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akma
2010-10-19, 11:18 AM
I know it`s popular to put a lot of gods in camapaign settings (I remmember seeing race based pantheons), and I wondered, how many gods are there in a typical, generic campaign setting?

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 11:44 AM
I would say there is no one right answer to this.

Put as many or as few as you want.

Myself, I prefer to note that I'm just providing those relevant to the area, and not a definitive list.

Never know, I might want something, or a player might.

Scarey Nerd
2010-10-19, 11:46 AM
I know it`s popular to put a lot of gods in camapaign settings (I remmember seeing race based pantheons), and I wondered, how many gods are there in a typical, generic campaign setting?

I'd say upwards of 20. I personally use the core gods as detailed in the 3.5 PHB, as well as the race-specific gods.

Greenish
2010-10-19, 11:46 AM
I'm not sure there's an accepted definition for "typical setting". The basic one for D&D 3.5 (based on Greyhawk) has too many to count. Eberron might not have any.

Tengu_temp
2010-10-19, 11:46 AM
I'd say seven: chief god, war god, goddess of healing, god(dess) of magic, trickster god, god of nature or sea and evil death god.

Gensh
2010-10-19, 11:49 AM
It really depends on what sort of world you want, since the development of each different culture you might have would depend on their god(s). As a general rule, I guess I'd say that the amount of diversity in a given culture would increase with the number of worshiped gods, as each one would have a slightly different set of rights and wrongs. On the other hand, if all the gods tend to group together into strict pantheons, there is less of this.

Starshade
2010-10-19, 11:52 AM
I think it depends on what you want to make out of a given setting. Some settings don't need that many gods, but other could. Monsters could just need 1 god a race to give them a divine magic source for NPC's, while semi roman like races would need tons of gods, with really strange jobs, and a horde of ex emperors turned gods, etc.

Historical pantheons and peoples is a good example of the immense diversity possible. :smallsmile:

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 11:52 AM
I know it`s popular to put a lot of gods in camapaign settings (I remmember seeing race based pantheons), and I wondered, how many gods are there in a typical, generic campaign setting?
Why do you want to know?

If you are just curious, Wikipedia is your friend. Here's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Forgotten_Realms_deities) a list for Forgotten Realms, for example.

If you're doing worldbuilding, just put in as many as you'd like. Generally speaking, I prefer to make "broad" deities (e.g. Thor's portfolio ranges from weather to oaths) to narrow ones (e.g. God of Fire; Goddess of Love) because I find them more interesting. For D&D it's usually appropriate to have at least one "Good" God and one "Evil" God, although you can certainly have more.

Also: pantheons are your friend. For large numbers of deities it helps to find some unifying themes (e.g. Gods of the Elves; Gods of Nature) before you get into making the individuals.

Mark Hall
2010-10-19, 11:59 AM
I've seen it vary. Krynn had 21 or 22, depending on whether you count the Highgod, and I think it's on the low end for TSR-era settings (aside from the no-Gods Dark Sun... though Birthright might be similarly low, I don't remember their surviving pantheon). Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms both had multiple pantheons for multiple races and ethnicities, with varying degrees of intermixing, and both approached or exceeded 50 deities, easily.

I find that most campaigns tend to focus on about 5-6 deities... the deities of the individual characters, and one or two that form the basis of a lot of the conflict. In my current (Castles and Crusades) campaign set in the Forgotten Realms, we have a priest of Gond, a priest of Tempus, a dwarven worshiper of the dwarven pantheon, several unaffiliates, and current, separate threats from Myrkul and Malar... with a sizable influence from the temple of Waukeen (who does a lot of banking and investment), and an adventure from the temple of Ilmater. That's 7... but Ilmater is unlikely to make further appearance, since he was mostly a plot hook.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 12:02 PM
Also, don't be afraid to give a strange answer.

Yeah, a "typical" game world might have 20 or more gods lurking about a metropolitan multi-verse, but sometimes you can really throw things for a fun loop if you answer that there are only 4 gods. Or none at all.

Right now, I'm playing in a campaign where there are only three religions. Light (casts positive versions of reversable spells), Dark (the opposite of light, typically associated with evil), and Nature (the Druids). It really works out very well for us in this campaign.

