Monday, October 29, 2012

Gods As Places

What god rules here?

Well, first, why do you care?

Gods are clusters of concepts. They are, in fact, clusters of most concepts deemed useful and interesting to all human cultures up until the present day. So...they are pretty good ways of talking about mood, genre, themes, tropes and other things you need to write an adventure or detail a place.

Yes that sounds vague, let's try this:

Well let's see what you can do if you know that...let's say I roll randomly and get "Diancecht"--who the fuck is this? Or where?

From this information plus my trusty more-useful-than-it-looks Deities and Demigods I can extract...

1. Weather and landscape: Irish
2. Local flora: Oak and mistletoe. (Most gods also have a sacred animal listed, the Celtic gods do not. Most are pretty evocative: ocelot, monkey, raven, lizard... Obviously this represents the most obvious local fauna.)
3. Highest level NPC around? Clerics and druids (Dianecht's highest levels are in these)
4. Other likely NPCs?  Fighter, magic user, bard
5. Peoples' basic disposition? Lawful good
6. What kinds of schticks happen around here (examining the god's description)? Healing, resurrection.
7. Weird fact: One thing clerics of Diancecht can do as penance is take a pilgrimage promising to heal all things knowing hurt along the way.
8. Weird fact 2: His power doesn't work on the decapitated. (That's an adventure seed right there: someone's walking around a battlefield chopping heads of corpses when the PCs show up...)
9. Weird fact 3: He is hardly ever attacked because he will heal friends and enemies alike during battle. Let's assume local clerics do the same.

Vornheim, my campaign's central city, started when someone wanted to play a paladin and needed a god. Off the top of my head I said, "Ummm, well the default god is Vorn, grim grey god of iron rust and rain". The rest kinda wrote itself.

You could just go page by page through Demigods like a DM's alamanac planning adventure after adventure.

If you need to know whose domain any given hex, city, dungeon or other geographical area falls under, roll digits like this: d4 minus 1, d10, d10

Lawful Good: 
1 Amaterasu Omikami (Japanese) 
2 Anubis (Egyptian) 
3 Athena (Greek) 
4 Bahamut (Dragons) 
5 Chung Kuel (Chinese) 
6 (St.) Cuthbert (Greyhawk) 
7 Daikoku (Japanese) 
8 Diancecht (Celtic) 
9 Donblas the Justice Maker (Melnibonean) 
10 Ebisu (Japanese) 
11 Forseti (Norse) 
12 Girru (Babylonian) 
13 Heimdall (Norse) 
14 Heng (American Indian) 
15 Ilmatar (Finnish) 
16 Issek of the Jug (Nehwon) 
17 Kuan Yin (Chinese) 
18 Moradin (Dwarfs) 
19 Osiris (Egyptian) 
20 Shu (Egyptian) 
21 Surya (Indian) 
22 Tefnut (Egyptian) 
23 Tyr (Norse) 
24 Ukko (Finnish) 
25 Vishnu (Indian) 
26 Votishal (Nehwon) 

