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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    What I have so far:

    The World’s Creation:
    In the beginning, there was only one being – the Unity – then the Unity shattered. Six other beings broke away from the Unity, creating the Seven Beings. The Seven Beings tried to consume each other, so that existence could be united in a single entity once more.
    To separate itself from the other beings (the Primordials), the Unity created the concepts of time and space. It nailed the Six Primordials to the center of the universe and then fled to the universe’s outer edges. The Unity invented the concept of matter so that there might be physical barriers between itself and the Primordials. It created the world of Altheum to act as a shell around their prison. The it etched enchantments onto the surface of Altheum, to keep the Primordials trapped within the world’s core.

    The Creation of Life:
    To give these enchantments potency, the Unity tore itself in two [Edit: from this point on, the being is reffered to as "The Hunger" or "The Completion"]. The greater part of its fled to the outer edges of the universe . The lesser part infused itself into the dirt and soil of Altheum. This fusion of divine essence and physical matter is called “The Anima”. Things like moss or pond scum are infused with tiny “amounts” of Anima, sentient beings have “major” concentrations of Anima.

    Birth and Afterlife
    When a sentient being is born, a piece of the Anima’s essence is torn away and infused into the new body. When a sentient creature dies, it is usually either absorbed or reincarnated (a soul that manages to resist this fate becomes part of the Red Chorus, see below). The Anima will reabsorb the soul if it is pure. If the Primordials have corrupted the soul, the Anima will shred the soul to and pieces use the remains to create lower forms of life (plants, animals, etc.). The Anima will recycle, recombine, and reincarnate the remaining shreds of the soul until it is pure enough for reabsorption.
    The Anima is, among other things, the summation of all thoughts, feelings, and desires of all things that ever have and ever will exist. These things are permanent. Individual identities are temporary.


    NEW CANON:
    When a sentient dies, he/she will be reborn as a new sentient/animal/plant, etc. The nature of your rebirth will depend on your karma/purity/corruption. If you perform actions that help the Anima/preserve existence as we know it, you gain good Karma and will get a better rebirth. Actions that hurt the Anima/life on earth/existence as we know it will result in bad karma.

    (Basically Samsara without Nirvana).

    If an individual accumulates really bad karma, (e.i. this individual is so dangerous that the Anima can’t let her be reborn, or linger in the afterlife for too long),the Anima will shred the soul and pieces use the remains to create lower forms of life (plants, animals, etc.). Eventually, the soul will usually piece itself back together eventually.

    Arcane Magic:
    All living sentient beings have shards/pieces of the Anima within them (they are, by definition, a bit of matter infused with Anima). The Anima can create and alter reality through will alone, therefore, so can sentients, albeit only with great training and concentration, and without nearly the same finesse as a god-entity.
    This style of self-powered reality warping is called Arcane Magic.
    [Crunch-wise, I don’t know if the means I should make wizards or Sorcerers the default magic users in my setting]

    Divine Magic:
    In addition to drawing from magic within themselves, characters can make pacts with different Primordial entities. All divine magic comes from at least one of these forces:

    The Anima: The sum of all lifeforce in the universe, also the magical binding that keeps the other Primodials in check.

    The Red Chorus: A hivemind made of the identities of dead sentients that managed to resisted shredding/reabsorption/reincarnation.

    The Slumber: The realm of dreams, that all sentients interact with when they sleep. It wants to replace the waking world as the primary state of reality.

    The Gnossos: A being of pure logic and reason. It wishes to destroy the physical universe, create a world of pure ideas instead.

    The Void: Literally absence of being/ existence rather than a thing itself. Many beings desire to annihilate themselves and possibly the universe with them. (Side note: nature may abhore a vacuum, but the ability to open voids and vacuums, both physical and spiritual, is quite a useful trick.)

    The Archon: Rather than consuming all other beings, the Archon wishes to enslave and receive worship from all other beings. [I am still trying to make up my mind about this one]

    The Wyrd: The Wyrd is a plan to restore the Unity exactly to its original state. As the Unity was shattering, it set the Wyrd in motion. The Unity cannot actively affect the world, but one can see the ripple effects of Wyrd in every point in time.

