log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General The Role and Purpose of Evil Gods

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It was the novels, which probably makes it much harder to look up.

It was the Avatar stuff during the Time of Troubles, maybe the novel the Prince of Lies, but I am having trouble as well. I know it has come up and people have quoted the section though
I don't think it was the Time of Troubles as lots of people and gods died, but I vaguely have a recollection of it happening at some point. Maybe it was Prince of Lies.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I'm not super familiar with all of these, but let me take a quick stab at them

Jotun vs the Aesir: Many of the Jotuns WERE more powerful than some of the gods. They weren't more powerful than Thor in a direct fight, but Idun was a goddess and certainly not more powerful than the Jotuns that fought Thor. Also, the most famous story I know of Thor and Loki's adventures together involve them going to a Jotun's castle, where they are bamboozled with illusions repeatedly. The Aesir are physically powerful, but the Jotuns are their match mystically, is the general sense I have gotten. But, again, I'm not super familiar with all the details of Norse mythology, but there seems to be plenty of wiggle room.

Indian Mythos I'm not super familiar with. Do you mean Hinduism? Hinduism has many legends of the Deva's being opposed by the Asura. There are of course greater powers above them, but it is certainly an equal struggle up until the highest points of Nirvana, and the Deva's FAR outnumber the Asura. And, additionally, it gets odd sometimes. For example, the Goddess Durga was created by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva along with a host of "lesser gods" to defeat a single Demon, the Bull Demon Mahisasura. Which indicates that that demon was at least as powerful as a single god, because it took a bunch of them pooling their power to create a new deity to defeat him. I'm certainly not a scholar of Hinduism though, so my understanding could be coming from a compilation of stories from different regions and time periods.

South American mythology I'm not familiar with... but you straight up refute your own point. "you placate the gods to make them not do evil" In that case... the gods are not more powerful but less numerous than the evils, the gods ARE the evils. And, depending on the culture such as the Aztecs, there are evils stronger than a single god. The being that makes up the Earth for example took the five strongest gods to defeat.

I'm not terribly familiar with the Assyrian or Babylonian myths, but I do want to follow a thread from South America by looking towards Egypt. In Egypt you have the serpent that is planning on destroying the world, and sometimes the Serpent is held at bay by only Ra and other times they are held at bay by a team up of the Gods.

And I think this ties into the larger metatextuality of the situation. Many of the stories have the Gods as the heroes and protagonists. So, sometimes they face "an uncountable horde" that their amazing powers get them through, other times they are faced with a single foe of equal power, and sometimes they get defeated and are forced to team up with other gods. There are many tropes involved in mythology.

And, for another point, The Monkey King from Journey to the West is technically a Demon (along with a dozen other things, ah, Monkey.) And there are gods he just punks without effort (The Jade Emperor). Other Demons he can defeat easily, some he can't. Other divine beings like the Buddha are far beyond him. It isn't clear cut that Gods = more powerful.



I don't understand what you are trying to say here.



Hmm, question the role of evil gods... like this thread and the previous thread did?


Again, I'm not going to disagree with the history of DnD, we both know what the history is. I'm disagreeing that it was the best solution.
Too tired to go into sparing with you. But again, you take a single point, search for one or two examples to prove your point and failed to look at the large picture. So go ahead. The goal was to show you that it did happened not that it was the only thing in mythos...

You don't want evil gods? Fine, why do ask what to do with them then?
 

Minigiant

Legend
But it makes for a poorer story.
Opinion.

Um... sure you can? There is nothing about Orcus in terms of alignment and goals that isn't pretty much equally true of Nerull. Nerulls's titles include "The Foe of All Good" and "Hater of Life". So you can't exactly have a G adventurer worshipping Nerull either.

So, in the status quo we have an unquestionably evil being in charge of death and the undead, so it being a different unquestionably evil being shouldn't really change anything.
Orcus is a bit more vile than Nerull. Nerull still cared about the cycle of life to death. Orcus only cared about the undead part, perverting the cylce.

