Divine Trappings: Integrating Domains

Part of my thesis behind this work is that a deity’s characteristics can be shaped by, if not defined by, the deity’s domains.

How is this actually done, though?

It’s fairly simple overall. I’ve found when applying Polyhedral Pantheons I start to get a sense of the deity’s nature from the combination of domains, and that gives me a lot of guidance. For instance, Sjajan (one of the Fire Deities of the Tetratheon) has the Sun, Fire, Glory, Artifice, Good, and Luck domains. In looking for her name, I was running various ‘bright’ words through Google Translate and ‘shiny’ gave me a name I liked the sound of.

Sun is shiny, Artifice suggests engineering… what engineer says ‘shiny!’?

Okay, this goddess is Kaylee Frye. I could totally work with this. I wrote up the brief description and moved on. Favored weapon and symbol — pistol and parasol — jumped out at me, but there’s a lot left to cover.

Happily, that’s what this whole series is about.

Basic principle, I’d want to incorporate elements from each of the domains, with an emphasis on the deity’s primary domain. In Sjajan’s case this would be the Sun domain. Because of the character image that came to mind, I’d give Artifice elements a bit of extra attention.

For each element of the deity template that has a matching field in the domain template, merge the content for that element from each domain, then select entries that fit together well. For instance, Air domain might have (wind, flight, sailors, storms), Travel domain might have (sailors, explorers, traders, wealth, negotiation), and Water might have (oceans, rivers, lakes, sailors, storms). It looks like sailors and storms both would be good candidates, and other portfolios based on other domains present.

It is not necessary that the chosen elements exist in multiple domains. In the case just described it is likely sailors and/or storms could be portfolios of this deity, but any other portfolio of any other of the deity’s domains can fit. For that matter, it’s entirely possible the list of portfolios may prompt different ideas entirely. Given the portfolio list above, I can imagine this deity might have astronomy or celestial navigation as a portfolio.

Other elements might be more directly integrated. The Artifice and Plant domains from a few days ago have ‘creatures of the construct type, especially clockwork creatures’ and ‘creatures of the plant type, or creatures often found in woodlands’ listed under ‘servitors’. A deity with both these domains could have either of these options and servitors… or could have wood golems and woodland creatures with the clockwork creature template applied… plus other options and combinations based on their other domains.

Much the same processes can be applied to all the deity template elements: merge the list, then pick likely-looking entries or merge things where they make sense… and always, always remember that if you have other ideas — triggered by the options or just because (as with Sjajan) and you like them, you can roll with those instead.

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