Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ye Gods! Cosmological Musings on the New Gods

So Far....

Doodling some more mythic timelines in my setting which is always fun and I can always claim any version is just one school of thought and revise again and again. I used to have a very complex mythology in my 90s games which was nice for RPGing and had years of work. In my present era of DnD since 2012 I have been very loosey goosey on the subject often using Babylonian gods mostly as I know them well just change names and reskin. It worked fine for years 
but was rigidly weird and I'm in favour of something simpler and less complex. I don't mind heaps of petty bad guys or lots of irrelevant minor gods but about a dozen main popular gods are enough. These will be for my Shadel Port, Exile Islands, and the Fallen Third Empires Knightlands.

I've always liked the tension in say Gygax games was St Cuthbert vs the Old Religion in Homlet setting up a conflict with druids and clerics. Possibly you could do something like this with a Roman type ancient setting where rural peoples gods might have been different or even druidic. 

Spirits of the Void
These old spirits lived in the void for aeons until some formed elements, then great ancestral dragons and titans appeared. Fish, worms, bugs and amphibians ruled. Many of these spirits gained purpose as the world developed and changed into beasts or land spirits or dragons. 

The Titans
I am making my older pantheon now distant Titans who just don't interact with mortals anymore and their time was over by the time the world was finished and operational. They had a feud over law and chaos at some point which accelerated creation to the start of the Dawn age on the mortal world.

The First Gods
These children of titans revolted from their parents then feuded among each other bringing ruin to the world and inviting in the gods of the outer void and the great darkness.

The Elder Evils
This followed by an age of evil that spawned most of the surviving evil cults we know today. The age of monsters and darkness brought forth a proliferation of horrid gods and demons and things from the elder darkness. Rebel spirits grabbed leftover fragments of creation as territories and became demons. Ancient beings from the primordial darkness or even things from beyond the void came to crawl into the mortal world. Evil elemental cults thrived and waged war but failed and their strange ideologies crushed.

The Ancient Gods
After the darkness and time as we know it began proper, there was an age of worship of new gods helping humanity overcome the old evils. All the modern alignments as we knew them were established by this time. These are the ancient gods and nature worship that has fallen out of vogue in the most advanced kingdoms.  

Since the world recovered from the dark age great nature spirits and heroic rebel ancestors became tribal and city patrons. Some of these gods became related forming extended clans or pantheons who supported empires and acted as any royalty would with scandals and conflict.

The New Gods
In the current modern age with miracles like gunpowder, trade and exploration across the world, printing press many old gods are increasingly irrelevant. The current most popular new gods might just be new avatars of old ones. They freely change their gender, age and cultural effects at will. They can appear simultaneously as male and female or other arrangements with multiple bodies. They are not dedicated to elementals and they may have sects that vary in alignment and behaviour. These gods are under a thousand years old and in some places are normal but in most frontier, wilderness areas they are not. In rural areas, they frown on older cults and sometimes cause them of being evil cults. They are depicted as human mostly with the contemporary noble dress. They are gods for modern occupations and adventurers and less connected to elements or nature than older gods. They are more nebulous and inconsistent in basic appearances when they make an avatar to appear before humans. These gods are still young and fresh and meddling in world affairs and spreading.

Elves, dwarves and others prefer the millions of spirits or thousands of petty gods or ancient gods or titans to the current favourite human gods. Shadelport has over 10 000 registered shrines to various gods. These popular new gods are about 10%.

Will think through some other distinctions of the new gods other ways they differ from older gods. 

d12 Divine Manifestation
1 Appears as natural phenomena like gusts of wind, ripple in a pool, face in cloud
2 Appears as a mundane animal all the better to spy on mortals
3 Appears as a normal person often a child or elderly to spy on mortals
4 Appears magical manifestation such as a spring, rainbow, in stars or statue or artwork
5 Appears in disguise as an attractive well-dressed stranger
6 Appears invisibly but may speak or whisper to someone
7 Appears as an inhuman creature like an abhuman or giant or faerie or dragon
8 Appears in disguise as a stranger but with some signs and clues some might spot
9 Appears as a mysterious humanoid with strange 
partially hidden features 
10 Appear as a deity in form expected for recognition, often glowing and taller
11 Diad of deities (d4 1=twins 2=married 3=parent and child 4=siblings)
12 Triad of deities (d4 1=parents and child 2=siblings 3=child, parent & grandparent 4=parent two children)

A god can show you their terrible true form
If you are mortal your skin and flesh will burn to ash instantly
The god will often snatch your soul

DIY God Decor (roll one or none as you please)
d8 1=baby 2=child 3=youth 4=adult 5=mature 6=middle aged 7=elderly 8=decrepid
d6 1=male 2=female 3=hemaphrodite 4=sexless 5=androgynous 6=enlarged and/or repeated sexual characteristics to absurd supernatural degree
d6 1=halo 2=horns and tail 3=coloured skin 3=3m tall 4=glows 5=wings 6=beastial features
d6 1=weapon 2=tool 3=instrument 4=holy symbol 5=pet 6=herb, flower or fruit
d6 1=attract/repel certain animals 2=booming voice 3=exotic scented vapour 4=flowers bloom/die 5=has fabulous mount or vehicle 6=fabulous servant or pet