Also, imagine having just a few gods based on some large, overarching metaphysical concepts (Death, War, Healing, Night, Day, Time, etc.), but who have no alignments or alignment restrictions for followers. An evil priest of a god of healing?

Also also, I've always felt that a true god of Death would be True Neutral, not ever evil.

Aron Times
2010-10-19, 12:05 PM
Eberron is unique when it comes to ingame faith in that it focuses on religions instead of individual gods. A mage who worships Aureon and a merchant who worships Kol Korran both belong to the Sovereign Host.

Duke of URL
2010-10-19, 12:06 PM
However many the epic spellcasters allow to exist.

akma
2010-10-19, 12:06 PM
You missunderstood me. I already decided that there would be few gods in my campaign setting (10 not counting dead ones) and that each will be a manifastation of some aspect of creation. I decided there would be a few becuse if there would be dozens, then each one of them wouldn`t have much to control. Some are also viewed diffrently by diffrent worshippers (Braryon is the manifstation of how time effects things, so he is responsible for growing and aging, rot, rust and etc, but most known simply as the god of agriculture. But if someone would call him the god of rot, he would technically be right too). So I don`t need any more gods. Also, some lesser creatures are worshipped (like demons).
I just wondered how many gods are typically made for campaign settings, and compare it to the number of gods in my setting.



Also, imagine having just a few gods based on some large, overarching metaphysical concepts (Death, War, Healing, Night, Day, Time, etc.), but who have no alignments or alignment restrictions for followers. An evil priest of a god of healing?

Also also, I've always felt that a true god of Death would be True Neutral, not ever evil.

I dumped alignments completly.
I thought about an idea that you get clerical powers from worshipping a being with a divine essence, whatever that beings wants you to recieve that powers or not.
And my god of death most fits the alignment lawfull god. People die so the world won`t be overpopulated, and sometimes people can reincranate.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 12:09 PM
I just wondered how many gods are typically made for campaign settings, and compare it to the number of gods in my setting.
So... I guess this thread is done then? :smallconfused:

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 12:09 PM
Yeah, a "typical" game world might have 20 or more gods lurking about a metropolitan multi-verse, but sometimes you can really throw things for a fun loop if you answer that there are only 4 gods. Or none at all.

Or a Negative number. They weren't really gods, they were just faking all along!


An evil priest of a god of healing?

Anywhere from Doctor House to Josef Mengele.

And Eberron isn't quite unique in that regard, Pantheon priests existed back in 2nd edition.

Emmerask
2010-10-19, 12:11 PM
It really depends, Faerun has a ton of gods but for the most part I have only seen 10 or so used in one campaign, in our aventurien (dark eye) campaign its of course twelve who all play an important role in the story.

In my homebrew setting I use 11 of the faerun gods + 2 overdeitys (maker and destroyer / order and chaos etc kind of thing)
So I would say for our campaigns it would be around 12

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 12:12 PM
Or a Negative number. They weren't really gods, they were just faking all along!
That's still zero Gods.

I do find the concept of "anti-Gods" interesting though. Some sort of sentient suckhole in the fabric of reality that consumes Divine Power rather than grants it. I suppose The Snarl counts as an Anti-God in that regard, what with the soul devouring and all :smallcool:

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 12:12 PM
I just wondered how many gods are typically made for campaign settings, and compare it to the number of gods in my setting.

Well, rather than ask the question you did, I'd suggest saying "Here's my idea, what do you think" and well, to answer that, I think it's a fine idea, with what details we have anyway.

Go forth and enjoy!

Zaydos
2010-10-19, 12:13 PM
I often rip-off the entire Greek and Norse pantheons, throw in Egyptian and Shintao deities to taste, then look up lists of obscure gods and take their names for various pantheons. Course some of my Norse/Greek gods are in name only (Baldur often replaces Pelor, except without the emphasis on killing the undead, for example) and sometimes they're based (more closely than 3e did) on the deity, down to appearance, but don't use the name (the Elder God of Power is Odin, but his true name is Power Word Kill); and I don't really know Egyptian/Shintao myths well enough to accurate represent them.

I think that campaign setting eventually had around 20 gods of war, although most were subservient to one of the 4 Great War Gods (Enyalius, Tyr, Thor, and Abaddon) which each represented on of the 4 extreme alignments.

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 12:19 PM
That's still zero Gods.

