Thread: Create Gods
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:38 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Default Re: Create Gods

There are three things I look at when creating deities for a setting:

1. What are the virtues of the society that the deities favor/came up with the deities?

2. What are the vices of the originating society? These can often be the 'evil' gods.

3. What's the general geography of the originating society? For example, a god of the sea is a major god in cultures that essentially live on the sea, but a minor one - if one even exists - in a desert society. For another example, a sun god is nearly universal, but in one desert-based society the sun god can be a cruel trickster sending down mirages rather than the benevolent life-giver of an agrarian pseudo-European setting.

Once you figure out those three questions, the only issue becomes how to name the deities.

One other question that pops up is: is the worship of the deities centralized with the whole pantheon being worshipped at temples, or is it henotheistic with temples spread out more and people choosing to worship individual gods? Historically, the ancient Greeks were henotheistic, and the practice continues in parts of India; this is the default in settings like D&D's Forgotten Realms. Henotheism can often evolve over time into monotheism (for example, the line "thou shalt have no other gods before me" in the Book of Exodus evolved into "there is only one God" in the New Testament and Quran).
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