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When people worship a god or many gods, they are often hoping for something in return for their prayers. Sometimes it's a good harvest, success in battle, prosperity in business. The general hope is that if one prays hard enough, a god or goddess is listening to repay their prayers with blessings and gifts. This trope is what happens when the god(s) listen and return the favor.

A patron god is a deity from a Fantasy Pantheon who rewards piety and devotion with blessings and favors. These favors can be as small and innocuous as asking for fertile soil or good fortune, but they can also be far more overt, granting people supernatural items or powers. Oftentimes, continued worship is necessary to maintain these blessings, which leads to the institutionalization and spread of a religion.

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This can also work in reverse, as a god may select someone as their champion and bless them to achieve something. The person may then devote themselves to their patron to continue to receive the god's favor.

A God of Good is prone to being a patron god to would-be heroes, while monsters, demons, and villains can be expected to worship a God of Evil. If Gods Need Prayer Badly, a patron god may have their follower(s) become The Missionary. A patron god for a specific species or ethnicity is an Ethnic God. Very common in fantasy settings with a Henotheistic Society.

See also Religion is Magic, where people draw supernatural power from religious devotion; Physical Religion, where the entity being worshiped is present and observable within the setting; and Emissary from the Divine, a character acting directly on their god's behalf. When the relationship goes sour, God Is Displeased.

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Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange derives many of his spells and magical powers from the Vishanti, a trio of extradimensional deities of unfathomable power. It's through their patronage that he's able to obtain relics like the Eye of Agamotto, which grants him telepathy, the ability to see through illusions, and playback recent events for investigative purposes. In addition, he invokes their name in his spells, such as the Hand of Hoggoth or Oshtur's Lance.
  • Marvel Comics' Juggernaut gains his powers as the avatar of the extradimensional entity Cytorrak. His strength level is dependent on Cytorrak's whims, and he makes Marko perform feats of destruction and carnage in order to maintain his powers.
  • Shazam! gains his powers from six patron gods as their champion with the help of the Wizard. Through their blessings, he gains the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the endurance of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
  • In Wonder Woman's pre-New 52 backstory, she was molded from clay by her mother Hippolyta and given life by the Olympian goddesses to be as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Hermes". Wonder Woman often invokes the gods in her various catchphrases, like "Merciful Minerva" and is shown to respect and appreciate their blessings, while also confronting them for abuses of their power.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The Amazons of Paradise Island were from many places and time periods but most worshiped Greek goddesses and Aphrodite above all. Artemis also had a large following who worshiped her above the rest of the pantheon among the Amazons.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Diana takes Athena as her patron, and fights for her as Athena's champion in Athena's plot to overthrow Zeus.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Each Amazon chooses a patron from the Olympians in their youth, and those who consent to becoming that Olympian's champion becomes immortal and are given powers, but do not fully retain their independence or autonomy.
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed: The Amazons' patrons are the five mother goddesses: Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, and Hestia.
    • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons: This comic pushes the logic even further. While still created by the gathering of the goddesses of Olympus, this iteration of the Amazon race is divided into different clans, each answering to only one of the goddesses: you have as a result six tribes serving and following the teaches of either Demeter, Hestia, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis or Hecate.

    Gamebooks 
  • In Cretan Chronicles, the player assumes the role of Altheus, brother of Theseus, who can select one of six different deities in his quest to uncover the truth behind his brother's death. The choice of deities can affect the difficulty level and outcome of gameplays - for instance, choosing Poseidon can make the second book's journey across the Aegean Seas easier, selecting Ares can increase Altheus's power level during combat situations, while having Aphrodite will have the goddess periodically showing up in Altheus' visions in order to provide him suitable advice on his actions.
  • Lone Wolf has Kai as his god. Kai was the founder of the Kai Lords order that Lone Wolf belongs to. The god's help can be invoked if you have the Telegnosis grand master ability at sufficient rank.
  • The four-book adventure series Sorcery! has the players being guided by their Patron Goddess, Libra, who will help them once (and only once!) per book. Either by restoring the player's life stats to maximum level, erasing all curses and diseases the players might have the misfortune of picking up, or creating miracles to get the players out of tricky situations (again, just once per book!).
  • In the gamebook series Swordquest, the 3rd book Quest for the Demon's Gate has you as Alynn - a cleric of Cearn the protector. Your patron goddess is actually with you throughout the story as a disembodied voice that provides you with hints.
  • In Way of the Tiger, your character Avenger is a follower of Kwon the Redeemer. Kwon sometimes helps you out such as rewarding you with restored health and a new skill at the end of the first book. He may also punish you if you do something against his teachings like abandoning friends.

