PDA

View Full Version : Deity Pantheons



Raskannu
2005-07-31, 09:33 PM
This is a topic where you can post gods/godesses from your made-up pantheons. *By the way, if you think this is stupid, please don't keep posting here and saying so (this has happened in other places, look around).

Zoena
2005-07-31, 09:49 PM
We play a psuedo-historical game, so we actually use the ancient Sumerian pantheon. This makes things quite fun as you can then go out and do research on your character's god. I actually looked up the symbols of everyone's patron deity and made tshirts with the symbol of their god on it for everyone in my group ^_^

ghostrunner
2005-08-01, 12:18 AM
I've never been a fan of huge pantheons. I liked Rich's idea about a dualistic religion, but created my own take on it for my homebrewed campaign setting. at least in the "European" region, there are three dieties known and/or worshipped. According to the scripture written by prophets of one diety, there is a sort of benevolent creator that made the world and the cosmos, but he had two servants that he left in charge. To these people, this diety is distant and, for all intents and purposes, not really even considered. Of the two other gods, only one--Rideve (pronounced Ri-'de-veh)-- is openly worshipped. He is known as the benevolent protector, whereas the other god, Dewegha, "the corruptor" is only worshipped by evil cults and the like. Clerics choose their domains based on their own focuses and personal convictions rather than those preselected by their god.
One of my favorite things about this set-up is that while these three gods do in fact exist in the setting, this is merely one culture's view of them. Evil characters aren't evil because they worship an evil diety; they are evil for their own internal reasons. It just so happens that in this culturem, evil people generally worship Dewegha because his are the powers that they desire to have most. In some other cultures on that world view and even interact with the dieties in different ways. Some view them not in terms of good and evil, but different balancing features: if there is joy, then also pain; if there is light, then also darkness; if life, then also death. It's not that one is inherently good and one is inherently evil; they each have their own purpose, and humanity may call upon either god to serve good or evil purposes.
I like this system because I was able to create a religion that somewhat mimicked that of Europe during the middle ages, that actually allowed players contact with the dieties, but didn't automatically make every other religion wrong. Like I said, there are the three dieties, but each culture views them and interacts with them in different ways.

The kicker to all of this is that the players never know the exact nature of their gods. They only have the cultural and contextual ideas about the dieties they worship that their characters would have.

Winter_Wolf
2005-08-01, 01:14 AM
I use five 'forces of the universe' in all my home brewed stuff, because I hate trying to come up with lots of stuff that frankly will probably be used almost never. I go with: Holy Light (LG, any good clerics; light), Holy Green (NG, any non lawful, non evil; nature), Revered Arcane (LN, any non chaotic clerics; arcane magic), Profound Darkness (NE, any evil clerics; darknesss/evil/trickery), and Profane (CE, only NE, CE, CN clerics; undead and unnatural). Light vs. Dark, Green vs. Profane, Arcane just kickin' it in the middle ignoring everyone.

One world I threw in some 'heretic gods' who got access to one, and only one, domain. Basically mortals ascended to divinity and worshipped as folk heroes. Basically the only one I liked was Edramyd the Defender, hero and defender of the common man. The rest come and go. Some of the other folk heroes are worshipped but grant zero spell casting potential, which works well since they're all minions of one of the five big religions and I want to keep that very clear.

I stopped with new pantheons because I would go overboard with zillions of faiths, a la Forgotten Realms. I realized it was pointless since in a lifetime of playing I would only ever end up using about a third at all, if ever.

Krilia
2005-08-03, 11:18 AM
I helped design the pantheon for a friend's world (which he wanted to make into a book, but we decided it just wasn't going to work). Anyway, the world revolved around there being six elements, the normal four and light and dark.

Each element had a god that good, one that was neutral and one that was evil.

Earth had a god related to the harvest (good), a survival of the fitest style huntress goddess (neutral) and a god dedicated to technology at any cost (evil). You get the idea. The tough ones were light and dark, as most people immediately associate alignments with them. The good light god was a god of healing, the neutral one was a sun god and the evil one was about perfection at any cost. For dark, the evil god was a god of assasination and other violence done in stealth. The Neutral god I don't actually recall, and the good god was a goddess of forgiveness and comfort.

adanedhel9
2005-08-03, 12:43 PM
Each element had a god that good, one that was neutral and one that was evil.


Wow, I love this idea. I would steal it for my game if I hadn’t already done so much work on its pantheon, which happens to include gods that are the embodiment of good and evil.

My pantheon has 21 gods: one creator/destroyer (based on the Hopi mythology, if anyone's ever seen that) and 20 "lesser" elemental gods. The elemental gods are split into five groups of four gods each (the five groups being the classical elements, light/dark, the forces of the universe, life/death, and the alignments).

