10 Most Iconic FR Gods and Why they are so

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You are a designer/developer/writer working for WotC. You have been tasked with codifying the 10 MOST Iconic Forgotten Realms Gods. These Gods should represent the best and brightest from across the entire length and breadth of the campaign setting's long and storied life. The 10 gods and goddesses that you select will be guaranteed a spot in DDN's version of the Forgotten Realms. However, your boss requires you to give a written reason as to why you selected each individual deity as he will not take any god at face value alone (no matter how many "duh s/he should be in" looks you flash him).

Never betray your trust.


By the lord of protection, I must say that Helm is one of the ten most Iconic gods of faerun.
 Mostly becuase he is well known or per say was well known in the FR and is widly known by the fanbase. looks around, recently the watcher  has also goten the most video game appearances, such as baldur's gate series,  and the never winter nioght series as well as an expansion in one of the iwd series. 

Amunator/ lathander: bah cant  bother with the dawn lord never did like him, seemed like a young trouble maker to me. but the sun lord kept the merchants and buerocrats in line and as the sun reaches its pinacle he will continue to do so as each days rises.


By the weave Mystra is one of the top ten iconic deities of the realms for she is magic and magic is life and what is any setting without a goddess of amgic, and mystra herself has always watched her followers and kept them in line.... cant say much for that sleeze midnight though


Selune, the goddess of the moon, her power waxes and wanes and ahs been in the realms for some time and most if not all eras of play.
Moradin, the lord of dwarves both their creaotr and patron, the dwarf lord is stout and tough and makes a good dwarves ale, to mab none you and I

The fey jack, erevan, is one of the most iconic deiteis in the realms becuse unlike most other deities that showed up in novels recently he was not seen as a lout that was not his own cahracter. Just ask Fox at twilight.....


Eilistraee, the goddess of the dark elves/non evil drow..... yeah I've never really been sure as to why she and vhaerun were so popualr either, even though I like Eilsitraee          

Corellon larethian, the lord of the seldarine is .... bah screw him, he's just iconic becuase he's been in the rules from waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when his lordship the god of the d20 gygax rule the many spheres.      

Shar, go figure shes only iconic becuase she is selune's evil twin, the msitress of the night and the current bbgirl with goth rights

Bahamut, Dragons fly around faeurn and the platnium dragon had grown to new hieghts since joing the trid, and if AO willing he will continue to do so, since everyone jsut loves dragons.


Tiamat: goddess of evil dragons, ever iconic since the days of the lord high god of the d20 gygax ruled the many spheres and  wel;l see above save she would be there to thwart bahamut.




Helm bids us all welcome under huis protective gaze, but allow me to tell the, I cant not think of 10 deities that I would say are the most iconic of the realms for there are atleast 20 that I could say geiven time and the pateince but problems arise and at the moment my duties carry me elsewhere.

Never betray your trust. Protect those under your care.                    
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
1)CYRIC!!!!


2)CYRIC!!!!


3)CYRIC!!!!


4)CYRIC!!!!


5)CYRIC!!!!


6)CYRIC!!!!


7)CYRIC!!!!


8)CYRIC!!!!


9)CYRIC!!!!


10)CYRIC!!!! 


Cause he is cool like that...


I do like Talos...not Talos as Gruumsh.


EDIT: Mask is cool also...

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

I agree with Delta, id like to also add Hoar into the mix.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Ten deities are too few, and if you mean iconic as commonly worshipped then many cool and characteristic deities will be left out. Then there are some deities who, while having widely spread cults, are kind of mainstream (you have the goddess of love -Sune- of nature and balance -Silvanus- of the hunt and wild life -Mielikki- of luck -Tymora- etc...) or even 'imported' into the Realms (the Seldarine, Gruumsh, Mordadin, Lolth, Ghaunadaur etc...). Besides, the FR were (and it seems likely that they will be again) characterized by a wide and varied pantheon, so focusing on a small number of gods (especially that small) isn't good. However, here's my list:

1)Mystra: The goddess of magic is perhaps the most iconic character in the whole setting. She symbolizes and is the caretaker of what makes magic in the FR different for other settings: the Weave (at CK, Ed himself -well THO actually, but she spoke for him- said that it consists of the energy of all natural phenomena and happenings on Toril -i.e. of changes- refined and shaped in strands of magic that covers the whole sphere -- this would include also the energy 'generated' from living beings -as proved by the elves who are deeply connected with the Weave- and would then be something akin to a generalized version of the Force, which I find to be a cool concept, representing that magic -the Art- is nothing but a reshaping of natural and living forces). Besides, in all her incarnations, Mystra has had a definitive role in shaping pivotal events for the Realms (well she actually was in almost every case a victim of the events that led to cataclysms, but that's another matter) so it'd make little sense to not include her.

2)Selune: Mother of Mystra (the first one) and goddess of the moon, travellers and explorers. She is heavily tied to the creation myths, together with Shar created Chauntea, and it is believed that rest of the Pantheon spawned from her conflict with Shar. The struggle between the two sisters carries on and is an iconic element of the Realms.

