Tuesday, June 20, 2017

D&D: The Faithful, the Pious, and the Zealous

As I prep returning to our Epic Level DnD 5E game, I intend to focus on the grander aspects of DnD: the Multiverse, Ancient Fiends and Celestials, and the Gods. Recently I was pondering how the number of worshipers would effect and empower deities. It led me thinking of a God waging war simply to gain more worshipers in a particular Prime Material Plane. And then something occurred to me, what about Evil Gods? 

In the worlds I create, there may be certain nations that worship evil deities, but more often than not their followers belong to secret cabals and conspiracies, with far smaller numbers of worshippers. Yet, I often grant these evil deities the same powers of Civilized Gods, if not more so (and more freedom to interfere in the affairs of mortals). If quantity is the only concern of Gods, then evil deities (not assuming cultural perspective) shouldn't pose much threat or the world is a very, very dark place.

With that in mind, what if the quality of devotion is just as, if not more important, than the quantity of followers?

Yes, the God of the Sun may have 30,000 worshipers within the Old Empire, but how many of them are truly inspired by their God? Truly worship him beyond a general thanks for not living in the Wilderlands outside of the Empire's borders?

Meanwhile, the Goddess of Chaos may have less than 500 worshipers, but they mostly devoted zealots, their entire lives dedicated to their Lady's whims.  

Further, perhaps mystery and fear compound a God's power? While most in the Old Empire know little of the Elder Elemental Eye, they know to fear it and that fear is even diverted to the Eye. 

For me it helps to focus and explain the power of the mortal soul in the Games of Gods and why even the most reviled and unknown deity still poses a threat within the multiverse and your campaign.

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