So I’ve taken a crack at a homebrew Pantheon

I’ve been writing up all kinds of madness for a homebrew region I intend to run a hexcrawl in. I didn’t want my setting to have dozens of Gods and in an effort to keep meaningful constraints on design I decided there are just 4 Gods. I think of them similarly to the Greek Gods where they choose favorites among mortals, offer boons, and can be contacted/appealed to through unique rituals.
Shrines to these 4 Gods are randomly scattered across my hexmap.

I wanted to stick to a small number of Gods but try to make each of them have multiple hooks and evocative aspects, here’s the gist of what I’ve got, is this anything? Lol

The Gods are:
The God of Life/Death
The God of Knowledge
The God of Hope
The God of Time

The Shrine of Life/Death is often a ruined arena atop a burial mound where a person can challenge Death itself. They can attempt dangerous resurrections or face waves of undead spirits until they finally fall, their tally of foes defeated etched into obsidian stone by a skeletal claw. If they have pleased the God they are Reborn and granted certain powers over Life and Death.

The Shrine of Knowledge is often a library or vault of sacred items. People chosen by this God are actually afflicted with a Curse that forces them to acquire knowledge in all forms every day. Failing to do so causes the skin to become papery and resemble mummy wrappings. If still somehow ignored, the cursed “Seeker” will die as their blood is suddenly pulled out and into the papery wrappings. The bloodstains are intricately penned words telling all the information the Seeker knew at the time of their death. The information that may be held on such a mummy can be incredibly valuable and often Seekers will have several sealed away for reference if needed.

The Shrine of Hope is almost always a large well ringed by overgrown stone pillars. Casting an item in the well and making a wish is the common way to worship this God of fortune and change. These Shrines contain odd collections of items and riches in a chamber at the bottom of the well, removing anything from this chamber is almost never worth it. One who steals from such a place will be hunted by a physical manifestation of all the murderous and evil wishes ever uttered to this God. Cautionary tales commonly tell of a large upright toad made of shadow who gulps down thiefs and casts them into the very depths from which they filched.

The Shrine of Time is often marked by a waterwheel or windmill where the flow of water,wind,and in fact time itself seems to be at odds with the surroundings. Followers of this God may find themselves experiencing near constant deja vu and watch as other versions of themselves go about their day around them taking slightly different actions. This makes the process of grinding a time altering herb with the waterwheel or windmill possible when several “Echos” are working in symphony.
Commoners come to these places to share a distinct memory under the influence of this herb which is then recorded in a tome. The more a specific memory or moment in time is tallied in the book, the higher the chance you will end up in that moment perpetually when you die. Think of it like a place where you can choose your own afterlife but only from your own existing memories.

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@bryansmiff, that’s a nifty, compact pantheon that you’ve created! I like that you’ve detailed a way in which each of these gods touch the setting through their unique shrines. Did you choose the divine portfolios (life/death, knowledge, hope, time) thematically for the campaign, the region, or something else? I ask because particularly Time and Hope seem different than the bog standard divisions we normally get for gods’ demesnes. Are these gods going to have any mechanical impacts on their clerics? You could really have some fun there if you wanted to.

Thanks Todd! I started with a set of 4 main elemental forces I wanted to set the main dungeons in.
Then I assigned each element to an abstract idea.
Fire= Knowledge (prometheus)
Water= Hope (the possibility for life to grow)
Stone= Time (withstanding time)
Wind= Life (breath)

Then I started thinking about what a God of each of these abstract ideas might value, what they might be able to bestow on mortals, etc.
I wanted them each to be easy to imagine as playing some part of the lives of Joe Average NPC. Wishing for good crops at the well, asking to hold onto a favorite memory forever at the Time Shrine, seeking answers to the unknown in a remote library, or testing fate in an attempt to bring back a loved one at the cemetery shrine.

I wanted these domains to be sufficiently “grand” as well so it’s easy to apply the “mark of the gods” to a PC after they do something heroic relating to one of those Gods domain.

