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D&D General The Role and Purpose of Evil Gods

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
A demigod who ascends is still the child of a god and a mortal and so fits the 5e DMG definition of a demigod. A demigod who ascends is now a full god who has domains and grants cleric spells and not a quasi-deity who does not grant cleric spells.

Two different ways to read the same text about demigods as being mixed divine mortal heritage beings who are not gods but can ascend and be gods.
He isn't a demigod any longer, though. The way the DMG is written, the power level of demigod is for those scions of mortals and gods that remain at that level. When promoted the parentage doesn't change, but he's no longer a demigod. He has ascended to full god.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
If the DM chooses to promote him, sure. If the DM chooses to go with him as a demigod per the DMG, then Iuz simply renains a quasi-deity in Appendix B that can't grant anything at all.

"A Dungeon Master adjudicates the game and determines whether to use an official ruling in play. The DM always has the final say on rules
questions." This is, more than anything, a background question. If a DM chooses to go with him as a demigod, he might or might not be a quasi-deity, and he might very well grant spells if it is what the DM wishes.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"A Dungeon Master adjudicates the game and determines whether to use an official ruling in play. The DM always has the final say on rules
questions." This is, more than anything, a background question. If a DM chooses to go with him as a demigod, he might or might not be a quasi-deity, and he might very well grant spells if it is what the DM wishes.
Irrelevant to discussions of RAW. Yes, the DM can change literally anything he wants. So what.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Irrelevant to discussions of RAW. Yes, the DM can change literally anything he wants. So what.

How is this a discussion of RAW ? We are talking about the role and purpose of Evil Gods. Why do you want to bring RAW into this ? And what you are posing as RAW is a simple sidebar that starts with "The divine beings of the multiverse are often categorized according to their cosmic power". How is that even a rule ?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
How is this a discussion of RAW ? We are talking about the role and purpose of Evil Gods. Why do you want to bring RAW into this ? And what you are posing as RAW is a simple sidebar that starts with "The divine beings of the multiverse are often categorized according to their cosmic power". How is that even a rule ?
You might want to make sure that you are following the discussion before you interject yourself. This hasn't been about the role for many pages now.
 

Voadam

Legend
How is this a discussion of RAW ? We are talking about the role and purpose of Evil Gods. Why do you want to bring RAW into this ? And what you are posing as RAW is a simple sidebar that starts with "The divine beings of the multiverse are often categorized according to their cosmic power". How is that even a rule ?
Part of it is a discussion of what are gods and fiend lords in D&D, which has had different takes throughout D&D's editions and worlds which at various points were rules or baselines and at points were unspecified but with textual indications. So thus we have had discussions about whether and at what points Lolth was and was not considered a goddess under D&D rules.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The DMG explicitly says Iuz is a demigod.

Anyone else? Also, Iuz has long granted spells, and has domains listed in the PHB that he grant's access to. So... was it a copy and paste from older lore that didn't check the new defintions. Or were they just giggling as they make people incredibly confused by either retconning the entire setting or listing Iuz as multiple different things?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Iuz as a 5e Demigod can fit into the definitions of 5e demigods, but it is some work.

5e Demigods can ascend and become full gods. If you consider Grazz't a god in 5e then Iuz is a demigod under the Quasi-deity sidebar definition and he can ascend to full god status who grants spells to clerics. In GH lore that is my understanding of what Iuz did, coming into older edition demigod deity power with his own clerics.

In 5e this would put him as an ascended Lesser God Demigod, similar to Greek Heracles and Dionysus, while most 5e demigods are mortal bigger than life heroic people like Theseus and Perseus and are classified as quasi-deities who do not hear prayers.

Zagyg however would require additions to his story to be called a 5e demigod as there is no indication that he comes from divine parents, he just did a big magic ritual to ascend to become a god.

Grazz't brings us back to the demons and evil gods split.

5e in the DMG makes the distinction of gods who grant cleric spells and non-gods (quasi-deities) who do not.

