Divine Trappings: Laying Groundwork for Later

It seems like every time I write about deities, I end up drafting a new pantheon.

This might be a habit or a fixation.

And I’m okay with it.

This time I’m going to do it so I’ve got some names to attach to things. I find I can fill in parts of the domain template ‘generically’, but there are some fields that would benefit from having ‘actual names’ to work with. Specifically, the Artifact and Legends entries, and possibly Rituals, could benefit from having concrete deity names.

It also gives me a testbed for applying the domains as I draft them, and to test the process I’m working on. I only think it’ll work, I haven’t really tried it yet.

Using the process from Polyhedral Pantheons, I drew up a ‘d20 pantheon’: 32 deities, each with a different primary domain and some number (three or five, depending on site) secondary domains. All I know right now is the domain assignments and the domain-derived alignments. I’ll likely add names over time, as I learn them myself.

This pantheon started almost entirely randomly. I had 35 domains to work with and only 32 domain slots, so I removed Charm, Scalykind, and Void domains from consideration, the straight-up assigned the domains to the sites (points and faces of my polyhedron) randomly. I did swap a couple of domains to resolve a conflict (no, you don’t get both Good and Evil domains), but apart from those two caveats there are no conscious decisions involved.

Is this going to be a good, interesting, playable domain? I don’t know yet! But I look forward to finding out.

Name/Epithet Site Opp Align Primary Secondary Domain List
  1 20 N Repose Sun, Death, Good
  2 19 N Madness War, Strength, Chaos
  3 18 N Earth Sun, Darkness, Travel
  4 17 N Fire Nobility, Plant, Chaos
  5 16 N Weather Death, Nobility, War
  6 15 N Artifice Darkness, Plant, Evil
  7 14 N Animal Sun, Death, Magic
  8 13 LN Law Travel, Strength, Evil
  9 12 N Glory Good, Darkness, Plant
  10 11 N Destruction Magic, Travel, Strength
  11 10 N Liberation Good, Nobility, Plant
  12 9 N Luck Magic, War, Strength
  13 8 N Healing Death, Good, Nobility
  14 7 N Knowledge Plant, Evil, Chaos
  15 6 N Water Death, Magic, War
  16 5 N Community Darkness, Travel, Evil
  17 4 N Rune Sun, Magic, Travel
  18 3 N Trickery Nobility, War, Chaos
  19 2 N Protection Sun, Good, Darkness
  20 1 N Air Strength, Evil, Chaos
  A L N Sun Repose, Earth, Animal, Rune, Protection
  B K N Death Repose, Weather, Animal, Healing, Water
  C J NG Good Repose, Glory, Liberation, Healing, Protection
  D I N Magic Animal, Destruction, Luck, Water, Rune
  E H N Darkness Earth, Artifice, Glory, Community, Protection
  F g N Travel Earth, Law, Destruction, Community, Rune
  G F N Nobility Fire, Weather, Liberation, Healing, Trickery
  H E N War Madness, Weather, Luck, Water, Trickery
  I D N Plant Fire, Artifice, Glory, Liberation, Knowledge
  J C N Strength Madness, Law, Destruction, Luck, Air
  K B NE Evil Artifice, Law, Knowledge, Community, Air
  L A CN Chaos Madness, Fire, Knowledge, Trickery, Air


  1. I’m curious to see how you might flesh out some of these. I can see #4, with primary domain Fire having secondary domains of nobility and chaos. But plant? And why does it oppose #17, Rune with secondary domains of sun, magic, and travel. (And #17 sounds like a very interesting deity.

    • *g* I’m curious too!

      These little oddities are a big part of why I love Polyhedral Pantheons. It’s easy to build around obvious connections (Magic and Knowledge, War and Destruction, yeah yeah) but the ones that take a bit of thinking tend to be the ones that interest me the most.

      One possibility here… is there a kind of plant rich people have access to, that when burned can cause chaos?

      Let’s see what site I (Plant) has for secondary domains: Fire, Artifice, Glory, Liberation, Knowledge. Artifice (Darkness, Plant, Evil), Glory (Good, Darkness, Plant), Liberation (Good, Nobility, Plant), Knowledge (Plant, Evil, Chaos).

      … Knowledge and Artifice connect Plant and Evil. Glory and Liberation connect Plant and Good. I’m getting something of a hippy stoner (Scooby Doo!) vs. Big Pharma energy here.

      Am I going to go with it? No idea. But I could. At least as one of the factions/interactions.

    • As for the ‘Opp’ column, it isn’t necessarily about opposition (adversarial relationship). The column just identifies the ‘opposite’ site. Same root word, of course, but it’s just about the physical relationship between the sites.

      That said, I have found it useful at times. One possibility is indeed to put opposing values as far away from each other as I can. This actually is uncommon for me. I often like to see — I don’t usually do it on purpose but it seems to happen pretty often — situations where there is are two deities that share a pair of domains and oppose on others. For instance, sites 6 (Artifice, Darkness, Plant, Evil) and site 9 (Glory, Good, Darkness, Plant) have different primary domains but share Darkness and Plant, and have opposing alignments. There’s a good chance these two do not get along well. Or maybe they do, because they have enough in common they can overlook their strong differences… but in this case, I think they’ll likely be unfriendly.

      However, while I don’t often make deliberate use of the opposite positions to polarize the pantheon, I do look to see if I have any naturally occurring, just in case. Another thing I really like about Polyhedral Pantheons is how it brings me things I didn’t anticipate. Sometimes, it might be a surprise polarization: who knew I’d have Destruction and Artifice as opposite poles? Let’s see where it goes!

      As another example, and this isn’t polarization in the sense of directly opposed, when I drafted the Elemental Tetratheon (this is the only page that has links to all the relevant posts) I deliberately placed the elemental domains so they couldn’t interact direction (fully half the deities have one elemental domains, half have none, but none have more than one), to see what would happen. On a whim I did the same with alignments, to see what would happen. In principle I should’ve ended up with half the deities having alignments, and half none, and all of them being at least partly neutral, but I see I deviated from the norm and gave a couple in each group non-neutral (i.e. LG, CG, LE, CE) alignments, despite them not having the domains.

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