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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    Alright, this is related to my prior post about the air pirate world. I've come up with a pantheon for Ferimos, but I need to give them a bit more depth. And I kind of need to either figure out how to integrate evil gods, or create some new ones.

    The core Pantheon of Ferimos:

    Ishtar - Goddess of Love, sex, fertility, whores and nobility (CN)
    Grabthar - Smithgod of metallurgy, craft, law and order (LN)
    Yig'li - God(dess) of duality, balance, shapeshifters, the moon and sun (TN)
    G'zer - Goddess of death, decay, the undead and executioners (NE)
    Wanzer - Goddess of travelers, safe journeys, shelter and Orcs (CG)
    Lugh'en - God of the arts, poetry, hunting, kings and Ishtar's favored lover (NG)
    Manketh - Goddess of storms, the sky, and the rain. Wife of Gunloo (CN)
    Gunloo - God of the earth, metals, crops and beasts, father of Grabthar (LG)
    Yonzen - God of the afterlife, warden of souls, G'zer's lover (NG)
    You want me? Come and get me!

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

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    First off, this is an excellent post I keep bookmarked on religion design.

    Ishtar: Shrines are likely to be fairly covert; presides over sex so she may be seen as sleazy. Unclear what sorts of dedicated worshippers she would have or what sort of ideology she practices. One possibility would make her the goddess of hedonism and pleasure in general, covering the gamut from drugs & gambling to fine art and music. "Nobility" feels thrown in offhand, currently, but making her cover the "finer things in life" would help it make sense. Another direction to go would make "family" an explicit aspect, giving her an "in" to be part of communities, and covering the bloodlines of nobility.

    Grabthar: Straightforwardly covers most things pertaining to civilization and organized improvement. Likely to be interwoven with the legal system; shrines are likely in most public buildings and workshops, with big temples doing double duty. The degree to which governments or craftsman guilds are theocratic may vary.
    It's unclear whether Grabthar sponsors a specific set of laws or the concept of 'law' in general; in the latter case, governments are likely less theocratic. It seems unlikely that he has many dedicated clerics, since those most associated with his concept likely have day jobs as craftsmen, police, etc. Could easily lean evil or good, depending on how he balances law and mercy.

    Yig'li: I dislike the idea of a god of balance, because it's such a broad and vague concept- do you pray to Yig'li when you're walking a tightrope? Note that this is one of exactly two racial deities, the other being Wanzer. No good advice here; may need an overhaul.

    G'zer: Deity covers endings in general; likely to have some relationship with historians, civil hygiene, and disaster prevention/relief. Unlikely to have many casual worshippers, rather than a few who do a lot of travelling to deal with crisis zones. Undead are hated up until they're building emergency shelter and doing rescue work? Deity itself is amoral (they get everyone... eventually), but worshippers want to control who dies and when- usually for prevention. Intelligent undead are opposed by the deity; they represent an attempt to "cheat death". Likely blesses cemeteries. "Not today, G'zer!" would be a common saying, I think.

    Wanzer- another racial deity. What about non-orc, non-shapeshifters- do they have no god? Shrines are likely small and fairly transient- piles of stones, or a space in a wagon. Likely has both casual and dedicated worshippers; dedicated clerics help people through life transitions, plan journeys, etc. Connected to traveling salespeople, cartographers.

    Lugh'en: Kings and rulership seem to be a part of Grabthar's domain. Unclear what to do here; there are fairly disparate aspects to deal with, so it's hard to focus down on one concept.

    Manketh: A fairly useless deity; doesn't appear to do anything for people except weather management, so unlikely to have any dedicated worshippers except storm enthusiasts(rare). Casual worship is likely to be an "oh, and him too" alongside Gunloo, unless there is fear that Manketh will be very angry. Very little popular appeal except for "lightning is cool".

    Gunloo: Much more useful than Manketh. Domain over almost all of agriculture and natural resources makes this deity tremendously important; likely to have both casual and dedicated worshippers in farmers, agricultural scholars, druids, anyone who works with animals, anyone who eats, anyone who mines (note: the distinction between domain over metals and metallurgy seems like a point of contention between Gunloo and Grabthar worshippers), travellers worried about wild beasts, etc.

    Yonzen: Heavily linked to G'zer; a focus on the ephemeral afterlife makes his worshippers likely to be therapists and counselors to go alongside G'zer's disaster relief. More likely to have a presence in most settlements to bless funerals. It seems likely that one cleric could worship them together, since their domains are so closely linked (body for G'zer and soul for Yonzen), or at least that worshippers of the two would travel in pairs.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!