3)Shar: Sister of Selune and goddess of loss and darkness. The reason of her inclusion is basically the same of Selune. I also like how she abuses of the suffering of mortals by promising them relief from pain through hatred, coldness and forgetfulness of her embrace, slowly luring them toward her service. There have been discussions about whether Shar (and Selune) are primordials which turned into deities when they learnt to feel emotions akin to the ones that mortals experiment. While Selune accepts and feels enriched by this capabality -something that makes her able to create- Shar feels completely different. She hates this new capacity of hers, and most of all she hates the fact that she cares about herself being able to feel. These are just speculations, but it would be interesting to see this investigated, especially because it would give a meaning to Shar's action -maybe showing a 'human' side in her- as she would seek the destruction and the return of primordialness in order to silence what she feels, which would be discontent and pain...

4)Chauntea, because she is the embodiment of Toril and is heavily tied to the creation myths. Also she is very widely worshipped (but now that I think about it, she doesn't seem very intersting for a PC... maybe Silvanus or Mielikki would be a more popular choice in this regard instead of her).

5)One goddess of love/passion (I'd go with Sune). Well, love is a strong emotion, felt by basically all the humanoid races. So a deity shoudl take this place. Also, if they went with Sune, they would cover another relevant area, because she is not only the goddes of love but also of culture, arts and aesthetic.

6)One deity of death. I'll take Kelemvor, because his caring for the dead and conception of the death as a natural process rather than something to fear are atypical among death gods. He acts more like a protector of the mortal souls than 'mwahaha death is scary'. I'd also include Myrkul if you allowed for more room, but as a god of death itself (lik in the end of what is good and beautiful), decay corruption and necromancy.

7)One god of justice/duty/protection. Actually, I don't know who I should choose between Torm and Tyr, but being the latter directly taken from RW mythology, I'd go for the former. I also like Helm as a guardian and protector god, but -again- the list you asked for is too short (and Helm is getting his own novels anyway with Shadowbane and the Sundering).

8)Cyric. I don't like him, but he has undeniably got a heavy influence on the recent story of Faerun. So yes, he should not be neglected

9)Moradin. Well, I'm not much fond of him and he's not characteristic to the Realms, but seriously: dwarves need more focus. Also Corellon and Lolth: I want their conflict to be more evident. As things are now, Corellon seems deaf, blind and inert to everything that his supposed nemesis does... (yeah I cheated, but as I said 10 deities is way too few).

I'm undecided whether to include Mask or Eilistraee and Vhaeraun here, but since I have a soft spot for the two siblings, I'll go with them. So:

10)Eilistraee and Vhaeraun (I cheated again, but not really as these two should go together IMO), Corellon's and Lolth's children: These two have very few worshippers and their power is little (heck, they don't even need ot be full fledged deities to fight for their goal), but they are unique to the FR and what they stands for is really a great addition to the drow, one that turns them from brainwashed puppets/wannabe cookie-cutter villains into an interesting race.
Eilistraee is a kind-hearted rebel who romantically struggle against tyranny, no matter how overwhelming the odds can be. She symbolizes freedom, especially in the form of self-expression through choice of life: the possibility for the drow to live by and fight for their own choices, to forge their own future and path -one which reflects and fulfills them- to find their own way to freedom, happiness and the redemption she advocates. She gives great value to every individual, encouraging them to express themselves and revel in life trough the creation of beauty (like in song and dance) and the aiding of the ones in need. She deeply wishes -and it is her goal- for the drow to be free from their stigma and to live in harmony with all other races -- Vhaeraun, her brother, also fights for drow freedom, but in a more militant way. He spreads and encourages resentment and hatred toward the matriarchy, promotes the undermining of its precarious balance, and tries to bring it to its end by stirring the will to rebel to this oppression in the dark elves, the will to breaking free from it through violence if it needs to be. His goal is to get rid of the stupid infighting tha poisons the drow, so that they can return to be the powerful race they were before the descent.
Overall this adds a lot of depth and variety to the drow, and an interetsing opposition aside from the classic Lolth vs Seldarine.

There are many valid deities who couldn't fit in a that small list. For example, Mask (damn it!), Lathander (which could be included in the allegory of the day with Amaunator and Myrkul like Greenknight proposed in another thread here), the deities of wild nature (Silvanus, Mielikki), the deities of lore, craft and inventive (Oghma, Gond), the racial pantheons (they should all be brought back, they are a cool feature of the Realms) and surely others that I can't think of atm.

1. Mystra (I don't like her, but I have to give her her due)


2. Shar


3. Cyric


4. Tempus


5. Mask 


6. Helm


7. Bane


8. Sune


9. Tymora


10. Lathander


I'm going to toss out most of the racial dieties because they tend to not meddle in the affairs of mortals quite so much.  You couldn't move forward without them, but I don't tend to associate them with the realms quite as much (in most cases)

1.  Mystryl/Mystra/Midnight - The iconic realms god.  If you need an edition change, kill or resurrect this one.  Constantly meddles (as Midnight) in the affairs of mortals (when not dead)

2.  Cyric - I hate this guy, but...he's been a mover and shaker in the realms.  I don't which I feel more about him...loathing for some of the stuff he does, or amusement for how stupid he is.

