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    Canonfire :: View topic - Gods walk the Oerth!
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    Gods walk the Oerth!
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    Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:58 pm  
    Gods walk the Oerth!

    We had a good discussion last Thursday on deities/avatars/whatnot walking the Oerth, the nonintervention pact and soforth. I stumbled on something the next day.

    The 83 Guide says:
    In general, the greater gods are too far removed from the world to have much to do with humanity...

    These deities have been known to intercede directly in the affairs of men, but only if these affairs have a direct and crucial bearing upon the concerns of the deity. Even so, the annals of the historians list only a few such instances in the history of the Flanaess.

    Deities have weighty affairs to attend to and in general they can not be bothered with the trivial needs of a party of lowly mortals.


    So it says three times in a page tha gods won't have anything to do with YOUR concerns. They won't come to your beck and call in some sort of divine intervention no matter how high level a cleric you are of them.

    Here is what blew my mind today:

    Greyhawk Adventures (pg 4) says:

    The gods OFTEN visit the Prime Material Plane (Oerth) in avatar form to aid their worshippers or just to enjoy themselves.

    Okay...so much for prior canon. It gets better:

    For some unknown reason, the city of Greyhawk gets an unusual amount of attention from these deities-at least one of these beings usually has an avatar in the city.

    Wow! So not only do they visit Oerth with regularity a minimum of one of these deities is always in GHC! Almost done:

    Many ballads tell of awe-inspiring confrontations between avatars of opposing alignments on the city's crowded streets. Needless to say those streets needed considerable repair when the battle was done.

    Historians of the Flanaess in the 83 set must be in denial, because the Greyhawk Guild of Streetcleaners sure have plenty of records of them visiting Oerth! All of this madness is compliments of James Ward, what do y'all think?
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    Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:09 pm  
    Re: Gods walk the Oerth!

    mortellan wrote:
    For some unknown reason, the city of Greyhawk gets an unusual amount of attention from these deities-at least one of these beings usually has an avatar in the city.


    Well, Zuoken is imprisoned in a nearby castle. Perhaps they've come to visit, or mock him soundly for being the only one who still hasn't managed to escape. And while there, why not see the sights?

    That fits with Andy Miller's description of Rudd often visiting mortals to gamble and have fun. She was one of those imprisoned beneath the castle, too.

    I don't really have a problem with demigods visiting in disguise; it's when Nerull, Pelor, and Tharizdun start blowing up neighborhoods like dueling mecha that it becomes silly.

    In any case, From the Ashes reverted to the idea of distant gods.
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:12 am  

    Hi!

    *** possible SPOILER below ***
    .
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    Is there any module (other than T1-4 tToEE) that has a divine intervention (90% chance of happenning) like the one described there between Iuz & St. Cuthbert?

    Saludos,
    Gabriel
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:06 am  

    the greater deities seldom come to oerth, interfere, care what's happening (as per 83 boxed set), it is probable that the battles in grayhawk streets are between lesser/demi gods... no contradiction that I see...

    even two such encounters in a century could inspire "Many ballads" so that need not be taken as an indication that gods throwing down in Clerksburg is a "common" occurance.
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:34 am  

    Boccob vs. Wee Jas in the Great Arena. Come one come all!
    anti-magic fields not included!
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:11 pm  

    cwslyclgh wrote:
    the greater deities seldom come to oerth, interfere, care what's happening (as per 83 boxed set), it is probable that the battles in grayhawk streets are between lesser/demi gods... no contradiction that I see...

    even two such encounters in a century could inspire "Many ballads" so that need not be taken as an indication that gods throwing down in Clerksburg is a "common" occurance.

    I was prepared to address that Wes. 'Many' is not the word an author such as yourself would use for 'two encounters'. I hope I'm right. I just chalk that up to poor wordsmithing for GHA if its not to be taken literally. Greyhawk is the home to Zagig and many other high profile magic types. Like rasgon said 9 were parked within the vicinity at one time as well. What did they do when they first got out? Maybe they went to the pub for a well deserved drink and got into a scrap. Wink

    The first point you made I wholly agree with but you must understand to the less than ancient Greyhawk fan who picks up Greyhawk Adventures today and maybe reads about gods fighting in the streets, will proceed to the following pages and reason that these deities and their avatar stats are the culprits.

