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D&D General The Role and Purpose of Evil Gods

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You know, there is a trick in late middle school early high school, where as part of your answer you repeat part of the question. That technique would really help when you try and pull this sort of mood of pettily poking holes in a bit of hyperbole and then declaring someone else can't follow a discussion.
Pot meet kettle. You get what I say wrong far more often than you get it right. Like, polar opposite much of the time. You should use that technique. Or do you think you're using that technique when you say, "So you're saying that everything goes up." right after I say, "Everything is going down."?
 

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pemerton

Legend
You'd need hundreds of thousands or millions of worshipers for every deity in Greyhawk. So, just rounding to a million per god, you'd be looking at a population of the section of the continent where greyhawk is set as a minimum of 155 million people. And that is if every single person was a "true worshiper"

<snip>

this seems.... highly unlikely.
It is the only listings of his worshipers though. Sages, scholars, wizards and archmages. That's all it lists anywhere I look. And, amusingly, sages and scholars and philosophers and other terms that mean the same thing are also worshipping Rao (Greater), Lendor (Intermediate), Delleb (Lesser), Lirr (Lesser), Lydia (lesser) so we've got a massive split amongst these scholars.

Also, interestingly when I found Lendor, I also found this "Lendor's tiny amount of remaining worshippers are sages, old men, and others distant from everyday concerns. "

<snip>

with 300 gods of varying power level, I think my 155 million would be... and underestimate of the number of people needed to support this many deities. I think putting a nail in the coffin that people ever followed this rule at DnD headquarters
The 3E DDG "rule" was invented by whoever wrote the 3E DDG. The publication date for that book is 2002. So obviously this "rule" was not written when all the work on Iuz was done in the 1980s/90s. Nor was it written when Erik Mona consolidated all that earlier work in the Living Greyhaw Gazetteer (published in the year 2000).

That "rule" is an absolute irrelevance for trying to actually make sense of the mythology and cosmology of Greyhawk. You do that by reading Greyhawk material.

1e WoG Boxed set page 62:

View attachment 145124
Yes. I already quoted this upthread. It shows that the 3E "rule" is irrelevant to GH - unsurprisingly, given they had different authors at different times.

10. 17. None of it matters. Greyhawk gods are apparently independent of worshippers, which screws poor Demigod Iuz. Not that anything came close to saying that much, let alone most of his empire worshipped him, but now even that doesn't matter.
Hang on. So, just to be clear: having spent pages of virtual ink telling me and others that we are wrong to think that Iuz's status as a demigod has anything to do with the extent of his worship, you are now saying that we were right all along?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hang on. So, just to be clear: having spent pages of virtual ink telling me and others that we are wrong to think that Iuz's status as a demigod has anything to do with the extent of his worship, you are now saying that we were right all along?
Unlike @Voadam who showed actual text saying that the Greyhawk gods are not linked to worship, you just showed supposition based on quotes like, "many clerics" and "more than very few worshippers." It's hard to argue against something that is said straight out.

In any case, Iuz remains a demigod, because his power is not linked to worship and he's been a demigod in every edition up to 3rd and I think 4th, but not sure. I see no reason to assume that he's risen in power now that 5th edition is here.
 

pemerton

Legend
Unlike @Voadam who showed actual text saying that the Greyhawk gods are not linked to worship
The text that Voadam quoted, on p 13 of the 3E DDG, concludes by saying "Boccob is infamous for his indifference towards worshippers." Gee, I wonder if anyone pointed that out upthread? And not by citing a basically irrelevant 3E sourcebook but by citing the actual Greyhawk sourcebook published in 1984?

Or to put it another way: that sidebar in the 3E DDG didn't spontaneously author itself: it is a recapitulation of what was already obvious on the basis of prior writings about gods like Boccob et al.

