How do you play your Deva?

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In about a month I will be starting a new campaign where I am going to attempt to play a Deva Invoker. I have written a backstory for him but I cant seem to figure out the generalisations of the Deva archtype (like elves being elegant, dwarfs being boysterous that sort of thing) and whilst I know this is isnt the case most of the time as people like to take their own spin on things, it is a nice stepping off point to know the general idea of how a race is perceived.

So with this I was wondering how you guys have portrayed Devas before and what attitudes and mannerisms you have given the character?

- Seen it all before. These guys have fought in the Dawn War, seen deities and kingdoms rise and fall, and have lived a multitude of different lives. Very little can surprise them, and they're probably bored with how predictable people are.

- Religion is physics to Deva. These guys were created by the Astral Sea to serve the Deities directly, and are constantly reincarnated through the interdiction of greater powers (Primal Spirits IIRC). There is no doubt in their minds that the gods exist, and that they are worth serving. Even if they aren't active preachers of their religion, they don't quite understand why other races have doubt in the Deities.

- A deva's former deity may impact their current professions. If an Angel of Sehanine became a Deva, it might become a Bard or Rogue because of its experience as spreading the faith of the Trickster and Love Goddess. Whereas a Cleric might not trust a Rogue and vice-versa, a Deva of Sehanine would see no difference between a Thief and a Cleric of Sehanine.

- You are Doctor Who. You are effectively immortal, but not invulnerable. When you die, you will be reborn in a new form in a far-away land. The core of who you are will remain, but you will also become a different person, with different mannerisms and preferences. You simultaenously survive and die for all eternity.     

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Devas whose souls become corrupted are reborn as . . .


Deep in the recesses of memory, devas recall what they once were: immortal servitors of the gods of evil, spirits forcefully bound to the world in mortal flesh. For millennia, their souls have been reborn to wage an endless war against the forces of light.

In our 4e hombrew setting, this supplanted the default flavor of corrupted devas being reborn as rakshasas (see PH2).  Devas and dark devas are essentially ‘pallet swaps’ of the same race, light and dark, good and evil.  This gives devas of all alignments raison d’etre.  

All devas were once angels; there was never a sundering [like there was between eladrin, elves and drow for instance].  For this reason, dark devas never work against their own kind (non-devas are fair game of course).  The conflict within their hearts hinders constructive interaction with other devas, so most dark devas choose to keep themselves separated (and vice-versa). This ‘gentleman’s agreement’ holds in part, because outside of their immediate circles, devas are largely isolated from one another anyway.

As for rakshasas: Perpetual rumor aside, rakshasas are not corrupted devas, reborn in an alternate form.  They actually stole the secret of reincarnation from devas.  Or more disturbingly perhaps, they ‘borrowed’ it from dark devas.  As far as rakshasa are concerned, they even improved upon it.  Rakshasa reincarnate immediately upon death and remember their previous lives; devas do not.

= = =

Our own spin on devas ;); used in our 4e homebrew setting.

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My Deva shaman is uptight, pretentious, and generally not a team player.  Sure, he's the one who tells people what to do, but he does it with a "I'm better than you and I could be doing something better than this" attitude.  If someone does find a way to help him out, he "planned for that already."

Basically, the way Batman acts in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons ... that's my Deva Shaman ... just without the cape and cowl.     
For some reason, when thinking of how my deva should act and behave around people I keep getting the same thought, and that is David the android from Prometheus (Michael Fassbender's character)
I like my Devas aloof and emotionally distant. In my worlds they usually think themselves better than everyone else ( you know, being more in touch with the divine and all) and they expect everyone to respect them just for being themselves. They tend to be solitary and cold, but not necessarily unfriendly.

Of course, that's just your run-of-the-mill Devas, the ones who tend to blend in with society and serve their faiths. The adventurers are of course another matter entirely.