Why is The Raven Queen so popular?

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Don't know if this is the place to discuss this, but I've noticed that a majority of non-FR characters described on the boards are Raven Queen worshipers. I don't get the appeal she has. While I'm glad she's treated more seriously than Wee Jas was (Seriously, a goddess of death, magic, necromancy, arranged marriages AND elopement? That's an eclectic list), I don't see why everyone's fallen for her. There's plenty of other cool gods to choose from. Is it because she's a darker, edgier deity than the bright, shiny ones like Bahamut and Pelor? Is it because she's unaligned and thus everyone can enjoy her worship? Is it a morbid fascination with death? I don't get it.
Well for me it is because she is quite heavily inspired by The Morrigan. She is one of my favourite Celtic gods and overall from all mythologies.

I also, since well... Female Death Goddess that isn't evil just reminds me of Death from Sandman. Who everyone who has read Sandman knows, Death is awesome.

So a Goddess that reminds me of both Death and Morrigan is a win, win! for me.
But The Raven Queen couldn't be more different than Death of the Endless. And I thought the Morrigan was a goddess of slaughter.
I personally always thought Wee Jas was nifty, so that's why I like The Raven Queen.

For the majority of people though? Probably because (out of the core books at least) her Channel Divinity was fantastic.
I dunno the fact that she is someone who views death as natural and leads a person onward through death reminds me of Death. She doesn't follow the other concept where death is a ghastly, horrifying experience, ie: Grim Reaper but instead seems to follow more the mannerism of Death.

Morrigan is the goddess of prophecy, war and death, but mainly death. Her symbol is also the crow (not far off from the raven). So both death, prophecy and a similar animal match quite well.
I don't get the appeal she has.

Speaking for only one person:

Unaligned.

Prior to the release of 4E a friend at work and I started 'brainstorming' our characters. Please understand that these characters would not be at home on the Optimization forums, nor am I the slightest bit concerned about wringing out every last +1 or power advantage.

Concerning my long history of playing paladins from EVERY edition of D&D (and I do mean every) that had the option, I *audible gasp* decided to play a paladin in 4E as well. In character discussion, we decided to make him a completely disaffected, sarcastic and bitter paladin who, on the outside had nothing nice to say, but on the inside really was a good guy and really did care about helping people.

With Player's Handbook in grasp, the only diety I felt fit the character was RQ.

With this in hand, the writeup was that he was an Eladrin soldier facing a fomorian attack, and a battle they should have lost went completely the other way. Whilst he lay on the battlefield and uttering a silent prayer for Corellon to receive his soul, he was visited by someone else who asked him why he bothered to pray to CL when, in reality, he's always been her servant. Cut to chase, she restores him and sets him loose to both do her will and resolve who changed the ordained outcome and arrange a more personal meeting for RQ and whomever it may be. A calling indeed.
One of the reasons why I think she's popular is that she fits into an archetype that's been repeated throughout history, that of the crone. She's also a deity who's more ambiguous than the others, as who really knows who's worthy of death? And I think that a lot of people who want to move past the "shiny good vs. ugly evil" dichotomy that has plagued D&D for years really like that.

P.S Tiger Dave-that back story is absolutely awesome.
Personally, I'm a fan of Pelor and Kord. Often times when we're at a crossroads, I'll suggest heading east "into the radiant light of Pelor." But I have noticed a lot of love for the Raven Queen. Quite a few of the characters made in my group have been worshipers of her. I don't know why.
She's a goth chick god. That's enough for most people.
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
She's a goth chick god. That's enough for most people.

Why is that? Goth chicks are cute and all, but they're not really my thing.
The other gods just relate to each other too much. I felt Raven Queen was the only one to stray off from the norm a bit more than the others. But i agree with you, Raven Queen has too much popularity.
Stray off from the norm?
And I think that a lot of people who want to move past the "shiny good vs. ugly evil" dichotomy that has plagued D&D for years really like that.

