The Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player’s Handbook includes the awesome Appendix B that provides deities for running your game in the multiverse worlds of the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Eberron. It also provides the Celtic, Greek, Egyptian and Norse pantheons of antiquity. This can be a big help since creating a religion for your world can be lots of work. While not included in the 5th edition Player’s Handbook, the default pantheon from 4th edition was provided as a sample pantheon called Dawn War Deities on page 10 of the 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. I’m looking to revisit my previous campaign that was set in 4th edition’s default setting of the Nentir Vale and this pantheon provides a set of ready to use deities for a campaign in the Vale.
A Pantheon for a Nentir Vale Campaign
At the beginning of time, the universe was divided into the Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea, with the world sitting between at the center of the universe. According to The Plane Above (2010) the gods “were the original inhabitants of the astral realm when the world was newly created by the primordials” from the untamed Elemental Chaos.
The shared mythology of D&D talks of the Dawn War, a war between the primordials and the gods. The gods fought to stop the primordials from destroying the world. The gods united against the primordials and were able to gain a narrow victory. The primordials were imprisoned, but the threat they present remains.
Today, the home of the gods is the Astral Sea, the former battlefield of the Dawn War. Most of the deities who survived the Dawn War reside in dominions located somewhere in the Astral Sea (thought some reside in the Abyss, Shadowfell or even just wander the world or cosmos).
In the Vale, commoners and adventurers would often revere (or pay lip service to) more than one deity, praying to different gods at different times such as Bahamut for protection, Avandra for safe travel or the popular Pelor for fertile crops. Each deity had their own vision of how the world should be, championed by their clerics and paladins. My favorite thing about this pantheon is that it can act as a single source of deities for all the major races found in the setting.
The Dawn War pantheon contains gods from a variety of sources:
- three unique gods (Ioun, Melora, Torog)
- nonhuman deities (Bahamut, Corellon, Gruumsh, Lolth, Moradin, Sehanine and Tiamat)
- Greyhawk (Kord, Pelor, Tharizdun, Vecna and Raven Queen which is similar to Wee Jas)
- Forgotten Realms (Bane)
- Greek (Avandra = Tyche, Erathis = Athena)
- Norse (Raven Queen = Hel)
- Egyptian (Zehir = Set)
In 4th edition, players and deities only had 5 alignments to choose from: good, lawful good, unaligned, evil or chaotic evil. In 5th edition, the rules returned to having 9 alignments and the 5th edition DMG provides an updated list of the deities with the expanded alignment choices.
Here is the list of the gods of good, neutrality and malign. I expanded/customized the descriptions under each gods name with information from the 4th edition books.
Good & Neutral Deities
Goddess of change, luck, trade, travel
|CG||Trickery||Three stacked wavy lines|
Dragon god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor
|LG||Life, War||Dragon’s head in profile|
God of arcane magic, spring, beauty and the arts revered primarily by elves
Goddess of civilization and invention
|LN||Knowledge||Upper half of a clockwork gear|
Goddess of knowledge, skill, and prophecy revered primarily by scholars, magic-users
|N||Knowledge||Crook shaped like a stylized eye|
God of the storm, strength and battle revered by warriors
|CN||Tempest||Sword with a lightning bolt cross guard|
Goddess of the wilderness and the sea
|N||Nature, Tempest||Seashell with a wavelike swirl|
God of creation, artisans, family, revered primarily by dwarves
God of the sun, summer, agriculture and time
|NG||Life, Light||Circle with six outwardly radiating points|
Goddess of trickery, love, moon and autumn revered by elves
|The Raven Queen
Goddess of death, fate, winter
|LN||Death, Life||Raven’s head in profile|
King of the Nine Hells and god of power, domination and tyranny
|LE||Trickery||Three triangles in tight formation|
God of war and conquest
|LE||War||Claw with three talons pointing down|
God of destruction revered by orcs
|CE||Tempest, War||Unblinking triangular eye with bony protrusions|
Goddess of shadows, lies, and spiders revered by the drow
|CE||Trickery||Eight-pointed star with a web motif; spider|
Creator of the Abyss and god of annihilation and madness
Dragon goddess of wealth, greed, and vengeance
|LE||Trickery, War||Five clawed star|
God of the Underdark and imprisonment
|NE||Death||T attached to a circular shackle|
God of undead, necromancy, and secrets
|NE||Death, Knowledge||Partially shattered one-eyed skull|
God of darkness, poison, and assassins revered by snakefolk
|CE||Trickery, Death||Snake in the shape of a dagger|
Make sure to:
- check out Run a Nentir Vale Campaign for D&D 5th Edition
- check out the DMG for ideas on how to take existing gods from the PHB and make your own Pantheon
- you can see my own detailed Patheon I created in the PHB style for my Seas of Vodari campaign in World Building Part 3: Religion