I do find the concept of "anti-Gods" interesting though. Some sort of sentient suckhole in the fabric of reality that consumes Divine Power rather than grants it. I suppose The Snarl counts as an Anti-God in that regard, what with the soul devouring and all :smallcool:

Well, they weren't Snarl level, but the world was going to come apart through their actions. Or inaction as the case may be.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 12:23 PM
Anywhere from Doctor House to Josef Mengele.



While I might find the concept of a Josef Mengele Expy lurking in a very mature game world, worshiping the god of healing, and generally improving matters for some, while performing horrific experiments on victims appealing as a campaign thread, I think it would be seriously pushing the boundaries of good taste.

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 12:29 PM
It is certainly an extreme, and not suitable for all groups.

For another example, there's the priests of Stryphon to be found in the Gunpowder God/Kalvan of Otherwhen universe.

Tyndmyr
2010-10-19, 12:29 PM
Hmm. The last god dying would make a very interesting starting event for a campaign. Hell, you could start filling a setting from that single data point.

Tempting.

Scarey Nerd
2010-10-19, 12:30 PM
Hmm. The last god dying would make a very interesting starting event for a campaign. Hell, you could start filling a setting from that single data point.

Tempting.

Very interesting idea for a campaign... Hmm...

PopcornMage
2010-10-19, 12:31 PM
I actually had that as a basis for a world.

He thought somebody else needed to take up the orbs of power.

He chose...poorly.

TheThan
2010-10-19, 01:12 PM
Actually if you use the last god dying as the setting of an epic campaign, then the PCS could easily be the people who become the new pantheon of gods as they rise to epic levels and ascend to god hood.


But honestly I end up with far more than I like. I start out with a few gods for each race, but as I create NPCs I find myself using more and more gods for each setting.

Tvtyrant
2010-10-19, 01:16 PM
That's still zero Gods.

I do find the concept of "anti-Gods" interesting though. Some sort of sentient suckhole in the fabric of reality that consumes Divine Power rather than grants it. I suppose The Snarl counts as an Anti-God in that regard, what with the soul devouring and all :smallcool:

The No-God would count. Utterly immune to magic, has none-magic based ability to create storms and force people to go mad when they see it, transforms its worshipers into mindless killing machines, if in D&D would have damage reduction 30 etc etc.

I miss the Prince of Nothing series, it solved all of its problems so directly. "Shoot it with a laser gun we found from a space ship. Problem solved!"

dsmiles
2010-10-19, 02:01 PM
I use a crapton of deities. Racial pantheons. Probably 10-12 deities per race.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 02:09 PM
Another thought: All deities are local. I.e., all deities are worshipped in very small, restricted geographical regions (a single valley or island for instance) and are virtually unknown outside of that. Might even be a physical god - a giant frog that the natives started worshipping one day and suddenly finds itself able to grant divine spells and with special powers.

tbarrie
2010-10-19, 02:15 PM
I would say there is no one right answer to this.

I would say that the average number of gods in a campaign setting is in fact mathematically well-defined, although I can't imagine actually doing the work to calculate it accurately.

(Admittedly, the question of where one god ends and another begins isn't always cut and dried, but RPG settings tend to define these things more precisely than real-world cultures.)

I'm surprised at how high most people's answers are, incidentally. I would have guessed that the average was around ten.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 02:19 PM
Another thought: All deities are local. I.e., all deities are worshipped in very small, restricted geographical regions (a single valley or island for instance) and are virtually unknown outside of that. Might even be a physical god - a giant frog that the natives started worshipping one day and suddenly finds itself able to grant divine spells and with special powers.
This raises the problem of what it means to be a "local" God. For example, when you walk to the next town over, does a Priest of the Giant Frog suddenly lose his power? If not, then is there a limit to the area the Giant Frog can affect? If there is no limit, can he really said to be a "local" God?

You can get around this by having his power "walk around" with his priests (which means he needs priests in order to influence the larger world) but that can raise further unpleasant implications about the nature of the setting.

Generally, I prefer to have Gods be wide-reaching but regionally focused. That is to say they are connected to certain regions or peoples, but that is more an accident of history rather than a question of physical laws. This helps flavor the Gods a bit, and spices up the campaign world in general.

