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    Novice

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    Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:23 am  
    Overgod

    Sometimes I hear from netizens about the Greyhawk Overgod*.

    I have read many 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition GH accessories and I've never found anything about this subject. Does he exist or it's some kind of joke? Have you found any references to him in GH products?

    * I know that some supossed Tharizdun to be the Overgod, but I suppose it's only loose speculation.
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    Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:26 am  
    Good Question

    That's an interesting question. I too, have never read anything in overt publications about a Greyhawk Overgod. That would be an issue of profound value and effect in Greyhawk at large. But, it might have little to bear against the myriad of personal campaigns being played out there.

    It is an intersting subject, however. An overgod, like Illuvatar in Middle Earth or a Cronos/Zeus in Greek mythology.

    Have you searched the Greytalk lists on the subject?
    Novice

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    Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:11 pm  
    Re: Good Question

    Storm wrote:
    That would be an issue of profound value and effect in Greyhawk at large.

    I have to admit that I am quite content without overgod in Greyhawk. I don't like some kind of supremely powerful Ao in my campaign. ;-)

    But there's interesting idea in having an overgod without the real actual power - for example overgod in prison. A god which want to destroy his creation, for example. A god who was imprisoned by other gods to prevent absolute destruction. :twisted:

    Tharizdun is obvious choice and I want to portray him in my campaign as such kind of supreme force of destruction. In my Greyhawk he's is beyond good and evil - he creates worlds and annihilates them to give life to another universes.... (One could think of Shiva the Destroyer for example)

    I read some of the articles in Greytalk and found people suggesting that Forgotten One could be the Ubergod. But there were no references to GH books.
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    Tue Jun 10, 2003 11:29 pm  

    In all my years of reading and writing Greyhawk material, I've never seen a reference to this.....other than the speculation about Tharizdun.

    Personally, I favor coalitions of gods.....no one Overpower. Monotheism and D&D tend not to mix.
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    Wed Jun 11, 2003 9:23 am  
    Overgod

    There are figures in Gygax's novels that may be analogous to the concept of an Overgod. Who are they? Lady Tolerance, Master Entropy, and Proctor Chronos are some. For summaries of these figures and much more, see Gord's Greyhawk, at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze33gpz/gordmain.html.
    Kobold Pinata

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    Thu Jul 10, 2003 9:58 am  

    First things first, Storm, bukwa, welcome to the forums :)

    Secondly, I seem to recall something in the interview/article with Gary Gygax in the Oerth Journal (IIRC, #9) about the Elder Elemental Eye that suggested an overgod.

    I'm too tired now to find the reference but I'll have a look tomorrow and get back to you... meanwhile, feel free to download the OJ's and find it yourself :)
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    Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:46 pm  

    This reallly is a good idea. I have seen it used a bit differently than a true overgod. In one campaign I was in our DM along with one of the PC's started a religion/cult devoted to one of our assended PC's. This religion beleived that thier god was the one true god. The best twist in this story line was that a demon that had been a constant menace and villan in our caimpaign disguised herself and currupted the religion. During the trubles of the Greyhawk wars this religon gained quite a bit of influence. The really good bit was when the war ended and the established religions realised the power of the new Gods they moved to stop its spread. This made a lot on intruige and adventure as agents of the other gods moved to oppose this upstart.

    In the end there obviously wasnt one overgod but this shows how well the idea could be used.

    Cutter the Protector
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    Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:16 am  
    I think it is in OJ 10, the interview with the Big G, where

    he suggests Elder Elemental God as an overgod for his cosmology.
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    Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:28 pm  

    PSmedger wrote:
    Personally, I favor coalitions of gods.....no one Overpower. Monotheism and D&D tend not to mix.


    There are precedents for evolving from monotheism to a polytheistic system more compatible with D&D, however. The Greek pantheon was descended from a single entity, Gaia, who herself sprang from Chaos. Other accounts offer a different family tree, though most follow the path of one "divine" being yielding to many.

