Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Question: Trifling Gawds

I was over at +trey causey blog and he wrote a post about gods influencing/messing with/blue bolting PCs.  Manipulation of powerful PCs so the gods can get what they want, or, the PCs away from getting what they want.  Either way you have immortal, very powerful beings taking a huge role in a campaign's direction.

Question is, how much direct influence do the gods have in your campaign?

Do they work as a backdrop, people kneel down before stone likenesses and blather on about how great thou art?  Or do they appear amongst the folks to cruise for ladies or provide aid?

Usually in my campaign it is a little more of the second one.  Gods do directly take part in the shaping of things.  And like any true bunch of immortals, they are completely dysfunctional, irrational and self-defeating.  While the gods may not take an active role in a current adventure, however, they are definitely influencing the shape of the whole.  Even if it's in the background.  I think it adds depth and a living world.  Things continue to evolve even if the players are not directly interacting with it.

So what's up with your gods?  


  1. The general concept in my world(s) is this: There aren't any gods. There is a sort of "spiritual energy" throughout the universe (think "the force") where cleric spells come from. Characters may believe they're praying to god X, Y, or Z. But really, these gods are just human-imagined focal points for tapping into the universal spiritual energy.

    That said, there may also be very powerful magical beings who aren't gods, but who pretend to be and/or who are perceived by others as such.

  2. For me, it depends on the setting. Most of the time the gods play a very small roll. They're believed in, but seldom interacted with. If I ever ran a game (like I was talking about in my post) where PCs were potentially going to steal the gods' power, then obviously they'd have to be very present.

  3. In my most recent games gods have always been background set-dressing with no direct influence on the PCs. However, our current campaign, the gods are more Kirby-esque superpowerful alien types so there's a slight possibility of a PC/God interface at some stage.

    The only time I remember a direct contact with a deity was waaaayyyy back in a game when I was 12 or 13 and my character bumped into a sad and lonely god who was wandering around looking for people to worship him - so she became his Number One worshipper ;-)

  4. I made a couple of posts on my (german) blog where I translated real world mythologies into pathfinder stats, and I encourage players to just come up with their own gods when they create a cleric. My world is full of many different gods, that are sometimes enemies or allies depending on different factors (like pantheon or alignment or their deific domains...). Just, because I have fun in real world mythology and playing with fantasy tropes... well, relly just because. ;)

  5. Gods have hardly played any role in my campaigns over the last few years --- as names at most. However, I'm currently working on a campaign with a plethora of imposter gods with whom the PC's will have very regular contact.

  6. In my campaigns the Gods are usually like little children; they should be seen and not heard, and preferably not seen.

  7. I like bringing gods of different levels of power into the game. I think it adds a lot of world-specific flavor. As long as people don't take things too seriously (logical contradictions, arguments of existence, etc), it's exciting to encounter super-powerful supernatural entities.

  8. Late response, but in my world the gods rarely interact with the world. Except for lesser evil gods trying to move up the hierarchy, which usually become the BBEG of the campaign. Think Vecna, Iuz, Kyuss.

    On a side note, my clerics don't worship individual gods, but a pantheon. An elven cleric worships all of the elven gods equally, but chooses domains based off of how they want to represent those gods.