Busy week or I would have posted sooner. I hope to make up for that by posting at least once or twice more this week.
I’ve been a huge fan of mythology since I was a little boy — especially Norse Mythology, and discovering books on mythology at an early age, I became hooked on reading. I’d sit with a dictionary and just read it for fun to learn new words (can’t imagine that now), but mythology was so much more exciting (of course)!
As a writer who grew up reading comic books (and reading stories about the Eternals and gods like Thor and Odin in which the comic writers often tweaked the myths or told their own tales), I’ve never been satisfied with merely using existing mythology in my stories or in Cosmothea. I’ve always enjoyed crafting my own, and give existing ones a creative spin; and so began a lifelong passion.
For the past 34 years, I’ve been writing stories about the gods of Cosmothea, and of course I’ve been including the gods I’ve made into the games I’ve run for both tabletop and PlaybyPost, so even more stories have been forged from those games. Some of my earliest players stuck with me over the decades and a few of their PC’s even became gods during epic storylines. Over the years, those gods that were merely re-envisioned gods from mythology were slowly killed off or vanished as part of a storyline. I’ll discuss death in a future post.
At one point I was running 3 separate Ascension PbP games, where players were allowed to either run a Cosmothean god or make up one for the PbP. We had a ton of fun, but after a couple years of playing, I had to pull back, as it was slowing down production of Cosmothea 4.0.
The Gods of Cosmothea have appeared in two of the novels I’ve worked on over the years, and appear in my latest novel, A Strange Acquaintance, as well (Hopefully not long after our Initial Release, I’ll be able to get that novel on the market, it is Book 1 of the Nexus Gates Trilogy, which I’m very excited about! And we’ll probably include a story about a god or two in our upcoming Cosmothea Anthology, if all goes well.
So, I thought I would spend some time talking about the gods of Cosmothea. I can’t go into a great detail because it would take forever. I have several novels planned that feature the gods beyond what I’ve mentioned, so I’ll just take a dip into the past of the Cosmothea Campaign Setting.
One thing I should point out, (and I hope you hear me out, rather than stopping after the next few words) … Jehovah is part of the campaign setting. The game does not get into real world religions, nor does it push any specific religion, but Jehovah (Yeshua if you will), is the setting’s supreme being. I don’t grant anymore page count for Jehovah than I do for any other god, but He is included in the game because over the years, it just made sense.
In the real world, those that worship Jehovah or at least recognize Him as existing, are a huge percentage of the world’s population. Faith too is a concept that is very much a part of our culture, and as such, I put included Jehovah as a deity that PC’s can take for their religious characters to follow, and the concept of faith has an optional game mechanic for those that want to include it. Nothing pushy or preachy.
Over the years, I’ve had so many players tell me they love being able to pick Jehovah as their PC holy adept or paragon’s god, since they could identify with Him better than say a Thor or Zeus type. And I’ve enjoyed it too. No worries though. If you aren’t into God, you can just ignore Him or leave Him out of your version of Cosmothea. There are plenty of other gods, and the fact that they are not as powerful as Jehovah, doesn’t really come into play at the mortal level.
Speaking of the gods, I actually wrote several epic events that resulted in whittling the number of gods down, as while there are still a large number (not the tired “one per alignment” or “one per major theme” that appear in some settings), but there used to be a great many more, each with their own stories and hang-ups.
One more thing about the gods and then I’ll pick this up tomorrow with some setting history and more details. Gods in Cosmothea are neither omnipotent nor omnipresent (except Jehovah, of course), nor can they create unlimited avatars and do anything they want. They are killable by both gods and in extremely rare cases, by very high level, very lucky mortals), and just about every one of them has been killed at least once.
Many of the gods cannot even hear the prayers of their followers without external help such as using an artifact or traveling to special locations that amplify their senses. They can usually listen in to specific followers, but only if they are paying attention, and they can’t pay attention to everything at once, which is why some prayers don’t get answered. There’s a lot more to all that, but I’m just giving an overview.
Of course, a GM could easily ignore these weaknesses if they preferred more powerful gods. No big deal, but in the canon setting –– more so in modern times than in previous millennia, the gods themselves have come upon hard times and they are keenly aware of their own vulnerabilities.