An Unappreciated Consequence of Quarantines #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg

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Everyone has their complaints as to how quarantines have inconvenienced them. Trust me; it could be worse.

Quit whining, babies.

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Finding a Better Mix #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg

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I’m loading all mechanical data for 1st Edition AD&D (“1e”) into a database. Having finished data entry for all the spells appearing in the Player’s Handbook and Unearthed Arcana, I spent this weekend creating the tables, queries, and forms for 1e monsters. I’ve entered all the data for everything up to and including the Chimera. This is going to be similarly tedious but 100% worth it when all is said and done.

I’ve gotten through the As, Bs, and Cs, and as of this writing Sunday night, I’ve entered Demogorgon as well (that was a real pain in the ass, with Juiblex — note the spelling — and other demon lords to come). Most of the monsters I’ve entered so far (29 out of 49, or 59.2%) are disappointingly ordinary, representing real world creatures or simply giant or prehistoric versions of them. Grabbing the 3.5 Monster Manual, I see there are 44 creatures (including variations) that begin with the letter A, B, or C. Of those, the closest ones to ordinary are animated objects, arrowhawks, and assassin vines (10 total, or 22.7%). Everything else is made up nonsense, which is the way it should be. Lions, tigers, and bears have their place, but we all come to D&D to fight lycanthropes, trolls, and balors. Of course, you can do that, so this isn’t a major criticism of 1e. There’s plenty of good stuff in there. I just found it surprising how boring the book started. Whether that holds up remains to be seen.

Aside: Kobolds

The bugbear entry mentioned kobolds, and that got me thinking about another design decision my friend and I discussed when creating our own game. I’ll spare you the details of that conversation but instead simply point out that kobolds of legend aren’t anthropomorphic reptiles. I went through YouTube and found a video explaining their true, historical origin. Game designers have plenty of kobold-like fey that fill the space of a kobold, but Lord Gygax apparently didn’t want to throw away the legendary term, so he coopted it for another creature. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but considering that the term, kobold, generally means something different now, it suggests that going back to an older definition is an occasionally useful (if not lazy) means to be original from the perspective of a modern audience.

Okay, I didn’t spare you the details of that conversation.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


North American Cryptids @MythsExplained #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #RPG

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Last Friday, one of my favorite YouTube channels, Mythology & Fiction Explained, released a video on the creatures from North America. These are creatures from Native American mythology but rather ones that came about after Europeans settled the west.

These creatures didn’t come about from a need to explain the change of seasons, earthquakes, or the path of the sun in the sky. Explaining the unexplained is what we mean when we refer to something as a myth, but it’s clear that there’s more to it than that. As I’ve mentioned, while explaining the unexplainable is the genesis of a myth, myths become widely accepted because they’re entertaining. The stories spread because we enjoy them and, sometimes, want them to be true (preferably with no one getting killed). Humans of the mid-20th century believing these stories is evidence of this claim. Why spread stories that are clearly hoaxes or silly mistakes? Because they’re fun. I bet that applied to ancient cultures as well, and the stories took on a life of their own over time. After all, some Nordic people still believe in some elements Norse mythology, selecting the ones that don’t contradict their modern knowledge or sensibilities.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. These stories can be fascinating and could easily be part of your fantasy roleplaying games, especially this guy.

The Bigfoot Tantrum has been my big mood lately: futurama

Ancient cultures don’t get to have all the fun.

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More Fan Fiction: A New Manuscript on the Arthurian Legend #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg

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I came across an article, “Researchers Find Hidden Secrets in Rare Old Arthurian Legend.” Apparently, we’ve got some more twists to the fan fiction that is Arthurian legend. If you don’t know why I’m calling it fan fiction . . . .

A good screenwriter would pounce on this new material. Why not? Some of it has never been seen before, so it’d seem like a fresh take on the legend, yet it would be as legitimate as any other version you’ve heard or read.

I’m not a good creative writer, so I’m out.

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Gods of Luck @drgnfly06 #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #Vegas

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This week, I’m taking my annual trip to Vegas. With the pandemic, I didn’t go last year, so both my comps and my anticipation are at an all-time high. Accordingly, I’m linking to a listing of several gods and goddesses of luck from ancient religions across the globe. Maybe one of them is really out there and will appreciate the shout out.

The Best and worst blackjack hands and how to play them | The TwinSpires  Edge

The link comes from Carla Huffman, whose Twitter handle often posts mythology-related matters. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, which makes a lot of sense. Mythology is clearly a window into how the people in a given culture thinks. Maybe she’ll have something to say about my request to the gods, and maybe she has more credibility with them.

Probably, “This is superstitious nonsense, dipshit.”

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Ponos, the Greek God of Labor #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #LaborDay

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I don’t know if the ancient Greeks had a Labor Day, but if they did, it was likely a festival dedicated to Ponos. Ponos was the minor god of labor. Starting with his mother, Eris, the goddess of discord, his entire family tree was populated with gods of terrible things, such as murder, lies, and pain. They say hard work builds character, but I think the ancient Greeks may have had a different perspective since it was lumped in with the nasty side of life, like fighting.

Happy Labor Day!

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Cultural Similarity of Mythological Traditions @undercoverloon1 @CSMFHT @editingwizard #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg

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C.f., Sumerian and Babylonian mythology.

I love this. There are only seven stories one can tell, and (obviously) the more people travel, the further the reach of specific elements of those stories. It’s no surprise that a culture that replaces another keeps some of the remnants of the replaced culture, but it’s notable that Roman mythology was so very similar to Greek mythology. It’s almost like Chicagoans’ jealous appropriation of everything New York. 🙂 <ducks> But hey, Chicago has much better pizza. <still ducking>

The explanation is interesting, and goes beyond mere travel.

When the Romans invaded Greece starting in 146 BC, their gods were not as developed and sophisticated as the Greeks. The Romans knew that bridging the differences would add to their influence over the conquered nation. Captured Greek scholars were used to tutor Roman children because they knew that the Greeks had an excellent educational system comparatively. And because Greek literature was also superior, the Romans adopted much for the Greek literature, much of which was about their gods.  The intermixing of the literature resulted in a cross-pollination of all the Greek gods and deities with their own.

Where the Romans paved their own way, it was clear. Their original stories were often based on politics rather than the divine. While I’m sure little of this is new to you, it’s an important in understanding not only our past but also our present.

I know. Not exactly an Earth-shattering post.

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In case the original tweet is ever deleted.


Myths for Millennials #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg

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Okay, settle down. I know that millennials aren’t teenagers, and that millennial jokes have grown tedious (as are your complaints about those jokes). This isn’t that, so don’t have a fit. Just enjoy the jokes.

Who says mythology can’t be funny? Nobody I know.

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7 Native American Monsters @npishak #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #DnD #ADnD #RPG

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Great Shatner’s ghost, I love mythology. Here’s a link to an article on Native American monsters care of Natasha Ishak. Because of this blog’s current focus on Dungeons & Dragons, I note that some of these monsters don’t appear in these precise forms in any RPGs I’ve played or read. There are similarities, of course, but some of these represent variations of what I’ve seen, so there’s some room for inspiration here. This is true despite how extensive the gaming library is.

Mythology is an eternal fountain of ideas. There’s always more you can grab from it.

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Follow Natasha Ishak @npishak

Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


You Forgot Orthrus #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #Orthrus

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100th day in a row with a post!

I found this moderately funny Venn diagram.

Cute, right? Well, as any fan of Clash of the Titans will tell you, it’s incomplete. Here’s my revised version.

C’mon, man. Orthrus was a player in the 10th labor of Heracles. He deserves your remembrance.

Capitalization matters too.

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