Each god has their own plane. These planes are arranged in such a way that each plane is connected with one plane from each of the other groups (you can picture the arrangement by looking at a d12 -- each point on the d12 is one plane, the edges are most of the connections, and a set of connections runs from each point through the center of the d12 to the opposite point). The Prime Material sits in the very center of this arrangement.

This arrangement is reflected by the gods themselves. For example, the plane of the moons is connected to the plane of earth, and so these two gods are allies and share some Domains.

I think 21 gods is about right -- plenty of choices for everyone involved without having to read (and write) page after page of deity entries.

--adanedhel9

Malachi, the Lich King
2005-08-03, 04:19 PM
I've screwed myself by setting up multiple pantheons in my most recent world. Simple is better.... :o

I did one pantheon based on the Anglo-Saxon version of the Norse gods [its a much simpler and less refined mythology] as well as one where the gods are all dragons. All dragons come from their bloodlines and there are very few of them. I've also got the roots of a monotheistic religion in the background but since the players haven't gone there yet, I haven't had to detail it overmuch.

Grey Watcher
2005-08-03, 04:29 PM
Diety Pantheon?

Emancia - Goddess of Carblessness!

Blandito - God of Low Fat!

I feel silly. :P

The_King_of_Durf
2005-08-03, 04:58 PM
And don't forget the great Lord Atkins, or the legendary South Beaches where the gods do dwell.

Krilia
2005-08-03, 04:58 PM
It's one of the mispellings I do my best to ignore, myself, Grey Watcher. Along with Rouge.

Fhaolan
2005-08-03, 05:05 PM
In the campaign I created, I tried to follow several core precepts: The gods are 'real', there has to be a reason they bother with worshipers, but also a reason they don't just mess around with people directly with their godly powers. This caused some oddities. One of the oddities is that there is only a single 'pantheon' in the campaign world. However, there are lots of gods worshiped. Those 'in the know' have found out that one god may have several hundred names, and that the gods don't use those names at all. They tend to use single consistant titles amongst themselves.

In the begining there was only Chaos [Chaos, oddly enough, doesn't appear to be a god. People who attempt to worship Chaos as an entity either get nothing for their troubles, or go insane. Nobody knows why.] Within Chaos anything can, and will exist, and so was created Order [Also known as Earth]. Earth became lonely, and created Sky. They had many children, such as Mother Corn, Father Smith, Master Mountain, Mistress Sun, the Wanderer, the Watcher, etc. To each of these children, Earth and Sky granted them portions of their power. These children had children of their own, and passed portions of their power on. So was created The Tempest, evil goddess of the sea and storms, and Good God, goddess of innocence and children, the Rat God, the Cat God, the Tyrant, etc.

Now, Grandfather Earth had made a mistake. When he had created Grandmother Sky, he hadn't used a piece of himself. And so Grandmother Sky was not immortal. She died and passed into the realm of the Watcher, god of the Moon from which no-one returns. One of her sons tried to rescue her, but his attempts broke him, in body and spirit, and he became known as the Lich Lord, god of undeath. In his grief, Grandfather Earth gave up the reigns of power and now wanders the world, from tavern to tavern, attempting to drink himself into forgetting his dead wife.

When Grandpa Dirt (as he's now known) gave up his power, he tied it all to mortal worshipers. So, in order to increase in power the other gods have to convince more people to worship them. None of them dare to intervene with the world directly, because somewhere down there is Grandpa Dirt and if they tick him off, he'll simply unmake them. So, they have to work through clerics and paladins.

Other oddities: There are cults out there that believe in the gods in twisted ways. For example: The Tempest, evil goddess of storms and the sea is also worshiped by some as a beneficial goddess of rain. The idea being that good, evil, law, chaos are all mortal concepts and the gods are not necessarily bound by them. There is also a cult that believes that the Watcher (god of guardians and the dead) and the Lich Lord (god of insanity and undeath) were once a single god. As no one can escape the Moon once they reach it, and there was this god that tried to rescue Grandmother Sky, the idea is that the god split in two. One half remained on the Moon as the Watcher, and the other escaped as the now lunatic :) Lich Lord.

There's a yearly festival in my campaign that celebrates the Cat God bringing fire to the world in an attempt to rescue Mistress Sun from the Rat God. The lizard folk worship the same gods, but they're all described as being dragons. I could keep going, but it's all rather complicated. Each god has a backstory, and sidestories, and more.

Druids occupy another strange niche. In my campaign Druids don't worship gods as such. They instead believe that everything that is alive is in some way 'divine' as everything came from Grandpa Dirt. As such, they get their divine powers from spirits like dryads and nyads and such. Druids are part of a more recent religion than normal god-worship, and are constantly having to deal with strange prejudices and rumors around their faith. Some have attempted to connect Druidism with ancient beliefs, but the more organized god-churches try to suppress these heritical notions.