So you could not run a G adventurer of Nerull, you could be N.

Ah, your longest answer holds part of the key. You are putting forth a change in settings and applying it across all settings. Greyhawk still has an evil god of death.

Now, yes, Forgotten realms has a neutral god of death now, this has occured in many places. However, what about the god of savagery? Malar I think his name is, who is a the god of evil lycanthropes and beasts. Why does he exist when we already have Yeengohu and Baphomet? Do we want to make him neutral so we have that aspect for PCs? I don't think so.

So, in the specific example of death, there is a change, but in other aspects there is not

Well that's why modern settings like Nerath and Exandria got rid of Nerull and Malar and made their death and hunt goddesses Neutral.

But even with evil gods, you get differences in enemies.


Church of Evil Gods
  • Clerics
  • Paladins
  • Humanoid tarpit
  • Fortified temples
  • Can have urban sites
  • More Healing allows for classic Tank, Heal, Damage tactics

Cults of Evil Fiends
  • Warlocks
  • Sorcerers
  • Fiendish chaff
  • Open sites
  • More likely to have wilderness HQs
  • More Blasting allows for Tank and Nuke tactics
 

What doesn't make sense is having gods who fulfill basically the same function as demons and devils and Lovecraftian Far Realm entities. Why have a god of tyranny like Bane, when you also have archdevils like Asmodeus and Levistus who promote tyranny? What does Bane have to offer someone that Asmodeus et al can't also offer? Why have a god of chaos and murder like Bhaal when you've got demons that are all about that sort of thing? Why have a god of death/undeath like Myrkul when you've got a "demon prince of undeath" in the form of Orcus? What sets Tharizdun apart from Cthulhu and Hadar and their ilk?
I really like the thought behind these questions. To answer simply, I think you have found your answer. For your world, it sounds as if it wouldn't reconcile with your creation logic. Therefore, you don't need them. Of course, if you excluded demons and devils, then maybe they would have a place. But if not, toss them. They are not needed.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Too tired to go into sparing with you. But again, you take a single point, search for one or two examples to prove your point and failed to look at the large picture. So go ahead. The goal was to show you that it did happened not that it was the only thing in mythos...

You don't want evil gods? Fine, why do ask what to do with them then?

This may shock you but I'm not looking for a confrontation or a fight. I'm looking for a discussion.

If you go back to the OP, you will see that I DIDN'T ask what to do with them. I'm not the OP. I just offered some insights. Are there examples of what you describe where the forces of evil are weaker and more numerous? Yes. As you said, Judeo-Christian and Muslim practices do feature exactly that motif. Is it the most common trope in the world? I don't know for certain, but I don't think it is. And even if it is, it seems to me that in polytheistic frameworks like what you see in DnD you are far more likely to have forces of evil be equally powerful or more powerful.


See, I think that Evil Gods exist in DnD historically for two reasons. 1) To give us evil clerics 2) Because people were throwing all sorts of ideas at the wall to see what sticks. That's why we have dozens of overlapping deities, because people just made up a new force for their adventures constantly. This has led to a plethora of being mentioned once in a magazine and never again. Or maybe once in a magazine and then making a cameo in an adventure, then getting tied in with someone else's origin story.

But, if we ask the question "why do demons and devils exist in DnD" the answer is a bit self-obvious. Of course we have demons and devils to act as the incarnations of evil. That just makes sense. The third point I'm getting at, the disconnect comes in why the most powerful demons and devils aren't basically gods. And this is where polytheism ran face first into monotheism. It is very easy to see a being like Typhon as "Demon Prince" being the child of Gaia and Tartarus (easy to make the comparison, though it is inaccurate since Tartarus isn't evil in greek mythology) and was more than a match for the Olympians until Zues used his thunderbolts, one version of the myth having the entire pantheon flee to egypt in the face of Typhon. And "evil 'demon' that challenges the gods" is a very, very common trope in polytheistic religions. And while the Gods win, it isn't a curb stomp and it is often only the most powerful of the gods who win.

