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    MindFlayer

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    Default My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Part of my ongoing series on the mythology of my world, where my goal was to take "classic" D&D gods and remake them into more complete religious ideologies people might actually want to worship. (See Wee Jas, Nerull, Corellon Larethian, Olidammara, Lolth, Erythnul, The Deep Ones)

    Also, intended to be readable in any order, and for it to be easy to transplant individual parts into other settings.

    Hextor, the Scourge of Battle

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
    - Richard Grenier, discussing the work of George Orwell (typically misattributed directly to George Orwell)

    "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it..."

    - William T. Sherman

    Expanded Domains: Army, Courage, Deathbound, Destiny, Destruction, Domination, Evil, Fate, Inquisition, Law, Nobility, Pact, Planning, Pride, Protection, Tyranny, War, Wrath
    Portfolio: Knights, Generals, Order, Duty, Enforcement, Discipline, Militaries, Tyrants, Fixers, Leadership, Loyalty, Gladiators, War, Organized Warfare, Feudalism, Soldiers, Law, Patriots (Note that Discord is NOT in his portfolio anymore. Discord is pretty much the opposite of what Hextor wants. That's Erythnul's thing)
    Theme: http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=n...s_-_Dream_Evil, http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=T...uropa_-_Globus

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 10:
    Hextor, the Scourge of Battle, is the ruthlessly competent general of generals, and often leads armies on behalf of the other gods. He's usually pretty reliable at cleaning up cosmic problems for Moradin and Corellon. Hextor occasionally oversteps his bounds, but hasn't lost his job over it.

    Hextor cares about order and control, and is the patron of soldiers. He tends to be frustrated and impatient with civilians, who he feels should just step into line and let the real men do their jobs. He values decorum, and though he is harsh and decisive he presents himself as a gentleman officer. He is highly results-driven, and does not shy away from cruelty if he feels it's necessary to get the job done right.

    Hextor is the son of Jehenna and Nerull, and brother of Heironeous, as order and justice are born from vengeance and death. They have quite the sibling rivalry.

    In art, Hextor is typically depicted in full armor or ceremonial military regalia, and his face is always concealed. His symbol is the shape of a flag itself (or an iron gauntlet grasping a banner), reminding us that every standard is raised on the back of Hextor. Ceremonial armors of clerics of Hextor are often adorned in flowing flags and pennons.

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 15:
    The other gods generally don't really like Hextor. They respect his competence and skill, and often consider his work a necessary evil, but resent or fear him for it just the same (kinda like Ares' relationship with the other gods in Greek mythology). Hextor is aware of the things they say about him behind his back, but does their dirty work for them anyways. After all, someone has to do it, or everything would fall apart.

    According to his followers, the world is a harsh and unforgiving place, where rosy-eyed idealism is ineffective at dealing with the problems facing the world. Hextor, they say, does not shy away from the cruelty of warfare, for to deny the cruelty of warfare is to simply be in denial. Cruelty and mercilessness are necessary tools, for people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. Strength is required to forge order from chaos. Law is meaningless without force to back its decrees. Hard men who can make tough decisions are needed to make a world worth living in, and those men deserve respect, for it is they who make the land safe for (insert your favored form of government here). Liberty cannot be had without security.

    For them, order and the chain of command are sacred, and violating the law is to be met with swift and harsh retribution. War is not pleasurable, so much as it is a necessary evil to be carried out in service of a great good. Formality and decorum are held in high esteem by the followers of Hextor. One should maintain a courteous and dignified bearing, especially towards members of the opposite sex. One should always keep their word of honor, for oaths are the foundation of knighthood. Undue collateral damage is to be avoided, for while destruction is a necessary aspect of war, it is not its purpose. Surrender should be graciously accepted. Worthy foes are to be respected. Officers are expected to discipline their minions harshly if they act out of line with any of these ideals or defy the chain of command. Beyond this, followers of Hextor tend to have few qualms about methods used in war. Cruelty, necromancy, poison, ambush, binding demons, torture for information, forced labor, decimation, and the like are all pretty much okay with many Hextorans. Just make sure to maintain your good manners and aplomb. You're not a savage, after all.

