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D&D General The Role and Purpose of Evil Gods

Chaosmancer

Legend
The DMG death domain is an optional rule.

What about the PHB Death Domain? Is it an optional rule too?

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

Hey Max, when you bold things, maybe you should bold the RIGHT things.

"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."

It is... really obvious that an Acolyte doesn't have a domain. So, you have two ideas here. Acolytes and the gods they worship and clerics and the gods they worship and the domains they choose.

Additionally, you are making a bit of a small error in your "three mistakes" claim. Your third is from Mordenkainen's and did you actually forget the conceit of Mordenkainen's?

"A companion to the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, this book contains the musings of the renowned wizard Mordenkainen from the world of Greyhawk." pg 4

Mordenkainen is an unreliable narrator, and he could easily be WRONG about Iuz "becoming" a demigod. He could have easily been born that way. After all, it isn't like Mordenkainen met him before he was trained by his mother and was able to measure him and see that he wasn't a demigod.


So, he is referred to as a god in both the PHB and DMG. He grants spells and answers prayers like a god. And the only places he is referred to as a demigod are the writings of one of his enemies, and a summary of the setting which might have had a typo.
 

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Voadam

Legend
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."

Says up there Grazz'zt is a demon lord, and that Iuz became a demigod.
Not one I own so I am not as familiar with its material. Thanks for the quote. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Not one I own so I am not as familiar with its material. Thanks for the quote. :)
No problem. It seems pretty clear that if you can become a demigod, that not all demigods are the kind who are born of a god and mortal. Perhaps these other kinds can grant spells. Perhaps Iuz can't grant them and someone is doing it for some reason. Who knows.
 

Mirtek

Hero
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.
So a human who becomes a god is still a human?
 

Mirtek

Hero
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.
Actually for you to be correct requires a misstake in the appendix
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
So a human who becomes a god is still a human?

Interesting point, counter-point. If we had (which to my knowledge has never happened) an elf that ascended to be a god... we would refer to them as an Elven God, correct? And in their story we would like refer to them as "The Elf [X] who ascended to godhood." But we need the "ascent to godhood" not because they are a god now and not an elf, but because they are powerful in ways that calling them an elf wouldn't convey. Demigods, unless you are reading very very closely, don't have that same issue. They are immensely powerful and so you have far less confusion until you get into situations like this one.
 

Voadam

Legend
So a human who becomes a god is still a human?
Good question. I would tend to think of human ascension as more of a change and not just an addition even though I would think of them as a human god. Greek Myth had a bunch. Is Ariadne still a human after Dionysus marries her and she becomes immortal? It seems tough to make a general call to extend to demigods and other types of beings from that though. I think we would say that the Demon Lord Juiblex in 2e Monster Mythology was a non-deity demon lord before he was worshiped by the aboleth cult and became a god, but we would still call him a demon lord after that ascension. I would think nothing of referring to Nike the Greek Goddess of Victory as the Titan Nike, or to Lolth as either the Goddess Lolth or the Demon Lord Lolth.

For what its worth Dionysus and Heracles both make it on Wikipedia's list of Demigods.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Actually for you to be correct requires a misstake in the appendix
No it doesn't. A quasi-deity is still a god(per DMG) AND has domains for the non-spellcasting acolytes(per Appendix B). No mistakes required. The only issue is that they designed the game in such a way as to cause confusion, but that's poor design, not a mistake like calling Iuz a demigod in two different books would be if he's really a lesser god.
 

Voadam

Legend
No it doesn't. A quasi-deity is still a god(per DMG) AND has domains for the non-spellcasting acolytes(per Appendix B). No mistakes required. The only issue is that they designed the game in such a way as to cause confusion, but that's poor design, not a mistake like calling Iuz a demigod in two different books would be if he's really a lesser god.
Are you saying DMG demigod quasi-deities are gods? It describes them as divine origin beings who in theory are able to ascend to godhood if they amass enough worshipers.

