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Graham

A Divination System for Invictus

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Graham

I was reading "City of the Sharp Nosed Fish" by Peter Parsons an account of the information revealed by the excavations at Oxyrhynchus (Wikipedia) and aside from lots of nuts'n bolts information Keepers might want to have a look at if they run adventures in Roman Egypt, was a rather interesting divination system based on lines taken from Homer.

 

It comprised 216 single line statements numbered from 1.1.1 to 6.6.6 and could only be used on certain days and at certain times. Before using the 'oracle' the user had to invoke Apollo and then roll a D6 three times (Once for each digit) and consult the line revealed to discover their fate.

 

This might be adaptable to Dark Ages if you replace Apollo with a Saint (Though which one I'm not sure) and Homer with the Bible.

 

For anyone who is interested here is the second divination text mentioned in "City of the Sharp Nosed Fish", this one was attributed to a (probably mythical) figure called Astrampsychos.

 

The text contained 92 questions (numbered 1-92) and 1030 answers organised into groups of 10 (numbered 1-10 in each group). To use it the person seeking their future selected the question, rolled a D10 and added the result to the number of the question. This directed the questioner to a 'god' (A 'saint' in christian versions). This 'god' directed the user to a particular group of ten answers. The answer they were looking for was that which matched the result of the D10 roll. Interpretation of this answer was left to the reader...

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amandoti

I like this idea: oracles and divination and just veiled threats in references are a nice way of creating uncertainty among players. And fopr getting them to jump to conclusions you hadn't thought of, which is always good. The stuff in Parsons is a version of the Sortes Homericae, which also existed using Vergil (for Latin-speakers) or the Bible (for Dark Ages, although Vergil was also still used as a sort of proto-Christian).

 

For a saint to invoke in Dark Ages you might choose St Paul, who was supposed to have received mystical knowledge; or one of the Evangelists, who were supposed to be divinely inspired. Or Dionysius the Areopagite, as memorably cited (and mispronounced) in the first Hellboy movie. The sixth-century writings under that name were a well-known source of mystical and perhaps dubiously Christian knowledge.

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