3.  Bane - Cyric could take some lessons from Bane on how to be a bada** evil god.

4.  Shar - Here's another meddler...moving and shaking things in the realms.

5.  Lolth (or Lloth, for those of us who prefer the /proper/ spelling).  She's a meddler too.  Not so much on the surface (until recently) but she's always got schemes in motion.  Lolth entertains me.

6.  Chauntea - The earthmother.  What more needs to be said?

7.  Selune - One of my favorites.  As someone else mentioned, her power waxes and wanes.  Enemy of Shar

8.  Eilistraee - As much as I hate her, she's pretty iconic to the realms.  She doesn't pollute the other world's pantheons, and has legions of fans.  Beyond the fact that so many people love her, she's pretty much useless.

9.  Loviatar - Not sure /why/ exactly I'm going with Loviatar here since she doesn't do much, but when I think of an evil realms god, Loviatar comes to mind.  To me, that makes her iconic.

10.  Shaundakul - Here's another nobody of a god like Eilistraee, but this is one I like.  He's definitely got a realms feel to him, and he has his decent share of fans who are also clamoring for more.  If this guy ever gets a novel, he'd end up a super-popular god.
1. Helm - Despite the poor representations of him in the novels, Helm is a great embodiment of vigilance and steadfastness. The Watcher represents devotion to the cause, the willingness to be both sword and shield in defense of law and order. Reason and focus outweigh emotion and impulse, and Helm's experiences have proven that raw emotion can be tamed through sheer discipline and determination. Even when other deities ignore their own sense of reason, such as Mystra during the ToT or Tyr during the debacle of 1384 DR, Helm remains true to this nature, even though the necessity of his actions may not yield personal gain. In fact, Helm is ready to suffer and sacrifice to see his duty fulfilled. Helm is one of the most morally ambiguous deities in all the Realms; good and evil blur into shades of grey, allowing the Watcher's faithful to be quite diverse despite his LN nature.

2. Mask - Mask is a deity who has clearly evolved over time. Once, he was an overzealous schemer who put his trust in Cyric and ended up losing more than he gained. Forfeiting portfolios and finding himself chased by the malevolent Kezef, Mask did not look very intimidating for a god. In fact, "laughable" might be a fair description for certain scenes from the Avatar Series. However, those days are long past. Mask grew to become one of the more cunning deities around. Though he did not officially reclaim portfolios, his influence in the mortal realm expanded. Patron of thieves and master of stealth, Mask reasserted himself through his mortal followers, and he began to develop a head for long-term strategy. His foresight even managed to deceive Shar and Netheril, for despite his apparent self-sacrifice, Mask has managed to lull the Mistress of the Night into a false sense of security, arranging the pieces on the board in a way that will ultimately benefit himself. The beauty of Mask lies in his affinity for shadows; all Mask does has a hidden aspect to it. What is evident to the eye is just the surface, and what lies beneath is a web that the Shadowlord keeps to himself. Feints and misdirection are his very nature.

3. Torm - Perhaps the most honorable deity in all the Realms, Torm's nature is a reflection of all that is noble about both mortality and divinity. Having ascended to godhood for his loyalty and devotion, Torm is the embodiment of all that is righteous. He knows no fear, and believes that his principles are more valuable than his own life. Nowhere was this made clearer than during his fight with Bane in Tantras, where he sacrificed himself to prevent Bane from terrorizing the land. Torm was reborn for his noble deeds, and continued to assert his role as a protector and champion of the just. The Loyal Fury is a crusader against evil and corruption, and he inspires courage in the hearts of his followers. The weak and innocent can look to Torm and be inspired, for his is a mission to defend the downtrodden and strike down villains wherever they may threaten the Realms.

4. Mystra - I don't care for her one bit, but Mystra/Mystryl is an incredibly important deity to FR. The child of both light and darkness, Mystra is the living Weave, magic given face and form. Though her nature has ranged from a reserved overseer to an active force of benevolent rule, she has remained crucial in the way magic has worked in the Realms. Even if Mystra does not personally take a hand in mortal affairs, magic is such a crucial aspect of Toril that it is impossible to deny her influence. Granted, Mystra has in the past underestimated the ambitions of mortal men and overestimated her own divine might at the worst possible times, yet she remains perhaps the single most iconic deity in all the Realms. 

5. Cyric - Again, I am no fan of Cyric, but he is definitely iconic. Cyric is malicious through and through; not a thought enters his head that does not in seem way mean ill to someone. Cyric is that dangerous combinaiton of ambition and madness. He does not care who he needs to silence in order to stand unopposed; he will betray and butcher his way to the top. That, however, is the wonderful irony of Cyric - he does not even have a proper grasp on what his own goals are. The Prince of Lies wants power, and he wants to treat the world of men as his own playground, shaking things up for the sake of entertainment as much as any conctrete gain, and eliminating gods and heroes one-by-one through duplicity and havoc. Cries of pain, the destruction of order, the downfall of valor - these things delight Cyric. He is a threat to everything around him, a maelstrom that promises to drag under whatever comes within his reach. To draw inspiration from The Dark Knight, Cyric is a god who just wants to watch the world burn.

