Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms

Artist's Sketchbook: The Gods of Faerun
Sneak Peek: Shar Deity Entry
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Sneak Peek: Mystra Deity Entry
Realms Roundtable: The Gods of Faerun
Ed Says: The Gods of Faerun
June Realmswatch
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March Realmswatch
February Realmswatch
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Design Team Bios


Ten Dozen Gods is a Lotta Gods
By Mat Smith

So, 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 Dragon Magazine and Dungeon 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.

February: 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 of Faerûn.

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 Islands.

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.


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