However, in DnD, "gods" are the highest tier of beings and far more powerful than the demons and devils, so it is goes that even a non-combatant god, like Hestia, would be able to destroy a demon prince with little effort... which just isn't how the mythologies around this would go. Heck, it is heavily implied in the story of Pirithous that a mortal man could kidnap a goddess (though putting Persephone in her proper context makes that laughable, Dread Persephone is far scarier than her well-known mythology implies. Minoan's man.)


Which rounds us back to the point that has been brought up a few times. Other than "because the game was built with this fact" what value do we get from "God" being a more powerful and higher order of being? Sure, we have the story of Orcus trying to become a God to be more powerful and do stuff... but we already have gods of undeath who have that power he seeks. If Orcus becoming a god of undeath was truly a world-threatening event, then the existing gods of undeath would be threatening the world and a much more serious threat. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason not to make the Gods, Archdevils, Demon Princes (seriously, I want a better title for them), Archfey, Primal Spirits, ect all about the same power. I think it makes for a more compelling battlefield to get involved in if Orcus or Graz'zt CAN threaten the throne of Pelor or Amaunator, and the PCs can get powerful enough to tip that balance. As it stands, the only way to make that story happen is to have the Demon's first severely weaken the god, then attack. While the gods stand so far above everyone and everything else as to not really get involved except through agents.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend

Sure, but until you provide any reasoning that I'm wrong, I have no reason to change my opinion.

Orcus is a bit more vile than Nerull. Nerull still cared about the cycle of life to death. Orcus only cared about the undead part, perverting the cylce.

So you could not run a G adventurer of Nerull, you could be N.

Um... no, he didn't. Some choice quotes from the Wiki

"Nerull is the patron deity of those who seek the greatest evil for their own enjoyment or gain."

"Named clerics of He Who Revels in the Slaying of the Living..."

"Nerull's faithful believe they will be rewarded for acts of murder, for every living thing is an abomination in the eyes of the Reaper. "

This is not a being who cares about the cycle of life and death, this is a being that wants to kill all life. It is literally one of his titles: "Hater of Life". I don't know where you are getting this more neutral "cares about the cycle" Nerull from, but it is certainly not from the traditional sources on him. The only difference seems to be that Nerull would destroy all the undead after he was finished killing all life, instead of ruling the undead like Orcus would.

Well that's why modern settings like Nerath and Exandria got rid of Nerull and Malar and made their death and hunt goddesses Neutral.

But even with evil gods, you get differences in enemies.


Church of Evil Gods
  • Clerics
  • Paladins
  • Humanoid tarpit
  • Fortified temples
  • Can have urban sites
  • More Healing allows for classic Tank, Heal, Damage tactics

Cults of Evil Fiends
  • Warlocks
  • Sorcerers
  • Fiendish chaff
  • Open sites
  • More likely to have wilderness HQs
  • More Blasting allows for Tank and Nuke tactics

Again, I know that the game is setting us up to say that evil gods = evil clerics. But that ignores a few things. Like, for example, the fact that a Church can have Celestial Pact warlocks and Divine Soul Sorcerers, so those enemies make sense in both places. If we look towards tradition, and to the Cult Fanatic statblock, we see that clerics are not unheard of among cults to demon princes and archdevils. Heck, at certain points, those beings were gods. We also have Blackguards and Hell Knights. The Oath of Conquest in DnD 5e specifically states that it is the Oath of Hell Knights who work for The Nine Hells and the Archdevils.

And the locations are equally variable. I could have a fight against the Church of Shar in a desert ruin as easily as I could have a fight against the Followers of Graz'zt in a fortified building in a major city.

So, no. I don't think that we can conclusively break these enemies into Warlocks and Sorcerers vs Clerics and Paladins. Both make perfect sense in both places, and have been used in both places. I will say though that having Evil Gods served by Demons and Devils does make things more confusing, and they often are served by them, because it again and again raises the questions "Why do Devils, known for unserving loyalty to the Nine Hells, serve beings who are not part of the Nine Hells?"
 