I disagree. I'd say OD&D and 2e were very much "Shiny Good vs. Ugly Evil" but 3rd, 3.5 and beyond it seems very much that neutrality is the cool kid on the block. It comes down to the assumption, if you don't care, you're cool. Evil is for losers with mommy & daddy problems and Good is for those tools who always have their head in the clouds. To me, neutral just came off as wishy-washy. Never want to commit to one 'side'. Pair this with the innate "Ooh's" and "Aah's" of Death gods, and it explains the popularity. I mean, anyone remember how many Ruby Knights and Crusaders of Wee Jas we had when 3.5 was the current edition? They were everywhere.
I don't understand her popularity either. Then again the entire "emo" mentality she and her shadar-kai seem to embrace pisses me off. To me the Raven Queen is either a watered down Shar that cuts herself or a female Kelemvor without a spine that cuts herself.

The way I see it the contrast between the Raven Queen and Kelemvor is thus:

follower of the Raven Queen: depressed girl with an eating disorder cutting herself looks up at you and says: "Death is inevitable."

follower of Kelemvor: guy in fullplate with a big sword, a big shield and a stern look on his face points his sword at you and says: "Death is inevitable."

which one are you going to be more likely to believe?

/end rant
Kelemvor, definately.
Waa? Where does the emo and cutting angle of Raven Queen come from? She is a Goddess that leads you into death and protects you from the torment of undeath... Doesn't sound very emo to me, she makes you accept and protect you when you die till you move on beyond the Shadowfell.

Then she also has her strong-side of protecting all of the Shadowfell and potentially every person's soul when they die from the demonic will of Orcus.

Then you got all the real-life legacy that comes from her name/areas she control and its similarities to Morrigan (a truly kickass goddess from our own world).
Because I have it on good authority that the Raven Queen is kind of a hottie.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
Avandra could be even more of a hottie, but we haven't seen her yet.
1. Death gods are generally inherently cool. I blame Bleach for this in recent times, but it's only one example among many (Death Note was a better movie anyway).

2. The Raven Queen is a female god (also inherently cool) who isn't a homey, motherly protector or a bunnies-and-fuzzy-things love goddess; nor is she a "I am b****, hear me roar" wrathful dominatrix type.

3. The Raven Queen is the "darkest" of the 4e "PC-available" gods overall, and certainly the darkest of the females. The loner anti-hero is a very popular archetype right now, and the RQ is the easiest way to achieve that among the deities without having to resort to Lolth and all of the exasperated groaning and Salvatore references that come with that.

4. It's also worth mentioning that the way the RQ approaches death and that she's not an evil death god also help. Her outlook and portfolio lend themselves well to any character who is surrounded by death or risking death on a daily basis... which rather perfectly describes most adventurers. Think about it; if you're putting your life on the line every day to kill man-eating monsters and take their stuff, wouldn't you want to be in good with the chick who's going to be your new landlord when (not if) you shuffle off?



Wee Jas isn't evil, but he is vaguely ridiculous in a you-can't-be-serious way; Kelemvor is trying really, really hard to convince people he's not evil, but nobody actually believes him; and the Keeper is a out-and-out, soul-eating, enemy-of-all-life villain even if he's not actually evil.

Given the options given to us in the past, all of the lone-wolf, Cloud-wannabe antiheroes who've always wanted to worship a death god but couldn't because their DM wouldn't let them or because the campaign's available death god was stupid are jumping at the chance.

Of the 4e characters I've played so far, I've had a Paladin of Erathis, a Ranger who revered Avandra and an Ioun-worshiping Wizard, but two of the concepts I'm eager to try out are a Paladin of the Raven Queen (for many of the same reasons TigerDave illustrated) and a Hellock who has taken up her worship in the hope that it will allow him to be free of his pact when he dies and go on to the afterlife in peace, rather than being dragged down into the hells.

I also find the image of a cleric of the Raven Queen rather appealing -a traveling priest who will fight with all his heart to stave off an undead attack or save a life wrongly taken, but won't lift a finger to cure a fatal but natural disease. That, however, requires a group that wouldn't throw me in front of a train for doing so; a thing I currently lack.
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Whatever happened to the bright shiny paladins in perfectly polished armor who could do no wrong?
Well, the Fighter/Cleric I have in my game kinda put it best when asked about his chosen path.

