Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Jallorn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    So I've been working semi-diligently on my campaign setting of Ferar for... wow, over half a year now. Anywho, having finished the races, I'm moving on to the last thing necessary to make this setting usable, though still quite bare-bones: The Gods.

    Some things I've already decided upon:
    • There is only one pantheon of gods, even though each race worships a different one. In truth, they each have their own names for each god and their own stories (though many are similar), and attribute slightly different, though mostly similar, personalities and roles to each god. Naturally, even though there isn't a "King of the Gods" per say, each race attributes their creator with this role.
    • The gods are at current pretty absent from the world due to a secret war (secret from most mortals) being fought on the other planes. This is one reason why true Clerics are so rare.


    Things I need to determine:
    • How many gods there are.
    • What their domains are.
    • Their personalities.


    We will start with the second one, namely, what domains should be covered by the gods as a whole? I have always disliked the alignment system of DnD, and am considering not giving the gods alignments. Other than Clerics, who will this affect?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ertier View Post
    A good background is like a skirt. Short enough to keep my interest, but long enough to cover the important bits.
    Quote Originally Posted by FistsFullofDice View Post
    Derailed in the best way, thank you good sir.
    Spoiler: Homebrew Links
    Show

    Avatar by Dogmantra

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Sir_Chivalry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    So I've been working semi-diligently on my campaign setting of Ferar for... wow, over half a year now. Anywho, having finished the races, I'm moving on to the last thing necessary to make this setting usable, though still quite bare-bones: The Gods.

    Some things I've already decided upon:
    • There is only one pantheon of gods, even though each race worships a different one. In truth, they each have their own names for each god and their own stories (though many are similar), and attribute slightly different, though mostly similar, personalities and roles to each god. Naturally, even though there isn't a "King of the Gods" per say, each race attributes their creator with this role.
    • The gods are at current pretty absent from the world due to a secret war (secret from most mortals) being fought on the other planes. This is one reason why true Clerics are so rare.


    Things I need to determine:
    • How many gods there are.
    • What their domains are.
    • Their personalities.


    We will start with the second one, namely, what domains should be covered by the gods as a whole? I have always disliked the alignment system of DnD, and am considering not giving the gods alignments. Other than Clerics, who will this affect?
    Well, to begin with, let us use the Deities and Demigods suggestion as a base.

    Three Warrior gods (an extreme alignment (LG) and the two components of the opposite (NE and CN))
    Three Skillmonkey gods (LN, TN, CN)
    Three Arcane gods (NG, TN, NE)
    One Nature God (TN)

    Scrapping alignments, you have gods for three types of fighting, three gods of various aspects of culture and skills, three who determine the sue of magic, and a nature god. How you fluff them is up to you.
    Feel free to PM me if you want something PEACHed. I may not be one of the greats, but I'll do it if you ask.

    "One of us is tender,
    One of us is not,
    One of us takes vengeance,
    All four tied in a knot
    "

    My homebrew

    (U)sually in any game situation the biggest control freak will gravitate towards the job of being the GM anyway.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Vadin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    So we've got orcs, humans, dwarves, halflings, hobgoblins, goblins, elves, and centaurs. Interesting. You want only one pantheon to be the true religious reality of the world, yes? What I've got here is a little bit different than what you have so far, but it should fit into your campaign world fairly well. Stay with me for a moment (hour) while I set out on a random tangent or few...

    <Skip to the bottom if you want the table with the finished product so far. There's no names and unspecific fluff so you can alter, implement, or disregard things as you wish>

    I'm going to start by looking at where the races might have come from. Now, the halflings and hobgoblins can interbreed sometimes, so going waaaay back they must share a common ancestor. Same for orcs and humans (I assume). First line of thought: there was a proto-primate that all races but the centaurs evolved from, diverging off into their own lines at different times.

    A pair of elderly and strange father and mother type gods should work as a good divine representation of this early ancestor almost all sentient creatures share.

    Halflings and hobgoblins must have diverged from the same common lineage not shared by other races. Goblins also probably share this source, but they were quickly isolated and went in a different direction. The oldest common ancestor of these three races was what we will call the simianoid. Halflings, hobgoblins, and goblins are all descended from the simianoid, a bipedal monkey without a tail that still retained many monkey-like traits. He was a sometimes bipedal carnivore and predator.

    The first children of the gods were fraternal twins. One was as large as his father, very straightforward and honest, and had pointy ears like his mother. The other was only as tall as his mother, was much thinner and faster, and was very clever- he told what would be the first lie to win a contest against his brother. In myths, relations between the two are friendly but often tense.

