Killing Deities



Feb 18, 2004 6:38:33

I am always seeing bragging on PCs killing Deities.... ' I killed Sune/Lolth/Heironus/Paladine/'

I must say this pee's me off in alot of ways. How can any one person or group of people Kill an almost Omnipotent being that could annhilate entire armies just by spitting at them?

I have never and never shall in any setting allow a couple of poncy mortals to kill a god. I have no problems with them killing Avatars of gods and blunting their schemes but killing an entire god? Cmon what tat.

Gods come and go and they are always dependant on their followers, Good and Evil. in order to kill a god then you would hyperthetically need to annhialate their entire worshipper base, then take on the weakend but still Omnipotent god on their own plane or location on the planes. The only other way is for another god to actually do the deed.

Now in Forgotten realms its slightly different yes, but that was only due to extraordinary circumstances (the thing I hate about FR is all the damn epic level guys and gals.... cmon how many are there now??) like the time of troubles.

So why o why do we get it?

I can understand people wanting to be special and all that but in the end theres a million possibilities without having your 40th lvl characters commiting Mass genocide of entire Pantheons of gods and their allies only armed with a spoon and a badly carved statue of a monkey.

My characters in my Planescape game that I DM are well aware that they cannot physically or mentally beat the crap out of a god (or the lady of Pain) no matter what level they are.

I like them blunting Various Gods ambitions and ruining their plans as well as taking on their champions and sometimes, just occasionally at the end of a long and well done campaign allow them to take on and win (or lose) against an Avatar (destinct possibility as they are mortal representations of the Deity), but I would slap mightily anyone taking a gate to a gods home plane and challange that god..

Why do many DMs insist on it I really dont understand....

Rant over..............


Feb 18, 2004 12:06:37
Sometimes deity death can benefit a campaign, especially if it's the result of a well thought out plan.


Feb 18, 2004 14:31:49
Killing gods by force? What kind of crap is that? I mean COME ON! We all know you just need to get a really high bluff check when offering them a drink..and it being a flask of "InstaDeath Anti-God Cola" From the makers of "Pepsi Blue"..and then just have a god party and spike the punch with that stuff!


Feb 18, 2004 21:24:29
I happens because there are DMs that are weak willed and won't say no to their immature munchy players, or campaigns with only 11 year olds that start at level 300 and work their way down from the letter A in the D&DGs book.

Without divinity yourself in a game, I'll laugh at a person wanting to kill a deity in 99% of all cases. That 1% of the time, if that, they'll have to boggle me with a reason and a plan that is so fiendishly awesome for storyline potential that I'd let them take a shot at it with a chance for it to work.

Otherwise at best you can blunt the plans of a deity, or an Archfiend etc. You can oppose their ideals and their servants, and perhaps an avatar but that's drawing a giant target on yourself unless you have a divine backing yourself. It can get ugly.

It was said best before, and I paraphrase slightly, "Just because your PC's odometer clocks over to level 21 doesn't mean you should start making crank calls to Loki."


Feb 18, 2004 22:38:38
I think that killing deities is the sign of a DM who's losing it. If you can't challenge your PC's or interest them unless they're on some impossibly powerful quest like the destruction of a god. A good DM should be able to make his players feel like they're still doing something meaningful while still keeping them within reasonability, and if they can only have fun by stomping all over Takhisis, then there's something wrong with their roleplaying abilities. Try using an avatar if you really want to have a confrontation with the divine. They're plenty powerful and if you do it right they should be able to be quite a challenge to high-level PC's. What kind of deity would even fight some hostile planewalkers who kick down the gate to his realm. Besides his already unlistably potent abilities, he's practically omnipotent in his home realm, so he could just planeshift them to the Abyss and be done with them. No deity would go wading into battle against a handful of mortals, no matter who they are. If they are genuinely a threat to him, why would he take that kind of chance? And if they're just hopeful, why would he lower himself to that level?


Feb 18, 2004 23:08:33
Arbitrarily killing deities has always been something that bothers me. Sure, I've let players battle avatars on occasion, but that's about as far as I've ever went.

As a matter of fact, I've only allowed one god to die in any campaign that I've ever ran, and the characters didn't even kill him, he sacrificed himself to save the characters from a death knight and his legions of undead (long story made short...the gods in my world were all once mortal are more like conduits that funnels power from a greater source to priests. Every few thousand years, the gods "burn out" and become mortal again and must find a new way to use this power or risk being replaced by some other powerful mortal. The god of philosophy became mortal before all divinity was lost on purpose, told the characters of what was to come, invested some of his divine power into the group's psionic character, then teleported to the middle of the advancing army and used the rest of his divine power to destroy the army, ending his own life in the process).