I can share the examples for my campaign in hopes that it gives alternatives or at least some semblance of logic.

I have the traditional one god; a mixture of the Second Great Awakening and Transcendentalism. Basically, what you do while you are here matters for your soul.

Then the polytheistic old gods. The people who look to them are able to wrap their minds around the fact that these gods harbor a duality: death and birth, blessings and curses, ideals and flaws, nature and the supernatural, etc. They also help tie in the creature compendium.

Then the idolization of ancient heroes. Basically, a society that based their religion on the worship of their founding fathers, where each father represents a trait they are known for: strength, wisdom, and wit. Prayer beads and temples exist, and stories of their past heroics and/or plans are sermonized.

Then the supernatural. They believe that things are afoot in nature and superstition from rituals to prayers can be used to placate or draw nature's ire.

Then a group are agnostic, and some atheistic in their belief.

These really make up the five large areas of the campaign. Fairly easy to work into a setting, and hammer home the societal "group think," which adds quite a bit of flavor to the NPCs, architecture, visuals for daily life, and culture of a place. Of course, there are outliers of the religious societal norms, but they are outliers and presented as thus.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I really like the thought behind these questions. To answer simply, I think you have found your answer. For your world, it sounds as if it wouldn't reconcile with your creation logic. Therefore, you don't need them. Of course, if you excluded demons and devils, then maybe they would have a place. But if not, toss them. They are not needed.
Bane is local to Toril. Asmodeus is in Hell and has to worry about the larger picture. Just because you have a CEO, doesn't mean that you don't also need middle management in order to run an efficient operation.
 

Faolyn

Hero
It was the novels, which probably makes it much harder to look up.

It was the Avatar stuff during the Time of Troubles, maybe the novel the Prince of Lies, but I am having trouble as well. I know it has come up and people have quoted the section though
Well, it's not showing up on the FR wiki. And from what I've seen, that's usually pretty good at including the novels.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, it's not showing up on the FR wiki. And from what I've seen, that's usually pretty good at including the novels.
I think we're confusing the dead souls in the city of the dead wandering around aimlessly, with people not dying, which has happened outside of D&D in multiple instances. Cyric wasn't doing his duty as god of the dead and left the souls to just sit there until Kelemvor showed up and the souls put the power of belief into him and he became the god of the dead.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Bane is local to Toril. Asmodeus is in Hell and has to worry about the larger picture. Just because you have a CEO, doesn't mean that you don't also need middle management in order to run an efficient operation.
Ah, that explains why I've never had Bane as a deity - the one time I used FR as a base for a setting (pretty much just the maps!) I rewrote most of its pantheon. If memory serves, of the originals I kept Mielikki and Tymora and that was about it.
 

Bird Of Play

Explorer
I see my campaign's gods much like Greek/Roman gods: they aren't evil or good, they just are, and they usually serve a purpose. Much like natural forces, or emotions.

I picked up the classic D&D pantheon for that, but adapted it to my view. For example, for me Tymora goddess of fortune and Beshaba goddess of misfortune, are seen in some cities as twin sisters, and in other cities even as the same two-faced goddess (a bit like Janus of the Roman pantheon).

I tried to keep that duality for all of the gods. Ilmater is the god of torture but he's also the god of medicine. Tempus is the god of defending and protecting the innocent, but he's also the god of war and slaughter.
 

This may shock you but I'm not looking for a confrontation or a fight. I'm looking for a discussion.

If you go back to the OP, you will see that I DIDN'T ask what to do with them. I'm not the OP. I just offered some insights. Are there examples of what you describe where the forces of evil are weaker and more numerous? Yes. As you said, Judeo-Christian and Muslim practices do feature exactly that motif. Is it the most common trope in the world? I don't know for certain, but I don't think it is. And even if it is, it seems to me that in polytheistic frameworks like what you see in DnD you are far more likely to have forces of evil be equally powerful or more powerful.