    The earliest ancestors of the goblins evolved from these same simianoids, though they were forced into a different niche by other, larger predators- they became fast, hunched, and lean pack scavengers.

    The halfling/hobgoblin split came later. One branch of simianoids became isolated in a chain of islands, all within a moderate swimming distance of each other but far from the mainland and the rest of the simianoids. There they grew smaller and became almost hairless. Their diet also changed dramatically, and they became omnivorous. These were the halflings.

    The hobgoblins, by contrast, were still on the mainland. There they paralleled the evolution of humans, but their different ancestry yielded rather unique adaptations. From the early simianoid they kept the primarily carnivorous diet and mostly sharp teeth, though they switched from mostly insects and small game (with some roots and berries) to larger prey and fruits.

    Mythologically, the goblins, halflings, and hobgoblins are all represented in the second son, the simianoid god. He does, however, have his own body of myths. Unlike the hominoid gods, who rarely ever met with mortals in ages past, this simianoid god is as well-known for being a sly but generally non-malicious trickster as he is a promiscuous shapeshifter. This element of his character is universal in almost all cultures, giving rise (especially among the simianoid races) to local folk heroes and regional lesser deities being worshiped alongside the rest of the pantheon. Historically, these semi-divine individuals run the full gamut of good and evil and have come from literally every intelligent race (and, in at least a few cases, from particularly intelligent 'monsters').

    To the centaurs, the most important myth about this simianoid is their own creation story. Though it varies from tribe to tribe, the most basic story says that, every day from sunrise to sunset, this god took the form of a talking horse so as to earn the love of a beautiful human maiden. This was not, however, all the god was doing. During that same year, every night from sunset to sunrise, the god changed his shape to that of a female horse and made a young human man fall in love with her (the god). Eventually, the inevitable happened, and another year later the woman gave divinely assisted birth to a female centaur. The god, likewise, was pregnant and on the same day gave birth to a male centaur. With the divine powers of creation, the god worked his magic and made two centaurs into two hundred, changing each one a little bit more than the last, so they would appear as consistently diverse as all the other races did. This story might not be true, but it's very important to most centaurs, and the halflings, hobgoblins, and goblins have all told different versions of it since before records and writings and civilizations.

    Orcs, humans, dwarves, and elves also descended from the proto-primate, but their lineage can be traced to an ape ancestor, the hominoid. The first evolutionary hominoid split was likely the long-lived elves. After hominoids left the plains and then the swamps, they were mostly hairless, bipedal, and the same size as a human. Strangely, their ears were actually pointy. It was the common ancestor of humans and orcs that first evolved the rounded ear trait in the hominoid line (this adaptation did not occur until after the elves and dwarves had both become genetically distinct species).

    A group of hominoids settled in a dense, wet jungle environment and became even less hairy. They also grew very pale and thin, adept at swinging on vines, climbing branches, and generally handling the complexities of jungle life. A random mutation granted this group senescence, the ability to stop aging after a certain point and live indefinitely. The randomness and danger of this arboreal life also led to the emotional intensities of the elves- it's advantageous for them to be able to very quickly form strong bonds with those it is beneficial to keep around and to attack ferociously elves they see as a threat.

    This 'wild child' was the first daughter of the mother and father deities. She's a goddess of mysteries, change, danger, and passions.

    The dwarves were the next race to diverge from the hominoids. In barren wastelands and desserts only the hardiest could survive, and so they became smaller (though not as small as the pygmy simianoids, the halflings) and very stout. Sandstorms selected for those dwarves that had extra hair and could keep the sand away a little better, giving the dwarves their characteristic 'hairiness'.

    In contrast to the very few dwarves alive today, they are represented by triplets, three almost identical and very gifted divine sons. The first son studied the techniques practiced by his mighty eldest brother, who taught him both the brutally efficient means of laying low his foes and the values of patience, tenacity, and forgiveness. The next asked his second oldest brother, the sly one, to teach him his secrets- he became a shrewd hunter and wise diplomat. The third asked his older sister for help, learning from her the means of manipulating the world's primal magics and taking note of as he studied all the dangers and blessings that mundane nature held.

    Orcs diverged from hominoids around the same time humans did. The orcs were defined by a unique adaptation they developed in the seasonal woodlands. This camouflage would change their skin with the seasons, shifting between various shades of greens, browns, reds, and grays.

