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The image below revived a memory from my elementary/middle school days, which is when I last played 1st Edition D&D (“1e“).
Being a mythophile – mythology brought me to 1e, not the other way around – I loved perusing Deities & Demigods and finding ways to incorporate the material in my games. The results were ridiculous, but that’s not today’s point.
I recall seeing Jim Roslof’s (RIP) drawing above of Atlas from Greek mythology and thought, “Wait a second. Why even stat the guy? He’s not going to be able to put up a fight if he’s got the sky on his shoulders.”
This wasn’t me at my most creative moment. Mythology itself had precedent for Atlas not always shouldering the sky. Hercules relieved him for a bit. The better question would be, “Why would you want to kill a guy who’s tasked with this burden? Who’s going to take over if you kill him? Will the sky just . . . fall?”
Perhaps a better question should be, “Shouldn’t shouldering the sky be metaphorical considering that the game contemplates the possibility of multiple, coexisting pantheons? Are Indra, Shang-Ti, Ra, and Odin also relying on Atlas to hold up the sky?”
Fortunately for my current group, these aren’t difficult questions to answer, but I was a kid.
Mythophile is too a word!
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[…] this week, I published a post on Atlas. As originally written, I pointed out that Atlas carried the world on his shoulders. I was reminded […]