See, I think that Evil Gods exist in DnD historically for two reasons. 1) To give us evil clerics 2) Because people were throwing all sorts of ideas at the wall to see what sticks. That's why we have dozens of overlapping deities, because people just made up a new force for their adventures constantly. This has led to a plethora of being mentioned once in a magazine and never again. Or maybe once in a magazine and then making a cameo in an adventure, then getting tied in with someone else's origin story.

But, if we ask the question "why do demons and devils exist in DnD" the answer is a bit self-obvious. Of course we have demons and devils to act as the incarnations of evil. That just makes sense. The third point I'm getting at, the disconnect comes in why the most powerful demons and devils aren't basically gods. And this is where polytheism ran face first into monotheism. It is very easy to see a being like Typhon as "Demon Prince" being the child of Gaia and Tartarus (easy to make the comparison, though it is inaccurate since Tartarus isn't evil in greek mythology) and was more than a match for the Olympians until Zues used his thunderbolts, one version of the myth having the entire pantheon flee to egypt in the face of Typhon. And "evil 'demon' that challenges the gods" is a very, very common trope in polytheistic religions. And while the Gods win, it isn't a curb stomp and it is often only the most powerful of the gods who win.

However, in DnD, "gods" are the highest tier of beings and far more powerful than the demons and devils, so it is goes that even a non-combatant god, like Hestia, would be able to destroy a demon prince with little effort... which just isn't how the mythologies around this would go. Heck, it is heavily implied in the story of Pirithous that a mortal man could kidnap a goddess (though putting Persephone in her proper context makes that laughable, Dread Persephone is far scarier than her well-known mythology implies. Minoan's man.)


Which rounds us back to the point that has been brought up a few times. Other than "because the game was built with this fact" what value do we get from "God" being a more powerful and higher order of being? Sure, we have the story of Orcus trying to become a God to be more powerful and do stuff... but we already have gods of undeath who have that power he seeks. If Orcus becoming a god of undeath was truly a world-threatening event, then the existing gods of undeath would be threatening the world and a much more serious threat. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason not to make the Gods, Archdevils, Demon Princes (seriously, I want a better title for them), Archfey, Primal Spirits, ect all about the same power. I think it makes for a more compelling battlefield to get involved in if Orcus or Graz'zt CAN threaten the throne of Pelor or Amaunator, and the PCs can get powerful enough to tip that balance. As it stands, the only way to make that story happen is to have the Demon's first severely weaken the god, then attack. While the gods stand so far above everyone and everything else as to not really get involved except through agents.
Much more rested. Sorry if my reply was a bit more slappy than usual. It was not my intention.

A trope, is not THE trope. It is one of many possible. The fun thing with D&D is that you can use one, two, three or gazillion and it doesn't matter one iota. There are ways to make them work together with one an other without even scratching your heads on how. Gygax found one, and I am sure you can find one by yourself without throwing one set of beings down the drain. So wheter you like it or not, it is a solution. Maybe not the solution you want but it is a solution nonetheless.

As for the bolded part.
What do we gain indeed. A lot of possibilities. Much more than if everything that has a name on it in the plane can be a god. By wanting to usurp gods' powers the demons and devils are effectively creating wars. They are numerous, endless but they are still bound by cosmological laws either given by the gods or by some other Overlord of the Gods (i.e. Ao in the FR and if you read the novels, you know that even Ao has an Overlord too.). And since that Overlord (i.e Ao) is present, then it makes sense that the Gods do have their own laws to obey... At which point do mortals get to interact with higher and higher beings? The Immortal set of BCEMI told us what it was all about.

In resumé for the Immortal Set which brought a lot of lights to our games. It does, afterall, litterally make you play gods (ok immortals, but in the OD&D it basically amount to same thing.)