    The orcs/humans are reflected in the pantheon by the 'second twins', a son and a daughter. The son was only as tall as his sister, but he was physically much more capable. Unlike his oldest brother, the last son was far less concerned with 'nobility' and abstract morality puzzles. He preferred independence from the other gods and found solace in the wilderness and the simplistic beauty of the hierarchical circle of life. The daughter was far more sociable, learning many lessons from all the gods that came before her and using that knowledge in new and different ways. More than anything else she was a goddess of imagination and the creative spark.

    So! For the pantheon, we have a divine family. It's a little large, but not unmanageable. Obviously, of course, different groups will place the most importance on the gods that best line up with their racial and cultural values. Now then. A table to organize this a little, yes? (A note: domains pulled from here)

    {table=head]Familial Position|Favored Race(s)|Description|Potential Domains

    Father|All (ancestral)|Co-creator of the world's terrain. Creator of weather and many natural phenomena. Not always depicted as humanoid. Very few religious groups focus primarily on him; most instead pray to a younger god to speak with the divine father on their behalf.|Creation, Destruction, Fate, Force, Ocean, Renewal, Sand, Sky, Sun, Weather
    Mother|All (ancestral)|Co-creator of the world's terrain. Creator of the first forms of life. Not always depicted as humanoid. Very few religious groups focus primarily on her; most instead pray to a younger god to speak with the divine mother on their behalf.|Animal, Balance, Creation, Fate, Life, Moon, Ocean, Plant, Sand, Sky
    First Twins (First Son)|All (ancestral)|Usually, but not always, shown as humanoid. Not commonly prayed to directly, instead serves more as a story element in other myths and prototypical symbol of the virtues of civilized life.|Balance, Community, Competition, Endurance, Glory, Nobility, Protection, Truth
    First Twins (Second Son)|All (ancestral) and Centaurs|Usually, but not always, shown as humanoid. Not commonly prayed to directly (except by centaurs), instead serves more as a story element in other myths and prototypical symbol of the inherent dangers and opportunities of civilized life.|Competition, Greed, Illusion, Liberation, Luck, Transformation, Trickery, Wealth
    First Daughter|Elves (and, in some places, simianoids)|She stands for freedom, chaos, the ferocity of wild beasts, and the supernatural. She is a goddess of extremes, and rarely does anything less than at least a little too much.|Bestial, Celerity, Courage, Elf, Luck, Madness, Mysticism, Passion
    Triplets (First Son)|Dwarves|A god more of civilization than nature, his churches preach respect and moderation, and are home to many paladins.|Artifice, Community, Dwarf, Glory, Law, Nobility, Protection, Strength
    Triplets (Second Son)|Dwarves|This god stands for the value of skillfulness in turning risk to reward in politics, combat, and wilderness survival.|Charm, Commerce, City, Dwarf, Endurance, Illusion, Travel, Wealth
    Triplets (Third Son)|Dwarves|The youngest of the triplets, this god developed his older sister's arts further. He is a kind god that utilizes primal magic to aid civilization and mortals.|Animal, Community, Dwarf, Endurance, Healing, Mysticism, Plants, Transformation
    Second Twins (Son)|Orcs and Humans|He is worshiped as a symbol of the divine order of nature, the inevitability of change, and raw physical might.|Bestial, Chaos, Domination, Fate, Liberation, Orc, Pleasure, Strength
    Second Twins (Daughter)|Humans and Orcs|She embodies creativity and tenacity. She is often called upon by those facing overwhelming odds and those in need of intellectual inspiration.|Animal, Charm, Destiny, Family, Feast, Human, Joy, Knowledge
    [/table]

    Of course, different cultures would have their own slightly different takes on all the gods and their stories, but each group definitely has one or a few gods that it worships more than the others.

    These similar differences also extend to domain choices: while a god might offer clerics in one culture Animal, Charm, Family, and Human, a cleric of the same god thousands of miles away might choose his domains from Animal, Feast, Joy, and Knowledge. The first paints the youngest goddess as the mother of humanity and first tamer of the beasts, while the second group would tell stories about the youngest goddess (they call her "She Who Gives And Takes From The Earth") and how she taught that culture about the finer points of agriculture and domestication. Additionally, the second culture throws festivals for her and the other deities (but primarily for her and their own preferred racial god) during significant celestial events like eclipses, comets, and equinoxes.


    I know it's a lot to take in and you probably have something worked out already, but I thought this was a pretty neat approach to crafting a unique pantheon that was recognized universally within the setting but interpreted differently for each cultural and racial group.