Neutral Good:
27 Ahto (Finnish)
28 Balder (Norse)
29 Bragi (Norse) 
30 Chao Kung Ming (Chinese)
31 Demeter (Greek)
32 Enlil (Sumerian)
33 Fei Lien (Chinese)
34 Feng Po (Chinese)
35 Frey (Norse)
36 Freya (Norse)
37 Isis (Egyptian)
38 Itzamna (Central American)
39 Kishijoten (Japanese)
40 Mielikki (Finnish)
41 Ra (Egyptian)
42 Seker (Egyptian)
43 Tsukiyomi (Japanese)
44 Ushas (Indian)
Chaotic Good:
45 Aerdrie Faenya (Elves)
46 Anhur (Egyptian)
47 Aphrodite (Greek)
48 Apollo (Greek)
49 Bast (Egyptian)
50 Chalchiuhtlicue (Central American)
51 Corellon Larethian (Elves)
52 Deep Sashelas (Aquatic Elves)
53 Hachiman (Japanese)
54 Hanali Celanil (Elves)
55 Hotoru (American Indian)
56 Huan-ti (Chinese)
57 Idun (Norse)
58 Karttikeya (Indian)
59 Lakshmi (Indian)
60 Magni (Norse)
61 Modi (Norse)
62 Nanna-Sin (Sumerian)
63 Nephthys (Egyptian)
64 Odin All Father (Norse)
65 Oh-Kuni-Nushi (Japanese)
66 Raven (American Indian)
67 Rillifane Rallathil (Wood Elves)
68 Sif (Norse)
69 Snake-Man (American Indian)
70 Thor (Norse)
71 Utu (Sumerian)
72 Vidar (Norse)
73 Zeus (Greek)
Lawful Neutral:
74 Aarth (Nehwon)
75 Anu (Babylonian)
76 Enki (Sumerian)
77 Frigga (Norse)
78 Horus (Egyptian)
79 Marduk (Babylonian)
80 Nike (Greek) 
81 Ptah (Egyptian)
82 Quetzalcoatl (Central American)
83 Rudra (Indian)
84 Shan Hai Ching (Chinese)
85 Shang-ti (Chinese)
86 Varuna (Indian)
87 Yama (Indian)
True Neutral:
88 Ama-Tsu-Mara (Japanese)
89 Apshai (Egyptian)
90 Artemis (Greek)
91 Bes (Egyptian)
92 Brigit (Celtic)
93 Camaxtli (Central American)
94 Chih Sung-tzu (Chinese)
95 Dagda (Celtic)
96 Death (Nehwon)
97 Dunatis (Celtic)
98 Eadro (Locathah/Mermen)
99 Geb (Egyptian)
100 Goibhnie (Celtic) 
101 Grome (Melnibonean)
102 Haaashastaak (Melnibonean)
103 Hastseltsi (American Indian)
104 Hephaestus (Greek)
105 Hera (Greek)
106 Hermes (Greek)
107 Huitzilopochtli (Central American)
108 Ishtar (Babylonian)
109 Ki (Sumerian)
110 Kos (Nehwon)
111 Lugh (Celtic)
112 Misha (Melnibonean)
113 Morrigan (Celtic)
114 Nin-Hursag (Sumerian)
115 Nnuuurrrr'c'c' (Melnibonean)
116 Nuada (Celtic)
117 Nuru-ah (Melnibonean)
118 Oghma (Celtic)
119 Raiden (Japanese)
120 Ramman (Babylonian)
121 Red God (Nehwon)
121 Roofdrak (Melnibonean)
122 Semuanya (Lizard Men)
123 Silvanus (Celtic)
124 Skerrit (Centaur)
125 Skoraeus Stonebones (Giant)
126 Straasha (Melnibonean)
127 Thoth (Egyptian)
128 Untamo (Finnish)
129 Tvashtri (Indian)
130 Xochipilli (Central American)
131 Yen-Wang-Yeh (Chinese)
Chaotic Neutral:
132 Aegir (Norse)
133 Agni (Indian)
134 Azathoth (Cthulu)
135 Coyote (American Indian)
136 Dionysus (Greek)
137 Fileet (Melnibonean)
138 Heracles (Greek)
139 Indra (Indian)
140 Kakatal (Melnibonean)
150 Manannan Mac Lir (Celtic)
151 Meerclar (Melnibonean)
152 Pan (Greek)
153 Poseidon (Greek)
154 Ssendam (Slaadi)
155 Susanowo (Japanese)
156 Tuoni (Finnish)
157 Uller (Norse)
158 Wen Chung (Chinese)
159 Ygorl (Slaadi)
Lawful Evil:
160 Amon (Devil)
161 Arawn (Celtic)
162 Bahgtru (Orcs)
163 Chih-chiang Fyu-ya (Chinese)
164 Druaga (Babylonian)
165 Gruumsh (Orcs)
166 Hastsezini (American Indian)
167 Hecate (Greek)
168 Inanna (Sumerian)
169 Kurtulmak (Kobolds)
170 Lei Kung (Chinese)
171 Loviatar (Finnish)
172 Maglubiyet (Goblins)
173 Mictlantecuhtli (Central American)
174 Sekolah (Sahuagin)
175 Set (Egyptian)
176 Surtur (Norse/Giants)
177 Tiamat (Dragons)
178 Tlaloc (Central American)
Neutral Evil:
179 Blibdoolpoolp (Kuo-toa)
180 Cryonax (Elementals)
181 Darnizhan (Melnibonean)
182 Gods of Lankhmar (Nehwon)
183 Hades (Greek)
184 Hel (Norse)
185 Imix (Elementals)
186 Nergal (Babylonian)
187 No Cha (Chinese)
188 Ogremoch (Elementals)
189 Olhydra (Elementals)
190 Ratri (Indian)
191 Surma (Finnish)
192 Tobadzistsini (American Indian)
193 Tyche (Greek)
194 Yan-C-Bin (Elementals) 
Chaotic Evil:
195 Anshar (Babylonian)
196 Ares (Greek)
197 Arioch (Melnibonean)
198 Camazotz (Central American)
199 Cthulu (Cthulu)

