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In the (A)D&D multiverse, when a deity gains believers, he/she/it also gains power. But how much might is gained as the number of followers increases?

As an example, when Elan's puppet deity has one follower — Elan himself — he can empower his priest to strike his adversary with a (very tiny) lightning stroke, doing probably no more harm than 1 HP, temporarily. Deities with millions of believers can, presumably, lay waste to whole landscapes. Is there an article or a table available where "power per believer" is listed?

AD&D 2.0 answers would be preferred, but all (A)D&D related answers are appreciated, as are also answers from other systems which could be converted.

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A couple of related point from Planescape. 1) Followers of a God loose powers the further around the Great Ring they get from their God. 2) The closer to the center of a spire the more everyone looses power including God until, at the center all are powerless. 3) The Lady of Pain does not allow people to worship her, as she herself states in "Pages of Pain": Gods are not allowed within Sigil, it is my purpose to maintain that, and if people pray to me, then what do I become but a God? – Pyrodante Feb 29 '12 at 17:39
@Pyrodante The losing-power-the-further-around-the-ring thing is explicitly stated to be deliberate on the part of the Powers; They optionally can (and sometimes do) grant specific followers full power even in planes far from the deity's home. – GMJoe Dec 9 '15 at 23:27
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The third edition of Dungeons & Dragons gives rather extensive rules for god creation in its Deities and Demigods. The net effect is that worshipers make the difference between a being with divine rank 0 and divine rank 1; more information about that can be found on the d20 SRD here. AD&D had its own Deities and Demigods book, according to Wikipedia, so that may describe how it works in AD&D. I feel I should also note that the webcomic "Order of the Stick" was originally making fun of 3.5, not AD&D.

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AD&D: "Legends & Lore" - I even have that! – Stephen Oct 10 '11 at 17:33
Because the question as well as the answer of sebsmith refer to the Order of the Stick, I hope it is OK to point to the current OotS pledge drive at kickstarter to get the books reprinted. – Stephen Jan 31 '12 at 18:25

There is an old book called The Primal Order by Peter Adkinson that deals with just this, and very well, I may add. I've used it for this purpose in AD&D, and other games.

Reviews of The Primal Order can be found on and Pyramid, but I'd highly recommend it, and the supplements(Pawns: The Opening Move, Knights: Strategies in Motion, and Chessboards: The Planes of Possibility), to give your deities a substantial framework behind them. Unfortunately, the last supplement was derailed by a little product called Magic: The Gathering.

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> to give your deities a substantial framework behind them - Thanks for the info, but the "deity" in question is a PC now worshipped by a clan of troglodytes. Should possibly have mentioned this. – Stephen Oct 10 '11 at 17:53
@Stephen - I guess I didn't mention that I used this framework for PCs as gods... :) It works quite well, and though it is system independent, the system they use for the archetypical system is AD&D. It uses a system of primal points that exist alongside your current system and gives them powers outside of any system consideration that confer the godlike abilities. It's pretty slick, and I'd recommend a look. – SnakeDr68 Oct 10 '11 at 18:29
OK, I found the TPO, but the 1995 instead of the 1995 edition, and, alas but according to Murphy's Law, the AD&D and D&D conversions had been removed from that edition. These probably are very few pages, but how/where can I get those, please? – Stephen Oct 31 '11 at 13:34
@Stephen I'd forgotten that unfortunately, when the schism happened that eventually took TPO out of Wizards' hands, the conversions were taken out. Other than finding a version that has those conversions in them, I don't know that there's a way to get those separately. – SnakeDr68 Nov 1 '11 at 1:55

Depends on the edition and setting really. Though generally it just makes them overall more powerful compared to other deities with fewer followers (though the amounts required are universally pretty high), like they can have more avatars or grant high potency miracles more frequently and the like. While losing their followers the reverse happens and it becomes possible for other deities to steal their portfolios since they can no longer manage their duties as effectively. Or outright kill them if the difference in power is great enough. Though again, it depends on the rules for your particular setting.

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