Saturday, March 19, 2011

Consolidated Pantheon: Godlings and Other Quasi-Divine Beings...

Good Evening, All:

When I start considering a consolidated pantheon for future fantasy gaming, I feel that a great majority of what I want in terms of a pantheon can be accomplished in a dozen or so core gods. However, there will always be those small niches that are best filled by some minor godling of some form or another for story purposes. Be it a demi-god, a demon lord, a hero-god, a "Chosen" or what-have-you, I definitely want to have a place for these "godlings" in my future games. While I'm not found of the name "exarch", which is used in 4E for this concept, I do like the following description of such beings, particularly the last paragraph for their adventuring potential:

The exarchs are often called demigods or heroes, and many are ascended mortal servants of greater gods, brought up from the world to serve as agents of their divine masters. Many, but not all, attract worshipers of their own, and they have some ability to grant spells, but are more often simply conduits from the mortal world to the attention of the higher gods. For example, the druids of Gulthandor pay homage to the Lion God, but in reality the character's divine spells are being granted by Nobanion's patron, Silvanus. Unlike true deities, exarchs are not bound to live in Astral Dominions with their patrons. Like Nobanion, many choose to live on the Material Plane, more directly engaged in the lives of their mortal followers.

Finally, exarchs in D&D campaigns are fully intended to be defeatable by any epic-level PC strong enough to attempt it. Of course, immortal beings are not just sitting around waiting for epic-level adventurers to take their life. And should the PCs even succeed in such an endeavor, they'll surely have earned the wrath of the exarch's patron deity."

What are your thoughts on the use of "godlings" to fill in the gaps in a campaign's pantheon? What are your favorite examples of such from your own gaming experiences? And finally, what do you prefer to call such quasi-divine beings in your campaigns, if you use them (or if your GM uses them, should you be a player)?

With Regards,

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