Time started to spin.
Space began to expand.
From itself again, three living things
the Original One did make.
The two beings wished, and from them,
matter came to be.
The three living things wished, and
from them, spirit came to be.
The world created, the Original One
took to unyielding sleep...In Speculative Fiction, especially Fantasy, one way of distinguishing your fantasy world from another is to populate it with made-up gods. Real-world theology aside, unless the story involves An Aesop about religion being the opiate of the masses or the tool of corrupt priests, it is popular (but not necessary) for the gods in a fictional world to really exist In-Universe. This can serve many uses for the author:
—The Original Story, Pokémon
- It can provide a base for a world's Functional Magic, particularly clerics, monks and paladins.
- It promotes conflict, especially if you have good vs. evil gods or just Jerkass Gods.
- It may be that God's Hands Are Tied and they need the hero to carry out their mission.
- It provides unique euphemisms for characters to swear Oh My Gods! by.
- What better way to mess with the character's lives?
- It gives you a convenient Hand Wave device that's one step above A Wizard Did It.
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Anime And Manga
- Fushigi Yuugi has its pantheon of The Four Gods as the reason behind the whole story. To clarify: The Four Gods were actual deities. But they were very minor deities: guardians of a portion of the sky, and associated with seasons (and maybe a few concepts like love, war, fertility, etc.). They did not have an entire religion devoted to just them like they do in Fushigi Yuugi.
- Slayers has Gods vs Mazoku (demons). And the Lord of Nightmares though she usually likes sitting around not interfering in anything.
- Berserk has the Godhand and the Idea of Evil, as well as the Four Elemental Kings.
- This is the driving force in the short-lived Unico series of movies - Unico is forced to move from place to place because the Gods want him banished from existence. Why? Because he can make people happy, and they feel they should be the only ones with that power.
- Dragon Ball revealed Earth's "God" is one of many sufficiently advanced aliens and in fact has partial amnesia and lacks full access to that technology. He's still godlike by human standards, having a room that lets one visit the past, a chamber that accelerates time, a spaceship capable of faster than light travel and was himself stronger than a man who reduced the moon to a cloud of ashes without technological aid but "Kami" was getting old and also used up some of his power splitting himself in two. Above "planetary gods", are King Yemma who judges the dead and kai, who use mass interstellar telepathy to watch over creation. The Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods movie centered around the awakening of a destruction god who destroys planets to recycle material for the creation of new ones and is capable of ending galaxies. The creation of new worlds, which the kai will watch, fall into the realm of the "Kaioshin", introduced right before the god of destruction and don't get along with him. The two Kaioshin revealed also had fusion devices that allowed them to gain the abilities of super empowering and instantaneous movement from other beings that existed in their realms. The destruction god also has prophetic visions, which he shares with a "retainer" who is able to put him to sleep with a tap and turn time back when things go wrong.
- In the Marvel Comics universe both the Greek/Roman and Norse gods are real. There is also the Celestials, who are original creations. Technically Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, but so advanced that the difference is pretty much semantic.
- Not just the Greek and Norse pantheons, they're just the most prominent.
- The Marvel Universe also features a larger "pantheon" of cosmic entities greater than any gods, who control reality: At the top is The One Above All (actually Jack Kirby), next comes the three-faced Living Tribunal, and then several Anthropomorphic Personifications (usually in trios, such as Eternity (who represents life) Death (Exactly What It Says on the Tin) and Galactus the Planet Eater, who serves as a balance between them. Note that this pantheon was put together in hindsight, so its structure is not always clear.
- The DCU and Vertigo sub-universe (don't ask, its complicated) have pretty much everything. Christian God? Check, and at least three superheroes are actual angels. Egyptian Pantheon? Meet their champion, Black Adam. Greek Gods? Meet the Amazons, who exist by the grace of said deities. There are also original divinities such as the New Gods and their nemesis, Darkseid, as well as the Endless who are above mere gods in terms of universal relevance.
- The Green Lantern books have established an "emotional spectrum", where the white light of creation split into seven colors/emotions, each with its own Anthropomorphic Personification Energy Being: the Butcher for red rage, Ophidian for orange avarice, Parallax for yellow fear, Ion for green willpower, Adara for blue hope, Proselyte for indigo compassion, and the Predator for violet love; plus Nekron for black death and "The Entity" for white life.
- ElfQuest has Gotara early on. (Much) later other humans in another land swear by Threksh't. (Later shortened to 'Threk'.)
- Touched on, and peculiar, in the world of C'hou in With Strings Attached. The fake religion of Ketafa is loaded with gods, but the pantheon has no name, and very few of the gods' details are given in the story. The real religion, if that's the right word for it, of Baravada consists of the Dalns pantheon, a few of whom are named but only one seen in the flesh (or ectoplasm or whatever). These gods are more like employers, and nobody actually worships them (they don't even know what “worship” means). George speculates that they're just a bunch of people who set themselves up as gods. They were apparently once Jerkass Gods, as noted by Shag and Varx, though they show none of that now. Also, the Dalns gods competed with a pantheon called the Pyar gods for rule of the world some 500 years ago; bits and pieces of this struggle are mentioned throughout the book.
- In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, C'hou has switched to the rule of the Pyar gods, a triumvirate of a father and his two adult children. They are very benevolent and were trying to turn the world into a paradise for both the native skahs warriors and the emigrant G'heddi'onian civilians, but accidentally let a great evil in and became terribly enfeebled as they battled it. They're now trapped in the substance of the crumbling White Tower and will die in a year if the great evil in the Black Tower isn't defeated.
- The Pony POV Series has a very in-depth pantheon made up of alicorns and draconequi. Each one is represented by a tarot motif.
- In The Headhunt Dul'krah, a Pe'khdar, is shown praying to two gods. Vo'tak is a night god "who watches what must be set aside", while Chul'teth is a sun goddess "whose fire illuminates all mysteries."
