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D&D 5E Renewing the D&D Next cosmology through Anthroposophy

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In my understanding of Occult Science, there are only three pantheons. I wonder if the 5E core cosmology might be more meaningful if it tapped into this trichotomy. I'm not suggesting that the pantheons of the existing D&D Worlds (Oerth, Faerun, etc.) be changed. The three forces are:
  • A Chaotic pantheon led by Lucifer, the "hot evil". (Think Sauron, especially in the early days when he was still the beautiful Gift Giver.)
  • A Lawful pantheon led by Ahirman (Mephistopheles), the "cold evil". (Think of the hyper-intellectual, mechanistic mind of Saruman the White.)
  • A Good pantheon led by the Sun God, the "balance".
Above the LE and CE pantheons, there is also a Neutral Evil power called the Sun Demon. (Think Morgoth.)

More characterizations and pictures of Lucifer and Ahriman are available here. The core D&D Next cosmology would re-imagine elements of the xD&D "theological corpus", for example:

For D&D Lucifer: the Dark Prince, Graz'zt
For D&D Ahriman: the Cold Lord, Mephistopheles
For D&D Sun God: Pelor
For D&D Sun Demon: the Black Sun, Tharizdun

In this cosmology, Mephistopheles would replace Asmodeus as the Overlord of Hell, and Graz'zt would have vastly expanded cosmological role.

Another option would be to recharacterize the duality of Tiamat and Bahamut as a trine: Chronepsis, Bahamut, and Tiamat.

What you think?
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Interesting approach. You could argue that the traditional D&D cosmology already has an Ahriman/Lucifer dynamic with Devils and Demons, or cold/ordered and hot/chaotic.

Of course if you get into the deeper meanings of Steiner's worldview, it doesn't really work for a traditional D&D game. Ahriman is the force that mechanizes, brings down the spiritual, reduces the human being to a purely material level; Lucifer is the force that lifts humans up and makes him feel greater than he actually is, separates him from embodiment. In other words, Ahriman says "You are nothing" while Lucifer says "You are God." I'm not sure if that sort of deeper psycho-spiritual dynamic can be part of a D&D game...I've never tried it.

Steiner also believes in Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite's nine Angelic hierarchies which could work for the forces of good and also have decent D&D correlates (planetars, solars, etc). I wouldn't go beyond the first three levels, though, as the higher beings are more abstract.

Just a side note. The colors are really hard to look at, especially the red and blue together - it almost created a 3D, multi-layered effect. Not sure what that's about.

Keefe the Thief

I think that you're currently standing in a line, and in front of you are:

- people who want the 1e cosmology
- people who like the Great Wheel
- people who want crystal spheres back
- people who like Planescape
- Planescape fanatics /w Mercykiller tattoos
- people who talk like they're from the Far Realm in real life

Perhaps we can try your idea in 6e or so, but right now, it's retro. What retro, of course, is going to be the question. I foresee catfights.
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[MENTION=49552]Keefe the Thief[/MENTION], my guess is that 5E will include multiple cosmologies, at least both the traditional Great Wheel and the 4E cosmology (the nice thing about 4E, btw, is that it integrates both Planescape and Spelljammer; I don't think WotC exploited that well enough - it would have been nice to see paragon-to-epic adventures in the Astral Sea, for instance).

So again, it isn't either/or. We're probably going to see at least those two cosmologies plus guidelines for variants.


The cosmology postulated by the OP is certainly interesting, but...

I don't want 5e to have a default pantheon. The game should bake-in the absolute minimum required setting assumptions into the core. (Spells like "Contact Other Plane" imply the existence of other planes, for example, but doesn't need to specify much about those planes... and shouldn't.)

If and when they get around to doing the "Planes" module, they should try for a toolkit approach, with the Great Wheel, the 4e Astral Sea, and perhaps some other cosmologies given strictly as examples. Detailing them any more than that is fine... but that should be done as settings.

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