It's my opinion (other opinions might differ) that truly divine beings cannot be killed by mere mortals, no matter what level they are on, which is why I disagree with any type of stat block that contains ability scores and hit points for gods.


Feb 18, 2004 23:26:14
I agree. You shouldn't even be able to kill a deity with any normal means. They should be beyond stat blocks. Even if you have an epic weapon that's vorpal, ghost touch, undead-disrupting, and outsider-bane, that's tough luck. First off, no power should ever even let you bask in its radiance if it doesn't feel like it, and second, nothing mortal, no matter how powerful, should be able to kill a deity. The only ways I can think of that a deity could be eliminated are: a collapse of that deity's belief base among mortal worshippers, destruction by another supra-mortal being, or destruction by a specific effect, like a greater artifact that specifically has that power.

The way it should be is just that gods do not really reside in our existence, at least not fully. They have transcended into another level, and therefore are beyond the effects of physical objects, generally. Steel, even with mind-bending enchantments and hexes laid into it, is just so far below their level of existence that the rules simply do not apply to them.

Sounds like alchemy. Which would mean that a sword made out of pure gold might have a chance...


Feb 19, 2004 0:20:18
I've had one instance of deicide in my game, and that was by an NPC who sacrificed the bound and already slowly dying essence of the god of the Gautiere. Open question is who or what he sacrificed the bound and last avatar of the deity to, and why. *grin*

Loads of fun describing the aftereffects of a power dying on the stability of its realm in the Outlands. The Rilmani, and the Gautiere were not happy suffice to say. And the full repurcussions of that have yet to be made apparent. Yay open plot questions. ;)

But enough of me gloating over tormenting PCs. I'll use deity death, but only as a plot tool like in the previous case. Something beyond the PCs is involved, perhaps a rival deity or something similar empowering (and then abandoning) the NPC involved in the actual act itself.


Feb 19, 2004 3:44:47
I think the problem with players versus Powers is that the DM's who do it tend to also have every battle be a stand and hack battle to the death. Use of divine tactics, such as turning the air around pesky mortals in your realm into clay or frog innards or something is probably ignored in most of these fights. Even if a god had only 1 hp and an armor class of 10, it should still win almost any battle in its realm simply through its knowledge of everything that happens there and its absolute control of the environment.


Feb 19, 2004 3:53:48
As a DM of 13 years, I have seen several gods die in my campaigns. Player activity was sometimes vital in this.

Though this is rather rare even in my most high-level campaigns, it is not a bad thing, in my mind.
A divine being in the D&D worlds are clearly not immortal(except for aging). It is not omnipotent either.

If you look at the european well known pantheons of greece and vikings, you find several cases of "mortals" challenging divine powers and even win at times. This could often lead to divine ascension.
The Asgardians were not superior in most ways to mortals. They had the same flaws, and many feared both giants and powerful mortals, as well as each other. A giant like UtgardsLoke is not a god in any way (if you read elder norwegian/scandinavian sources), still he had a certain degree of respect and even fear from several gods.

If I let my players kill Tiamat, I wont accept that I am a poor DM without the ability to invent challenges for my epic campaign. I played a long campaign that could be led back to the 1e days of H4 Throne of Bloodstone. If my player characters then could fight and defeat Tiamat or Orcus or whoever, they should have a chance now as well, in my opinion.

The days of 2e is over, gods arent allmighty beings. There you couldnt even defeat a deity if you killed his avatar that was magnified a thousand times...which is ridiculous to my mind.

Of course, worship complicates this. Any dead deity would be reborn if he/she were to receive alot of prayers.
But in the D&D universe, other gods can take their worshippers easily. Priests neednt be faithful to a god that doesnt listen or grant spells. Worshippers prefer active gods more often than not.

Change is a good thing in many campaigns. The destruction of gods is a thing that can change alot.


Feb 20, 2004 21:59:39
I then therefore ask you this question: If a God CAN die, is it really a God? Isn't the entire definion of Divinity, well, Immortality, that is, beings who are outside the concept of Death, both physical and otherwise?