    One of the more unique yet consistent provisions of Hextoran dogma is that captured foes are not to be summarily executed, but may be placed in tests of their worthiness that will almost certainly kill them, so long as it's conceivable that a person of sufficient character might survive. This can be carried out in ways ranging from trials (at the end of which one charged guilty may be executed) to gladiatorial arenas to elaborate Bond-villain-like deathtraps.

    This doesn't apply to your own minions. For example, a guard who falls asleep on duty or abandons their post may be stoned or beaten by their comrades whom they endangered, the result of which is often death (basically, exactly like the Roman punishment for the same act. Actually, Roman military punishments and honors are great inspiration for Hextor in general. Go nuts). In Hextoran ideology, you give up some of your rights by consenting to become part of the military, hence things like court martials often being separate from civilian courts.

    Long ago, Heironeous and Hextor worked side by side, and Hextor was very protective of his younger brother. Heironeous grew resentful of Hextor's methods, and eventually declared war on his own brother, accusing him of twisting and corrupting what it meant to be a knight. When Heironeous's host lay in ruin and the Archpaladin himself lay bested in battle, Hextor found that Heironeous's armor of honor and oaths proved to be impenetrable. In frustration, Hextor tore off Heironeous's wing and cast him down to the material plane in mortal form. There, he performed his Labors, and eventually returned to the heavens.

    It is Hextor who lead the divine war against the old god of fire who preceded Joramy. He is also tasked with stamping out the chaos caused by Erythnul, or opposing enemies of the pantheon such as Gruumsh and Lolth.

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 20:
    Hextor is sometimes criticized as the Champion of Evil, for what is mass organized warfare if not the face of the greatest evil itself? However, some followers of Hextor own this title, as Hextor himself does in some myths. What is a soldier, they say, if not those to whom the necessary duty of evil falls? There is no order without force, and it is the soldier's evil that makes it possible to build and enforce an empire of good. After all, your country was probably built and maintained by soldiers committing cruelties on your behalf, and your country is good... isn't it?

    For many adherents of Hextor, formality, beauty, and law are the essence of our humanity, the very things that separate us from beasts. It demonstrates that the demands of duty and the bloodlust of war cannot encroach upon their souls.

    Many sects have it that Heironeous is good, but emerges only after the victory, representing the Empire of Good. Hextor is the "necessary evil" aspect which does the required dirty work to build and maintain the empire for the benefit of its citizens. For Heironeous to don a crown, Hextor must first raise a flag. The two are stuck with each other... and Heironeous regrets this side of himself and tries to purge himself of the darker side of his brand of Law and Justice. Cultures with this view may have clerics of Hextor and Heironeous working side by side, though tensions sometimes run high. Indeed, at least one such society even has a system of tyrants of Hextor that take emergency powers during crises, and are expected to turn over power to the priests of Heironeous when the crisis ends.

    Some other cultures say that Heironeous is the patron of righteous war and Hextor the patron of foul war. One is the face of the enemy, the other the face of the ally. This can even result in conflicts where both sides believe they are paying homage to the righteous war face, and that the other side is really paying homage to the foul war face. Cultures with this view are careful to conceal worship of Hextor from the warriors of Heironeous.

    Hextor defended the pantheon from his father Nerull during the Age of Winter, at terrible cost to himself, his realm, and his forces. His army was knitted back together after each encounter with Death by Jehenna, but Hextor lost something precious each time, for Jehenna's rites demanded a sacrifice. Hextor never appears without armor or some similar covering, because he has been horribly scarred by death itself. A holy book called "The 500 Scars" describes his long vigil.

    After Lolth's betrayal, Hextor was charged with the task of keeping fate on the rails in the absence of its Weaver, and tacitly allowed to go to whatever lengths necessary to do so. He can't actually subtly weave fate the way Lolth could, but he can force order upon things.