The 5e MM is not entirely clear on the status of things like demon lords. Page 51: "The chaotic power of the Abyss rewards demons of particular ruthlessness and ingenuity with a dark blessing, transforming them into unique fiends whose power can rival the gods." The phrasing can rival the gods implies they are not gods themselves, but does not say so explicitly.

Lolth in the 5e MM is described as a goddess who became a demon lord. It does not specify whether she is no longer a goddess or whether she grants spells to clerics, but it does call her the matron of drow and refers to her priestesses, her faithful, and her followers.

The 5e DMG page 12 mentions fiends as non-deity lesser spirits who might grant spells under a certain number of "if" conditions.

"If you introduce a monotheistic religion into your campaign, you need to decide whether other gods exist. Even if they don't, other religions can exist side by side with the monotheistic religion. If these religions have clerics with spellcasting ability, their spells might be powered by the one true deity, by lesser spirits who aren't deities (possibly including powerful aberrations, celestials, fey, fiends, or elementals), or simply by their faith."

This seems like the DMG laying down options and not establishing a D&D baseline. Alternatively this could be read as consistent with a baseline that all lesser spirits can grant cleric spells in D&D or that only under these specified conditions can non-deity lesser spirits grant cleric spells and go against the baseline that such non-deities cannot grant clerics spells.

5e seems ambiguous on the status of fiend lords.

Ah, good point. I did not consider, and shall refer @Maxperson to this, that he might be an ascended Demigod due to the worship of his empire. That would make more sense.

Edit: And I should have read the next few pages to see that Max denies that Iuz is ascended, because then he would be labeled as a Lesser God, and the cycle starts right back over with the DMG information just confusing the issue.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Anyone else? Also, Iuz has long granted spells, and has domains listed in the PHB that he grant's access to. So... was it a copy and paste from older lore that didn't check the new defintions. Or were they just giggling as they make people incredibly confused by either retconning the entire setting or listing Iuz as multiple different things?
Occam's Razor. For you to be correct relies upon professional designers making not one, but two mistakes. For me to be correct requires what it says in print. The simplest explanation is that Iuz is a demigod.

Edit: Not two mistakes, but now three mistakes in three separate books.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Ah, good point. I did not consider, and shall refer @Maxperson to this, that he might be an ascended Demigod due to the worship of his empire. That would make more sense.
There is no such classification as Demigod lesser god. It doesn't exist. By RAW, Iuz is only a demigod. You have to fabricate a completely new classification for god in order for that to be correct.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And this is in Mordenkainen's on page 32.

"Cambions spawned by demon lords sometimes manifest different abilities from a typical cambion. Graz'zt is notable among demon lords for the many cambions he has spawned across the multiverse. Most famous among them is Iuz, who combined his father's abyssal heritage and his mother's peerless arcane tutelage to become a demigod."

Again, not a lesser god. Not a demigod god. Simply a demigod. And he wasn't born a demigod by that statement. In 5e he BECAME a demigod by growing in power.

So now we have two instances of demigod and one directing us to Appendix B for quasi-deities. You guys now need there to be three errors on the part of the designers in three different books.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Occam's Razor. For you to be correct relies upon professional designers making not one, but two mistakes. For me to be correct requires what it says in print. The simplest explanation is that Iuz is a demigod.

So, none of those other 13 gods count anymore. Good to know we are down to a single inconsistency.

And, no, it doesn't require what is says in print, because here is everything is says in print.

Iuz is the God of Pain and Oppression (PHB)
Iuz grants spells and access to the Death Domain (PHB, with DMG for the actual Death Domain)
Iuz is a demigod (DMG [pg 68 by the way, not 63])
Iuz is half demon(DMG) pg 18
Iuz is a God (DMG) pg 96

To Quote the Death Domain "Gods of the Death domain also embody murder (Anubis, Bhaal, and Pyremius), pain (Iuz or Loviatar), disease or poison (Incabulos, Talona, or Morgion), and the\underworld (Hades and Hel)." pg

So, Iuz is a half demon/demigod/God of Pain.

