Forum:Should NH introduce differences between the gods of various pantheons?

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


I was recently thinking about how the gods in each pantheon are functionally interchangeable. That is, the only differences between Blind Io and Athena are cosmetic. Should different characteristics be introduced for each god? I'm envisioning a change that'd preserve the current "one god per alignment per pantheon" system while adding unique characteristics. Some gods might offer more or less generous prayer timeouts, appreciate specific sacrifices, grant unique boons, etc. This would be in addition to some of the additional quasi-religious restrictions currently imposed on some roles (e.g. Monks' dietary rules, Knights' code of chivalry, etc.)

We've seen a little bit of this in variants, but those have usually had gods behave identically to vanilla for most roles and dramatically different for one or two, like dNetHack's binders. I'm thinking of something that'd apply to each role, but with more moderate differences. One lawful god might be a stern lawgiver, while another might be more compassionate. One chaotic god might delight in bloodshed, while another could be more of a trickster.

What do you think? Kufat (talk) 16:45, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

  • Seems like an interesting idea. --Kahran042 (talk) 00:43, 5 July 2022 (UTC)
An altar in a bones level keeps its alignment but changes its god to the one in your pantheon, e.g. "an altar to Tyr (lawful)" becomes "an altar to Lugh (lawful)" if a Knight loads it. This makes me conclude that there's actually only one god of each alignment, which is known by different names in different cultures -- there's some precedent for this in the real world. --Darth l33t (talk) 14:42, 5 July 2022 (UTC)
Fyr and Chris did some brainstorming on the subject some years ago. You might find it interesting. --Flag On The Moon (talk) 18:14, 6 August 2022 (UTC)
Thanks! That's a lot like what I had in mind, yeah. Kufat (talk) 00:20, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
My objection to this change, in principle, is that religion is already one of the most esoteric and inscrutable game systems for players who don't read spoilers or source-dive, and adding additional complications for specific gods would only cause further confusion. I'm not saying the existing system should be simplified -- gods should work in mysterious ways, and not just be predictable boon and favor dispensers. But the wrinkles that exist now make sense in the context of your role and alignment: Arcs shouldn't dig up graves, Cavemen are natural cannibals, Monks need to avoid meat, chaotics can get away with murder but their angry gods are hard to mollify. Adding arbitrary changes to specific gods that the player can't possible guess or intuit (or only with a comparative religion degree) doesn't really improve the game. --Darth l33t (talk) 16:51, 8 August 2022 (UTC)