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    Canonfire :: View topic - Lolth Then & Now
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    Lolth Then & Now
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 01, 2005
    Posts: 162
    From: Columbus, Ohio

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    Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:13 pm  
    Lolth Then & Now

    I'm old enough to remember when the D1-3, and Q1 modules were new. Lolth was a demon prince(ss). Much later she became a goddess seemingly off-camera between editions. Is there a canon story behind her elevation to goddess-hood? Who was involved? Did it originally happen on Oerth, or on Toril and then retroactively inserted back to Oerth?

    How is she represented in your game? Demon or deity? Or both? How do demon princes bestow spells to their clerics (if they have any) and what are their limitations?

    Please and thank you.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3093
    From: Michigan

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    Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:15 pm  
    Re: Lolth Then & Now

    Skech wrote:
    I'm old enough to remember when the D1-3, and Q1 modules were new. Lolth was a demon prince(ss). Much later she became a goddess seemingly off-camera between editions. Is there a canon story behind her elevation to goddess-hood? Who was involved? Did it originally happen on Oerth, or on Toril and then retroactively inserted back to Oerth?


    All demon princes were treated as lesser gods in 1e, which is why Lolth was listed as one in Deities & Demigods (1980), along with other similar beings (Demogorgon, Orcus, Juiblex, Yeenoghu, Asmodeus, Dispater, Baalzebul, Geryon, Ssendam, Ygorl, Bahamut, Tiamat, etc.). See NONHUMAN DEITIES, page 105 of the 1st printing.

    Q1 also (page 32) and the Queen of the Spiders supermodule (page 122) notes that Lolth is a lesser goddess and has the powers of a lesser deity if the DM chooses to give them to her, although D3 did not.

    2nd edition introduced the new rank of "intermediate deity" and some lesser gods were reclassified as that if they seemed suitably important, Lolth included.

    Thus, there was no elevation required, since she's pretty much always been considered a goddess. The retcon was that much later, starting with 2nd edition's Iuz the Evil (which included statistics for Pazrael and Graz'zt), it was decided that some demon princes weren't gods.

    With the retcon that claimed there were demon princes who weren't divine (especially as the enhanced statistics for gods in later editions made them too powerful for mortals to fight) it was retconned that Lolth's ascension to divinity was recent. See 3rd edition's Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, page 80, which notes that Lolth's long-held rivalry with Zuggtmoy ended when Lolth recently became a deity.

    What happened recently to increase Lolth's power? All those invasions of other worlds in Q1. While she was defeated on Oerth, on many other worlds she was successful, and her power grew exponentially. One important victory was slaying and drawing divine blood from the god Abrogard, once the primary god of evil on the world of Guldor, home of the dwarven kingdom of Maldev (see Fiendish Codex I, page 125).

    Quote:
    How do demon princes bestow spells to their clerics (if they have any) and what are their limitations?


    According to Planes of Chaos (and other 1-2e sources) clerics gain 1st and 2nd level spells through their faith alone, not needing deities or other powers to grant them spells. Demon princes can send true tanar'ri to grant 3rd level spells to their priests. They can grant 4th level spells only in person. Only the greatest Abyssal lords, like Demogorgon, Yeenoghu, Juiblex, and Lolth, who were all considered to be gods as well as tanar'ri in 2e, can grant higher-level magics to their clerics.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:36 am  

    She is both a fiend and a goddess in my games. I have used Monster Mythology to great effect in terms of running her clergy and what she grants them.

    -Lanthorn
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 342
    From: Aspedri

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    Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:44 pm  

    I thought R.A. Salvatore engineered her apotheosis through book sales...

    too soon?
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 393
    From: Canada

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    Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:15 pm  

    To me, many planar lords such as the arch-devils, demon princes, oinodaemon, the lords of the elemental planes, and other such deities can all grant spells if they are worshiped by mortals, as the belief and faith the mortals have with the powerful being allows the being to grant them spells. Gods do this most often, but other beings that are bound to their planes can do it too.

    So Lolth is a demon, albeit one that cultivates worshipers and grants them spells the way Orcus, Demogorgon and other demons can. The Horned Empire worships Asmodeus and Mephistopheles along with Nerull the Reaper.

    The irony is that these planar lords are often much easier for mortals to fight and even permanently destroy than true gods are. The reason the evil gods don't simply wipe out the arch-devils, demon lords or the oinodaemon and rule the lower planes themselves is because all these latter creatures were all vomited up by the Dark Lord, Dread Tharizdun, during the Imprisoning War. They became directly tied to the planes of evil, and while their might is only a very faint and pale shadow of the the Dark Lord's, their connection to him is enough to keep the gods of evil from destroying them. Mortal beings are under no such strictures, and while it's extremely difficult to do, they can permanently destroy a demon lord, arch-devil or oinodaemon.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
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    Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:48 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    I thought R.A. Salvatore engineered her apotheosis through book sales...

    too soon?
    rolleyes Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:20 am  

    Yep. Driz'zt Apotheosis. Still a demon prince in my campaign, and demon princes are on par with various levels of gods.
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 07, 2008
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    Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:33 am  
    Clerics Without Dieties

    I like how this quote:
    Quote:

    According to Planes of Chaos (and other 1-2e sources) clerics gain 1st and 2nd level spells through their faith alone, not needing deities or other powers to grant them spells


    allows a reason for the clerics of B3 and B4 able to get spells without the monsters they are worshiping providing the spells.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 07, 2008
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    Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:35 am  
    Law, etc.

    It also works for clerics that worship a philosophy such as Law, etc.
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