log in or register to remove this ad

 

General What would a deity feel when followers pray to it?

jasper

Rotten DM
See also Terry Pratchett's Small Gods - which also deals with the reverse issue, of a religion becoming so ubiquitous and institutional that what people end up really believing in is the institution, rather than the deity.
So that is where gawds needing worship came from. BARF.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
When it comes to the powers of the gods, I may run it with a slightly different twist, even though in practical terms I'm not sure it matters.

Gods don't really gain much power from prayers, they gain the ability to influence and interfere with the mortal realm. In other words, every prayer imparts a tiny bit of divine spell energy to a god. The more power a god gets, the closer they are to the mortal realm and the more influence they have on the mundane world, They can give that power back in the form of spells granted to clerics or other blessings to their followers.

A god that has few or no worshipers may still have residual power which they are only going to hand out sparingly (possibly stored in some artifact or vessel), or could have none at all. If they have none, they no longer have any tie to the mortal world but they do not die. They're still there, they just kind of fade away as far as everyone else is concerned.

In addition, gods of a pantheon will pool their power and give it out to those that are not dedicated to a specific deity. I do that because depending on the region, there are different types of religion. In some regions, humans worship the Norse deities but clerics do not have to be dedicated to a specific deity. In other regions people revere their ancestors. Individual ancestors are not powerful, but they create factions that pool together the power of spells from individual families to grant spells and boons to their worshipers.

In addition, after a period where gods are very active in the mortal realm there will likely be a period where they are very "hands off" until they build up a new reservoir of power. New powers can in theory be created, but in general it would just be an existing entity that now has more direct influence.
 

MarkB

Legend
When it comes to the powers of the gods, I may run it with a slightly different twist, even though in practical terms I'm not sure it matters.

Gods don't really gain much power from prayers, they gain the ability to influence and interfere with the mortal realm. In other words, every prayer imparts a tiny bit of divine spell energy to a god. The more power a god gets, the closer they are to the mortal realm and the more influence they have on the mundane world, They can give that power back in the form of spells granted to clerics or other blessings to their followers.

A god that has few or no worshipers may still have residual power which they are only going to hand out sparingly (possibly stored in some artifact or vessel), or could have none at all. If they have none, they no longer have any tie to the mortal world but they do not die. They're still there, they just kind of fade away as far as everyone else is concerned.

In addition, gods of a pantheon will pool their power and give it out to those that are not dedicated to a specific deity. I do that because depending on the region, there are different types of religion. In some regions, humans worship the Norse deities but clerics do not have to be dedicated to a specific deity. In other regions people revere their ancestors. Individual ancestors are not powerful, but they create factions that pool together the power of spells from individual families to grant spells and boons to their worshipers.

In addition, after a period where gods are very active in the mortal realm there will likely be a period where they are very "hands off" until they build up a new reservoir of power. New powers can in theory be created, but in general it would just be an existing entity that now has more direct influence.
The Dresden Files series handles it in much this way. Having people who worship or even know about them increases the ability of otherworldly beings to influence the mortal world. There's even an organisation, the Venatori, who fight a shadow-war against some very old and nasty mostly-forgotten gods by working to ease them all they way towards completely-forgotten, erasing all written record of them and eliminating any of their few remaining worshipers. Once all record of such a being has been erased from the world, they are effectively sealed away forever.
 

In the D&D realms, what would a deity feel when its followers pray to it?
YAHWEH

Because the gods of the Realms require prayer to keep their power, and powerful beings can hear when their name is used, I imagine that they hear and understand each individual prayer. While the gods of the Realms aren't quite omniscient, they'd still have a cosmic level awareness beyond mortal understanding.
 

It might vary a bit by god and setting, and how much interest the god takes in mortal. In the Forgotten Realms, as mentioned above, worship brings power. Now, many gods existed before they were worshiped, and the worship=power mandate didn't come into play until the Time of Troubles. Most Faerunians are also polytheistic, so they will worship a number of deities throughout their lifetime (clergy, paladins, and such of course have a defined patron), though they will usually end up leaning (and thus praying) to one deity above the others. Because of this, I would imagine that the deities receive the most power from active worship. By this I mean, defined followers who have that deity as their patron. But prayers and such from anyone would at least maybe provide a little trickle (which could turn into something big with enough people doing it).

They're not omniscient, but prays, speaking the deities name and such, do draw attention.
 

nevin

Explorer
It might vary a bit by god and setting, and how much interest the god takes in mortal. In the Forgotten Realms, as mentioned above, worship brings power. Now, many gods existed before they were worshiped, and the worship=power mandate didn't come into play until the Time of Troubles. Most Faerunians are also polytheistic, so they will worship a number of deities throughout their lifetime (clergy, paladins, and such of course have a defined patron), though they will usually end up leaning (and thus praying) to one deity above the others. Because of this, I would limagine that the deities receive the most power from active worship. By this I mean, defined followers who have that deity as their patron. But prayers and such from anyone would at least maybe provide a little trickle (which could turn into something big with enough people doing it).

They're not omniscient, but prays, speaking the deities name and such, do draw attention.
I agree but I think far too many DMs at ones I've played with seem to think these gods have unlimited resources. My favorite roleplaying moment with a cleric was when he asked for help and the reply was "You are the help". I think modern people have a hard time imagining gods that don't know everything and who have limited resources. if you were to compare modern religion to forgotten relms the gods are more like Arch Angels in Christianity.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I agree but I think far too many DMs at ones I've played with seem to think these gods have unlimited resources. My favorite roleplaying moment with a cleric was when he asked for help and the reply was "You are the help". I think modern people have a hard time imagining gods that don't know everything and who have limited resources. if you were to compare modern religion to forgotten relms the gods are more like Arch Angels in Christianity.
We had a player that thought Odin should be able to solve all problems as well. After all, the god was "Odin the All Seeing" so he should be able to answer any question about anything, right? First, that would have been like having a cheat code to "win" any investigation including an entire campaign arc to find a lich's phylactery. We had to explain, repeatedly, that Odin may be able to see all that didn't mean the PC could just get any info at any time.

Then again this was a guy who would do write-ups about how he just popped up to Valhalla and partied with the gods because he was a cleric (admittedly fairly high level, but still).
 

Azzy

Newtype
Probably something along the lines of, "Dammit, Nancy, stop bugging me to help you pass your exams when you don't even put any effort to study" or "Sorry, Jim, I can't help your football team win tonight—Paolo asked for his team to win first".
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top