    It doesn't seem that inappropriate to have something similar in a Greyhawk world -- as bukwa suggested, have Tharizdun represent the chaos that spawned existence, and wants to take it back.
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    Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:43 am  

    I read on some forum that there's an FR source that claims Ao (the FR overgod) is responsible nor only for creating the realms & its deities, but also Krynn's, & Greyhawk's.
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    Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:42 am  

    I find that hard to beleive but I personally like the idea. Its a good way to link the three worlds.
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    Mon Oct 27, 2003 5:12 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    I read on some forum that there's an FR source that claims Ao (the FR overgod) is responsible nor only for creating the realms & its deities, but also Krynn's, & Greyhawk's.


    A FR source that claims what!?

    I could see the Elder Elemental God but Ao! That's just too bizarre. Next thing you know, players will want to play LCerics of Cyric in Greyhawk.

    Sad

    Robert B.
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    Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:08 pm  

    Cutter wrote:
    I find that hard to beleive but I personally like the idea. Its a good way to link the three worlds.


    Honestly, I'd prefer them left distinct.

    Makes it easier to borrow stuff from another setting, you don't have to worry about the party going to that world and getting a massive deja-vu.
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    Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:29 pm  

    Thats true but one of the best experiences I have had gaming is when character world hop. To me that is a heap of fun, and if there is an official link then all the better.
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    Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:53 am  

    Well, this overgod topic is a serious one..

    I would like to direct you to a GreyTalk post I did a while ago. Search the archives for my post on Gygaxian Cosmogony, oops it has been deleted?
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    Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:38 pm  

    An OG seems rather silly of an idea to me.
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    Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:48 am  

    JCoplen wrote:
    An OG seems rather silly of an idea to me.


    Well it seems silly in the way that it seems paradoxical. Be open to wisdom, and admit that you do not know everything. I will prove to you that the concept of the Overgod is not absurd, and even more that it is inherent of Greyhawk.

    It is essential that we pass first through Cantor's axiomatic system for creating the natural numbers. George Cantor, one of the greatest mathematicians of the 19th century and founder of set theory, devised the axiomatic system that generates the natural numbers. Only the first three axioms are presented to understand the creation of finite numbers, metaphorically our universe. Three more axioms, not presented here, will be needed to understand the mysteries of infinity.

    1. Axiom of Existence
    There exists a set that has no elements.

    2. Axiom of Equality
    Two sets are equal if and only if they have the same elements.

    3. Pair Axiom
    There exists a set with elements two sets.

    The first axiom, postulating the existence of the empty or null set, is the most important of all axioms. It provides all necessary ground to build our arithmetic system, and is considered to be the big-bang of set theory. Axioms 2 and 3 create the monad out of nothingness.

    In the beginning was the empty set. Let's denote it by 0 or {}.

    0 = {}

    With the pair axiom we construct the set {0,0}, which by equality axiom is
    {0}. Let's denote it by 1.

    1 = {0}

    With the pair axiom we construct the set {0,1}. Let's denote it by 2.

    2 = {0, 1}

    To construct number 3 we need a fourth axiom, the union axiom, thus 3 = {0, 1, 2}, and so on.

    Cantor admitted that his intriguing theory is "rooted to the first infallible cause of all created things."

    Now let us go through the Gygaxian Cosmogony! In the beginning, prior to the existence of time and space, was Iggwilv's Null Space! The non-place is defined in the Sea of Death novel. Visitors perceive it as shape without form, illumination without light, existing in timelessness. Inside it there exist no directions, places or discernible order. Iggwilv is not the creator of the Null Space. She can only access it by the means of a 10th level spell bearing her name. The spell enables her to tailor the "place" for 5 more occupants, capable to communicate with each other, plus few spectators, unable to decipher conversations. Master Entropy, a.k.a. All and Nothing, with his aspect of nothingness, is the sole and absolute ruler of the realm. No act of aggression is allowed to occur in the Null Space, as it will collapse at the second combat round, nullifying all occupants.

