Elemental Tetratheon, First Analysis

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover
Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

As I assigned domains to the sites on this polyhedron I started having ideas about how to interpret the results. I had started with the idea of four ‘elemental poles’ to the pantheon. The normal relationships between the elements (Air opposes Earth, Fire opposes Water) don’t seem to apply; if you were to project the polyhedron onto a sphere the elemental domains are assigned to equidistant points. That is, each domain is equally opposed to each of the other three.

I want to play on that. Each site with an elemental domain represents a major deity, but these deities have fewer domains than the nominally lesser deities. I realized that if I treat the adjacent faces as aspects of the major gods then each major god, through its aspects, grants direct or indirect access to thirteen domains.

That seems ‘major enough’ to me. There will be some slight overlap in domain assignments between the different deities, around the edges, but that should be fine.

Domain Assignments by Deity

These are the initial domain assignments, by deity, from the crunchy bits.

Alignment is initially determined primarily by domain assignment. Each deity’s primary domain is in bold text, domain-based alignments are (in parentheses).

  1. (NG) Sun, Fire, Glory, Artifice, Good, Luck
  2. (LN) Knowledge, Fire, Law, Artifice, Healing, Rune
  3. (CN) Nobility, Fire, Chaos, Magic, Healing, Luck
  4. (NG) Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Rune, Good
  5. (CN) Trickery, Glory, Weather, Chaos, Water, Luck
  6. (NG) Protection, Glory, War, Community, Water, Good
  7. (LN) Death, Air, Law, Magic, Healing, Repose
  8. (LN) Plant, Strength, Law, Earth, Rune, Repose
  9. (CN) Liberation, Air, Weather, Chaos, Magic, Travel
  10. (NE) Destruction, Strength, War, Community, Earth, Evil
  11. (NE) Darkness, Weather, War, Travel, Water, Evil
  12. (NE) Madness, Strength, Air, Travel, Repose, Evil

And the point deities:

  1. (TN) Fire, Sun, Knowledge, Nobility
  2. (TN) Strength, Plant, Destruction, Madness
  3. (TN) Glory, Sun, Trickery, Protection
  4. (TN) Air, Death, Liberation, Madness
  5. (LN) Law, Knowledge, Death, Plant
  6. (TN) Weather, Trickery, Liberation, Darkness
  7. (TN) Artifice, Sun, Knowledge, Animal
  8. (TN) War, Protection, Destruction, Darkness
  9. (CN) Chaos, Nobility, Trickery, Liberation
  10. (TN) Community, Animal, Protection, Destruction
  11. (TN) Magic, Nobility, Death, Liberation
  12. (TN) Earth, Animal, Plant, Destruction
  13. (TN) Healing, Knowledge, Nobility, Death
  14. (TN) Travel, Liberation, Darkness, Madness
  15. (TN) Rune, Knowledge, Animal, Plant
  16. (TN) Water, Trickery, Protection, Darkness
  17. (NG) Good, Sun, Animal, Protection
  18. (TN) Repose, Death, Plant, Madness
  19. (TN) Luck, Sun, Nobility, Trickery
  20. (NE) Evil, Destruction, Darkness, Madness

Breakdown by Element

For my first examination, I’m going to group the deities by elemental influence.

Air Deity and Aspects

  • (TN) Air,  Death, Liberation, Madness
  • (LN) Death, Air, Law, Magic, Healing, Repose
  • (CN) Liberation, Air, Weather, Chaos, Magic, Travel
  • (NE) Madness, Strength, Air, Travel, Repose, Evil

Earth Deity and Aspects

  • (TN) Earth, Animal, Plant, Destruction
  • (NG) Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Rune, Good
  • (NE) Destruction, Strength, War, Community, Earth, Evil
  • (LN) Plant, Strength, Law, Earth, Rune, Repose

Fire Deity and Aspects

  • (TN) Fire, Sun, Knowledge, Nobility
  • (LN) Knowledge, Fire, Law, Artifice, Healing, Rune
  • (CN) Nobility, Fire, Chaos, Magic, Healing, Luck
  • (NG) Sun, Fire, Glory, Artifice, Good, Luck

Water Deity and Aspects

  • (TN) Water, Trickery, Protection, Darkness
  • (NE) Darkness, Weather, War, Travel, Water, Evil
  • (NG) Protection, Glory, War, Community, Water, Good
  • (CN) Trickery, Glory, Weather, Chaos, Water Luck

Alignment Deities

  • (LN) Law, Knowledge, Death, Plant
  • (CN) Chaos, Nobility, Trickery, Liberation
  • (NG) Good, Sun, Animal, Protection
  • (NE) Evil, Destruction, Darkness, Madness