6. Shar - It is fitting that Shar has become such a prominent deity (even if the unfortunate consequence is that other gods tend to get the short end of the stick as a result). Shar is the sum of humanity's darkest emotions; her nature is not hot anger or zealous tyranny, but cold sorrow, utter despair at the sheer emptiness that seems to underlie existence. Doubt and fear linger in the minds of all; Shar is the whisper in the back of one's mind, that says perhaps one's best efforts will not be good enough, that perhaps all one does is in vain. The most beautiful love, the strongest ties that bind, the most radiant joy - all are threatened by the nihilistic resignation espoused by Shar. She wishes to consume all hope and extinguish the fires of life, and her ideology is so very dangerous because everyone, at some point in his/her life, knows the dark, twisted hopelessness she upholds and the way it numbs emotion and spirit.

7. Selune - Selune is the beautiful counterpart to Shar, for she is the hope that serves to rebuff Shar's nihilism. Selune's role as the goddess of the moon and stars makes her not only important as a nature deity, but she is also a nurturer of civilization and progress. Those who wander under the night sky look to Selune for guidance; her faithful lights have allowed navigators and explorers alike to reach their destination and avoid harm. That is in itself Selune's true nature - the caring guide who shepherds humanity from the darkness. Hers is a luster that stands in defiance of the dark; Selune believes in good will and virtue, and wants to help mortal man reject the despair spread by Shar. The Moonmaiden wishes to keep hope alive in the hearts of man, and allow the weak to persevere in the face of doom and fatalistic sorrow. She is the perfect nemesis of her sister, and the two share such a long, storied history that one cannot be as meaningful without the other.

8. Kelemvor - Death may be frightening, but it is never malevolent. This is a core concept that defines Kelemvor, and it stands in stark contrast to the previous presentation of death as something associated with evil and malice. "Death gods should be heartless monsters" is an old trope, and Kelemvor better represents death in its purest form. Death is neiter kind nor cruel, though it may seem that way to certain people. It is a silent presence from the moment one enters the world, a quiet watcher that carries out its work with unfailing dedication. Death does not admire or despise, and it knows neither heroes nor villains. So, too, is this the way of Kelemvor. Kelemvor understands that death is a force unto itself. It cannot be shackled by words or feelings, and so, Kelemvor has emptied himself of extreme emotions and irrational impulse. Kelemvor does not wish to be savior or captor to the souls of the dead; he is only their judge, but it is they who decide their fates through their actions in life. He has become the perfect keeper of the dead, for his decisions are always fair.

9. Beshaba - I know a lot of people would probably say Tymora here, but in truth, I find Beshaba a lot more interesting, and underestimated compared to her fair-haired sister. Beshaba believes that everyone needs a taste of frustration - if your number doesn't come up now, it will show up sooner or later. Misfortune and doom befall everyone; there is no way to perfectly protect yourself from pure chance. The strongest warrior could lead her army to victory one day and pass away in her sleep that night. A man could inherit a large fortune from a wealthy relative, only to learn the boat upon which the sum was being hauled sank beneath the waves. Beshaba revels in both slight accidents and life-altering disasters; she appreciates a small victory as much as a major triumph. Beshaba tears down her sister's hard work, and even when Tymora wins, her victories are temporary things at best. Just as you cannot have Selune without Shar, you can't have Tymora without Beshaba.

10. Tempus - Tempus and war, to me, operate in a way similar to Kelemvor and death. Some people believe war is glorious and a victory on the battlefield is the greatest triumph mortal man can know. Some believe war is a scourge, meant to be weathered by the strong so that peace will ultimately be sustained. Tempus believes that war is... war. War is terror and triumph. It spreads and recedes, writhes and resurges. War is a force that cannot be tamed, for its origins lie in the nature of mortals - their desire to grow, to conquer, to exert and act upon, to resist and shatter the actions of others. Tempus oversees one struggle after another. The Foehammer's favor extends to individuals as much as to entire armies, a boon to soldiers as much as causes.
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Reality is but the sum total of all illusions. Proud Hand of Karsus, now and forever Mess with one Hand, mess with 'em all I am Blue/Green
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Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
Good call on Mask.
Good analysis on Tempus, too. One of the things I find interesting about him is that, despite the fact that he has an upstart in the form of Garagos intent on replacing him as the god of war, Tempus doesn't simply kill him. The reason he won't is because doing so would mean that he'd have to lay claim to the more unsavory elements of warfare which Garagos represents.
I think a lot of people here have added their own personal bias to the list.  For example, I, too, think Beshaba is more interesting than her sister.  But to input the most "Iconic" deities, I have to step away from my own preference.

I hesitate to add any demihuman deities to the list, like Corellon and Moradin, since they appear in other settings.  I will only include one "core" deity on the list, and only because her machinations have been a big part of the Realms novels and events that have shaped the Realms (especially recently).

The 10 most iconic (in no particular order) are:

1) Cyric

2) Bane

3) Lolth

4) Mystra

5) Kelemvor

6) Amaunator/Lathander

7) Selune

8) Shar

9) Eilistraee

10) Mask

I agree that Torm and Tempus have a lot of rich flavor with them.  I especially want to add on Tempus' part the protectiveness he feels towards Eldath. His feeling that war is best defined when contrasted and seperated by periods of peace.