    (pg 5) Boccob (Greater)
    (pg 6) Celestian (Lesser)
    (pg 9) St Cuthbert (Lesser)
    (pg 10) Ehlonna (Lesser)
    (pg 11) Fharlanghn (Lesser)
    (pg 12) Incabulos (Major-not greater-an editing mistake?)
    (pg 13) Istus (Major)
    (pg 14) Iuz (Demi)
    (pg 15) Nerull (Major)
    (pg 16) Pholtus (Lesser)
    (pg 17) Ralishaz (Lesser)
    (pg 18) Ulaa (Major)

    Greater: 5
    Lesser: 6
    Demi: 1

    Pretty even assortment. I like this book alot but that section has been cracking me up recently.
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:17 pm  

    If he wasn't trapped as a domain lord in Ravenloft, I could see Vecna terrorizing the countryside.
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:24 pm  

    Hey Abysslin!

    And yer right! Vecna certainly ascended after this pact business went into effect and he should be free to cause havoc on Oerth in avatar form.
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    Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:41 pm  

    abysslin wrote:
    If he wasn't trapped as a domain lord in Ravenloft, I could see Vecna terrorizing the countryside.


    Vecna hasn't been trapped in Ravenloft for years. He escaped in Die Vecna Die!
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:10 am  

    Quote:
    'Many' is not the word an author such as yourself would use for 'two encounters'. I hope I'm right.
    I think you missunderstand me, I am not saying that two such encounters constitute many, I am saying that as few as two such encounters could spawn "many ballads", as an example from our current culture and time frame the battles of the little bighorn (Custers Last Stand) and the Alamo, have both spawned many movies about them. Just because there are several movies made about the alamo, doesn't mean that battles hapened there more then once.

    in much the same way, just because six different ballads were written about the time Hextor bitchslapped Kurell on the processional doesn't mean that he did it six different times.

    my point is the GHA quote states that there are many ballads about such meetings, not that there were many such meetings.
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:33 am  

    Aha! Yeah that makes better sense. My bad.

    Now how about those street clashes? Fact or fiction?
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:47 am  

    *Possible Hijack*

    I don't know really about Vecna, but what about Kas the Destroyer? - He would make an excellent opponent, IMO. Smile
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:07 am  

    Can't have Kas without Vecna.

    Last anyone heard of Kas he was a vampire hanging out in the negative quasi-plane of Ash in Citadel Cavitius longing for his sword. Or if you go further he was in Ravenloft stuck fighting is ex-leige Vecna. But who knows for sure..one thing is certain that woe to any who cross his path and mention Vecna.

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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:20 am  

    From the LGG pg. 164:

    'Finally, no god above demigod level may enter the Prime Material Plane of Oerth without the consensus of a majority of the gods of Oerth. A few exceptions to this are, Ehlonna, Fharlaghn, Obad-Hai and Oldimarra (who choose the Prime Material Plane as their native realm rather than one of the outer planes), Beory (who may actually be the Oerth itself) and St. Cuthbert (who was allowed to come to Oerth to fight Iuz on more than one occasion, though this last action might carry a price to be paid in the future).'

    This would rule out a duel between major dieties in the streets, as far as avatars and such that is a DM's call and subject to all that entails, so use as directed. Furthermore Vecna would probably have some of those dieties who call Oerth home, as well as other demigods ready to strike at him as well as detailed in WGA4 when Iuz appeared to oppose him directly.
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:25 am  

    Dethand wrote:
    Can't have Kas without Vecna.

    Last anyone heard of Kas he was a vampire hanging out in the negative quasi-plane of Ash in Citadel Cavitius longing for his sword. Or if you go further he was in Ravenloft stuck fighting is ex-leige Vecna. But who knows for sure..one thing is certain that woe to any who cross his path and mention Vecna.


