Gods and Religions
Gods and Religions
(With tons of NPC names, PC names, realm names, location names and such, there are ton of names in a sandbox campaign like this! I don’t want more names of gods and church orders that I have to memorize, so here is my solution.)
There are many Gods in this universe, or there are just a few with many aspects and names. There is a God/Goddess for each major alignment, but many names can be used to refer to them. In fact, people in world get creative and make up names, and everyone knows what they are talking about (as long as the name fits the alignment). Like,
LG = the High God, our Father who art High, the Light, All That is Good and Right, the Righteous Fist
NG = the Mother, the God of Harvest, the Healer in White
CG = the Hunter, the Laughing Hero, Freedom and Justice
LN = the Supreme Judge, the Orderer
N = Mother Nature, Gaia, the Blind Seer
CN = Lady Luck, the Pilferer, the Mad
LE = the Dark Lord, the Jailer
NE = the Four Horsemen, the Rot, the Pale Moon
CE = Chaos Bringer, the Horde
Around these divines people have built up religions, with commandments, holy books, orders of holy warriors, church schools, orphanages, saints, holy sites, holy symbols, rituals, chants, and such as people tend to do.
The clerics and priests of more Lawful deities tend to have organized churches, hierarchies, popes, and such. Those more Chaotic mostly follow schools of thought, read and reflect on books written by previous followers, have visions, and such in a more personal religion. Different regions have built up different versions of these over time. Two clerics of a god may come from different regions with rather different traditions, but they would recognize that they follow the same god. Not that this stops people from arguing about the ‘correct’ way (particularly the sticklers for order).
Even within an alignment, different holy orders might stress different aspects. So some NG clerics really get into healing and redemption, while another group might be into the Sun, harvests, and conservative pastoral values.
The monks of the Order of St. Gwendolyn, wear only rough wool, take a vow of poverty, and travel to deal with outbreaks of infectious disease and the undead. The monks of the Society of Golden Crowns, only take those of noble birth into their ranks, wear the most ornate and bejeweled outfits, and train to become confidential advisers of the aristocracy of the Far Cities. Both follow the LG god, but would probably spit at the other.
With this approach, if we forget the names of the gods, just say a name that is clearly a god of the right alignment or just say the ‘Neutral Good god’ in plain Earth English.