Krilia
2005-08-03, 11:10 PM
Fhaolan, not to imply that you stole your idea, but to say that it's good enough to be close to a published product. :)

In the Arcanis world (Paradigm Concepts), the gods don't have alignments, just the churches do. So you have the worship of Neroth, Lord of Disease, as a healing god, while you also have the worship of Neroth, Lord of Undead somewhere else. A god who is the god of Fire, Judgement and Slaughter. Etc.

Fhaolan
2005-08-04, 01:45 AM
;D My campaign has been a little less than thirty years in the making, so it's almost a given that I've accidentally picked up bits and pieces from other settings. Unfortunately, I don't remember all the places I got stuff from. I'm not familiar with Paradigm Concepts, but non-aligned dieties is not that unusual of a concept, so I'm not surprised it's shown up in multiple places. :)

One day I'll write all this up and post it somewhere. 60% of it is floating around in my head, and the last 40% is in twenty or so notebooks spread all over the house. :) I'm a great believer in giving the players lots of blanks for them to fill in with odd little details about the cultures the characters come from. Including the gods they worship.

Caelestion
2005-08-04, 07:05 AM
Well, Chaos, Earth and Sky can be found in a few versions of the Greek creation myths, but then the *really* early stuff is very contradictory.

Cael.

Eric_The_Mad
2005-08-04, 11:05 AM
The question of dieties drives me bonkers. I'll be working on a world, it's all falling into place and then I get to religion... And everything goes *clunk* and grinds to a halt.

I really loathe and despise the FR system. It doesn't make sense, in fact it's painfully stupid. I'm a farmer, and I'm taking my goods to town to sell. Now, I'd certainly hope that the Agriculture god, the Travel God, the God of Markets/Getting Good Deals, and probaly any God of Protection From Bandits and Marauding Orc Hordes would be looking out for me. But, no, I can only worship one of them. The Kingdoms of Kalamar setting is even worse. If it hadn't been for how stupid their gods were, it would have been a wonderful setting.

I blame the fact that most of, if not all of us, come cultures which are monotheistic. We've got the mental baggage that you follow one and only one god. Not to think that each god in the pantheon has a job and you call on that god when you need them.

After much thought and discussions with others, I find myself suspecting that the Domain system is flawed, at least when dealing with religion. You wind up worshipping one god, and that god has limitations.

My solution would be to simply rule that Clerics don't worship specific gods, they serve the pantheon. You define the pantheon by Good, Evil, Law, Chaos.... and the Clerics have to take those Domains, but can pick the other one. This is opposed to arbitrarily limiting gods to Three Domains.

A more fancy way of doing it seems to be to describe the natures of the gods in the Pantheon... And after the mandatory Good/Evil/Law/Chaos thing, pick a domain and explain that the Cleric doesn't serve that Diety specifically, so much as they feel a identification with them, and may keep a personal shrine or make offerings to them.

I have no idea if this will work, but I'm freakin' tiried of walking into a town full of farmers and/or fishermen, and the only temple is one of freakin' Thor or some other god who has no real concern with the place.

Think about it... Small towns have chance of HOW many clerics? And even if there's more then one, HOW high level are they likely to be? "Father Bob, Priest of Pelor, my cows are sick!" "Err... Well, I'll see what I can do..."

I also hate it when DM's just yank gods out what appears to be freakin' hats and throw them in "because they are cool." Like walking into a city and it's got temples to Odin, Apollo and (I kid thee not) Kali... It doesn't make any damned sense and it makes my brain hurt.

fonkin
2005-08-04, 11:47 AM
In my current campaign there are a host of small, local gods. The world is a constantly changing place where reality was somewhat damaged by an apocalyptic battle. The forces of chaos won a pyrrhic victory, so the planet is in a constant state of flux.

Out of this chaos, the surviving mortal races found safe spots, chunks of stable land, on which to build new civilizations. As time passed, new baby godlings appeared, and started to slowly grow in power. Occassionally, two gods get into a fight and one subsumes the other, making the victor stronger.

At the moment, there are 6 major allied gods and 2 unaligned gods in the campaign area. The Lake God is easily the most powerful of them all, who is very neutral and only concerned with his underwater territory; a huge freshwater sea about the size of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan put together.

The other indie is the dwarven god, Moog. He also concerns himself little with the surface world, but will band together with the local junior "pantheon" when there is a common threat.

The pantheon consists of 6 gods of various domains. There is Anku, a gargantuan raccoon/panda thing, who is the god of the harvest and the grape. He is very popular as he is closely associated with revelry, play, and good times. He is decidedly chaotic good.

There is Cram, the god of vitality and strength, a lawful deity of industry and agriculture.

Gorn is the god of war, and while he may have started off as lawful good, he is slowly sliding towards neutral as his power grows.

Filx is the fox god, a deity of secrets and mischief. While he is disruptive to society as a whole, he has proven himself indespensible in the past.

Rana is the goddess of the life cycle; life and death. She takes two forms; a barn-sized frog during the first half of the year, then a gargantuan snake the rest of the year. Most druids worship her. As the matron of the pantheon and master of the death domain, all gods must petition her for access to raise/resurrection spells.