    The Unity The Hunger: The [largest remnant of] first being to ever exist. It will eat and absorb all other beings when it is strong enough.

    A willingness to act as conduit for these entities increases their power over time.

    Ragnarök:

    The Anima, the binding that holds the Primordials in their place, is getting weaker. One day, (sometime in the next thousand years), the Primordials will try to break free.

    There is a ‘Great Ceremony’ that can prevent this, but it involves several hundred thousand participants in seven locations across Altheum. The Great Ceremony would be a victory for the Anima. Setting up the pieces for this ceremony is a major priority for its worshippers.
    If the ceremony does not occur, the Primordials will break free and battle each to recreate reality. The result depends on who wins:

    1. A Red Chorus victory: All souls that ever existed become revived/reconstructed. Each soul becomes isolated from the others, a ‘god’ of his/her own little universe. The remaining Primoridials are destroyed.
    2. A Slumber victory: The waking world melts away, and all beings become part of a shared dreamscape. The remaining Primoridials are destroyed.
    3. Gnossos victory: All matter ceases to exist. All other Primordials and insufficiently intelligent beings cease to exist. The Gnossos and its worshippers spend the rest of their existence contemplating mathematics and philosophy.
    4. A victory for the Archon: Free will ceases to exist. All other beings devote the rest of their existence in a state of ecstasy and adoration of the Archon.
    4. A victory for the Unity Hunger : The Unity Hunger eats all other beings; it once again becomes the only thing to exist, forever.
    5. A victory for the Wyrd: The Hunger eats all other beings, it becomes the Unity once again. The Unity is now restored exactly to its original state. Of course this means that it will shatter again, restarting the universe. It is likely the Wyrd has won many, many, times before.
    6. A “victory” of the Void: nothing exists.

    What’s Next:

    1. General feedback on the mythology so far would be greatly appreciated
    2. What might the religions and cults of this pantheon look like? (We can multiple different cults/religions devoted to the same entity spread across the face of Altheum).
    Last edited by amkirkla; 2019-11-14 at 09:59 AM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    I am a bit bothered that, after the shattering of the Unity, one of the fragments would inherit the name.

    What if, instead, the Unity only existed at the zeroth instant, but fully aware of all that would come as a temporal extension of itself?

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I am a bit bothered that, after the shattering of the Unity, one of the fragments would inherit the name.

    What if, instead, the Unity only existed at the zeroth instant, but fully aware of all that would come as a temporal extension of itself?

    Perhaps post shattering, instead of calling it the Unity, we could call it the "Hunger" (its worshippers could call it "The Completion"), since it wants to eat all of existence and reduce the reduce/restore the universe back to a single being?
    Last edited by amkirkla; 2019-11-08 at 11:14 PM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    1. A Red Chorus victory: All souls that ever existed become revived/reconstructed. Each soul becomes isolated from the others, a ‘god’ of his/her own little universe. The remaining Primoridials are destroyed.
    2. A Slumber victory: The waking world melts away, and all beings become part of a shared dreamscape. The remaining Primoridials are destroyed.
    3. Gnossos victory: All matter ceases to exist. All other Primordials and insufficiently intelligent beings cease to exist. The Gnossos and its worshippers spend the rest of their existence contemplating mathematics and philosophy.
    4. A victory for the Archon: Free will ceases to exist. All other beings devote the rest of their existence in a state of ecstasy and adoration of the Archon.
    5. A victory for the Unity Hunger : The Unity Hunger eats all other beings; it once again becomes the only thing to exist.
    6. A “victory” of the Void: nothing exists.
    The three first victories are approximatively okay(not really bad things just changes) although in gnossos victory all non gnossos worshippers are messed up.
    The three last victories just looks like annihilation for sentients.
    Anima victory is not clearly a good thing(just the continuation of the status quo).
    Personally I would probably favour Red Chorus victory because it maximise the number of existing sapient creatures.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-09 at 02:26 PM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Possible tweak of the Archon:

    The Hierarchy, an idealized organization of all things. It desires to bring all things into its Grand Plan. A significant part of being part of its Grand Plan is recruiting others to serve/worship it.

