Religious options for your Fantasy RPG
The gods and goddesses of fantasy worlds breathe life into their landscapes, shaping cultures, fueling conflicts, and whispering mysteries in the ears of adventurers. The original edition in the 1970s contained 17 pantheons of gods. But with so many options out there, where do you, the intrepid Dungeon Master, even begin?
In Cresthaven, we understand the desire for variety. While our default setting draws inspiration from the majestic pantheon of ancient Egypt, we believe your world should reflect your creative vision. That’s why we offer a smorgasbord of divine options, from the thunderous gods of Norse myth to the enigmatic figures of the Cthulhu Mythos.
- American Indian mythos Channel the spirits of the Great Plains, weave magic with Coyote’s cunning, and seek wisdom from the ancient Thunderbird.
- Arthurian heroes Draw your blade alongside valiant knights, guided by the Lady of the Lake and challenged by the sorcerous machinations of Morgan le Fay.
- Babylonian mythos Tread the ziggurats, appease the wrath of Marduk, and seek the favor of Ishtar, goddess of love and war.
- Celtic mythos Immerse yourself in a world of faeries and druids, where the gods walk the mist-shrouded hills and heroes wield legendary blades forged in the fires of myth.
- Central American mythos(i.e. Aztec and Maya) Rise with the sun alongside Quetzalcoatl, feathered-serpent god of creation, or offer sacrifices to the insatiable Xipe Totec, lord of harvest and rebirth.
- Chinese mythos Journey through the Jade Palace, learn the secrets of the Monkey King, and face the celestial dragons that guard the heavens.
- Cthulhu Mythos (from H. P. Lovecraft and related fiction) Tremble before the Great Old Ones, where sanity hangs by a thread and cosmic horrors lurk in the shadows. Can your players unravel the maddening truths before it’s too late?
- Egyptian mythos (Our default setting!) Sail the Nile with Osiris, god of the underworld, barter with the cunning Bes, protector of the home, and face the fiery wrath of Sekhmet, lioness goddess of war.
- Elric mythos (from Michael Moorcock‘s Elric novels) Weave spells of dark magic alongside the brooding Elric of Melniboné, a tragic anti-hero cursed by his own sword.
- Finnish mythos Enter the mystical land of Kalevala, where heroes battle giants, forge pacts with shamans, and seek the wisdom of the ancient Väinämöinen.
- Greek mythos Walk the paths of Olympus alongside Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon, challenge legendary creatures like gorgons and minotaurs, and unravel the tangled web of Olympian intrigue.
- Indian mythos Seek enlightenment under the guidance of Brahma, encounter the fearsome Kali, goddess of destruction and renewal, and witness the cosmic dance of Shiva.
- Japanese mythos Explore the Shinto pantheon, where benevolent kami dwell in sacred forests, mischievous kitsune trick unsuspecting travellers, and oni demons lurk in the shadows.
- Nehwon mythos (from Fritz Leiber‘s Lankhmar novels) Delve into the chaotic city-state of Lankhmar, where Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, the Grey Mouser, weave tales of roguery and adventure amidst a pantheon of capricious gods.
- Norse mythos Raise your horn to Odin, all-father and god of war, battle frost giants alongside Thor, and navigate the perilous realm of Niflheim.
- Sumerian mythos Rise under the watchful gaze of Anu, sky god and king of the gods, navigate the intrigues of Inanna, goddess of love and war, and appease the fearsome wrath of Nergal, lord of the underworld.
Remember, DM, the choice is yours:
- Mix and match pantheons: Create a world where Greek heroes might clash with Egyptian deities or where Norse adventurers seek guidance from Chinese dragons.
- Craft your own divine beings: Draw inspiration from history, folklore, or your own imagination to forge a unique pantheon that reflects your world’s themes and setting.
- Let your players shape the faith: Involve your players in world-building by allowing them to create their own deities or choose existing ones that resonate with their characters’ backstories.
No matter which gods you choose, remember that a rich and vibrant pantheon can add depth, intrigue, and endless storytelling potential to your fantasy RPG. So, unleash your imagination, embrace the divine, and watch as your players embark on adventures shaped by the gods themselves!