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Old 11-11-2014, 07:31 AM   #21
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston
Default Re: Obscuring a Setting's Descent from Earth

Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
....Mitra can become The Dude.
And so we remember he that struggled and his Sacred and Holy rug, which did tieth the room all together.

Hail he that Does not want to hear the eagles.

Hail he that searches endlessly for his Creedence.

Hail he that sees great fortunes in the commode.

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Old 11-11-2014, 09:54 AM   #22
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Re: Obscuring a Setting's Descent from Earth

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Pick a present-day new religious movement (Wikipedia has a useful list). Extrapolate it, fairly roughly, into a structure like that of a large-scale religion of today. Pick another new religious movement that arises out of a present-day large faith and try to apply the same kind of changes to your made-up religion. If it isn't weird enough yet, repeat the cycle.
It gets a bit more complicated with the interplay of multiple religions. Still new religious movements are good to keep an eye on.

Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
I guess that would be Hindi and maybe the rare Zorasterian you find?
Or a Buddhist if you consider the Mitra-Maitreya connection reasonable.

Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
My point, I guess, is that most Americans won't know. Most people I know are flabbergasted when I point out that several traditional "christian" myths, are actually myths associated with Wothan or Hermes. Traditions can definitely evolve and change in ways that don't have to easily expose the past.
Oh indeed, I was just quibbling.

Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
But if you use iconic historical figures, don't be shocked if people connect the dots. Or, just change it. Mitra can become The Dude. Like I said, it depends on how far back we go. Mitra is more well known than Diewoz or Essus.
Are there any good examples of "Mitra" becoming "The Dude"?

Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
What about a religion founded by heavy metal and radical islam? That could be fun.
That would be fun.

Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Just as important is that "mangled" future versions of modern religions, no matter how realistic, are more likely to anger players than completely made up belief systems.
Perhaps in a general sense, but I doubt my players would mind.

Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
It rather depends how much time you want there to have passed. The frankly ludicrous amounts depicted in NUMENERA or the slightly less ludicrous amounts of backstory in TEKUMEL? Or what?
Personally I'd prefer less than even Tekumel. A matter of thousands of years, not tens of thousands.

Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
Two things give away the fact that you're dealing with a later version of Earth more than any other: geography and language. You can have as much fun as you like coming up with religious and social customs that are unfamiliar but the fact that someone is called William or Apollo is hard to explain.
A lot of fantasy settings have names about as exotic as "William" through the lens of thousands of years of sound change.

Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
And if the culture has enough tech to do a decent map...

So what I would do is take what historical 'real' Earth gives us and twist it.

First, as it's a post-apocalyptic setting decide which obscure and out of the way group survived purely because they were poor and not sitting on top of what other people wanted. Then use their names, religion and customs as the root for your world's history and legends. Mutate them as much as you need to, secure in the knowledge that most of your players aren't going to be professional anthropologists.

Secondly, while you could use the continental drift to alter coast lines that is (I believe: I'm not a professional geologist specialising in plate tectonics) going to happen on a scale that probably takes us beyond the likely lifespan of the human race.

The possibility (perhaps probability) of global warming would do the job for you up to a point. There are maps on line that should show you the likely new coastal outlines. I would propose something more radical however.

I once ran a fantasy game set on a parallel Earth where the rotating globe had shifted through ninety degrees so that the South Pole was over Mexico City. This exposed Antarctica and made it into an island continent and the whole thing was very different in climate and orientation. The whole campaign took place in the Amazon basin but an Amazon basin that was temperate rather than tropical.

How about you borrow that and say that the thing that triggered the apocalypse was some piece of superscience that tilted the Earth and destroyed most of human civilization?
First, this scenario doesn't require being set on Earth. It works fine in the style of Tekumel with a colony on some out of the way planet falling.

Another trick for settings located on Earth is to pick a location whose coast the players won't be familiar with. Your players are familiar with the coast lines of North America, Europe and Japan? How familiar is a low quality zoomed in section of Africa's coast?
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brainstorm, cartography, gods, player knowledge, religions

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