... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


When I was writing up variant rules for swords & sorcery, at several points I mentioned godlings. The term has a personal history for me. There are a couple early D&D books that mention godlings, but it's just a term used in passing. However, I kept wanting to write up rules for godlings as a monster type, something not quite a god, more like a trumped-up monstrosity or spoiled brat with extensive powers (like Tremaine from Star Trek.) There was also a river god in one of the Narnia books that seemed like a good example of what a godling might be like. Along those lines, I had an idea for volcano gods, which would be basalt or obsidian giants with faces like the stone heads of Easter Island and various lava powers (a little more sinister than lava children, whom I never quite liked.)

I referred to djinn and efreet as "magic giants" in a previous post, and suggested a couple other monsters that could be grouped with them and use the same base rules: rakshashas, ogre-magi, and even a reference to my cherished volcano gods. I'd always planned to come back to that idea and combine it with the pocket universe spell ideas to build a base "wish-granter" template. Except: what would I call the general class of beings that included djinn, efreet, jotuns, rakshashas, ogre-magi, and volcano gods? Neither "magic giant" nor "wish-granter" seemed like a great name.

Well, duh. They're godlings. We could even postulate that the pocket universe "spell", for them, is actually their enhanced illusions tweaking astral reality, moving the victim into a sub-astral state shared with phantasms conjured from the astral essence. (See? All those posts about ethereal and astral matters and sub-astral states weren't just me heading off on a masturbatory tear; they were leading up to a return to the magic-giant/godling idea.)

So I'm planning on writing up some godling examples. Visitors from astral reality slipping into our world for nefarious purposes, some of which are furthered by the seemingly innocuous act of granting wishes.


  1. Is a "godling" in your thinking similar or different to the "petty gods" that J Mal was collecting a year ago?

    1. As far as I know, James Maliszewski's Petty Gods are supposed to be divine, just in charge of trivial things instead of big stuff like Love, War, and Law.

      A godling, in contrast, is just someone or something powerful enough that someone might treat it as a god, and if it's self-aware, it may actually arrogantly expect such treatment. The djinn, for example, are just 7 HD monsters, although they have some nifty powers. They think of themselves as far above mortals and may even set themselves up for worship. If their priest asks for rain, a djinn could turn into a whirlwind and sweep up water from a distant lake, bringing it to the fields, perhaps making several trips; a djinn can't grant a spell to a priest, however.