First Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons™ Character Creation
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Polytheism is the religion of the game--there are many gods, goddesses, and godlings, with heroes and avatars to support them, in the Deities and Demigods volume (renamed Legends and Lore), and the MyWorld campaign and most others have gods additional to these, either predating the availability of this volume or coming into existence because of the needs of the campaign or preferences of the DM. Additionally, there are gods of non-human races in the Unearthed Arcana, Krynn gods for the Krynn characters in the Dragonlance Adventures, and indications that demons and devils, modrons and slaadi, and a few other supernatural beings are worshipped as gods by some people. Some referees allow only one pantheon, or a limited number of pantheons, or all except certain pantheons. Under the MyWorld rules, all gods were regarded fair choices, although it was clear that there were certain gods within the game who were superior to those in the books. All pantheons are all listed here, for the player to explore.
To assist players and referees, gods have also been indexed by alignment and by interests, on separate pages.
Here are the basic mythoi from the books; they are linked to pages detailing the gods in each pantheon:
In the American Indian mythos, there is no single ruling god. Worshippers can make a sacred bundle, although the collection of the items to be included may be several dangerous adventures in themselves. The owner of such a bundle is bonused on saves, armor class, surprise, and resistance to damage. Clerics in this mythos may not be charmed by anyone who does not use their name. However, clerical spells require unusual material components related to the spells, and clerics are depended upon by their worshippers to protect them and to provide them with war paint before battle. Gods can appear in animal form, rarely and briefly in human form. Clerics must have special material components for most spells related to the thing which is to be controlled. Sacrifices are made related to the change of seasons, and the clerics are responsible to remain aloof, and to drive evil away from the worshippers by any and all means.
Aquatic Elves have their own gods; however, sailors of other races sometimes present sacrifices to these for their own safety. This doesn't apply to the Dragonlance Dargonesti and Dimernesti, who will adhere to the gods of Krynn.
In the Babylonian mythos, the priests are part of the governing structure of the country, and must remain aloof from the people and further the good of the state Many clerics have changed classes from magic-user, and the most powerful mage/cleric is usually the king of some country. Money is collected through the churches, and discipline of clerics is especially strict and harsh. These clerics will not associate with non-humans or anyone of opposite alignment. They never take the front in battle, providing support from the rear. New moons are important times, at which money is collected from worshippers and distributed to the needy through the church and political structures.
Bugbears have a pantheon of their own; generally, these are worshipped only by bugbears. There are only a few deities, and no authority structure between them.
The gods of the Celtic mythos are all served by true neutral druids, although some may also be served by clerics of the same alignment as the god. Druids do not generally mingle with others, and may only take a mate from among the worshippers of their god. Celtic gods are very tolerant of their priests' and worshippers' actions, as long as they do not damage nature. Human sacrifices, usually of condemned criminals, are made four times a year. Services are held in specially prepared groves, planted with mistletoe and holly, and guarded by wild boars. The druids wear torcs, ornamental neck rings the value of which reflects the druid's level; and every druid has his own cauldron.
Centaurs have their own gods, sometimes worshipped by satyrs, but not often by others.
In the Central American mythos, the gods do not have any motivations which appear human. Clerics have absolute authority over peasants, and over lower level clerics of the same god. However, erring or failing clerics are dealt with swiftly and soundly. First level clerics must pick a compass direction toward which to direct their prayers, and they are thereafter bonused when fighting in that direction. The cleric must wear the clothes appropriate to his compass direction, red for east, yellow for south, black for west, and white for north. These gods come "from the stars", and are deemed to be from an alternate prime material plane. Clerics of different gods cooperate openly, but compete secretly. Rituals are held every twenty days, and occasionally involve human sacrifice, but more commonly require the sacrifice of farm products.
In the Chinese mythos, there is a highly organized pantheon of gods known as the celestial bureaucracy. Each area of life is supervised by a god, who reports to a superior god, who reports to the celestial emperor. Atonement involves sacrifice of valuable items, although particularly heinous crimes may require the death of the sinner to atone. There are a number of unusual magic items associated with these gods.
The Cthulhu mythos is a particularly evil one, filled with gods whose best action toward men is to ignore them. They are sought, if at all, in a misguided attempt to gain power. The pantheon was banned from Valdron by Valdar himself, and is unknown in the MyWorld scenario. Players who choose gods from this pantheon should expect their characters to suffer the attentions of these gods and most likely die horribly from them. If any of these gods manifest themselves, animals will panic and flee. As originally conceived by H. P. Lovecraft, these were actually aliens from outer space who were worshipped by ancient humans; however, the general gothic horror flavor of Lovecraft's work has fostered the impression that these were spirit beings.
