Friday, December 30, 2016

Mythos of the Maori

First off, I'm just going to concede that at least for the rest of the holiday season (including next week), my blog posts are going to be somewhat sporadic. I will do my best to post twice a week, but my schedule is all out of sorts, and my time in front of computer is somewhat limited. Enough said.

Currently, I am in the midst of writing a homebrew adventure for the Dungeons & Dragons campaign I am running. For this adventure, the players will be journeying to an isolated tropical island where they must unravel a mysterious threat against an ancient power that protects and rules over the islanders. I have been researching precolonial Hawaii specifically and Polynesian culture in general as inspiration for this adventure.

In the process of searching online for resources, I came across a very cool 'rules-light' roleplaying game system called Mythos of the Maori that is currently available for free from Mythopoetic Games. It started out as a non-fiction text on the mythology and folklore of the Polynesian people prior to their contact with Europe based on the author's childhood and early adulthood spent in New Zealand. Eventually though he deemed it unpublishable, but returned to it later and used it for the basis of a unique roleplaying game. The rules document itself is quite interesting, as most chapters the author intentionally blurs the distinctions between the rules and the setting, making it necessary for the reader to work through the entire book before having a good understanding of the system and how it all connects together. While he admits that this is both ludicrous and unfair to his readers, it is by design to deeply engage a potential GM in the setting.

For my adventure, I will certainly be referencing the third chapter extensively as a helpful resource for the language, cultural beliefs, folklore, and religious practices of the islands' inhabitants. As the characters will also need to eventually gain status among the islanders, the rules in the fourth and fifth chapters will also be quite helpful.

Anyway, this is a great resource if you're at all interested in ancient Polynesian culture. Hope you enjoy it.

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