Non-Elemental Deities

  • (TN) Strength, Plant, Destruction, Madness
  • (TN) Glory, Sun, Trickery, Protection
  • (TN) Weather, Trickery, Liberation, Darkness
  • (TN) Artifice, Sun, Knowledge, Animal
  • (TN) War, Protection, Destruction, Darkness
  • (TN) Community, Animal, Protection, Destruction
  • (TN) Magic, Nobility, Death, Liberation
  • (TN) Healing, Knowledge, Nobility, Death
  • (TN) Travel, Liberation, Darkness, Madness
  • (TN) Rune, Knowledge, Animal, Plant
  • (TN) Repose, Death, Plant, Madness
  • (TN) Luck, Sun, Nobility, Trickery

Associated Elements and Alignments

The face deities each have one element and one alignment. Some of the points have an element or an alignment, or neither, but none have both.

Right now this pantheon feels kind of raw and primal. There is little nuance to it — something is one element or another, one alignment or another. There are no ‘mixed alignments’ such as lawful good

I think it’ll be interesting to look for ‘second-degree’ elements and alignments for each point by looking at the elements and alignments of the adjacent faces.

Point Primary Associated Elements Associated Alignments Alignment
A Fire Fire Chaos, Good, Law neutral good
B Strength Air, Earth, Earth Evil, Evil, Law lawful evil
C Glory Fire, Water, Water Chaos, Good, Good chaotic good
D Air Air Chaos, Evil, Law neutral evil
E Law Air, Earth, Fire Law lawful neutral
F Weather Air, Water, Water Chaos, Chaos, Evil chaotic evil
G Artifice Earth, Fire, Fire Good, Good, Law lawful good
H War Earth, Water, Water Good, Evil, Evil neutral evil
I Chaos Air, Fire, Water Chaos chaotic neutral
J Community Earth, Earth, Water Good, Good, Evil neutral good
K Magic Air, Air, Fire Chaos, Chaos, Law chaotic neutral
L Earth Earth Evil, Good, Law lawful neutral
M Healing Air, Fire, Fire Chaos, Law, Law lawful neutral
N Travel Air, Air, Water Chaos, Evil, Evil chaotic evil
O Rune Earth, Earth, Fire Good, Law, Law lawful good
P Water Water Chaos, Evil, Good chaotic neutral
Q Good Earth, Fire, Water Good neutral good
R Repose Air, Air, Earth Evil, Law, Law lawful evil
S Luck Fire, Fire, Water Chaos, Chaos, Good chaotic good
T Evil Air, Earth, Water Evil neutral evil

If I apply the alignments ‘calculated’ above, it changes the texture of things and I immediately start getting different ideas of the deities.

  1. (NG) Sun, Fire, Glory, Artifice, Good, Luck
  2. (LN) Knowledge, Fire, Law, Artifice, Healing, Rune
  3. (CN) Nobility, Fire, Chaos, Magic, Healing, Luck
  4. (NG) Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Rune, Good
  5. (CN) Trickery, Glory, Weather, Chaos, Water, Luck
  6. (NG) Protection, Glory, War, Community, Water, Good
  7. (LN) Death, Air, Law, Magic, Healing, Repose
  8. (LN) Plant, Strength, Law, Earth, Rune, Repose
  9. (CN) Liberation, Air, Weather, Chaos, Magic, Travel
  10. (NE) Destruction, Strength, War, Community, Earth, Evil
  11. (NE) Darkness, Weather, War, Travel, Water, Evil
  12. (NE) Madness, Strength, Air, Travel, Repose, Evil

And the point deities:

  1. (NG) Fire, Sun, Knowledge, Nobility
  2. (LE) Strength, Plant, Destruction, Madness
  3. (CG) Glory, Sun, Trickery, Protection
  4. (NE) Air, Death, Liberation, Madness
  5. (LN) Law, Knowledge, Death, Plant
  6. (CE) Weather, Trickery, Liberation, Darkness
  7. (LG) Artifice, Sun, Knowledge, Animal
  8. (NE) War, Protection, Destruction, Darkness
  9. (CN) Chaos, Nobility, Trickery, Liberation
  10. (NG) Community, Animal, Protection, Destruction
  11. (CN) Magic, Nobility, Death, Liberation
  12. (LN) Earth, Animal, Plant, Destruction
  13. (LN) Healing, Knowledge, Nobility, Death
  14. (CE) Travel, Liberation, Darkness, Madness
  15. (LG) Rune, Knowledge, Animal, Plant
  16. (CN) Water, Trickery, Protection, Darkness
  17. (NG) Good, Sun, Animal, Protection
  18. (LE) Repose, Death, Plant, Madness
  19. (CG) Luck, Sun, Nobility, Trickery
  20. (NE) Evil, Destruction, Darkness, Madness

I admit, some of these come as a bit of a surprise to me. The deity of repose (has the Repose domain as primary domain) being lawful evil was not expected.