    Literature 
  • David Eddings uses this trope in all his works. Each of his protagonists has a god that they are devoted to, such as Sparhawk being a knight to the Elene God.
  • Dark Shores: The Six gods of the West have their chosen individuals, whom they grant powers aligned with their domain. For instance, the ones Marked by Hegeria get Healing Hands, the ones Marked by Tremon get great strength and Improbable Aiming Skills and the ones Marked by Yara get Green Thumb.
  • In The Faraway Paladin, the gods may grant blessings to reward the faithful and select champions to achieve their will through. For instance, Will is blessed by Gracefeel, the goddess of flux and reincarnation. Through her blessings, he is able to perform benedictions to heal and protect others as well as send the undead to the afterlife.
  • In Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Kimi's patron goddess is Uzume, the Japanese goddess of celebrations, parties, and eroticism. Everything Kimi does, from her makeup, to the way she walks, and the way she dresses acts as an offering to Uzume. In exchange, Uzume fulfills Kimi's wish that, "The only ones who can touch me are those I wish to wither away for", turning Kimi into a untouchable Stone Wall protected by a seemingly endless series of barriers, particularly while she's singing and dancing to increase the value of her offerings.
  • In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, adventurers are each taken in by a single god to obtain their falna, giving them the superhuman physical abilities needed to tackle monsters. As a result, they become part of the gods' familia as one of their children, and are generally required to do as their gods ask of them. However, most adventurers will pay respect to other gods, especially those of great renown such as Loki or Freya, but they will generally only serve their own unless their interests align.
  • The Night Warriors series from Graham Masterton has all the heroes having the benevolent god Ashapola as the one to give them their powers so they can protect humanity.
  • The Raven Tower: On one end of the scale, minor deities attach themselves to individual people, offering minor miracles in exchange for occasional prayer. On the other, the Raven has a Magically-Binding Contract with the entire country of Iraden, detailing the services — from a situationally immortal ruler to water purification, some of them outsourced to lesser gods -guaranteed in exchange for formal, nationwide worship and sacrifice.
  • The Reluctant King:
    • Jorian becomes patronized by little Tvasha, a weak god who has few worshipers but does reward them as he's able.
    • Tarxia is ruled by the clergy of Zevetas, who consider him its patron. Given their devotion, they mandate that he is the greatest god in the pantheon, although he's considered minor elsewhere, and all different beliefs there are outlawed. Foreign visitors who follow other beliefs only briefly can stay in Tarxia.
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    Mythology & Religion 
  • Greek Mythology: A newly-founded city in Attica was to be dedicated to a god, but Athena and Poseidon argued over which should be in charge. It was decided the god who could offer the citizens the most useful gift would receive the city. Poseidon created a saltwater fountain, Athena gave an olive tree and was declared the winner. The city was then dedicated to the goddess by the name of Athens.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Across Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, the Gods of Chaos provide blessings in return for fealty and acts performed in their name, though these blessings often involve Body Horror mutations and mounting insanity. Most worshippers of Chaos are devoted to a single god, as the Ruinous Powers are jealous rivals towards one another; however, the settings' respective Big Bads uniquely boast the favor of all four gods simultaneously.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology: In a play on the traditional Tech Tree, in the game, you have to choose only a few of the deities from your civilization's pantheon: a main patron god among the three most powerful ones, and then one at each new Age out of two minor gods (selected depending on who is the main god). The main choices are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades for the Greeks; Ra, Isis and Set for the Egyptians; Odin, Thor, and Loki for the Norse - with later additions of Kronos, Ouranos, and Gaia for the Atlanteans; and Fu Xi, Nu Wa, Shennong for the Chinese.
  • City-Building Series:
    • Used as a game mechanic in Pharaoh: Up to five gods can be worshiped at any time (Osiris, Ra, Ptah, Bast, and Seth), but only one is the patron god, who requires more temples and shrines than the other "local" deities to be appeased. In the campaign, Ra is usually the main god (reflecting the shift in real-life Ancient Egyptian politics), desert missions usually involve warfare and so give Seth priority, Osiris is usually worshiped on Nile levels, etc. The patron god can also have a Temple Complex built in their honor, which provides several benefits to associated industries (although some missions let you build a complex to local gods, but only one can be present on a map):
      • Osiris gives better floods, increases the regeneration rate of timber and reeds, and makes food last longer.
      • Ra increases the city's rating, lets his priests reduce crime rates, and lowers the kingdom's average salary (allowing your city to pay lower wages without causing unrest).
      • Ptah speeds up production of raw materials and finished goods and lets educational buildings use less papyrus.
