As a player of Dungeons & Dragons (or any fantasy rpg) — in all of its various editions — I wasn’t one for playing a cleric. In fact, I can’t recall any memorable character that I ever played that was in fact a cleric. I tended it favor the rogue type of player character. Maybe it’s because of my basic thoughts of theology, or that I want to consider my self a scoundrel.
As I began to put together ADAD: Ancient Land of Lore I decided that the setting needed a definite mythology, or set of deities. I wanted to give players that chose to play clerics options, and throw enough deities out there to mix it up a bit. But, I also wanted to keep it simple and not get too wrapped up in the theology of Adad. The one thing that I knew from the beginning, was that I wanted the god of war to be named Thaco.
I decided to go with nine main deities, representing the nine alignments. I thought this gave a good number of deities to operate with, while at the same time covering the range of alignments from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil. I also added two scopes of similar influence that represented more than just an alignment — such as Honor and Peace, Supremacy and Power, etc… Each was also assigned a title to give the deities a little more “oomph” — such as Thaco the Destroyer, God of Cruelty and War. Then, Thaco exempt, I had to come up with names.
Without further ado, the nine major deities of ADAD: Ancient Land of Lore are…
- TYRRAM — “The Saint” God of Honor and Peace [Lawful Good]
- IVORSA — “The Benefactor” Goddess of Life and Good [Neutral Good]
- DARCAL — “The Rebel” God of Independence and Freedom [Chaotic Good]
- REITARR — “The Judge” God of Justice and Law [Lawful Neutral]
- EVAS — “The Observer” Goddess of Fate and Nature [Neutral]
- YDJA — “The Anarchist” Goddess of Mischief and Chaos [Chaotic Neutral]
- RYTTAN — “The Dominator” God of Supremacy and Power [Lawful Evil]
- VELTRA — “The Malefactor” Goddess of Death and Evil [Neutral Evil]
- THACO — “The Destroyer” God of Cruelty and War [Chaotic Evil]
I’m still going to play around with some lesser deities — such as the four offspring of Evas which will represent the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. And, the demi-human and humanoid races will have deities to worship as well.
A few notes regarding clerics… I think I’m going to allow clerics to be able to use weapons that represent their deities, such as was used in later editions. They won’t have free reign of all weapons, and will still be mostly regulated to “blunt” weapons. But, if Thaco uses a sword (and, I think he will) a cleric that worships the God of Cruelty and War will also be able to use a sword.
Also, non-clerics won’t necessarily have to worship the deity with the exact alignment. It can shift one direction or the other. For example, a Neutral Good character isn’t forced to worship Ivorsa, but might worship Tyrram or Darcal. Or a Chaotic Neutral character might worship Darcal or Thaco. Not sure if this will be allowed with clerics though.