Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Art Spoiler: Devotionals!

Since new playtesters are getting acquainted with these right now, I thought this might be a good moment to show off the completed Devotional trees! All of you got to see my awful hand-drawn drafts way back in older posts, but I think we can all agree that the graphics department is unequivocally better at this than I am.


You might notice some adjusted order of concepts, not to mention a few corrected labels (some based on y'all's feedback!). Hopefully we'll all get to hear about some excellent Devotional exploits as the tests progress!

EDIT: Barely had I posted this when our excellent and vigilant Hinduism consultant messaged me and said, "What are you doing, I thought we discussed one of these concepts and changed the name/basis for it, we talked about this," and he is of course right. So there will be at least one more Blessing name change. Alas!

23 comments:

  1. Very cool. Is there a general comprehension of what the three paths mean, like is the top path something specific across all the pantheons, the bottom half something specific across the pantheons, etc. Mostly a question of meta-myth really.

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    1. Yes, actually! Long ago, we talked about how there are basically three "tracks" in Devotionals - Divinity, which has to do with a Hero becoming more divine by their own pantheon's unique standards, Ritual, which has to do with performing important and sacred acts, and Theology, which has to do with the specific conception of the universe that pantheon has. In each one, Divinity is the central track (the one you have to start on, although you can branch thereafter), Ritual splits off above, and Theology splits off below.

      Hopefully this would be clear from the names and descriptions of the Blessings, when there's more detail. :)

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    2. Right! Thank you, been a while. That makes the Norse make much more sense to me. Was trying to make sense why we had things based off 'worlds' while the top had rituals. Trying to figure out if that's the case across the board.

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    3. In all cases the top row is Ritual, the bottom row is Theology and the central pillar is Divinity :) If you're wondering if the Theology path is always based on Worlds, then no... Egyptian Theology deals with the multi-part soul, and Hindu Theology broadly deals with the individual soul's journey through the cycle of existence and it's eventual freedom from that cycle... I'm not sure what Greek Theology deals with.

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    5. I did a little bit of research, because I'm like that: the bottom row are all parts of the Greco-Roman thoughts on the division between Gods and Mans and how transgressing them gives bonuses and negatives (lots of negatives). Like Arete = Excellence, Pathos = A state that is pitable. They also all relate to actual Greek figures (mostly minor godesses) as personified Greco-Roman concepts, but I would need Anne or John to really confirm that one. Honestly, Anne if you're reading this and are interested, I would love a sorta orchestration on these Greco-Roman concepts that are also gods(goddesses) and the role they play in the religion. It's been a while since my one course on the matter 7 years ago now

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    6. Correct, all around, for the most part. :) Theology won't be the same for every pantheon, because every religion's concepts about the universe and what's important are different; the Egyptian concern with the journey of the soul and its many parts is a huge focal point for them, so it gets the Theology spotlight, whereas the Greeks are more into concepts about the forces and fulcrums that move events - Fate, eventually, but also all the actions taken by humanity that feed into their fate, making every prophecy self-fulfilled - and so their Theology sits there. Hinduism's theology is about knowing the self, acting accordingly, and eventually transcending the world and its doubts and distractions, and the Norse focuses on their setup of the Nine Worlds, each of which is crucial to the behavior of the universe and which serve as important symbolic "pieces" of the world around them.

      Noted, Donner, I'll put it in my file. :)

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    7. I don't suppose we could get a similar quick summary of the four Ritual tracks, could we :) ?

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    8. Seems like a thing I could put in my file to see about! :)

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  2. Now this, this is what I call a preview! So you start at the left, with the "base" Devotional, and choose which way you go. You then proceed in order, and can only jump to another track via the vertical lines with the curved bases, would that be right? That would imply a real need to decide which way you want to go, because there's no apparent way to back up once you've crossed a threshold. Nice - now I really want to see what each Devotional actually gives you in game terms, and know how you proceed - I presume either experience, or else some sort of deed/glory/reputation threshold. More previews! :-)

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    1. I don't think it's quite as rigid as that :) If you go to Ketana from Avatara and then pick up Gunavatara, you can still always go back ad pick up Dhyana and Dharma later... it is explicitly possible to fill up the whole tree and become an absolute embodiment of your Pantheon's divine principles :)

      As for how you get them, Anne already mentioned that in a previous blog post... you can buy them with Renown (XP) but they are the most expensive thing you can buy... and you also get a pick for free every time you increase either of your Archetypes... and since you can have a total of ten Archetype dots, you get ten Devotional Blessings for free over the course of your career... it also means you get to start with two free Devotional powers, since you start the game with two dots of Archetypes :)

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    2. You're both right some! You do start at that leftmost beginning node (it's Divinity, because even if you don't choose to pursue Divinity, you're a Hero called by the divine so there's a bit in you) and then you carry on through the trees. You can choose to progress to any node that is connected to one you already have, so the "gates" don't necessarily close behind you - if you're Egyptian and you went up the Ritual track, you could still choose to go up the Divinity track later if you want.

      However, how you get your nodes here plays an important part; over your character's lifetime, you will get exactly ten nodes for free, tied to your Archetypes (another reason to work on those babies!). If that's the only way you get your nodes, then you absolutely are having to make some decisions about where you want to go and what paths will be open to you in the future. You can, however, also purchase nodes with Renown (XP); they're more expensive than anything else you purchase in the game, though, so choose wisely if you do. Those who go for that option are essentially choosing to tie themselves to their pantheon and its religion and powers rather than gaining more independent power with Aspects or Domains, so we have seen some characters who go one way and some who go the other.

      And yes, you start the game with two Devotionals - your first Divinity, and then your call whether you go for the second on the Divinity track or split off to Ritual. (Theology, we decided, was a little more supplementary and "advanced", so it's not available until your third node.)

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  3. Also - is there any way to see them bigger? I can't make out the writing very clearly, and the image doesn't really want to enlarge.

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    1. Try opening them in a new tab... that worked for me :)

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  4. Yep, that worked on my laptop - wouldn't work on my tablet. Thanks!

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    1. Yeah, sorry, tablets can be tricky, but I'm glad it worked!

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    1. "Hotep", in this context, is the ancient Egyptian word for a sacred gift or blessing (generally speaking, the word means "at peace" when used on its own, but it was also used in ritual contexts to refer to peace or blessing bestowed by the divine - hence, a hotep also sometimes means a divine gift). The power it refers to allows a Hero to temporarily share one of their own powers with one of their nearby companions!

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    2. still about the egyptian pantheon,would you say Ra has all the powers of his devotional scale?

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    3. I don't see why he wouldn't. He is most DEFINITELY rocking his entire Divinity path and, being a god, is probably perfectly proficient in his pantheon's practices and beliefs as well. (Many of them are based on him, after all!)

      I'll be doing a post in the coming weeks about the ideas in the Devotionals, so hopefully that'll give everyone more detail. :)

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  6. Hmmmm,I Just read that in the Ramayana,Ravana and also Rama do austerities and receive new powers from the gods. can heroes do such a thing?

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