Friday, November 28, 2014

Weekly Update 11.28

Disclaimer: This is being written about a project that is in progress, what is an attempt to give you a glimpse of the process of making the game and abilities and powers discussed in this blog my not work as described here.

OK, this week is Thanksgiving in the US so things are pretty quiet.

Buuuut… The system count, is now at...

0

So what dies this mean? It means that all of the system work is done! All the work now is finishing the writing, the editing, and layout. When that's all done the book goes to the publisher. So what's happening this week? This week John got all the remaining work he owed to the Graphics team. That included tables and the Web of Fate. Now they can work on finalizing those for the book. The character sheets are getting a slight redesign as well.

Anne and the editor reviewed the first 5 chapters which are now approved.

You've probably noticed the blog has been pretty quiet, and there is a reason for that. As you probably know, Anne and John want to get the book published and sent for delivery by the end of the year. This has meant that the time they normally spend on the blog has gone into finishing the book. So unfortunately, so expect a certain degree of radio silence for the next couple weeks. I will try to fill in some gaps, but I am but one marginally informed man.

With that, onto your questions, some of which were huge!

What role "ohana" plays in Hawaiian mythology?

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Joking aside, this is a really big question, one that we are sadly not qualified to give an answer to. Kinship is important in Pacific Tribal societies, but the specific significance of Ohana in mythology could be the subject of a graduate thesis.

What stories are there with multiple heroes in them? Do you think the focus on lone heroes in myths is due (in part) to the oral tradition making it harder to focus a story on more than one or two main characters?

So there was some good conversation around hero teams in mythology on the question forum, and some of the examples brought up in the thread are actually used in the book of examples of hero teams. There is time spent in both the GM and the Player chapters discussing the fact that unless you’re doing a one-on-one story, that your character will be part of a larger group of heroes, and being part of a larger group means you’re going to share the spotlight from time to time.

I’ve said before I’m better versed in pop-culture than mythology, so allow me a digression to a modern myth most are familiar with; Star Wars episodes IV-VI are an example of a hero team done well. All of the main characters get multiple moments to contribute to the story. While Luke is the character generally focused on, he’s not the focus of every scene. Han Solo, Princess Leia, C3-PO & R2-D2, and Chewbacca all get multiple moments to contribute.

A story with a single protagonist (in my opinion) is on the surface easier to tell, you don't have multiple plot lines as you only have the events happening to a single character. But as to the reasons behind the oral tradition, this probably veers into another graduate level thesis on the evolution narrative and storytelling.

What other monkey/ape gods are there?

There are definitely other Monkey gods out there. Off the top of her head Anne thought of the Howler Monkey Twins of Mayan Mythology and Sarutahiko of Japanese Mythology who, while not a monkey himself, is a god of monkeys.

The Handsome Monkey King and Hanuman are absurdly strong and wildly magical. Are most monkey gods in Asia viewed this way? Or is it a case of one (HMK) being obviously influenced by the other?

The answer to the first part is no, monkey gods in Asia not uniformly viewed as absurdly strong and wildly magical. Grouping an entire continent together to find a single unifying themes veers into something that we at Hero’s Journey try to avoid, and trying to figure out who influenced whom is not something we are qualified to answer, and would require a great deal of study in cross cultural influences in Asian mythology.

I know the book is still in editing but can we have a ballpark figure of the page count?

This is still very rough estimate, but we’re looking at between 300-400 pages.

That's it for this week! Have a great weekend!