I’m feeling lazy today so it’s time for that segment everyone hates.
As a crusty old D&D man I’ve created hundreds of campaign worlds over the years – a couple of which actually got used! Most of them had no name, I’ve never been good at names. Also most campaign world names are stupid – dishonorable mention to when a campaign world is called E’arth or Urth or something like that. Shame on you. The only two that come to mind as being pretty good names are Athas for Dark Sun and Golarion for Pathfinder. Those are okay. Anyway this should be titled “The Gods of CAMPAIGN NAME” but there is no name so it isn’t called that.
The first god introduced was ripped off from Magic the Gathering. I wanted a trickster god but not a D&D style trickster god which are usually thief gods. I’ve never quite understood that, stealing isn’t really a “trick”. And the organized crime nature of D&D thief’s guilds doesn’t make a lot of sense coupled a trickster god to me. I think it would be neat to have a trickster god who hates organized crime because it’s you know, organized and therefore stuffing and boring. Anyway, I chose Kozilek the Butcher of Truth – although the idea for this “campaign” is more of a D&D god and less of an Elder Being Cthulhu end of all life in the universe monster like in Magic (or is he?!) . A trickster god like Loki – mythology Loki, not Marvel Loki who’s less of a trickster and more just a jerk. If I remember correctly (questionable) one of mythology Loki’s classic tricks was tricking Baldur’s brother into killing him. That’s the kind of trickster I was looking for. I think in an early post I had Ela visit a temple of Kozilek which doesn’t make a lot of sense, why would a trickster god have temples?
But Kozilek is a fringe god for weirdos, what about the main event? I decided to have two “chief” gods. I figured “the” main god should be a boring happy nice god like Pelor. I called her Adariel, I don’t remember why exactly. I think Madriel is something and I just borrowed from that. She’s the standard good god – nothing much going on there. The other big shot god is Odobenine, the Lord of Greed. This is a partial rip off, again from Magic. I always liked the Church of Deals from Ravnica. In a world where magic is real and gods can give it to you I find the ideal of a transactional religion interesting. Odobenine’s creed is basically worship me and I give you shit, the end. The church sells their spellcasting and also acts as a bank/moneylending institution. No idea where the name Odobenine came from. After the fact I realized there was a fun class distinction there – Adariel is for the lower classes and Odobenine for the movers and shakers.
I think Kralten may have come before those two. I wanted there to be a god of hatred and revenge and spite so that Ela could not worship him to show that she’s not really down with religion. As they say, show, don’t tell (which is why Ela talks about how she’s not religious all the time – I’m the best writer ever!). Evil gods usually don’t make a ton of sense to me. Why would anyone worship a plague god? Or a god who just wants to torture people? They wouldn’t, unless they’re crazy, which is no fun. But a god who’s all about pettiness and holding grudges? I could see people getting on board with that. Kralten is a classic evil god who’s followers don’t think they’re evil (despite the human sacrifices) they see themselves as the aggrieved party getting justice. Also I rolled a random encounter with cultists so I needed to come up with something. I envision the typical Kraltenite as someone who’s suffered a trauma and is mad at the world. I think somehow his name came from mangling Kristen Bell.
Now that I think about it Strider may have even come in before Kralten in the story. I wanted there to be a travel god to encounter priests of on the road. Fharlanghn is the only travel god I remember being remotely interesting or fleshed out, but that’s a terrible name. I thought the Striders of Fharlanghn from the Shackled City adventure path were cool though so I just went with Strider. Which I think is what they called Aragon in the Fellowship of the Ring. So double theft there.
Korrok is a total rip-off from the John Dies at the End books. I also wanted an utterly evil god that no sane person would ever worship and Korrok fit the bill. I envision the worship of Korrok like a mental disorder that’s communicable. Dwarfs refuse to say his name not just in a fun “He Who Shall Not Be Named” way but for practical reasons. I guess that’s kind of a Cthulhu rip-off as well then, if you learn too much about Korrok you go coo-coo for cocoa puffs and you’re one of his worshippers before you can say Nyarlathotep.
The other only god that’s gotten more than a mention is Vultur – the Lawful Law god of Laws and Lawfulness. I wanted a religious themed bounty hunter group to come after Ela. There’s really nothing more fleshed out about him than that – he’s Judge Dredd shouting “I AM the law!”
Besides those 11 other gods have been mentioned in passing – name them all you win a water pick!
The main takeaway is I suppose that most of these gods are lifted from other sources. Which is fine. Wholly unique campaign worlds are hard to do and usually they’re lame. Plagiarism is the sincerest form of theft.