D&D General Worldbuilding Assumptions: The Nature of Gods

Which best describes the nature of gods in your preferred D&D setting?

  • Gods are canonically real and make their presence known in unambiguous ways.

    Votes: 21 23.3%
  • Gods are canonically real, but their role in the mortal world is limited.

    Votes: 39 43.3%
  • The existence of gods is not canonically established.

    Votes: 19 21.1%
  • Gods canonically do not exist.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Other (describe below)

    Votes: 10 11.1%

delericho

Legend
I'm not sure if you mean monster type like separate from outsider, or defined monsters with stats that you can interact with.

The first - a distinct monster type: dragon, monstrosity, outsider, god...

Most 5e D&D makes gods a different type of thing than stuff like Demons and Devils that can be arcane patrons.

As for straight monsters there have been stats defining gods (with specific god characteristics) so they can be directly interacted with as monsters/NPCs since 1e Deities and Demigods.

Indeed. But even in those editions where they are statted in such a way that they can be killed, they're invariably reserved for being right at the very top of the very top of the challenge range. I was suggesting a much wider range of CRs, maybe going as low as CR 5 or so.

(The bit I've snipped would indeed come much closer to what I had in mind.)
 

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The first - a distinct monster type: dragon, monstrosity, outsider, god...



Indeed. But even in those editions where they are statted in such a way that they can be killed, they're invariably reserved for being right at the very top of the very top of the challenge range. I was suggesting a much wider range of CRs, maybe going as low as CR 5 or so.

(The bit I've snipped would indeed come much closer to what I had in mind.)
The challenge of running such a setting is that clerics would be radically different. Like a whole new class. It’s definitely something I would love to try but there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done first.
 

Voadam

Legend
The challenge of running such a setting is that clerics would be radically different. Like a whole new class. It’s definitely something I would love to try but there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done first.
How would clerics be radically different?

The mechanics of clerics can generally run fine with whatever cosmological flavor is attached.
 

The challenge of running such a setting is that clerics would be radically different. Like a whole new class. It’s definitely something I would love to try but there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done first.
How would clerics be radically different?

The mechanics of clerics can generally run fine with whatever cosmological flavor is attached.
so they would just be really jumped-up warlocks?
 

MarkB

Legend
I enjoy Eberron's approach - both that the gods are not provably real, and also that it uses pantheons, with many people just following a pantheon as a whole rather than putting their faith in one particular deity. It allows for the more specialised gods of a typical D&D polytheistic setting without requiring people to be specialised in who they worship.
 

Voadam

Legend
so they would just be really jumped-up warlocks?
Lots of options.

A) They still worship and get their powers from the big gods like the Olympians while little gods like naiads and such exist in the world at low CRs and get interacted with directly by low level PCs.

B) Clerics are priests who know rituals for various gods up and down the scale and who might or might not be devoted to a specific one, big or little. Whether the being is a god or something else determines whether the person gets cleric or warlock powers, not the scale of the god you work with. A cleric who works with a local Greek river or stream god is a full casting cleric here as much as one dedicated to Poseidon.

C) Clerics tap divine power but it is not connected to gods at all. Philosophy clerics, Blood of Vol, Ancestor worship clerics, druidism tapping nature, Shadowrun style shaman with a non god totem, executing the Will of Heaven, the Force, non-theistic Taoist priests. Gods are there but not tied to cleric stuff.

D) Even flat out secular occult magic of a simply different flavor from wizard tradition magic. Scholars of the Athenaeum secret society know many occult secrets of power. Little gods are separate but require no changes to the cleric class chassis.

There is some difference on the flavor of clerics but the mechanics generally can work across the board of options.
 

How would clerics be radically different?

The mechanics of clerics can generally run fine with whatever cosmological flavor is attached.
People would have lived with those spirits for a long time. During that time, they would have learned to deal with them, either positively or negatively, including lots of spells. An the people who would cast those spells would be the same social role as clerics.

So, basically you need a completely different spell list.
 

I am pretty standard with my gods in games. But full manifestation of themselves or an avatar is very limited.

I liked the Greyhawk rules for how gods worked. Namely a god could only fully manifest themselves or an avatar if they got the permission of all the other gods in the pantheon. Which means it's super rare, as a good chunk of gods hate each other.
 


Bagpuss

Legend
Personally my view even in a setting where "Gods are canonically real and make their presence known in unambiguous ways." there is nothing to prove gods are anything other than just slightly more powerful entities.
 

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