Lore of the Gods (d20/3.x)

Lore of the Gods d20/3.xBy Steven Creech, Kevin Ruesch and Troye Grgurin
Additional design by Tim Hitchcock, Todd Laing and Kevin Melka

Shaina brushed the dust off her cloak as she stepped into the tent. There, sitting on a weathered rug, sat a frail man as old as any she had ever seen. He looked at her with a gaze that spoke volumes and left just as many unanswered questions. His eyes were almost hypnotic.

“Are you Annomen?” she asked respectfully.

“Indeed,” he replied feebly, “and you are searching for that which should not be found. Go back and forget this folly. Leave the secrets where they are supposed to remain… hidden.”

His answer stunned Shaina for a moment. Could he really know what her real purpose was? Was there more to this man than it seemed?

Shaina crouched down and took Annomen’s hand in her own and looked into those hypnotic eyes. “Would you rather someone else found it? Someone not worthy who would use it for ill?”

For the first time she saw sadness in his eyes. “Do you not think that the gods would take steps to ensure that did not happen? Is your faith weak?” It was almost as if a door had closed between the two of them.

“No matter; I cannot dissuade from your quest. Outside you will find a ranger who will act as your guide and take you to the ruins. He will not go farther than that, nor will he remain there. His only duty is to guide you to that which you seek. It is up to you to find the way in.”

Shaina thanked the man and moved to leave only to hear his whispered warning, “Be careful what you seek. Knowledge from the gods isn’t meant to be known by mere mortals. There are high prices that must be paid for such knowledge. You will likely not live to see the next new moon…”

Deities from literature and history have long had a place in fantasy campaigns. Egyptian, Greek, Norse and Mesopotamian pantheons all contribute to the lore, superstitions and cosmology that make fantasy roleplaying so popular. For the first time in print, these pantheons are presented for the d20 system in a completely Open Game Content format for the 3.5 revised edition rules. Learn about the gods themselves, their avatars, the divine artifacts they possess, and their interactions with other deities.

Lore of the Gods breaks down the Egyptian, Greek, Norse and Mesopotamian mythologies into gaming terms that will enhance your campaign and provide new elements to incorporate into your world. Familiar deities, monsters and heroes grace the interior of this tome. In addition, new artifacts, prestige classes, domains, spells, templates, skills, feats and forbidden lore await discovery. The power of Zeus, the wisdom of Odin, the knowledge of Thoth, and the evil malice of Lilith all reside inside these pages. Do you dare unlock the secrets of the gods?

Shaina smiled a half smile and replied, “If that is the gods wish, then so be it. But it is possible I will succeed.”

“Ah yes, child. But even if you do succeed, ultimately you will fail. I do not believe you understand this… yet.”

“Then I will pay whatever they demand,” she said as she walked out into the hot sun.

Annomen watched her depart while small flickers of lightning coursed across his eyes. He did everything he was allowed to do but yet it was not enough. She had a relatively pure soul, but it would not be enough to save her. Pity. Out of the many that came seeking the forbidden lore of the gods, he had liked her best. Still, there would be more. There were always mortals who believed they could outwit the gods and claim what they thought was rightfully theirs. Annomen’s thoughts reached outward and found another heading in his direction. In a day or so he would arrive. Maybe this mortal would listen…

 

What the Reviewers Say…

“Lore of the Gods is a massive book that is epic in scope, and at first it seems like the answer to the prayers of those who want another manual for using deities more actively in their game. However, the devil is in the details, and its here that the book becomes less impressive. While the book present a wealth of gods, the material here seems more like a historical recap than anything that’d make them seem like real characters. Telling us that Bast’s main temple is found in Bubastis, and that she’s the goddess who guards the passage of Ra into night, doesn’t feel helpful in the context of a high fantasy game. How do gods relate to each other, beyond simply retelling their mythology? How do they interact with creatures, and the god of creatures, found in the SRD? What are their long-term goals and desires? What’s laid out here is the gods as they appeared in history and mythology, and while that’s interesting, it’s of limited usefulness in any d20 game that doesn’t take place on historical Earth. It’s also worth noting that minor errors crop up in a lot of the stat blocks. From Outsiders not having the Extraplanar subtype to incorrect hit point listings, a lot of the gods and monsters here needed another round of editing, which is discouraging. Ultimately, if devil is in the details for both fluff and crunch, then this book is bedeviled for both… This book has far more than almost any other book of gods out there.” — Shane O’Conner, RPGnow.com (4 out of 5 stars)

“Overall, this is a comprehensive presentation of four mythologies from the real world’s past, with supporting rule material which would allow you to use them as is, or adapt those features – such as domains, spells and so on – which will fit into your own world. If you like devising your own deities and their mythology, this should give you some ideas on how to put it together as a coherent whole.” — Megan Robertson, RPG Resource

“Lore of the Gods is a 318-page pdf or print book that includes 3.5 updates of the Greek Gods, Norse Gods, and the Egyptian Gods, formerly produced by Bastion Press as pdfs. While a large percentage of the book is spent on the updates (which include added information), the book also includes the Mesopotamian deities, which aren’t covered in any core third-edition D&D product. Of course with the other three pantheons present, this third-party product covers the same non-IP pantheons present in Deities & Demigods (a 3.0 product). Since the deities from that book are not open gaming content, you are getting a different viewpoint on them, and the authors do take a different approach on what’s important about each deity. For instance, DragonWing’s version doesn’t present level, hit point, or combat information for any of the deities as gods. It just includes that type of information for their avatars. This seems to be the company’s subtle way of saying that PCs should not be able to defeat the gods themselves, but only their representatives. I like that approach… Overall, the book (pdf) will prove useful to any campaign using the historical mythologies, or GMs will find it a handy resource from which to mine godly ideas and campaign crunch. The book is large and thorough. And ultimately, it is a useful GM tool. In this regard, I highly recommend its purchase.” — Christina Stiles, RPG.net   Style: 4/Substance: 4 (out of a possible 5)

 

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