Demons are worshipped by chaotic evils, mostly by other monsters. Without any true hierarchy, they compete for worshippers among themselves.
Devils likewise are worshipped, by evils of a more lawful bent. Despite the clear authority structure of their realm, several of the major ones have their own followings, mostly among monsters.
Dragons divide into good and evil, with their own leaders; these are rarely worshipped by non-dragons.
Drow Elves generally worship demons, most notably Lolth, demon queen of spiders.
Dwarfs have a pantheon of their own which is fairly extensive and orderly. Player characters, especially dwarfs, may select from among these if desired.
The Egyptian mythos has a great variety of gods of many types and alignments. The game follows the earlier pantheon, ruled by Ra, in which Osiris is younger and less important and more gods are active. Egyptian cities are each dedicated to one god, with temples to other gods there being less significant. Clerics have particular duties attached to their level as they advance, starting as aids and teachers of the people, then servants of the temple, then rulers of the sect; females are limited in level, but all clerics must marry clerics, and wives often weild their husbands' authority while the husband is away on important missions or battles. Massive monetary contributions to the temple are required for advancement as a cleric.
Elementals worship their own princes; these generally evil beings are sometimes worshipped outside the elemental planes.
Elves have a small pantheon tending mostly toward good and chaos, which can be worshipped by player characters, especially elves and half-elves. Aquatic and Drow Elves have their own deities, listed separately, and the elves of Krynn tend to adhere to the gods of the Dragonlance realms.
Ettins generally follow the same gods as Giants.
Clerics of the Finnish mythos consider themselves above normal men, and are quite willing to use their spells against anyone who threatens their power or offends them. However, in the stories, men are more important than the gods (although the gods are more powerful). There are a few unique magic items in this mythos.
Giants have their own pantheon, and generally each type of giant is connected to one god in that group. Ettins also adhere to the gods of hill giants.
Gnolls almost universally worship the demon prince Yeenoghu, listed with demons; almost no one else does.
Gnomes have a small pantheon of their own, which mixes wit and trickery with determined fighting. Player characters, especially gnomes, may select from this pantheon.
Goblins and hobgoblins collectively worship a pantheon of evil deities, whose interests are so strongly tied to goblinkind that there is little sense in any other race being devoted to these.
Greek gods tend to be jealous, envious, and petty, and throw fits of anger. They need human worship for power. Clerics of these gods may not associate with clerics of other gods, even in the same pantheon and of the same alignment. They may not ride horses, except those of Poseidon, but may ride in wagons, carts, and chariots. They must be attached to one specific temple, which is the only place at which they can perform the commune spell, the place to which their word of recall spell must return them, and the only place at which they can gain their level six and seven spells. If this temple is robbed or damaged in any way, its clerics may not use those highest spells until it is restored.
Greyhawk has its own pantheon.
Hobbits tend to worship a pantheon of benevolent gods. These may be selected by player characters, especially those of the halfling races.
Hobgoblins follow the pantheon for goblins.
The Indian pantheon in D&D mixes Vedic and Hindu concepts together. Worshippers in this mythos are born what they are, following absolutely in the profession of their fathers. No character in this mythos has siblings who are any other profession, no character changes classes. Characters of higher social standing are highly respected, obeyed or left alone. Magic users are the most respected. All prayers are answered by this pantheon, provided the sacrifices are properly made; if the prayer is not answered, it means there is some flaw in the ritual, which should be repeated until it is done right. Worshippers all wear markings indicating the deity to whom they are connected. The gods can appear as "avatars", limited incarnations of themselves; any number of avatars of any god may be on earth on unrelated missions at the same time.
Ixitxachitl always worship the demon Demogorgon, listed with demons.
In the Japanese mythos, there is a strong animistic undertone: all things have a kami, a spirit of their own, which deserves reverence; larger or more important things have greater kami. The kami may become corporeal and defend their place with illusionist or druidic spells. The gods are ideal types, models to emulate, and the worshipper may achieve godhood through faith and ability. Shintoism, the original faith, has strong nature ties, with temples connected to trees or gardens. Shrines face south or east, north and west being regarded as unlucky, and at least one gateway will precede the entrance. Clerics of both genders will be in attendance at any temple. Holy symbols include the mirror (connected with Amaterasu Omikami), the sword, and the cluster of perfect gems. Transgressions against the faith may be punished by loss of abilities; clerics especially are susceptible to loss of strength or dexterity for minor failures, and of spell use for major sins. Greater service may lead to restoration of these abilities.
