
4-Father's other female relative
5-Adopted female member of the pantheon
6-Other female member of the pantheon
That's actually very useful. Thx.

It does seem a bit short. I guess I could expand it, based on "Blessed Event." I also have to come up with a sort of "Spawn Point." Thx though.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Theogony

A few questions I've asked when cooking up deities worshipped in my setting:

1. What are the cultural values?
2. What are the cultural vices?
3. What kind of environment did the people originally worshipping them come from? (A heavy seafaring people like ancient Greeks and Norse will have a sea god as a primary deity, but a landlocked mountain people wouldn't.)
4. How much deific incest is going on in their relations? (The gods on Olympus married siblings, cousins, nieces, and other near relations; the Aesir of the Norsemen didn't like when their sister people the Vanir engaged in the same act.)
5. Are the gods ageless or are they cycling through generations?
6. Did the gods create the world, or come after it?
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:49 PM   #6
Coinage
 
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Default Re: Theogony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
A few questions I've asked when cooking up deities worshipped in my setting:

1. What are the cultural values?
2. What are the cultural vices?
3. What kind of environment did the people originally worshipping them come from? (A heavy seafaring people like ancient Greeks and Norse will have a sea god as a primary deity, but a landlocked mountain people wouldn't.)
4. How much deific incest is going on in their relations? (The gods on Olympus married siblings, cousins, nieces, and other near relations; the Aesir of the Norsemen didn't like when their sister people the Vanir engaged in the same act.)
5. Are the gods ageless or are they cycling through generations?
6. Did the gods create the world, or come after it?
All of these are good points. For now, I just wanted to have a mechanical process.

I was thinking as a sort of "spawn point". Perhaps there would be a wild mana area (or a SUPER Wild Mana Area), such as in GURPS Fantasy, when a wild mana generator enters into a Wild Mana Area, or the appearance of Wonders in GURPS Celtic Myth. Or maybe a Fracture Zone. Maybe during an Ontoclysm, similar to how Iruptors appear in GURPS: Horror - The Madness Dossier.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Theogony

I'd say any Theogony would need to start with an Entity of some sort - chaos is popular. Either the entity creates the first generation of gods ex nihilo or by combining with some other entity (I think the former seems far more common). The first generation of gods - the primordials - then mate to create a new generation. After this, you start having more complicated interactions, as the second generation of gods produces a third generation by mating with siblings, cousins, and their parents' siblings. You are also likely to have murders, wars, and other intrigue amongst the gods.

Typically, at some point during this, the second generation kills one or more members of the first generation, using their corpses to build the world (or the world just kind of sprouts from the corpses on its own). The living beings on the world are either directly created or come into being on their own, and then the gods - usually the third generation - will start interacting with these beings in various ways, including mating with them to produce semi-divine beings.

A twist is to have some of the gods beyond the primordials be born without any mating involved. Typically, such would be born from the corpses or shed bodily fluids - or even body parts - of the primordials. In some cases they might be similarly born from later generation gods.


If randomly generating a Theogony, you'll also be kind of randomly generating your setting's creation story. Here's a basic start.

Step 1, Entity: Roll 1d.
1-5: Single Entity
6: Two Entities

Step 2, Primordials: Roll 1d+1 to set the number of them. Determine sex randomly, but there will always be at least 1 male and 1 female.

Step 3, Couplings: Roll 1d for each primordial. Those that roll the same number are paired up - as rivals or close allies (determine randomly; note in some cultures close allies may be romantically involved) if the same sex, as a couple if opposite sexes. Note you may still want to make a random roll to determine if a couple are rivals or allies (a rival couple could represent anything from the two vying for power within the marriage, to one or both members being unfaithful and the other being rather miffed about it, to a less-than-consensual union). If you end up with 2 of one sex and 1 of another linked up, you either have polygamy or the driving force of early conflict.
If this fails to produce at least one coupling, reroll until it does. Such is unlikely to be a happy marriage, however.

Step 4, Offspring: Roll 1d for each couple, above. This is the number of children - gods - the couple produces. On a roll of 6, reroll at +5 (an 11 means reroll at +10, a 16 means reroll at +15, a 21 means you should stop using loaded dice).

Step 5, Family Tree Maze: Roll 1d for each primordial and each god to establish relationships as in Step 3 (this doesn't affect the primordials' relationships with each other, although you could use the results here to influence the story of why the primordials have such interactions). Intergenerational relationships between opposite sexes aren't necessarily of a sexual nature (consider Athena and Zeus - allies - or Hera and Herakles - rivals), so a random roll is called for (with the possibilities of rival, ally, or lover; lovers again could be rival lovers or allied lovers).

Step 6, So Many Babies: Roll 1d-1 for each couple, above. This is the number of children - second generation gods - the couple produces. On a roll of 5 (natural 6), reroll at +4 (+9,+14,+19, etc).

Step 7, The Jerry Springer Show: Roll 1d for each primordial, each god, and each second generation god to establish relationships as in Step 5 (again, this doesn't affect the existing relationships determined in Step 3 and Step 5). At this point you probably have enough to establish a proper pantheon - indeed, you may have too many, so feel free to use some of those rivalries to kill the extras off. Note the offspring of second generation gods are likely demigods or similar, but don't have to be - you can continue steps 6 and 7 as many times as needed.

Step 7a, Getting Freaky: Optionally, roll 1d for each primordial or first-generation god, and second generation god. On a 6, the deity has other divine progeny not accounted for above. Roll 1d.
1,2: 1 more
3,4: 2 more
5,6: Roll again, add 2 to the result

For primordials, roll 1d-2; for gods (either generation), roll 1d.
1 or lower: The progeny spawned from a severed body part, spilled bodily fluid, or other instance lacking a sexual coupling.
2-5: For second (or final, if you went beyond Step 7 above) generation gods, this represents a child born from one of the couplings determined in Step 7 (or final step). For gods from older generations, treat as 6.
6: The progeny was due to coupling with a mortal

After this, repeat step 7 for these gods to determine their relationships with the others.


Note the above represent the actual gods, not demigods and other semi-divine beings. Particularly for those resulting from coupling with mortals, this may be a demigod who later ascended to godhood; the system above cares about the final result, not how you got there. If mortals without divine ancestry can ascend to godhood in your setting, you may wish to allow for rolls of 1 to sometimes represent a mortal who is unrelated to the god but ascends nonetheless; this new god will have some sort of special connection to the god who "spawned" them (typically, this means the god helped them ascend to godhood, but it could also represent a particular rivalry or even the mortal reaching godhood by killing that god).
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:40 PM   #8
Coinage
 
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Default Re: Theogony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Step 1, Entity: Roll 1d.
1-5: Single Entity
6: Two Entities
Your right, most Theogonies and Cosmogonies start with some primordial entity, whether it be Chaos from Hesiod's Theogony, or the One from Plotinus, or "Being" from Heidegger.

Wow, that was really helpful. Thank you.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Theogony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post

(A heavy seafaring people like ancient Greeks and Norse will have a sea god as a primary deity, but a landlocked mountain people wouldn't.)

But it's possible that it might turn out, unknown to the mortals, that the sea deity is also a mountain-deity by another name.
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