Garret (Halfling Wizard): "So, a warrior, and a follower of the goddess of death? And you're on our side?"
Mikal (Human Fighter/Cleric): "Sure."
Garret: "Ok combat, I get. Gods, I get. I can even get a warrior following a god of death. But why a warrior, following a god of death, working with us?"
Immarel (Eladrin Warlord): "Good question."
Mikal: "We all live, do stuff, and die. The only thing we get to choose about that is how we live, usually. I'm choosing how I live, and how I die. I think I win."
Sulis (Dragonborn Rogue) *laughs*
Lianor (Half-Elf Paladin of Correllon): "I think a better question is what a halfling is doing with a spellbook."
Garret: "I like to try to cook her food before she eats it." *points to Sulis*
Sulis: "Cast faster."
Mikal: "And with a group like you, I should be able to ensure I get a noteworthy and entertaining death."

Also,

I also find the image of a cleric of the Raven Queen rather appealing -a traveling priest who will fight with all his heart to stave off an undead attack or save a life wrongly taken, but won't lift a finger to cure a fatal but natural disease. That, however, requires a group that wouldn't throw me in front of a train for doing so; a thing I currently lack.

Then I might have some advice for you from said Fighter character.

Your key word here is natural death. There are also sometimes natural cures. While Mikal will not use magic to heal a person who could die a natural death, he does have the heal skill and is more than willing to try every application of it to try and save a life naturally. Maybe that outlook would fly with your fellow players.
For me, it's just that whenever I hear "The Raven Queen", I think of botan from Yu Yu Hakusho.
Whatever happened to the bright shiny paladins in perfectly polished armor who could do no wrong?

Um... do no wrong? I don't believe there ever was person anywhere that did no wrong.

Also, this is just a guess on my part, but not everyone wants to play the classic "knight in shining armor." That's one way to play a paladin, sure, but the 4E paladin class lends itself to so many more different characters (who all worship the Raven Queen, apparently).
For me, the knight in shining armor is the only thing I play, and I feel more limited now that Hieroneous is gone.
Whatever happened to the bright shiny paladins in perfectly polished armor who could do no wrong?

There still there.

That being said there are more options now on how to play your character. instead of being tied down by honor codes on how to act that were, well lame for lack of a better word (dont lie, dont use posion, ect.) , they can now be fully motivated by their god.

One reason i like the Raven Queen is that she is a softer death godess. She watches over the dead, protects them, and at the same time one can justfy murder in her name. Melora is a nature godess, so she could care less about civilization and peaple while Erathis cares to much about civilization and not about peaple. With the Raven Queen you can care about the person, alive and dead. you can also be a wanderer, a dark soldjer in the fight against evil.

Pelor is just to obvious for me, and besides some of us hear pelor and think of his 3,3.5 verson in which there is some convincing arguments that peg him as an evil diety rather than a good one. Moradin is a dwarf god, and a crafter that cares to much about family. Avandra strikes me as fickle. Bahamut is a dragon (ick) god that cares way to much about honor. With that im out of the "good" gods. So i pick the god that i like the most (atlest if i play a paliden, alot of my characters have no religion or worship something of my creation).
For me, the knight in shining armor is the only thing I play, and I feel more limited now that Hieroneous is gone.

Hieroneous's position as the good of supreme law and good has been usurped by Bahamut. Why not have your paladin worship him?
Because Bahamut's the patron of dragonborn, and I don't want to play a dragonborn yet.
Because Bahamut's the patron of dragonborn, and I don't want to play a dragonborn yet.

Not exclusively, while sure many good Dragonborn may follow Bahamut a equal number of non-Dragonborn do as well. While the gods have connections to certain races they no longer have direct patronage to certain races in 4e.

Erathis be a good one as well I think, all about civilization, law, order, etc, defending civilization from darkness, etc.
Because Bahamut's the patron of dragonborn, and I don't want to play a dragonborn yet.

Who ever said that you couldn't worship Bahamut because you weren't a Dragonborn? By that logic, the only worshipers of the Raven Queen should be Shadar-kai, and we both know that that's not the case.
Sorry. Still stuck in 3e deity paradigm. Forgot that deities are no longer restricted to race!
Sorry. Still stuck in 3e deity paradigm. Forgot that deities are no longer restricted to race!

