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    Should everyone have a pantheon?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:34 am  
    Should everyone have a pantheon?

    For those following my earlier posts, you may remember I was trying to trim the number of deities in my Greyhawk campaign by combining most of the racial gods into deities that shared alignment and suggested domains. About half way through, it finally hit me that part of the charm of Greyhawk is that it isn't just one big deity pantheon, it's the combination of various human, demihuman, and not even remotely human pantheons. At this point I started to try an organize the gods (a bit like herding cats, I've found out) into a spreadsheet covering Alignment, Portfolio, Suggested Domains for 5th Edition, and finally, Pantheon.

    Suel, Oeridian, Baklunish, Flan, Olman, Touv, Dwarven, Gnomish, Elven, and Halfling pantheons are pretty spelled out but there's still a number of deities that I can't figure out. Ehlonna appears elven and human, but which human pantheon? Would any of the pantheons accept Iuz, or would they all throw him out?

    If somebody would want a copy of the spreadsheet I've worked out so far, feel free to drop me a pm and I'd be happy to email it to you.

    In the meantime, I'm including a list of the deities I'm stumped on. Any suggestions would be welcomed. :)

    Green Man
    Red Fox
    Saint Cuthbert

    See it's not that long a list. :D
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:06 pm  

    My two cents:

    Iuz - He doesn't belong to any pantheon. Despite being the "Old One", Iuz wasn't born all that long ago. His mother, Iggwilv, was probably of Flannish descent (?).

    Saint Cuthbert - He was an ascended mortal, of probably Oeridian heritage. He seems to be worshiped in nations of Oeridian cultural influence.

    Tharizdun - No gods will associate with Tharizdun.

    Wastri - An ascended mortal, was culturally Suel. No pantheon.

    Zagyg - As an ascended mortal from recent history, he belongs to no cultural pantheon. I believe Boccob was involved in his apotheosis.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2005
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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:13 pm  

    mindseye, I did most of this work about nine years ago. You can download my WORLD OF GREYHAWK® Deitybase™. It's written for 1st Edition, but should still be useful. Just note that the links in the table of contents are dead. You can download each of the pantheon PDFs by changing the URLs as follows:

    Dead link (where XXXXX is the pantheon name)

    Replace with (where XXXXX is the pantheon name)

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:17 pm  

    Very nice job, DMPrata. Thanks for the work. Smile

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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:10 pm  

    Okay I've updated my spreadsheet with the invaluable information from DMPrata (Really great job man!)

    Down to only 3 that don't have pantheons assigned (Heward, Keoghtom and Vathris) and I can see assigning them to Common, if only in the sense of them not having a distinct cultural background among the humans.

    Only problem is I'm not sure where I should have the file hosted to put up a link here. Is there a submission procedure if anyone would want it here, or should I find somewhere that will host the file and then post a link here? If that's the case I might need a walk through on how to post a link here. :)
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 pm  

    Raphael wrote:
    Despite being the "Old One", Iuz wasn't born all that long ago.

    The moniker comes from his time in the north.

    That Iuz guy must be getting pretty old, as all of his peers, the other Free Lords of the North, have not only all died, but even their great great grandchildren have all died...and yet Iuz is still around. He must be a real codger now, but I guess it must be fairly obvious that a wrinkly, venerable, old man, which he has been for a few generations at this point, simply can't live for this long. Surprise! He's part demon! Okay, maybe mot such a surprise, but the "Iuz the Old" moniker had been in use for so long that it stuck.
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    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:38 am  

    Vathris is Flan. He was the patron deity of Itar, an ancient Flan kingdom in what is now the Bright Desert. Kyuss is also Flan, from neighboring Sulm. Red Fox is also Flan, worshipped exclusively by the Rovers of the Barrens. It may be best to think of the Flan gods as a series of regional pantheons rather than anything unified.

    What does the word pantheon mean to you? Is it a divine family, tribe, or clan? Does it signify a unified team that bands together against outsiders? Or is simply a list of gods recognized by a culture, which need not be otherwise related?

    Keoghtom is from Keoland.

    Kelanen is ancient.

    Rais is worshipped only by the silver dragons of the planet Edill, far from Oerth.

    Tsolorandril is an alien. He resembles the Fraal from the Alternity RPG.

    Ulaa is said to have been worshipped by an unknown race ten thousand years ago, but is worshipped by humans, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings today. And maybe stone giants? She's probably part of all those pantheons. Her husband Bleredd has ties to the Oeridian pantheon, but is listed as a common deity in earlier sources.