    Yeah... Because, since Vecna's RL home disbanded after his escape, and Kas' domain was directly connected to it, I wonder what became of him... Maybe he sits now in Iuz throne room, having a good brandy with the Old One... Laughing
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:13 am  

    Quote:
    'Finally, no god above demigod level may enter the Prime Material Plane of Oerth without the consensus of a majority of the gods of Oerth. A few exceptions to this are, Ehlonna, Fharlaghn, Obad-Hai and Oldimarra (who choose the Prime Material Plane as their native realm rather than one of the outer planes), Beory (who may actually be the Oerth itself) and St. Cuthbert (who was allowed to come to Oerth to fight Iuz on more than one occasion, though this last action might carry a price to be paid in the future).'
    this restriction is a new thing... earlier products mention nothing of the sort (at least until signficantly after the GHA time period)... a restriction on gods entering the material plane is simply a response to the vast (and IMO uneseccary) power-upgrade that they got during the course of 2e.
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    Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:47 pm  

    carlanco wrote:
    Is there any module (other than T1-4 tToEE) that has a divine intervention (90% chance of happenning) like the one described there between Iuz & St. Cuthbert?


    The finale of WGA4 Vecna Lives features a similar scenario for divine intervention; UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave involves deities' actions; as does A3 and A4 (if you count the Earth Dragon's actions); G3, D3, and Q1 (the Elder Elemental God and Lolth for sure, perhaps Bilbdoolpoolp if the PCs touch the wrong idol); N1 (does Merrika ever do anything??); as well as Return of the Eight (if you count Iggwilv).

    There are plenty of times that PCs may receive a blessing or a curse for doing something to a deity's altar; I don't think that necessarily counts as divine intervention, but it certainly does suggest a certain level of awareness of Oerth....
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    Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:12 am  

    I've always worked on the assumption that, aside from a few exceptions, that direct manifestations of Lesser gods+ on the Oerth are verboten by common assent among the gods.

    Any such interevention must be balanced out by a counter intervention by the opposing team, as it were - so it's kind of pointless for the gods to engage in this kind of tit for tat. That said, The Scarlet Brotherhood book mentions that Syrul has often cheated at this game - manifesting physically without the other gods knowing (kind of like sneaking to the fridge in the middle of the night to eat all the ice cream. :))

    However, I've always thought that the gods could work through their servents and objects dedicated to them - altars, relics etc. That's what makes temples and holy relics so vital to the gods - since the more there are, the more leverage the gods have. It also makes priests (PC and NPC) important - since they're the tools of the gods, as opposed to the gods popping around Time of Trouble style and grabbing all the glory (and probably devestating half the Oerth in the process).

    As for brawls in the streets - I can see quasi-deities and perhaps demi-gods at this - but I think it's really uncommon. Given an ill-tended baker's oven could level a medieval city, think of the devestation a god-brawl could have. It'd be like a couple of superheroes having at it in Manhattan (cf The Ultimates Series 1 and the "Hulk want Freddy Prinse Jr!" bit).

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    Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:37 am  
    Re: Gods walk the Oerth!

    mortellan wrote:
    Here is what blew my mind today:

    Greyhawk Adventures (pg 4) says:

    The gods OFTEN visit the Prime Material Plane (Oerth) in avatar form to aid their worshippers or just to enjoy themselves.

    Okay...so much for prior canon. It gets better:

    For some unknown reason, the city of Greyhawk gets an unusual amount of attention from these deities-at least one of these beings usually has an avatar in the city.

    Wow! So not only do they visit Oerth with regularity a minimum of one of these deities is always in GHC! Almost done:

    Many ballads tell of awe-inspiring confrontations between avatars of opposing alignments on the city's crowded streets. Needless to say those streets needed considerable repair when the battle was done.


    This very well might be one of the most horrible, idiotic things that I have ever read regarding a fantasy campaign setting.

    Avatars dueling in the streets of Greyhawk City. Utterly lame.

    Woesinger does touch on the most probable offenders though that would be tolerable in my opinion: quasi-deities/hero-deities and demi-gods. The other(more powerful) gods are simply too preoccupied with more important matters than to be mucking about in the affairs of mortals.

    EDIT: I'll have to beat Jim Ward like a dog when next I see him. Wink
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    Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:26 pm  
    Re: Gods walk the Oerth!

    mortellan wrote:
    We had a good discussion last Thursday on deities/avatars/whatnot walking the Oerth, the nonintervention pact and soforth. I stumbled on something the next day.

    Greyhawk Adventures (pg 4) says:

    The gods OFTEN visit the Prime Material Plane (Oerth) in avatar form to aid their worshippers or just to enjoy themselves.