    Your style of Arcane Magic feels slightly more sorcerly to me, but with an academic trapping more appropriate for the wizard; there doesn't seem to be a spellbook involved, but individuals are taught/trained to shape it.

    Cults/Mythology, in no particular order:
    First off, I'd take a look here for some general concepts of elder gods that fit modern archetypes. Particularly relevant for the Void and the Hunger, which I don't fully "get"; they seem rather similar in practice to me (destroy vs. consume everything- it's basically gone either way as far as their worshippers are concerned.

    It's not clear to me what the Gnossos actually is. Is it literally made of ideas and reason, like a sort of living meme? Is it the platonic "platonic object"? I'm not sure what it would even mean to create a world of pure ideas, but everything I can think of gets super metaphysical and also recursive. Someone who worships pure reason would be most likely an intellectual- sort of a mad scientist type, but also people who get really unnecessarily into things- sort of the kind of people who call video games an art form, but in a really pretentious way. I suspect a major church activity would be arguing in circles about the "true" meaning of worshipping Gnossos (and also, presumably, about the answer to my first question). If orcs burned down their town, they wouldn't mind, because the true meaning of "town" is the people inside.
    Worshiped by those looking for understanding.

    The Archon (as written): You obviously worship the Archon because it's the best. What is it the best at? Obviously, being worshiped- otherwise I wouldn't be worshiping, see? If the Archon weren't perfect in all things, your parents wouldn't have introduced you to it, so obviously it must be the best. Think the ultimate cult of personality, except the Archon doesn't need to do anything other than exist. Worshippers are those seeking meaning in their life, a sort of cosmic purpose to explain why good things and bad things happen. Why did orcs burn down your town? It's obviously so something good can happen to you later! They punctuate every other sentence with "Praise Archon!".
    Worshiped by those looking for meaning.

    The Slumber: You know what sucks? Reality. You can't fly. You can't fight ten thousand demons without dying. You can't do anything unless you work for it, which is incredibly boring and bad. You have to check the weather report, and see that there's a 30% chance of orcs burning down your town. You know where everything's better? Dreams. When you're asleep, you can do anything- the world is yours, literally. Meet your true love! Become crowned king! Go through a complex allegory for your relationship with your parent involving a squid for some reason! Really, the only bad part is that you have to wake up. Who needs to interact with real people, anyway?
    Lucid dreaming is step 1 to becoming a worshiper of the Slumber. Step 2 is never wanting to wake up.
    Worshiped by those looking for escape.

    The Red Chorus: It's okay. Don't worry. We get you. Orcs burned down your town? It happened to us too, and we felt the same way as you do, now. Your feelings are heard and understood. Here, we'll help you out- just do this one thing really quickly, okay? The ultimate support group, and a massive accumulation of human knowledge. Probably the most apparently beneficent of all the divine forces, just because it understands how people think. The most likely to actively recruit from people, rather than naturally gathering the disaffected.
    Worshiped by those looking for empathy.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2019-11-10 at 01:46 AM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Possible tweak of the Archon:

    The Hierarchy, an idealized organization of all things. It desires to bring all things into its Grand Plan. A significant part of being part of its Grand Plan is recruiting others to serve/worship it... The Archon (as written): You obviously worship the Archon because it's the best. What is it the best at? Obviously, being worshiped- otherwise I wouldn't be worshiping, see? If the Archon weren't perfect in all things, your parents wouldn't have introduced you to it, so obviously it must be the best. Think the ultimate cult of personality, except the Archon doesn't need to do anything other than exist. Worshippers are those seeking meaning in their life, a sort of cosmic purpose to explain why good things and bad things happen. Why did orcs burn down your town? It's obviously so something good can happen to you later! They punctuate every other sentence with "Praise Archon!".
    Worshiped by those looking for meaning.
    I like that tweak. Admittedly the archon is the least well developed of the entities. Personality-wise it probably a very egotistical combination of Tzeentch and Lucifer. Never-the-less, it really does have the ability to make its followers feel happy and doesn't desire to cause more suffering than necessary. It offers paradise on Earth Altheum in exchange for eternal worship. Two catches are that (1) it would have to win Ragnarok in order to make good on that deal, and (2) the inhabitance of this paradise would be drones. They would be blissful, well cared for drones, but drones none the less.

