D&D General What D&D Religion Is Your Favorite, And Why?

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Karametra, God of Harvests, from the Theros setting. I appreciate the gods of Theros having definitive boons for their followers. Her boons are also mechanically viable for a wide selection of classes. Additionally, Karametra likes her followers to be compassionate, defend others, and she gets along with the other gods except for Mogis (who is awful).


Of published, it's the Faith of the Raven Queen. She offers an actual form of heaven even as a nongood deity so it makes sense following her. And she's so enigmatic and backwards focused that her sad worshippers can add almost anything to her faith as long as they avoid her personal taboos.

But I personally perfer creaing my own pantheons as most published pantheons and religions don't make sense as religions and don't function like how religions do. For example, one of my settings has color coded Faiths, Paths and Ways and they all worship the same collection of gods. But they name a different god as the King/Queen and revered different divine children and demigods as different omens and portents. So Whites, Blues, Blacks, Golds, Greens, Browns, and Reds all worship the same female goddesses but choose a different one to be the epitome of motherhood and wives.
Halfling women try to be like Lady Luck. Orcs love Mother Earth's mama bear brutality. And those who live by the sea see the fluid's Misstress Sea's "The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules." has made the coasts the home anyone likes be different or chaotic or evil.

I played a priest of the Goddess Leira (goddess of lies who was actually killed by Cyric, but since he didn't tell anyone see:lies, I still worshipped "her"), and it opened my eyes to how weird some of the more non-obvious religions can be. It was a great exercise to look at lying not as a simple act, but as a philosophy of life and a holy thing to uphold.

I think this could even be true for more "obvious gods" like gods of farming and healing, if you went deeper into the idea of what they stand for. You don't just heal really well... you look at healing as a way of approaching the entirety of existence, and it may spill over into other similar things. Maybe you regard carpenters and repairpersons with awe and respect for their abilities to make broken things whole again. Maybe causing wounds is a great sin or conversely, maybe causing wounds is a part of the cycle of life and you support the act "that which is broken cannot be fixed, that which is unwounded cannot be healed".

But, back to Leira, it was fun to not only be keeping secrets and lying, but encouraging others to do the same at every turn. It was a way to create intrigue and sometimes conflict, but also sometimes alignment "she really likes you" "he really likes you" to get two people together. Lots of ways to mess with the world when your outlook is that you (and others) SHOULD be lying, and if you're not, you're doing something wrong.

I have an appreciation of the Temple of the Silver Flame and the Blood of Vol as religions / faiths. Having undead being not necessarily inimical to the average peasant, even gilded with a type of nobility, is an interesting take. It blends well with the city-state of Hollowfaust from the Scarred Lands. (Although that's a culture and not a religion.) The Silver Flame I enjoy as it has a complexity that I could see existing in the real world, as mentioned above. I've read some short stories that may have inspired it, so that's also a cool little novelty there. Now that I think about it, the Mithril city-state from the Scarred Lands meshes well with that, too.

I have a strong appreciation for Wee Jas from Greyhawk as she strikes me as a very syncretic deity. Death, Beauty, Magic I think are her spheres of influence? What happened in history for that to come about?

Going to what I've read, the Church of the Seven from Game of Thrones has some influence in my world building. It's a bit cut-and-dried, but it is a nice skeleton to start from. My absolute favorite religion in SF/F literature is from the World of Five Gods by Bujold. (Curse of Chalion, &c.) It makes a lot of sense to me. I even appreciate the pseudoscience as to where the deities came from, how it informs the magic of the world, and how the material / spiritual split affects the relationship between gods and mortals.

I definitely feel that religions are far more interesting, engaging, and useful than gods. A religion can be comprised of one god or many, or even a philosophy, but it is the structure that gives it meaning.

I definitely feel that religions are far more interesting, engaging, and useful than gods. A religion can be comprised of one god or many, or even a philosophy, but it is the structure that gives it meaning.

I think this is an excellent point, but I'm thinking of it from another direction. A god may have multiple religions to worship them. I'm playing in a campaign right now and different sects worshipping the same god have VERY different approaches for how they admire/fear/ritualize their faith in the god. Same god, but different interpretations by flawed mortals, and the god doesn't seem to favor one group any more than the other.

A god may have multiple religions to worship them.
Yes, indeed!

Another strong influence on my worldbuilding and views on gaming religion came from The Cults of Prax for RuneQuest. In it was the Sun Dome Temple, a structure devoted to the god Yelmalio. He was the god of the sun dome, the bright dome of the sky without the sun. Importantly, he was an elvish god with a strong story of loss, steadfast tenacity, and rebirth. This temple in Prax, which has an arid clime and populated with nomadic tribesfolk, was built by humans that were inspired by the god's theme of tenacity in the face of adversity. They applied that to surviving in a harsh climate. This was very inspiring for me.

Now, the lore has changed over the past 40 years, and some of the details are no longer applicable. But, it was my first exposure to the concept of one culture or race seeing a god from a different culture whose identity and story were inspiring.

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