      • Bast makes entertainers more effective, lets her priestesses cure plagues, and improves the city's health and mood.
      • Seth improves your troops, lets his priests intercept criminals, and lets embalmers use less linen to make mummies.
    • Zeus: Master of Olympus: As in the original myths, cities are often declared dedicated to a single god, which causes no small amount of resentment in other gods, who usually attack/send monsters to your city. As the angry god is often higher on the divine totem pole than the patron god, it's often only in the last few levels of a campaign that you can finally do more than simply endure their attacks and use your own allied Top God to send them packing. Each god protects a different industry (Poseidon blesses fisheries, Athena blesses olive growers, Artemis blesses hunters, etc.) and the city can build up to 4 temples to these gods to obtain different blessings from them.
    • Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom: Divine worship follows a similar system to Pharaoh's, but only three entities are actually gods (the others are ascended mortals like Guan Yu, Sun Tzu and Confucius), and only those three get pissed off if they don't receive regular sacrifices. They also bless their own specific industries.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The playable characters are Godwoken, chosen and empowered by one of the Seven Gods to become the new Divine. You can play them as a devout follower or Rage Against the Heavens. Most characters have their Ethnic God as a patron, but one Precursor knew his goddess pre-apotheosis, and one woman is the unwilling champion of an archdemon.
  • In every main series The Elder Scrolls game since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind there have been shrines or temples you can pray at that grant a unique blessing of the god or Daedric Prince they are dedicated to. The Daedra and some gods also grant their followers powers, and many of the Infinity -1 Swords of the games are given to you by Daedric Princes.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Medea and Caster of Okeanos derive their magecraft from the teachings and worship of Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic. It's through her favor that they gained their incredible magical prowess, ranging from assailing their opponents with rays of light akin to a bombing raid, transforming people into pigs, and even freezing space in place.
    • Paris is accompanied by Apollo, Greek god of archery, who grants Paris his prowess as an archer. Most notably, their Noble Phantasm is Paris reenacting his feat of striking Achilles' heel with Apollo's guidance.
    • Superhuman Orion is Orion at his full strength with the blessings of Artemis to make him the greatest archer in all of human history. This results in his roided-out stats and his Pressure of the Moon Goddess EX and Bowman of Three Stars A+ skills. Notably, he didn't actually worship her, but their relationship leads to Artemis showering her blessings upon him, as shown by his Noble Phantasm, which raises those blessings to the limit to make him a One-Man Army.
    • Tawara Touta derives the strength of his Noble Phantasm from the protection of a dragon god that lives in a lake as well as the blessings of Hachiman, the god of war and culture, whom he invokes while using it.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The Warrior of Light is given the Blessing of Light by Hydaelyn, the Mothercrystal and the will of the star itself, to battle the Ascian and primal threats that ravage Eorzea in the wake of the Seventh Umbral Calamity.
    • The tempered thralls of primals may be granted powerful boons in exchange for their zealous service. For instance, the thaumaturges of the Amalj'aa Flamefangs that serve Ifrit have their internal aether shifted toward fire, increasing the potency of their fire spells.
  • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, the countries of Zofia and Rigel worship Mila and Duma respectively as their patron gods. Under Mila's protection, Zofia remained fertile and abundant with resources. But this abundance meant that the people of Zofia grew slothful and hedonistic. Meanwhile, Rigel's philosophy that Misery Builds Character leaves Rigel cold and inhospitable, but this hardship also gives Rigel a powerful military and sense of order at the expense of their compassion.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit is completely and utterly devoted to his goddess Palutena. As thanks for saving her 25 years prior to the events of the game, she made him the captain of her guard, on top of giving him all sorts of powers for him to help her defeat the monsters of the Underworld and the Forces of Nature trying to destroy humanity.
  • In Majesty, the player can assign any of the available deities to be the patron(s) of an area by building temples to them. However, several of the gods are mutually exclusive, so they can't all be patrons of the same region.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, Epyk worships an unnamed god fervently, with the god's teachings allowing them to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable desert. The Divine Queen of Epyk, Margareta, can only exercise her full powers within her palace, but in it, she's nearly untouchable as she can have any intruders torn to pieces by magic snakes. Said god is later revealed to be Klariskrays, Alma's Split Personality and her photonic power made manifest. When all of Omega rises up against Elmir, Klariskrays decides to allow Margareta to use her powers outside of the palace while also temporarily reviving two of the fallen members of the Council of Six to help turn the tide before taking the battlefield herself.

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