EDIT:
@Tbarrie - It's very easy to fall into "diety creep." In particular, when designing deities it is so easy to just say "He's the God of X" and move on; since there are an uncountable number of X's to put deities in charge of, this process can quickly get out of control.

Also, the habit of creating racial pantheons makes the number of deities in a world expand exponentially. After all, if Humanity has 5 deities, why shouldn't Dwarves have that many? Even though most D&D settings explicitly have a single God for each race, it's something that always struck me as odd and - no doubt - other people as well.

As a result, I favor deities with broad portfolios that are non-racial.
In my current setting, for example, the Gods each embodied an abstract concept(e.g. perfection, control, justice) and grew around it as they interacted with the mortal races.

For example, Geom started as the God of Perfection but grew into a God that embraced Discipline, Law and Craftsmanship as well. Of course, he mainly associated with Dwarves since he decided to elevate them from mindless drones of the Titans into fully sentient beings.

Conversely, Lolth began as the Goddess of Control but soon became a Goddess of Domination, Cruelity, and Pain. She tried to take over the Fey Court through a coup lead by her Eladrin followers and was smote hard by the unified Fey Court as a result. Lolth was cast into the Abyss and her divine essence was sealed away as a result; her followers were banished there as well and their bloodlines were marked such that their descendants became the Drow.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 02:24 PM
This raises the problem of what it means to be a "local" God. For example, when you walk to the next town over, does a Priest of the Giant Frog suddenly lose his power? If not, then is there a limit to the area the Giant Frog can affect? If there is no limit, can he really said to be a "local" God?

You can get around this by having his power "walk around" with his priests (which means he needs priests in order to influence the larger world) but that can raise further unpleasant implications about the nature of the setting.

Generally, I prefer to have Gods be wide-reaching but regionally focused. That is to say they are connected to certain regions or peoples, but that is more an accident of history rather than a question of physical laws. This helps flavor the Gods a bit, and spices up the campaign world in general.

I don't think the implications are "unpleasant" at all. It's just a different dynamic than the standard. Conan rather than Fearun.

And the questions are for the prospective GM to answer for his campaign. That's the way it was done 30 years ago dagnabit!

Knaight
2010-10-19, 02:32 PM
I'm not going to be able to answer the question posited, at all, simply due to lack of data. However, as this thread has shifted into examples, that does leave joining in, after some preliminary explanation (read: sophistry)

First, one must look at definitions of god. The narrowest definition I could use is an omniscient, omnipotent being, the kind one would find either in monotheistic settings or as a god among god types, I've seen the second used more than the first. The next definition is simply a powerful, trans human, immortal being, along the lines of the D&D gods. The third involves expanding it to more minor beings, a little god in charge of one river, a god worshiped by one city, etc.

Furthermore, in counting gods in a setting, one must decide whether they count the gods actually present in a setting, or whether they count the gods that are believed in by the people of a setting. In areas with 100% overlap, this is easy, but that isn't a safe assumption for all settings.

So, god statblock. ExBx/EyBy/EzBz, a measurement of how many gods of the broadest definition exist, how many more conventional gods exist, and how many trivial gods exist, in each setting, as well as how many are believed in. For the purpose of this stat block, existence without actual divinity is treated as non existence.

Archipelago: E0B1/E0B(a few)/E0B(lots and lots)
Specifics: One nation has a church, which believes in a supreme being. Another has a royal family headed by what is believed to be a conventional god, the nation also has an area with some older tribes in it, some of whom worship gods of a similar variety illegally, the tribal area also has lots of minor gods. Another nation engages in hero worship of historical heroes, en mass, which usually involves lots of statues and no actual attributions of divinity, but some spinoff belief or other will have some hero or other actually seen as a god.

In short, two very major gods, neither completely real, and some other major gods with such small followings as to be inconsequential, then a bunch of nonexistent minor gods.