    Edit: Oh snap! I also ended up with 10 gods! Though mine fit into 5 'metagroups': the parents, the first twins, the first daughter, the triplets, and the second twins.

    Looking at the metagroups there, it wouldn't be hard to throw a little bit of elemental influence into these gods as well. But what elements to choose...

    The Western 4 elements (wind, fire, earth, water) might work here with the children being elementally aligned and the parental overdeities being too primal to be so closely tied to a specific element. If that's up your alley, I'd make the first twins tied to water (as it reflects both of them- water can be immense and powerful or tricky and dangerous, and the halflings of the simianoid evolved in an archipelago before it rejoined the main continent). The first daughter, unpredictable and dangerous, would be fire (as most elves don't have fire, this would make her clerics among the elves even more significant in elven society, as they alone would be able to conjure her terrifying flames). The dwarven triplets would, of course, be earth- specifically, they would be stone, sand, and soil. The orc and human deities, then, would be air. Humans could certainly fit the 'air' elemental race, and it's not too much of a stretch to have orcs represent the ferocity of wind.

    If that's not your speed, the Chinese elements also might work (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). The daughter, in this case, would be wood. The triplets would be metal. The parents represent the earth (in all its forms, from stone to sand). The first twins I would still peg as water, and the youngest twins would be fire (which fits well for both dangerous orcs and innumerable humans).

    If neither of those suit you but you do want to make the different metagroups tied to the elements somehow, you could use D&D elements- acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. In this case, I'd still tie the youngest pair of twins to fire. The older twins would be tied to cold- it can crash like a blizzard or creep like frostbite. The parents would be acid- it's more dangerous than it appears, it's very uncommon, and it's quite a nice substitute for primordial ooze. The triplets would be tied to sonic energy, which in this set-up would represent the destructive force of a dwarven cleric whose convictions are so strong that, if he says the walls of your fortress are coming down, the walls are of your fortress ARE coming down. This leaves electricity to the lone daughter, and gives elven clerics a strange niche- though they can't make flame with her raw elemental energy, they can definitely start fires, and lightning is undoubtedly chaotic and difficult to control.

    Of course, that's assuming you want to go with this pantheon without changing anything and you want to add some sort of elemental theme to it.
    Last edited by Vadin; 2011-05-02 at 04:45 AM.
    Avatar by Linguini


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Jallorn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    Orcs can't interbreed with any of the other races. Humans, Elves, and Dwarves share a common ancestor, and Halflings and Hobgoblins/Goblins share one much further back. That is all for inter-racial breeding. In fact, given the location and physiology of the races, it is likely that Orcs are more closely related to Halflings and Goblinoids than Humans.

    Also, given recent paleontological evidence, it is more likely that each of the humanoid races developed from several branches into what they are now, rather than a single species.

    Still, I like a lot of what you've worked out, and may adapt some/most of it. Still reading it ATM.

    Further reading has lead me to the conclusion that the Orc ancestors were tied to humans, but traveled North before the desert was in the way (something I haven't included, but there used to be a large sea there, until a massive meteor struck, churned up the land, and now it is solid enough, though if you go down far enough there is an underground sea.) That happened, of course, before any of the modern races were even nearing development, but there was a period before most of the water had left the region when it was more easily traversable. So Orcs are very distant from any of the other races, but have some connections to all of them.

    Also, Humans branched off of Elves before Dwarves, there used to be a land bridge to the Human island-continent, but it got flooded and they developed on their own. Dwarves later ventured into the desert. This shows somewhat in the fact that northern tribes of elves tend to be a little larger than southern tribes.

    Finished reading. Don't have the time now, but later this week I'll address some change.
    Last edited by Jallorn; 2011-05-02 at 01:01 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ertier View Post
    A good background is like a skirt. Short enough to keep my interest, but long enough to cover the important bits.
    Quote Originally Posted by FistsFullofDice View Post
    Derailed in the best way, thank you good sir.
    Spoiler: Homebrew Links
    Show

    Avatar by Dogmantra

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Jallorn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    So I've decided to go with this alignment system for the gods, and, by extension, the world when I run it.

