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Gods as head of state. (1/?)

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Adiam Gaunt, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Adiam Gaunt

    Adiam Gaunt Acolyte

    Salves comes, this is my first post and I'm sure only the beginning. I am currently in the midst of worldbuilding a setting that I intend to use in my future creative projects, based around one idea: What if the Gods of a setting, instead of being shunted off into their own little planes of reality or what have you, they were physical beings that inhabited the world? I'm just a college student so I haven't read every fantasy novel out there, but the only other series I'm familiar with that uses this concept is McClellan's Powder Mage Trilogy. But that setting has it's own inconsistences with whether or not the 'gods' are actually divine, and it's pretty heavily hinted that they're just extremely powerful magicians.

    I want to create a setting that goes all in on the idea. These aren't just powerful wizards or spirits or what have you; these are divine beings, embodying higher ideals and ways of life, ruling over a world that is, naturally, gray and complex. How are laws different between nations? What could it be like for the average citizen to know, with certainty, that a GOD rules the nation you reside in? Would there be more conflict between nations/religions, or less? What do courtrooms or temples like, and is there a difference? Would the gods ruling the nations come to terms with the fact that the world can't fully conform to the ideals they represent and change with it, or try to change the world around them instead?

    There a TON of other questions like those ones that I would like to find out. So as I work out the answers in my local coffeehouse, I'll keep you guys posted on what I think of. Any feedback is of course appreciated and welcomed. I would love to get some different perspectives on the matter, and please let me know if anyone else on this forum has done any writing on the topic. I'd love to see it.


    Addendum: The time period for the setting is around the late 1500s to early 1600s. Blackpowder is becoming more commonplace, some technological innovations are taking place, that kind of thing.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  2. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Inkling

    Even if a god was a real, physical guy that ran around on Earth, there would still be people who interpret what he says differently. SOme people would still believe that you need to follow things strictly, some people would believe you need to follow things literally, some people would think it's more metaphorical. There would be people who look at the numbers and try to calculate the end times, there would be people who try to use the words to push their own agendas. There would be people claiming to be prophets...and there would be other people claiming to be a god, or the sons of god, and trying to run their own countries, too.

    What would help you a lot is to figure out the (rough) history of this god, when they showed up, when they decided to take over the country, what their relationship is with other gods. Was there a big famine that killed a lot of people and made some people not like him anymore? Was there an unsuccessful war? A natural disaster?
    Adiam Gaunt likes this.
  3. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    I actually did all this with my setting. The big question/theme that emerged from this whole saga was whether or not it was possible to be a moral paragon (even if you define what “moral paragon” means) while also being a temporal ruler. The answer ended-up being “no”.
    Adiam Gaunt likes this.
  4. It's definitely an interesting idea. If you want to read some works with this premisse, you could go for The Silmarillion, by Tolkien (though you might want to skip the first few chapters, which are a bit slow unless you're a Tolkien fan). Or if you want something recent, you could go for Breach of Peace, by Daniel Greene (though I haven't read that one, but I heard it was nice).

    I think the main thing you need to decide is where the limits of your god's powers lie. If they are literally everywhere at once and all powerful, then it would be hard to tell a good story (unless it doesn't involve those gods at all of course). So, it would be good to know what they can and can't do, and it would be good if the reader knows this as well. It prevents the reader from feeling cheated if the gods at some point use a power to get out of trouble.
    Adiam Gaunt likes this.
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    I like the idea... they use it in the Belgariad series; another for you to read.

    This is what I was thinking also. Having a good outline of what's possible in the world; with their own abilities could give you a consistency. You'd also have to consider the implications of the church itself. What is the hierarchy? Who gets to speak directly to their god? Why? What could a person do to meet their deity? What sort of people are the followers? What sort of impact do they have in the greater realm? Does the deity's power increase or decrease with the number of followers they have or is it rather static? What sort of beliefs do the gods impart to their followers? How do the various godly factions interact with each other?

    These are just some points to consider.
    Adiam Gaunt likes this.
  6. joeybalboa

    joeybalboa New Member

    that's actually a great idea , keep on working on that
  7. joeybalboa

    joeybalboa New Member

    what I like about it is the way you put one different perspectives in one paragraph that took me to another place

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