My new Lonfellin campaign is finally underway. It’s always interesting DMing in a world of your own creation. The Lonfellin campaign is made more interesting by my friends having an active role in shaping the world.
While world building I’ve come to the point where I need to create the gods of the world in more depth. Before undertaking the joys of creating an entire religion I researched how best to look into this. I wanted to avoid making a carbon copy of the Greek or Viking gods. Equally I wanted to avoid making something so wacky that no one could possibly understand and want to work with.
Every religion had a beginning and to begin I’ve found some great tips worth a share for the aspiring world builder. (As a note I’m no expert on world building and I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!)
First thing first Gods never exist in isolation. Sitting down just to make a religion and nothing else won’t work. Religions shape and are shaped by society even in DnD where the gods have a tendency to meddle. So when creating gods you need to think about how they fit into your society. Do different nations have different ideas about what your gods do/represent? What does your society treasure? Do they love grass? If so make a god of grass!
Make gods useful. You don’t need to make your gods, gods of specific things but it’s a popular choice. It’s worth thinking realistically about what your people find useful. A goddess of the aetherial beauty of the colour blue sounds elegant but is pretty useless. Well unless you have a crazy artist obsessed with the colour. The god of hunting or fishing probably has more practical applications.
In a world where gods can give people real gifts the more useful a god the more people would use them.
And last of the tips are relationships. The relationships between real life gods are well complicated. Beefing related by blood isn’t exactly a barrier to marriage shall we say. That’s not to say your gods need to be the same (thank god)! But how your gods are related to each other, the wider creation and people. If you don’t they can appear quite random and separate from the rest of your creation.
Hopefully these points give you some tips to consider when you are playing god over your own world! World building is super fun and can be an interesting way to explore and lead more about different concepts. It does make me wonder though, if you were a god what would you be the god of? I’d have to go with the god of pizza or pasta that would be pretty awesome!