Gods with a little "g"

Mythology. (Classical Mythology. https://proseandcommas.weebly.com/2-classical-mythology.html)

1. A collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.

2. A set of stories or beliefs about a particular person, institution, or situation, especially when exaggerated or fictitious.

Fiction. (Definition from Oxford University Press 2019)

A narrative form, in any medium, consisting of people, events, or places that are imaginary—in other words, not based strictly on history or fact (Oxford University Press 2019)

The actual blog (me 2021)

The world of Copernia and all of the adventures that take place in it are works of fiction. It is true I am very fond of inserting historical or even fictional easter eggs. It's like a side game where the reader can ask themselves, "where have I heard that name before." But names are no more references to real people and their actual actions than role-playing is practice for the real world. It's not. Role-Playing is the act of creating a fictional story on the fly aided by a framework provided by authors and world creators like myself and the other members of the team at East Coast Trolls. Role-playing games enable us to explore theoretical concepts in fictional settings, stretch our imaginations' boundaries, deliberate, and communicate face to face while thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

My job as a fantasy writer, especially as an RPG fantasy writer, is to induce the player into a "willing suspension of disbelief," a term coined by the early 19th-century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. If I do my job right, you will temporarily accept as believable the events and characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible. Its adds to your role-playing. It's like watching a Peter Jackson film over and over again and still crying when your favorite character "dies." When the game session is done, it's like leaving the movies. But it's still fiction. No one really believes that Ents and Hobbits live in the woods behind their house or that an owl might deliver an invitation to Hogwarts to you tomorrow. But when you read those books or watch the movies, it is truly an immersive experience.

To build that immersive experience, I use deep world-building. I provide you with a plausible fantasy setting where your character can live, adventure, and gain fame and fortune, and you can have a great time playing a game with friends and family. One of the ways I do this is by creating mythology. Within the game context, I am providing reasonable explanations for why things are the way they are. At the same time, I introduce characters that you may never directly interact with but who might influence the fictional world around your adventurer.

Mythology, by definition, can be associated with stories and movements that make up existing religious or cultural traditions. Because of this, mythology can be related to real-world morality. As a writer of fantasy, I use the second definition of Mythology. Those stories are the ones that are exaggerated and fictitious and have nothing to do with real-world morality. My fictional mythology is like those from antiquity. It is filled with pantheons and polytheistic expressions that explain the creation and workings of the fictional world, fictional inhabitants, and fictional gods. This is a far cry from the Judeo-Christian monotheistic beliefs that ground my personal faith and morality. Our collaborative story is not a platform for teaching morals or making moral judgments; it's a platform for having fun with a group of friends or family.

So why have gods at all? Good question. Like the classical mythologies, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc., The gods are the embodiment of forces the characters cannot control. Forces of nature, major social upheaval, and dominating philosophical positions. The gods are all-powerful and self-absorbed; they may introduce disorder just for the entertainment value. When you are omnipotent, good and bad is a matter of perspective, and your perspective might change on a whim, so alignment is irrelevant. The gods had leanings when they created everything but can change their minds at any time. Gods and their erratic behavior introduces a variable element to the story. Because the gods in Copernia do not represent absolutes when it comes to good and evil, law and chaos, they don't represent any particular morality. Morality is the purview of the PCs and NPC's and you and your GM control that. Therefore, perception drives belief; a Lawful Good PC and a Chaotic Evil PC can have the same patron deity. Believe it or Not! (Robert L. Ripley, New York Globe, 1923)

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