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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Demons and Devils as Gods

This is one of the few things I believe 4e got right. I love the idea of using Asmodeus and Orcus as gods in the world. It makes them seem much for powerful and influential, which is a good thing.

Before, there was this heirarchy that demons and devils were really dangerous and evil, but still not quite as powerful as the various gods. So in a way, just not as scary. Making them gods levels the playing field, because it makes the players realize they just aren't going to be able to finally and definitively destroy Asmodeus and Orcus, no matter how powerful they get, unless they themselves achieve godhood. Even then it would be really hard for them to defeat the two.

In any world I run, gods are pretty much unkillable, just like they were presented in Planescape. It makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than the 1e version, where any high level group can go god-hunting if it wants to. Granting this ability to the lords of the Abyss and the Nine Hells seems like common sense to me.

This also makes the formation of cults make more sense, as the bad guys will actually be granted spells by their demon patrons. Before, they had to worship a different god, and also follow their demon of choice. This fixes that issue.

1 comment:

Gath said...

Grendelwulf from Axe & Hammer is currently doing "A to Z" with Greyhawk gods. In his first post, he says:

From 1983–1985, the only notable supplement for the Greyhawk world was a five part article by Len Lakofka in the June–October and December 1984 issues of Dragon that detailed the Suel gods who had been briefly mentioned in the boxed set and added two new ones. In the December 1984 issue, Gygax mentioned clerics of non-human races and indicated that the twenty-eight demihuman and humanoid deities that had been published in the February–July 1982 issues of Dragon were now permitted in Greyhawk. The articles also referenced the Nonhuman deities from the Deities & Demigods folio, which in turn referenced several from the Monster Manual and Fiend Folio. This increased the number of Greyhawk deities with write-ups from fifty-five to one hundres and six.

So, it would appear the major demons and devils were considered on par with local deities, etc. even back then.