    Okay, enough sillyness, on to the Pantheon.
    I really like the duality of G'zer and Yonzen, Manketh and Gunloo, and Yig'li. It seems like you've got a good theme going on here.
    The fact that some deities are related to each other is also great. I'd say this is the first step towards a mythology. You're going to need a bit more than that.
    Grabthar presides over hammers (gavels) and that's why he's the god of smiths and justice, right? I mean, it's funny but I wouldn't use a pop reference as a deity.
    You still need a CE and LE deity. Maybe a duality for fire and water to keep the theme going.

    As I see it there are 4 ways you can make a pantheon. I'm not saying that one way is better than the other. It's just that they tend to fall in 4 major categories that sometimes overlap a bit.

    Spreadsheet pantheon: This is when you give the minimum information to your players. Name + Alignment + domains + favored weapon. You see these a lot and they aren't very inspiring for players.

    Mythological pantheon: The gods have an origin, relationships and maybe even a motive/meaning of life like preventing ragnarok.

    Active pantheon. The gods are a driving force in the campaign, like the gods in Dragonlance. The campaign is build around the gods, not the other way around.

    Gygaxian pantheon: You expect your players to come up with their own deities while you focus on the evil deities.

    As I see it you've got a spreadsheet pantheon with a little bit of mythology mixed in. The next step would be to add more mythology by adding an origin or general goal for the gods. (Like preventing ragnarok, which doesn't have to be the goal of the campaign.) Working the gods into the plot of a campaign would also help at this point.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    First off, this is an excellent post I keep bookmarked on religion design.

    Ishtar: Shrines are likely to be fairly covert; presides over sex so she may be seen as sleazy. Unclear what sorts of dedicated worshippers she would have or what sort of ideology she practices. One possibility would make her the goddess of hedonism and pleasure in general, covering the gamut from drugs & gambling to fine art and music. "Nobility" feels thrown in offhand, currently, but making her cover the "finer things in life" would help it make sense. Another direction to go would make "family" an explicit aspect, giving her an "in" to be part of communities, and covering the bloodlines of nobility.
    I like the idea of shifting her towards the finer things in life as a sort of mask over her more hedonistic sides; as well as the ways to tie her into nobility closer.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Grabthar: Straightforwardly covers most things pertaining to civilization and organized improvement. Likely to be interwoven with the legal system; shrines are likely in most public buildings and workshops, with big temples doing double duty. The degree to which governments or craftsman guilds are theocratic may vary. It's unclear whether Grabthar sponsors a specific set of laws or the concept of 'law' in general; in the latter case, governments are likely less theocratic. It seems unlikely that he has many dedicated clerics, since those most associated with his concept likely have day jobs as craftsmen, police, etc. Could easily lean evil or good, depending on how he balances law and mercy.
    Okay, this is very helpful. I'll work on expanding this out and codifying more what his limits are. When I initially came up with him, I was going for more "the founder, the one that arranges things and codifies them, before moving on to the next broken thing to fix".