However, I feel that for purposes of what feels "iconic" for the Realms, they fall short when compared to others.

I know some of these deities are dead, and some (like Eilistraee) feel trite and overdone with how they've been handled, but that's not relevent here.  Eilistraee and the "good drow" may be overdone, but she (and good drow, for that matter), have been a major part of the Realms for the last 20+years 

Good analysis on Tempus, too. One of the things I find interesting about him is that, despite the fact that he has an upstart in the form of Garagos intent on replacing him as the god of war, Tempus doesn't simply kill him. The reason he won't is because doing so would mean that he'd have to lay claim to the more unsavory elements of warfare which Garagos represents.

Either that or it goes to another deity entirely. And that deity could be one much more powerfull which then has a valid claim to challenge him for the entire portfolio. The risk is just too great:

a) To the victor goes the spoils: Tempus has to assume that aspect of war which he detest and his inner being will be changed for it


b) It goes to annother deity like Gruumsh and suddenly Tempus has to worry about a greater power challenging him for war instead of a mere demipower


c) a new demipower of that particular aspect of war ascents. Thus Tempus risked a) or b) just to be back at status quo


There simply is no favorable outcome in slaying Garagos.


PS: Garagos isn't an upstart. He was the original lord of war until Tempus defeated and replaced him. Back in his heyday he called himself Targus and was the greater power of war. He was also in love with Shar who pretended to return his affection since having a lovedrunk greater deity of war at your side is favorable and then dropped him like a hot potato once he lost too much power to be useful to her. Poor Garagos never got over it.

Personally I thought of Tempus as one of the more mature deities in Faerun, and certainly one of the more long-sighted, especially when it came to his patronage of Red Knight, and his somewhat protective though still unilaterally hostile relationship with Garagos.  Also don't forget that Garagos is supposedly the only being who can destroy whatever it is that resides in some artifact or other (Dragoneye Scepter maybe, don't recall offhand), so again, he's probably not someone any deity really wants to see go away until that's dealt with.

As for my iconic 10 musings...

1) Mystra - while there's quite a bit about her that irks me at times, it just wouldn't be the same Realms without her, or her Chosen for that matter.  Personally I think a lot of times my biggest issue is how they're used outside of Ed's novels, but that's a whole other can of fish that doesn't belong here.
 
2) Lathander - At once he is the very best of what this is to good, but at the same time the very worst there is about good.  Toss in that he had a "YAY!" and "WHEEEE!" sort of attitude and its hard to find a deity that more sums up my own take on the Realms.

3) Lliira - Kind of a more responsible version of Lathander to me, in that she does seem to be more mindful of the consequences of what she does, she just screams the Realms to me as well.  I do wish they'd expand on her quite a bit however, and really played up her Freedom/Liberty (forget which it was precisely, offhand) portfoilio more to make her a much more effective foil to Bane's tyranny.  I'd also love to see her with a paladin order who worked a lot like the more cuddly aspects of US Special Forces (De Oppresso Liber and all), who marched into subjagated areas and began arming and training the populace to resist the Banites.  It would really fit with her sponsorship of the Harpers I think.
 
4) Eilistraee - Personally, I see her a lot like an underdark version of Lliira, and would love to see the two churches more heavily allied.  But that could just be me...

5) Tempus - He's really one of the more unique War gods out there, in that he can be very thoughtful and introspective at times, with a surprisingly philosophical bent to him that's refreshing, while still being the arse-whupping warrior that one expects to find filling the post.  His musings on the evolution of warfare and the changes that are inevitable to it, and knowing that new deities are going to have to respond to those changes makes him incredibly sympathetic, I think.

6) Brandobaris - If you've read the founding of Luiren tale, you should know why he's awesome and deserves to be on this list.  If not, that's your loss.  Toss in that he's romancing Tymora (who's a Hin by the way, I don't care what those crazy humans keep saying), and he's just about the coolest rogue out there, far moreso that Mask ever was, will be, or could be.

7) Bane - Sure, he's something of the Bond Villain of the Realms, but you can't say the guy doesn't have style.  While I can't stand him in a lot of respects (but hey, isn't that the whole point?), he (well, his lackeys really) is a fun villain to break out and toss at unwitting PCs.  He's up there with undead and fiends when it comes to evil in the Realms... the bread to their PB & J to borrow a turn of phrase from an old poster around here.  Just wish he'd end that nihlist once and for all and be done with it...
 
8) Leira - Was definitely one of the cooler deities out there, and it was incredibly sucky that the pretender Cyric deceived the world into believing that she was killed by him.  I really, really, really hope she makes it back with Next.

9) Moander - He kinda reminds me of the Wyrm from WW's Werewolf: the Apocalypse, in that you just never really can be sure how, where, or who he'll strike next.  Much like Bane there was little to like about him, and he certainly didn't have Bane's charm, but he was pretty compelling in that he was just the most "messed up" (ahem...) deity with the most "messed up" (again...) plans, plots, and schemes.  Creepy, evil, and sublime, but fun to use when you're the DM.