No need to apologize. Remember, knowing is half the battle!!!

GI JOE!!! ;)
I'm still miffed that Bahamut replaced Hieroneous though. He was my favorite.
I'm still miffed that Bahamut replaced Hieroneous though. He was my favorite.

Then talk to your DM about allowing Hieroneous back into your setting.
Think one thing sort of overlooked is that the Raven Queen fits well with many adventurers. She's sort of the tough warrior's goddess. Not in the worship sense, nor the I'm inspired by her and do her bidding sense. Just in the practical this is what my life has taught me sense.

You go out, you adventure, you see death all the time. You've lost friends and comrades. You've killed your share of enemies. You know that death, in the end, comes for everyone. You've got your little ritual you do before battle, something to ward off Death. And acknowledging the Raven Queen is part of that, hoping she doesn't want you this day, but knowing that some day you will meet her.

Sort of the same reason a thief, especially a more charming or acrobatic one, may "worship" a luck god. They aren't really devoted, but, in a sticky situation, they may offer a quick bargain. If they get a lucky escape, they'll offer a quick thanks. For melee types, there's Kord and the Raven Queen. And Kord just seems a bit more active, he's more for the heroic type. Raven Queen is more the god of the agnostic, the survivors.
I've always loved gods of Death being Unaligned and dark without being murderously evil. I hated Nerull, Myrkul, even Wee Jas (Goddess of Magic, Death, AND Love? get real lady).

The closest to my ideal Death deity was Kelemvor in FR, who I absolutely cheer for. I'm currently playing a white-haired balanced cleric of Kelemvor in an FR game (D Gray Man influenced) and he is rocking the socks off my fellow companions. I'll post him in the development section soon just for you Zousha.

The Raven Queen is the perfect representation of a death deity, IMO. As people here said, it reminds you of Morrigan and Death of the Endless (except Death of the Endless was a bit too cheerful and meddlesome for my taste). Death SHOULD be impartial, implacable, and ultimately about balance. In FR, I am imagining her as a mysterious primordial being who predates the gods. Cloaked and mysterious, the only sign of her presence is the "beat of her wings". Cookie to whoever gets that reference. :D
The Morrigan? Everyone knows that's the inspiration for her.
Whatever happened to the bright shiny paladins in perfectly polished armor who could do no wrong?

My DM ate them.
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Whatever happened to the bright shiny paladins in perfectly polished armor who could do no wrong?

Our group has a paladin that wanders in and out of our unaligned party. When he shows, he explains the benefits of following the rules and the social contract and we nod and play along, then forget him when he's not present.

Funny thing about sticklers for the social order. Turns out, he's a bit of a racist, and definitely sexist.
The Raven Queen appeals to me as a goddess who is independent, and strong. She's not some altruistic ninny, but she is driven to defeat corrupting forces of evil in the world. She also has some of the neatest flavor of all the other gods. Many of the other gods are cartooney champions of a Saturday morning cartoon morality. The Raven Queen feels like a stronger and more real god than the rest, more fleshed out than the rest. I like many of the other gods, don't get me wrong, but sometimes, especially the Lawful Good ones, they get a little ridiculous.
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin
I like altruistic ninnies!
I think newness has something to do with it. Though altered a little, we've seen most of the deities before. Correllon (Larethean), Kord, Bahamut, etc.. The Raven Queen, AFAIK, is new to 4e. So is having an 'unaligned' deity. Plus, she's a cool goth death goddess (just look at her Shadar-Kai followers - 'nuf said). And, face it, her Channel Divinity Feat is one of the better ones, and is available to both paladins and clerics. Finally, paladins no longer have to be good.

So, you want to play an edgy, non-good paladin, you look at the gods, one of 'em's pretty cool, then you look at the feats and the deal is sealed: the Raven Queen it is.

Yep, in our group, we have a Paladin of the Raven Queen. We also have a Cleric of Mellora. Other deities revered include Avandara, Erathis, and Ioun.

 

 

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