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    Avani (Deities and Demigods)

    Discussion thread for Avani (Deities and Demigods). If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    A sorcerer? That's hardly qualified, in my opinion... And what are the paladin and fighter stats below?

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    My guess is that the Pal and Ftr stats are a cut and paste that didn't get over-written with Avani's glowing stats.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Avani should have mage spell-casting to a degree, Sorcery indicates an innate understanding to shape mebhaighl, whereas wizardry indicates a more cerebral less intuitive approach - over all I'd put Avani as a wizard, but I can ee the argument for sorcery.

    I'm less sure I understand what the stats represent though - Avani's avatar? It's got 45 levels if so, way OTT for an avatar surely in a med-level game and out of whack with the avatar mentioned (fire elemental plus spell casting).

    If the stats are for the deity herself I'd avoid putting stats down at all - if it has stats you can kill it and deicide has major game implications (although maybe that's how the Gorgon finds foes worth experience).

  5. #5

    Unhappy

    As a Goddess, would the stats really matter? She is often associated as the counterpart to Rournil, the God of Moon and Magic, and is often represented as being tied to Magic in some way as well, at least to the Khinasi. Sure, I suppose in theory you could have a Fire Elemental with Sorc/Wiz spell casting abilities, but she is after all, a Goddess, and therefore would have some type of Bloodline with associated Blood abilities. I remember the original core rulebook stating that to look upon her required a save vs blindness, but in combat, it wouldn't really matter the destruction of an avatar, as that is not the Goddess per se. I believe I read a 2nd edition book that stated Gods can't really be challenged without divine aid in some form.

    Even if an avatar fell, what's to stop a fiery beam of sunlight to total destroy the offending person(s)? A Goddess of the Sun, after all.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I don't think that stats should matter to the deity themselves - to my view they are beyond such mortal constraints. An avatar though is another story - and if somehow the avatar was destroyed - by the Gorgon, a dragon etc then it should be a serious matter to the deity with substantial negative impacts (loss of ability to grant spells within 200 miles of the avatar's death for a year? Slayer is thereafter immune to any priestly power by one of the deities followers?) that make the deity very shy of lightly risking an avatar.

    I'd stop any deity doing something as focused as targeting an individual in revenge though - the need to be able to target individuals is why deities have priests, paladins, avatars, etc - by making deities have macro rather than micro powers you both justify the many small evils of the world more easily (the deity can't readily remove them without consequences on others) and make individual acts in the faith of the deity important (since you are doing more than sparing an all-powerful being a nano-seconds attention on a problem).

    The trouble is people tend to want a deity to be involved directly, which then undermines the faiths of the world by making them irrelevant - why go to church if you can call on the deity directly and they can directly respond? The bloodtheft aspect of slaying an avatar made me shy from having any gods in my campaign at all...

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    Class Levels

    Cleric/Sorceror/Bard?

    I understand Cleric - as long as human Avani was a cleric of Basaia. However she is the goddess of Reason and I find INT based Wizard more reasonable than charismatic sorceror for her. Bard I don´t understand at all. The Citys of the Sun sourcebook had the khinasi proverb "as worthless as the word of a bard" - so i can´t see the matron of the khinasi people having bard levels.

    Perhaps Loremaster?
    Michael Romes
    (Assan ibn Daouta in RoE)

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    All in all, I see her as a Cleric/Wizard with lots of outsider HD; I'd reserve Cleric/Magician/Wizard for Ruornil, though.

    Furthermore, I really don't see how using the 2e stats for avatars makes this a Deities & Demigods entry...

  9. #9

    Just a thought

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I don't think that stats should matter to the deity themselves - to my view they are beyond such mortal constraints. An avatar though is another story - and if somehow the avatar was destroyed - by the Gorgon, a dragon etc then it should be a serious matter to the deity with substantial negative impacts (loss of ability to grant spells within 200 miles of the avatar's death for a year? Slayer is thereafter immune to any priestly power by one of the deities followers?) that make the deity very shy of lightly risking an avatar.

    I'd stop any deity doing something as focused as targeting an individual in revenge though - the need to be able to target individuals is why deities have priests, paladins, avatars, etc - by making deities have macro rather than micro powers you both justify the many small evils of the world more easily (the deity can't readily remove them without consequences on others) and make individual acts in the faith of the deity important (since you are doing more than sparing an all-powerful being a nano-seconds attention on a problem).

    The trouble is people tend to want a deity to be involved directly, which then undermines the faiths of the world by making them irrelevant - why go to church if you can call on the deity directly and they can directly respond? The bloodtheft aspect of slaying an avatar made me shy from having any gods in my campaign at all...
    Well, this is an interesting theory, and I do agree with you on most points, but lets remember the birth of Diemed's neighbor, Medeore, and the Moonstrike, with direct Diety intervention? And Rournil is a Lesser God. Sure, divine intervention in and of itself is a rare event - Mount Deismaar, for example. But the entire basis of Birthright from the beginning to the near present does have examples of Godly influence and direct action.

