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Author Topic: The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread  (Read 3022 times)

Molotov

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Yogi stuff
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2014, 12:56:22 PM »
Ok, what the heck - I'll ask, since the stamp & SASE are free, and the time for response is so small ("Old School - you've come a long way, baby!").

Ahem: the question(s):

Maybe obvious, but for the sake of exploring the topic, can Yogis use magical mala, staves, robes and bowls? Presumably yes - the book notes that Yogis may change their items for another. The section on magical mala notes the use of mala in general (again) by Yogis (among others). And of course, there are example magical staves and mala in AoI.

My GM brain says yes, to the extent that the item in question doesn't otherwise a Yogi's lifestyle (i.e., using a magical power to harm an innocent, for instance).

Molotov

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Appendix N: Inspiration and Educational Reading?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 08:37:05 AM »
I appreciate the Arrows of Indra is self-contained, pretty easily digestible, and requires "no anthropology, history, theology or linguistics degree". ;)

Might you suggest some follow-up readings for GMs so interested? The introduction of course recommends reading Indian myth outside the book (for those so interested, but not require) … but it's been … let's call it 2 decades … since I personally studied the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita - so I'm a little disconnected from the source myth.

I'd love any recommendations you might have, as the author.

Many thanks!

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Religion and Culture in the Bharata Kingdoms
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 09:04:24 AM »
O' Great Swami,

Another question (or prompt, perhaps). I've read the the Gods and Religion chapter of Arrows of Indra (and groked it, I believe).

I've also read the AoI articles "How to Play a Bharata Kingdoms Indian",   "The Importance of Family in Old-School Play", and "Presenting the Familiar", among others. All good stuff.

I think the article on playing a Bharata Kingdoms human is especially insightful re: religion and caste, but in some ways, just scratches at the surface (and no disrespect intended here) - I'm thinking, at the moment, of the likes of old school RuneQuest with their cult descriptions.

While not looking to duplicate those or necessarily have that level of detail (where's my 9 page write-up of the cult of Shiva the Destroyer, darn it! ;) ), I am wondering about additional details for the Bharata religions … such as additional trappings on Vaishnavite practices vs. Shaivite practices, etc.

I don't think this is any particular lack in terms of Arrows of Indra completeness, so not a criticism. I'm just looking for any additional insights to bring the players to encourage their specific role-play and provide a little more verisimilitude re: the Kingdoms.

I'm also open to responses of "Yep, make it up - keep a page in your notebook and jot down the times that PC1 says he uses x incense for y rite, that there is a Shiva vengeance spirt, or whatever comes up in play…"

Many thanks!

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 06:58:52 PM »
Quote from: Molotov;739710


Maybe obvious, but for the sake of exploring the topic, can Yogis use magical mala, staves, robes and bowls? Presumably yes - the book notes that Yogis may change their items for another. The section on magical mala notes the use of mala in general (again) by Yogis (among others). And of course, there are example magical staves and mala in AoI.


A: Yes. A yogi can use any magical mala, staves, robes or bowls, within any other regular limits of their class.
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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 07:11:16 PM »
Quote from: Molotov;740813
I appreciate the Arrows of Indra is self-contained, pretty easily digestible, and requires "no anthropology, history, theology or linguistics degree". ;)

Might you suggest some follow-up readings for GMs so interested? The introduction of course recommends reading Indian myth outside the book (for those so interested, but not require) … but it's been … let's call it 2 decades … since I personally studied the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita - so I'm a little disconnected from the source myth.

I'd love any recommendations you might have, as the author.

Many thanks!


A: Well, its hard for me to give out any specific recommendations, particularly since I don't want to end up sounding too much like saying that added research is essential.  There are a number of good (condensed) versions of the Mahabharata, and also the Ramayana out there these days, including in Comic book format if you're very lazy; plus a couple of amusing TV/cinematic versions.
The Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavata Purana, etc. are available in a number of good modern translations (hint: I would generally stay away from the ISKCON/'Hare Krishna' versions, which I don't think are very good).  But these are all mystical texts, of them only the latter contains actual mythology.

I would recommend that you do some google searches for each of those. You can find the Mahabharata for free here.  Other important texts for free here.
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Molotov

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 07:21:52 PM »
Many thanks - that's plenty of help right there.

I was flipping through my copy of Ramayan 3392 AD (collected trade paperback). I hadn't considered taking AoI in a sf/sci-fantasy direction.

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 07:35:22 PM »
Quote from: Molotov;740818
O' Great Swami,

Another question (or prompt, perhaps). I've read the the Gods and Religion chapter of Arrows of Indra (and groked it, I believe).

I've also read the AoI articles "How to Play a Bharata Kingdoms Indian",   "The Importance of Family in Old-School Play", and "Presenting the Familiar", among others. All good stuff.

I think the article on playing a Bharata Kingdoms human is especially insightful re: religion and caste, but in some ways, just scratches at the surface (and no disrespect intended here) - I'm thinking, at the moment, of the likes of old school RuneQuest with their cult descriptions.

While not looking to duplicate those or necessarily have that level of detail (where's my 9 page write-up of the cult of Shiva the Destroyer, darn it! ;) ), I am wondering about additional details for the Bharata religions … such as additional trappings on Vaishnavite practices vs. Shaivite practices, etc.

I don't think this is any particular lack in terms of Arrows of Indra completeness, so not a criticism. I'm just looking for any additional insights to bring the players to encourage their specific role-play and provide a little more verisimilitude re: the Kingdoms.

I'm also open to responses of "Yep, make it up - keep a page in your notebook and jot down the times that PC1 says he uses x incense for y rite, that there is a Shiva vengeance spirt, or whatever comes up in play…"

Many thanks!