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 25:
    Hextor's churches tend to take issue with pacifistic tribal cultures, or any society that is able to function without the threat of force. These examples either aren't acknowledged at all, are argued to only exist as parasites allowed to exist in the shadow of violent societies, or are dismissed as insignificant or wretched compared to the greatness of the civilized world. The mere idea that a peaceful society can function sustainably without violence is often considered a naive heresy by Hextor's followers. Some priests of Hextor have even been known to go so far as to launch crusades to punish pacifist movements that they claim would leave the country vulnerable. (Basically Hextor hates hippies)

    Hextor is highly resourceful, and it is said that he collects unique weapons or assets of great power from throughout the multiverse in preparation for whatever great task may lie ahead of him. His legendary Arsenal is said to contain many great secrets. Things coming from the Arsenal of Hextor play a key role in a number of myths, as do stories of procuring something for the Arsenal.

    Hextor directly engages and opposes Erythnul, using an iron fist to stamp out chaos. Upon Erythnul's birth, Hextor's reaction is recorded in the Estherian Odyssey as "It has a name now."

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 30:
    Some scholars maintain that Heironeous and Hextor may be two faces of the same deeply conflicted being, citing as evidence sources like the letters of Bishop Wymond, in which the bishop assuaged a distraught correspondent's concerns about a change in the voice of the godhead that answered their templars' prayers for guidance (divinations) following the Auran Campaign (after which many templars declared themselves unfit to return to their temples due to what they had to do to uphold their deity's vows to Corellon). The bishop is far from explicit in these letters, however, and his words can be interpreted many ways.

    When read in its original Iosan, the 500 Scars can be interpreted as showing Hextor talking to his sword (which is referred to by an Iosan word that can mean something similar to "Tsukumogami"), referring to it as "little brother," and making no mention of Heironeous. Also, it suggests that whenever dire times required Hextor to put his feeling aside for the sake of the job, he placed his feelings within his sword. This is usually interpreted as metaphorical...

    Organization: The Quartermasters


    The Quartermasters are a secretive government organization charged with procuring artifacts for the state's arsenal, be it by dredging them up from forgotten ruins or by covertly liberating them from other kingdoms. They follow Hextor's example of endless preparation, ever stocking his own Arsenal so that he may be ready for the next challenge that awaits the pantheon. They are an elite team of thieves and explorers, adept at spiriting away objects of power from amidst seemingly impenetrable defenses with elaborate heists.

    While many patriots serve the Quartermasters, the very best thieves often come from unlawful corners. As such, many agents of the Quartermasters are not entirely voluntary members. Particularly talented criminal adventurers may find themselves given a choice between execution or service to the Quartermasters. Should they choose the latter, their flesh is engraved with the Mark of Dust—effectively a modified Mark of Justice which can be remotely activated to discipline or slay the bearer—and given a chance to redeem themselves in the service of their country. The organization's leadership takes pride in turning chaos to serve order.

    The Mark of Dust represents what all ruins eventually become. As the Mark is actually a magic item sewn into a person's flesh, it is more difficult to remove than a conventional Mark of Justice curse. Moreover, a failed attempt to remove the curse may have sudden and violent repercussions.

    While acquisition is the primary (and most publicly acknowledged) job of the Quartermasters, they sometimes receive other kinds of assignments as well, such as sabotage, exfiltration, or suicide missions.

    Code of Conduct: Paladins of Hextor

    "It is our duty to be the means, and yours to be the end that justifies us."
    - Ser Malak Eisenwald, addressing his new king.

    This code of conduct applies to those who would call themselves paladins of the faith, not just any follower of Hextor.

    - Maintain discipline and decorum. Good manners and aplomb separate us from the beasts, so don't be indecorous.

    - Always keep your word. Hextoran oaths must be stronger than steel, and your loyalties unswerving.

    - Your duty always comes first, and you will sacrifice anything to do your duty if it comes to it.

    - Accept the surrender of defeated foes. They are not to be summarily executed. You may, however, place them in tests of their worthiness that are almost certain to kill them, so long as it's conceivable that a person of sufficient character might survive. This rule does not apply to your own minions, who may be disciplined as you see fit.

