Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara
Design Part 2 – The Five Spheres of Power
(and the Gods of the Setting)
- The Power of Five: What is the Five Spheres of Power.
- What are the Spheres: A description of the Spheres of Power.
- How does this effect my character: talking about how the spheres affect a character.
- Pantheon vs Specific Immortal: A player character can choose to follow a specific immortal, but most characters follow a pantheon.
- Personalities of the Gods: How the gods work in the setting.
- Content Updates
The Immortals of Mystara are the demi-gods, god and elder gods of the setting, unlike other versions of Dungeons and Dragons, they were all mortal and gained Immortality and are worshipped as gods. They derive power from worship and provide power to their followers. This article is my take on how they affect the world of Mystara and builds on my other design articles.
This articles covers the following topics:
The Power of Five
There are Five Spheres of Power, and there there are five levels of advancement after becoming a god, and many more instances of the use of five in the setting itself. So the number five has a lot of significance associated with it in the storyline and the setting. For this reason five will be used as the special number (or magic number, lucky number) for the determination of planning throughout the design process.
This should be more prevalent in the published material to help tie in some of the concepts as different from the main product line and becomes a core assumption to the changes I am making to my own version of the setting.
What are the Spheres
There are five spheres of power, they are not good, nor evil. How the power is used marks the alignment. If any one sphere becomes dominant over the others then the world falls out of balance and major events come into play to correct that imbalance. This is the premise of the campaign, and is corrected is needed
- Sphere of Energy – The principle of Energy is associated with activity and chaos, as well as the magical schools of Abjuration, Evocation (Fire/Radiant), Conjuration (Fire/Celestials/Constructs) and the element of fire.
- Energy dominates Matter by making it unstable, opposes Thought’s categorisation, and is subject to Time’s organisation. Fire burns earth and is in turn quenched by water.
- Energy type of fire and radiant, colour of red, desires activity and chaos.
- If you worship an energy Immortal, you gain the protected by energy class feature.
- Sphere of Matter – The principle of Matter is associated with stasis and stability, as well as the magical schools of Evocation (Acid/Poison), Conjuration (Earth/Creatures of the Land), Transmutation and the element of earth.
- Matter dominates Thought by forcing it to be logical, opposes Time’s attempts to change things, and is subject to Energy’s introduction of chaos. Earth chokes air and is in turn burned by fire.
- Energy type of acid and poison, colour of green, desires stasis and stability.
- If you worship a matter Immortal, you gain the protected by matter class feature.
- Sphere of Thought – The principle of Thought is associated with perception and categorisation of things, as well as the magical schools of Evocation (Lightning/Thunder), Conjuration (Air/Creatures of Flights), Enchantment, Illusion and the element of air.
- Thought dominates Time by enforcing free will, opposes Energy’s chaos, and is subject to Matter’s restriction. Wind dries water and is in turn blocked by earth.
- Energy types of thunder and electricity, colour of white, desires perception and categorisation.
- If you worship a thought Immortal, you gain the protected by thought class feature.
- Sphere of Time – The principle of Time is associated with steady change, as well as the magical schools of Evocation (Cold/Force), Conjuration (Water/Creatures of the Water), Divination and the element of water.
- Time dominates Energy’s chaos by organising its change, opposes Matter’s stability, and is subject to Thought’s imposition of free will. Water quenches fire and is in turn dried by wind.
- Energy type of cold and force, colour of blue, desires steady change.
- If you worship a time immortal, you gain the protected by time class feature.
- Sphere of Entropy – The principle of Entropy is associated with death and destruction, as well as the magic schools of Evocation (Necrotic/Psychic), Conjuration (Fiends/Undead), Necromancy and the element of darkness.
- Entropy is in opposition to all the other principles. Entropy seeks to Destroy Matter, dissipate Energy, stagnate Time, and Stifle Thought.
- Energy type of necrotic and psychic, colour of black, desires death and destruction.
- If you worship an entropy immortal, you gain the protected by entropy class feature.
How does this affect my character?
- Clerics and Paladins – I have grouped my gods into pantheons which represent nature, races, know world, rest of the world and lastly ancient cultures. A cleric and paladin belong to one of these pantheons, and can select either the whole pantheon to follow, gaining certain bonuses related to that pantheon or a specific god and gaining bonuses based on the sphere the god belongs to.
- Druids and Rangers – My druids and rangers can gain the same options as the cleric and paladins, though expect more of a nature pantheon following.
- Bards and Warlocks – I have a new section called patrons. The immortals mostly support bard and warlocks through the the ideal which i have tied to the history skill to invoke their power. They have a specific link to that immortal and don’t follow a pantheon, unless their patron is part of that pantheon.
- Sorcerers and Wizards – To put it simply, it does not affect these classes at heart. If there is something in the class that takes on a Divine, Planar or other worldly power source then that is when they start touching on the Immortals. The way it affects them is they choose a pantheon they belong to and immortals that they are happy to honour as part of the storyline.
For example: a pantheon grants a protected by the pantheon class feature.
Other Characters All characters have a belief system and follow a pantheon or specific immortal. Characters who choose to not follow any immortals (which is a play option) are tormented each night by nightmares, and cannot be brought back from the dead, and have disadvantage against all rolls made against fiends and celestial’s.
Those who do not believe in following the immortals are not protected by them against those that want to control the world.
Pantheon vs Specific Immortal
If you follow a pantheon you are required to serve all the Immortals of that pantheon equally. They can all task you to do something related to the pantheon you have chosen to honour.