After all, if Gods were really just "Really big scary mortals armed with hammers and thunderbolts" then why would they attract, or recruit worshippers in the first place?

I am well aware that Norse Gods were not omnipotent beings like the Olympian gods were(And the Aztek gods even moreso), and that they could die by physical means(but not easily). But even in Mythology, if all of it is taken into account, relates that their are different kinds of Divine beings.

For instance, their were Demigods, who were indeed, very powerful, but mortal(Like Hurcules). There were omnipotent gods who could end the world when or if they saw fit, like the Aztek god of war, Huitzilopochtli.

Some Gods, it is true, can die if they lack worshippers(faith and belief is like food and drink to them), but others, such as the Olympian Gods, who predated their worshippers, would not need to fear death in this manner(or any other perhaps), and wouldn't therefore, need worship to survive, but would still disire it, for other reasons(emotional reasons perhaps?). This explains why the Titans, the progenitors of the Olympian gods, were not simply killed by their offspring, but instead imprisoned in Tartarus(Carceri).

Some Gods might even lack an avatar, or even an ability to communicate except threw visions or happeninstance.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that if Gods could be gauged and defeated like some random monster, than what is the point in having them in the first place?

Some Gods could and should have their influence and even pressence in a campaign, but never, never should any be defeated by some random adventurior, no matter what their level after all, if it was possible for a mortal to kill a God(no matter the variety) than whats to stop the entire multiverse in erupting in a "Great Diety Hunt"? Not only would the very concept of Gods be destroyed, since such a happenstance would prove that Gods are just "mortals with bigger swords"(And henceforth proving the Athar are correct), but the entire focus of Planescape would be redefined as a hack and slash (divine) monster bash.

On the other hand, Divine death(but not by PC hands!!) can be a very big plot device(Check out the adventure Dead Gods for examples), and could really(and should) have far-reaching impact across the Planes and the campaign as a whole. Never, and I repeat, never, should divine death by treated as routine as a simple random monster encounter.


Feb 20, 2004 22:26:46
"You could always ask the Athar about their opinion on the matter. Or the opinions of a humble Yugoloth on the the deities, I'm sure they mostly feel likewise about us."

*random blasphemy against random pantheon*


Feb 20, 2004 23:11:06
"Does that blasmphemy also get directed at Yugoloth-friendly gods like Apis or Shum-Chuum? Or at Gods who used to be Yugoloths but have since ascended to Divine status?"

(clears throut)

"I assure you, Gods aren't so easily killed, if at all, I'd know, as I asked Bahamut the other day, before he threw me out of his realm, since he STILL doesn't believe I'm a good dragon now"


Feb 20, 2004 23:38:11
"You think I respect Sung-Chiang? The divine berk has two Gehreleths as his proxies. That's a slap in the face, and sooner or later he's going to step over the line and well, we'll see won't we..."


"Divinity holds nothing for us. Tools by mortals to create a facade of something greater for themselves to abase themselves before. It's nothing more than the greatest of self delusions, the greatest joke the planes ever played on their creations. Apomps is the only former Yugoloth I can think of who attained divinity, and then only after forsaking his own kind and being driven out by the other Baernaloths whom he had betrayed."

*more scoffing and snarling at the mention of Apomps*

[*chuckle at that last line of your post*]


Feb 20, 2004 23:52:19
"I heard somewhere that Anubis, the former Egyptian God, and current Guardian of the Dead Gods, was once an Arcanaloth. I've also heard of several other gods, namely Nalzur(A pure evil god of disease, decay and death), who were once Yugoloths."

"Please don't tell me that you and your fellows would pass if offered ascendsion into a Higher(er, lower?) existence? After all, its a well known fact that Yugoloths are just as arrogant as any Great Red Wyrm, and a lust for personal power seems to be the driving force for most satient life, expecially evil life like us Shemeska. Come to think of it, a Red-Dragon/Yugoloth crossbreed would probably be a god, or perhaps superior to one, could I perhaps convince you to empower a stolen Red Dragon egg with a portion of your essence? Opps, did I say that out loud?"

(Smacks oneself in the head)

"I'm not evil, I'm not evil, I'm not evil

(Continues for several seconds, then clears throat)

"Um, I almost forgot, I have an interview scheduled with Bahamut, and Im running late, so, see you later"

(Flies off)


Feb 21, 2004 8:56:16
I can never agree with this.