    - Respect the chain of command, and enforce order and discipline within the ranks of your minions.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    I don't mean to keep going on about this, but crediting artists is a common courtesy.

    Hector, Scourge of Battle: robotic Knight by roboto-kun, source: deviantart
    Quartermaster: Thief by Jason TN, source: deviantart
    Paladin of Hector: Old Man (concept art for Kingdom under Fire 2) by Sungryun Park, source: artstation
    I admit full culpability for Phyrnglsnyx

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Rift_Wolf View Post
    I don't mean to keep going on about this
    It's already credited.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Ah. My bad. Was expecting the link under the image, not embedded.
    I retract my previous statement.
    I admit full culpability for Phyrnglsnyx

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Rift_Wolf View Post
    Ah. My bad. Was expecting the link under the image, not embedded.
    I retract my previous statement.
    If I did that I couldn't put quotes right under them

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    I like it. Interesting idea with Hextor and Heronius being to sides of the same individual.

    An idea for Heronius could be that he is the God of the Watch. As his brother sponsors soldiers, he sponsors the police. It could be an interesting divide in their ideology. In the initial war, their goals would have been one and the same in keeping order, but after the dust settled, they would have very divergent philosophies.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I like it. Interesting idea with Hextor and Heronius being to sides of the same individual.

    An idea for Heronius could be that he is the God of the Watch. As his brother sponsors soldiers, he sponsors the police. It could be an interesting divide in their ideology. In the initial war, their goals would have been one and the same in keeping order, but after the dust settled, they would have very divergent philosophies.
    It's funny you say that, because I was already planning on taking things in that general direction! Heironeous covers things like lawyers, judges, paladins, knights errant, mercy, chivalry, honor, oaths, justice, valor, penance, punishment, redemption, and yes, watchmen.

    Also, a lawyer of Heironeous vs an officer of Hextor:



    Colonel Jessep's whole speech was too long to use as a quote, though

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Is your general plan for the pantheon being that the gods are objectively ranked on the Law-Chaos axis, with it being subjective on where they sit on the Good-Evil axis?

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Is your general plan for the pantheon being that the gods are objectively ranked on the Law-Chaos axis, with it being subjective on where they sit on the Good-Evil axis?
    Oh boy, alignment. There are like 10 different ways I could answer that question. Some of those answers would be short, but they wouldn't be complete.

    Anyways, pick your poison:

    Spoiler: Short & Simple Answer
    Show

    One possibility is that Corellon and Moradin decide who's Good, and that Chaos means "more like Corellon" and Law means "more like Moradin." Some may even theorize that there was a third setting on that axis for Gruumsh before he got kicked out. Anyways, this of course means that folks like Gruumsh and Lolth get hit with the Evil tags, because Corellon doesn't like them. In fact, this theory is consistent with all of the original canon alignments for every deity included in this pantheon. It also explains the alignments found in the Monster Manual, right down to mindless undead being Evil (I'll talk about that more in Pelor's entry, probably).

    Whether you agree with Corellon and Moradin is up to you.


    Spoiler: Long, Analytical Answer
    Show

    So, as one may have noticed from my fluff writeups, I tend to like to work things out from an in-world perspective. I don't clearly state what god thinks so much as what people in the world think about god. After all, even if the gods are real, it's not like everyone's met them (unless you have a setting like Terry Pratchett's Discworld where the gods will come and mess up your lawn if you don't acknowledge them). So, with alignment, I don't want to just say what it is as an omniscient narrator; I want to take a look at how the in-world understanding of Sacred, Profane, Axiomatic, and Anarchic forces came about.