    That being said, Archon's followers would probably be fairly nice people. It would be very hierarchical, but those in authority would be bound by a strong sense of "With great power comes great responsibility". Everyone has a role to play in bringing about a paradise-on-Altheum, and the Archon considers even the lowest wretch worthy of eternal paradise. (As I write this out, it looks more and more like a slightly darker parody of IRL Christianity, perhaps of the Tim Lehay Rapture variety).


    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Your style of Arcane Magic feels slightly more sorcery to me, but with academic trapping more appropriate for the wizard; there doesn't seem to be a spellbook involved, but individuals are taught/trained to shape it.
    Yeah, the Vancian DnD style of magic, with wizards memorizing and forgetting spells always seemed really weird and unappealing to me. If chefs can write books about how to cook and athletics coaches can write books about proper diet and exercise, then I guess magicians can write books about arcane techniques.

    In my setting, there is nothing that makes a spellbook different from any other type of how-to manual. A book can provide useful pointers, but ultimately, you learn magic by practicing magic. Performing magic takes a lot of willpower, intelligence, self-discipline, and a high tolerance for risk, but it is still a skill like any other.

    (In this world, magic can be powerful, but it is dangerous to use. If you lose focus while spellcasting, you can seriously mutilate yourself or the landscape around you or your target.)

    [So for crunch, I'm thinking of making the 1'st edition Pathfinder sorcerer class as the standard magic-using class, combined the Low FantasyGaming rules for spellcasting "https://lowfantasygaming.files. wordpress.com/ 2016/05/low-fantasy-gaming -21-10-16.pdf"]



    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Cults/Mythology, in no particular order:
    First off, I'd take a look here for some general concepts of elder gods that fit modern archetypes. Particularly relevant for the Void and the Hunger, which I don't fully "get"; they seem rather similar in practice to me (destroy vs. consume everything- it's basically gone either way as far as their worshippers are concerned.
    From the perspective of the worshippers, it doesn't make much difference. There would probably be a lot overlap between worshippers of the Void and Worshippers of The Hunger (or, as they call it, The Completion). You can think of the worship of the Hunger/Completion as perverse parody of Buddhism. They believe that all conscious existence is suffering, and so want to dissolve into something greater.

    According to its worshippers -> The Hunger/Completion is the source of all existence -> is the source of all good (evil being defined as a lacking or an absence of good) -> separate existence is a state of endless suffering -> the only way to end this suffering to merge once again with the source of all existence/good.

    Worshippers of The Void are nihilists pure and simple. (We should note once again, that the Void is not actually a being. It is simply the absence of being. It has no desires or agenda of its own. Many sentients, in their suffering, wish to lash out at all existence with all their will. This is where the power of 'The Void' comes from.)


    From the perspective of the Hunger, there is a massive difference between the winner of Ragnorok and being annihilated.


    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    It's not clear to me what the Gnossos actually is. Is it literally made of ideas and reason, like a sort of living meme? Is it the platonic "platonic object"? I'm not sure what it would even mean to create a world of pure ideas, but everything I can think of gets super metaphysical and also recursive. Someone who worships pure reason would be most likely an intellectual- sort of a mad scientist type, but also people who get really unnecessarily into things- sort of the kind of people who call video games an art form, but in a really pretentious way. I suspect a major church activity would be arguing in circles about the "true" meaning of worshipping Gnossos (and also, presumably, about the answer to my first question). If orcs burned down their town, they wouldn't mind, because the true meaning of "town" is the people inside.
    Worshiped by those looking for understanding.
    I imagined the Gnossos as more of a Platonic object.