Gods are in a way mighty least, some are.
But few are random, and, like characters, should not be used exclusively as opponents.

To make planescape hack n slash has little to do with gods...planescape is about possibilities, and in such a context little should be impossible.

Still, this does not mean that gods or powers should be easily defeated, or even much used, at least directly.

The point in having gods varies...but mostly they are about granting spells, in practice.


Feb 21, 2004 10:27:18
Actually, I think Deities and Demigods gave stats for gods with the idea that people would use them for divine campaigns. FR likely gave them, well, I can't see why they did it, since they clearly state the PCs shouldn't be able to challenge a god.

I suppose that in the event that an artifact could hurt a god, it might be useful to have some stats on him/her. But the likelihood is so minimal that I'd rather they just gave more info on worshippers, proxies, and so forth.

Even challenging an Archfiend is silly. Asmodeus has ruled hell for time immemorial, thwarted the schemes of supra-genius fiends and dieties, and somehow the PCs are going to finish him off? Even Mystra could barely affect him in that silly book Elminster goes to Hell. ;)


Feb 21, 2004 11:02:16
I'd allow my PC's to kill a deity... if they can seek out every single one of his followers and slay them, then continue to erase his name from every inscription and his visage from every statue, then destroy everyone who even knows his name or have heard of his teachings (including themselves)

Then they have truly and forevermore killed a god.

The chance of that happening without said deity smiting them with thunderbolds is not very great though.


Mar 10, 2004 13:22:53
Yeah I thought that was crazy Mystra entered Hell to try and get El back. Seems kinda crazy a god would enter another's realm to try and save a follower even if it was Eliminter. If gods did things like that even once in a very great while the planes would be even more of a war zone then they are and littered with the bodies of gods every where.


Mar 10, 2004 13:47:38
*rolls eyes* It was an FR novel, and by a certain author that shall remain nameless.

*warily eyes the death of the FR novels forum*

Some folks take ... 'liberties' with the setting and the planes and the rules when it concerns certain sacred cow NPCs. Mystra should have had a number of true deities in Baator giving her polite advice to leave or suffer, or actually taking out retribution on her or her followers. And that says nothing about the fury of various Lords of the Nine having fun on Toril w/ Mystra's followers after that little stunt on Avernus. And the last little bit about Mystra, Halaster and Asmodeus was, well, over the top to use polite terms. I've come to expect such from the El series of books.

No offense meant, I just don't personally care for the style of writing and utter disregard for setting and logic in the treatment of certain Realmsian NPCs.

And let's not even get into just how damn RANDY some of those noble Baatezu got portrayed. You've think they got taken right from a Tanar'ri brothel the way they acted.


Mar 10, 2004 14:05:51
I agree Planescape or the rest of the planes was in no way taken into account in that novel. But even if you are considering the realms a stand alone place gods don't just die in massive droves in the Realms do they? (outside of Salvador I have read little of the Realms.) In any case it was a bad novel and I will be hesitant to pick up another by the same author even if he is the father of the realms. Still the explantion on how Eliminter got caught in the first place as really lacking? Where in the heck did this crater to hell come from and why was it there? Why did he have to fly into it to close the damn thing? Anyway enough talk about this bad novel from me. Ironically it was the last novel I finished not even 48 hours ago.


Mar 10, 2004 16:53:44
Originally posted by Bonemage
I agree Planescape or the rest of the planes was in no way taken into account in that novel. But even if you are considering the realms a stand alone place gods don't just die in massive droves in the Realms do they? (outside of Salvador I have read little of the Realms.) In any case it was a bad novel and I will be hesitant to pick up another by the same author even if he is the father of the realms. Still the explantion on how Eliminter got caught in the first place as really lacking? Where in the heck did this crater to hell come from and why was it there? Why did he have to fly into it to close the damn thing? Anyway enough talk about this bad novel from me. Ironically it was the last novel I finished not even 48 hours ago.

The problem what El in Hell is you also have to read the 2nd book of Denning's trilogy that details the return of Shade. El get's thrown in Hell in that trilogy and then El in Hell continues on from there.


Mar 10, 2004 20:36:24
OK well that takes away a few of the minor complaints about the the quality of the book at the start of it. The rest of it still holds.


Mar 12, 2004 13:45:14
If I have a group of tough PC's, and they have a great plan to take on a deity in combat, I go ahead and let them do it...

But I don't let them win.

What do they expect to come of engaging a god in battle?