If I go with this alignment set, I have the following alignment frequencies:

Total 10 12 10 32
Lawful Neutral Chaotic Total
Good 2 6 2 10
Neutral 6 0 6 12
Evil 2 6 2 10

From four each of the part-neutral aligned deities (LN, CN, NG, NE) and sixteen True Neutral deities, to this distribution. I think these might represent two different points in time. The original version with only the sixteen aligned deities is from an earlier time, when things were more primal but lacked nuance, while the list immediately above with all gods aligned represents a more nuanced time, as the fundamental powers have gained greater sense of identity.

Right now I’ve assigned the associated alignments by what the deity has ‘most of’, with ‘balanced’ opposing alignment domains canceling out. There are four deities (War, Magic, Healing, and Community) that have ‘imbalanced’ opposing alignments (Chaos, Chaos, Law). It would not be out of line to ignore the ‘relative weight’ of domain influence and make these four ‘True Neutral’. This would give me the alignment frequency table shown below.

Total 9 14 9 32
Lawful Neutral Chaotic Total
Good 2 5 2 9
Neutral 5 4 5 14
Evil 2 5 2 9

This has some appeal. I’ll think about it.

Variant Alignments

I realized some time ago that this particular polyhedral pantheon lends itself to alignments such as “Chaotic Water’ or ‘Lawful Earth’.

Taking the table above, the various domains could be said to be mapped to the following variant alignments.

Point Primary Associated Elements Associated Alignments Alignment
A Fire Fire Chaos, Good, Law neutral good
B Strength Air, Earth, Earth Evil, Evil, Law lawful evil
C Glory Fire, Water, Water Chaos, Good, Good chaotic good
D Air Air Chaos, Evil, Law neutral evil
E Law Air, Earth, Fire Law lawful neutral
F Weather Air, Water, Water Chaos, Chaos, Evil chaotic evil
G Artifice Earth, Fire, Fire Good, Good, Law lawful good
H War Earth, Water, Water Good, Evil, Evil neutral evil
I Chaos Air, Fire, Water Chaos chaotic neutral
J Community Earth, Earth, Water Good, Good, Evil neutral good
K Magic Air, Air, Fire Chaos, Chaos, Law chaotic neutral
L Earth Earth Evil, Good, Law lawful neutral
M Healing Air, Fire, Fire Chaos, Law, Law lawful neutral
N Travel Air, Air, Water Chaos, Evil, Evil chaotic evil
O Rune Earth, Earth, Fire Good, Law, Law lawful good
P Water Water Chaos, Evil, Good chaotic neutral
Q Good Earth, Fire, Water Good neutral good
R Repose Air, Air, Earth Evil, Law, Law lawful evil
S Luck Fire, Fire, Water Chaos, Chaos, Good chaotic good
T Evil Air, Earth, Water Evil neutral evil

If I combine this with the face deities (in bold) I get the following table.

Air Earth Fire Water
Lawful Air, Death, Healing, Law, Repose Earth, Law, Plant, Repose, Rune, Strength Artifice, Fire, Healing, Knowledge, Law, Rune
Chaotic Air, Chaos, Liberation, Magic, Travel, Weather Chaos, Fire, Healing, Luck, Magic, Nobility Chaos, Glory, Luck, Trickery, Water, Weather
Good Animal, Artifice, Earth, Community, Good, Rune Artifice, Fire, Glory, Good, Luck, Sun Community, Glory, Good, Protection, War, Water
Evil Air, Evil, Madness, Repose, Strength, Travel Community, Destruction, Earth, Evil, Strength, War Darkness, Evil, Travel, War, Water, Weather

Yes, each of the populated cells above contains the domains of a different face deity, and I could have saved myself some time had I realized I could have populated it that way.

I honestly don’t know that this table means yet, or what I will do with it, but it looks like it could be useful. There has to be some way I can apply the knowledge that the Community domain has associations with ‘Good Community’, ‘Evil Community’, and ‘Good Water’ variant alignments.

Closing Comments

Alignments were initially determined based on the alignment domains assigned. This led to a workable pantheon, one I could build on, and one that felt primal, like it was early in the life of the world.

By examining neighboring points I was able to assign alignments to points that otherwise would be True Neutral. This gave me more information to use in developing the deities further. Similarly, examining neighboring points to find elemental affinities gives me some more ideas about what various deities might look like.

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One Comment

  1. Pingback: Earth Deities of the Tetratheon | Keith Davies — In My Campaign - Keith's thoughts on RPG design and play.

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