I know in the first edition many gods were completely statted and presented in Legends & Lore, but the books I've found on gods in the second edition only have their avatars statted. This is kind of a problem since I'm trying to make my own gods and I need to stat them.

What are the rules for statting gods in AD&D second edition, and what book are they in?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there something in particular that is driving the need you're feeling to stat them? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2017 at 3:35

3 Answers 3


In general, the best advice on statting up gods is "Don't." The primary lesson learned from the publication of Deities & Demigods (later re-released in 1985 as Legends & Lore) for 1eAD&D was that, if you give Odin a HP total, then many players will try to kill him, and some will succeed. Unless you're specifically intending to make it possible to defeat your gods in combat, you should not give them combat stats.

If you really do want gods to take part in combat with mortals, The Primal Order is an older (pre-3e D&D) supplement which provides a system for statting gods without making it possible for even the highest-level PCs to easily defeat them. TPO is not an official D&D product (for any edition), but it was clearly written with the assumption of a D&D-based system and setting, so it would be quite appropriate for use with your 2eAD&D game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 21, 2017 at 2:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZwiQ - The answer as originally written directly states that "TPO is not an official D&D product (for any edition)", but I'm open to suggestions for how to reword to make that more clear (or edits if you have enough rep here for that). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 29, 2017 at 7:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ What bothered me were the mention of 2013 + WotC together. At the time of TPO publication, WotC had no special relation to D&D. Consider replacing WotC with some random publisher "..., but it was published by ZwiQpress...". That "but" phrase seems to imply ZwiQpress should have some authority, something that distinguishes it from any other company. There was no such connection at the time of TPOs publication. WotC not continuing TPO's line of products after its acquisition of TSR also undermines any possibility of a real connection. Would you be ok, if I edit & you revert if you don't like? \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Sep 29, 2017 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ZwiQ - I've edited to remove the mention of WOTC in connection with TPO and replaced the year with just saying that it pre-dated 3e D&D. How's that look to you? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2017 at 11:06

A good text is the 2e Forgotten Realms sourcebook Faiths and Avatars (F&A) that provides generic information about deities. For each power level, the following information is provided:

  • Shapeshifting: for example, greater powers are known to assume forms of planetary sizes.
  • Magic resistance: against spells of mortals, and other powers
  • Saving throws: whether they automatically succeed, etc.
  • Planar travel: teleport, travel between planes, etc.
  • Sensing ability: how "omniscient" they are.
  • Creation: how "omnipotent" they are, and how long they need to rest after creating various things.
  • Life and death: whom they can kill and to whom they can bestow life with a thought.
  • Multitasks: how many separate things they can do at a time.
  • Avatars: how many avatars they can employ simultaneously.
  • Immunities: need for magic weapons to harm them, immunity to save or die spells, etc.

Beyond these generic data, the book refrains from statting deities individually, while a lot of data are provided for the avatars. It mentions that the avatars embody "a small portion of the god's power", and "an almost infinitely vast gulf of power lies between the god and the avatar". Note that 2e avatars are already very powerful (some more powerful than the 1e powers themselves), so trying to stat deities is not going to be very meaningful.

Note: All the information from F&A that is listed above is also present in the 2e version of Legends and Lore (L&L 2e), published in 1990. Assuming that one of the goals of looking for the gaming statistics for deities is to make them targets of player characters, you might be interested in knowing that the L&L 2e explicitly mentions that:

... gods ... cannot be killed by anything save another god of greater stature, or by a god of any stature using an artifact. This means that no mortal may ever kill any god.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 'No mortal may ever kill a god...' Except that isn't remotely true. Several of the D&D gods are mortals who apotheosed explicitly because they had killed a god. \$\endgroup\$
    – lly
    Jul 22, 2018 at 10:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lly: Most of these deicides are under special circumstances. For example, during the Time of Troubles, Ao casts the powers to become only mortal avatars. Even in that case, say the death of Bhaal happens because Cyric, the mortal, can kill Bhaal because he has a special sword, Godsbane, which is the sword form adopted by Mask, another deity. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lly: Besides the tag of the question is AD&D 2e, so the examples mentioned in your quoted question are not in disagreement with this answer, as they predate 2e. For example in the earlier AD&D 1e Deities and Demigods, there were stats provided for deities, but in 2e, those stats were mainly cast as the stats of avatars of the deities, not the deities themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:39

The Priest's Handbook from 2nd Ed. has a considerable amount of information on working up deities.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you expand a bit on your answer? Which part of the Priest's Handbook? Can you elaborate more on the process that the book contains? Maybe an excerpt of the book would be useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Jun 11, 2018 at 3:39

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