How do your Gods get Power?


First Post
My gods exist for the same reasons as they do in the standard D&D rules, and dieties don't lose their godhood if they lose their worshippers. I think I'm going to steal Shallown's idea. My campaign has a pretty materialistic feel to it, and this method fits well into world.

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Blue Sky

I base my cosmology around two things: one, a god's power comes from faith; and two, that no one walks around with a certificate from AAA saying that they are, in fact, a god.

My campaign borrows heavily from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time (there is a Dreamworld, that people can reach by talent or magic), and C. S. Friedman's Black Sun Rising series (your fears, hopes, and dreams can shape the world).

What this leads to, is a world where each city or town has a handfull of gods, called into being by the needs of the citizens. If enough people start believing the god will manifest and grant small boons to the faithful, the god will manifest and grant boons. However, because of the small number of worshippers each god has, their power is limited to that of a high level wizard or cleric, high in this case being 18-25th level. So, if a "god" is truly despotic, there are heroes who can fight them directly.

Of course, when you add in the fact that any being capable of casting high level spells can reliably fool your average Joe into thinking he has ultimate power, it gets messy. Demons, Devils, Great Wyrms, the eldest masters of the Dreamworld, all can (and will) interfere with the world of men, seeking the gain the power that faith can give them. After all, convince enough people that pesky mortal weapons can't harm you, and you just may end up immortal. At least, untill someone with just as many worshippers comes after you...

There are "real" god(s) in my game (distant, unknowable, and all powerful), but they are used more as a plot device to expound on my belief that faith isn't really faith when you can jog down the block for a demonstration that your god is real, and thus not really suited to what the original poster was looking for.


WotC's The Primal Order (published c. 1992), with homebrew additions heavily inspired by Moorcock, Lovecraft, and Zelanzy :D


Im my old campaign there were several 'tiers' of Gods.

The Elder Gods. Have intrinsic power, but are in a slumber. They could be made to waken. This has nothing to do with their power, more with their interest in the world at large and the fact that the ' New' Gods try to keep the Elder Gods in a slumber

The Greater Gods, 8 in number with genericised portfolio's based on a combo of Element, Portfolio and alignment (i.e. a God of Fire/War/CE etc.), with the following eight elements: fire, earth, water, air, time, space, positive energy, negative energy.

Various Lesser Gods who hols spcialized portfolio's, usually Ascended mortals who have been hand-picked by the Greater Gods to act as vassals/viceroys in specific sub-portfolio's belonging to the Greater Gods.

A horde of DemiGods, Ascended Mortals who have become so powerful as to have become immortal. They do not have a portfolio, are basically extremely powerful individuals who meddle with their powers into mortal affairs. DemiGods cannot grant spells to any followers they may acquire.

The power is inherent to the beings themselves.

I'm A Banana

Most of the time, the deities IMC are quite intamately weaseled into the worshipers.....the worshipers *create* the deity by personifying a force.

Basically, say it rains. Say people start to think that the rain can hear them and respond to them. Then it can. People start to think that sacrifices of monkeys can sway the rain. Then it can. People start to think the rain is personified by a little man in purple robes. It is.

Since my deities are generally pretty unapproachable, their effects on the people are generally more important than what they are capable of themselves. And if you're stabbed to death for wearing purple robes and eating monkey meat while a village is being flooded, well, this just gives you a reason for it. :)

But then, my life's work is in religions, ideology, and ethnography, so.....:)


Community Supporter
In my FR campagin, the gods ARE their portfolios [well, "were" since it has now ended], so by lying you empowered the god of lies, and so on. They were also their planes of existence, however, so for example Mystra could appear "in person" in the Astral plane, but not in any other place (although she could send in an avatar or so on, supposedly).
If you want, the full details of it are here


Mercule said:
I'm moving in the direction of having a handful of hidden "overgods". They control/represent fate and other core concepts that no god can tap into. The more impact something has on "fate" and the flow of the universe, the more divinity it bestows. I initially drew this idea from the old Masters/Immortals boxed sets and the spheres in there. Entropy played a significant role in my game way back when, but I cannot for the life of me remember what the other four spheres were. Can anyone help out, here?
Matter, Energy, Thought and Time, IIRC.

Li Shenron

Shallown said:
How do your Gods get their God-like power.

More or less the same way that you explained yourself :) And I like it for the same reasons of course...

I would not like very much to use the idea of belief, prayers or sacrifices. I would rather use them as rites or at most a way for the worshippers to ask for powers or favors, but the other way for the deity to get power.
I also don't want all clerics to be focused on converting everyone to their faith, I prefer them to differentiate and pursue their deity's goals/interests/delights by following a dogma and taking favored actions. You have already mentioned lying as an example...

However, deities never play a direct part in our games, although an avatar may appear in some adventure, but really we have no need to define divinity outside of the consequences it has on the campaign, which is always through the clerics and the worshippers.

Shallown said:
Do you have a story of creation?

I have more than one, but really they are so unimaginative that they are not worth mentioning :p


How do my gods get power?

...Through DP&L (Divine Power & Lighting), of course! They are subcontracted from Consolidated Godison, so if the lights go out, I know who to blame. :D

Seriously, I use a combination of Dragonlance theology, and Forgotten Realms theology. In my homebrew, the gods are extremely powerful beings whether or not they are worshipped; however, their influence on the Prime Material Plane is directly influenced by how many people put faith in them. They could be powerful, but be limited to avatars and a few divine servants, or they can have enough power to give people clerical spells. In my homebrew, you can get up to 3rd level spells by pure faith alone (used to be 2nd level spells back in AD&D), but to get more power you must spread your god's influence and will. That still leaves for some powerful split-class cultists running around doing mischief, even though their god's been "Dead" for hundreds of years -- or may only exist in their imaginations! And if they can promote enough influence, that deity may not be so "imaginary" any more...


First Post
Sejs said:
A mortal becoming a god would be like a person trying to become a car.

I'm sorry...I'm so sorry...


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