Ten Dozen Gods is a Lotta Gods
By Mat Smith
it's been just over five months since I first got to Wizards. That's really
not all that long. Certainly not long enough to wipe the stupid "I
can't believe I'm working here" grin off my face. I get to read through
Magazine before they're on
the shelves, here at my desk -- any time. I've got a couple sets of the
D&D core rulebooks -- one for at home, another for the office.
And, when I'm finishing up an email in a hurry before a meeting, I get
to write things like: "I've gotta go to a D&D meeting.
I'll write more later." It's things like that which make Monday mornings
something to look forward to (even if we were up until 2:00 in the morning
finishing the game in my Sunday campaign). But, my favorite-est thing
I get to do here (right now), is this -- the Realmswatch. Only four months
until the book is done, and I'm still getting blown away by the things
that the designers are doing with it. And this month is no exception.
The Gods of Faerûn
When it comes to having a patron
deity in Faerûn, you don't have to be a cleric. Or a paladin. Or a druid.
In Faerûn, it's not uncommon
for just about everyone to offer up a prayer at some point. While the
more pious might tithe and follow a regular pattern of worship, others
are content just having an appropriate name to invoke when in a tight
spot -- their patron deities.
Regardless of what sort of association
your character is going to have with any particular god or goddess, choosing
the one that best suits your proto-adventurer can be difficult.
Say you're creating an archetypical
lawful good paladin that's dedicated to upholding the laws of the land
and meting out justice to wrongdoers. On one hand, you could choose Tyr
-- god of things like law and good, whose portfolio includes justice.
One the other hand, you might find yourself drawn to Torm -- god of things
like law and good, whose portfolio includes paladins. There are, of course,
other aspects to each of those two deities, and upon further exploration,
you'd settle upon the one that best fits your paladin's idiom. You might
even decide that another deity altogether fits your concept even better.
What I'm getting at is the fact
that when you've got a pantheon of several deities, each with his or her
own particular flavor, making a choice can be hard. But what do you do
when you've got over a hundred different deities to choose from?
Well, whatever it is you're
going to do, you've only got a few months left to figure it out. 'Cause
the new Forgotten Realms
Campaign Setting book contains
120 different deities.
Lemme spell that out for you:
One Hundred and Twenty.
Your character could pick a
new patron deity every three days, and you wouldn't run out until halfway
through the first tenday of the following year.
Now, thirty of those 120 gods
are given detailed attention, including honorifics, holy symbol, alignment,
portfolio, domains, favored weapon, a personal profile, description of
the church, times clerics pray for spells, holy days and times, history
and relationships to other deities, and the dogma of the religion.
The other ninety (90!) are given
more than enough details to work with. And, honestly, I think it could
be a lot of fun to build up my own mythos around one of these fine entities.
(If for nothing else, but to compare my version to whatever the designers
eventually come up with.)
Thirty-three new domains have
been added to the already ample twenty-two from the Player's
Handbook, giving divine spellcasters
a boatload of new spells to sling across the astonishingly diverse face
So, any way you look at it,
the new Forgotten Realms setting is going to make building a character
difficult -- in a good way -- 'cause opening the cover of the book is
going to be like being a kid in a candy store.
Is it June yet?
About the Author
Mat Smith is a copywriter who
just got here, but has been playing and waiting to get a job with the
company that makes the Dungeons & Dragons game for well over
18 years. Now, he gets to spend most of his days thinking about new ways
to tell everyone in the world to play D&D.
His 22nd-level, 1st-edition
bard started kicking around the Forgotten Realms setting back in
1989 and is currently vacationing in the Murloch Vale of the Moonshae
His newest favorite hobby is
emailing his friend Don to make him jealous about emailing Josh about
this whole job at Wizards of the Coast thing.