A: Ok, so in the first case, I would point out that most D&D Old-School games don't go into tremendous detail about Clerics' worship.  Obviously, Arrows of Indra is not just any old-school RPG when it comes to religion.  I plan to post more "AoI articles" talking about the subject.

Yes, of course, you can just make it up! There's nothing to stop GMs from doing that.
You could also do some research, HOWEVER, note that the modern religion of Hinduism and the religion practiced in the time of the Vedas are not really the same thing.  Here, in brief, is the history of it:  You had this ancient pre-Vedic religion, then the religion of the Rig-Veda (and if you read the Rig-Veda, its very clear just how different that religion is from modern Hinduism, it doesn't even have most of the Gods the average Hindu worships these days, and its utterly devoid of core-concepts in Hinduism, like Karma, Reincarnation, Non-dualism, etc).  After that, you had this Brahminist religion, which would have been the religion of the period of the Mahabharata; its a lot more similar to modern Hinduism, but its not the same thing.  It had rituals where you slaughtered and ate cows, for example; where you slaughtered horses and had the queen fake sexual congress with the corpse; you start seeing things like karma and reincarnation, but many of the more advanced spiritual concepts are still absent.  
So what happened? Well, the next step was Buddhism, which swept over India and almost wiped out the Brahminist religion.  Jainism also surged at this time, and had important influence.  It was these two movements that refined some of the concepts that had already existed but were in a very basic form in Brahminism: samsara (the (bad) cycle of reincarnation), Moksha (the idea of final liberation from the cycle of reincarnation), non-violence, vegetarianism, etc.
It was only after several hundred years, when the Gupta Dynasty arose, that an upsurge of a new and reformed set of different movements rose up that consolidated as the idea of what in the west we termed Hinduism.  It was here that many of the rituals of the Vaishnavite and Shaivite sects came to resemble their modern form; not to mention more mystical or esoteric stuff like Bhakti or Tantra.

So what you really might want to do is look at and read the source texts; the Rig-veda has rituals in it that would be already considered antiquated in most of the Bharata kingdoms by the time of the AoI's base setting.  The Ramayana and Mahabharata have descriptions of rituals and religious practices in them that would better reflect what most regions would be into at this time.
In the setting, religion is in transition: Temples and priests are still very important, but the Yogi ascetic movement is gaining ground, and the esoteric schools of various Siddhi philosophers/wizards are rising in popularity; plus the Avatara Krishna is creating a popular Cult of Personality that is bypassing the traditional methods of worship, which are largely based on financially-supported Brahmins performing very complex rituals in temples for you and presenting you with some blessing you are the passive recipient of.
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Molotov

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 12:36:40 PM »
The forum lacks a "like" feature, so I can't just hit that. That was some good stuff, Pundit - thanks!

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2014, 10:40:57 PM »
Quote from: Molotov;741051
The forum lacks a "like" feature, so I can't just hit that. That was some good stuff, Pundit - thanks!


Just saw this now; you're very welcome!
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selfdeleteduser00001

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2014, 02:23:29 PM »
So, AoI is set during the period of the Mahabharata, {I am utterly lost BTW, but very happy to learn}, which is pre-modern Hinduism and still a bit alien to modern India.

So I need to get a big fat graphic novel version or a book and have a good soak in the sources and get the feel.

Before I do, is the kind of adventure in AoI going to be quite different from a classic D&D game, from a Greek/Roman RQ style game or utterly different to all them? As a default that is..

[I realise an answer could be "you're the GM, you decide" but I'd like to kind of judge the flavour.]

AH: I just kind of answered myself, by reading your blog:

Quote
The PCs in AoI do exactly what PCs do in any S&S campaign. They go off looking for adventures, treasure, magic items, fame, and eventually to reach positions of power and their own authority. Don't get hung up on the notion that the setting is "foreign". Introduce any foreign parts only bit by bit, as needed. The one big difference might be some of the religious elements, but if you're playing in a Conan type setting, or in Mystara, or wherever, you'd still need to learn about the religious differences too, wouldn't you? There's also things like caste rules, but these are pretty straightforward for the most part. And the clans, but mostly what Clans are for is to give you a built in network of contacts, information, and obligations to any PC.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 03:15:15 PM by selfdeleteduser00001 »
:-|

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2014, 12:58:35 AM »
Yes, that's pretty much the answer.  Sorry I didn't get to your question first.

I'm certainly not going to discourage you from reading up on Indian mythology or its epic sagas, but my feeling is that the material in the AoI book itself is all that a GM needs to run games there.  There's no OBLIGATORY extra-reading to be done.

And yeah, anyone who's played it has said the same thing: they were nervous going in but quickly found that in practice, it plays pretty much like standard old-school D&D.  The things characters do in the setting is pretty much what characters do in any D&D game; only the setting itself is 'new' and 'different' (in the sense of being less familiar), and thus provides interesting new stimuli to the players.

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Flashman

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2015, 06:47:48 PM »
I took a picture of a couple of copies at Gen Con this year, if I can figure out how to post it here I will.

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2015, 03:46:04 AM »
Quote from: Flashman;847298
I took a picture of a couple of copies at Gen Con this year, if I can figure out how to post it here I will.


Oh, cool thanks! Where were they?
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Flashman

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2015, 09:55:10 AM »
I'm pretty sure it was Studio 2's booth.  My memory is telling me it was right next to a shelf with a bunch of AD 2300 books.

Flashman

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The New Arrows of Indra Q&A Thread
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2015, 10:06:01 AM »
My first attempt to post didn't work. I'll try again.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 10:20:31 AM by Flashman »