- In Ripples, the first Changelings of Meridian are revealed to have been Roman criminals and enemies of Augustus who were traded as Super Soldier test subjects. Their descendants continue worshiping Greek and Roman deities, though due to millennia of cultural drift, there are changes in rituals, legends and the deities' names and gender. For example, Artos of the Hunt is their equivalent to Artemis.
- In Dragon Queen, people worship the sun and swear by its rays.
- While Gods Need Prayer Badly produces swarms of small gods and Odd Job Gods, the most prominent deities like Blind Io and Offler the Crocodile God form a recognizable pantheon. Small Gods provides a rare monotheistic example in the Great God Om, but believing Om is the only god doesn't actually make it so, and Om has to deal with the pantheon somehow. There's also a Bast, a cat headed god, but the only difference with the Egyptian cat goddess appears to be the gender.
- Dwarfs all claim they aren't religious. It doesn't take long for an outside observe to see that they have a class of dwarfs (grags) who decree what is and isn't dwarfish, try to have as little contact with the non-dwarven world as possible, and study and interpret the texts left by their ancestors (differences in interpretation leading to more than one underground war). In further books it becomes ever more blatant as the grags become a parallel to extremist fundamentalists of the Islamic variety (murdering those who disagree with them, declaring war on non-dwarfs who sympathize with their victims, destroying their own texts that they don't agree with, etc.).
- Many Urban Fantasy works combine a Fantasy Pantheon with All Myths Are True, drawing on mythological gods of all stripes. Neil Gaiman's American Gods is probably the most obvious example; Anansi Boys, also by Gaiman and in the same continuity, does this too.
- Young Wizards does this too with The Powers that Be: "The One" is the nearest equivalent of the Biblical God, the Lone Power is more or less Satan. Other gods through history are either aspects of The One or his servants (Michael (as in the archangel) being one of the forms of The One's Champion, Brigit (of Irish myth) turning up as a forge goddess...)
- The Tortall Universe's pantheon is ruled by Father Universe and Mother Flame from whence came both gods and Uusoae, Queen of Chaos, the two being in frequent conflict. Of the gods theres Mithros the Sun God, the Great Goddess who embodies law and order with her servant, Faithful the cat. Then there's Kyprioth the Trickster, The Black God (death), the Graveyard Hag, Gainel the Dream King, a lesser healer-goddess called the Green Lady, the Horse Lords... the list goes on. (And on, and on, and on...) Furthermore, every plant and animal has its own god.
- In Circle of Magic, the Traders and the Living Circle worship different pantheons, and there is no evidence as to whether either pantheon does or doesn't exist.
- The Belgariad has seven gods, all brothers, above them their father UL, and over all else the disembodied Purpose of the universe.
- In The Elenium, David Eddings almost goes overboard with gods—there are literally hundreds of deities in the setting, though most aren't particularly powerful, divided into a number of pantheons (Styric Younger gods, Tamul gods, troll-gods) as well as a handful of deities who head up monotheistic religions and aren't affiliated with a pantheon (such as the Elene God).
- The Deed of Paksenarrion has gods on both the good and evil side of the spectrum. Leading the good side is the High Lord who is known most places; the domains of other gods vary by location and probably a persons career. You also have saints such as Gird, Falk and Tir whose deeds in life ended up with them having almost godlike status. On the evil side you have such gods as Liart the god of torment and Archaya the Webspinner.
- The Lords of Law and Chaos in Michael Moorcock's writings, particularly the Elric of Melnibone stories.
- The Cthulhu Mythos in some of its characterizations. Lovecraft himself was less than consistent on this point, treating his Eldritch Abominations sometimes as powerful aliens, sometimes as true divinities or at least something equivalent. The point of the mythos being to be impossible for the human mind to comprehend, such confusion is no surprising.
- The Rankan and Ilsig pantheons of the Thieves' World stories. They're later joined by the Beysib, because Sanctuary obviously needed more divine squabbling and turf-wars...
- The gods of the Hyborian mythos in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories. Interesting in that some gods have very different domains and followers depending on where you are, such as Bel the Zamoran god of thieves was respectable and honest in another country.
- Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion novels feature a pantheon of gods: The Father, the Mother, the Son, the Daughter, and the Bastard.
- Dragaera has a pantheon which sits in the Halls of Judgment and manipulates things from behind the scenes. One of them at least, Verra, has something of a Crystal Dragon Jesus religion which is mainly popular with the humans of this setting.
- The rabbits of Watership Down have their pantheon: Frith the creator and sun god, the Black Rabit of Inle as the god of death, and El-ahrairah, the heroic "prince of rabbits."
- Similarly, the deer in David Clement-Davies's Fire Bringer have their god Herne and folk-hero Starbuck.
- Kushiel's Legacy has, in addition to All Myths Are True, Elua the god of love, and his Companions, former angels of the One God, each of which is in charge of their own domain, exactly like a traditional pantheon.
- The Nightrunner series and The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling has the Four Gods, as well as the Mother, the goddess of the hill witches, and the dark god of the necromancers.
- Played with in Tales of MU. Rather than form a unified pantheon, most of the gods deny each others' divinity, and all teach contradictory theology/mythology. One character (a demon, so technically an enemy of the gods... or something) even asserts that the gods are just anyone who is powerful enough to smite anyone who claims otherwise.
- In Kevin J. Anderson's Terra Incognita series, the supreme god, Ondun, has three sons, Jorun, who stayed to rule the literal Heaven on Earth, Terravitae, and his other two sons Aiden and Urec who he sent out to explore the world and whose later quarrel formed the basis for the two religions in conflict in the story.
- In Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker, the Returned have a pantheon in T'Telir, including their ruler, The God King. Played with, because the Returned were human once.
- All of Sanderson's books in The Cosmere, despite their very different settings, exist on different planets in the same dwarf galaxy, with the Shards of Adonalasium driving each unique magic system. Named Shards include Ruin and Preservation (Mistborn), Endowment (Warbreaker), and Honor, Cultivation, and Odium (The Stormlight Archive). At least two Shards have been present on the world of Elantris as well, confirmed by Sanderson to have been Devotion and Dominion, but they're dead now, and their power has been dispersed. Word of God is that there were sixteen Shards total. As of the end of MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy, Ruin and Preservation have been effectively combined into one entity, Harmony.