    One thing that bothers me about alignment is that in some settings, it gives some people the fallacious idea that since alignment is an objective, physical thing and can be measured, morality is therefore easily measured by detect alignment spells. They miss the very large leap of faith there and mistake it for logic. They confuse the test for the event. (For those who don't get the linked joke, the Frequentist is failing horribly at math in a way that is non-obvious to a layman, but very obvious to anyone who understands Bayes Theorem)

    Why is this idea faulty? Well, let's think through it. In a hypothetical fantasy world, you have force A and anti-A, B and anti-B, creating two axes. These forces can be found in pretty much all animate things. You have developed a test for the presence of force A/anti-A/B/anti-B in creatures, and observe that creatures with different force readings tend to correlate with different personality types or behaviors or whatever (but also that some things that don't have any personalities at all register alignments, too). Remember that correlation does not necessarily mean causation, and certainly not equivalence. Also note that nothing in this hypothetical process is unique to a fantasy world: We have fairly reliable tests for various physical traits which correlate to behaviors and personality types in real life, too... as well as people jumping to wrong conclusions about what we can infer from said tests.

    So, maybe you decide to name these forces... Good and Evil, Law and Chaos. At some point, somebody in-world had to name the forces. But is that person right to name those forces Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos? Even if the gods said it, I'm not aware of any D&D setting where gods are immune to being wrong. Even if the gods created said forces, builders can have incorrect beliefs about the things they build (like a programmer declaring that their software is bug-free), or even just lie. The titles of the forces are necessarily a cultural affectation. There is no logical reason to assume that Good = good, and as such all of the inferences about morality based on that assumption are logically unsound.

    The meaning and function of the forces can only be derived from empirical evidence, and empirical evidence gives us some conflicting data that falsifies several popular hypotheses. For instance, data about mindless creatures getting aligned pings would falsify the notion that alignment is determined only by the nature of a creature's personality, because those creatures do not have personalities and therefore some factor independent of that must be to blame for the reading. All too often, alignment is merely an Informed Attribute, where the audience is asked to simply accept the author's judgment rather than actually see for themselves a person's nature.

    This is further aggravated by the fact that the books occasionally like to pretend that they're offering coherent, objective standards by which you can evaluate what a Good, Lawful, Chaotic, or Evil act/person/whatever is. In truth, the explanations given tend to be vague and often contradictory (for example, I remember the same act being given as an example of why someone is Chaotic and as an example of why someone is Lawful... in the same book). The material is sufficiently vague that you can argue for almost any act being almost any alignment while quoting references straight from the books, which is why you get threads asking questions like "what alignment is this?" returning several different alignments as answers (sometimes all 9!).

    So, there can be various theories in-world about what exactly alignments are and what they mean. Some which would fit this world (which each may or may not be appropriate for your own world into which you might want to transplant any of my deities) would be:

    Theory 1) Do the gods even have alignments? Have you met them? I haven't met them. When did you get to cast Detect Evil on Pelor? I think you'd burn up before you got in range, so the Burning Hate theory can neither be confirmed or denied. And in my games, I use the Eberron rule for alignment restrictions (e.g. clerics do not have to be within one step of their deity).

    Theory 2) Corellon and Moradin decide who's Good, and that Chaos means "more like Corellon" and Law means "more like Moradin." Some may even theorize that there was a third setting on that axis for Gruumsh before he got kicked out. Anyways, this of course means that folks like Gruumsh and Lolth get hit with the Evil tags. In fact, this theory is consistent with all of the original canon alignments for every deity included in this pantheon.

    Theory 3) Alignments correlate to energy that is present in all animate things. All animate things have Sacred, Profane, Axiomatic, and/or Anarchic energy flowing through them, in some balance or other. These factors aren't morality or personality itself, but they correlate to morality, like taking a polygraph test or reading humors or hormone tests. So, you can fairly reasonably associate certain personality traits with certain readings, but the test with 9 outputs simply isn't nuanced enough to give you the really complete picture you'd need for complex moral judgments.

    Theory 4) Theory 2 or 3, plus the notion that the winners get to write history... and thus name the alignments. What's that? Your race pings one way, and your enemy race pings the other way? Well, guess which side you're gonna name Good?

    Theory 5) Alignments actually directly relate to moral absolutes and give you a perfectly accurate read of a person's moral character. This may be a popular theory amongst the general populace, but it falls apart under the scrutiny of academics. For instance, one might question how a Zombie can be Evil if it has literally no capability for decisionmaking. If it does not make moral decisions, how can it be immoral?