I haven’t figured out exactly how a dedicated cleric PC to one of these Gods would work, but I’m counting on some co-design with the Player if they go that route. Probably pick and choose thematic spells to be part of that subclass as well as some tenants they would have to obey or lose favor.
I kind of imagine the Gods either choose mortals to be their clerics or they mark mortals as Heroes and implore them to fight off the upcoming BBEG from another world. If a PC receives both, they’d probably start to quickly become much weirder than some normal NPC and take on aspects of their God (x shaped pupils of Time Clerics because they see multiple timelines at once, the affects of the Seekers Curse from the Knowledge God turning somebody into a weird mummy etc.)

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I like the elemental connections!

If you haven’t checked out Moon Knight on Disney+, it explores the idea of divine avatars in an interesting way. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes so far but that element of the show is very intriguing to me. You might find it interesting in that regard.

Any thoughts/ideas on how you plan to roll up the domains that are, I imagine in this reckoning, a tier down? I’m thinking stuff like war, harvest, sun, moon, seas, love, etc. Is your Hephaestus type god merged with your knowledge Thoth type or do you think you’ll fill in some lower gods to satisfy those other areas?

I haven’t checked out Moon Knight yet, I’m completely ignorant about that character but Divine Avatars sounds like a perfect place to cherry pick some ideas!
In an effort to keep design goals manageable I don’t intend to have any additional Gods for more specific domains or anything like that and one person can visit multiple shrines regarding a harvest, for example.
Wish for a bountiful one? Shrine of Hope.
Want to learn what the weird pest you found in your crop is? Shrine of Knowledge.
Want to increase the growing season of your personal garden? Shrine of Time
Want to restore life to you only beast of burden? Take a chance at the Shrine of Life/Death.

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I like it! Manageable is good! Do these gods all stay in their own lanes or do they have relationships and (potentially) conflicts with one another?

I originally had in mind that they play out that classic fiction where they choose mortals they think will be heroes (the PCs) and if a chosen PC dies prematurely the others may question their judgement or something. They would be working together in some form to thwart the looming threat from the BBEG and picking out their champions.
I always thought that was a cool aspect of a Pantheon where they have some long term “game” where they subtley influence heroic deeds.

Before I did any writing to flesh these Gods out I had the idea to have my players pick one and write out specific heroic deeds that would result in a boon or Inspiration.
Then during play if one of the PCs performed one of those actions some awesome divine interaction would happen to reward them.

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I like that! Have your players written the deeds yet?

Not yet, I’ll have them take a look now that the Gods are a little more clear/nailed down so they’ll have a better idea what they might reward.


Re: divine avatars in Moon Knight:

The gods, in this case, are from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. The two gods who are active so far in the episodes that I’ve watched, are Khonsu and Ammit. The powers granted to the avatars from these gods are different, at least in terms of what they’ve shown.

Khonsu seems to cloak their avatar in raiment that increases their physical attributes (but not their skills) while Ammit’s avatar can seemingly kill ordinary people with their touch. She also imbued an artifact (in the show’s case, a cane) with some of her power that the avatar can use to summon spirit jackal creatures. The gods also speak to the avatars. Khonsu is shown actively communicating. They haven’t showed Ammit do it or how she does it if and when she does. There may be more powers (and more avatars!) that I just haven’t watched enough of the show to see yet.

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Good stuff. One suggestion. If you’d prefer that there are alots of gods but want to keep things managable you could always have these 4 gods be important to the story/place of the campaign while still having other gods in the background.

That way you don’t write yourself into a corner. You’ll just want to head off one of the players asking to see the game mechanics for all 36 gods.


I could also see myself letting a player get some input on a god if they had something in mind that I hadn’t gotten around to creating or fleshing out yet.

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oh totally, if a player brings something to the table I’d definitely try to fit in in somewhere


As an aside, am I the only one who enjoyed flipping through the classic, Deities & Demigods, and just reading random entries? :grin:

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