Shallow Graves: E0B1/E2(Formerly 7, then 9) B(lots)/E6B(lots)
Specifics: There are no extremely powerful gods, but there are a pair of mages who managed to gather enough power to become gods. In doing so, they displaced an older group who managed the same thing, in an extremely violent fashion. There are also 6 other beings, all created, that actually have the kind of power needed to be considered a minor deity, some of them are even bound to a particular place. Between their reputations merging, and other, weaker beings being thrown in, and the occasional tall tale, the clarity needed to see that there are only 6 of them is lacking.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 02:48 PM
I don't think the implications are "unpleasant" at all. It's just a different dynamic than the standard. Conan rather than Fearun.
The implications of Gods using priests to literally expand their God's influence is the Crusades - a series of holy wars in which weak or pacifist Gods (and their followers) are eradicated by more warlike ones who desire greater influence. This can make multi-priest parties problematic at best, to say the least :smalleek:

Moreover, limiting the geographic influence of local Gods means that your priest characters are going to get de-powered if they wander too far. This can dramatically limit the scope of campaigns and also makes the existence of other gods largely irrelevant - their followers just aren't going to have much influence in a rival God's territory.

SoC175
2010-10-19, 02:51 PM
Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms both had multiple pantheons for multiple races and ethnicities, with varying degrees of intermixing, and both approached or exceeded 50 deities, easily. Both had around 120

The implications of Gods using priests to literally expand their Gods influence is the Crusades - a series of holy wars in which weak or pacifist Gods (and their followers) are eradicated by more warlike ones who desire greater influence. Only if you equal wanting more influence with being the only influence. The deity of war from area B can send his priests to expand his influence to area A without wanting to replace the deity of agriculture of area A, because then he might be forced to take on the agriculture portfolio and be forced through a personality change as his new portfolio affects his psyche.

Thus conflicts would be mostly among deities with similar portfolios.

akma
2010-10-19, 03:06 PM
Something I did is that not all gods are worshipped. The god of games (who is the manifistation of control and manipulation) doesn`t want worshippers, and doesn`t like mortals (he sees anything non epic as toys). He would not give powers to clerics that would worship him. That doesn`t effect his power in any way.



Another nation engages in hero worship of historical heroes, en mass, which usually involves lots of statues and no actual attributions of divinity, but some spinoff belief or other will have some hero or other actually seen as a god.


I have something a bit similier. There is a kingdom named after a legendary hero named Mazwar, who united the people in a certain vallay against an outside threat and won. The outside threat is unclear, but there are a lot of crazy theories people consider as fact (a legion of undead, millions of dragons, the god of evil [which never existed] etc). The offical title of the king is Maza.



I'm surprised at how high most people's answers are, incidentally. I would have guessed that the average was around ten.

My guess was 50-100. I wouldn`t be too surprised if someone said there was a campaign setting with more then 1000 gods.

Jjeinn-tae
2010-10-19, 03:12 PM
My guess was 50-100. I wouldn`t be too surprised if someone said there was a campaign setting with more then 1000 gods.

My Dragon Born setting potentially has 1,000 or more. The deities of the main area are dragons, they essentially established themselves as such, and through worship were allowed to stay that way. For the most part they were just as powerful as regular dragons, but they could grant spells, being physical they built a civilization with themselves at the top and let it go on for a couple thousand years before becoming bored and tearing it down to go elsewhere. There are other more "normal" gods in the setting, but they don't interact with the area I'm concerned with at the moment.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 03:25 PM
The implications of Gods using priests to literally expand their God's influence is the Crusades - a series of holy wars in which weak or pacifist Gods (and their followers) are eradicated by more warlike ones who desire greater influence. This can make multi-priest parties problematic at best, to say the least :smalleek:

Only if you cross your eyes and scribble a mustache on a portrait of Urban II really. Just, not at all.

Would also ask how this would be different AT ALL from the much larger gods of other setting vying to wipe others out and take over?



Moreover, limiting the geographic influence of local Gods means that your priest characters are going to get de-powered if they wander too far. This can dramatically limit the scope of campaigns and also makes the existence of other gods largely irrelevant - their followers just aren't going to have much influence in a rival God's territory.

No, not really. I said that a god is local in that he is physically located in a place and his cult is strongest there, or located there. Nothing stopping faithful priests from going out and spreading the good news to other regions. Priests of gods in conan stories wandered all the heck all over the place. Don't see why a priest of a local crayfish god couldn't go over into the next valley or three over and spread the worship to them, and then further on. Or even just keep his religion himself and go adventuring. This isn't radio signal strength.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-10-19, 03:26 PM
Only if you equal wanting more influence with being the only influence. The deity of war from area B can send his priests to expand his influence to area A without wanting to replace the deity of agriculture of area A, because then he might be forced to take on the agriculture portfolio and be forced through a personality change as his new portfolio affects his psyche.
Why would the deity need a new portfolio? If the God of Agriculture doesn't have any influence in Zone B it stands to reason that Zone B is doing just fine without a God of Agriculture.

