5E The Divine Ranks


It by raw demigods can't provide divine spells and Gods the used to be demigods still can it stands to reason they are now lesser gods.


Tiamat would also be a lesser deity, as would Bahamut. I think Asmodeus and the various archfiends are interesting. I don't know if Lesser god fits (maybe for Asmodeus), but they don't seem to fall into the quasi-deity sub-categories. The various archdevils empowering warlocks fits better than clerics, certainly.
Asmodeus is stated to have the power of a Lesser God in the Monster Manual.


Do overdieties run polytheistic pantheons through power or just authority. Do they have actually that much more strength or just have the highest governing power?

Ao writes the rules but is it through strength or is it a power of the office?
What exactly is the difference between "having strength" and "having the office, which has strength"? No one can challenge Ao because Ao can write the rules. Anyone who tries to oppose his rules gets destroyed--even gods.

We very clearly see the head deities of various polytheistic pantheons slain, overthrown, replaced, and merged with other gods. Odin was expected to die in Ragnarok; Zeus slew his father Cronus, who had slain his father Ouranos before him, and would have been slain by his own son Hercules if he had not learned from the lessons of Ouranos and Cronus. Ra went through eighty-bajillion mergers/facets (Amun-Ra, Horus-Re/Ra-Horakhty, Khepri, Khnum), but even when he was seen as the creator-deity, he was still a deity like Isis, Horus, etc. as demonstrated by myths where Isis forcibly coerced him to reveal his true name so she could put Horus on the "throne." Even Ahura Mazda, one of the closest things to an "overdeity," is not as absolutely powerful as is logically reasonable--he must contend with Angra Mainyu/Ahriman and the forces of darkness.

Ao, on the other hand, is entirely above all of that. There are no beings of any sort that can oppose or question Ao (other than the vaguely-alluded-to "being of light" that is apparently Ao's boss, and explicitly on a rung higher still). He has no divine domain, no portfolio, exists in no pantheon, determines the nature of deities and the rules that govern all forms of deities, and his power can obliterate anyone or anything that tries to oppose his rules.

Zeus, Odin, Ra, etc. are almost exclusively recognized as "heads" because they are considered the wisest or most powerful of beings that are of the same class. Primus inter pares, in a certain sense. The overdeity doesn't appear to have most, if any, of the attributes associated with that class of being--to the point that the overdeity can decide what the attributes of that class is, without having that reflect on the overdeity too. If that's not enough to distinguish them, I dunno what is.
The status and ranks of deities really should be a setting-specific matter for DMs to determine for themselves (with appropriate support for all options, ideally in a (good) "Deities & Demigods" type supplement).

Some DMs might well prefer a setting with one or more deities that are remote, untouchable, and all-powerful (either individually or collectively). Others might want to simply consider 'god' another type of monster, spanning the full range of challenges from a Small God (see the Discworld novel of the same name) through household gods, through aspects and demigods, through to the apex monsters of the setting.

There's not really any one correct answer to this, so imposing any answer is a bad idea, IMO.


That whole Demigods can't grant divine spells thing went right out the window. We know that Gilgeam, Mulhorandi Pantheon, Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul are all demigods that can grant divine magic spells. Otherwise I think it's the same. Oh and Krakens can grant what appears to be divine magic, so maybe all QuasiGods can now too or only some of them.