Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hanging in the Balance (Abridged)

Yesterday's post was one of those that I knew was out of control, but I posted it anyway because, well, I'd spent the time writing all that stuff, what did it matter that I couldn't tie it all together coherently.

Here is the short version, including the thought inspired by a comment:

Good and Evil as Cosmic Powers are useless concepts. Don't use them.

Good vs Evil Cosmic Conflicts are bad because PCs really don't have much choice as to what to do (what, turn down the mission to save the world from Great Evil?) and failure really isn't an option if the campaign is to continue afterwards anyway. That's awful gaming right there.

Divine beings are going to be portrayed through our human perspective anyway, and even the weirdest creature or purest concept is going to be anthropomorphisized so using Gods as actors within your campaign just cheapens human-based plots by dialing up the WOW factor to 11 for no reason.

A religion doesn't have any bearing on the character or disposition of its believers or its priests. A good god (as opposed to a Really Powerful Monster) will still have evil priests and worshippers, and an evil god will still have good priests and worshippers.

In a polytheistic setting, priests and worshippers won't be "dedicated" to one god, and will instead worship all of them.

Jokes about gods made of poo are hilarious.

How this relates to clerics, paladins, druids, demons, devils, and angels... that post is to come.


  1. I suppose that depends on how you view gods and theology, through a modern lense or ancient? In a lot of ancient cultures gods could be beaten by mortals, even slain (difficult as it would be)

    so to speak.

  2. Nice post. I totally agree with you. It's good to remember that some gods were considered evil only by virtue of their domain. A good example are most gods of the Underworld like Hades or Nergal.