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<   No. 39   2003-02-28   >

Comic #39

1 Kyros: So, Alvissa, what gods do the elves worship?
2 Alvissa: Ancient elven philosophy speaks of but one god.
3 Mordekai: Oh, that's ridiculous! Everyone knows there are many gods!
3 Kyros: Yes, indeed!
3 Alvissa: I beg to differ.
4 GM: Either way, there'll be some serious smiting if you don't get on and explore this dungeon!

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2011-12-14 Rerun commentary: "Smite" is a great word. It's even better that its past tense is "smote".

Gods tend to be treated in interesting ways in roleplaying games. The venerable Dungeons & Dragons started the journey with the publication of Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes in 1976 (the precursor to 1980's more widely available and well-known Deities & Demigods rule book). This book described various mythological deities such as the Greek, Norse, and Egyptian pantheons - in terms of the same character statistics used to describe human (and elven, and dwarven, etc) adventurers. The result was that the gods became, to many roleplayers, beings that you could meet, and potentially kill for treasure and experience points.

This was probably not a great idea, although it does reflect certain myths. The Greek gods in particular were fond of interacting directly with humans on a semi-regular basis (especially Zeus, *cough cough*), and in several stories mortals got the better of them through various cunning means.

Which is all well and good if your players are cunning rather than, say, bloodthirsty and greedy. So keep the smiting abilities handy.

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