    So here's what I've got:

    The gods were brought into being by the sheer power of life on Ferar, though the sentient races generally attribute their existence to an evil father god they later drove off. First, were the twins. These twins are representative of the two most dominant genetic families on the planet, though they are capable of taking other forms at will, something the others can't do. The first brother is the larger one, more human-like, with ears like a half-elf, and sharp teeth. The second brother is smaller, with more claw-like nails and darker skin. Together, these two brothers introduced intelligence to the world below, the first brother creating courage, logic, and trust, while the second formed creativity, curiosity, and pragmatism. (We're still talking very low intelligence for the mortals though, like, 3-4 range)

    During this time, the two brothers also shaped the now intelligent races, influencing the many into two, Hominoids and Simianoids. Sometime later, a new god was spawned, a sister to the brothers. Her features are something of a mix between those of her brothers, she is shorter than the first, but larger than the second, she has round ears and sharp teeth, but her skin is an orange-brown, and now, her skin color changes with the seasons, like an orc's. She had a special fondness for her first brother's ideas of order, but couldn't deny how much fun her second brother was, and so she settled on order in the long term, and chaos in the moment. Especially exciting to her was to watch the mortal races fight. In an effort to bring her two brothers a bit closer together, and because she wanted her own race, she lead a few groups of Hominoids north across what was becoming a desert, and for a short time interbred Hominoids and Simianoids. There, they eventually became the orcs.

    Shortly before the Hominoids were led north, another brother came to be. He was smaller than his sister, but not by much. He is the most human in appearance, though he still retains a few sharp teeth humans have lost. He was jealous that his sister got to have her own species, and so he separated a group of Hominoids by removing a chunk of land. There, he was free to tweak his people somewhat, eventually creating humans.

    Before humans were fully evolved, an early proto-human found himself shunned by the others of his tribe because they were jealous of his musical talent. Moved by the man's sorrowful music, the first brother granted the man the release he desired, turning him into a simple horse. The second brother was unwilling to let the man's music die, however, and so it was that a certain horse's mare foaled the first centaur, who was then spirited away to the north continent, where a species was created, for the first time, entirely by the gods.

    There was another set of twins, younger than the third brother, and they were brother and sister. This brother is even smaller than the second brother, though once again, not by too much. He resembles a hobgoblin most closely, but is a little more hunched, like a goblin. The sister is slightly shorter than the third brother, resembling a large elf. These two were content to marvel in the natural world, the sister a little more so than the brother. These twins were shortly followed by another set of twins, the youngest of the gods. These two, another pair of brothers, resemble a cross between a dwarf and a halfling. These were once again torn between the ideas of the eldest brothers, finding value in both.

    One day, when the second brother was particularly annoyed at the first, he told the first lie, and told the youngest sister that the first brother wanted her to take over the Hominoids, and she promptly did so, leading them to become elves, in time. When he found out, the first brother was furious, but rather than take anything away from the youngest daughter, he decided that her twin brother would take over the Simianoids from the second brother, and they grew into the Hobgoblins in time. After a short time, he also decided that the youngest twins would have dominion over a group of both as well, to be fair. Taking their people away to the only places left, a chain of islands and the desert, the youngest twins created the dwarves and the halflings.

    However, the second brother wouldn't leave well enough alone, and led some of the Hobgoblins to be cut off from the rest, where they eventually became Goblins. When this was discovered, the eldest sister was the one who punished the second brother, driving the goblins out of the mountains were, eventually, her orcs subjugated them.

    Magic was through a cooperative effort between the second brother and his sisters. Attempting to create a work of art that mimicked life itself, they released arcane magic, and unlocked the way to grant divine magic, which had previously been the purview of druids.

    {table=head]Familial Position|Favored Race(s)|Primary Alignment|Secondary Alignments
    First Brother (Twin set I)|All/Humans, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves|White|Blue and Black
    Second Brother (Twin set I)|All/Goblins, Hobgoblins, Halflings, Centaurs, Orcs|Red|Blue and Black
    First Sister|Orcs|White|Red and Black
    Third Brother|Humans|Blue|Green and Black
    Second Sister (Twin set II)|Elves|Green|Red and Blue
    Fourth Brother (Twin set II)|Hobgoblins|Black|White and Green
    Fifth Brother (Twin set III)|Dwarves and Halflings|White|Green and Red
    Sixth Brother (Twin set III)|Halflings and Dwarves|Red|Green and White[/table]

    So what do you think? Any suggestions? I'm going to create a list of how each race sees each god as well.
    Last edited by Jallorn; 2011-05-04 at 10:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ertier View Post
    A good background is like a skirt. Short enough to keep my interest, but long enough to cover the important bits.
    Quote Originally Posted by FistsFullofDice View Post
    Derailed in the best way, thank you good sir.
    Spoiler: Homebrew Links
    Show

    Avatar by Dogmantra

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Vadin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Pantheon Creation (Assistance Request)

    I heartily approve.
    Avatar by Linguini


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •