A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Only Evil and Neutral gods

    I'm developing this setting where good gods are absent. In what way do you think this would affect the world?

    In a long run, good gods will again come in power by mortals getting divine ranks, etc., but for now it is only bad guys and I-do-not-care guys. Do you think such a setting would deviate from regualr D&D world?

    Actually there is one good god, but he is a patron of draconic species, so he really cares only for his worshippers, not good overall.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Xiander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Do you plan on carrying the classic struggle of good versus evil into this setting?

    If the evil gods are evil to be evil that will result in a dark grueling world.

    If the evil gods are gods with different viewpoints and agendas, who also happen to be evil, the effect will likely be different.

    What about the neutral gods? will they offer opposition if they find the evil gods have gone too far?

    My instinct tells me to work out the individual gods, then look at how they interact with each other, and from there look at what that means for the world as a whole.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Well, Neutral gods would still enforce some amount of not-Evil; see ones like St. Cuthbert, who enforces the law to the point that he actually disallows evil followers, and even his effective opposite, Olidammara, who is a generally benevolent trickster god who actively avoids the more malevolent ones, despite being Chaotic Neutral himself. Neutral is not always apathetic, although it can be.

    Despite these things, though, there would indeed be some effects. Probably less people actively spreading Good, and many those who do would probably be doing it for personal beliefs rather than religious reasons. Also, Paladins... Hm. I suppose it depends on what you go by, but without good gods they need some other source for their powers if you want the Lawful Good types (or the Chaotic Good ones, while you're at it). Fewer Good Clerics, too, since they would have to be a spot off from their god's alignment, which is rarer than sharing their deity's alignment. Some other things too; it would somewhat depend on the type of world and tone of campaign as well, really, so most of this is speculation based upon what little I know. Nevertheless, I hope that this is helpful to you.

    Edit: Also, what Xiander said. That's important too.
    Last edited by Kojiro; 2011-08-02 at 05:28 AM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post
    Also, Paladins... Hm. I suppose it depends on what you go by, but without good gods they need some other source for their powers if you want the Lawful Good types (or the Chaotic Good ones, while you're at it). Fewer Good Clerics, too, since they would have to be a spot off from their god's alignment, which is rarer than sharing their deity's alignment.
    Actually neither paladins nor clerics need deities to gain their powers, though a cleric needs some sort of cause, even if it is only followed by himself, so there would still be good aligned paladins, and good aligned clerics, though fewer clerics then paladins.
    edit; also as stated, several neutral deities still have a few good aligned followers, such as cuthbert, or obad-hai
    Last edited by Togath; 2011-08-02 at 05:36 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Well, are there still Celestials around in the Upper Planes?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    @Volt
    Yes, they are.

    I think that overall, there will be more evil. Perhaps evil worshippers getting more power faster, but that would be about it.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Ah,Well, Since there is Celestials, a Good afterlife, and some Clerics of the Good, it shouldnt be a big problem.

    I Think the main question here is this:

    Any Good folk with a few ranks in Religion will soon think something like " Why Bother, if In the Big Scheme of the Gods, Good Cannot Prevail?"
    I would Suggest a single Good God, maybe the Sun god (like Pelor?) or the God of Civilization or something, to keep things a little more balanced.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Simple, run an adventure based on this kind of world:


    Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

    All you need to do is throw in more spellcasting and general magic'yness (though since people are used to gods throwing things around anyway its not a huge shift).
    Last edited by king.com; 2011-08-02 at 10:08 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    What do you mean by "evil god"? Are they gods of evil or gods who happen to be evil?

    That's a pretty important distinction. A god of evil is a mustache twirling cliche, urging his followers to be evil for evil's sake and come together for human sacrifices in a skull shaped temple.

    An evil god might be a god of something else who just happens to be a cruel god (demanding sacrifices, being vengeful towards unbelievers, etc.) or a god that represents domain that can be considered evil.

    For example a God of War might be evil, and encourage his followers to fight and conquer and enslave weaker nations. But he'd also stress glory, honor, bravery, power, etc. It's evil, but evil for a cause, not evil for evil's sake.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    It would depend on how much the evil and neutral deities actually can or will affect the material plane. If the deities can act directly, and not just through their followers, I'm guessing that the absence of good deities would make it a darker/more evil world.
    What people know about the afterlife is also important. Unless there is a neutral deity of knowledge or something similar with clergy that tells people the truth about what happens when people die, most people would end up following one of the deities as they would preach how their followers are granted an afterlife, and there are none to preach about a good afterlife.
    Healing could also be less common in such a world, as there would be no good churches that would offer healing to the needy, and the neutral and evil churches would most likely need some significant payment or service.

    If the gods can act directly, those who act as forces of good might suffer more hardships, as the gods could actively influence the course of the world to suit their needs. The absence of good deities would most likely lead to a world shaped by evil, but restricted by the will of the neutral deities who would protect their portfolios.
    If the gods are limited to act through their followers, the difference would be on a smaller scale, where on a large scale, evil and neutral would be more organized, while good would be less organized.

    If it is common knowledge that a soul enters an afterlife based on how the person lived, it wouldn't make much of a difference. If it is known that followers of deities get an afterlife, while those who don't follow a deity just die or gain some form of punishment, the deities of justice or something similar might have a large following as it is the one that will be most appealing for the common person. This might lead to a world more concerned with Justice or some other neutral aspect that would appeal to commoners.

    If healing from organized clerics is limited to neutral and evil churches/temples, there might be a greater divide between rich and poor, as only the rich would be able to afford magical healing, without having to do something for the church. This might lead to longer lived and healthier nobles who would have an even greater advantage when it comes to health than normal in such a setting where Good temples could help the needy.
    It could also lead to good doctors who would gain divine magic because of their honest wish to save those who are sick. This could be some sort of loose organization of traveling physicians who would travel between cities and villages healing those who need it, and given food and shelter wherever they go.

    The options are endless, and depends on how you want to shape the world.

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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    What do you mean by "evil god"? Are they gods of evil or gods who happen to be evil?

    That's a pretty important distinction. A god of evil is a mustache twirling cliche, urging his followers to be evil for evil's sake and come together for human sacrifices in a skull shaped temple.
    Unless their speciality is corruption- luring people gently toward evil by manipulating them- appealing to their desire for "righteous justice" and so on.

    A God Of Evil who masquerades as a Good guy, could be an interesting villain- with many Well Intentioned Extremist followers.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    I ran a setting where there weren't any good gods once. Well, technically, there were two good goddesses, but the god of war/king of gods told them to get back in the kitchen, so the end result was about the same. On the other hand, there was also an elder evil capable of killing the entire pantheon given enough time. What I did for the players was tell them that they could either help the gods despite them being terrible people since they're the only ones who could stand against the elder evil, or they could side with it instead and end the reign of the tyrannical god of war but at the cost of eliminating the captive good goddesses as well.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    In Midnight the gods decided to kick the evil god out, which had the unexpected side effect of sealing the mortal world of from all other planes, with the evil god trapped inside it. All clerics except his own lost all their power and the other gods had no way to intervene, and no creatures can get to or come from the other planes.
    Things didn't proceed well from there. (Essentially, Suaron won.)
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Actually neither paladins nor clerics need deities to gain their powers, though a cleric needs some sort of cause, even if it is only followed by himself, so there would still be good aligned paladins, and good aligned clerics, though fewer clerics then paladins.
    This will depend on whether the OP intends for this setting to include divine spellcasters gaining power from pure causes or not.

    For my part, I would recommend inspiration taken from the Cthulhu Mythos. Those deities are impersonal, distant, and horrific, but grant power if given the proper sacrifices. Maybe the main role of clerics is to appease the deities by sacrifice and ritual, so that they will leave the people of the village/city/nation alone.

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    All I have to say is, playing a band of adventurers who decide that humanity (and other sentient races) should forge its own fate instead of listening to a bunch of long beards in the clouds and go on a rage against the heavens campaign with the intent of bringing all the jerk gods down would have much more sense and be much more satisfying in such a setting, and since it's an ideal that's close to my heart I approve.

    That was a long sentence.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Ever read Terry Pratchets book, On a Pale Horse?

    God and the Devil made a pact to stay out of mortals lives. God kept his word, and the Devil didn't.

    Tada! It's all explained.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Lots of corrupt govermns, I guess. Without good religions to act as a moral compass, cities will turn towards the usual business only agenda. The world will be a lot of shades of gray, with very few shiny spots.
    Characters will finda world split between apathetic and evil, with too rare groups dedicated to help people. Such characters would become legends.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Familiar with the mythoseses from Elric, Conan, and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?

    Those pretty much only have Neutral, Evil, and Lovecraftian Monstrosity flavored deities from what I recall.

    Pretty much standard "D&D" with a higher prevalence of despotisms and evil empires and such.

    Perfect for acceptable targets to loot though.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomNPC View Post
    Ever read Terry Pratchets book, On a Pale Horse?

    God and the Devil made a pact to stay out of mortals lives. God kept his word, and the Devil didn't.

    Tada! It's all explained.
    It's Piers Anthony you're thinking of not Prachet.

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    Default Re: Only Evil and Neutral gods

    I think I'm going to try this. My campaign will use Greyhawk deities without the good ones. Obad-hai and Fharlahgn will protect the landscape, St. Cuthbert will protect established society, Boccob will protect the right to seek and gather knowledge, and Olidammara will protect the right to have a good time. The evil gods have too much trouble cooperating to ever assault the material planes and the neutral gods will work together if they have to, leading to a stalemate.

    Good gods actively seek to help mortal-kind, something I've never actually seen represented in game, while a world with only neutral gods would be more willing to compromise. The evil gods would not harm the world on any macro scale but minor corruption and discord would be tolerated without much interference. (Except by St. Cuthbert who will be VERY active for better or worse.) So it wont end up much different than any other game I've seen run, only I'm not wondering why the hell the gods aren't doing anything. Also a lot more plot hooks and church politics.

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