    I imagine its afterlife would be like a lecture hall where all the greatest minds in existence could simultaneously converse with each other and the Gnossos at the same time. You don't have any "real" sensory input, but don't have any "real" physical needs either. If you need a distraction, you could imagine chairs, beds, mansions, beaches, ect., but none of these things would be real. What would be real are beings that you converse with, and the endless stream of new ideas that they present to you.

    In the mundane world, the purpose of worship would be to give adherents a feeling of being, 'in the know'. There would be a lot of strange initiation rituals and secret societies within secret societies. Each little secret society with the large church convinced that THEY'RE the ones who have everything figured out. I agree with your picture of its worshippers.

    I agree with your assessments of the Slumber and the Red Chorus.
    Last edited by amkirkla; 2019-11-10 at 09:12 AM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The three first victories are approximatively okay(not really bad things just changes) although in gnossos victory all non gnossos worshippers are messed up.
    The three last victories just looks like annihilation for sentients.
    Anima victory is not clearly a good thing(just the continuation of the status quo).
    Personally I would probably favour Red Chorus victory because it maximise the number of existing sapient creatures.
    Worshippers of the Anima would point out that if you let Ragnorok happen, you only get a one in six chance of getting your preferred afterlife.

    When designed this system, I wanted to have at least four equally promising/terrifying options. I admit that in-universe, the Scarlet Chorus seems like by far the best entity to root for. (I don't know if this means that I should make the Red Chorus more Lovecraftian-Grimdark or make give some of the other entities better sales pitches for their worshippers.)

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by amkirkla View Post
    Worshippers of the Anima would point out that if you let Ragnorok happen, you only get a one in six chance of getting your preferred afterlife.

    When designed this system, I wanted to have at least four equally promising/terrifying options. I admit that in-universe, the Scarlet Chorus seems like by far the best entity to root for. (I don't know if this means that I should make the Red Chorus more Lovecraftian-Grimdark or make give some of the other entities better sales pitches for their worshippers.)
    2 chances of 6 to have something good, 1 chance on 6 to have something average(gnosis victory makes you live in the world of ideas which might or might not be a good thing) and 3 chances on 6 of stopping to truly exist assuming equal power for all the primordials.
    But it is written that worship powers up the worshipped primordial so if that is true then since the primordials that have less seducing ends also tends to have less seducing presentations(like "do you want to be nothing, to have nothing and to meet nothing? If yes worship the void!") they are likely to get less worship and thus less power.
    Especially for void worship: the natural conclusion of void worship is killing yourself and accepting to let your soul be turned in individual parts by the anima(for primordial corrupted soul recycling) because you stop existing and when you do not exist whenever other things exists or not is identical from your own lack of point of view.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-10 at 03:03 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by amkirkla View Post
    I imagined the Gnossos as more of a Platonic object.
    See, now we're getting somewhere- an untyped platonic object. More specifically, which platonic object? If it is the ideal form of something, is it the ideal form of "object" (i.e. the platonic "object") or the ideal form of "ideal forms of things" (i.e. the platonic "platonic object")?

    the Void is not actually a being. It is simply the absence of being
    How is the Void bound? I assume it's impossible to actually target nothingness with your binding, so... (I have a suggestion below)

    I like that tweak.
    Note that my tweak moves it into a sort of abstraction away from personhood; the Heirarchy is literally the plan itself, not "a being who passes down the rules". It's sort of a self-propagating idea.

    This does set up a useful duality to describe the various primordials (sans the Anima):

    You have the Unreal beings: the Heirarchy is a giant org chart and list of instructions, the Gnossos is the conceptual meaning of an object (or perhaps of conceptual meanings), and the Void is literal nonbeing. These sorts of beings aren't likely to be bound anywhere in particular by the Binding, since they can't really be said to exist (compare a hypothetical Primordial that is a living math equation; you can't "put" it anywhere); instead, they'd likely be "bound" away from existing; the Hierarchy, for example, is "bound" in that it is physically impossible for The Grand Plan to be completed perfectly, and any action attempting to bring it into existence is Bound to be imperfect. Similarly, "nature abhors a vacuum"; it is impossible for a total null to exist anywhere (perhaps matter is continuous rather than discrete in order to prevent Void from appearing in the space between atoms, or maybe external forces such as the gravitational or electric field "exist" in those spaces, so it can't come into being)

    You also have the Real beings or things; the Hunger, the Slumber, and the Red Chorus; these beings can be said to exist somewhere (if in their own dimension), and their bindings are more likely to be physical; they can be described as being somewhere.