- The The War Gods series by David Weber has both good and evil pantheons.
- The Silmarillion and other works by J. R. R. Tolkien are, like the Narnia series, a reconciliation of Christianity and paganism. Essentially the Valar, powerful beings who do the work of Eru Ilúvatar (God) in the world are viewed as pagan gods by some and as Christian-like angels by others. In The History of Middle-earth a pagan Anglo-Saxon understands their relationship as "Ilúvatar is not of the Gods; he made them."
- Essentially, Middle-earth has three "levels" of divinity. At the top is Eru Iluvatar, the monotheistic creator (Big-G God). Next are the Valar, powerful angelic personifications of forces and principles (little-g gods or archangels). At the bottom are the Maiar, who belong to the same race (Ainur) as the Valar but are less powerful and generally work for them (demigods or ordinary angels). In general, only Eru is worshipped, and that lightly and indirectly; hymns to the Valar (particularly Varda) show up in the text, but are more like tribute than actual worship. However, Sauron (a corrupted Maia) usually mandates worship of himself as God in territories under his control.
- Tolkien alludes to a prophecy that states that Eru would one day incarnate himself in order to redeem the world.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are several faiths coexisting more or less peacefully. It is not known if these gods really exist, but many of the magical feats performed in the series are attributed to them. The main ones are:
- The Seven. The main faith of Westeros, it is one God with seven aspects, but often prayed to as seven different gods by the mass, and referred to as "The Gods" in idioms and curses. Those aspects are The Mother, The Father, The Smith, The Maid, The Crone, The Warrior, and The Stranger. Also referred to as the "New Gods".
- The Old Gods. While their original worshippers, the "Children of the Forest", have been extinct for centuries, the Faith is still very strong in the North of Westeros, but forgotten everywhere else.
- R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Red God. Locked continuously in a battle for the fate of the World with the Great Other (god of ice and death). His followers are zealots waiting for the return of the messianic figure known as Azor Ahai.
- The Drowned God, a Cthulhu-like figure worshipped by the Viking-like Iron Men of Westeros.
- The world of Gillengaria in the Twelve Houses series features a mythological pantheon of goddesses. One character hypothesizes that it is from them that mystics originally inherited their magical powers. Most of the realm’s population accepts the goddesses’ past existence as more or less fact, but as they have not apparently been directly active for a long time, worship of the pantheon is almost uniformly lapsed (with the exception of a Cult that is a front for the villains’ coup d'état conspiracy).
- The Deverry series has dwarves, elves, humans, Horsekin, and Gel da'Thae, each with their own gods. Then there's the Seelie and Unseelie hosts who sometimes play at been gods. Except for one. And then the dweomer masters know who's really running things.
- Tanya Huff's Wizard of the Grove duology has The Mother and Chaos and their child Death. The other, lesser gods were born from the dreams and hopes of mankind but were killed by their children the Wizards. The male gods are never named but the seven goddesses are.
- Rachel Hartman's Seraphina has various saints collectively known as Allsaints, who reside in Heaven. They are patrons of particular skills, jobs or traits, and generally infants are granted a saint to be their patron, similar to Christian saints. Allsaints are worshipped in churches and prominent saints have cathedrals. Because there is no higher power as in God for Christianity, Allsaints are pretty much on equal footing.
- There are nineteen deities in The Rogue King. The All Mother and the Devil are the highest, whilst the majority are divided into two hierarchies:
- The Serpent Gods. Eight in total. Only a few are named: Lorric, the God of Lust; Meka, the God of Miracles; Dek is another. Not much is known beyond them being related to each other and Lorric being the most powerful amongst them.
- The Stars. The daughters of destiny and grandchildren to the All Mother. Six in total, but only Evalka is named.
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen takes the idea and runs with it. There are gods and goddesses everywhere and for everything and whatever gets worshipped in a given place depends on the people living there. While the biggest suspects have temples in the most major cities, even individual desert tribes can have their own, real and kicking, deities. There are various kinds of deities in the malazanverse:
- The Elder Gods are rumored to be elemental forces that used to be worshipped in times gone by. Their areas of competence are kept nebulous with some exceptions like Mael (Elder God of the Seas) or Mother Dark (Elder Goddess of Darkness, duh) and their worship is said to have involved various amounts of blood sacrifice.
- Gods in the more traditional fantasy genre sense that are worshipped at the time most of the series takes place in vary from general deities like Burn (the Sleeping Goddess of the Earth), Oponn (the Twin Gods of Chance), several (yes, several) gods of war to patrons of specific occupations like Cotillion (Patron God of Assassins). Gods, in the malazanverse, are bound to the limits that worship sets upon them.
- Ascendants are beings that have in some way transcended the natural boundaries of their race and make for excellent god material. Many of the younger Gods used to be Ascendants.
- In Michelle West's "Essaliyen Empire" meta-series (The Sacred Hunt, The Sun Sword, and The House War), the gods are usually remote from the world but play an important role in the backstory and Myth Arc. They used to physically incarnate in the world, but millennia ago decided to leave and now reside in the heavens, occasionally popping back into the mortal world to have god-born children.
- The main gods acknowledged in the Empire are Cormaris (god of justice), Reymaris (god of wisdom), the Mother (self-explanatory), Teos (god of knowledge), Bredan (god of oaths), Laursana (Love Goddess), Kalliaris (goddess of luck and fortune) the nameless god (an enigmatic trickster figure), Mandaros (god of fate and judge of the dead) and Allasakar (Lord of the Hells, usually referred to by title only). The neighboring kingdom of Breodan worships the Hunter God, who is eventually revealed to be another form of Bredan.
