I mentioned Keith Davies’ polyhedral pantheons in a previous post. Using the process, here is an example using the smallest die in the traditional dice bad; the d4. You only generate eight different gods with this method and their abilities are very closely related. Don't let that fool you, it can still generate a fun pantheon ready to drop into a one-shot setting or part of your campaign.
My modified version of his process is this:
- Choose a polyhedron.
- Set some values for certain points and faces.
- Randomly assign a domain to remaining points and faces.
- Group domains for each god.
- Determine Alignment for each god.
- Determine the name and ‘chosen weapon’ of each god.
1. Choose a polyhedron: d4.
2. Set some values for certain points and faces:
For this step and the next, I made a diagram. Basically, I flattened a d4, numbered the faces, and assigned letters to the points.
It may be easier to visualize if you think of point “D” as the top of the pyramid.
I want to ensure that I no god gets ‘weird’ alignment domains, so I am going to assign Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil. This prevents results like Lawful Chaos. I set the values like this: Law Domain for 1, Good Domain for 2, Evil Domain for C, and Chaos Domain for D.
3. Randomly assign a domain to remaining points and faces:
That leaves us to randomly pick 4 out of the remaining 18 standard domains to map out our pantheon. (For our purposes, we are not going to worry about Subdomains yet.) I use a d20 to roll against the remaining list of domains. A result of 1 or 20 is re-rolled.
I rolled Animal, Strength, Knowledge, Water. Going in order: 3 is Animal, 4 is Strength, A is Knowledge, and B is Water.
4. Group domain for each god:
Keith does a better job of explaining grouping than I can, so I'll explain by example. Basically, start with face 1 and group the points that touch face 1. Looking at the diagram, face 1 is touched by points A, B, and C. That means our first god will have the domains associated with 1, A, B, and C. In other words, Law, Knowledge, Water, and Evil. Law will be the primary domain for this god.
Then move on to face 2 and group the points that touch face 2, namely, A, B, D. So this god will have a primary domain of Good and the secondary domains of Chaos, Knowledge, and Water.
Continue with face 3 and face 4 in the same way. To determine the last four gods, I start with point A and group it with the faces that touch point A. This results in A, 2, 1, 3 or Knowledge (primary domain), Good, Law, and Animal.
Then continue the process with points B, C, and D.
To make the process less confusing, I used a spreadsheet that Keith will include with his polyhedral pantheons pdf. Here are the results in a form that is easier to read. Domains in bold represent the primary domain for each deity.
1 - Lawful,Knowledge, Water, Evil
2 - Good,Chaotic, Knowledge, Water
3 - Animal, Knowledge, Chaotic, Evil
4 - Strength, Water, Evil, Chaotic
A - Knowledge, Good, Lawful, Animal
B - Water, Good, Lawful, Strength
C - Evil, Animal, Lawful, Strength
D - Chaotic, Strength, Good, Animal
So there we are, eight different gods that are closely related, but still different.
5. Determine the Alignment:
There is no reason that you couldn't just randomly determine the domains and just pick an alignment for each deity. I chose to set alignment domains at the beginning to prevent weird results, so I’m going to use the alignment domains of each god to determine the alignment.
1 – Lawful Evil, 2 – Chaotic Good, 3 – Chaotic Evil, 4 – Chaotic Evil
A – Lawful Good, B – Lawful Good, C – Lawful Evil, D – Chaotic Good
6. Determine the Name and Chosen Weapon of each god:
I randomly determined the names, but put some thought into the chosen weapon. Since there is a lot of water, I wanted to pick weapons that made sense to a pantheon that lives near water. Here are my results:
|Villefred||CE||Animal, Knowledge||short sword|
With these eight gods, there’s something to work with for a one shot or the beginning of a campaign. Looking at subdomains, you can make Galelile different from Nagelot in more ways than just alignment.
As an unrepentant worldbuilder, there many different directions this can take, especially pondering over my initial thoughts of placing these gods with a community that lives near the water.
More worldbuilding in the next post.