    Laws of the Multiverse, analogue to Cantor's equality and pair axioms enabled Master Entropy of existence awareness, by identifying/equalizing himself with his double/pair, the Null Space. Nothing justly recognized what he really was, thus All was created! Thus, World of Greyhawk was created!

    References
    Sea of Death, by E. Gary Gygax
    Learning to Reason: An Introduction to Logic, Sets, and Relations, by Nancy Rodgers
    Creation Myths posted at greytalk by Samuel Weiss, Denis Tetreault, et al.
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    Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:22 am  

    Except Magic defys logic and were right back to where we started from in the begining.

    If you wnat to move beyond that. There a very coomon elements that don't work the same in our world as they do in Greyhawk and vice-versa. i.e gunpowder, no matter how you create it doesn't work, at all.

    If the laws of the universe (our universe) cannot apply to the other, laws of logic shouldn't be assumed to apply equally as well.
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    Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:41 pm  

    Tzelios wrote:
    JCoplen wrote:
    An OG seems rather silly of an idea to me.


    Well it seems silly in the way that it seems paradoxical. Be open to wisdom, and admit that you do not know everything. I will prove to you that the concept of the Overgod is not absurd, and even more that it is inherent of Greyhawk.


    It's absurd for there to be an OG anywhere. All the bamboozlement you tried pulling proves nothing.

    I always viewed fantasy as being polytheistic. Adding on OG almost makes it monotheistic with tough angel types. No thanks! I much prefer polytheism in my games.
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    Thu Dec 04, 2003 6:21 am  

    JCoplen wrote:

    It's absurd for there to be an OG anywhere. All the bamboozlement you tried pulling proves nothing.


    There is no problem Coplen pal; the OG is called All and Nothing, so if you do not want to see him that is fine, since he is also Nothing. But I really enjoyed the bamboozlement noun you used; I learned a new useful word and thank you for that. And all these disagreements and disputes are interesting, and can be modeled into game. But still the questions linger: Do you know everything? A wiser man than me once said “all I know is that I know nothing,” and another wiser than me man once said that “as I grow I learn more.” Is there anything I can be useful to you? What can I teach you? Do you have teachers, masters?

    JCoplen wrote:

    I always viewed fantasy as being polytheistic. Adding on OG almost makes it monotheistic with tough angel types. No thanks! I much prefer polytheism in my games.


    It is true; as you said, the OG almost makes it monotheistic, which means that it almost keeps it polytheistic. Moreover, this OG, as Pluffet Smedger stated (I guess that you do respect him), is absent in the scholarly texts of Flanaess. It is supposed to be occult knowledge for the game (like Zagig’s occult studies, if you remember occult studies is one of his interests areas) that very few people know about him, and he would definitely be absent from the affairs of most mortals. His only involvement that we happen to know is in the Gord saga, and this you cannot deny. In the Gord saga, the gods plot to save Gord, Gellor, and Leda from the havoc that All and Nothing spread. Even in this unique recorded OG intervention case we have no monotheism, as many gods act in the saga, and in effect, this OG does not seem all powerful if this distracts you.

    Herald wrote:
    Except Magic defys logic and were right back to where we started from in the begining.


    Back to you friend Herald! Your statement cannot be proved. No one yet knows what can be explained by logic and what cannot. There are results such as Godel’s incompleteness theorems (showing that there exist truths that they can neither be proven as true nor can they be proven as not false), but even these results cannot help to see if a proposition is provable. As humanity evolves we tend to know more things about the cosmos, and magic if it exists is part of the cosmos.

    Herald wrote:

    If you wnat to move beyond that. There a very coomon elements that don't work the same in our world as they do in Greyhawk and vice-versa. i.e gunpowder, no matter how you create it doesn't work, at all.


    A clumsy example, the composition of the atmosphere of Oerth does not allow it to explode, read Greyspace and you will see why this happens.

    Herald wrote:

    If the laws of the universe (our universe) cannot apply to the other, laws of logic shouldn't be assumed to apply equally as well.