- The Dominion of Annagar, the Empire's neighbor to the South, has a different pantheon with some overlap. They have three main gods -the Lord (solar god), the Lady (lunar goddess) and the Lord of Night (God of Evil). The Lord of Night is explicitly the same as the northern Allasakar, and the Lady roughly corresponds to the Mother (though the Lady is harsher and more ruthless, considering her worshippers). The Lord doesn't seem to have a Northern counterpart.
- Kallandras, a significant supporting character, was trained as an assassin by followers of the Dark Lady, a goddess of death. How she fits into the broader pantheons isn't really discussed.
- Below the gods are the Firstborn, children of two gods (rather than a god and a mortal) but born within the mortal world. They're not transcendent like the gods and exist as physical beings, but within their spheres can rival the gods for power. Notable Firstborn include the Winter Queen, the Warden of Dreams, and Allasakar and Laursana's daughter Calliastra.
- Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm series has the Holy Triarchy, which is actually three minor gods and a major one, all based on the four elements. The primordial aspect of Flame is on top, with the ruler of the realm doubling as Its avatar. Oaks, Sea and Wind are, however, the namesake of the faith, even though seeking to give them avatars of their own is regarded as heresy. All four have priests and hierarchies of their own, though the Flame's is by far the most powerful.
- In Alien in a Small Town, we know that the alien Jan have many differing religions, and it's implied most are polytheistic. Named deities include Survival, a war god named Glory, and the Supreme Matriarch.
- Zarathan, the setting of The Balanced Sword, has hundreds of gods, large and small; most people only follow one god or group of gods, though it's generally accepted that they all exist. Kyri follows Myrionar, God of Justice and Vengeance; Tobimar follows Terian, the Light in the Darkness; Poplock follows Blackwart the Great. One way gods show their power is by providing theurgical Functional Magic to their priests; Healing Hands and Living Lie Detector abilities are common.
- In The Dinosaur Lords, the people of Paradise worship the eight Creators, each of whom traditionally has their own domain. Some people worship all eight, while others chose one Creator and stick with him or her.
- Religion in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga goes a step further than the usual small number of gods into full-on polytheistic paganism. The top three gods are the ambi-gendered creator deity Charrot and his/her consorts Torven (male) and Esthrane (female), but below them are hundreds upon hundreds of minor location deities and household gods. One of the few of these minor gods that is named is the capricious ocean god Yadin. There are atheists in the world, but the vampire ghost the Wraith Lord verifies that the gods are very real: he became a ghost due to Esthrane taking pity on him when he traded his life to save King Hougen hundreds of years earlier and cheated The Grim Reaper of her due.
- The Witchlands:
- The two seafaring nations of the continet share the same pantheon. Noden is the Top God, who, while usually associated with the sea and portrayed sitting on a coral throne beneath the waves, rules over all of existence. He has a bunch of subordinate deities, including the Hagfishes, who act as Psychopomps, Fury, who's a horridly scarred god of justice and vengeance, and Lady Baile, whose purpose differs depending on who's talking. Nubrevnans consider Lady Baile to be a benevolent intermediary between humans and Noden, whereas Saldonica has Gladiator Games dedicated to her.
- The Nomatsi worship a protective deity called the Moon Mother.
- Dreamblood Duology: Several deities of Kisuati origin are mentioned, but Hananja has risen to be the sole deity worshipped in the city-state of Gujaareh. According to scripture, she bestowed the magic of narcomancy on its citizens and in return Hananja's Law is the highest law within its walls. Since she is the goddess of dreams and peace, the Gujaareens worship her by offering her their dreams, which are gathered by her priests and used for narcomacy, and peace is to be maintained at all cost.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has so many gods that you can't even count them. There are seemingly all mythological gods, the Powers That Be, The Old Ones, Hellgods and an unnamed goddess mentioned a few times by Willow (probably the Goddess of Wicca). The only one who seems to not exist is the one Joss tends to refer to as the "Sky Bully". Which is a little odd, when you consider that the symbol of the Sky Bully is apparently the only one that has the power to repel and/or inflict serious burns on vampires.
- Power Rangers doesn't feature gods too much, but Power Rangers Wild Force had Animus as the supreme nature spirit (at least to the Animarian civilization, and implying that the Power Animals were lesser deities), Power Rangers Mystic Force showed a High Council governing magic, and Power Rangers Operation Overdrive gave Thor and Loki a brief appearance.
- Super Sentai has done this a few times as well. In Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, the Humongous Mecha Daizyujin is in fact an avatar of the Zyuranger's patron god, while Mahou Sentai Magiranger features both the Heavenly Saints of Magitopia and the Infershia Pantheon which serves under the Absolute God N Ma.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003) at first glance seems to have a Greek pantheon, but as the series goes on it becomes more apparent that it's similar, but not quite the same as the real life Greek pantheon.
- The pantheons of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, including the various campaign settings.
- Notable exception to the standard: in Eberron, the gods are a mystery. There are angels and others who claim to serve the gods directly, but Word of God claims they aren't sure either. Divine magic is powered by faith rather than the gods themselves. (A running joke is the Church of My Left Sock.) There are divine entities at the heart of several religions (such as the evangelical religion of the Silver Flame), as well as other entities who claim to be divine, but there are also several self-motivated religions (such as the dark-themed Blood of Vol) as well as the Path of Inspiration.
- Ravenloft, too, is a setting where the legitimacy of deities is unclear. While some of the setting's religions exist in other D&D settings, it's uncertain if their followers' prayers ever reach their nominal patron deities, and some churches have taken up practices that their alleged "patrons" would never endorse. Likewise, one of the setting's major faiths (god included) was born of a madman's delusions, and a couple of minor ones started out as intentional frauds. All of these sects' clergy possess divine magic, but none can actually commune with their respective deities, real or otherwise.
- Dark Sun was another exception. It's implied that in the distant past, the people of Athas worshiped various gods, but at present, they've all been forgotten. In their place, the powerful—but mortal—Sorcerer-Kings are worshiped as gods in the city-states, while most non-city dwellers are nature worshipers. In the 4E reboot, the gods are stated to have been killed or driven off in the conflict with the primordials.