That is part of what makes this thread frustrating: you treat a throwaway remark in a 2002 sourcebook as more authoritative, in regards to the WoG, then the actual source materials published for GH in the 80s and 90s. That's not a defensible approach to textual interpretation.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The text that Voadam quoted, on p 13 of the 3E DDG, concludes by saying "Boccob is infamous for his indifference towards worshippers." Gee, I wonder if anyone pointed that out upthread? And not by citing a basically irrelevant 3E sourcebook but by citing the actual Greyhawk sourcebook published in 1984?
Indifference towards worshippers does not mean that 1) he doesn't have lots of them, or 2) that he doesn't get power from them. It wasn't until he provided a quote that explicitly said that the Greyhawk gods are not dependent on their worshippers that the matter was settled.
Or to put it another way: that sidebar in the 3E DDG didn't spontaneously author itself: it is a recapitulation of what was already obvious on the basis of prior writings about gods like Boccob et al.
3e also gave Boccob lots of worshippers. 🤷‍♂️
 

Faolyn

Hero
Re: Boccob, most of the sites I've been to say "Boccob is honored with magical research and experimentation, with the burning of incense, the reading from books of arcane lore."

The reason I bring this up is that it might not be required that a person kneel in prayer with hands clasped while speaking ritual words. Every time someone thinks of a new way to cast a spell or reads through a spellbook, Boccob or Mystra get a bit of worship. Every time someone plants crops, Chauntea or Beory get a bit of worship. Every time someone makes a bigoted comment, Wastri gets a bit of worship. (Is there anyone like Wastri in the Realms?)
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Pot meet kettle. You get what I say wrong far more often than you get it right. Like, polar opposite much of the time. You should use that technique. Or do you think you're using that technique when you say, "So you're saying that everything goes up." right after I say, "Everything is going down."?

Whatever Max, at this point you are tracking me down in other threads to tell people not to discuss the game with me. I'm through with this.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The 3E DDG "rule" was invented by whoever wrote the 3E DDG. The publication date for that book is 2002. So obviously this "rule" was not written when all the work on Iuz was done in the 1980s/90s. Nor was it written when Erik Mona consolidated all that earlier work in the Living Greyhaw Gazetteer (published in the year 2000).

That "rule" is an absolute irrelevance for trying to actually make sense of the mythology and cosmology of Greyhawk. You do that by reading Greyhawk material.

Agreed.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Re: Boccob, most of the sites I've been to say "Boccob is honored with magical research and experimentation, with the burning of incense, the reading from books of arcane lore."

The reason I bring this up is that it might not be required that a person kneel in prayer with hands clasped while speaking ritual words. Every time someone thinks of a new way to cast a spell or reads through a spellbook, Boccob or Mystra get a bit of worship. Every time someone plants crops, Chauntea or Beory get a bit of worship. Every time someone makes a bigoted comment, Wastri gets a bit of worship. (Is there anyone like Wastri in the Realms?)

That is one possible way to work the gods, and actually a major part of Eberron's theories on how the Soveriegn's operate.

I don't think it is often the intent of the various settings though. For example, if you were raised with no knowledge of any gods of strength, and there are say six of them, then when you are five and wrestling with your brother are you worshiping one of the those gods? I don't think so. I think worship, generally, has to be intentional. You don't worship Boccob by learning magic by itself, but if you learn magic and think about honoring Boccob by doing so, then you are worshiping them, in some small manner.

Again, it can work differently, but I think that the game has often made intentionality a major part of worship.
 

pemerton

Legend
It wasn't until he provided a quote that explicitly said that the Greyhawk gods are not dependent on their worshippers that the matter was settled.
The quote doesn't say anything about Greyhawk gods at all. It refers to the "deities of the D&D pantheon". Which is my point: I don't see how a sideways reference to Greyhawk in a work in which there is no express reference to the World of Greyhawk is carrying an authority for you (or anyone else) that you do not accord to the actual Greyhawk texts. It's very strange, and as I said above not defensible as an approach to textual interpretation.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The quote doesn't say anything about Greyhawk gods at all. It refers to the "deities of the D&D pantheon". Which is my point: I don't see how a sideways reference to Greyhawk in a work in which there is no express reference to the World of Greyhawk is carrying an authority for you (or anyone else) that you do not accord to the actual Greyhawk texts. It's very strange, and as I said above not defensible as an approach to textual interpretation.
Perhaps you weren't aware that Greyhawk was the default setting for 3e, so the deities of the D&D pantheon are the Greyhawk gods. You can see this on page 32 of the PHB which lists the D&D pantheon gods and on pages 106-108 which talks about them in detail.
 