    Iuz is listed as Flan. His mother Iggwilv is said to be the same as Louhi, the Crone of Pohjola, so she technically belongs to the Finnish pantheon, at least on one world. The Green Man is part of the Old English pantheon; he's an import from Earth. Cuthbert may also be from Earth. Ehlonna seems closer to the Flan culture than any other human group, though she's worshipped by races other than humans and elves. She may be part of the halfling, forest gnome, faerie, firbolg, and wood giant pantheons. Zagyg is of mixed Suel and Flan ancestry. Tharizdun may predate any of the extant pantheons, but was definitely known in the ancient Flan kingdom of Sulm and probably in what is now the Yatils, the Scarlet Brotherhood, and the Suss Forest. Joramy was known in the ancient Flan kingdom of Ahlissa and is the estranged lover of the Flan god Zodal, but is probably worshiped wherever there are volcanoes. Some of the common gods, like Incabulos, Joramy, Lirr, Trithereon, Olidammara, Boccob, Pelor, Ralishaz, and Myhriss, may be part of multiple pantheons. Pelor was known to the Flan, Oeridians, and Baklunish at least. Olidammara has been known to the ancient Flan and the Oeridians. Boccob definitely has a Baklunish persona. Many of these gods may also be part of nonhuman pantheons. Panzuriel is worshipped mostly by krakens but linked to the elven and Oeridian pantheons, and said to have some role in a variety of monstrous aquatic races. Wastri's mortal form may have been Suel, but he's worshipped mainly by bullywugs, grung, and racist, froglike humans of any ethnicity.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:29 am  

    I'm more a lurker than much of a poster on here, but I think I have a little bit different take on the pantheons. I've always thought if there were going to be human racial pantheons, there should be conflict between them. I liked the Thieves World idea of the gods battling as their peoples did. Picture a Roman invasion of Germania where Juno is also battling Wotan in the heavens. Mighty spells are cast by their priesthoods, divine or fiendish allies are called upon for aid, destroying an enemy holy place weakens them in the real world.

    That said, I don't think those are a good fit for Greyhawk, but I do find it odd that Suel gods are worshiped by Flan or Oeridians, or vice versa. Otherwise, I think the gods of these pantheons should be more generic. Pelor is not a Flan god, but THE Sun god. The ocean gods are split between different aspect of the seas (storms, the deep, sea creatures, etc) as opposed to having different pantheon sea gods. Not saying anyone else has to think that way, but I find the lack of conflict over overlapping spheres of influence odd.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:59 pm  

    I guess for me, Pantheon is a collection of gods that evolved together, whether or not they get along. In the sense that some mythologies have conflict inherent to them, along a good versus evil or law versus chaos axis, but all of the gods in that pantheon share that common origin. Separate pantheons in a fantasy setting is realistic. Where I usually got stuck was thinking of any particular deity and the SUPREME power over that element. This thinking was what led to my initial attempts to condense the list of Greyhawk deities. I would have one main aspect of a power, for example, a Neutral deity with the Knowledge Domain, in this case Boccob, and have all the other deities that fit that (Annam, Celestian, Daoud, Dumathoin, Io, Istus, Saridor, Shekinester and Skoraeus Stonebones) all be aspects of Boccob as recognized by other groups. Basically an unified underlying pantheon of Powerful Beings, organized into Pantheons arbitrarily by the groups who worship them. This works well from a game mechanics point of view, for this edition at least, because clerics that would share domain and alignment would be worshiping the same deity, possibly with a different name. It also worked to reduce the number of racial gods, who have always felt needlessly tacked on to most fantasy settings where they exist. Dwarfs and elves didn't need Moradin or Corellan Latherian, they had Ulaa and Ehlonna who took special interest in them. Similarly, Chaotic Evil humanoid races could look to Erythnul for clerics, while those of a Lawful Evil bent looked to Hextor. And the gods weren't Elven, Goblin or Halfling any more than they were human. The gods always appeared to those who worshiped them in a form they were most comfortable with.

    But that isn't really the spirit of Oerth from what I can tell. None of these deities are all powerful in their domains. There is usually another who is either just as powerful, or with slightly different focus. Some of them are bound by culture into pantheons, but as the cultures have cross pollinated, so the pantheons seem to have as well, with various deities interacting despite being in different pantheons. It seems something of a soap opera with superpowered beings, who happen to grant magical spells to those who follow them. And since Oerth's deities seem to keep more of a distance than the ones from Forgotten Realms (barring Iuz, I guess), it seem less important to limit them by removing over half of them. Just keeping track of what deities are dominant in a given region to determine what temples are likely to be around should be sufficient to keep the number of deities involved to a manageable number.

    Thus the ungodly list of Greyhawk Gods. :)

    I still need to add symbols to those who have them established, but I'm lazy so it might not happen soon.

    Since Tsolorandril is so alien in both origin and concept, how did he ever become recognized on Oerth?

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:11 pm  

    Tsolorandril is just someone that Elayne Mystica became aware of in her planar wanderings, I think. Malshar met it by chance on the Ethereal Plane. It has some connection to Cyndor, but in general I think Tsolorandril isn't recognized on Oerth. Like, most of Oerth's inhabitants are unaware of its existence, and this is changing only slowly.
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