The first set of immortal beings (and my views on how they should translate in D&D) are the
Initiate (Basically the quasi deities, demon-lords, arch-devils and other non true gods.
Temporals (Novice, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) This is where you get your demi god and lesser gods.
Celestials (Novice, 1-4) This is where you get the major and greater gods.
Empyreals (Novice, 1-4) (Ao?)
Eternal (Novice, 1-4) (the devs knows what from this point on...)
and you even have higher immortals
Hierarch (Novice 1-4)
And Full Hierarch.

Note: In the Immortal set, demons are fully immortal beings with PP. The above is just an approximation we did for D&D. It is by no means something official but the ranks are.

In terms of power, the lowest temporal has about 500 PP. Each PP can be used to cast or create spell like effect with 1 PP for a spell level or its equivalent. And this can be in addition to its own spell casting ability (if any). Imagine a 36th level wizards being a god... To show the difference, A Full Hierarch has 15,000. And they can create avatars over that...

In that expansion, immortals/gods can use PP to fuel spells, but it is also a currency with which they barter their actions. The more power you put in joepardy, the greater the gain, but the less you have for other challenges and personnal defense.

Example: In a game, a group of evil immortals came to the players and started a claim on a region where the players had set a religion going for them. The claim was control of the whole region by either the forces of evil or good. PP were placed has a bet and players opted to have a group of heroes to foil the plans of the evil immortals. It was the most cost effective. So they went back in time, got the mothers of our heroes to be met their respective husbands, use PP to make sure that the group would meet. Placed challenge (adventures modules, homebrew and whatever) on the path of the group and placed a few "key" magic items to be found by the heroes. Then their champion would raise to 14th level and fight the forces of darkness. And the way to do it, you guessed it, was to play this group heroes.

All this to show that there are interaction between the various mythos, gods and even aspiring gods such as demons and devils. Removing one of the other is fine. But the RP opportunities loss are greater than the gain in doing so IMHO.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Um... no, he didn't. Some choice quotes from the Wiki

"Nerull is the patron deity of those who seek the greatest evil for their own enjoyment or gain."

"Named clerics of He Who Revels in the Slaying of the Living..."

"Nerull's faithful believe they will be rewarded for acts of murder, for every living thing is an abomination in the eyes of the Reaper. "

This is not a being who cares about the cycle of life and death, this is a being that wants to kill all life. It is literally one of his titles: "Hater of Life". I don't know where you are getting this more neutral "cares about the cycle" Nerull from, but it is certainly not from the traditional sources on him. The only difference seems to be that Nerull would destroy all the undead after he was finished killing all life, instead of ruling the undead like Orcus would.
Exactly. You could run as a N hater of undead and demons in a undead focused game.

Again, I know that the game is setting us up to say that evil gods = evil clerics. But that ignores a few things. Like, for example, the fact that a Church can have Celestial Pact warlocks and Divine Soul Sorcerers, so those enemies make sense in both places. If we look towards tradition, and to the Cult Fanatic statblock, we see that clerics are not unheard of among cults to demon princes and archdevils. Heck, at certain points, those beings were gods. We also have Blackguards and Hell Knights. The Oath of Conquest in DnD 5e specifically states that it is the Oath of Hell Knights who work for The Nine Hells and the Archdevils.

And the locations are equally variable. I could have a fight against the Church of Shar in a desert ruin as easily as I could have a fight against the Followers of Graz'zt in a fortified building in a major city.

So, no. I don't think that we can conclusively break these enemies into Warlocks and Sorcerers vs Clerics and Paladins. Both make perfect sense in both places, and have been used in both places. I will say though that having Evil Gods served by Demons and Devils does make things more confusing, and they often are served by them, because it again and again raises the questions "Why do Devils, known for unserving loyalty to the Nine Hells, serve beings who are not part of the Nine Hells?"
Fiends don't get clerics in base lore.... ever.
Fiends don't get Celestial pact warlocks nor Divine Soul sorcerers.
In most settings, fiendish cults don't get official status. Evil clergies are more frequently given fringe access to offical land purchase.