    Okay...so much for prior canon. It gets better:

    For some unknown reason, the city of Greyhawk gets an unusual amount of attention from these deities-at least one of these beings usually has an avatar in the city.

    Wow! So not only do they visit Oerth with regularity a minimum of one of these deities is always in GHC! Almost done:

    Many ballads tell of awe-inspiring confrontations between avatars of opposing alignments on the city's crowded streets. Needless to say those streets needed considerable repair when the battle was done.

    Historians of the Flanaess in the 83 set must be in denial, because the Greyhawk Guild of Streetcleaners sure have plenty of records of them visiting Oerth! All of this madness is compliments of James Ward, what do y'all think?


    I really hate to sound like a broken record here, but this is exactly what I hate about GH fans adhering so closely to canon. Sometimes it completely contradicts itself, and some of it is just plain bad. Avatars openly fighting in the streets? Gag me.

    To the serious Flanaess historian and chronicler, such utterly contemptuous claptrap is anathema. Utterly bereft of any reason, made up by bards who have indulged too much in the poppy juice, the lotus dust, and the laced mushrooms. Basically, much like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, this never happened.

    It never happened. There was no spaceship.
    There were no laser guns. There are no avatars on Oerth.
    They do not fight in the streets of Greyhawk.
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    Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:30 pm  

    denial.. it's what's for dinner.
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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:07 pm  

    Well their has been alot of poorly thought out published material and some that are just plain awful, that doesn't mean they can't be explained. I find it terribly dangerous for canon continuity simply to completely disavow aspects wholesale.

    Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and the Avatar premise is almost universially despised in my experience. However even these dreadful ideas can be worked into GH canon.

    Avatar problem: this can be explained by the retelling of zagyg capturing the nine demi-gods and Greyhawk does have a large concentration of powerful magic-users, perhaps the bards have taken "literary liscense" and created battles or exaggrated minor conflicts or magical mishaps into epic battles. You can be sure the battle at the great signing has grown since the event into an epic event, some no doubt swear they saw Iuz there.

    Expedition to the Barrier Peaks: which I despise, can be workable, if I remember correctly the weapons didn't do outrageous damage and a former DM used the religious, political establishment and obsessive private collectors to make any high tech items not worth the effort to keep. Not to mention most of the time people thought we were crazy whenever we mentioned spacecraft, except an evil bunch of bandits who made a fair living "guiding" wealthy adventuring bands to the area only to be attacked by giants or humanoids atleast that was their story when they got back to town.
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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:34 pm  

    Quote:
    Avatar problem: this can be explained by the retelling of zagyg capturing the nine demi-gods and Greyhawk does have a large concentration of powerful magic-users, perhaps the bards have taken "literary liscense" and created battles or exaggrated minor conflicts or magical mishaps into epic battles.


    That brings up a question. Was the nine imprisoned gods a well known fact? Did the Castle/Ruin of GH castle repell or attract attention due to their capture. Did the clerics of said imprioned gods know where their patrons were held at and go on a pilgrimage to protest for their release? I'm starting to lean towards no, as I type this.

    Not a bad justification, Crag. As for the Expedition, I never apologize for the sci-fi/tech in GH. It was that dash of cross-genre that originally intrigued me about Greyhawk. Spaceships, robots, aliens, pistols, cowboys, English saints, etc etc. It is all there lying in the dark corners of the setting and gives the reader a real sense of uncertainty and wonder that is just as weird as our own world's mysteries. And after all, what can weird-out a world where magic, dragons, undead, angels, demons and faeries really exist?
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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:18 pm  

    I also have to say - I don't have serious issues with Barrier Peaks. If you can have the City of the Gods, the Belching Vortex and the Machine of Lum the Mad, a buried starship in a remote mountain range isn't exactly out of place.

    I'd even go one farther and link the ship to my other favourite vintage game setting - Traveller - and make it a ship from the Third Imperium (perhaps in the Virus era - hence the haywire droids) that misjumped and ended up crashing on the Oerth.

    That'd be strictly home campaign stuff, of course. :)

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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:46 pm  

    The technological items in Barrier Peaks are all ultimately limited by ammunition. All the items are eventually used up, and become little more than fancy paper weights. They are hardly likely to ever dominate a campaign, even assuming every last one can be discovered or seized from the inhabitants.
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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:04 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    That brings up a question. Was the nine imprisoned gods a well known fact? Did the Castle/Ruin of GH castle repell or attract attention due to their capture. Did the clerics of said imprioned gods know where their patrons were held at and go on a pilgrimage to protest for their release?