Arpa is the goddess of knowledge, skill and wisdom. She is the patroness of all those who rely on wit and skill to survive. While she has the smallest following of worshippers, all the best schools and craftsmen occupy her niche.

Each deity has a realm of their own which they have tied to the others. Each realm reflects the character of the deity and is subject to the deity's will. Anku's realm is a broad valley of fertile plains and hills, Filx's is an overcast wooded labyrinth of mountain valleys and rifts, Rana's a long, winding river valley whose banks are crowded with foliage and peppered with swamps, and so on.

Fhaolan
2005-08-04, 11:50 AM
I agree completely, Eric_the_Mad. That's why nearly all the NPC clerics in my campaign are 'pantheon' clerics ('choose two domains to represent spiritiual inclinations', straight out of PHB). Temples tend to be 'sponsored' by a specific god [much like the way the Romans worked it] but will still have an area devoted to the pantheon in general.

I've been contimplating re-arranging the domain lists for this campaign, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

fonkin
2005-08-04, 11:59 AM
Now hold on here. You guys are missing something. This is not a monotheistic trait, necessarily, but a pantheistic one. All the Greek and Roman gods, upon which most of Western understanding of polytheism is based, had dedicated clerics. Those clerics were frequently locked into that role for life. The Vestal Virgins of Hestia, the Bacchantae and Maenads, and all the others were tied to their office for life. Many of them could be sentenced to death for violations of their vows.

Even in Hinduism, some deities require absolute dedication. One pays their respects to the other gods as is their due, especially Ganesh and Shiva, but don't forget that your butt belongs to Hanuman (or whomever) no matter what!

This is true in most other religions as well. It is only in animistic or shamanistic religions that one finds non-dedicated priests. A shaman of a hunter-gatherer tribe doesn't have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to a single deity or totem creature. No, they have to appease the monkey spirit, the tapir spirit, the angry dead spirit of vengeance, the yellow fever spirit, and occassionally deal with demonic possession and so on. Again, there may be a closer association with a particular deity or totemic spirit of a given tribe, but this does not equate with dedication to a deity.

This sort of cleric is better represented in DnD by the druid and Adept classes.

Eric_The_Mad
2005-08-07, 01:52 AM
Fonkin:

Really? Interesting... I admit that's a fairly major gap in my knowledge base, how the romans did things, and how the hindus handle religion.

But even so, I still go back to my original concern... It's goofy to wander into a town or village, and the only cleric there is a priest of a wildly out of place god.

Question: In a pantheonistic religion, would a temple, even if dedicated or sponsored by one god, still have side shrines or alters to other gods as well? Or would that be goofy as well? It makes sense to me, but I as I stated before, I have some gaps in my knowledge.

Venatius
2005-08-07, 02:33 AM
I like your multi-facetted elements deity idea, Krillia, good work!

One of the elements of my world-setting's games is *a bit similar to Fhaolan's, in that while I use the stock D&D pantheon, a few deities have "sects" devoted to them in addition to their "traditionalist" followers (which use the default rules). A follower of a sect worships a deity via an alternative means, which rulewise is basically almost like worshipping a seperate deity, as their clerics use differing domains and alignments. For example, the Durnesseists, followers of the Pelorian prophet St. Durness, adhere to remaining within one step of a Lawful Neutral alignment, and access the domains of Law, Strength, Sun, and Inquisition. Obad-Hai has a very voudoun-like followering, with diverse followers that adhere to as many as four different alternative aspects; the Wild Huntsman (CN, paragon of the wildness and savagery of the natural world), the Green Man (LN, embodiment of nature's systematic, predictable side), Volkhavarra (NE, patron of all that is cruel, selfish, and brutal in the natural world), and there is some thought that Elonha may just be Obad-Hai's NG aspect, though her followers argue about this point quite a lot.

Also, one issue of contention is the idea of positive and negative energy. While they may worship deities (often but not always racial or nature-oriented), druids also revere and act as stewards and defenders of the so-called power of "mana". Essentially, the fresh souls of newly born beings are carried into the world through a network of "mana streams", which trickle outward from "nodes" where mana energy enters the world. Imagine these nods as springs, and mana streams as rivers that crisscross the planet, delivering the newly arrived life forces of all intelligent and unintelligent life. When a being dies, its life force re-enters the stream and trickles to the next mana node, where it exits the world and goes on to what ever fate awaits it (not even the druids agree). However, this "positive mana" is, in arcane terms, exactly the same thing as the general "positive energy" used so often by divine casters, while the energy that outgoing, dead life forces are composed of is also known as negative energy. So, essentially, while they're the same thing, positive/negative mana/energies are known respectively by clerics and druids to fulfill wildly different functions, with each group showing rather little understanding of how this works for the other. Also, the various types of fey protect and maintain mana nodes in different terrains dependent on the type. Most nodes are marked with an appropriate natural feature tied to the appropriate type of fey. For example, a huge ancient tree that functions as a mana node would be protected by a dryad, whereas a nymph would guard one that's in the form of a pool or pond.