    Things are a lot simpler than you think, the laws are the same. As far as I have studied the Greyhawk sources and the evolution of the world, the same laws of logic have been used by the designers. The product would not have been marketable if different laws of logic had been adopted, as very few could possibly follow the developmental logic of the world. But even if we have to agree with you, you must define these new laws. Define them, do a treatise based on the canon sources, and I will be the first to defend you, and build on your treatise.

    Finally, I would like to communicate to all Greyhawk fans around the world a truth about our game. This truth is self provable from the Greyhawk definition point of view, possibly many have noticed it, and it is as simple as this:

    "The commonality between the Earth and the world of Greyhawk are the outer planes, and all the structure beyond the prime material. Therefore, if a god can be justified in Earth, e.g. in occult texts or in some civilization traditions and myths, then this god is justified in Greyhawk also."

    If I have the time plus encouragement, I will submit an article to Canonfire, or to whomever will ask me first to do so, regarding All and Nothing, the being that exists everywhere and nowhere.

    Warm regards to all,

    tzelios
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    Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:39 pm  

    tzelios,

    I understand what you're saying, but we have a difference of opinion here. I go one way and you go the other. No biggie! You oughtta listen to my group when things turn towards religion in any way ('cept PC's as clerics).

    As for the questions lingering - I know very little!
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    Sun Dec 07, 2003 1:38 am  

    Coplen,

    That is fine! I am happy to exchange opinions.

    Catch you later,

    tzelios
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    Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:57 am  

    Tzelios wrote:
    JCoplen wrote:

    It's absurd for there to be an OG anywhere. All the bamboozlement you tried pulling proves nothing.


    There is no problem Coplen pal; the OG is called All and Nothing, so if you do not want to see him that is fine, since he is also Nothing. But I really enjoyed the bamboozlement noun you used; I learned a new useful word and thank you for that. And all these disagreements and disputes are interesting, and can be modeled into game. But still the questions linger: Do you know everything? A wiser man than me once said “all I know is that I know nothing,” and another wiser than me man once said that “as I grow I learn more.” Is there anything I can be useful to you? What can I teach you? Do you have teachers, masters?

    JCoplen wrote:
    t your mixing canons. Gary Gygax would have never agreed to say that it's the atmosphere that prevents gunpowder from working. He just flat out said "It just doesn't work."


    And therefore I don't have to defend my views.

    But lets get back to the point. Science is used to prove what exists, not what doesn't exist. Magic transcends to succeed where science fails.

    But wait let me go on, since you quote details of Greyhawk from materials post G.G.'s TSR.

    At the end of Die, Vecna Die. Most of the Greyhawk Cosmomology is changed. Whole worlds and planes are wiped out and smome mearly vanish. Some gods and their planes have been moved and are no longer part of the great wheel.

    In simple terms this was the writers way of clearing house. Gods that weren't constructed specifically for the Greyhawk Campaign world were stripped from the great wheel where they are, who knows? The Forgotton Realms dieties were all moved together into thier own cosmology. So in otherwords, The have thier own cosmos, we have ours and we don't mingle at all.

    The 3e Manual of the Planes and 3e Dieties and Demigods backs this up. DDG gives examples of other panthions, but doesn't place them in Greyhawk.

    But having said that, lets look at this from a player and writers standpoint. One overgod for all is a creative nightmare, at best all you have is an unknowing unresponsive diety that mearly sits like a capstone on other dieties.

    At worst what you have is a bunch of unanswered questions. Why did the over god do this, why did he make that, ect, ect. I can't possibly imagine one diety making the Aztek panthion, the Viking Panthion, the Greek Panthion, Aboriginal Austrailian, ect, ect and being anything that would have any since of worth. The diety would seemingly be an alknowing bastard that likes to play games with gods as his chessmen and people as his pawns. What a distopian mess.

    And just wait to you get to the point of conferming going in one direct or the other, it's going to be a mess.

    The beauty of Greyhawk is that is so open ended. there are so many dirrections to take it.