Plus, you start to lose the meaning of "local deities" when you have overlapping zones of control as you propose.

Sure, you can work around it by stacking on increasingly arcane rules about Deity v. Deity interaction, but that usually provokes more questions than it answers. I'm not saying it can't be done, but this sort of scenario is just asking for Holy War or an extensive explanation as to why there isn't Holy War.

EDIT:
The main reason the "priest power" scenario is problematic but global gods isn't is that influence is limited by persuasive power in the latter, and physical power in the former. Expansion is necessary for "priest power" gods to influence the world; aggressive religions succeed while passive religions can get wiped out by chance. "Global gods" can survive even if a particular cache of worshippers are wiped out, so there will be a greater variety of God types.

Recall that Conan was basically a world with constant Holy War. There was never much room for pacifist Gods and the Gods that were depicted were very aggressive.

hamlet
2010-10-19, 03:43 PM
Why would the deity need a new portfolio? If the God of Agriculture doesn't have any influence in Zone B it stands to reason that Zone B is doing just fine without a God of Agriculture.

Plus, you start to lose the meaning of "local deities" when you have overlapping zones of control as you propose.

Sure, you can work around it by stacking on increasingly arcane rules about Deity v. Deity interaction, but that usually provokes more questions than it answers. I'm not saying it can't be done, but this sort of scenario is just asking for Holy War or an extensive explanation as to why there isn't Holy War.

Ok, I see what the issue is here.

When I used the word "local" I didn't mean "worshipped only in a very small geographic area" really. I meant "the deity is a physical entity and his cult was born in a geographically discrete and small location, though his power walks with his priests wherever they go."

In my mind, this leads to smaller cults in geographically discrete regions with fewer "missionary" type acts. Generally, you'll find followers of the frog cult in his own valley, and in the neighboring valleys, but tapering off the further away you get except for a few wide wanderers. In the meantime, some of the gods might have gotten enough power together to project influence over a wider area, though that does not imply that they want to destroy all other gods and be the only god.

Whew.

"Local gods" just sounded more sound-bite friendly.

Knaight
2010-10-19, 03:46 PM
Something I did is that not all gods are worshipped. The god of games (who is the manifistation of control and manipulation) doesn`t want worshippers, and doesn`t like mortals (he sees anything non epic as toys). He would not give powers to clerics that would worship him. That doesn`t effect his power in any way.



I have something a bit similier. There is a kingdom named after a legendary hero named Mazwar, who united the people in a certain vallay against an outside threat and won. The outside threat is unclear, but there are a lot of crazy theories people consider as fact (a legion of undead, millions of dragons, the god of evil [which never existed] etc). The offical title of the king is Maza.



My guess was 50-100. I wouldn`t be too surprised if someone said there was a campaign setting with more then 1000 gods.
Interesting, certainly, typically fun to combine with "not all worship is towards actual gods.

This is, coincidentally enough, far more than a bit similar. One of the most notable heroes was someone who raised a peasant army to stop an invading force 40 years ago by campaign start. Very common statue, the person was made into a martyr, and between spinoff groups and their crazy theories and simple exaggeration of a rather significant technological superiority on the other side, all sorts of complete BS entered the known facts.


I've actually GMed a campaign setting with more than 1000 gods, so this is confirmed. Mythological Hittites, focused around one of the Hittite Egyptian wars. Of course, very few of these gods were actually significant, and the only reason there were so many was the historical Hittite habit of conquering an area, incorporating the local pantheon into the Hittite pantheon, and repeating the process.

akma
2010-10-19, 04:09 PM
Interesting, certainly, typically fun to combine with "not all worship is towards actual gods.

Demons and spirits of animals are worshipped too, and I decided that a certain race worships colossal versions of itself, and believe that if they would act in a certain way the race of gods will come back.