I do halfway wanna explain the one custom quasi-deity I threw in, but it would require some semi-off-topic cosmological explainations that most probably wouldn't wanna bother with.

Nyrath
2005-08-07, 10:44 AM
I'll probably post my pantheon over several posts as it gets a bit complicated. I have to include a lot of history to explain how the gods became the way they are. Interestingly this used as part of school project/course.

Firstly there's the overdeity, Tashara. A few of her titles are the world mother, lady of the forests, queen of the heavens, and mother of all peoples. As I made her she was an incredibly powerful magic user (I haven't really decided what type but not cleric) who basicly became bored and wondered what to do with her immense lifespan. She had originally been an adventurer who over the years remained younger than her fellows and watched them all slowly die of age. Using the genesis spell she created a demiplane which slowly grew in size. When the plane had become around 10 miles in diameter (quite alot as the spells demiplane grows at a rate of 1 foot every day, and you have to spend a week casting the spell every now and then in order to keep it growing) she had researched an epic spell for creating her own species, as she cast it by herself it took quite some time to create a viable population. These were the Tabari who were her chosen people. They began to worship her as a goddess as she had created them. She did thus gained divinity. Fast forwarding a few thousand years and the first other divinity gains entry (as a character with triple number lvls she could make sure that she wasn't unduly bothered). This was Corellion from the phb, barred from simply gateing in the elves he creates them anew, and as the forests are occupied sets them on the fertile floodplains.

And that's it for now, more comeing later.

amanodel
2005-08-07, 11:41 AM
Whoa, those are nice solutions to the whole bad DnD pantheons.
My personal favorites are the ones of Fhaloan, Ghostrunner, Venatius and Krilia. That thing that the gods dont have alignments, only the worshippers, is very good. I'm just going to steal it :)

I'm a mad creator type dm, i usually come up with new world and systems, and the mystical part of the world-creating is always the hardest.

In my campaigns i use either a number of elementals as deities, or use my special let-everything-to-be system.
The later consist of one ubergod, whose power can be reached through demigods. I usually make this demigods the starts, and they live on the other plane (i only work with two planes, the material and astral, where dead live.) These demigods were created from legendarely powerful mortals by the ubergod. It doesnt really solves the problem of the deity of "tightening-my-bracers-on-my-left-hand-smiling", just clarifies the system. I allow my players to use any deity he/she ever heard of, or create one for themselves.

Krilia
2005-08-07, 01:42 PM
One of the other interesting things with the Arcanis pantheon (in contrast to the one I actually helped with, the elemental one), is that each god has servants called Valinor, and each Valinor represents an aspect of them, like we've seen the Pride of Illir, the Mercy of Neroth, the Wrath of Hurrian. And when one of these valinor are destroyed... the god ceases to have that quality.

I'm going to do the broken record thing and recommend the Codex Arcanis and Player's Guide to Arcanis. Coming out at Gencon is the Magic of Onara to go with them... over 100 feats for casters. :O

Millikin_Erreene
2005-08-07, 05:38 PM
Fonkin:

Question: In a pantheonistic religion, would a temple, even if dedicated or sponsored by one god, still have side shrines or alters to other gods as well? *Or would that be goofy as well? *It makes sense to me, but I as I stated before, I have some gaps in my knowledge.



Yes. Delphi, considered a holy city, was declared an independant city-state in Greece and primarily dedicated to Apollo but also contained a temple to Athena and a sanctuary dedicated to Dionysus as well as several shrines and idols dedicated to Gaia, Ares, Aphrodite and several other gods in the Greek pantheon. The only time it's a problem is when someone who worships multiple entities tries to set up a shrine or altar in a monotheistic culture's temple.


-- Millikin

amanodel
2005-08-08, 01:35 PM
As i recall from my memory ancient greece and rome went that way:
They dedicated temples to every God, and common folk must (or at least expected) to worship all the Gods. If someone not worshipped Venus, it was risky that a bad time will come in his/her romantic life. But the priests were dedicated to a single God only, for example the virgins of Vesta, or the drunkards of Dyonusos.
And sometimes cities were dedicated to a single god (Delphi to apollo, Athens to pallas athene), these cities had temples of any other deity.

fonkin
2005-08-08, 03:25 PM
Fonkin:

Question: In a pantheonistic religion, would a temple, even if dedicated or sponsored by one god, still have side shrines or alters to other gods as well? *Or would that be goofy as well? *It makes sense to me, but I as I stated before, I have some gaps in my knowledge.