    Forgotton Realms and Dragonlance have had very pointed metaplots that have taken the worlds in very specific directions. Greyhawk for the most part has had very little (Greyhawk Wars excluded) in that sort of development. I and many others choose to play it because of that.

    So in game reasons alone, your never going to sell me on that. You can get Steven Hawking to drop by and side with you all you want, it just doesn't work. (for me.)

    I always viewed fantasy as being polytheistic. Adding on OG almost makes it monotheistic with tough angel types. No thanks! I much prefer polytheism in my games.


    It is true; as you said, the OG almost makes it monotheistic, which means that it almost keeps it polytheistic. Moreover, this OG, as Pluffet Smedger stated (I guess that you do respect him), is absent in the scholarly texts of Flanaess. It is supposed to be occult knowledge for the game (like Zagig’s occult studies, if you remember occult studies is one of his interests areas) that very few people know about him, and he would definitely be absent from the affairs of most mortals. His only involvement that we happen to know is in the Gord saga, and this you cannot deny. In the Gord saga, the gods plot to save Gord, Gellor, and Leda from the havoc that All and Nothing spread. Even in this unique recorded OG intervention case we have no monotheism, as many gods act in the saga, and in effect, this OG does not seem all powerful if this distracts you.

    Herald wrote:
    Except Magic defys logic and were right back to where we started from in the begining.


    Back to you friend Herald! Your statement cannot be proved. No one yet knows what can be explained by logic and what cannot. There are results such as Godel’s incompleteness theorems (showing that there exist truths that they can neither be proven as true nor can they be proven as not false), but even these results cannot help to see if a proposition is provable. As humanity evolves we tend to know more things about the cosmos, and magic if it exists is part of the cosmos.

    Herald wrote:

    If you wnat to move beyond that. There a very coomon elements that don't work the same in our world as they do in Greyhawk and vice-versa. i.e gunpowder, no matter how you create it doesn't work, at all.


    A clumsy example, the composition of the atmosphere of Oerth does not allow it to explode, read Greyspace and you will see why this happens.

    Herald wrote:

    If the laws of the universe (our universe) cannot apply to the other, laws of logic shouldn't be assumed to apply equally as well.


    Things are a lot simpler than you think, the laws are the same. As far as I have studied the Greyhawk sources and the evolution of the world, the same laws of logic have been used by the designers. The product would not have been marketable if different laws of logic had been adopted, as very few could possibly follow the developmental logic of the world. But even if we have to agree with you, you must define these new laws. Define them, do a treatise based on the canon sources, and I will be the first to defend you, and build on your treatise.

    Finally, I would like to communicate to all Greyhawk fans around the world a truth about our game. This truth is self provable from the Greyhawk definition point of view, possibly many have noticed it, and it is as simple as this:

    "The commonality between the Earth and the world of Greyhawk are the outer planes, and all the structure beyond the prime material. Therefore, if a god can be justified in Earth, e.g. in occult texts or in some civilization traditions and myths, then this god is justified in Greyhawk also."

    If I have the time plus encouragement, I will submit an article to Canonfire, or to whomever will ask me first to do so, regarding All and Nothing, the being that exists everywhere and nowhere.

    Warm regards to all,

    tzelios
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    Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:42 am  

    The World of Greyhawk's OverGod does exist. He is Gary E. Gygax.

    Another point of view:

    If you adhere to Maldin's Grand Unified Theory, Greyhawk's OverGod is actually a Trinity. This Trinity is composed of:

    1. The Balance
    2. An Elemental UberPower
    3. and... a book Wink
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    Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:32 am  

    I have not read of one anywhere, and I have been a Greyhawk fan for many years, but if Tharidun was an aspect of a father god it would make sense: a duality of creation and entropy. It would also explain the insanity aspect. Tharizdun may not be insane, but from his view carrying out what is inevitable. He may be an ultimate test to determine the worthiness of life itself to exist.

    A whole essay plus could be written on this line of Greyhawk/Oerth Philosophy.
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