Friday, December 16, 2011

Archive Thursday: On Friday - Let Men Worship what Gods they Will!

Forgot about this! I'm hoping to have the News up Tomorrow. Maybe Sunday. There's a few other things, I'm getting ready as well.
Here, we have an experiment in random god-making, utilizing Kellri's CDD 4. I've always liked the results of this particular experiment, so here it is, with very minor editorial revision.
Let Men Worship what Gods they Will! 
"God does not play dice with the universe."
- Albert Einstein
If you go to Kellri's blog, then, to the PDF Downloads section, you will see a free file named CDD #4 – Encounters Reference.pdf. If you haven’t yet downloaded this gem, then by all means, do so! It is beyond merely useful. It’s something you’ll utilize for the rest of your life, assuming that is, you never stop gaming. There’s 160 pages of encounter charts, random tables, etc., covering just about any person, place, or thing, you might imagine. Encounter, is here used in a very broad sense indeed! As soon as I had the chance to peruse the file, I knew I had to print it out! Which, brings us to the subject of this post. But first, a BIG thanks to Kellri, for taking the time and effort to produce this marvelous item, then giving it to us for free!

“Crom's devils! Let men worship what gods they will."
- Conan, “The Hour of the Dragon,” by R. E. Howard

The religious landscape for my upcoming campaign, is going to be wild & woolly. All kinds of folks, worshiping all kinds of things. The player’s can, if they wish, create their own god for their character, or bring one in from whatever source they want. The real nature of the divine is going to be unknown and perhaps unknowable. I’ll still need to create a lot of religions for the campaign myself though and I’m going to start by rolling up some random gods. So, let’s turn to page 141 of Kellri’s tome and make-up a religion!

Here’s what I rolled-up:
  • Type of Deity: Deity (Three types here, god, goddess and deity.)
  • Deities Power: Minor.
  • Domains: One.
  • Artifacts: Four.
  • Specific Domains: Plunder.
  • Alignment: LN – LE.
  • Deities Following: Medium, Local Cult.
  • # Followers: 4,000.
  • Deities Relationship with Followers:
  1. Racial Preferences – Social Subset of Race.
  2. Involvement – Concerned.
  3. Enemies/Allies – Deity & Worshipers only.
  • Deity’s Demeanor: Hateful.
  • Deity’s Appearance: Animal – Lizard.
Going up to the Temples section, we can roll for a Holy/Unholy symbol and Artifacts.
  • Holy/Unholy Symbol: Either Crossed Scimitars or Flame.
  • Artifacts: There are four of these, as rolled earlier. So, let’s see what kind of relics we come up with.
  1. A Gem.
  2. A Ship/Boat.
  3. A Ship/Boat.
  4. A Sacred Place.
There are some obvious places to go. A Pirate divinity, a Lizardman god. But, let’s try something a little different, fleshing out some more of the campaign world in the process. If you want to understand, or create a society, look at its myths; religious, political and scientific.

Ithshiz – Halfling Deity of Plunder. Minor Deity. LE. Symbol – Crossed Scimitars.

In the years following the Second Apocalypse, a Halfling tribe, which called themselves the Orin-Kam, or The Pig Farmers, found themselves dispossessed and driven into inhospitable lands. Clashing with several different societies, forced to fight and struggle to survive, they eventually made a home for themselves in the marshes and swamps of a region, which has not yet been created by the DM. Over the years, they made many adaptations to their beliefs and values in order to survive.

They began to raid the settlements of their neighbors, learning many of their tactics and brutal practices from a nearby tribe of Lizardmen. After wiping out this tribe, the Halflings gained control of the swampy area, but the violence done to their psyche’s had warped their mentality in a strange and horrid way. They developed an intense hatred of all sentient life, which were not of the tribe, blaming their victims in a trick of transference, for what they had become and what they felt they were forced to perpetrate. They began to see themselves as the spiritual and temporal successors of the Lizardmen, borrowing many of their symbols and even snippets of language.

One of their priests, a Halfling named Geed, was a servant of the tribes’ old agricultural god, Ithhob. The Grower. Worship of this god had waned dramatically, during the Halflings’ ordeal, but that was soon to change. 

Geed began to teach that the Halflings’ transformation was the divine will of Ithhob and a mirror of the gods’ own change in nature. Now known as Ithshiz, The Taker, the deity had assumed the form of a Lizardman, just as the Halfings’ own characteristics had become like that of the swamps’ original inhabitants. Or rather, like the way the formerly peaceful tribe perceived their vanquished rivals. The Halflings’ melee weapon of choice, the Scimitar, was utilized as their god’s symbol.

The tribe invented many taboos, rules and a rather strict society both as an attempt to insure survival and as a way of dealing with and covering up, the guilt and horror at what they had become. The priests of Ithshiz lead the tribe, which now numbers some 4,000 Halflings. Today, they call themselves the Oogra la Shiz, the Devil-Spawn of the Taker.

The relics: since there’s a double entry, let’s take these down to three. The gem is the legendary first item plundered by the Halflings, when they began their life of raiding. The sacred place is the last stronghold of the Lizardmen, razed by the Nasty Little Hobbits. The ship is a canoe, probably the first such vessel dedicated to The Taker. I’m not sure what these really do yet. Or, whether or not they’re still in the tribes’ possession. It’s getting kind of late, so I’ll have to work it out later. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share!