    Zuoken's faithful certainly don't know where their god is imprisoned; I'm guessing none of the gods' worshippers did, and the demigods are embarassed enough not to talk about it afterwards (which is why Merikka, for example, hasn't helped the D'ar es Shalim out). Zagyg himself would likely mask the knowledge in riddles, leaving only the worthy to figure out the secret history of the divine.

    I'm sure the clerics of all the imprisoned nine would have hidden the knowledge of their gods' weakness from their faithful as long as possible. That Iuz had vanished was apparent pretty quickly because his empire collapsed, but the others might have kept up the charade for some time. I think Merikka was the only other obvious failure; I'm guessing the harvests of her faithful began to fail all at once.

    Most people still don't know that Zuoken is missing.
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    Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:17 pm  

    Quote:
    I think Merikka was the only other obvious failure; I'm guessing the harvests of her faithful began to fail all at once.
    I am sure that thier harvests were not failures, they probably just were not as bountiful as they had been in the past, I mean people who do not worship Merikka still plant and harvest crops... I dare say even an athiest could make a living as a farmer (although to be an athiest in a world like greyhawk would be moronic IMO)...

    on the other hand if you place N1 during the time she was imprisoned, that explains a lot right there....
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    Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:14 pm  

    Where canon conflicts, I am not slow. It is back to the first sources I go!

    This is the approach I took with WeeJas' tortured subsequent history - back to the original conception. This is not to say that later contradictions are always garbage but if they are unexplained, as was the case with WeeJas, they are garbage.

    The "brawling gods" line of reasoning is just garbage, IMO, as unexplained contradiction of existing canon. At best, it is a "hook" if a DM cares to explore it.

    The chroniclers were high?

    The chroniclers were 1E and mistook "epic level" 3E PCs for gods?

    Orcus showed up and declared himself the avatar of Nerull and nobody asked for ID?

    YMMV Smile
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    Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:48 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Orcus showed up and declared himself the avatar of Nerull and nobody asked for ID?


    Heh, until someone said, wait Nerull doesn't have a beer belly!!!! =P
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    Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:01 am  

    And we all know the motto of the Silent One: "Walk softly and carry a mighty staff of power..."

    The whole 2e thing with Avatars sort of spoiled my image of Greyhawkian gods. I had them always removed from the mortal coil, as when player characters ascended to those levels they would walk on their territories and still be struck in awe that there was still something greater after you got the Castle, wife and a good size fief to govern. Having the Gods pop in as Avatars and act as agents goes against this notion...I would rather do something with Dead Gods, like Monte Cooke did in his malhavoc product -
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    Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:28 pm  

    I thought Dead Gods was Planescape.
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    Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:47 pm  

    maybe he was refering the "Requime for a god" (or something oike that... a Malhavoc product that dealt with dead gods, rather then the actual Dead Gods module.
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    Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:19 pm  

    Just some thoughts....

    #1-if any gods are showing up even remotely regularly in a game, I gotta ask why. They each come with a plane full of agents and operatives capable of almost anything (espically in mass), legions of worshippers ,priests, and assorted holy (or unholy) warriors to sic on anything or anyone that really honks them off. If gods were interested in undoing even just the mojor issues that trouble a land it would be a much duller place. Or compleatly depopulated by them working aginst each other in person. Avatar brawls in the street are pretty right out thanks.

    #2-S3 is one of the coolest things to freak out any player that doesn't know what it is. And there are alot of them left. It is so fun to run it for a pack of younger players. But only if you DONT USE THE PICTURES! The last crew that hit it thought we had found an outpost of the nimblewraights from Blackmoor, since that adventure had just come out in Dragon. We all know the game is to just keep um guessing, why change it just for this run because it's relyy odd to the characters? The book makes it too easy for the players. Don't use it and the module is alot more fun. Oh, and the other tech-tomb hinted at by the objects on display at the House of Gold in Greyhawk? You rememer, the nut, bolt and dental tools? Great way to get them up there. Or send them to Blackmoor