pemerton

Legend
Perhaps you weren't aware that Greyhawk was the default setting for 3e, so the deities of the D&D pantheon are the Greyhawk gods. You can see this on page 32 of the PHB which lists the D&D pantheon gods and on pages 106-108 which talks about them in detail.
I am aware of this, although you seem to have the wrong pages. It is on p 31 (in brief) and then on pp 90 to 92 (in full detail) that the list of gods is found. But the word Greyhawk is not found. Nor is it found on pp 159-60 of the DMG. Which is my point: Tthese 3E rulebooks and supplement are not sources of information about Greyhawk. They are derivative of the prior work that actually sets out the relevant information about GH and its gods - including Boccob, and Lendor, and others - from which one can infer that their power does not depend exclusively or even primarily on their numbers of worshippers.

(Perhaps you are citing the 3.5 PHB? I don't have a copy of that volume. But it was published after the 3E DDG - I believe in 2003.)
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I am aware of this, although you seem to have the wrong pages. It is on p 31 (in brief) and then on pp 90 to 92 (in full detail) that the list of gods is found. But the word Greyhawk is not found. Nor is it found on pp 159-60 of the DMG. Which is my point: Tthese 3E rulebooks and supplement are not sources of information about Greyhawk. They are derivative of the prior work that actually sets out the relevant information about GH and its gods - including Boccob, and Lendor, and others - from which one can infer that their power does not depend exclusively or even primarily on their numbers of worshippers.

(Perhaps you are citing the 3.5 PHB? I don't have a copy of that volume. But it was published after the 3E DDG - I believe in 2003.)
So it's just coincidence that the gods all mirror Greyhawk exactly and the living campaign for organized play was set in Greyhawk?
 

pemerton

Legend
So it's just coincidence that the gods all mirror Greyhawk exactly and the living campaign for organized play was set in Greyhawk?
Obviously not coincidence. As I posted, the 3E books are derived from Greyhawk. They are not more authoritative than the actual GH texts; whatever authority they have is dependent on how accurate they are as derivations.

That's why I don't treat the 3E DDG as telling me something new. Like me, its author worked out that you can't explain a god like Boccob if you insist that divine power and status depend on worship. And you work that out by reading the actual GH materials.
 

Voadam

Legend
The default setting of 3e pulled in elements from Greyhawk, but it is not Greyhawk. It makes substantial changes to just about everything it uses.
My understanding was that 3e's default setting was full on 3e era Greyhawk but the books only explicitly presented elements of it until you get the actual campaign supplements like the Gazetteer and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. The commentary on the product pages seems to support this view.

The timeline has advanced with Vecna going from a demigod in late WotC 2e era Greyhawk to a more powerful god after Die Vecna Die! where he failed to take over the whole D&D universe. What substantial changes do you see to just about everything the default 3e setting uses? Heironeous going from favored weapon axe to longsword does not seem that big.
 


Voadam

Legend
Right. This is like 4e using Bane as a god. It is obviously inspired by FR. But puts it to a different use.
4e was explicitly creating a new setting and cosmology using some reconceived individual elements from Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms and was not Greyhawk or FR. 3e's default setting in contrast seemed to be actual Greyhawk in the 3e era.

I saw individual people using 3e PH default stuff as non-Greyhawk generic 3e world setting, but WotC seems to have conceived of the default and used it as actual Greyhawk.

Some of those prior online lists of Greyhawk gods for instance have the tons of expansions of gods from 3e and 3.5 sourcebooks. Altua for instance is from the 3.5 Complete Warrior.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Obviously not coincidence. As I posted, the 3E books are derived from Greyhawk. They are not more authoritative than the actual GH texts; whatever authority they have is dependent on how accurate they are as derivations.

That's why I don't treat the 3E DDG as telling me something new. Like me, its author worked out that you can't explain a god like Boccob if you insist that divine power and status depend on worship. And you work that out by reading the actual GH materials.
They aren't derived from Greyhawk. They ARE Greyhawk. Greyhawk is the default setting, which is why it was used for the Living Greyhawk games.
 

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