Short answer; yes. As long as the proper heirarchy is maintained it's acceptable in most pantheons to have shrines to other subordinate or related deities within the temple. Nowhere is this more true than in Hindu religion, where you not only have shrines to the deity as well as the deity's affiliates, there are avatars and sometimes localized spirits or servants of the god in question. And of course, there is always a shrine to Ganesh, the "smoother of the way" whom it is proper to propitiate any time you appeal to the gods.

Leperflesh
2005-08-08, 07:03 PM
In my campaign, I am using the default PHB pantheon, with some tweaks and changes (for example, I've completely thrown out 'St. Cuthbert'... maybe I just disliked his name. 'Saint' is a Catholic concept, and it implies a lot about the operation of some kind of church, which is not specified by the rules.)

But to address Eric_The_Mad's issues: in my world, there is a pantheon, sure. People tend to have a 'favorite' god, but I allow anyone to have two favorites instead, or to be fairly "agnostic" and just give every god his or her due.

Importantly, clerics definitely select 1 specific god whom they revere. That is the god that grants them their spells, and they are required as part of that to devote themselves to the ideals and teachings and wisdom associated with that God, and His or Her various aspects, rituals, rites, expectations, etc.

But there are lots of non-Clerics (people who do not hold levels in Cleric) who are also members of faiths. For one, I have non-Cleric Priests... people who revere or proselytize for one specific God, but who (for whatever reason) do not manifest clerical magic. Perhaps their WIS isn't high enough, or perhaps they've never gained a level of Cleric (they might well have several levels of Commoner, Expert, or whatever).

In small villages, laypeople fulfull the role of 'deacon' for various gods. If you are lucky enough to have an actual Cleric for a given God in your village, great! You'll get access to healing and magic, which is a major boon for your community. In fact small villages might well devote a lot of effort into attracting a full-fledged Clerical priest to the area, and would count the death or loss of a local Cleric as an enormous loss.

But Uncle Frabble might well perform the Rites to Ehlonna at the shrine out back of Gobber's barn, in absence of an actual priest or cleric of Ehlonna. Uncle Frabble might well also lead a prayer to Pelor when circumstances call for it. In fact virtually every villager of any piety would know prayers, incantations, and rituals for several Gods, and anyone can say a basic prayer to any God when the situation warrants it. Someone in profound need of assistance from a specific God might well undertake to travel to the nearest town or location where a full-fledged Priest or Cleric of that faith can be found, though.

If you have a God of the Harvest, perhaps his Clerics live in a large town and travel about to all of the local Villages, granting blessings on the fields and farms in every hamlet... and gathering tiny donations on his way from the poor peons.

So whether you use the default pantheon, or make up your own, I think playing things this way should allieve your concerns at least to some extent. Non-Cleric or Druid or Paladin PCs should be free to select several gods they like, if they want to. I tell my players that the main purpose for choosing 1 specific God above all the others to revere, is that this is a choice of what the character desires to happen to him or her when they die... in other words, they are choosing where they want their immortal Soul to wind up. (whether it actually gets there or not may depend on a number of factors, including their faithfulness, what rules the God in question might have for admission, alignment changes, and/or entrapment or consumption of their soul by some baddie). Those who select an animism or 'ideal' to live by probably still wind up on a similarly-aligned plane when they die... or perhaps they get Reincarnated, if they are druidically-inclined or particularly close to nature (or whatever). I deliberatly leave the answers to these questions as somewhat vague, on the basis that there is significant disagreement in the campaign world and therefore the answers are somewhat a matter of faith.

So, to recap: Clerics (and paladins) MUST choose no more than 1 God to worship (or 0 gods if they select a 'guiding philosophy'... even though probably a closely-aligned God is the source of such Cleric's powers). Normal people can choose multiple Gods (or 'All Gods') to worship... and almost everyone is willing to cast a prayer, benediction, or thanks to any god percieved to have helped them or to potentially be able to provide help or aid. Most people avoid pissing off any God, and even the most devout and exclusive follower of Pelor would be shocked by someone blatantly cursing any God, on the obvious basis that they're asking for serious trouble. Good-aligned people avoid attracting the attention of (percieved-to-be) Evil-aligned Gods, and vice-versa, on the same basis.

-Lep

idksocrates
2005-08-08, 11:43 PM
Me and Tokara's cosmology is very intricatly entwined with the religion. The material plane is within a plane called Gaia, which includes the elemental planes and has aspects of the ethereal plane. Surrounding GAia are the Alignment planes - 9 of them, devoted to each main alignment. everything floats in the two energy planes, Lumos and Solace (and where the two planes meet and cancel each other out, Metros).

The main goddess of our setting is Maindura, goddess of Neutrality - life, death, and the road in between.

Subbordinate to her are the 5 lesser Gods, Olindolash (Chaos, luck), Golindor (Law, Justice), Tanali (Good, Light), Alansea (Evil, undead), and Othos (Gaia).