    #3-With the vast pile of ods avalible from humans, demi-humans, nonhumans and who knows what else is out there worshipping whatever
    I'll admit that it is possible to have players have some interaction with higher powers, but limited. Really limited. espically when it's directally adverserial. Gods are like superpowers, things that get on their radar get blasted out of the sky by the Air Force, run over by the Army, sunk by the Navy, disected by the Men in Black at area 51, and covered up by the CIA. All at the same time. Twice. And they should be. You really want the common player to have a bad day, we have hero-deities, quasi-deities, and epic level foolishness.Keeping the gods out of any setting is a fine plan 99% of the time
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    Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:27 am  

    cwslyclgh wrote:
    maybe he was refering the "Requime for a god" (or something oike that... a Malhavoc product that dealt with dead gods, rather then the actual Dead Gods module.


    Requim for a God from Malhavoc is one of the most inutterably cool things for D&D I have ever seen. A god(s) die or is (are) killed. Now what? Requim for a God answers that question in great depth and fascinating detail. I highly recommend it!

    And if you are looking for a companion piece, have all or part of the god fall to Oerth, using Malhavoc's When the Sky Falls product, which ostensibly describes a meteor strike but which could be easily adapted to be a bit of the dead devine.

    I highly recommend both products. There is nothing else like them out there.
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    Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:08 pm  

    cwslyclgh wrote:
    the greater deities seldom come to oerth, interfere, care what's happening (as per 83 boxed set), it is probable that the battles in grayhawk streets are between lesser/demi gods... no contradiction that I see...

    even two such encounters in a century could inspire "Many ballads" so that need not be taken as an indication that gods throwing down in Clerksburg is a "common" occurance.


    As I remember the situation when GA came out, it was assumed that gods did not directly intervene on Oerth, except for the Cuthbert-Iuz thing that was the exception that proved the rule.

    But then, god stats were listed AS GODS, as in, this is how they would be encountered on their home plane. Unlike FR, the gods did not have avatars.

    GA introduced the concept of Avatars to Greyhawk, perhaps in a fit of FR-envy. The whole point of an avatar is that it is a scaled down version of the god, MEANT FOR appearing on another plane. There is not much point in introducing avatars unless you are going to say that the gods use avatars, and the point of avatars is that they are allowed to interfere. As far as fighting in the streets of GHC? Perhaps an exageration on the part of the author, over-eager to sell his "new idea".
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    Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:12 am  

    Kirt wrote:
    GA introduced the concept of Avatars to Greyhawk, perhaps in a fit of FR-envy.


    I believe that Greyhawk Adventures was actually the first place that the concept of avatars, in its contemporary sense, was used in AD&D. There was a mention of the word in the section on the Hindu Mythos in Deities & Demigods, but it was used somewhat differently.

    The Avatar Trilogy for the Forgotten Realms didn't come out until June of 1989, according to Amazon.com. Greyhawk Adventures was published in 1988. In the original Forgotten Realms "gray box," the gods were all statted in their true forms, Deities & Demigods style.

    So, if anything, FR got avatars in a fit of Greyhawk-envy.
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    Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:21 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Kirt wrote:
    GA introduced the concept of Avatars to Greyhawk, perhaps in a fit of FR-envy.


    I believe that Greyhawk Adventures was actually the first place that the concept of avatars, in its contemporary sense, was used in AD&D. There was a mention of the word in the section on the Hindu Mythos in Deities & Demigods, but it was used somewhat differently.

    The Avatar Trilogy for the Forgotten Realms didn't come out until June of 1989, according to Amazon.com. Greyhawk Adventures was published in 1988. In the original Forgotten Realms "gray box," the gods were all statted in their true forms, Deities & Demigods style.

    So, if anything, FR got avatars in a fit of Greyhawk-envy.


    Interesting...what I remember of FR was that avatars were regular occurences, though I never played the setting, so my recollection of dates could be wrong. Perhaps the idea took off in FR and languished in GH, even if it was first (GA also introduced zero level characters...)

    Apperently the first FR novel, Darkwalker on Moonshae,
    was published before the setting itself. In it, "Using the Darkwell as a portal from whence he came, Kazgaroth enters the Moonshae Islands to cause death and destruction, able to change shape and blend in with the locals." (never read it myself). I wonder whether this Kazgaroth is using an avatar...
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    Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:25 pm  

    carlanco wrote:
    [clipped]
    Is there any module (other than T1-4 tToEE) that has a divine intervention (90% chance of happenning) like the one described there between Iuz & St. Cuthbert?

