Tuesday, March 23, 2021

On religion in D&D

 Not too long ago, I completed the remastered versions of my first 4 episodes.  The work involved rerecording all the spoken word with a better mic.  I think it was in episode 3 that I tried to lay out a working theory for religion in TOTM.  I said something to the effect of: nobody knows if the gods are real or if faith magic is just a different kind of magic, presumed to come from divinities.

That idea is now about a year and dozens of episodes old, and I realize I have contradicted it.  When Barroc Ironskin committed his act of hubris in ep 25 (or was it  26 ...?) he brought a real curse down on himself and all of Duervar (inspired by Clash of the Titans, btw!).  It's hard to describe what happened as anything other than proof of Gruenmawg's actual existence.  It's not the last time we'll see divine intervention that cannot be ascribed to non-divine, non-sentient 'other' magic, either.

So it seems that I was wrong in ep 3.  The gods are real. Really real.

I had always thought that the 'nobody really knows where it comes from' approach was better.  It solved the problem of overlapping pantheons.  In creating TOTM, I realize that there are so many juicy stories to be found in having actual gods who notice and participate in the world

I think the best solution - and the one I am currently embracing for TOTM, is that the gods are real (no going back on that now) but that they are multiple aspects of greater divinities.  For example, Gruenmawg, god of the dwarves, could be an aspect of any or multiple 'creator' deities.  Hanavee, the Blind Maiden of Hope, could be one of many aspects of a healing deity, or a purity deity, or both.  This approach accounts for multiple pantheons and solves the problem of: "Well, they can't ALL be real!" quite neatly.

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