"Quasi-deities have a divine origin, but they don't hear or answer prayers, grant spells to clerics, or control aspects of mortal life. They are still immensely powerful beings, and in theory they could ascend to godhood if they amassed enough worshipers. Quasi-deities fall into three subcategories: demigods, titans, and vestiges."

I would not normally think of something that can ascend to godhood as already being a god.

The whole sidebar is talking about divine beings, which seems to be both gods and beings that are less than gods who can become gods.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Are you saying DMG demigod quasi-deities are gods? It describes them as divine origin beings who in theory are able to ascend to godhood if they amass enough worshipers.

"Quasi-deities have a divine origin, but they don't hear or answer prayers, grant spells to clerics, or control aspects of mortal life. They are still immensely powerful beings, and in theory they could ascend to godhood if they amassed enough worshipers. Quasi-deities fall into three subcategories: demigods, titans, and vestiges."
Broadly, yes. The divine ranks are talking about deities(gods) of various ranks. Demigods are the lowest rank and could rise from demigod to true god, but are still the lowest rank of "god."

The opening paragraph talks about the divine ranks and how gods can vary, depending on the plane. The ranks are not greater and lesser god, but rather greater and lesser deity. Quasideity is the lowest rank, demigods are part of that. Again, they didn't do well with descriptions here. Had the above ranks been lesser god and greater god, then it would be clear that quasi-deities were not gods. But since all three are deities, otherwise known as gods, they are all just categories of the same. In the context used, "godhood" just means ability to grant 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
Does that mean that per raw, any spellcasters can now have a domain just by choosing the acolyte background???

No way. It does not imply that at all. But it would make up for some strange yet funny characters... imagine a wizard being an acolyte of... Pelor. The wizard would get access to cures and quite a lot of spells with the life domain.

Nah... would be to unbalanced, yet, it could explain the "white wizards" in Lankhmar...
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Does that mean that per raw, any spellcasters can now have a domain just by choosing the acolyte background???

No way. It does not imply that at all. But it would make up for some strange yet funny characters... imagine a wizard being an acolyte of... Pelor. The wizard would get access to cures and quite a lot of spells with the life domain.

Nah... would be to unbalanced, yet, it could explain the "white wizards" in Lankhmar...
That would be really cool, but I think it's for RP reasons. You pick the god(deity or quasi-deity), let's say Auril. If you select tempest, your RP might be more wild and chaotic, than say if you chose nature.
 



Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Irrelevant to discussions of RAW. Yes, the DM can change literally anything he wants. So what.
Yet - and here's the conundrum - the fact that the RAW flat-out states that a DM can change anything she wants in effect gives RAW-level authority to a DM's changes....which kinda puts this whole discussion on a very sandy foundation as in this case (as per @Voadam 's analysis) the RAW seem to be intentionally set up in such a way as to be malleable by each DM.

End result: there's no definable right or wrong at any broader scope than a single DM's table(s).
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yet - and here's the conundrum - the fact that the RAW flat-out states that a DM can change anything she wants in effect gives RAW-level authority to a DM's changes....which kinda puts this whole discussion on a very sandy foundation as in this case (as per @Voadam 's analysis) the RAW seem to be intentionally set up in such a way as to be malleable by each DM.

End result: there's no definable right or wrong at any broader scope than a single DM's table(s).
If everything the DM rules or changes is RAW, then RAW ceases to have any meaning.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If everything the DM rules or changes is RAW, then RAW ceases to have any meaning.
On a scale greater than a single table, exactly; and that's my point.

Discussing rules that most DMs don't change from their RAW version - e.g. combat rules, spell write-ups, and so on - can be useful. Discussing RAW that are intentionally set up to be changed or adapted by each DM/table, such as these definitions of divinity seem to be, is probably pointless for anything other than theorycrafting and-or generating ideas for one's own adaptation.
 

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