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Monday, 13th May, 2002, 05:10 PM #21
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Re: Mahabharata and RamayanaYou may want to (re)read the Mahabharata and the Ramayana for source material. (By the way, if anyone knows good, readable versions of those works, please recommend them!)
Monday, 13th May, 2002, 05:25 PM #22
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I'd like to ask again, can anyone suggest good, readable versions of the Indian epics? Something to get a taste of mythic India?
William Buck did translations of the Mahabharata (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...987083-2539151) and the Ramayana (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...987083-2539151).
However, his translations are also very short, compared to the original. This is very good, for readability, as the Sanskrit tends to be repetetive (repeat pedigrees for major characters every time the character is mentioned, etc). They are easy to read, but not particularly scholarly.
I'd also recommend the Bhagavad-Gita (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...987083-2539151), translated by Barbara Stoler-Miller.
Tuesday, 14th May, 2002, 04:25 AM #23
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
William Buck did translations of the (Mahabharata and the Ramayana. However, his translations are also very short, compared to the original. This is very good, for readability, as the Sanskrit tends to be repetetive (repeat pedigrees for major characters every time the character is mentioned, etc). They are easy to read, but not particularly scholarly.
Tuesday, 14th May, 2002, 02:51 PM #24
Novice (Lvl 1)
nothing compares to actually GOING to india in person, you'll get a good look at alot of things which may be missed in guidebooks. many people still live in today's world like it is the 13th century.
anyway, there are more indian / children of indian immigrants who are D&Ders out there . . . how could a culture which has bollywood be possibly denied "role playing" . . .???
Tuesday, 14th May, 2002, 04:31 PM #25
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Originally posted by mmadsen
Which makes the best leisure reading? Which reads the most like a D&D campaign or a fantasy novel?
The Ramayana is more tightly focused on a select group of individuals, but the protagonist is an incarnation of a god, and the focus is on a war, not a D&D-type adventure per se.
The Mahabharata is the best, in my opinion. Much longer than the Ramayana, but also has a more diverse group of heroes. Even though the final focus is on a war too, there is a lot more 'adventuring' material in there.
There is a fairly readable translation of each of the latter two by C. Rajagopalachari, but I don't know if it's available in the US.
Tuesday, 14th May, 2002, 06:44 PM #26
Novice (Lvl 1)
A large part of the campaign world I am currently building is based on Mughal-era
(16th-17th century) India. However, I preferred a more monotheistic faith so I have not spent too much time with the Hindu religious literature.
Regardless, here is some stuff that may be useful:
Go to http://www.britannica.com/ and set up a two week free account. Search with terms like India, Ramayana, Hinduism (31 pg article) and so on, then cut and paste like there is no tomorrow. I print my results out and have filled more than five binders at this point. You are guaranteed a ton of useful and generally concise material, plus as you read you will generate more search terms.
I just checked the Mahabharata article, it looks to be 2-3 pages printed. According to the article the real thing is seven times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey. Personally, Iĺd go for the 2-3 pager.
Some good Hinduism stuff, plus other religions found in India is at:
When coming up with place names use the Hindi-English translator at:
For personal names click on the Hindu link at:
For those detailed village descriptions that make gaming great:
I prefer to ignore the Ĺwe must convert these poor unbelieversĺ theme of the site.
This tourist site has lots of interesting details:
I definitely recommend some time in the local bookstore with their tour books.
Feel free to e-mail me if I can offer any help.
Tuesday, 14th May, 2002, 06:52 PM #27
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Mythic India? What era? The Rigveda isn't the same as the Mahabharata for example. By the way, wasn't The Mahabharata written in Prakrit, not Sanskrit?
Another interesting little historical footnote: Indian deity names, numbers and a few other linguistic oddities were found as relics of a dead language amongst the Mitanni Empire, a contemporary of the neighboring Hittite and Assyrian Empires. However, most historians (who have any opinion on the matter at all) believe that they were seperate from the Indo-Europeans who actually went to India, and were the western end of the southward moving wave of Indo-aryan linguistics that settled in India. Not sure if that's useful (or even interesting) to anyone out there, but there it is...
Wednesday, 15th May, 2002, 12:21 AM #28
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Ah, yes, Snoweel, I think you've hit on the next big phenomena: Kama Sutra d20...
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