- Forgotten Realms is more polytheistic than most implementations. Even though most characters select a particular patron deity (and divine spellcasters are required to since the gods are the only source of magic in the Realms), they'll still typically pray to others for help in corresponding endeavors: for example, nearly every combatant on the continent offers a prayer to the War God Tempus before battle regardless of other considerations. (Expanded Universe authors vary in whether they pay attention to it, but this is how it's presented in the rulebooks.)
- In practice, Forgotten Realms has an enforced henotheistic rule by the gods; You may only have one patron god, but you are allowed to acknowledge the other gods in the world. Paladins of Heronymous for example, are not hindered to pay respect to Umberlee, if they wish to travel the oceans. But the point remains that once you pick a god, you stick by them.
- In Warhammer the Elves and the Empire both have pantheons composed of various gods. These gods tend to be anthropomorphic personifications of various concepts (Isha is the Elven goddess of life, Ulric is the Empire's god of winter, battle and wolves, Khaine is the Elven war god, etc.), although the Empire also has Sigmar who isn't really a personification of anything but a human who ascended to godhood (or a Physical God, or possibly a Folk Hero whose legend has gotten out of hand, depending on who you ask). Then there's the four great Gods of Chaos (and several lesser ones) created from the psyche of mortals and embodying rage, lust, despair, and hope (yes, the god of hope is evil. The Warhammer world is not a very nice place), though Khorne is in many ways an evil Odin. The Orcs also have two gods (Gork, the god of cunning brutality and Mork, the god of brutal cunning. Or possibly the other way around. Wars have been started by Orcs arguing which is which), but that hardly counts as a pantheon (a couple of other gods, such as Bork and Khalekk have been mentioned in the older background, but they probably aren't canon anymore).
- The ancestor gods of the Dwarfs are another pantheon and so is the old pantheon of ancient Nehekhara. Ind is mentioned and referred to as the land of a thousand gods so one would expect them to have quite the pantheon. Bretonnia is said to have the commoners and the occasional noble worship some Empire gods along with the Lady of the Lake, but that might not count.
- Interestingly, the ogres seem to be the only truly monotheistic race.
- The Skaven only have a single god as well: the Horned Rat. Although the jury's still out on whether he's simply a minor Chaos god or not... Some Skaven worship the other Chaos gods, but this is considered blasphemous and anyone caught doing so is destined for an excruciatingly painful death.
- Warhammer 40,000 started out as Warhammer IN SPACE!, so there's some overlap.
- The Chaos gods are still present, but massively Flanderized from their counterparts and some of their champions belong to Earth history (it's implied that Doombreed, the oldest of Khorne's daemon princes, was once known as Genghis Khan). The backstory is different as well: where Nurgle, Khorne and Tzeentch were created by the collective human emotions of love, rage, and hope at various time in human history, Slannesh was created from centuries of nonstop Eldar depravity (the psychic Eldar being much more sensitive to emotions).
- The main addition is the presence of the C'tan, though they're closer to Cosmic Horrors, who used to feed on stars before eating living things. The four known to still exist are the Void Dragon (trapped on Mars by the Emperor and likely worshipped by the Mechanicus), the Nightbringer (the original Grim Reaper, who implanted his image into the minds of every species so they'd fear death. Except orks.), the Deceiver (who turned the C'tan against each other For the Evulz), and the Outsider (whatever the Outsider is, it's trapped in a Dyson Sphere, and a Tyranid hive fleet made a huge detour rather than get close to it).
- The Eldar are actively trying to summon a new god of death into existence (Ynnead), so it'll take out the C'tan. Criticisms of this plan include that it might kill off the entire Eldar species or the fact that the last time the Eldar tried to create a god, they got Slaanesh.
- The pantheons of the world of Glorantha in Chaosium's RuneQuest. These are quite complex and play a very important role in the game, much more so than in most other RPGs.
- The deities of Tekumel in Professor M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne
- The Passions in FASA's Earthdawn
- The Invisible Clergy in Atlas Games' Unknown Armies
- The "Gawds" of Garweeze World in Hackmaster, as described in Gawds and Demi-Gawds
- Exalted possibly built the biggest pantheon in fictional history. Granted, some of them are just described, but even so, there are gods for individual rice grains. Even if one ignores the Terrestrial Gods (who represent and protect individual things) and sticks to the Celestial Gods (who represent and protect universal conceptions), there are still enough of them to inhabit a city the size of a continent.
- Troper Looney Toons' long-standing multi-system campaign world Narth has a pantheon of nearly 60 active gods, as well as a good number of quasigods and metagods.
- The GURPS Banestorm fantasy setting actually averts this, believe it or not. The elven/dwarven religions don't have gods at all, and since the humans of the setting were initially yanked from Crusades-era Earth, the major human religions are Christianity and Islam.
- Although Scion is largely based on actual myth, they also offer Atlantean deities as a lost pantheon.
- The Palladium Fantasy RPG has a number of Gods and Pantheons, such as Algor, the Pantheon of Rurga, the Northern Gods, and such. Strangely enough however, the most prominent pantheon in the world is the Church of Light And Dark: the Gods that once ruled Ancient Egypt back on Earth.
- Magic: The Gathering has fantasy pantheons on several of its worlds. Theros has a pantheon of gods much like the Greek pantheon. Kamigawa has the Myojin, one for each color. And Zendikar has a pantheon of three gods that turn out to be based on the three Eldrazi titans.
- Nobilis has two ranks of gods: the Imperators, who each embody a particular set of concepts fundamental to the universe, and the Nobilis, those whom the Imperators have granted dominion over their concepts, turning them into Anthropomorphic Personifications. There are elements of Christian mythology in the mix, such as Lucifer and Adam and Eve, but C'neph the Creator is a mystery, and Heaven and Hell don't have primacy over the other divine factions.
