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Old 08-24-2018, 08:19 AM   #31
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

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Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
Thor isn't stupid... but he is overconfident.

Ares isn't stupid, but he does have Bloodlust and is arguably Cowardly.

Tyr isn't stupid... but he is Honest, Truthful, has a Code of Honor and is One Handed.

I would argue that for most demi-gods of myth stats closer to the human norm are appropriate. There's no indication that Perseus, Achilles, etc are completely beyond the realm of human ability.

Lesser gods or average gods not known for trickery or wisdom might have IQ 16... Thor for example... still subject to critical failures.

An average god or lesser god known for wisdom or guile might have IQ 18, no failure on a normal roll without some disadvantage in play. Freyja, is a lesser god known for her guile and insight. Helios, the all seeing, fits here.

A greater god, or an average god known for wisdom and insight might have IQ 20-22. Athena, for example is a middling god but known for education, wisdom and battle tactics. Loki fits here, known for his trickery.

A greater god known for wisdom, insight or foreknowledge would be 24-26-ish. Odin, Zeus, Tyr all fit here.
That seems like an appeal to your own assumptions about what gods ought to be like, more than an appeal to how the gods actually act. I've read quite a number of versions of the Norse myths, for example, and they seem consistently to portray a Thor who's nowhere near IQ 16; "not known for trickery or wisdom" is an understatement. What incidents from legend show Thor doing things as smart as an IQ 16 human would, or Freyja being at IQ 18, rather than their being at IQ 8-9 and 10-12, respectively?

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However, I think the best course is not to stat up gods at all. Any true god is so far above mortals that giving them stats is pointless and even counter productive.

Why would you quantify divinity?
It depends on what kind of story you're modeling. There are all those legends where Thor's the Big Guy and Loki's the Smart Guy, and they're like a couple of men going out and getting into trouble. And there's Hermes stealing the cattle of the sun, or Apollo pursuing Daphne and not catching her, or Athena's weaving contest with Arachne. All of those have the gods as very human-seeming characters. Whether or not you put numbers onto them, you're envisioning them on a human scale when you tell such stories.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:03 AM   #32
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

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The gods of myth also lost the war for human worship to the God of Abraham. The victors write the history, and most of the stories of Greek, Roman, Norse and other gods have been skewed by the lens of the Church...
Let me put forward the theory that one of the things that has been skewed is the perception of the gods as better than mortals at everything all the time.

Classical gods are better than all mortals at their specialties, but not at everything, in many many myths. Personally, I think this is a better model for gaming than the gods are always better at everything model, unless you specifically want them to just humble the PCs.

A lot of traditional gaming and myth involves challenging the gods.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:39 PM   #33
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
That seems like an appeal to your own assumptions about what gods ought to be like, more than an appeal to how the gods actually act. I've read quite a number of versions of the Norse myths, for example, and they seem consistently to portray a Thor who's nowhere near IQ 16; "not known for trickery or wisdom" is an understatement. What incidents from legend show Thor doing things as smart as an IQ 16 human would, or Freyja being at IQ 18, rather than their being at IQ 8-9 and 10-12, respectively?
There was the "Thor engages in a riddle contest with the lore of the Nine Worlds with the Dwarf Alviss tho wants to marry his daughter Thrud, which lasts until the sun rises and Alviss turns to stone" incident which shows a more patient and cunning Thor, likely from a Norwegian or Icelandic source (Odin, being an import from Lower Germany to Denmark and Sweden didn't have much of a following in Norway and almost no actual presence in Iceland, at least according to The Mythology of All Races, vol 2: Eddic).

Still, Thor in the myths isn't stupid, just direct. I'd give him IQ 12 + a Talent, actually, with Loki at 15-18.

Come to think of it, I'd probably give most gods a Talent to cover their mythic portfolios rather than boosting their IQs to superhuman levels. The Mesopotamian, Aegean, Celtic, and Norse deities were all quite human in their personalities and reasoning capabilities; the Egyptian gods may be a higher IQ than most, and I haven't studied the Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, and Indochinese mythologies enough to comment. (What I've found of Inca and Mesoamerican mythologies I've read have been hit with a heavy 17th Century Christian bias that I really can't tell what the myths were.) Either way, Talents give the gods higher IQs in their schticks without making them all-knowing.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:47 PM   #34
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

I prefer to depict gods as human - that is, having human flaws, whims, deficiencies, fixations and weird ideas - but of course with more power than mere humans. And citing legend to determine characteristics of gods is difficult, since legend is not always very internally consistent.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:42 PM   #35
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

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I prefer to depict gods as human - that is, having human flaws, whims, deficiencies, fixations and weird ideas - but of course with more power than mere humans. And citing legend to determine characteristics of gods is difficult, since legend is not always very internally consistent.
What else do you site?
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:45 AM   #36
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

What I meant is: select the particular piece of legend that suits your god, and go from there. Myth and legend may contain almost contradictory information about the very same good - but when describing the deity, one needs to select what is truth in-game. Of course, if the god is only very seldomly interfering in the game world, it is of use the have contradictory in-game myths and legends so the players are kept on their toes!
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:14 AM   #37
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

All could be true if different encounters involve different aspects of a larger god. Either it changes personalities, or literally exists in many forms simultaneously.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:18 AM   #38
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

Agreed! Even to the point of the god having completely different avatars with different agendas.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:15 AM   #39
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

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What I meant is: select the particular piece of legend that suits your god, and go from there. Myth and legend may contain almost contradictory information about the very same good - but when describing the deity, one needs to select what is truth in-game. Of course, if the god is only very seldomly interfering in the game world, it is of use the have contradictory in-game myths and legends so the players are kept on their toes!
Surely. You have all the same privileges as Virgil did. It is a myth that myths are written in stone (while they may have been sometimes but you know what I mean). As long as you do not make your audience gag you are reasonably free to do what you want. You cannot make a chaste Aphrodite, a stupid Athena, or a Posseidon who is afraid of water or if you do you have to justify it. But that is just saying that all fantasy writters are limited by what their audience would take.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:32 AM   #40
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Default Re: Gods and Demigods - not really that smart

If you make the assumption, for game purposes, that the Gods are real, then one should also presume that their stories are a watered-down version of those they represent. The challenges and morals of the tales were written by mortals, to make some point or teach some lesson to other mortals, in a way that can be understood by those mortals. If overcoming problems simply requires human-level intelligence, that makes for a useful lesson; if you need inhuman powers of perception and deduction, how can anyone hope to gain anything useful from the story? How humans perceive their Gods is intrinsically limited to the needs and vision of those who are telling the tales. For purposes of your game, they can have any stats you like, or simply be nigh-omnipotent off-camera entities who cannot be statted out at all. It's all a matter of personal preference and campaign needs.
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