10) Waukeen - While there was a lot about the 3e Realms that I didn't much care for, one of the things I really loved about it was Waukeen's big PR push to build herself back up and become 'The People's Goddess', which I honestly think she really should have been in the first place.  I thought they played her a bit more mercenary and callous than they should of, given her residence in Brightwater and friendship with Lliira, but I thought a lot of stuff they did with gods (in general) was idiotic, so why should she be any different?  Personally I really liked "her greed with a conscience" aspect, since it is kinda necessary if you want to have future customers.
 

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Just wish he'd end that nihlist once and for all and be done with it...



He's a Nihilist, there's nothing to be afraid of.  
Bane's hardly a nihlist... were he actually one, he'd not give a whit about subjagation of others, since it would ultimately be pointless.  I was referring to Shar with that actually.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Bane's hardly a nihlist... were he actually one, he'd not give a whit about subjagation of others, since it would ultimately be pointless.  I was referring to Shar with that actually.


Shar's not really a nihilist, either.

If any deity could be considered one, I'd say Cyric. 
Have you actually read Shar's dogma?  Sounds pretty damned nihlistic to me...

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

I think its funny how everyones always dissin on Cyric, the One and All that, but yet hes made almost everyones list, haha. 
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there

1: Cyric: Cyric is hands down the best evil god, while reading Prince of Lies I hated him but in a good way. Unlike most evil gods, he is just an  A-hole , that you can't help but hate. 
2: Eilistraee:  Extinction and the Lady Penitent triology are easily among my favorite FR books. It's neat to see good Drow that still retain bits of their culture. 
3: Shar: The conflict between Selune and Shar has always been one of the most facinating aspects of FR to me.
4:Selune: See #3
5: Mystra: I actually don't like Mystra that much, but she is so important that I have to begrudingly put her in this list.
6: Talona: I am surprised and disappointed that no one  has metioned The Mother of all Plagues yet, I don't know why I like Talona I just do. Like Cyric there is just something awesome about gods who wallow (literally with Talona) in their own evilness  
7: Leira: She is the goddess of lies, illusions and deception, what isn't to like about her?


I think a lot of people here have added their own personal bias to the list.  For example, I, too, think Beshaba is more interesting than her sister.  But to input the most "Iconic" deities, I have to step away from my own preference.

I hesitate to add any demihuman deities to the list, like Corellon and Moradin, since they appear in other settings.  I will only include one "core" deity on the list, and only because her machinations have been a big part of the Realms novels and events that have shaped the Realms (especially recently).

The 10 most iconic (in no particular order) are:

1) Cyric

2) Bane

3) Lolth

4) Mystra

5) Kelemvor

6) Amaunator/Lathander

7) Selune

8) Shar

9) Eilistraee

10) Mask

I agree that Torm and Tempus have a lot of rich flavor with them.  I especially want to add on Tempus' part the protectiveness he feels towards Eldath. His feeling that war is best defined when contrasted and seperated by periods of peace.

However, I feel that for purposes of what feels "iconic" for the Realms, they fall short when compared to others.

I know some of these deities are dead, and some (like Eilistraee) feel trite and overdone with how they've been handled, but that's not relevent here.  Eilistraee and the "good drow" may be overdone, but she (and good drow, for that matter), have been a major part of the Realms for the last 20+years 



That is close to my top ten. I would remove Kelemvor, and Eilistraee for Corellon Larethian, and Clangeddin Silverbeard. Sune deserves some light too. Beauty stands out with all of these uglies. 



That is close to my top ten. I would remove Kelemvor, and Eilistraee for Corellon Larethian, and Clangeddin Silverbeard. Sune deserves some light too. Beauty stands out with all of these uglies. 




I explicitly did not include Corellon because he's a core deity, too, with little to no change.  I agree that he and Moradin (which, to a lesser extent, includes all the Morndinsamman, which includes Clangeddin).  I reluctantly included Lolth because of all the demihuman deities, she has some of the deepest involvement in the affairs of the Realms, especially recently.  Eilistraee, too, I was reluctant about.  But whether I like it or not, drow play a large role in the realms.  Despite my reservations about the sheer number of "good drow" running about, FR has always included rules to play drow, even when they were an outlandish option in other settings.  Eilistraee presented a different side of drow, and created options for non "drizzt-clones" drow.

I do think the demihuman deities should be included in Realms Next, but as they always have core counterparts, I don't include them in a list of "iconic FR deities".  Like I said, Lolth and Eilistraee I included reluctantly, but their influence on the Realms and it's players surpasses all other demihuman deities.

As for Sune...I admit personal bias here.  I do not care for Sune.  I don't even think she deserves to have the "Chaotic Good" label she's carried for years, since she has always, to me, seemed so vain and self-serving.  Yes, she helps lovers in need, but that, in itself is self-serving, is it not?  Since it advances her portfolio and potentially gives her more worshippers.  She's the goddess of beauty and love, but I don't think she stands out significantly.