    (As I write this out, it looks more and more like a slightly darker parody of IRL Christianity, perhaps of the Tim Lehay Rapture variety).
    I did have a mention of Jesus Camp in one draft.

    The Heirarchy is likely to be somewhat calmer and more business-like than the Archon; people going about their part of the Grand Plan.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2019-11-11 at 12:46 PM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    The Gnossos
    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    See, now we're getting somewhere- an untyped platonic object. More specifically, which platonic object? If it is the ideal form of something, is it the ideal form of "object" (i.e. the platonic "object") or the ideal form of "ideal forms of things" (i.e. the platonic "platonic object")?
    The very first drafts of this system had the Gnossos as Narlathotep with the serial numbers filed off. Later drafts turned him/it into a Confucian scholar-type deity, combined with a Gnostic love of secret knowledge and hatred for the physical world.
    From this I think the Gnossos should be the Platonic form of the scholar (student and teacher). The Unity was omniscient. It was the only thing that existed, and by knowing itself, it knew everything. When the Unity shattered, each remnant lost this omniscience. The Hunger wants to eat/be everything, the Gnossos want to know everything. It wants all knowledge from all minds that have ever existed. If minds are locked in single bodies in single instances of time, this sharing of information is impossible.
    The sharing of information of information between minds creates the Gnossos. As long as communication is imperfect, (i.e. anything short of blasting all the information in that ever been inside your head to all being at once) and as it has the potential to be polluted by misinformation, the Gnossos remains incomplete. (Perhaps its not really a Platonic being yet).

    The Void:
    As long as something exists, the Void is pushed away and outward, sort of a reverse prison.

    The Hierarchy or Archon (which to choose…)
    For a plan to be a plan, it must have a source, and purpose. Hierarchies also need a source (who made you king?) and/or a purpose (In this situation whoever is best at …. accumulates power). So, to use this interpretation we need to figure out two things, what is the source of the Hierarchy (The Unity? The Gnosssos?), and what is its purpose (restore the Unity, make the Gnossos omniscient, create a paradise for all beings)? If we can think of good answers to these questions, then I will go with the Hierarchy.
    If we can’t find satisfactory answers to these questions, then I will go with the Archon (although I will need to find a way to make it more interesting than simply DAE JESUS CAMP BAD?)

    The Anima (with change/retcon):
    I am going to make the reincarnation system closer IRL Hinduism and Bhuddism. (In my first draft, the other Primordials were just Choatic Lovecraft entities that wanted to eat the world. Under those circumstance, service to the Anima seemed reasonable yet GRIMDARK. Under the newer system, it doesn’t seem as appealing as the other options).
    In the NEW CANON: When a sentient dies, he/she will be reborn as a new sentient/animal/plant ect. The nature of your rebirth will depend on your karma/purity/corruption. If you perform actions that help the Anima/preserve existence as we know it creates good Karma and will give you a better rebirth. Actions that hurt the Anima/life on earth/existence as we know it will result in bad karma.
    The soul shredding/recycling that I mentioned earlier only happens to individuals who accumulate really bad karma, (e.i. this individual is so dangerous that the Anima can’t let her be reborn, or linger in the afterlife for too long). Even then, the soul will usually piece itself back together eventually.
    (Basically Samsara without Nirvana).
    Last edited by amkirkla; 2019-11-13 at 08:29 AM.