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Yig'li: I dislike the idea of a god of balance, because it's such a broad and vague concept- do you pray to Yig'li when you're walking a tightrope? Note that this is one of exactly two racial deities, the other being Wanzer. No good advice here; may need an overhaul.
    That's fair. I was thinking of them mainly as sort of a tie-breaker between family arguments, the one that the other gods go to to complain and get a reasonable assessment of how valid their complaints and issues are as part of the greater whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    G'zer: Deity covers endings in general; likely to have some relationship with historians, civil hygiene, and disaster prevention/relief. Unlikely to have many casual worshippers, rather than a few who do a lot of travelling to deal with crisis zones. Undead are hated up until they're building emergency shelter and doing rescue work? Deity itself is amoral (they get everyone... eventually), but worshippers want to control who dies and when- usually for prevention. Intelligent undead are opposed by the deity; they represent an attempt to "cheat death". Likely blesses cemeteries. "Not today, G'zer!" would be a common saying, I think.
    Honestly, G'zer is more the "if you sacrifice enough to me, I'll keep looking the other way" sort of deity, which is why I ended up making her NE; so intelligent undead would actually worship her.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Wanzer- another racial deity. What about non-orc, non-shapeshifters- do they have no god? Shrines are likely small and fairly transient- piles of stones, or a space in a wagon. Likely has both casual and dedicated worshippers; dedicated clerics help people through life transitions, plan journeys, etc. Connected to traveling salespeople, cartographers.
    Yeah, I do need to work on adding more racial gods. I do like the idea of her clerics helping people prepare for major transitions and journeys.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Lugh'en: Kings and rulership seem to be a part of Grabthar's domain. Unclear what to do here; there are fairly disparate aspects to deal with, so it's hard to focus down on one concept.
    Definitely another one that I need to nail down better and get more firmly established what the boundaries of their portfolio are.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Manketh: A fairly useless deity; doesn't appear to do anything for people except weather management, so unlikely to have any dedicated worshippers except storm enthusiasts(rare). Casual worship is likely to be an "oh, and him too" alongside Gunloo, unless there is fear that Manketh will be very angry. Very little popular appeal except for "lightning is cool".
    Okay, this assessment is actually completely wrong. This is a world where the entire prime material plane got shattered thanks to an ancient catastrophe (naturally brought on by an empire that thought they could control and siphon off the power of the elemental planes). Air travel is basically it when it comes from getting from place to place, whether by airship or by using a flying mount of some kind. Manketh is a major deity to pray to for safe passage and avoiding storms.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Gunloo: Much more useful than Manketh. Domain over almost all of agriculture and natural resources makes this deity tremendously important; likely to have both casual and dedicated worshippers in farmers, agricultural scholars, druids, anyone who works with animals, anyone who eats, anyone who mines (note: the distinction between domain over metals and metallurgy seems like a point of contention between Gunloo and Grabthar worshippers), travellers worried about wild beasts, etc.
    I do agree with your assessment here, and Gunloo is going to be highly revered because agricultural space is at a premium; as are natural resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Yonzen: Heavily linked to G'zer; a focus on the ephemeral afterlife makes his worshippers likely to be therapists and counselors to go alongside G'zer's disaster relief. More likely to have a presence in most settlements to bless funerals. It seems likely that one cleric could worship them together, since their domains are so closely linked (body for G'zer and soul for Yonzen), or at least that worshippers of the two would travel in pairs.
    Yonzen is basically what I envisioned being the collector on "past due" souls and especially intelligent undead. Vampires and Ghouls would go out of their way to murder one of his faithful and desecrate his shrines and alters. He's the guy that directs souls to their final resting places; and a major deity to implore about resurrection. I do agree that a cleric could possibly worship both if they were True Neutral, as well as the idea of pairs of their worshipers traveling together though.
    You want me? Come and get me!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!

    Okay, enough sillyness, on to the Pantheon.
    I really like the duality of G'zer and Yonzen, Manketh and Gunloo, and Yig'li. It seems like you've got a good theme going on here.
    The fact that some deities are related to each other is also great. I'd say this is the first step towards a mythology. You're going to need a bit more than that.
    Grabthar presides over hammers (gavels) and that's why he's the god of smiths and justice, right? I mean, it's funny but I wouldn't use a pop reference as a deity.
    You still need a CE and LE deity. Maybe a duality for fire and water to keep the theme going.

    As I see it there are 4 ways you can make a pantheon. I'm not saying that one way is better than the other. It's just that they tend to fall in 4 major categories that sometimes overlap a bit.

    Spreadsheet pantheon: This is when you give the minimum information to your players. Name + Alignment + domains + favored weapon. You see these a lot and they aren't very inspiring for players.

    Mythological pantheon: The gods have an origin, relationships and maybe even a motive/meaning of life like preventing ragnarok.

    Active pantheon. The gods are a driving force in the campaign, like the gods in Dragonlance. The campaign is build around the gods, not the other way around.

    Gygaxian pantheon: You expect your players to come up with their own deities while you focus on the evil deities.