- In Ironclaw Lutarists believe in a pantheon centered around the fertility goddess Lutara and an indeterminate number of lesser deities such as Brukes the Bloody-Tusked (war), Daga (farming), Lyrisica (music, poetry), and Femort (death, winter and sadness). However Lutarism is a minority faith in Calebria and mostly confined to House Doloreaux's lands, the other three major houses all follow the monotheistic Church of S'Allumer and the tribes outside the kingdom follow animistic druids.
- In Transformers, Primus and Unicron are generally considered the supreme Cybertronian gods. Below them are the thirteen original Transformers that Primus created. Being a relatively recent addition, there's not much known about the thirteen, with two exceptions: Vector Prime, guardian of time (seen in Transformers Cybertron); and the guardian of entropy known only as "The Fallen" (the Big Bad from Revenge of the Fallen).
- This was a huge aspect of LEGO's BIONICLE line, originally. The "Legend of the Great Spirit" has been beaten into our heads over and over again, and many characters and prophecies referenced "The Heavens", "Spirit Brothers", and all kinds of borderline-religious mumbo-jumbo. Turns out not only was most of it a lie that the elders made up so that they wouldn't have to tell the islanders their terrible forgotten history, the whole Legend was based on a total misunderstanding. Everyone (save for some fans) seems to have gotten over it with ease, and they still continue to respect their former "god". But this time, for the things he has done, rather than because of what the legends said.
- Lunar has the Goddess Althena with the four dragons and the Dragonmaster as her protectors. Lucia from Eternal Blue arguably counts as a demigod.
- Treasure of the Rudra has the Majestic Four. Mitra, Meifa, Hausen, and Saizou
- The Legend of Zelda has the three creator goddesses (Din, Goddess of Power; Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom; and Farore, Goddess of Courage), plus a rather large supporting pantheon, which changes from game to game. Of particular note is the Goddess Hylia, because the various Princess Zeldas are her mortal incarnations.
- The Elder Scrolls has many. While names and details vary wildly in the religions of the races of Tamriel, there are some consistent elements:
- Anu and Padomay. They are the primordial forces of Order and Chaos respectively. Creation myths paint Padomay as Anu's brother, and the interplay between them created Nir, a personification of the Aurbis. Padomay was embittered by the love between Anu and Nir, and sought to destroy their love child, Creation. He killed Nir and sundered Creation, but Anu salvaged the remnants, then saved them from further harm by pulling his brother and himself outside of Time forever.
- Lorkhan, also know as Shezarr, Shor, Lorkhaj, and quite a few others, is the closest thing to a "creator god." Depending on the culture, he tricked/convinced the "original spirits" (et'Ada) of the creation era to help him create the mortal world, known as Mundus. This cost those et'Ada a large portion of their divinity, binding them forever to the world they helped create. For this perceived treachery, these et'Ada "killed" Lorkhan, tore his "divine center" (heart) out of his body, and cast it down into the world he created (where it landed in modern Morrowind, forming Red Mountain.) His spirit too is forced to wander Mundus, occasionally taking form as a Shezarrine, great champions of mankind who usually show up during times of crisis, most often fighting against the races of Elves in some form.
- The Aedra, also known as the Divines, are those et'Ada who helped Lorkhan to create Mundus. Originally eight in number, they were joined by a ninth, Talos, the ascended divine form of Tiber Septim. Because of their sacrifice during creation, they can be destroyed. They are seen as unambiguously "good" by most of the mortal races. There are also lesser Aedric spirits of all sorts, most notably the Dragons.
- The Daedra are the original spirits who did not participate in the creation of Mundus, leaving them truly immortal. (Their physical forms can be destroyed, but their spirits will always return to Oblivion where they can be reformed.) Chief among them are the 17 Daedric "Princes," who govern over "Spheres." They rule over their own planes of Oblivion and occasionally interact with mortals, usually to accomplish goals within the mortal plane where they can only manifest as avatars, though sometimes simply for their amusement as well. Depending on the culture, most are viewed as "evil" with a few typically "good" ones also in the mix. However, most in-universe scholars are quick to point out that the Daedra are really Above Good and Evil, operating under their own divine Blue and Orange Morality.
- Additionally, there are numerous other minor gods and powerful spirits worshiped as gods in the various cultures of Tamriel. For 4000 years, the Dunmer worshiped the Tribunal, a trio of Physical Gods who tapped into the aforementioned Heart of Lorkhan to achieve divinity. The Redguard believe in Hoon Ding, the "Make Way" god who manifests as a great Redguard hero whenever their people are in need of a place to live. Cyrus the Restless, hero of the game Redguard, is believed to be one such manifestation. The Argonians worship the Hist, ancient sentient trees who grow and shape the Argonians by letting the Argonians drink their sap. Magnus and the Magna-Ge are spirits who escaped Mundus to Aetherius during creation in order to avoid being bound like the et'Ada, puncturing holes in reality as they did so. (Those holes are now the sun and stars, through which magic flows in to Mundus.) The list goes on.
- Romancing SaGa has 10 Deities.
- The Touhou universe has several of these, such as Shinki from Mystic Square and Kanako and Suwako from Mountain of Faith. Also a case of Gods Need Prayer Badly.
- Incursion's pantheon subverts many of the traditional aspects of the tabletop game pantheon. The Eldritch Abomination (Kysul) is Lawful Good, the god of Justice (Semirath) is a zany Karmic Trickster rather than a stern judge, the gods of Art (Maeve), Animals (Zurvash), Chivalry (Erich), and Fertility (Xel) are all evil while the god of Purity (Immotian) isn't far from it, the Good gods include a whip-wielding seductress (Essiah), the goddess of The Undead (Mara), and the guy with the Illuminati trappings (Xavias), and so on.
- The most prominent gods in RuneScape are Saradomin (good/order), Zamorak (evil/chaos), and Guthix (balance/nature). Various other gods and demi-gods also appear.
- Played with in Warcraft. While the Titans fulfill the role of a fantasy pantheon in the series, even having their own Satan analog with Sargeras, Blizzard stresses over and over that they are not gods, and despite their name neither are the Old Gods. So far there has only been one entity in lore that is officially a deity, the Night Elf goddess Elune.
