Reviewing the Elemental Tetratheon

A-Z 2015 "R"The Elemental Tetratheon is a deliberately polarized pantheon focusing primarily on the hermetic elements. While I like how most of the deities in this pantheon turned out, and the individual subpantheons show merit, I decided to take a closer look to see how they fit together as a whole.

Final List of Deities

Below is the list of all deities in the Elemental Tetratheon.

Each subpantheon is pretty coherent, in that each is built around a theme and there are many pairs of shared domains. Later examination will demonstrate that most domains are in fact largely associated with a single elemental subpantheon. For instance, the Artifice domain is largely associated with the fire deities, with only one other (Stvari, an earth deity) also granting access to it.

Each subpantheon has seven deities of six alignments (there are two neutral deities in each subpantheon), but it is possible for clerics of any alignment to follow gods in each subpantheon.

  Deity Sex Alignment Domains Chosen Weapon
Fire Deities
  Spaljivan M Neutral Fire, Sun, Knowledge, Nobility Battle Axe
  Sjajan F Neutral Good Sun, Fire, Glory, Artifice, Good, Luck Pistol
  Syvetlos A Lawful Neutral Knowledge, Fire, Law, Artifice, Healing, Rune Staff
  Gespedi M Chaotic Neutral Nobility, Fire, Chaos, Magic, Healing, Luck Light Mace
  Vestina F Lawful Good Artifice, Sun, Knowledge, Animal Longbow
  Ravneza F Neutral Healing, Knowledge, Nobility, Death Spear
  Namaran M Chaotic Good Luck, Sun, Nobility, Trickery Rapier
Earth Deities
  Povratak F Neutral Earth, Animal, Plant, Destruction Greatclub
  Stvari F Neutral Good Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Rune, Good Hammer
  Saranti M Lawful Neutral Plant, Strength, Law, Earth, Rune, Repose Heavy Mace
  Buntovnik M Neutral Evil Destruction, Strength, War, Community, Earth, Evil Heavy Flail
  Glavni F Lawful Evil Strength, Plant, Destruction, Madness Major
  Gajivak M Neutral Community, Animal, Protection, Destruction Lance
  Valjida M Lawful Good Rune, Knowledge, Animal, Plant Staff
Water Deities
  Vodenjak F Neutral Water, Trickery, Protection, Darkness Spear
  Izvodac M Chaotic Neutral Trickery, Glory, Weather, Chaos, Water, Luck Rapier
  Staratel A Neutral Good Protection, Glory, War, Community, Water, Good Trident
  Ponoc F Neutral Evil Darkness, Weather, War, Travel, Water, Evil Cutlass and Pistol
  Valican M Chaotic Good Glory, Sun, Trickery, Protection Longsword
  Jurisati F Chaotic Evil Weather, Trickery, Liberation, Darkness Shortsword
  Ubojni F Neutral War, Protection, Destruction, Darkness Battleaxe
Air Deities
  Povjetara F Neutral Air, Death, Liberation, Madness Heavy Mace
  Promjena M Lawful Neutral Death, Air, Law, Magic, Healing, Repose Dagger
  Nesmetan M Chaotic Neutral Liberation, Air, Weather, Chaos, Magic, Travel Staff
  Razuma A Neutral Evil Madness, Strength, Air, Travel, Repose, Evil Flail
  Charolija M Chaotic Neutral Magic, Nobility, Death, Liberation Longsword
  Putovanja A Chaotic Evil Travel, Liberation, Darkness, Madness Hammer
  Pokonici F Lawful Evil Repose, Death, Plant, Madness Sickle

Domain Examination

I’ll be looking primarily at the domains and their allocation. First I’ll look at the domain access by subpantheon, then by alignment.

Domain Access by Subpantheon

I created a table with all thirty-three domains from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and a column for each elemental subpantheon. For each domain and element, I listed the deities granting access to that domain.

Domain Fire Earth Air Water
Air Povjetara, Promijena, Nesmetan, Razuma
Animal Vestina Povratak, Stvari, Gajivak, Valjida
Artifice Sjajan, Syvetlos, Vestina Stvari
Chaos Gespedi Nesmetan Izvodac
Community Stvari, Buntovnik, Gajivak Staratel
Darkness Putovanja Vodenjak, Osvajac, Jurisati, Ubojni
Death Ravneza Povjetara, Promijena, Charolija, Pokonici
Destruction Povratak, Buntovnik, Glavni, Gajivak Ubojni
Earth Povratak, Stvari, Saranti, Buntovnik
Evil Buntovnik Razuma Osvajac
Fire Spaljivan, Sjajan, Syvetlos, Gespedi
Glory Sjajan Izvodac, Staratel, Velican
Good Sjajan Stvari Staratel
Healing Syvetlos, Gespedi, Ravneza Promijena
Knowledge Spaljivan, Syvetlos, Vestina, Ravneza Valjida
Law Syvetlos Saranti
Liberation Povjetara, Nesmetan, Charolija, Putovanja Jurisati
Luck Sjajan, Gespedi, Namaran Izvodac
Madness Glavni Povjetara, Razuma, Putovanja, Pokonici
Magic Gespedi Promijena, Nesmetan, Charolija
Nobility Spaljivan, Gespedi, Ravneza, Namaran Charolija
Plant Povratak, Saranti, Glavni, Valjida Pokonici
Protection Gajivak Vodenjak, Staratel, Velican, Ubojni
Repose Saranti Promijena, Razuma, Pokonici
Rune Syvetlos Stvari, Saranti, Valjida
Strength Saranti, Buntovnik, Glavni Razuma
Sun Spaljivan, Sjajan, Vestina, Namaran Velican
Travel Nesmetan, Razuma, Putovanja Osvajac
Trickery Namaran Vodenjak, Izvodac, Staratel, Velican, Jurisati
War Buntovnik Staratel, Osvajac, Ubojni
Water Vodenjak, Izvodac, Osvajac
Weather Nesmetan Izvodac, Osvajac, Jurisati

From this I see:

  • Elemental domains are accessible by only one subpantheon, and it’s only to be expected.
  • Alignment domains are each accessible by a single deity in each subpantheon. Again, this was to be expected because the alignment domains were deliberately placed on points where three alignment subpantheons ‘touch’.
  • All other domains present are accessed by deities of only two pantheons. I should have expected this because the ‘alignment deities’ (of which I have none, see below) are the only ones on points accessible by more than one pantheon.