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    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by amkirkla View Post
    The Gnossos

    The very first drafts of this system had the Gnossos as Narlathotep with the serial numbers filed off. Later drafts turned him/it into a Confucian scholar-type deity, combined with a Gnostic love of secret knowledge and hatred for the physical world.
    From this I think the Gnossos should be the Platonic form of the scholar (student and teacher). The Unity was omniscient. It was the only thing that existed, and by knowing itself, it knew everything. When the Unity shattered, each remnant lost this omniscience. The Hunger wants to eat/be everything, the Gnossos want to know everything. It wants all knowledge from all minds that have ever existed. If minds are locked in single bodies in single instances of time, this sharing of information is impossible.
    The sharing of information of information between minds creates the Gnossos. As long as communication is imperfect, (i.e. anything short of blasting all the information in that ever been inside your head to all being at once) and as it has the potential to be polluted by misinformation, the Gnossos remains incomplete. (Perhaps its not really a Platonic being yet).

    The Void:
    As long as something exists, the Void is pushed away and outward, sort of a reverse prison.

    The Hierarchy or Archon (which to choose…)
    For a plan to be a plan, it must have a source, and purpose. Hierarchies also need a source (who made you king?) and/or a purpose (In this situation whoever is best at …. accumulates power). So, to use this interpretation we need to figure out two things, what is the source of the Hierarchy (The Unity? The Gnosssos?), and what is its purpose (restore the Unity, make the Gnossos omniscient, create a paradise for all beings)? If we can think of good answers to these questions, then I will go with the Hierarchy.
    If we can’t find satisfactory answers to these questions, then I will go with the Archon (although I will need to find a way to make it more interesting than simply DAE JESUS CAMP BAD?)

    The Anima (with change/retcon):
    I am going to make the reincarnation system closer IRL Hinduism and Bhuddism. (In my first draft, the other Primordials were just Choatic Lovecraft entities that wanted to eat the world. Under those circumstance, service to the Anima seemed reasonable yet GRIMDARK. Under the newer system, it doesn’t seem as appealing as the other options).
    In the NEW CANON: When a sentient dies, he/she will be reborn as a new sentient/animal/plant ect. The nature of your rebirth will depend on your karma/purity/corruption. If you perform actions that help the Anima/preserve existence as we know it creates good Karma and will give you a better rebirth. Actions that hurt the Anima/life on earth/existence as we know it will result in bad karma.
    The soul shredding/recycling that I mentioned earlier only happens to individuals who accumulate really bad karma, (e.i. this individual is so dangerous that the Anima can’t let her be reborn, or linger in the afterlife for too long). Even then, the soul will usually piece itself back together eventually.
    (Basically Samsara without Nirvana).
    The fact that you imagine the archon as "the jesus camp" is probably because you did not read much about Christianity and instead watched the mistakes of people following it.
    Christianity have an insistence on free will and on how god made humans in his image: free and Jesus complains about how proselytes tries to force people to follow their religion and Christians are essentially supposed to say "here is the good word if you want to you can follow" and not force people to do so.
    Of course the kind of people that makes a religion keep running are the kind of people that forces other to follow their religion which is why currently Christianity that follows better the rules about how you are supposed to spread the faith than before is progressively regressing in follower percentage while religions where officially "people who do not follow this religion X must die or convert" gets their follower percentage to increase over time.
    The Archon seems more similar to "die or convert" religions due to how you are literally unable to not worship the Archon should it win.

    So please do not write "the Jesus religion" while it is more "religion that is shaped in an evolutionary functional way"
    I am quite sure you can probably by searching a bit at least find a religion that does not insists on freedom of will: there is tons of them should you search even a little bit.
    TL DR: functional religions works with the rule "convert or die", the Archon seems based on this model due to the whole "lack of choice whenever to convert or not" and Christianism is not a religion based on convert or die model (heck it is even a religion that says you can be rewarded in the afterlife without following it) which is probably why the number of Christians lowers over time.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-13 at 12:52 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by amkirkla View Post
    The Gnossos
    -snip-

    The Void:
    As long as something exists, the Void is pushed away and outward, sort of a reverse prison.