    Saludos,
    Gabriel


    At the climax of Vecna Lives!, Iuz and Vecna do battle with each other at Tovag Baragu... I don't remember any other Greyhawk adventures, off-hand.
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    Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:11 pm  

    Die Vecna Die had Vecna and Iuz.

    Planescape "Dead Gods" had Orcus/Tenebrous.

    The Minatures Handbook has Aspects of Asmodeus, Bahamut, Demogorgon, Hextor, Kord (Personally explains the Dragon article feat for being a descendant of Kord for me ), LolthNerull, Orcus andVecna.
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    Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:07 am  

    Ivid wrote:
    Yeah... Because, since Vecna's RL home disbanded after his escape, and Kas' domain was directly connected to it, I wonder what became of him... Maybe he sits now in Iuz throne room, having a good brandy with the Old One... Laughing


    Kas somehow became a vestige. So it seems he lost his fight with Vecna.
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    Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:18 am  

    Kirt wrote:
    I wonder whether this Kazgaroth is using an avatar...


    Iirc Kazgaroth is an avatar of Bhaal or at least a minion. It is a T-Rex like monster though. The third novel of the trilogy has Bane almost manifesting on Toril as you can see on the cover.
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    Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:57 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    Kirt wrote:
    I wonder whether this Kazgaroth is using an avatar...


    Iirc Kazgaroth is an avatar of Bhaal or at least a minion.


    Villains Lorebook said it was a minion of Bhaal. Hall of Heroes said it was an aspect of Malar (it didn't use the word avatar). Whichever, it's a demonic shapeshifting t-rex and doesn't resemble either god in the slightest.

    Not having ever read it, I'm not sure what the original novel said, if anything. The novel wasn't originally intended to be part of the Forgotten Realm setting at all, so some clumsy splicing was involved to make it fit.
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    Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:56 pm  

    The Villain Lorebook is a free download at Wizard's:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/downloads

    Third from the bottom hope it helps.
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    Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:55 pm  

    IIRC, Nerull manifests on Oerth in Gygax's Artifact of Evil. I believe Anthraxus (regared as a Lesser God in 1E) also walked into the throneroom of the Hierarchs of the Horned Society. Oh yeah, the Cat Lord also hangs out in Greyhawk City in Dragon #100. And Kord has a thing for mortal women (per Dragon #87), so he probably also makes frequent trips to Oerth.

    I think the whole "non-intereference pact" is likely more divine public relations BS than any sort of rule that is strictly followed.
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    Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:28 pm  

    Another thread dredged up by the new-comer!

    mortellan wrote:
    The gods OFTEN visit the Prime Material Plane (Oerth) in avatar form to aid their worshippers or just to enjoy themselves.
    Okay...so much for prior canon...


    -Actually, as I see it, the prior canon said the gods don't mess around on oerth very much; it didn't say that their avatars didn't...

    rasgon wrote:
    ...That fits with Andy Miller's description of Rudd often visiting mortals to gamble and have fun. She was one of those imprisoned beneath the castle, too...


    -But Rudd is a demi-goddess, and I think the PM plane is her home (she even originated on oerth).

    Duicarthan wrote:
    Boccob vs. Wee Jas in the Great Arena. Come one come all!
    anti-magic fields not included!


    -Hmmm...

    Will Wee Jas being wearing a halter top and daisy dukes? Happy
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    Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:35 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    But Rudd is a demi-goddess, and I think the PM plane is her home (she even originated on oerth).


    Andy Miller's article in Dragon #265 has her home plane as Ysgard, in a realm called The House of Cards.

    Warriors of Heaven says she dwells in the realm of Brightwater in Arborea (which she shares with several Forgotten Realms goddesses and Ye'Cind).

    I assume she has a realm of her own in Ysgard and often visits Brightwater (known for its gambling and fun) and the Material Plane, probably more often than she stays at home. She's an adventurous sort, not much of a homebody.
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    Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:25 pm  

    Thinking of avatars, on one of the old threads (one I didn't dredge up), there was mention of a climatic battle in LG Nyrond, where King Lynwerd fought Prince Sewarndt to the death in a giant flying bubble...