    The Book of Days, appearing the Haelyn Cathedral in Diemed, I would consider the grant of an artifact directly from the Chief God. I remember an adventure in the "Legends of the Hero-Kings" Birthright excessory where there is a great plague, only solved when the adventurers go to the Serpents island, recover a Maestian, and meet Nesire's avatar.

    I think simply that avatars should not be able to be slain by mortals without some type of divine aid. A Paladin's Holy Sword wielded against Belinik's Avatar, makes some sense to me. In the classic example of the Gorgon vs the Avatar of Haelyn, I would picture an avatar having epic damage reduction to a point where he's taking little or no damage, while dealing near total divine in return. An avatar, as an extension of a God(dess), could summon all types of outsiders, or even other gods themselves. Nesire, his wife, Cuiracen(I hate spelling his name), his son and Herald. I seriously doubt any mortal creature could begin to contend with such power, even if it was "just" an avatar.

    But I think it's also important to remember that Haelyn didn't appear during the battle of the Gorgon vs Reole, with Michael being his own mortal family(which would have saved the empire Haelyn supported since his brother, the first Reole). I think it could be reasonable in some way to tie an avatar's appearance to the strength of a follower(s) faith. Perhaps a type of beacon that allows the diety to "home in" as it were.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchScarlettie View Post
    ... lets remember the birth of Diemed's neighbor, Medeore, and the Moonstrike, with direct Diety intervention?... But the entire basis of Birthright from the beginning to the near present does have examples of Godly influence and direct action.
    Actually I'm happy enough with the moonstrike - it was an indiscriminate blast and not targeted against any being in particular (gods blasting mooks is fine, swatting PC's or other 'name' persons is not) and can easily be considered a mass destruction domain spell granted to Suris rather than cast by the deity itself.

    BR does show a lot of deity influence, but that's a very distinct thing from deity direct action, which I take the view ended at Deismaar - in my view direct action - and I don't recall examples beyond the two you mention which can have alternate interpretations (visions to me are not direct action, they inspire the follower to take action, they don't do it themselves) - has no place in a game, but to each their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchScarlettie View Post
    The Book of Days, appearing the Haelyn Cathedral in Diemed, I would consider the grant of an artifact directly from the Chief God. I remember an adventure in the "Legends of the Hero-Kings" Birthright excessory where there is a great plague, only solved when the adventurers go to the Serpents island, recover a Maestian, and meet Nesire's avatar.
    Well, that depends on whether you see the book's appearance as a spiritual act or a political one, books can be written by mortal hands and it was so fortunate that the ranking priests concurred with the books views and it let them forge a vast wealthy church in Haelyn's name...

    The legends adventure seemed weak to me, precisely because it involved the deus ex machina. Now if the PC's had had to use the Masetian to bypass the wards of Masela's lost cathedral, and return knowledge of her prayer to the priests of the land - and convince them to call upon Nesirie's grace to cure the plague - that would have been far better imho than Nesirie simply wishing the world better and have all sorts of interesting consequences...

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchScarlettie View Post
    I think simply that avatars should not be able to be slain by mortals without some type of divine aid... In the classic example of the Gorgon vs the Avatar of Haelyn, I would picture an avatar having epic damage reduction to a point where he's taking little or no damage, while dealing near total divine in return. ... I seriously doubt any mortal creature could begin to contend with such power, even if it was "just" an avatar.
    I always took the old Greyhawk view that a god couldn't fully manifest the deities power without damaging reality around them so limited avatars severely - and to avoid them popping up left and right I said it took a lot out of the god to make one, and weakened the god severely if the avatar died making it a move of desperation only. A system where an avatar must be summoned by a follower, and after a few days burned out the followers body and returned to the planes seemed reasonable as well.

    This approach is precisely to prevent the scenario you propose - if the gods can manifest at will and are always invincible then the PC's are irrelevant since they cannot oppose the real evil and are constantly outdone by the 'real heroes' - the avatars. Some people like a game which constantly reminds players that they are small fry and basically just act as messengers between kings begging for aid and the gods who do the actual fixing of the problems, to me the players should always be the centre of the world with the capacity (with intelligent careful roleplaying) to become world players themselves.

    In my view no deity should be able to directly act on an individual, preferably even on the world - that is why they need priests, etc. The deity provides the muscle, but the direction is by a mortal - and thus fallible, limited by the strength of the vessel, etc. Otherwise the actions of mortals, i.e. the PC's become meaningless (ok guys, you failed to save the princess, don't worry Haelyn wished her back home and killed the goblins, say thank you when you pray to him tonight).

    To get around this problem (and others) entirely I got rid of sentient sapient gods entirely in favour of psychic constructs formed from the unconscious minds of worshippers and haven't seen any loss to the game.

    In BR I note that many 'heroes' are more than mortal, the Gorgon for example was near the power of a deity himself at Deismaar and has grown stronger since - I'd suggest that an avatar, being a mere shadow of the deities power, be very lucky to survive a battle against him and probably adverse to even trying... This is mostly a personal view however, some DM's like a deus ex machina every now and then to sort out player failings or their own; others, like me, abhor them as cheating.

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