I think I like this, to be honest. Each elemental domain is solidly associated with a single subpantheon, the alignment domains have the broadest but ‘lightest’ touch within each subpantheon, and the domains present in two subpantheons are pretty heavily weighted toward one over the other. This tells me the culture associated with the pantheon sets less store on alignment than element, and that most other divine interests (domains) have strong association with one element and a lesser association with one more. It feels like I should be able to determine other aspects of the culture based on this.

Domain Access by Alignment

The structure of this pantheon causes it to be a bit different from most. Initial examination reveals:

  • All alignments are present, with symmetric frequencies. There are two deities of each of the non-neutral (LG, CE, etc.), three of each partially neutral alignment, and eight neutral deities.
  • Each subpantheon has a bias away from one alignment. There are no evil Fire deities, no good Air deities, no chaotic Earth deities, and no lawful Water deities.
  • No non-neutral deity has an alignment domain. That is, only a partially-neutral deity has an alignment domain. I might adjust things so the non-neutral deities have all alignment domains appropriate to their alignment (deviating from normal practice), but for now I’m going to keep it like this. I like how it looks.

With each pantheon having a bias away from one alignment, and each non-alignment domain accessible by only two elemental subpantheons, the domains available by alignment may be too restricted. I think (because I’ve already done the work) that they are not.

The table below shows how many deities of each alignment grant access to each domain. The table looks a little sparse, but workable.

Air 1 1 1 1
Animal 2 1 2
Artifice 1 2 1
Chaos 3
Community 2 1 1
Darkness 2 1 2
Death 1 3 1
Destruction 3 1 1
Earth 1 1 1 1
Evil 3
Fire 1 1 1 1
Glory 2 1 1
Good 3
Healing 2 1 1
Knowledge 2 1 2
Law 3
Liberation 2 1 2
Luck 1 1 2
Madness 1 2 1 1
Magic 1 1 2
Nobility 1 3 1
Plant 1 1 1 2
Protection 1 1 3
Repose 2 1 1
Rune 1 1 2
Strength 1 1 2
Sun 1 1 2 1
Travel 1 2 1
Trickery 2 1 1 1
War 1 1 2
Water 1 1 1 1
Weather 2 1 1

However, the table above does not take into account the rule that a cleric may follow any deity as long as the cleric’s alignment is within one step of the deity’s (there used to be a rule that neutral clerics had to follow neutral deities only, but it looks like that no longer applies). The only other restriction is that a cleric may only take an alignment domain if the cleric has that alignment.

This changes things.

Air * * * 1 1 1 * 1 *
Animal 2 1 * * 2 * *
Artifice 1 2 * 1 * *
Chaos * 3 *
Community * 2 * * 1 * * 1 *
Darkness * * 2 * * 1 2
Death * * 1 3 * 1 *
Destruction * * 3 * 1 1 *
Earth * 1 * 1 1 * * 1 *
Evil * 3 *
Fire * 1 * 1 1 1 * * *
Glory * 2 1 * 1 *
Good * 3 *
Healing * * * 2 1 1 * * *
Knowledge 2 * * 1 2 * * *
Law * 3 *
Liberation * * * 2 1 * 2
Luck * 1 1 * 2 *
Madness * * 1  * 2 1 1
Magic * * * 1 1 2 * * *
Nobility * 1 * 3 1 * *
Plant 1 * 1 1 * 2 *
Protection * 1 1 * 3 * *
Repose * 2 * * 1 1 *
Rune 1 1 * 2 *  *
Strength * 1  * 1 2 *
Sun 1 1 2 * 1 * *
Travel * * 1 * 2 1
Trickery * 2 * 1 1 * 1
War * 1 * * 1 * * 2  *
Water * 1 * * 1 1 * 1 *
Weather * * 2 * 1 1

(Domain, Alignment) cells marked with an asterisk (“*”) are available because of the rules regarding alignment adjacency. Despite there being no deity with that alignment granting the domain, a cleric of the adjacent alignment can follow that deity and gain access to the domain.

This works out so that all ‘neutral domains’ (that is, domains associated with deities that are neutral) are access to clerics of all alignments. While there are no evil fire deities, Syvetlos is lawful neutral, Gespedi is chaotic neutral, and Ravneza and Spaljivan are both neutral. You won’t see a cleric with the Evil domain worshiping a deity of the fire subpantheon, but you can find clerics with an evil alignment.

The following domains are available to clerics of all alignments: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Community, Healing, Magic, War.

Closing Comments

Each cleric gets to pick two domains. In the Elemental Tetratheon this is limited by elemental subpantheon you subscribe to and your alignment. Each subpantheon has deities granting access to a total of sixteen domains, half the total used, and each alignment grants access to between 2/3 and 3/4 of all the domains used. Each subpantheon can have clerics of any alignment. The combinations become stricter when considering pairs of domains (clerics pick two, after all), but the selection for any given cleric alignment is quite broad.

I think this hits a good balance between freedom of choice and the constraints needed to provide framework and structure.

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover
Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

One comment

  1. Pingback: Z-A Challenge 2015 Index | In My Campaign - Thoughts on RPG design and play

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top