Kobolds have their own god, Kurtulmak, a lesser god of lawful evil alignment who hates any life that is not kobold, and so is not worshipped by any other creatures.
Krynn has a pantheon which is carefully balanced between good, neutral, and evil gods. Neutrality in Krynn tends toward chaos. Only Holy Orders of the Stars may be clerics of these gods, and most Krynn characters will be adherents of these faiths, even among demihumans and humanoids, since these are the only gods permitted to exercise power in the lands of Krynn.
Kuo-toa worship Blibdoolpoolp, the Sea Mother, a neutral evil lesser goddess with chaotic tendencies who generally hates all surface creatures, blaming them for driving the kuo-toans into the underdark.
Lizard men serve Semuanya, a lesser god of neutral alignment, whose entire creed revolves around the continued existence of the lizard men as a race. He is not often served by other races.
Locathah worship Eadro, a neutral lesser god of the sea. Although mermen also worship this god, the two races do not always cooperate.
The Melnibonean world was created by Michael Moorcock. Its gods are always trying to control various worlds or the forces of law and chaos themselves, and they often appear within the world as an avatar of a single specific class. Holy symbols are abstract, the dominant ones being the single upward arrow for law, and the eight-direction arrow for chaos (the primary tension in the Isle of Melnibone). Although many (mostly chaotic) gods were mentioned in the early stories, they were little detailed at the time of the publication of TSR's material; and as Moorcock continues to write, the player today may be aware of gods in this realm not included in this material. There are some special magic items, and some unusual related creatures. Each type of animal has a god related to it and worshipped by it.
Mermen, as Locathah, worship Eadro, lesser god of the sea, neutral in alignment. Mermen and Locathah don't necessarily cooperate.
Modrons are worshipped in some games, but in others they take the attitude of devas, planetars, and solars--that it would be inappropriate for them, not being gods, to accept worship. In games in which the worship of Modrons is permitted, Primus is almost exclusively the chosen object.
Nehwon was created by Fritz Leiber. The world description contains strange magicks, deep political tensions, wondrous creatures and monsters, significant background characters, and a variety of deities in and around Lankhmar. Gods of every alignment dwell together in Godsland, in the astral plane, whence they watch the realms of mortals and send aid at need.
Norse mythology has been called the most noble religion of all: it is a tenant of the faith that the evil giants will rise up and destroy the gods in the end (the battle is called Ragnorak), but the gods are good, and should be worshipped and served. Many of these gods do not permit their clerics the power to heal battle wounds, and cowardice is the most horrid crime a worshipper can commit.
Ogres and Trolls worship Vaprak the Destroyer, a vicious disgusting chaotic evil demigod who sometimes rewards worshippers with a battle rage.
Orcs have a pantheon of evil gods headed by the unblinking warrior Gruumsh. Gruumsh leads the orcish armies against the goblin armies, and is seldom worshipped by non-orcs; however, a player character half-orc might choose this lawful evil greater god or one of his pantheon.
Sahuagin worship their own god, Sekolah, a great white shark form of a lawful evil lesser god. Although Sekolah has no clear specific connection to this race, he is a god of the deepest oceans, and so not of much interest to those on land.
Satyrs primarily worship the gods of the centaurs.
The most powerful of the Slaadi are worshipped by some monsters with strong chaotic positions, but rarely by humans or demi-humans.
The Sumerian mythos requires its clerics (both genders) to shave all the hair from their bodies; the females wear special hats on their bald heads. Gods are close to their worshippers, often helping them, but paying close attention to their conduct. Clerics face three degrees of punishment for serious infractions. The first transgression results in a digestive disease. The second leads to the "fifteen troubles". The third is death. Expensive sacrifices can negate this discipline at any level. Most sacrifices are beautiful and valuable items which become decorations in the temples.
Troglodytes worship Laogzed, a disgusting lizard-like chaotic evil demigod whose worship includes the sacrifice of the worshipper's shed skin in shrines deep under ground. Since player character races don't shed their skins, worship of this deity is unlikely.
Trolls and Ogres worship Vaprak the Destroyer, a vicious disgusting chaotic evil demigod who sometimes rewards worshippers with a battle rage.
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