There is no such classification as Demigod lesser god. It doesn't exist. By RAW, Iuz is only a demigod. You have to fabricate a completely new classification for god in order for that to be correct.

Which brings us back to the classification system

Quasi-Deities state that they can become full deities with enough worshipers. Iuz being a Demigod and a Half Demon Cambion, because Graz'zt is a Godlike Demon, qualifies him as a Quasi-diety who then ascended to become a lesser God due to the worship of his empire. Which isn't a classification I made up, it is literally in the rules and it makes the most sense given the spread of how he is refereed to.

Your other options are

A) Iuz is only a demi-god but he breaks the rules of the classification system by granting spells and answering prayers anyways.
B) Iuz is a god, and the one time he was refered to as a Demigod in the summary of what Greyhawk is/was is because of a copy paste mistake.


Also, while this doesn't address the acolyte... Yes, it is possible that TWO WHOLE mistakes might have been made in 636 pages worth of writing covering seven settings and 20 planes of existence.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, none of those other 13 gods count anymore. Good to know we are down to a single inconsistency.

And, no, it doesn't require what is says in print, because here is everything is says in print.

Iuz is the God of Pain and Oppression (PHB)
Iuz grants spells and access to the Death Domain (PHB, with DMG for the actual Death Domain)
Iuz is a demigod (DMG [pg 68 by the way, not 63])
Iuz is half demon(DMG) pg 18
Iuz is a God (DMG) pg 96

To Quote the Death Domain "Gods of the Death domain also embody murder (Anubis, Bhaal, and Pyremius), pain (Iuz or Loviatar), disease or poison (Incabulos, Talona, or Morgion), and the\underworld (Hades and Hel)." pg

So, Iuz is a half demon/demigod/God of Pain.
The DMG death domain is an optional rule.
Quasi-Deities state that they can become full deities with enough worshipers. Iuz being a Demigod and a Half Demon Cambion, because Graz'zt is a Godlike Demon, qualifies him as a Quasi-diety who then ascended to become a lesser God due to the worship of his empire. Which isn't a classification I made up, it is literally in the rules and it makes the most sense given the spread of how he is refereed to.

Your other options are

A) Iuz is only a demi-god but he breaks the rules of the classification system by granting spells and answering prayers anyways.
B) Iuz is a god, and the one time he was refered to as a Demigod in the summary of what Greyhawk is/was is because of a copy paste mistake.


Also, while this doesn't address the acolyte... Yes, it is possible that TWO WHOLE mistakes might have been made in 636 pages worth of writing covering seven settings and 20 planes of existence.
Not two mistakes, three in three different books all on the same topic. Highly unlikely. He also per RAW wasn't born a demigod, he became one, which defies the DMG classifications. Perhaps there are multiple classifications of demigod. 🤷 One thing is clear, though. He's not anything other than a demigod, despite his presence as an optional rule in the death domain and being on Appendix B as a possible god(per RAW the DM decides who on that list is worshipped).

He's a demigod unless the DM opts to make him a full god. Any by the way, an Acolyte should consider domains when picking a god, even though he doesn't cast spells. The presence of domains in Appendix B is not proof that the god grants spells.

"If you're playing a cleric or a character with the Acolyte background, decide which god your deity serves or served, and consider the deity's suggested domains when selecting your character's domain." PHB page 293
 

Voadam

Legend
The DMG sidebar does not explicitly specify whether a demigod who ascends to become a full god is no longer referenced as a demigod.

Similar for Lolth in the 5e MM. She is a goddess who became a demon lord. It does not specify if this was an addition of demon lord to being a goddess or a change from goddess to demon lord and no longer a goddess. It is unspecified.

Textual references in 5e to Iuz present tense as both a god and a demigod would indicate that Iuz as an ascended demigod has moved from quasi-deity status to full god status but is still a demigod (in effect a demigod god instead of a demigod quasi-deity).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The DMG sidebar does not explicitly specify whether a demigod who ascends to become a full god is no longer referenced as a demigod.
It wouldn't make any sense to continue to refer to them that way. In any case, Iuz was not born a demigod in 5e, so that doesn't apply. He became a Demigod.
 