Other important gods are Kivarus (knowledge, valor), Rhea (Freedom), Ulgnish (Civil Unrest, destruction), Domantor (Tyrrany, Bondage), Anara (Compassion), Nehanti (Seduction, pain), Zelenius (Rebellion), Yeserina (Nationalism), and Therosi (Knowledge, Arcane magic).
There are also the four elemental dieties, Corona (fire, skill), Aurora (air, carelessness), Titanus (Earth, strenght), and Belaqua (water, travel).

There exist minor and tribal dieties of minor importance.

As it stands now, the gods were created by an uber diety and are commissioned with the maintenence of the world. Each god's job is to bath the material realm in their alignment through influence. There is no ill will between dieties - its just the way things are. Clerics can worship a god, an alinemnt, or the entire pantheon (effectively patrolling to keep the "Balance").

Saragos
2005-08-08, 11:47 PM
When I create a world, I tend to work from the outside in, first designing a pantheon, then working my way down. That being said, the pantheon in my current home brew setting I think is quite interesting.
It starts with the concept that the home plane/dimension/world of the gods is slowly dying, and they don't know why. Some force is eating it away, and they are powerless to stop it. Unfortunately, these gods are no longer powerful enough individually to create anything, thus they(there are 15 of them) combine their efforts to create an avatar, a being they will send across the cosmos to create/find a new home for them.
Well, three of the gods don't actually contribute to the effort of creating the avatar; they withhold their power while making it seem as if they did not. When this is discovered, two of them are banished from the pantheon. The third, N'Tailye by name, convinces the others that he was tricked, duped, and coerced by the other two, the brothers Marduk and Jhelor. Well, these two beings known to be rather tricksome, the pantheon agrees to let him stay, but they keep an eye on him.
So, Marduk and Jhelor wander the cosmos for a while, looking for a new home, when lo and behold, they stumble across, you guess it, the planet the avatar created. They quickly take it over, kill the avatar, and begin building their powerbases.
Now, the rest of the pantheon, while waiting for news from the avatar, realizes it's probably not going to return, and go out to find it. They quickly stumble across the planet, now being ruled by Marduk and Jhelor. Well, not being ones to forgive, the rest of the pantheon moves the remainder of their followers to the new planet, and a cosmic war ensues.
N'Tailye quickly joins forces again with Marduk and Jhelor, seeing that they, having not expended their energy in the original creation of the avatar, have the upper hand. The battle soon turns into one of the good gods vs Marduk, Jhelor, and N'Tailye, while the other 2 evil gods and the 4 neutrals watch, trying to see who will win.
At one point in the battle, Astonril(good, law, and honor) lets loose a spell that instantly slaughters the followers of N'Tailye. The backlash from this causes N'Tailye to go insance, and he responds with a blast that tears away half of Astonril's face. He then turns and begins blasting at the gods on the sidelines, and it seems as if his power has grown by leaps and bounds, as if whatever happened has released some sort of energy inside him. Well, the rest of the gods quickly see that he has to be taken down before he destroys them, so they briefly unite, bind him, and cast him down to a hidden place beneath the surface and in another dimension.
Now, the rest of the gods are pretty peeved, so the fighting resumes, but now everyone is in on it. Keep in mind that the followers of these gods are on this brand new planet, and the world, the very fabric of the cosmos, is being rocked by the forces the gods are unleashing. It is not until Moranban, neutral god of Justice, returns and stops the fighting with a single word "ENOUGH" that they finally do stop, and agree to no longer fight their battles in such overt ways. Their battles will be fought through their mortal followers on the new world.

Now, much of the rest of the world's history is shaped by these gods, and all of that would be too much for this post. I'll give you a list of their names and main areas, though. (M or F in front of their names is male or female)

(M)Marduk: Evil, Death, War
(M)Senrg: Evil, Race(Orc), Destruction
(M)N'Tailye: Evil, Insanity, Chaos
(M)Seudarian: Evil, Hate
(F)Ralisheven: Evil, Law, Fear

Neutral
(M)Moranban: Neutrality, Justice
(M)Ler'ust'eant: Neutrality, Race(elf), Nature
(F)Worhom: Neutrality, Travel, Trickery
(M)Jhelor: Death, Neutrality, Fate
(M)Angtasther: Neutrality, Magic, Wisdom

Good
(F)Kimvesi: Good, Love, Music
(M)Astonril: Good, Law, Honor
(F)Idara: Good, Strength, Weather
(F)Perdra: Good, Peace, Healing
(M)Emden: Good, Chaos, Rebellion

Raskannu
2005-08-09, 06:30 PM
Hi, I'm back. *First, the name of this thread has been changed, but you can still make the diet jokes. *Second, I here present a god from one of my own Pantheons(the Table of Thirteen):

Name: Hazorn
Titles: The Chromatic Lord, Draconic Warlord
Usual Cleric Alignments: Any Evil
Domains: Dragon, War, Evil
Favored Weapon: Whip
Discription: Hazorn is usually depicted as a Half-Dragon of all five Chromatic colours. *His true form, however, is that of a Yuan-Ti Anathema with 15 Draconic heads; three Red, three Green, three Blue, three White, and three Black.