If you follow a specific Immortal inside a pantheon, you have a choice when supporting the rest of the pantheon as long as their request does not go against the ideals of your chosen immortal.
If you follow a specific Immortal outside of a pantheon, you only hear requests from that immortal.
Each Immortal will have a portfolio that they support or oppose, even within the same pantheon. The name of the Immortal is specific to a pantheon, and defines the pantheon limitations that it operates under.
They also posses at least one Artefact that they are known by, with more to come as the campaign progresses and the Immortals are cleaned up further.
Personalities of the Gods
The more powerful an Immortal is, the less they understand mortality, and the less they can directly affect it.
They strive against each other, and the other spheres to advance their own power. They can consider the movement of a pebble in the same level of importance as the survival of a nation or a race. One striving to make a change, and another striving to stop the change.
The reward for success is usually advancement, or holding onto their position. This has been detailed in the Immortal Olympics as one form of their challenges for advancement.
Exactly how they work and what their politics entail is still unknown to the characters in the storyline until they reach Tier 4 through play.
- 2021-07-31 – Updates and linking.
- 2020-10-25 – Cleaned up the sphere section.
- 2020-06-13 – Moved gods names, patrons and artefacts to the gods page.
- 2020-04-18 – More content relating to names, patrons and artefacts.
- 2020-04-08 – Structure and cleanup.
- 2019-11-16 – Added statistics on the Immortals (Gods) of Mystara
Setting Design: Part 1 – Five Elements, Part 2 – Five Spheres, Part 3 – Pantheons, Part 4 – Divine Features, Part 5 – Reference Material, Part 6 – Races, Part 7 – Secret Crafts, Part 8 – Weapons Mastery, Part 9 – Setting, Part 10 – Timeline, Part 11 – Magical Item, Part 12 – Classes, Part 13 – Downtime, Part 14 – Immortality, Part 15 – Elemental Aspects, Part 16 – Immortal Patrons, Part 17 – New Directions
Kingdom Building: Part 1 – Mapping
The Gods: The Immortals Overview,
Energy/Fire (31): Alphatia (16), Bartziluth (24), Bemarris (3), Benekander (1), Branden 11), Coberham (18), Fire Elemaster (33), Guidarezzo (15), Heimdall (30), Iliric (8), Ilsundal (34), Ixion (36), Madarua (26), Mazikeen (27), Mahmatti (14), Matin (19), Mealiden (23), Minroth (13), Ninsun (35), Patura (10), Pflarr (25), Rad (22), Rafiel (21), Raith (12), Rathanos (28), Razud (31), Saturnius (20), The Shaper (7), The Shining One (29), Zirchev (17), Zugzul (32)
Entropy/Darkness (35): Alphaks (20), Aracne Prime (6), Arik (18), Atzanteotl (31), Bachraeus (19), Bagni (24), Brissard (10), Danel (14), Demogorgon (29), Harrow (11), Hel (36), Hircismus (12), Idris (15), Jammudaru (5), Kallala (22), Kiranjo (7), Kythria (2), Loki (30), Loup (9), Macroblan (27), Marwdyn (4), Masauwu (28), Nyx (33), Orcus (26), Ouranos (34), Pharamond (32), Qywattz (21), Ranivorus (16), Ruaidhri (3), Saasskas (23), Slizzark (17), Stodos (6), Talitha (25), Thanatos (35), Yagrai (13)
Matter/Earth (34): Atruaghin (32), Buglore (9), Chiron (6), Diamond (21), Djaea (34), Earth Elemaster (33), Faunus (11), Forsetta (7), Garl (13), Ground (19), Hattani (15), Ilmarinen (20), Infaust (16), Ka (35), Kagyar (28), Land (27), Lokena (2), Lornasen (10), Maat (30), N’grath (29), Opal (18), Paarkum (8), Polunius (25), Pearl (12), Tahkati (17), Terra (36), The Eternal General (14), The Great One (26), The Korrigans (24), The Twelve Watches (4), Utnapishtim (23), Valerias (31), Wayland (24), Wogar (5)
Thought/Air (36): Air Elemaster (32), Arnelee (8), Asterius (28), Clebard (2), Cochere (12), Cretia (16), Diulanna (18), Eiryndul (20), Frey (13), Freyja (13), Gorm (22), Halav (17), Karaash (5), Kersy (21), Korotiku (32), Koryis (10), Malinois (15), Ninfangle (27), Nob Nar (5), Noumena (34), Odin (36), Orisis (19), Palartarkan (11), Palson (4), Pax (35), Ralon (9), Sinbad (25), Soubrette (24), Ssu-Ma (23), Tarastia (30), Taroyas (6), Thalia (31), Thor (29), Turmis (1), Urtson (7), Usamigaras (27)
Time/Water (33): Al-Kalim (3), Ahmanni (14), Bastet (22), Brindorhin (14), Calitha (18), Carnelian (11), Chardastes (24), Crakkak (10), Finidel (7), Fugit (30), Gorrziok (25), Hymir (13), Khoronus (36), Liena (1), Luca (12), Malafor (15), Oleyan (6), Ordana (31), Petra (17), Protius (29), Raven (21), Sharpcrest (19), Simurgh (19), Skuld (34), Tiresias (9), Tourlain (8), Tyche (28), Urd (32), Vanya (23), Vethandi (35), Water Elemaster (33), Yav (20), Zalaj (27)
This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.