    The Hierarchy or Archon (which to choose…)
    For a plan to be a plan, it must have a source, and purpose. Hierarchies also need a source (who made you king?) and/or a purpose (In this situation whoever is best at …. accumulates power). So, to use this interpretation we need to figure out two things, what is the source of the Hierarchy (The Unity? The Gnosssos?), and what is its purpose (restore the Unity, make the Gnossos omniscient, create a paradise for all beings)? If we can think of good answers to these questions, then I will go with the Hierarchy.
    If we can’t find satisfactory answers to these questions, then I will go with the Archon (although I will need to find a way to make it more interesting than simply DAE JESUS CAMP BAD?)

    The Anima (with change/retcon):
    I am going to make the reincarnation system closer IRL Hinduism and Bhuddism. (In my first draft, the other Primordials were just Choatic Lovecraft entities that wanted to eat the world. Under those circumstance, service to the Anima seemed reasonable yet GRIMDARK. Under the newer system, it doesn’t seem as appealing as the other options).
    In the NEW CANON: When a sentient dies, he/she will be reborn as a new sentient/animal/plant ect. The nature of your rebirth will depend on your karma/purity/corruption. If you perform actions that help the Anima/preserve existence as we know it creates good Karma and will give you a better rebirth. Actions that hurt the Anima/life on earth/existence as we know it will result in bad karma.
    The soul shredding/recycling that I mentioned earlier only happens to individuals who accumulate really bad karma, (e.i. this individual is so dangerous that the Anima can’t let her be reborn, or linger in the afterlife for too long). Even then, the soul will usually piece itself back together eventually.
    (Basically Samsara without Nirvana).
    Having the Unreal primordials be bound by the imperfection of reality makes a lot of sense to me.

    Hm... if the Gnossos is the desire of the shattered Unity to reclaim knowledge, then perhaps the Heirarchy is the leftover structure of Unity, reformatted for the real world. In its end goal, the Anima is remodeled into a new Unity in a sort of patchwork; instead of acting as a single being, it would be the product of the motions of individuals.

    That it is a little bit close to the Hunger's intent, though.

    Another possibility would be that it is/was the Unity's concept of law, and exists to enforce that law upon all beings. Given that you've established that some form of karmic measurement exists, the Heirarchy would act to globally maximize that measure on all things that have Anima, even down to the planet's surface itself.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The fact that you imagine the archon as "the jesus camp" is probably because you did not read much about Christianity and instead watched the mistakes of people following it.
    There seems to be a misunderstanding. “Jesus Camp” was a 2006 documentary. It gave a very negative portrayal of a fundamentalist Christian sleepaway camp. In retrospect, the film was very fear-mongering. (The film’s producer predicted that the children would become authoritarian theocrats. In reality, they seemed to have grown into happy, functional, and normal adults). The film became very popular in the internet Athiest circles between 2006 and 2010. They would often trot it out as "proof" that a religious upbringing was child abuse. [Hence the meme "DEA Jesus Camp...."]

    I find those types critiques of religion to be inaccurate and very, very worn out. I want to avoid that sort of sub-text.

    I was not suggesting that the Archon was an accurate representation of the Christian God. There are similarities, but the Archon has differences that it a darker figure.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Default Re: The Broken Cosmology - Designing a Lovecraftian-ish Pantheon

    The Archon/The Hierarchy/ Fate/The Wyrd/The Plan: (Still trying to decide on a good name)

    ‘Before’ the Unity shattered, its final act was to orchestrate the Wyrd for all existence. The Wyrd is a plan to restore the Unity exactly to pre-shattering state. The Hunger aligns itself with the Wyrd in all areas except one.

    The Hunger knows that if the Unity returns exactly to its original state, it to shatter will again. (Whatever made it shatter before will shatter it again). The Hunger wishes to restore Unity in a stable state (it wishes to eat everything and not shatter again). This would involve altering the Wyrd. Once the Wyrd is in motion, nothing can alter it. (At least, it is not easy, even for a primordial).

    (You might ask ‘why didn’t the Unity design a better Wyrd?’. It is difficult to design a perfect, multi-millennia plan while shattering into pieces. Perhaps the Unity wants cycles of shattering and reunification. ‘– A state of existence, once united, must divide – A state of existence, once divided, must unite –’)

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