So yes it's Warlocks and Sorcerers vs Clerics and Paladins.

And archfiends typically don't serve evil gods. More often they want to kill them and take their stuff.

Good vs Evil vs Evil vs Evil vs Evil
 

Bane is local to Toril. Asmodeus is in Hell and has to worry about the larger picture. Just because you have a CEO, doesn't mean that you don't also need middle management in order to run an efficient operation.
Great point. One I did not think of. And I confess, I tend to cut out the middle man often when developing a campaign setting because I am so focused on getting the setting "feel" across to the player. Thanks for the insight.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
I can share the examples for my campaign in hopes that it gives alternatives or at least some semblance of logic.

I have the traditional one god; a mixture of the Second Great Awakening and Transcendentalism. Basically, what you do while you are here matters for your soul.

Then the polytheistic old gods. The people who look to them are able to wrap their minds around the fact that these gods harbor a duality: death and birth, blessings and curses, ideals and flaws, nature and the supernatural, etc. They also help tie in the creature compendium.

Then the idolization of ancient heroes. Basically, a society that based their religion on the worship of their founding fathers, where each father represents a trait they are known for: strength, wisdom, and wit. Prayer beads and temples exist, and stories of their past heroics and/or plans are sermonized.

Then the supernatural. They believe that things are afoot in nature and superstition from rituals to prayers can be used to placate or draw nature's ire.

Then a group are agnostic, and some atheistic in their belief.

These really make up the five large areas of the campaign. Fairly easy to work into a setting, and hammer home the societal "group think," which adds quite a bit of flavor to the NPCs, architecture, visuals for daily life, and culture of a place. Of course, there are outliers of the religious societal norms, but they are outliers and presented as thus.

This is all wonderful, but I think to get more to the intent of the thread and the OP... how do these religious systems interact? Because, if these systems are like Eberron, where each system is completely separated and unknowable what is really going on, then this works. If each system is known to be "real" and balanced... then people might have concerns. But I think the trouble comes in if each system is real, but also the single god is the most powerful and truly more powerful and influential than the other powers of the other belief systems, because now you have made a judgement.

And I don't think you have done that, to be clear, but trying to take your example and parse it into the ongoing discussion, it really is about the interactions of these structures, and "gods" having a higher priority and higher power than other sets of beings. In fact, people would likely argue that the Ancestor Worship sect cannot have clerics or paladins, or even warlocks, because that category of being is not strong enough to create those classes, something I think you would disagree with, but which is the main sticking point between Demon Princes and Archdevils being considered Evil Gods.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Well, it's not showing up on the FR wiki. And from what I've seen, that's usually pretty good at including the novels.

I don't know what to tell you, in one of the last discussions involving the god of the dead, this came up. I'll try and search the forums and see if I can find the discussion


It seems it was @Mirtek who brought up in this post D&D 5E - WotC Explains 'Canon' In More Detail

We talked about it for a while, but they could probably source it for you
 

Voadam

Legend
Bane is local to Toril. Asmodeus is in Hell and has to worry about the larger picture. Just because you have a CEO, doesn't mean that you don't also need middle management in order to run an efficient operation.
In the Forgotten Realms Bane is a mortal who ascended and became a greater god. In core 4e and 5e's Exandria he was a core and non-ascended god.

Asmodeus has been at various times an archdevil which gave him the powers of a lesser god when on his own plane (1e Manual of Planes), a greater god (2e Book of Hell), an angel who became a god (4e). In FR 4e he becomes listed as a god for the first time in the setting with the explanation "An ancient deity turned archdevil, the Lord of Nessus longed for untold millennia to reclaim his godhood. The destruction of Dweomerheart sent the dying Azuth (a patron deity of mages) into Asmodeus’s fiery domain. The archdevil killed him and consumed his divine essence. He then ended the Blood War by pushing the Abyss to the bottom of the Elemental Chaos."
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top