- D&D has an implied Christian setting, at least in the earliest versions where clerics pass through the Catholic hierarchy as they gain levels and use crosses, and some devils are largely lifted from Dante and European occultism, and all that.
- D&D also has an implied pagan setting, what with the stat-ing out of deities and mythological monsters, the druids and all that.
Who says these can’t go hand in hand? You could go the obvious “Broken sword” route and have the pagan gods in conflict with the Church, or fearful of the “White Christ”… or you could just say, why can’t Christianity be pagan?
Here’s a possible pantheon: The many Christs.
These images have been on my hard drive a while, so I can’t credit sources, but will take any down if asked by owners. The quotes are all from the Bible (Old & New Testament) except for one from Elvis Presley and one from a movie.
Jeebus of the Gnolls: The Christ of the Gnolls did not die on a cross. He did not preach mercy and cheek-turning. Jeebus of the Gnolls came with a sword, and a flail, and a red rage. His armies of gnolls and other humanoids roam and pillage the land.
Spheres of influence: Gnolls, humanoids, war.
Holy symbol: Flail.
Sample quote: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.”
Grey Jesus: This Christ is said to have descended onto the Earth from a flying chariot which glowed like fire. Grey Jesus brought many teachings in the areas of medicine, higher mathematics, and genetic engineering. His worshipers offer domesticated animals which are left bound in the holy of holies in his temples; the next day the corpses of the animals (minus the entrails, blood, and other matter sacred to Grey Jesus) are disposed of. His priests foretell the future by consulting the marks Grey Jesus leaves in unharvested fields and voices only they can hear. Initiation into the cult involves many secret rituals, said to take place on another plane or within a flying chariot. Initiates rarely speak about these rituals, either because they are secret or because they truly cannot remember them.
Spheres of influence: Science, math, cattle mutilation.
Holy symbol: A small metal device known as a “probe”.
Sample quote: “Klaatu barrada nikto.”
The Christosattva is a God of peace, serenity, and renunciation. His followers renounce all possessions and interest in the world, and build no temples or churches. They are largely unorganized and gain converts mainly on account of the enlightenment that visits individuals who happen have visions of the Christosattva, an angelic being of compassion. Christosattva is popular among the aged, the poor, and sick, as well as hermits and itinerant beggars.
Spheres of influence: Illness, poverty, hunger, renunciation, nihilism.
Holy symbol: A beggar’s bowl.
Sample quote: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
The Red Jesus offers hope of salvation in this world, rather than the next, via the overthrow of established order and the institution of anarcho-syndicalism. Red Jesus’ followers speak their own language or Shibboleth by which they can recognize each other. They meet in secret, plotting the overthrow of all kings and rulers. They hope for a utopian future free of want and poverty, but are often thwarted by their own leaders, who use the blind obedience of their followers for their own ends.
Spheres of influence: Workers, sharing, self-sacrifice, secrecy.
Holy symbol: Hammer & sickle.
Sample quote: “In the world you will have trouble but take courage for I have conquered the world.”
Chit’zen Christian, also known, confusingly, as the Red Christ (cf. Red Jesus), is a Christ popular among an ancient civilization on the periphery of the campaign world. After his crucifixion, his followers performed a bloody series of sacrifices which brought him back from the dead. His followers still perform human sacrifices every year, which maintains his connection to this world and his followers, and ensures adequate rain and a good harvest.
Spheres of influence: Agriculture, blood.
Holy symbol: Human heart.
Sample quote: “Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence. The LORD is good.”
Gurujesus, the bringer of light, is the Christ of the sun and light. His followers wail and lament during solar eclipses, which are spiritual reenactments of his crucifixion. It is held that if his followers do not create enough noise during the eclipse, he will not return.
Spheres of influence: Sun, light, sunlight.
Holy symbol: Lantern.