- Guild Wars has a group of 5 (later 6) gods. Shrines to the gods are found throughout explorable areas, and can grant different sorts of bonuses if a particular region of the world has "favor". In the setting, some people focus mostly on particular gods, though all gods are generally acknowledged. In the sequel, only human worship these gods with any conviction. The other playable races either worship their own deities, or have a different conception of the world.
- The Fall from Heaven mod for Civilization 4 has 21 different gods, each associated with a particular type of magic, as well as a way of behaving and a facet of the world.
- Legendary Pokémon have always been powerful, but thanks to Sequel Escalation newer ones can be positively godlike. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire had Groudon and Kyogre, who formed the land and the seas; and Rayquaza, a sky Pokemon that kept them in balance. The games after that, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, included Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, Pokemon that controlled time, space, and antimatter, and Arceus who created the world. Pokémon Black and White continues with Zekrom and Reshiram, the embodiments of Yin and Yang.
- The Ogre Battle series has their own Gods like six for their elements (Zoshonel the Fire Goddess, Berthe the Earth Goddess, Grueza the Water Goddess, Harnella the Wind Goddess, Filarhh the Light God, and Asmodee the Dark God), with a few other originals like Fellena, Goddess of Justice, Dagda, God of Life and Death & Holp, God of Wisdom, among others mentioned in the Zeteginean Myth. However, there is some Crossover Cosmology as there are mentions of Thor and Loki (Surtr, too, but not in the heavenly pantheon) and the Four Gods of the Winds (Boreas, Zephyros, Notos and Euros) from Classical Mythology among them. There are also those ones who reside in the Underworld, as well. Diablo, both the God of Destruction & King of the Ogres and Danika, the Persephone-like daughter of Berthe are some of them.
- Kid Icarus has at least one god made up for the game (Palutena). The monster Medusa is a goddess in this game, and references to Zeus were made. This makes it a mix between a Fantasy Pantheon and Greek/Roman gods. Palutena may be based off of Pallas Athena. In any case, Uprising introduces the goddess of Nature (Viridi) and the god of the Sun (Pyrrhon). Neither of whom resemble much of anything in Greek myth. However, Zeus's brothers, Poseidon and Hades, are also in the pantheon.
- The Disciples series has several deities, who are usually patron gods of certain races. They are often borrowed from real-life religions or other fantasy worlds. The human Empire worships Highfather in a Christian manner, making the origin obvious. The Mountain Clans worship Wotan, which is another name for Odin. The Elves worship Gallean and, formerly, Soloniele, who are responsible for the creation of the Elves and the Merfolk. Interestingly, Highfather is not the creator of humanity. That would be his favorite angel Bethrezen, who is also the creator of the fantasy world of Nevendaar. Thanks to the jealousy of the other angels, when Bethrezen showed it to Highfather, it was engulfed in war. Angered, Highfather locked Bethrezen at the molten core of his creation, leading him to go mad and become The Devil, who later created a race of demons meant to free him and destroy the mortal races. A misunderstanding lead to Wotan killing Gallean and causing Soloniele to become Mortis, the goddess of death. She slaughtered a magical people and raised them as her undead servants.
- The Dragon Age 'verse has three. A decent majority of humans worship the Maker, who is pretty close to the Judeo-Christian God; to a lesser extent, they also worship his once mortal bride, Andraste. The ancient Tevinter Imperium had a slew of dragon-gods, who were banished from the surface and sleep beneath the earth; when darkspawn uncover them, the Blight transforms them into Archdemons and unleashes hell above ground. Elves, meanwhile, have gods and goddesses of many different functions. As of Dragon Age: Inquisition, the player has actually met two of the members of the elven pantheon.
- Fable is pretty straightforward. Avo is the god of good, Skorm is the god of evil. Neither one actually exists.
- Dungeon Crawl has a diverse pantheon by Roguelike standards - 18 gods, each imposing their own restrictions on the player and offering different rewards. There are good gods dedicated to law, healing and crusading against the evil, dark gods that focus on death and necromancy, a god of plants, a god of slime, a god of war, a god of anti-mage berserkers, a god of time and several different chaos gods - one of them behaving almost unpredictably.
- Pillars of Eternity's pantheon consists of eleven deities. Berath is the god of cycles, including life and death. Eothas is the god of light and redemption. Magran is the goddess of war and fire. Abydon is the god of crafting and forging (and before getting killed and rebuilding himself as a golem, also of preservation). Galawain is the god of the hunt. Hylea is the goddess of the birds and the sky. Ondra is the goddess of the water and the moon. Rymrgand is the god of death, famine, plague and misfortune. Skaen is the god of secret hatred, resentment and violent hatred. Wael is the god of secrets, dreams, mysteries and revelations and Woedica is the goddess of law, memory, rightful rulership and vengeance.
- Atlantean religion in Atlantis The Lost Tales revolved around the gods Ammu and Sa'at.
- In the iOS game Ravenmark Mercenaries, the people of the Faiths who join with the Kaysani and the Islanders to form the Varishah Federation worship a pantheon of eight gods. As mentioned in the in-game Codex, these gods are Deverra (the crone and wisdom), Matre (the mother and fertility), Eos (the young girl and innocence), Prisma (resilience), Serci (purity and beauty), Tersa (luck and chaos), Ayas (the gardener), and Nox (night). Interestingly, the Faithmen don't worship the gods equally. Each aspect (possibly, a clan) belongs to one of the eight temples. The Kaysan worship the sun god Kayes, so it was fairly easy to integrate them with the Faithmen by including them in the Ayas temple, since "Ayas" is likely derived from "Kayes" and shares the same position in the pantheon. Many other peoples of the world Eclisse have the same mythology, which is rooted in the world's heavenly bodies, but don't necessarily worship them as gods. The Kaysan are known for their "sunsoul" magic, allowing them to use deadly fire on the battlefield and even create eclipses on a whim. The Tellion people, for example, primarily revere Corvii, the sun god's prized pet raven, and instead use wind magic as a counter to sunsoul magic.