    As I see it you've got a spreadsheet pantheon with a little bit of mythology mixed in. The next step would be to add more mythology by adding an origin or general goal for the gods. (Like preventing ragnarok, which doesn't have to be the goal of the campaign.) Working the gods into the plot of a campaign would also help at this point.
    I've actually been thinking that the CE deity could be the God of the Ocean. Thanks to the Shattering, all of the habitable land is now flying, while a raging ocean seethes far below. The empire that shattered the world was using immense artifacts, known as the Elemental Siphons, to... well, siphon power from the four core elemental planes to power their empire. During the Shattering, the Siphon of Water was the one that came through the most intact... and something was sucked through when the other end whipsawed through the Plane of Water and hit something old and sleeping near the very center of the plane. It was shredded as it was pulled through, but the pieces survived. The former god of the oceans (CG) had expended a substantial amount of energy trying to stabilize things and ensure as many people as possible survived... which meant he was caught unawares when the Siphon of Water expelled a seething mass of Other. He was consumed, and his ichor was added to the Other, creating something new... pitiless and cruel. It seized on the connection to the oceans, and stirred it to a raging maelstrom, sinking down into the stygian depths to sleep once again. The ocean is basically the most absolutely dangerous place on Ferimos, and only the extremely powerful (or those with extremely powerful patrons) are capable of even attempting to delve it's depths to bring up any pieces of the World Breakers' empire that has survived the eons below the seething waves.
    You want me? Come and get me!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Kitsune View Post
    I like the idea of shifting her towards the finer things in life as a sort of mask over her more hedonistic sides; as well as the ways to tie her into nobility closer.
    Awesome; there's a risk that it might verge into Lugh'en's domain, which is why I pivoted to family in the last few sentences.

    Okay, this is very helpful. I'll work on expanding this out and codifying more what his limits are. When I initially came up with him, I was going for more "the founder, the one that arranges things and codifies them, before moving on to the next broken thing to fix".
    A god of Fixing And Organizing Things is pretty great, ngl, and it makes his attitudes a lot clearer to me. Some clerics might act as legal inquisitors, making sure things don't get corrupt; the church probably have some influence over policy decisions.

    That's fair. I was thinking of them mainly as sort of a tie-breaker between family arguments, the one that the other gods go to to complain and get a reasonable assessment of how valid their complaints and issues are as part of the greater whole.
    It's not clear to me how Yig'li relates to mortals, then.

    Yonzen is basically what I envisioned being the collector on "past due" souls and especially intelligent undead. Vampires and Ghouls would go out of their way to murder one of his faithful and desecrate his shrines and alters. He's the guy that directs souls to their final resting places; and a major deity to implore about resurrection. I do agree that a cleric could possibly worship both if they were True Neutral, as well as the idea of pairs of their worshipers traveling together though.
    This makes some sense to me.

    Okay, this assessment is actually completely wrong. This is a world where the entire prime material plane got shattered thanks to an ancient catastrophe (naturally brought on by an empire that thought they could control and siphon off the power of the elemental planes). Air travel is basically it when it comes from getting from place to place, whether by airship or by using a flying mount of some kind. Manketh is a major deity to pray to for safe passage and avoiding storms.
    Fair point that the domain is publically visible, but along with Lugh'en and Yig'li, it's not clear to me that Manketh can have a clear ideology that the clerics believe in- it seems like people pray to them because they get goodies (safe passage, longevity) rather than because they agree with or like the deity. This works well for people praying to a pantheon or casually making prayers (which, I admit, is accurate to ancient pantheons), but it seems as though they will lack much of a spiritual or moral aspect to their worship(upon some research, this is also generally accurate to ancient pantheons).

    In contrast, a cleric who worships Ishtar because "everyone should get to have fun", or a cleric of Grabthar who believes in "fixing the world by organizing people" are better able to relate to a community through that philosophy. Additionally, there's more dimension to their worship, allowing for it to be shaded in different ways: Maybe there's a schism between Ishtarites who provide drugs and alcohol to addicts while arguing for total freedom, and those who believe that doing so is damaging the long-term happiness of those people?

    Honestly, G'zer is more the "if you sacrifice enough to me, I'll keep looking the other way" sort of deity, which is why I ended up making her NE; so intelligent undead would actually worship her.
    It seems, then, that nobody would worship her because they like her, which seems sad.

    Unrelatedly, though, the idea that she sends out squads of tax collectors to hunt down vampires and liches that hadn't paid their dues is hilarious.


    Edit: I did some research on ancient pantheons, and reworded to be more moderate (and hopefully more clear).
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2020-02-29 at 06:38 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    The goddess of storms being CN is a great idea, but as her husband is LG, I can't imagine that it makes for a happy marriage.

    Likewise, what on earth does the NG god of the afterlife and a peaceful death see in the NE goddess of undeath? It seems like they'd be a couple who are always fighting, as they don't appear to agree on anything.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Pantheon Expansion and Lore Deepening

    Atrexor
    Atrexor is the god of Natural Order, He works with other gods to preserve the order of the world.
    His followers hunt aberrant abominations and kill undead.

    Alignment: True Neutral
    Domains: Entropy, Nature, Order.
    Weapon of Choice: Scythe
    Last edited by D&D_Fan; 2020-03-04 at 01:48 PM.

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