Sample quote: “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
The Christ known only as the Type V Jesus is widely feared and despised. He is not openly worshiped and those scholars who know his real name dare not speak it aloud, for the Type V Jesus has a 1 in 6 chance of appearing should his unholy name be spoken. Type V Jesus is thought to have a number of cults of secret worshipers who offer him ghastly sacrifices in return for magic powers. Should these cults ever learn his true name, it is feared that they would bring him to lay waste to the earth.
Spheres of influence: Destruction, demons, hidden things.
Holy symbol: Fire.
Sample quote: “I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their cities are now deserted; their streets are in silent ruin. There are no survivors to even tell what happened. I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!”
While Jeebus of the Gnolls revels in berserk slaughter, and the Type V Jesus threatens universal destruction, the Jesusinator is the Christ of war in its disciplined, efficient, and calculating aspect. The Jesusinator is worshiped by soldiers and guards as a relentless and fearless killing machine. The Jesusinator is thought to come from another time, or perhaps some other plane, where technology and machinery dominate. His mission appears to be the destruction of “false Christs,” and his worshipers carry out this tradition in the constant struggle with other Churches. The Church of the Jesusinator is in an uneasy truce with Grey Jesus, Chit’zen Christian, and Gurujesus, and in open war with Jeebus of the Gnolls and Christosattva.
Spheres of influence: War, soldiers, strategy, relentlessness.
Holy symbol: Any weapon.
Sample quote: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
The Raptor Christ is the patron of Lizardmen, dragons, and all serpent folk. The followers of Raptor Christ see death as but a long torpor from which they will awaken on the appointed day when Raptor Christ returns. Keep you hands and heads away from the Raptor Christ.
Spheres of influence: Reptiles, unhinging jaws, predators.
Holy symbol: Crucifix with a talon on each point.
Sample quote: “Happy are those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.”
Evey pantheon has a Lord of the Dead, and Zombie Jesus fill this role in the Many Christs pantheon. Zombie Jesus’ followers worship at tombs and graveyards. The priesthood ensures that all tombs are empty by the third day, raising zombies when they can and consuming the corpses of those too badly damaged to be raised. 1 in 10 priests of Zombie Jesus are actually ghouls.
Spheres of influence: Death, undeath.
Holy symbol: An open, empty casket.
Sample quote: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Gay Jesus: The Gay Christ is worshiped by a some percentage of the population (his adherents claim fully 10%, but other Churches put the number at fewer at than 3%). The Church of Gay Jesus holds a theology exactly like real-world Christianity in all respects, except that the Savior is openly gay.
Spheres of influence: Gayness, Salvation.
Holy symbol: Crucifix.
Sample quote: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus the King is the savior of royalty and nobles, and also of the artists, particularly musicians. Jesus the King also a large following among the ladies, for he is regarded as the most handsome of Jesuses by most theologians. Jesus the King’s worshipers make annual pilgrimages to his birthplace, and often set up private shrines in their homes, usually featuring a velvet painting.
Spheres of influence: Royalty, music, hair pomade.
Holy symbol: Sequins.
Sample quote: ““Do what’s right for you, as long as it don’t hurt no one … The image is one thing and the human being is another…It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”
Hercuchrist is the brawniest, strongest Christ (even stronger than the cyborg Jesusinator). He accidentally destroyed seven crosses on his crucifixion day, just by flexing a little for the ladies. No one was surprised that he rolled away the large stone that closed his tomb. His followers say little else about him, but work out a lot.
Spheres of influence: Strength, brawn, muscle.
Holy symbol: A very heavy crucifix.
Sample quote: “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.”
Buddy Jesus has a small corps of staunch worshipers, but generally speaking Buddy Jesus is the least respected, and least feared, Christ. He is said to appear to the followers of other Christs, and make them uncomfortable. Many theologians worry that Buddy Jesus is a little slow.
Spheres of influence: Tolerance, self-esteem.
Holy symbol: Hugs.
Sample quote: “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
No worshipers’ alignment restrictions are offered. Each of the Many Christs may be aligned with Law or Chaos, Good or Evil, as the DM sees fit. Christosattva is Neutral though.
Obviously, no offense should be taken at this post.