- As the Dark Parables continue to be told, the games reveal an ever-increasing pantheon of goddesses; thus far, all the deities have been female. Some, like Flora (the goddess of nature's balance) and Thalassa (the sea goddess), have names. Others are only identified by their function, including the Sun Goddess, the Maiden Goddess, and the Moon Goddess. The Moon Goddess is the one who has appeared the most often to this point, and according to the tenth game, seems to have adopted the player character as a disciple without telling her.
- Cantr II: All religions are created by the players of the game. Some of them worship the creator of the game. One of the most notorious ones, is a simple copy paste of the Donii religion, which cheerfully ignores the fact that everyone spawns at 20, sex doesn't create children, there are no volcanoes, nor caves. But hey, since when did that stop someone waving their fetish fuel around? Caveman rumpy ahoy!
- The Sword of Damocles mod for Mount & Blade has a (sadly somewhat rudimentary) religion system which affects which fiefdoms are friendly (or unfriendly) towards you, the contentment of the people in your kingdom, and the development of some of your late-game units andd some unique buildings. The Temple of The One is centred on a Crystal Dragon Jesus figure and the official cult of the Empire of Antara, a proud aristocratic nation resembling the late Western Roman Empire. The Zerrikanian Sultanate, which borrows cues from the Ottoman Empire, is dedicated to a truly bizarre religion which worships... something referred to as only "The Void" - The Void supposedly grants powers to the its followers, basically making it an Expy of Chaos. In the Duchy of Villian, an idyllic kingdom based on medieval Scotland, The Old Gods still hold sway. And in the Republic of Marina, a nation which combines renaissance Venice with ancient Greece, gods and religion have been thrown aside entirely in favour of a scientific agnosticism called Natural Philosophy.
- Sacrifice has a pantheon of five gods, who in the backstory were responsible for the creation of the game setting's world. Each god (roughly) possesses a fifth of the world each and is, in practice, the ultimate sovereign of its own nation and that nation's sole worshipped god. Some people do switch patron gods, but in essence become exiles from their homelands in the process — a B-plot in the game's campaign involves the gnomes, a race aligned with Persephone, having a civil war and half their number skipping ship to join up with Pyro (and in the process helping Pyro invade and abduct an entire generation of Trolls to become his minions). Eldred, the Player Character, is a Wild Card as he doesn't come from the world and is free to make alliances with the gods at his leisure.
- In the same vein as the D&D example, The Order of the Stick's pantheon is the Greek gods, the Chinese Zodiac animals, the Norse gods, and the Mesopotamian gods (but the Greek gods got killed by the Snarl before the world began). There are also completely fictional deities in the setting, such as the Elven gods and the Dark One, evil god of the goblins. And Banjo the Clown, God of Puppets, created by Elan early on in the strip. Banjo was rejected by the followers of the Northern Gods when he tried to join their pantheon (Odin and Thor were on-board though; they like puppets) but has already started spawning his own pantheon which includes the heretical cult of Banjulhu and Banjo's rival and brother Giggles, the god of slapstick. With conflicts between different sects settled by the traditional pie-eating contest.
- The main characters of The Gods of Arr-Kelaan were ordinary humans and aliens from the near future before they somehow ended up in the fantasy world of Arr-Kelaan and became gods. Their pantheon is detailed here.
- In The Challenges of Zona the Erogenians follow the Goddesses of the Moon and Earth. The Sun is also a deity but not much followed except for the Sun tribe. The Urrts follow Shuach, God of Evil and Fire who used to be followed by the Erogenians and the Kivallians follow Thrasu, a Crystal Dragon Jesus who may or may not actually exist.
- The world of Erfworld was apparently created by the Titans of Arc, who are worshiped its inhabitants and who look like giant Elvis impersonators.
- Unsounded has Father Riv and Mother Yertanote , the creation deities. There's also Brother Baelar, who's some sort of god of magic, and Sister Terna, a supposedly sympathetic Satan-like character. (But note that the person narrating here is highly unreliable since she's telling the story to sell a doll).
- Vanadys: Tales of a Fallen Goddess has, in addition to the titular fallen goddess, a pantheon of gods who didn't fall.
- We have one now.
- Monster Girl Encyclopedia mention few deities in some of Cute Monster Girl entries. So far, we have God who seems to based on Judeo-Christian-Islamic one, Poseidon who governs the ocean. And the Fallen God who resides in Pandemonium. The profile of the Cyclops suggest that there are more, with Cyclopes themselves being gods until other deities cursed them to become monsters.
- In The Movolreilen Saga, each of the nations has one of its own, though so far only Nilenira's has been fleshed out.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, various gods live in the High Plane and are basically divided into factions supporting Chaos, Order or Neutrality. Each god and goddess is a jerkass to a lesser or greater degree. The gods shown so far are Artemicia (Goddess of Healing), Cardia (God of Order), Dionysus (God of Wine and Madness), Gaea (Goddess of the Earth), Ganesha (God of Merchants), Heath (Goddess of the Sky), Hephaestus (God of Smithing), Hivena (Goddess of Love and Fertility), Laverna (Goddess of Thieves), Mardük (God of Chaos), Nergal (God of War), Shakkan (God of Beasts), Paedün (God of Knowledge), Phil (God of Arseholes and Bastards) and Tiamat (Goddess of the Sea), and Thoth (former God of Music and Storytelling, and present God of Death).
- In The Graystone Saga, the world was created by the Seamother and the Skyfather, whose five children divided the land among themselves. The protagonist is said to be a servant of those five, and wears their holy symbols on her belt buckle.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Avatar Spirit, and its various incarnations, including the main character. In addition, there are various other spirits, such as Tui and La, the Moon and Ocean spirits worshiped by the Water Tribes; as well as local guardian deities, such as Hei-Bai, a forest guardian, and the Painted Lady, a river spirit.