Faolyn

Hero
The DMG death domain is an optional rule.
How many DMs do you really think disallow the Death and Oathbreaker just because they're in the DMG?

He's a demigod unless the DM opts to make him a full god. Any by the way, an Acolyte should consider domains when picking a god, even though he doesn't cast spells. The presence of domains in Appendix B is not proof that the god grants spells.

"If you're playing a cleric or a character with the Acolyte background, decide which god your deity serves or served, and consider the deity's suggested domains when selecting your character's domain." PHB page 293
An acolyte is a background, not a spellcasting class. This sentence is also terribly written, and they should be ashamed of themselves for the phrase "decide which god your deity serves or served." At any rate, this is clearly a clumsy way of saying "if you're playing a cleric or an acolyte, pick a god. If you're playing a cleric, pick an appropriate domain."

Anyway, just because acolytes can pick a god--even if they could pick a domain!--it doesn't mean that the god they picked can't grant spells. You can be an acolyte of Bane or Bahamut or Moradin and not be a cleric (in one of the games I run, there's a barbarian acolyte of Melora), but that doesn't mean that those gods can't grant spells. They just don't grant spells to anyone who isn't a divine spellcaster.
 

Faolyn

Hero
The DMG sidebar does not explicitly specify whether a demigod who ascends to become a full god is no longer referenced as a demigod.

Similar for Lolth in the 5e MM. She is a goddess who became a demon lord. It does not specify if this was an addition of demon lord to being a goddess or a change from goddess to demon lord and no longer a goddess. It is unspecified.

Textual references in 5e to Iuz present tense as both a god and a demigod would indicate that Iuz as an ascended demigod has moved from quasi-deity status to full god status but is still a demigod (in effect a demigod god instead of a demigod quasi-deity).
This sounds about right. He's called a demigod, probably because his home plane is the Prime, but he's not actually a demigod in terms of power.
 

Voadam

Legend
It wouldn't make any sense to continue to refer to them that way. In any case, Iuz was not born a demigod in 5e, so that doesn't apply. He became a Demigod.
In older editions where demigod was a power status he became a demigod power with clerics. I don't believe it says in 5e that he became a demigod.

In 5e if he is the son of a mortal (Iggwilv) and a God (Graz'zt) then he is a demigod. So it would come down to is Graz'zt a god (or if not, is Iggwilv a god). If so then Iuz was born a 5e demigod and when he came to power with clerics that was his demigod gaining ascension to full god status.

If 5e calls him a demigod and 5e defines demigods as those born to mortals and gods then it would seem in 5e he is a demigod born to a mortal and a god.
 

Voadam

Legend
It wouldn't make any sense to continue to refer to them that way.
The three types of Quasi-Deities, demigods, titans, and vestiges, are not divine power levels but also defined as origins. So it would make sense to still refer casually to an ascended titan as a titan or an ascended vestige as a vestige even though after ascension they are also full gods.

I can see it making sense to refer to Heracles as a demigod.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
In older editions where demigod was a power status he became a demigod power with clerics. I don't believe it says in 5e that he became a demigod.
I quoted it.

And this is in Mordenkainen's on page 32.

"Cambions spawned by demon lords sometimes manifest different abilities from a typical cambion. Graz'zt is notable among demon lords for the many cambions he has spawned across the multiverse. Most famous among them is Iuz, who combined his father's abyssal heritage and his mother's peerless arcane tutelage to become a demigod."
In 5e if he is the son of a mortal (Iggwilv) and a God (Graz'zt) then he is a demigod. So it would come down to is Graz'zt a god (or if not, is Iggwilv a god). If so then Iuz was born a 5e demigod and when he came to power with clerics that was his demigod gaining ascension to full god status.
Says up there Grazz'zt is a demon lord, and that Iuz became a demigod.
 
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