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Fun with gods!

Okay, so, one of the most fun things about creating a D&D world has GOT to be designing the pantheon. I'm a little surprised by the 3rd ed handbook, which in the face of the Dragonlance wars where Paladine and Takhasis (I had finches named Paladine and Takhasis :) fought wars against each other that swept up an entire world, and the Forgotten Realms "Time of Trouble" series showed gods as squabbling and machiavellian as the average human, even two new gods from the same mortal adventuring party. Pantheons are like soap operas, and D&D 3rd Ed has elected to have NO interaction between their deities. Each one exists independently, and doesn't seem to even recognize its fellow cosmic powers.

Tinkering around with immortal powers, trying to create a back-story for critters that millions of imaginary people worship and fear, is kind of a rush. Heh. And there's no worry about being too obscure. I'm mildly irritated that the rulebooks don't have anything to support fun and play or fertility, so a dionysis/pan/persephone figure you really have to stretch to create powers for them. I'll have to check the Big Book of Sex Magic to see if they have anything, but I'm trying to stay canon.

Was surprised to learn that there is a greek god of Malaria and fever, Febris, from whom the month of February is named.

The frustrating part--unless you make a campaign specifically about religion, this is a level of detail the party will never actually see. It's like writing six-page character backgrounds. Grumble.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
Hee I got fed up with gods that didn't interact and created my own pantheon for games when i run.

Set up a goofy spreadsheet with spheres of influence and avatar weapons and the whole shebang.

Which shows in part how obsessive i get when running and in part how bored I was while temping as a receptionist (which is when i developed the darn thing) however many years ago.
Dec. 1st, 2004 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: pantheon
Sounds great! I'll have to whip out the venn diagrams now :)
Dec. 1st, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: pantheon
Its a super cool pantheon! The interactions and spheres of influence are believable. Cawti put major effort into fleshing out (pun?) the deities, their colors, totems and seasonal holidays. It is one of the many things that makes Cawti's games so great!
Dec. 1st, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC)
unless you make a campaign specifically about religion, this is a level of detail the party will never actually see.

But it's better to be prepared, and to have deeper reasons for why things move the way they do on the larger scale. The PCs I've seen have a tendency to wander off the beaten path. Or, to quote the Cam ST mantra: "No plot survives contact with the player characters."
Dec. 1st, 2004 06:44 pm (UTC)
D&D does do it...just not in the mainbook. Mainbook=gateway drug to WotC products. D'you have the Forgotten Realms book, perchance? Hell, you could cruise out to ENWorld.org and see what they've got in threads, or for purchase...
Dec. 1st, 2004 07:11 pm (UTC)
Nono, I specified Forgotten Realms, but the principle rulebooks don't bother, even the ones all about priests and gods.
Dec. 2nd, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)
*this is a level of detail the party will never actually see*
Unless you tell your players this and one makes a priest who converted as soon as he got out of his parents, hates his old religion, and rants about is constantly(introducing the other players unwillingly to the detail)
Dec. 3rd, 2004 05:45 am (UTC)
go new places. experience new things. before you get any older. or you will live to regret it. forever.

-third eyed.
Dec. 3rd, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC)
There. Sage advice to any game master working on a pantheon. (blink, blink) Not that I'm opposed to nonsequitors on any level, mind.
Dec. 3rd, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC)
Eh, who wants to live forever?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )