Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5th Edition D&D: Greyhawk Deities

The role of Greyhawk's gods in the new Player's Handbook for 5th Edition have probably been covered elsewhere in the blogosphere by now, perhaps even since the free PDF was put out. However, this is my first real study into the references made about our favorite setting's deities. I'm not trying to catalogue every barest mention either, it's just a perusal to see how well the D&D team did their Greyhawk lore. So here we go:

Appendix B: Gods of the Multiverse gives a nice short explanation on how the Greyhawk pantheon works, with its ethnicities and overlapping portfolios.

There is a list of 25 Greyhawk gods near the back of the book, along with separate lists of Forgotten Realms (37 if you're keeping score), Eberron, Dragonlance and Nonhuman deities. For comparison, there were 14 Greyhawk-specific deities when the setting was default in 3rd Edition's core rules. The later splat books added at least 24 more Greyhawk gods, some of which are already in this new book, so 5th Edition is clearly already off to a grand start.

This is the lineup:

Beory, goddess of nature, symbol green disk. Easy enough!
Boccob, god of magic. Eye within a pentagram. Mentioned among a list of other Knowledge Domain gods like Thoth. Yes, you need him.
Celestian, god of stars and wanderers. Symbol is an arc of seven stars inside a circle (This obscure symbol is right). Nice surprise there, was last mentioned in Complete Divine.
Ehlonna, goddess of the woodlands. Unicorn horn. A good holdover from 3E.
Erythnul, god of envy and slaughter. Blood drop symbol (Naturally). He gets props in the War Domain section for clerics.
Fharlanghn, god of horizons and travel. Circle crossed by horizon line. True. Nice to see he stayed on.
Heironeous, god of chivalry and valor. Lightning bolt symbol. No brainer here, from the War Domain listing as well.
Hextor, god of war and discord. Six arrows downward in a fan. Can't have a War Domain without Heironeous' brother.
Kord, god of athletics and sport. Four spears and four maces radiating from a center point. I guess I never paid much attention to the lines, but they can be weapons evidently.
Incabulos, god of plague and famine. Reptilian eye with a horizontal diamond. Good to see this underused god of death moving up in the lists to see.
Istus, goddess of fate and destiny. Her spindle symbol is on target. She too is brought up to the main list again, as should be.
Iuz, god of pain and oppression. He of the grinning human skull symbol was in Complete Divine like so many non-core deities, but when making a short list of Greyhawk gods he has to be on it.
Nerull, god of death. Skull and scythe symbols are easy enough to imagine when it comes to a death god, and it's proper that Nerull is on this list.
Obad-hai, god of nature. He of the oak leaf and acorn carries on the Nature domain tradition in the cleric section.
Olidammara, god of revelry (not rogues?) The man of the laughing mask symbol made the Trickery Domain along with my favorite, Loki. That implies rogue I guess!
Pelor, god of the sun and healing has his typical sun symbol and gets a nod in a grouping of Life Domain deities but gives the light domain spotlight up for...
Pholtus, god of light and law is instead mentioned among Light Domain deities like Apollo.
Ralishaz, god of ill luck and insanity, with his three bone casting sticks, sneaks onto the core lists for the first time!
Rao, god of peace and reason is another good knowledge god. His white heart symbol is correct, though some show a heart shaped face. Rao like others previously only made it into Complete Divine.
St. Cuthbert, god of common sense and zeal. He is listed as LN this edition which keeps changing between editions from LG to LN. A move I can only guess is to round out the alignments on the list.
Tharizdun, god of eternal darkness has both his familiar dark spiral and inverted ziggurat symbol. He is given the Trickery domain which is odd, but there isn't an extensive list of domains yet.
Trithereon, god of liberty and retribution is back in the big leagues. His Triskelion symbol is correct.
Ulaa, goddess of hills and mountains makes for a good choice for this list as she is LG and a female deity (one of five). She had never been in a 3E core book previously.
Vecna, god of evil secrets of course has to be here. His Hand and Eye symbol is unmistakable. He is one of seven knowledge gods in this list. Greyhawk has a lot of lore.
Wee Jas, goddess of magic and death finishes off the list. One of four death domain gods on the list, it's good she is also the Knowledge domain or players might not be able to make a character of her with current rules excluding Death Domain until the Dungeon Master's Guide comes out.

All in all it was a respectful showing of Greyhawk's pantheon and the information concerning them. I look forward to seeing what other gods can be brought into focus in the coming years.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

Very cool. Where did the art come from?

Mike Bridges said...

Thanks Tim!
The art snippets came from my own Greyhawk webcomic that ran from 2005 to 2010.


carmachu said...

ok, but a question- whats the difference between the goddess of nature and goddess of woodlands? Seems like a large overlap there.

Greyhawk Grognard said...

Nature is all-encompassing, while the Woodlands is a very specific subset of nature. As the Oerth Mother, Beory would by her nature include animals and husbandry, agriculture, birds, etc. Just like the Romans could have Terra Mater ("Earth Mother") as well as Silvanus, god of woodlands.

So yes, there's some overlap to be sure, but there's certainly differentiation as well.

Scott said...

Feeling inspired to make some more W.O.G.?

Mike Bridges said...

More drawing? Not really! Haha. But seriously, I am inspired to go back through my archives and use art to accentuate my articles. Most of those comics back then had articles attached to them anyhow. I wish I had Greyhawkery sooner.

cavaleiro_andante said...

where is lolth god of drows, spider and chaos?