Wednesday 6 April 2022

D&DG Worshippers 5: Chinese

Shang-Ti, crusher of tortoises

Chinese Worshippers

So we arrive at a mythos I knew nothing about when I got GD&H, but thanks to that and the later D&DG I have developed... well, no real knowledge of the gods involved since then.

I probably picked up more from watching Monkey - that the Eastern pantheon (as it was known in GD&H) is basically a bureaucracy mirroring that of the Imperial Chinese court in the days before the Mongols arrived to teach the emperor a few unpleasant lessons. I have at least read the Penguin Classics translation of The Journey West (which is truly terrible) and Cowboy Bebop sent me off on a bit of a dig into Feng-Shui (nuts but fun) and that's about the extent of it.

The introduction to the mythos lists a few magical items, including a reference to the I-Ching as a tool for controlling matter and motion, and what I think is supposed to be Monkey's staff (all 7t 16cwt 88lbs of it). It also introduces the idea that the head of a church might be simply "gifted" with the powers of a high priest, presumably in the case that the emperor is more of a military man than a holy one.

The method I'm using here to generate the tables based on the deity's own class abilities throws up something new as well: gods without either clerical or druidical worshippers. In all cases except one - Huan-Ti, god of war - the gods in question are in fact demi-gods and we can perhaps handwave this, especially if we assume "demigod" to have the literal Greek sense of having one mortal parent.

In the case of Huan-Ti, I guess we just have to assume that the god of war is not interested in spell-casting and simply does not take on clerics in the normal sense. It seems that the deity is based on the mythological emperor of the same name who supposedly became an immortal after death. If so, it is strange that he is said to wear red +3 platemail as Huan-Ti is the "Yellow Emperor" and strongly associated with the colour (according to Google).

One very notable omission is Monkey himself - Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, Great Sage Equal to All Heaven.

Encounter Cleric Druid Fighter Ranger Paladin Magic-user Illusionist Thief Assassin Monk Bard
Shang-ti 1-9       1-100 1-13 1-17       1-30
Chang Kung Ming       1-17         1-18 1-11  
Chih-Chiang Fyu-Ya     1-21             12-28 31-50
Chih Sung-Tzu 10-22   22-36     14-26          
Chung Kuel 23-36 1-21   18-36   27-36 18-30   19-45 29-44 51-70
Fei Lien       37-46       1-17   45-52  
Feng Po       47-56       18-34   53-61  
Huan-Ti       57-75         46-73 62-80  
Kuan Yin 37-53 22-42       37-49         71-100
Lei Kung   43-58 37-52     50-58 31-42        
Lu Yueh 54-66   53-69     59-70 43-59 35-66      
No Cha   59-73 70-83       60-73 67-100      
Shan Hai Ching 67-73   84-100     71-77 74-82        
Tou Mu 74-86     76-90   78-81 83-87        
Wen Chun       91-100   82-90 88-100        
Yen-Wang-Yeh 87-100 74-100       91-100     74-100 81-100