Kelemvor, on the other hand, is a mortal man who became a god by accident.  He didn't seek power, but through his strength of character, he rallied support to overthrow Cyric as Lord of the Dead.  He made mistakes in his early years that caused him to readjust his policies.  But there's something more.  Forgotten Realms has always been (both to it's supporters and its detractors) a world thick with the interference of its deities.  I, personally feel that FR is almost TOO overly influenced by its deities, but I still like it.  Unlike most other settings, characters are actually PENALIZED for not choosing a deity (even if only through what awaits them after death), and Kelemvor gets the credit for that.  He enforces the "Wall of the Faithless" thing.  Heck, in 3.5e, even druids could not get away with just worshipping nature, they had to choose a nature deity.  Because the enforcing of the patron deity bit is in Kelemvor's lap, I maintain that he deserves his spot on the list.

Okay, so I read the novels, and don't play D&D much, but there some iconic gods I can definately think of (this is Realms specific):


Corellon Larethian: some people here apparently have complaints about him (this has me worried), but as his chosen, I must vouch for him. Okay, all that aside, he is IS the head of the Seldarine, and I think each race should have a "representing" deity. He's been in this long, why change it?


Lolth: much as I dislike her, she adds depth to the Realms, and she is the head of the drow pantheon (though I prefer Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. Can we please bring them back? Even if they’re not listed in the “iconic” section, they should still make the list of deities)


Moradin: most well known dwarven deity


Lathander/Amaunataur: I liked him better as Lathander, but he is an important and influential deity, and we all need a deity of light, yes? I have a soft spot of Lath


Kelemvor: he's the god of death, and he is a fair judge. He's not the cruel, evil god of death. We need a god like that.


Gruumsh: eh...yeah, he's one of the older deities, so we should keep him in


Mask: because he's Mask and he's awesome! I was depressed when they killed him off


Mystra: need I say why? Magic!


Ilmater: (instead of Tyr or Torm, though I like them).


Silvanus: he’s a forest god, and I actually find him rather interesting.


Shoot, I forgot the names of the head of the gnome and Halfling pantheons. I suppose they should be included too, but that exceeds 10. I’d also love to see more of Erevan, Shevarash (which is ironic considering I like the drow), Mielikki. I think Selune and Shar should stay in the mix. It’s hard to pick only ten!

That'd be Garl Glittergold and Yondalla, for the gnomes and hin respectively.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Thanks!


And that's the problem, I think each race should have a "representing" deity be an iconic one, but the human pantheon is the largest, and it would be hard to narrow it down so much. Plus, deities like Eilistraee and Vhaeraun deserve the spotlight too, IMO. I much prefer them over Lolth, but Lolth is sort of the "head" of the drow pantheon, so I included her. It's so hard to narrow it down to just 10!   
Never did find Yondalla or Garl Glittergold especially interesting, myself. They always seemed to pale in comparison to Corellon and Moradin, but that's probably because elves and dwarves have always gotten more love than halflings and gnomes. It didn't bother me one bit that Yondalla was revealed to be an aspect of Chauntea and Garl was essentially demoted to Corellon's new neighbor.

Of course, who knows what 5E will do with Garl? Maybe they will find a way to increase his relevance. I assume Yondalla will remain an aspect of Chauntea; if not, I'm sure I will be in for a laugh.
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Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
I wanted to include them since they were the "head" of their respective pantheons. Elves are my favorite and Corellon one of my favorite deities, but I was trying to be fair and include the other races ^^;
To me, iconic is, when you hear the name, it makes you think "Forgotten Realms".  You don't hear Paladine or Takhisis without thinking, Dragonlance...so an iconic realms god would be similar....it's just not quite the realms without it.
I can agree with you there, but some gods, like Corellon and Lolth for example, while they are in both FR and core, they vary slightly, at least the 4e versions *shrugs* just my opinion of course, but they are still Realms gods to me.
Meh, Chauntea will be revealed as an aspect of Yondalla.  Just like Tymora is actually a hin deity, and Gond a gnome that those silly humans just got confuzzled about.

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Meh, Chauntea will be revealed as an aspect of Yondalla.  Just like Tymora is actually a hin deity, and Gond a gnome that those silly humans just got confuzzled about.



Wait, Yondalla would be an aspect of Chauntea, not the other way around, right? Or is it? Does it really matter? Damn it now im cornfuzzled.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Silly biggun, everyone knows hin are superior to humans, so obviously Chauntea would be the lesser aspect of the mighty Yondalla!

"Be careful to choose your enemies well.  Friends don't much matter.  But the choice of enemies is very important."  

- Oscar Wilde

Ideally, I'd just like to have the iconic gods remain iconic, but oh well.
By Helm, is this still going on??
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Top Ten Gods based upon on their impact on the Realms


1.  Cyric:  He is not my favorite god.  I am not fan of randomness and events.  He did kill Mystra which cause the chaos of Spell Plague


2.  Mystra: We need magic in the realms but all honestly I hated Midnight/Mystra.  The goddess of magic should put the weave first and the growth of Magic above all else.  Midnight/Mystra was to human for the job.   

3.  I love Tymora and lady luck she always fun read and interesting god.


4.  Shar:  It is so much fun to rp her worshippers.  I am sorry Sheverashan I a follower of Shar and loss is my milk and honey and sip it fully as you and your god suffer.  I want Shar to corrupt Sheverash and make him be consumed with vengence.  


