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Author Topic: Godspawn  (Read 2381 times)
TheAuldGrump
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« on: December 23, 2007, 07:34:06 PM »

Hmmm, back when I was taking Comparative Religion the Jesuit teaching the class once said 'In the end of all true Hero tales, the Hero dies.' He then compared Gilgamesh, Sigurd, Beowulf, Heracles, Math, Arthur, and others. Not only did they die, but the end was often one of failure and tragedy.

Seems to fit some of the run up to Godspawn, eh?

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Krensky
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 10:05:14 PM »

I don't know about that, I think it's mostly that he was only (probably unintentionally) looking at tales that supported his premise.

Xuanzang and his disciples, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing, and Yùlóng Sāntàizǐ, all survived and were richly rewarded for there efforts. Sinbad retires in luxury. Ali Baba becomes wealthy on the thieves' gold and Morgiana wins her freedom and marries Ali Baba's son. Aladdin gets everything he wants.

Heck, Scherezade survives the 1001 Nights and becomes Shahryār's queen.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2007, 10:32:08 PM by Krensky » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 10:36:53 PM »

I was thinking this was going to be a relaunch of Dark Inheritance's Titans.
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TheAuldGrump
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2007, 11:28:18 PM »

I don't know about that, I think it's mostly that he was only (probably unintentionally) looking at tales that supported his premise.

Xuanzang and his disciples, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing, and Ylng Sāntizǐ, all survived and were richly rewarded for there efforts. Sinbad retires in luxury. Ali Baba becomes wealthy on the thieves' gold and Morgiana wins her freedom and marries Ali Baba's son. Aladdin gets everything he wants.

Heck, Scherezade survives the 1001 Nights and becomes Shahryār's queen.
Scherezade isn't the hero (or heroine) she's the storyteller - the storytellers always survive, else the story is never heard. Tongue One Thousand Nights and a Night is not quite a fair comparison though - it is not a full 'hero tale' following one great hero through his travels and travails, but rather a long series of short vignettes.

The hero tales chosen were, for the most part, Western, The East may have a different tradition. On the other hand many of the 'samurai' style of story do fit the mold. (Musashi aside, though there is tragedy in a death by thoracic cancer.)

I am not really familiar enough with Eastern and Middle Eastern tales to be an accurate judge however.

It does seem to be fairly true of the West and in those cultures with either a Greco-Roman or Teutonic background. I will say that while Roland certainly fits the bill the very real Charlemagne did not. Celtic hero tales also seem to end with the death of the hero, but are otherwise a bit off, more wildly fantastic in some ways. (Seek ye the stream where there are white sheep upon one side, and black sheep upon the other, where the trees upon one side have trunks of black, and the trees upon the other side have trunks of white. Where white salmon swim one way, and black salmon swim the other... Turn left.) Cuchulain comes to mind.

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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 12:26:51 AM »

There is, in fact, a way to save Midgard. There's even a way to restore it. Of course, you could just as easily destroy it, conquer it, or exploit it. In Godspawn, apathy is the only sin. It's of the most tightly focused settings I've ever built, intentionally developed to make everything about player choice, and to always make those choices powerful.

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Krensky
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2007, 12:44:47 AM »

Scherezade is the hero of the framing story. Sinbad is an hero at least the equal to Beowulf or Gilgamesh in Persian culture.

Xuanzang and his disciples are the heros of Journey to the West, a classic of Chinese literature.
The classics of Japanese literature are a different animal, namely as much (probably somewhat fictionalized) history as they are stories. Granted the tales of Arthur or Cuchulain or Beowulf seem to have some historical background, their Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc contemporaries are less myth and more history. The fact that the events in Journey to the West, the Water Margin Bandits, The Tale of Genji, or the Tale of Heikie, or the Nihon Shoki are within the period of written history probably helps.

You could say that the major difference between East Asian heroic tales and European ones is that the heros of China or Japan were very much real historical people (Ok... Xuanzang's disciples weren't, but he was a real person and he undoubtedly had heroic companions on his journey) whose stories were fixed in writing somewhat close to their lifetimes.

So, perhaps a close parallel to the western epic hero might be found in Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi (1607?- 1650). He'd typically be a minor and forgotten figure in the history of Japanese feudal period were it not for the fact that he was the sword master of the first three Tokugowa shoguns and that for someone as close to the shogunate as he was there's almost no records of what he did and there isn't even any idea where he was and what he was doing between 1631 and 1646. This makes him a great candidate for embellishment.
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2007, 04:45:42 AM »

It isn't surprising that the heroes of Journey to the West weren't recognised. The names tend to change according to the language the tale is told in. Considering the fact it is the Buddhist equivilent of the search for the Holy Grail it is easy understand why the characters are know by so many names.

The copy of the tale I have beside me refers to Xuanzang as Tripitaka and his companions by the animal spirit they represent. Sun Wukong alone has four aliases that I know of (Sun the Enlightened, Sun the Magnificent, The Monkey King, Son Goku). I wish I had know Sun Wukong's Chinese name before the Swords of the Zodiac preview finished edits.  Embarrassed

Of course, the Chinese tale I really want an English copy of is Outlaws of the Marsh.
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2007, 10:55:05 AM »

Try this. It's considered one of the best English translations, although it was ignored at the time due to the Cultural Revolution.

As far as Xuanzang being listed as Triptaka comes from the fact that he's referred to as Táng-sānzàng. Sānzàng, meaning three collections, is a reference to his quest for the Sānzàngjīng (Three Collections of Scriptures). Triptaka is the original Sanskrit for the scriptures in question. Out of curiosity, which translation do you have?

Oh, and you forgot my favorite of Sun Wukong's names: The Sage Equal to Heaven. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 24, 2007, 11:06:34 AM by Krensky » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2007, 11:53:59 AM »

The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!
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Krensky
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2007, 01:20:44 PM »

Until he piddled on Buddha's finger.

Although, he didn't seem much changed by a thousand years under a mountain.  Smiley

But getting back to the topic at hand...

All of the setting teases have drawn forth comments of cool or nifty. Godspawn got a "Wow. Awesome".
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2007, 04:29:57 PM »

Try this. It's considered one of the best English translations, although it was ignored at the time due to the Cultural Revolution.

As far as Xuanzang being listed as Triptaka comes from the fact that he's referred to as Tng-sānzng. Sānzng, meaning three collections, is a reference to his quest for the Sānzngjīng (Three Collections of Scriptures). Triptaka is the original Sanskrit for the scriptures in question. Out of curiosity, which translation do you have?

Oh, and you forgot my favorite of Sun Wukong's names: The Sage Equal to Heaven. Smiley

Thank you for the link. The last time I looked Outlaws of the Marsh was out of print. It is just one of a number of stories in a book on Chinese mythology. The chapter focused primarily on Monkey.

Yes, Godspawn will be cool.
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2007, 05:25:15 PM »

No worries.

I think that Amazon also lists the other two of the Four Great Classical Novels (Dream of Red Chamber and Romance of the Three Kingdoms) on the recommended sections of that page, along with the 'fifth' The Plum in the Golden Vase.

Note: Plum might politely be terms bald faced in it's graphic presentation of the erotic and sexual actions of it's characters. So much so it's probably out right of pornographic in places and was banned as such in China for most of it's (at least) four hundred year history. A western equivalent might be Lady Chatterly's Lover. Dream is full of sex too, but not as much as Plum.
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