    Theory 6) Alignments usually mean one thing, but are sometimes obfuscated by divine meddling, or some other external source. Proponents of Theory 6 would happily point out the way that even a mere mortal can use spells like Undetectable Alignment to thwart the Detect Alignment test. This defense might be used by philosophers defending Theory 5. For instance, they might say that Pelor declared that all the zombies are Evil, and marked them as such with his great magical powers, but that humans are still judged perfectly in terms of their actions.

    Theory 7) Alignments represent a divine accounting of your deeds, independent of intent or personality. So, mindless undead are Evil for all of the reasons that Pelor says that they're harmful for the world. They might not be making any decisions to do those things, but they're causing the environmental damage anyways.

    That's just a sampling of possible explanations and interpretations that in-world philosophers—and cultures—could be fighting over.


    Spoiler: The Alternative to Alignment
    Show

    Alternatively, you can just say "@#$% alignment, it doesn't exist." Here is how you can replace all of the important alignment mechanics in 3.5e!

    The important effects are... lessee... Protection from X, Detect X, and the Word line. If there are any important ones I'm forgetting, lemme know.

    - As Eberron demonstrates, alignment restrictions for acquiring features, generally speaking, can go the way of the dodo without impacting much of anything. Nothing's really gonna change if Monks don't have to be Lawful

    - Protection from X spell could perhaps become reflavored as a sort of "Planar / Possession Ward" spell. It already prevents summoned extraplanar creatures from entering an area, it provides an AC bonus against anything summoned, not native to the caster's plane, undead, clerics, or paladins, and it suppresses outside attempts to control you (compulsions and such). The most important part of PfX is the suppression of compulsions, so it's important to keep that part intact, and that seems to fit with the "possession ward" flavor.

    - Detect X becomes "detect clerics/paladins/blackguards/outsiders/undead/deathless" or more simply "detect aligned auras / aligned energy channeling." Clerics ping as the alignment of their deities, regardless of their own personalities. Paladins / Blackguards / etc all ping as the alignment of their aura. Deathless always ping Good, other undead always ping Evil, Outsiders ping of their respective alignments. Anyone who doesn't have a deity (or has a neutral aligned deity) who can turn undead pings Good, and vice versa for Rebuke Undead.

    - Holy Word / Blasphemy / Dictum / Word of Chaos simply affect all beings not from your plane that don't share your deity's aligned aura. If a balor does it on the material plane, he's hitting everyone except for, say, clerics of Erythnul. This means that monsters like Balors tend to keep their CRs intact but clerics take a tad of a nerf in most campaigns, and I'm okay with that. CoDzilla will survive, I promise.

    - Radiant Charge / Doom Charge / Tide of Chaos / Law Bearer can simply work on any sentient enemies whom you have a specific moral disagreement with (e.g. you must know something, even if it is a minor or generalized detail, about the target. You can't use it on random peasants). Radiant charge may work on undead/evil outsiders, Doom charge may work on Deathless/good outsiders.

    - Smite works on everything. No I don't care that this is a buff, Paladins are a low tier class. Alternatively, use the solution for the aligned charge maneuvers above.

    - Aura of Chaos / Perfect Order / Tyranny / Triumph stances make you ping as if you were a cleric of a god of those alignments. Aura of Triumph simply procs against all targets.


    Enjoy.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    I have to say that your write-ups are an inspiration for me while I work on my own setting's understanding of religion and deities. Heck, if I were a diabolical plagiarist, all I'd need to do to convert your stuff over to 5th edition is to adjust the DC's for the religion checks and WHAM! 5th edition compatibility!

    Honestly though, it is nice to see how much effort you put into renewing a classic D&D pantheon.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    This is very neat. I especially like this paragraph:
    Hextor is sometimes criticized as the Champion of Evil, for what is mass organized warfare if not the face of the greatest evil itself? However, some followers of Hextor own this title, as Hextor himself does in some myths. What is a soldier, they say, if not those to whom the necessary duty of evil falls? There is no order without force, and it is the soldier's evil that makes it possible to build and enforce an empire of good. After all, your country was probably built and maintained by soldiers committing cruelties on your behalf, and your country is good... isn't it?
    Although a second sample organization for this god would also be appreciated.

