[RPG] Do the rules have information on how to kill a deity


Recently, a reoccurring antagonist in my campaign has stolen a reward from my players. The reward was meant to be gold, and an extremely potent and rare poison that kills on contact. I am planning to save this piece of information for a later date and have this evil guild use the poison to assassinate an important figure.

One of the possible candidates is Apollo, for he's the only deity worshiped by a party member. He also blessed the country so that despite its continental location, it never experiences winter, and thus his passing or absence would result in an intense freeze.

That said, how exactly does one kill a deity? Would they have to be weakened to a mortal state? Would things that would kill a mortal end up simply disabling a deity? I understand that there are many factors depending on the setting, but is there any conclusive information on killing a deity in the available material?

Best Answer

There are many factors depending on the setting. Although there is lore common to many D&D settings, even that lore is subject to change—possibly radically so—in any given campaign or setting. When it comes to settings DMs make themselves, that is doubly true.

In this case, there may be precedents set by other campaigns and other settings, but there is no universal lore on how to kill a god. Certainly, there is none that automatically and officially applies to your home setting.

So the question becomes: what is the lore in your setting for how to kill a god?

You have some good ideas already that I'd encourage you to follow up. They accord with some ideas that others have had about how deicide can be accomplished, so you can at least take comfort in like minds having walked similar paths before.

  • Making a god mortal first is a common idea. This is how gods in the Forgotten Realms have been killed before.
  • Similarly, a dead god is rarely completely dead, just mostly dead. There is Planescape canon of dead gods floating through the astral, just waiting to have devotees perform some great cosmic rite to awaken them.

Just remember that plausibility doesn't enter into it. How a god can be killed in your setting is simply a cosmic truth—it is what it is—with no need to justify itself to the sense of plausibility of mere mortals. Make it interesting and revelatory to your players, and that should be enough.