    Any chance that the given stat's for the two were a red herring, and that they were actually the respective avatars of Heironeous & Hextor?

    OK, probably not...

    How about, Heironeous & Hextor saw them as their representatives, and created the Bubble Death Match as a test of the two combatants' worthiness?

    This would at least explain the bubble (although not entirely excuse it... Razz )
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    Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:34 pm  

    I'm not sure which thread your referring to but it sounds a lot like a Living Greyhawk scenario... The Nyrond region had a major plot arc called the “Call to War” series of scenarios that cumulated in an interactive battle. Groups of players meet at LG Conventions in Arizona, California, and Utah at the same time and played the battle out. A giant vision of single combat between Lynwerd and Sewarndt was suspended above the battle field.

    As groups of players finished a part of the battle their results were tallied by the coordinators. If more objectives were won than lost Lynwerd would begin to prevail over Sewarndt. If more objectives were lost by the characters than won then Sewarndt would gain the upper hand over Lynwerd. Fortunately the players won more than they lost and Lynwerd defeated Sewarndt. The various locations in the three states reported all their results to each other so it was all tied together for the entire region. It was a really fun night of gaming.
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:31 pm  

    Varthalon wrote:
    I'm not sure which thread your referring to but it sounds a lot like a Living Greyhawk scenario... The Nyrond region had a major plot arc called the “Call to War” series of scenarios that cumulated in an interactive battle... A giant vision of single combat between Lynwerd and Sewarndt was suspended above the battle field...


    -That's what was described...

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...It was a really fun night of gaming.


    -Everyone on the thread pannned it, and (IIRC) it was a long thread. Everyone described it as a classic "bad" adventure, where nothing the PCs do really mattered...

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...As groups of players finished a part of the battle their results were tallied by the coordinators. If more objectives were won than lost Lynwerd would begin to prevail over Sewarndt. If more objectives were lost by the characters than won then Sewarndt would gain the upper hand over Lynwerd. Fortunately the players won more than they lost and Lynwerd defeated Sewarndt...


    -..perhaps they misunderstood?

    Hmmm... if it was as you describe, and Lynwerd & Sewardnt were magically drawing power for the fight from their supporters on the ground, what was the mechanism? This could go back to what I proposed, where Lynwerd & Sewarndt were mystical stand-ins for Heironeous & Hextor; presumably H&H agreed to this duel betweeen their respective champions?
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    Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:58 am  

    In a recent WotC article they proposed that the shark god Sekoleh was an aspect of Merikka the nature goddess. That's an interesting spin on how to reduce the number of gods, although I'm not sure it helps us much in Greyhawk.

    I'm happy for gods to send their aspects or avatars in response to powerful summoning spells to smite non-believers, or to avenge themselves on defilers of their temples (some of our characters urinated in the temple of Hextor and are now complaining at my frequent hints that he might one day seek revenge).

    Apart from giving out the odd prophecy I don't think the gods should be interfering on Oerth. There are a few notable exceptions who spend their time frolicking down here, like Ehlonna. That would fit with her using an aspect/avatar for her own amusement, perhaps making a field of flowers bloom, killing the odd orc etc.
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    Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:08 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    Hmmm... if it was as you describe, and Lynwerd & Sewardnt were magically drawing power for the fight from their supporters on the ground, what was the mechanism? This could go back to what I proposed, where Lynwerd & Sewarndt were mystical stand-ins for Heironeous & Hextor; presumably H&H agreed to this duel betweeen their respective champions?


    That sounds about right... there seemed to be a definate tie-in between how well the battle on the ground was going and how well the fight between the King and Emperor was going. There were also some religious tie-ins (one of the major fights on the ground was storming and cleansing the temple of Hextor) and I think it is not unreasonable to think that if the power flow went from the battle to the rulers that there was probably also some tie-in from the gods to the ruler's as well.
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    Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:08 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    Hmmm... if it was as you describe, and Lynwerd & Sewardnt were magically drawing power for the fight from their supporters on the ground, what was the mechanism?


    Goals completed by the PCs tip the scale to the protagonist's favor, and goals they fail to achieve tip the scale towards the antagonist's side. There isn't necessarily any magic at all, or mystical/religious connection. It is merely a mechanism to decide the outcome of things.
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