This is, coincidentally enough, far more than a bit similar. One of the most notable heroes was someone who raised a peasant army to stop an invading force 40 years ago by campaign start. Very common statue, the person was made into a martyr, and between spinoff groups and their crazy theories and simple exaggeration of a rather significant technological superiority on the other side, all sorts of complete BS entered the known facts.


Mazwar isn`t actully worshipped, but he comes pretty close.



I've actually GMed a campaign setting with more than 1000 gods, so this is confirmed. Mythological Hittites, focused around one of the Hittite Egyptian wars. Of course, very few of these gods were actually significant, and the only reason there were so many was the historical Hittite habit of conquering an area, incorporating the local pantheon into the Hittite pantheon, and repeating the process.

Were they real gods, or did the worshippers just believed they were gods? Sounds like the second option (unless believing in them creates them).

Knaight
2010-10-19, 04:12 PM
Demons and spirits of animals are worshipped too, and I decided that a certain race worships colossal versions of itself, and believe that if they would act in a certain way the race of gods will come back.
Excellent.

Mazwar isn`t actully worshipped, but he comes pretty close.
Clear confirmation that we need to do a collaborative setting at some point.

Were they real gods, or did the worshippers just believed they were gods? Sounds like the second option (unless believing in them creates them).
Real gods. Mythological history, specifically. Basically, what the Hittites believed to be true, was for that setting, which meant that everyone's pantheons had real gods, its just that the not Hittite pantheon's hadn't been absorbed yet. Historically, they were believed in at one point, for this setting, they were real.

Lord Loss
2010-10-19, 05:56 PM
It depends on the campaign. My last campaign featured hundreds of gods vying for supremacy whilst the campaign I,ve just begun DMing will have somewherebetween 5 and 10 gods.

PopcornMage
2010-10-20, 09:23 AM
I would say that the average number of gods in a campaign setting is in fact mathematically well-defined, although I can't imagine actually doing the work to calculate it accurately.


Me either, which is why I focused on the reason it was being asked as I saw it, which was to get an answer or feedback on the question of how many gods should they have in their campaign world.

For which there is no single right answer. I know I've gone all over the map on it.



(Admittedly, the question of where one god ends and another begins isn't always cut and dried, but RPG settings tend to define these things more precisely than real-world cultures.)

And more directly. There's doubt in this world...and though I admire a certain Planescape faction's ability to come up with a rationale as to why the gods aren't gods, they are the exception, not the rule.

Coidzor
2010-10-20, 09:27 AM
In short, too many, and generally of a variety encouraging misotheism.

Though I must admit, I am starting to wonder how to mechanically account for Pratchettian deities and small gods.

Il_Vec
2010-10-20, 09:38 AM
On the last 2 custom campaign settings I brewed:

One only God. Priests could worship one of His nine aspects, or all of them.

Around 11 anthropomorphic gods. (Lion the Warrior, Deer the Generous, Eagle the Watchful, Phanter the Hunter, Snake the Hidden, Bison the Enduring, Monkey the Resourceful, Mouse the Silent, Dragon the Proud, Shark the Restless and Crow the Wise. Maybe there were more, but I can't recall.)

akma
2010-10-20, 10:32 AM
I think this will be a good definition for a god: someone that within the setting, the majority of the creatures of the world would agree that he is a god.

PopcornMage
2010-10-20, 10:34 AM
But all my worshipers are ants!

White Blade
2010-10-20, 12:28 PM
In my settings, I try to write things with a consistent theme in mind. For instance, in one game I had a god for each inner and Transitive plane, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Dous (negative energy plane, mechanically), Orit (positive energy plane, mechanically), Shadow, Ethereal, and Astral. I filled out the pantheon pretty well that way.

Then I had one where I did one God per race (except humans, who I gave eight ancestor-hero demigods to, because they killed their deity.) and if you didn't have a deity, that made you a monster race, born of the Great Ocean (who was a kind of misotheistic Tiamat), and needed killing. The Orc Survivor-God, Goblin Mother-Goddess, and Ogre Strength-God formed one half of the pantheon with the Elven Moon-God, Dwarven Mountain-God, Halfling Bread-Goddess, and Gnome Trickster-Goddess forming the other. Coming out to seventeen, counting the human demigods (the other deities didn't.).

So I'd say my average is around ten, with a slight inclination to over as opposed to under. I find I can make manageable, interesting characters out of that many gods, without narrowing options on who to worship.