The Gods of Cosmothea Part 1 of 4

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.


About Bob Whitely/QT Games

Welcome to QT Games! Mission Never publish junk or waste people's time. Publish only high-quality fiction and games. 'Nuff said. Company Overview QT Games LLC was created to publish blended-genre (fantasy blended with sci-fi, etc.) fiction, board, card and roleplaying games for a discerning gaming community. Unlike most small press, we have very strict standards: Only pro writing, pro editing and pro art. That means that if we can't get it right, we find someone who can. We pay well for what we don't do in-house. We don't cut corners on quality. This means we stand to make less money than other small publishers, but that's okay with us. We value your time and money, so we're willing to take the bullet. We've designed a large number of games and written a pile of stories. Now we're polishing some of them and getting them out the door. 'Bout time, we know. Good stuff ahead!
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3 Responses to The Gods of Cosmothea Part 1 of 4

  1. I noticed the banner at the top of your blog says multi/blended-genre. I’d never noticed that before.

    I think the double qualifier is confusing. Have you considered changing that? Perhaps to one of the following: multi-genre, blended-genre, genre-defying, genre-bending, pangenristic, Etc. you get the idea. Minor point I know, but when someone asks you, so what is Cosmothea anyway, you want your answer to be concise and descriptive.

  2. cosmothea says:

    Hi David,
    Good to see you around here. Thanks for visiting and for your feedback! Yes, I’ve considered changing the double qualifier, but have yet to find an accurate, satisfactory alternative. I actually discussed the situation a little in the first or second blog post, I think. The problem is that Cosmothea is a huge universe, not just a star system, and players can choose to ignore all the blended-genre worlds and just play on worlds with a single genre – and there are many in the setting – worlds like Forge that is fantasy only, Galandria that is superheroes and Xynyx, which is pure scifi, just to name a few, so multi-genre works beautifully for that.

    But at its core – most worlds in the setting, are thoroughly blended-genre. The setting has a strong blended-genre feel, yet if I put only blended-genre, and leave out multi-genre, which as I said, is a good description of how you can play in the setting, then that alienates those that don’t want blended-genre. I’ve met several gamers who won’t play anything that’s not pure fantasy. So, those looking for a fantasy-only RPG, for example, might love Cosmothea, but seeing the subtitle, “blended-genre”, might never realize it could be just what they are looking for, and move on.

    The same could be said for gamers looking for an alternative to Mutants & Masterminds, Traveller, etc. I’ve never liked the term, genre-defying, for a variety of reasons, one being that I’m not defying anything, I’m embracing a growing, popular trend, popping up in movies like Avatar, Aliens, Serenity, Cowboys and Aliens,etc… there’s tons of them.

    There’s already an RPG called Pangenre, and no other words have come to mind, except Science Fantasy, but that too feels oddly insufficient. Is there no horror? No superheroes, just a blend of scifi and fantasy? I think all of the terms lack the familiarity that they should have. One day maybe, but I’m not so sure there is any one term that can be applied adequately.

    I agree it would be nice to have a different descriptor and hoped that eventually Cosmothea could become well enough known that I could just drop down to Blended-Genre, and let word of mouth and advertising let people know that the setting is also multi-genre so I can leave the latter bit off.

    In the future, I’m hoping to just show ’em a video and say, “See that … that right there –– that’s what Cosmothea is! I’ll eventually be making a video for the Kickstarter Campaign that will hopefully accomplish that well. Till then, I’m open to more suggestions. Thanks!!!

  3. cosmothea says:

    There’s also cross-genre, of course, but I like the term blended-genre better than any other, though it’s not enough. I’ve even seen more than one definition for multi-genre and more than one spelling for it, so it’s not perfect either, but maybe many gamers seeing it described as both multi-genre and blended-genre (or something else combined with blended-genre) might become intrigued to find out just what Cosmothea is. And if I have more I can show readily, they’ll see it’s a really cool setting and game and give it a shot.

    The biggest hurdle is just that it’s an unknown, despite being almost as old as D&D. I’ve done very little to spread the word for most of its existence, but with Cosmothea 5.0, I’m pursuing it commercially, so I’m shaking a lot of things up and nothing’s carved in stone yet. I’m willing to change the subtitle if something better comes along.

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