5. Corellon:  I think writers have not done him any justice.  On the surface Corellon is not that easy God to write but I would like to see more of him in action


6. Moradin:  Ah the demigod voice of reason always rock steady and just.  (Secretly I wish he would tell Corellon there is a great wrong coming to your people if you allow the Drow to be slaves to Fire Titans.)  Doing right thing is sometimes allow yourself to be stab in the back but people may surprise when they return the generousity.  I want more Dwarves in action.


7.  Beshada always been more interesting the lady of misfortune. 


8.  Lolth:  You got to love to hate her or if your Drow you just got to love her.  Of all the Goddess she makes the most impact.  Lolth is power hungry that rivals Cyric.  All right Corellon and Lolth you guys need divorce lawyer for the gods.   I am toying idea that will bring Eilistraee or Vhaeraun back the twins were the only hurdle that slowed Lolth down from doing the Brain.  It is time to take over the world.  


9.  Eilistraee she was good counterbalance to Lolth evilness.  Sheverash can easily be good counterbalance to Corellon Goodness if Shar corrupts him further.  I would like Eilistraee to become patron of the Dark Elves not the Drow.  To many possibilities.  However I want Vhaeraun back.


10.   All important God is Ao.  You can't exist without or with him in some cases. 


                

                   
If you mean iconic in the sense which gods are written a lot about.  If judging what the gods are doing in stories or roleplay even in fanfiction and on the realms.  I god that primordial in the case of Ao, Selune and Shar even if very little is written about them the role is so important even the disappearence of one of the gods will result the distruction Abier-Toril.  This realm is so dependant on magic versus science that even with out the Goddess Mystra in all her aspects the implosions or explosions cause the lack of stablizing force.  In truth what is infer the Weave and Shadow Weave is to strong of magic that is normal state will be Chaos.   There is ton of gods I consider less than Iconic and played virtually no role on Faerun.  The question is what gods are needed for the realms.  Good and evil.  Chaos and Order.  Balance with out tthat the world of Abier Toril will be doomed oreither be loss in the Chaos or even in Order.  


That is the reason why elves are so unbalanced in Good versus evil when comes to gods.  I can see the reason why a god of the Seldarine is corrupted and by the same token the Drow are also unbalnced favoring the opposite ethos.  In 3.5 the fact Eiliistraee and with Twin Vhaeraun kept Lolth in check.  Lolth did not off the gods of the Dark Seldarine because she selfish but she knew that bringing the power together much easier when only one person in the pantheon.  Her true rival was Eilistaee.  If you look at the Iconic gods in that light is the cause and effect on the realms and gods themselves will be merit a look.
Elaine Cunningham did a great job with Corellon in Evermeet, but he's my favorite deity, so I'm open to more with him. I love to hate Lolth, personally. She's a good villian, but I think the drow pantheons needs more than just her. I was a fan of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun, and it sucks that they were killed off. There was so much potential there.

I actually didn't know Shevarash was still seeking solace in Shar. That has to stop. I like Shev, even though he is a bugger and a drow-killer.
Just google it is in relationships.  Your namesake is trying his best keep them seperated.  It started during the Time of Troubles.  
You are a designer/developer/writer working for WotC. You have been tasked with codifying the 10 MOST Iconic Forgotten Realms Gods. These Gods should represent the best and brightest from across the entire length and breadth of the campaign setting's long and storied life. The 10 gods and goddesses that you select will be guaranteed a spot in DDN's version of the Forgotten Realms. However, your boss requires you to give a written reason as to why you selected each individual deity as he will not take any god at face value alone (no matter how many "duh s/he should be in" looks you flash him).




Jergal: interesting history, he had all and gave it up
Gargauth: exiled by Baator 
Akadi: has the most interesting, philosophical dogma, doesn't involve with her followers
Lathander: the Dawn Cataclysm-Tymora's Luck
Oghma: needs to be more Celtic
Deneir: the Metatext 
Gond: brings the needed technology
Sharess: fundamental
Red Knight: she's got Athena in her 
Mystra: the Weave, magisters 
Leira-Cyric 
Just google it is in relationships.  Your namesake is trying his best keep them seperated.  It started during the Time of Troubles.  

I know he was "seeking solace in her embrace" at one point, but I didn't know it was still going on. I actually didn't know about it at all until I bought Demihuman Deities (I read the novels primarily, so I only buy sourcebooks for history info, not for playing, so I don't know about all of them).
Just google it is in relationships.  Your namesake is trying his best keep them seperated.  It started during the Time of Troubles.  

I know he was "seeking solace in her embrace" at one point, but I didn't know it was still going on. I actually didn't know about it at all until I bought Demihuman Deities (I read the novels primarily, so I only buy sourcebooks for history info, not for playing, so I don't know about all of them).




I would like to expand that but it will be in fanfiction only.  Most of the fanfiction I read about Sheverash doesn't do him justice in my opinion.  
I actually didn't know about Shevarash until I read Lisa Smedman's short story Necessary Sacrifices, and he's intrigued me ever since.