    And I think I understand your post on alignment, it's definitely not uncommon to have that kind of ambiguous take on whether alignment reflects real morality or not. Really it just depends on what fits best for the setting and the game - some games and some groups would prefer clear, ambiguous morality; others don't.
    Last edited by genderlich; 2015-10-19 at 03:37 PM.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Hextor is the son of Jehenna and Nerull, and brother of Heironeous, as order and justice are born from vengeance and death.
    So this is rad as heck. What's the Heironeous version of this explanation?

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Oh boy, alignment. There are like 10 different ways I could answer that question. Some of those answers would be short, but they wouldn't be complete.

    Anyways, pick your poison:
    Thanks! I was curious at how spell effects would work out in a setting where morality is a bit more shades of grey then absolute. This is more or less the first setting I have seen that actually went in depth into the pantheon, and developed the ambiguity about the various deities.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagda Mor View Post
    So this is rad as heck. What's the Heironeous version of this explanation?
    Hextor Heironeous is the son of Jehenna and Nerull, and brother of Heironeous Hextor, as order and justice are born from vengeance karma and death mercy.

    Jehenna may be the goddess of vengeance, but she also embodies karma. Nerull is the god of death, but he also embodies sympathy and mercy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Pavo
    Although a second sample organization for this god would also be appreciated.
    I may try to come up with one in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by RazDelacroix View Post
    I have to say that your write-ups are an inspiration for me while I work on my own setting's understanding of religion and deities. Heck, if I were a diabolical plagiarist, all I'd need to do to convert your stuff over to 5th edition is to adjust the DC's for the religion checks and WHAM! 5th edition compatibility!

    Honestly though, it is nice to see how much effort you put into renewing a classic D&D pantheon.
    Thanks, I really appreciate that. Anywho, lemme know if you end up using them in your own games. I'd be curious to see your adaptation to 5e.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Thanks! I was curious at how spell effects would work out in a setting where morality is a bit more shades of grey then absolute. This is more or less the first setting I have seen that actually went in depth into the pantheon, and developed the ambiguity about the various deities.
    For the record, I don't believe in shades of grey so much as complexity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Pratchett's Discworld
    “There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example,” said Oats.

    “And what do they think? Against it, are they?” said Granny Weatherwax.

    “It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.”

    “Nope.”

    “Pardon?”

    “There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”

    “It’s a lot more complicated than that—”

    “No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”

    “Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”

    “But they starts with thinking about people as things…”

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Fair enough. One cannot argue with Sir Terry Pratchett or Granny Weatherwax.

    I was more thinking about the logic behind "No one thinks of themselves as Evil" in a world where Detect Evil is a thing. Things like that. I guess my words were not very good at communicating my intent.

    This take on the Panteon to me puts more depth to the campaign setting then would otherwise be there, since it gives a good framework to develop a lot more solid cultures.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Fair enough. One cannot argue with Sir Terry Pratchett or Granny Weatherwax.

    I was more thinking about the logic behind "No one thinks of themselves as Evil" in a world where Detect Evil is a thing.
    Oh yeah. What it comes down to, for me, is that there's really no more logical reason to think that Detect Evil is a perfect test any more than any test in the real world is. I think people just take the author's word for it rather than thinking it through from an in-world perspective.

    Even in a setting like Forgotten Realms, most of those theories I listed could still apply.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    This is reminding me of the conundrum we ended up with in the Crossroad project when trying to figure out how to deal with alignment across different cultures. That was a mess.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    This is reminding me of the conundrum we ended up with in the Crossroad project when trying to figure out how to deal with alignment across different cultures. That was a mess.
    Oh? What happened there?