200 Cthuga (Cthulu)
20Demogorgon (Demon)
202 Gods of Trouble (Nehwon)
20Grolantor (Giant) 
20Hastur the Unspeakable (Cthulu) 
205 Hate (Nehwon) 
20Hiisi (Finnish) 
20Hruggek (Bugbear) 
20Huhueteotl (Central American) 
20Ithaqua (Cthulu) 
210 Jubilex (Demon)(Jellies & Slimes) 
211 Kali (Indian) 
212 Kiputytto (Finnish) 
213 Laogzed (Troglodyte) 
214 Loki (Norse) 
215 Lolth (Demon) (Drow)
216 Lu Yueh (Chinese) 
217 Nehwon Earth God (Nehwon) 
218 Nyarlothotep (Cthulu) 
219 Orcus (Demon) 
220 Pyaray (Melnibonean) 
221 Rat God (Nehwon) 
222 Shakak (American Indian) 
223 Shub-niggurath (Cthulu) 
224 Spider God (Nehwon) 
225 Tezcatlipoca (Central American) 
226 Thrym (Norse/Giant) 
227 Tlazolteotl (Central American) 
228 Tou Mu (Chinese) 
229 Tuonetar (Finnish) 
230 Tyaa (Nehwon) 
231 Vaprak the Destroyer (Ogre/Troll) 
232 Xiombarg (Melnibonean) 
233 Yeenoghu (Demon/Gnolls) 
234 Yog-sothoth (Cthulu) 
235 Khorne (Warhammer)
236 Nurgle (Warhammer)
237 Tzeentch (Warhammer)
238 Slaanesh (Warhammer)

239-399 Default local god for this area.


Jeremy Murphy said...

One of the concepts of god which was common among the Celts and Celtic-descended peoples like the Irish, Scots and Welsh was of God-As-Place. Gods and goddesses represented actual physical parts of the geography, like springs, rivers or mountains. So another way to incorporate god as place would be to associate them directly with physical places. Crom's Mountain, Thrym's Glacier or the Lava Fields of Surtr. Or Mount Olympus itself.

Pekka said...

Being a fan of the Finnish epic, the AD&D treatment doesn't do justice to the "gods" like Loviatar. She's the worst and ugliest daughter of Tuoni, the god of death, an evil genius, and her sons are the Nine Diseases. In my opinion all the little details left out of the Deities & Demigods bring the concepts and names to life.

mordicai said...

I have found gods most useful as "sources of weird macguffin treasure" in the form of physical divine portfolio elements. You know, stealing Zeus' lightning or St. Cuthbert's mace & suddenly Zeus doesn't have "Storms" in his pocket anymore, you do.