Caelestion
2005-08-10, 05:00 AM
He really isn't trying to outdo Tiamat, now is he? :)
Interesting idea, not revealing the gods' alignments, but only those of their followers.

Cael.

Raskannu
2005-08-17, 10:14 PM
Okay, well, here are two more deitys, one from the Table of thirteen, and one from my other pantheon, the Seven Knights. Also, I am very sorry for spamming, I just don't want this thread to become dead

Name:Kralethii
Title(s):The lord of Nightmares
Domains:Chaos, Evil
Usual worshiper alighnment(s):CN
Favored Weapon:Dagger
Symbol:A Lightning bolt separating the night sky
Description:Kralethii is sometimes said to be the darker aspect of Okyoro(see below). The form of the lord of nightmares' form, of course, looks different to everyone that sees it, because he takes the shape of their greatest nightmares.

Name:Okyoro
Title(s):The Dreamcaster, The Forager of Dreams
Domains:Chaos, Good
Usual worshiper alighnments:LN
Favored Weapon:Hammer
Symbol:A blasing sun in the middle of the night sky
Description:Okyoro is the leader of the Seven knights, and said to have created the world in a dream. His form is that of a dark elf with blazing yellow eyes and blond hair holding a silver hammer.

idksocrates
2005-08-17, 10:30 PM
One of my personal favorite dieties from me and Tokara's pantheon:

Name:Nehanti

Domains:Pain, Charm, Trickery Usual worshiper alighnments: any (mostly evil)
Favored Weapon:Scourge or Whip
Symbol:Black Rose
Description: Goddess of torture, manipulation, seduction. She encourages her followers to bring pain and suffering to all. She also encourages self-help by manipulation and seduction - these things should be the primary means by which self-advancement occur (usually followed by torture of those used).

Nehanti is often pictured as an extremely attractive but very dark demon (succubus/erynes), but she often takes other forms when interfering in the material realm.

mcc
2005-08-17, 10:46 PM
Something I really want to do someday is make a Libertarian cleric.

She would wear a turtleneck sweater, and go around trying to get everyone to read the her ancient tome of power, called Atlas Shrugged. Her deity would be the Invisible Hand of the Market, which she would summon to do her bidding.

The character's alignment would be "good"-- just "good"-- because she would decry "lawful" vs "unlawful" to be a false dichotomy created by statists

Venatius
2005-08-18, 03:04 AM
Something I really want to do someday is make a Libertarian cleric.

She would wear a turtleneck sweater, and go around trying to get everyone to read the her ancient tome of power, called Atlas Shrugged. Her deity would be the Invisible Hand of the Market, which she would summon to do her bidding.

The character's alignment would be "good"-- just "good"-- because she would decry "lawful" vs "unlawful" to be a false dichotomy created by statists

I think I would be required to create an Ur-Priest and believe in her religion purely so he could commit heresy against it.

mcc
2005-08-18, 03:19 AM
I think I would be required to create an Ur-Priest and believe in her religion purely so he could commit heresy against it.
You could go around committing acts of charity and cackling evilly

"Oh no-- it's ALTRUISM!!!"

DarthArminius
2005-08-18, 03:24 AM
Gaeley

Portfolio: Good,Honor,Spiritual Light, Physical Light, Love, The Sun, Order, White Magic, Deathlesness

Domains: Good, Glory, Sun, Magic, Law, Deathlesness, War

DvR: 20

Most powerful of the Young Gods. Gaeley has created the winglings, light elves, and humans. He brought a group of Shinto, Bushido, and Confucian like philosophies to the world. He is Pure Good, and is known by many virtuous titles.

Raskannu
2005-08-18, 03:22 PM
Okay, these are some really good deities I'm seeing. Any way, Temple of Thirteen #3 and the second Knight:

Name:Litorna
Title(s):The Destroyer, The Warlord
Domains:Evil, Chaos, Destruction
Usual Cleric Alignment(s):CE
Symbol:A bolt of lightning in a black hand.
Description:Litorna is the main reason that the world was not made perfect. In fact, if not for Kralethii, Litorna would be head of the Table of Thirteen. Litorna's form is that of a Pit Feind wearing a Pitch Black cloak.

Name:Urekii
Title(s):The Reaper
Domains:Judgment(is that a domain? I forgret.), Death
Usual Cleric Alignment(s):NG, N, LN
Symbol:A scythe with a teardrop on the end of the blade
Description:Urekii is god of Death, basically, the First Horseman of the Apocolypse in the form of a Dark Elf.

McDeath
2005-08-18, 05:12 PM
Terafaria, Lady of Mirrors
She is the goddess of water and ice, followed by many healers of great renown.

Her priests and acolytes can contact her in any reflective surface, and more powerful ones can step between them.