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    I think we ended up building a Virtue/Vice system for each culture for a the PCs to follow if they were from that culture/ interacting with that culture. The project is currently on hiatus, and it's been a while, so I cannot remember how it got put together in the end. It was a lot of headaches all around though to figure out. Especially when you are communicating almost entirely by text.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I think we ended up building a Virtue/Vice system for each culture for a the PCs to follow if they were from that culture/ interacting with that culture. The project is currently on hiatus, and it's been a while, so I cannot remember how it got put together in the end. It was a lot of headaches all around though to figure out. Especially when you are communicating almost entirely by text.
    That does indeed sound like a mess.

    The key is just dropping the assumption that everyone everywhere agrees that Detect Alignment is a perfect test, and pointing out that somebody actually had to name the axes (and that such names are themselves a cultural affectation). It might be interesting, for instance, to talk about how a different culture labels the axes differently and thinks that they have different implications, even though the mechanics are the same. That, and using the Eberron rule about alignment prereqs helps too.

    Like, maybe one group says it's Anger/Tranquility on one axis and Past/Future-oriented on the other. Totally works without changing any mechanics... just cultural perspectives.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    These guys are already proving useful. Hextor and Erythnul especially for the background culture that a SW character I'm making. Basically he comes from a planet in the Outer Rim where a fleet of Sith and Mandalorians were marooned for a few millennia. The resulting hybrid culture has elements similar to Feudal Japan and something similar to the Night's Watch from GoT, only with Rakghouls instead of undead and necromancer-fey.
    Come check out my setting blog: Ruins of the Forbidden Elder

    Inspired by LudicSavant, I am posting deities: Erebos, The Black Sun

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Dude your religions and in world stuff is awesome. Do you ever plan on doing Wee-Jas or Pelor?
    "All things must end, and you will be among the first."
    I love Ceika <3

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    You've got good reasoning, though the Akastarepti is never the best example.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFireLance View Post
    Dude your religions and in world stuff is awesome. Do you ever plan on doing Wee-Jas or Pelor?
    Wee Jas is here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...the-First-Lich

    I do plan to do Pelor, yes. I'm thinking something along the lines of...

    Spoiler
    Show


    Each of the Kings gave something unto their creation. Corellon gave it a pure white light to illuminate the beauty of creation and nourish its seeds. Moradin forged it a body of gleaming gold that could deflect any corruption. Gruumsh gave it a mighty heart so strong it could pump its energy throughout all of the world, and hung it in the sky.

    Pelor was not born, but made. He was masterfully and meticulously crafted by divine hands, a testament to the great good that the Three Kings can accomplish when they actually work together. He is the great machine that watches over creation, flying through the sky on his mighty Ki-Rin Star Thought, summoning eagles, and destroying evil with the very rays of cleansing light that nourish the land and invigorate life.

    Way back in the Creation War when Pelor was created, his first purpose was actually evaporation, to steal the power of the Deep Ones and cleanse it of corrupting salt.

    It is said that none can stand to look directly upon Pelor unless they are as pure as he.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Wee-Jas was awesome, and I can't wait to see Pelor.

    Do you ever plan to write out the Estherian Odyssey ?
    "All things must end, and you will be among the first."
    I love Ceika <3

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    You've got good reasoning, though the Akastarepti is never the best example.

    Extended Sig

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFireLance View Post
    Do you ever plan to write out the Estherian Odyssey ?
    Nope! Just attribute quotes to it and other pieces of in-world literature that I will probably never actually write.

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    This version of Hextor reminds me of a writeup about Bane (the 4e default setting version, not the Forgotten Realms version, and definitely not the Batman villain) that appeared in either Dungeon or Dragon magazine a while back.

    I definitely like the take on the God of Tyranny being the God in charge of order, discipline, and doing what's necessary to reach your goal rather than being just mustache twirling Bad Boss.

    I also like the complicated nature of his relationship with his shinier sibling. (In general, the relationships between the Gods you write are very intriguing.)

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Hextor

    Very nice take on it all. Hextor has long been one of my favorite deities and is usually exported to my non-GH campaigns. It's hard for people raised in Western Euro culture to gather that in a polytheistic society, Hextor's followers wouldn't be "gunning down in the street," as it were.
    Anthony N. Emmel
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