Meeting a New God
Make a reaction roll when meeting a God
Clerics and high Charisma help the odds
Doing deeds the god loves or hates can give some modifiers
Angry gods cruelly kill people in a way everyone will remember
Unhappy gods cruelly curse people d4 1=cripple 2=hunted by monsters 3=turned into monster 4=turned into something useless like a rock or a plant or a bug or artwork
Happy Gods may give you a gift d4 1=magic relic 2=magical creature as pet 3=fame and glory 4=a purse with a 2d6 x 1000gp (or better)
Enthralled gods like you too much d4 1=want a lover 2=want a house servant 3=have a mission for you thousands of miles from here more important than anything you were doing 4=want to hang around and help you and make life easy like a wish drunk djinn

d12 The New Gods
1 Slorax - God of Light (Law, Truth, Healing)
Patron of scholars, scribes, witch hunters, inquisitors, templars, hospitallers, paladins
Uncovered evil corruption and hunted the wicked using rule of law
Apotheosis: Carried by angels up to heavens when crowned hierophant of church
2 Talan - God of Swords (War, Nobility, Judgement) 
Patron of knights, kings, templars, soldiers, servants and agents of the crown
Deeds: United kingdoms waging war on the dark lord and his orcs and undead
Apotheosis: Killed by demons, torn apart by dragons, then ascended to heaven

3 Atan - God of Artifice (Craft, Wheels, Tools)
Patron of smiths, crafters, drivers, shipbuilders, millers, clockmakers, gun-smiths
Deeds: Built wonders and machines and a golem house of wonders
Apotheosis: Tricked old gods in a contest, deified to avoid gods shame 

4 Vetar - God of Scholars (Writing, Magic, Divination)
Patron of teachers, scribes, scholars, librarians, historians, professors, doctors
Deeds: Uncovered ultimate occult and alchemical secrets, stole the book of fate
Apotheosis: burned by an angry mob in a library, saved to save wisdom

Brion - God of the Wilderness (Hunt, Beasts, Death)
Patron of hunters, farmers, foresters, gravediggers, explorers, hermits, trappers
Deeds: Founded bandit freedom fighters and given supernatural aid
Apotheosis: shot with arrows then drawn and quartered by wicked king  

6 Brek - God of Vegetation (Fertility, Forestry, Grain)
Patron of farmers, foresters, bakers, pastoralists, woodcutters, carpenters
Deeds: Brek met elves and dryads and nymphs and made a treaty for mortalkind
Apotheosis: Taken to fairyland and tormented by elf queen and made her lover

Katar - God of Hearth (Home, Craft, Family)
Patron of commoners, householders, farmers, parents, grandparents, childbirth 
Deeds: After a great volcanic disaster helped thousands of people find new homes
Apotheosis: Murdered by orcs using crying children for bait  

8 Vora - God of Dawn (Love, War, Magic)
Patron of brewers, lovers, diplomats, soldiers, amazons, barmaids, dancers, singers
Deeds: Saved unicorns from hunters and joined demihumans waging war on goblinoids
Apotheosis: Shot by hunters, chopped into pieces and buried all over forest  

9 Kerak - God of Sky (Herds, Ancestors, Weather)
Patron of herders, barbarians, farmers, sailors, labourers, warriors, berserkers
Deeds: Raised a horde to slay an ancient lich who knew the old dark ways
Apotheosis: Giant allies cut into pieces ground bones and ate as a betrayal  

Pirek - God of Poetry (Music, Pleasure, Mischief) 
Patron of bards, singers, lovers, musicians, gossips, gourmets
Deeds: Led a terrible dragon to slaughter and drew plague rats from a town
Apotheosis: Poisoned by a jealous king but gods wanted to save the songs

11  Lumet - God of Travel (Coins, Hospitality, Luck)
Patron of merchants, shopkeepers, bureaucrats, sailors, caravaneers, waggon trains
Deeds: Rediscovered lost sea trading routes, explored strange lands and treasure
Apotheosis: Islanders unhappy with trade deal for land threw them into a volcano

12 Loran - God of Night (Secrets, Water, Darkness)
Patron of spies, sailors, thieves, spelunkers, navigators, miners, assassins, astrologers
Deeds: Tricked death in a chess game, hid in caves and travelled seas avoiding death
Apotheosis: Amused older gods took pity on heroic death and escapes from the underworld

I have some regional evil cult tables for eras of my campaign setting done
Neutral ones will follow for local weird religions and cults 

I'm reading old becmi dnd for high-level adventures and the immortal's book that was free a while back for the 90s version of becmi basic dnd. Im getting cosmos prepped for plane travel adventures in party castle and might use time travel.

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