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Forgive me if a question like this is too general and isn't accepted here.

I'm currently working on creating a new universe to possibly be used in a D&D or RPG setting. I've been working on the creation story of a dark fantasy universe; ideally with having the universe initially mostly uninhabitable or populated with shapeless nightmare like creatures (think Lovecraftian like beings) as the only inhabitants.

I need some catalyst that causes the creation of humanoids, and their ascendance to god-hood. These new gods will wage war on the Lovecraftian beings eventually banishing the old beings to outer or other realms. The new gods use their power to re-craft the universe to be habitable to humans and humanoids, eventually creating new races to populate the remolded universe.

What are some possible catalysts that would create these new humanoid gods in such a chaotic and uninhabitable setting?

Edit: I would like to keep the catalyst and ascension to some specific event contained in this chaotic universe. While it would be easy to say that one of the Lovecraftian beings create humanoids and help them raise to power, that does not fit with the feeling I'm going for. I want the Lovecraftian beings to truly be 'other' and 'chaotic'. None of them would ever seek to bring order to the universe or create a being capable of bringing order. I also don't want the catalyst to come from another universe; it's too easy to say that an object from another universe or reality interacting with this one is what creates these new beings who are capable of bringing about order. I hope that helps to specify what kind of answer I'm looking for.

I envision these gods similar to the Greek, Norse, or Egyptian Pantheon. They are sentient beings of varying intelligence but extraordinary power (enough power to reshape the universe to better suit them and their worshipers' needs, as well as enough power to create life from non-living materials). While extremely powerful they are not all seeing and all knowing, but are practically immortal (possible to be killed under very specific circumstances, but it isn't easy).

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closed as primarily opinion-based by bendl, JBH, ohwilleke, Frostfyre, Mark Olson Aug 9 '18 at 23:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Where did the Lovecraftian things come from? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 9 '18 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Good question, as of right now I don't have a great explanation other than "They are the the embodiment of the chaos of this realm prior to the creation and ascendance of the new gods." They pretty much have always been there. $\endgroup$ – onewho Aug 9 '18 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding.SE! We're glad you could join us! When you have a moment, please click here to learn more about our culture and take our tour. While I believe this question is on-topic, it's primarily opinion-based in that you haven't provided enough information to guide us and help us understand how you'll judge the best answer. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 9 '18 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ The reason I ask all this is because I could answer that god A forged a beautiful gem that gave him the ability to focus his will to the creation of worlds around him, that god B stole the gem to save his wife, god C, from destruction and attempted to bind it directly to her mind and will, but it's purpose of manipulating the universe required form and function to do so, thus it changed her to a humanoid form. But how could you judge that the best answer? That's the essence of primarily opinion-based (POB). We need data... $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 9 '18 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ It all depends on your ascension mechanism. Can one become a god by acquiring some special power? Can one become god (or be magically created from scratch) if people start worshiping? Can one defeat an older god and take its place in the pantheon? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 9 '18 at 18:10
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If you have a million horrors conjuring chaos on a million planes you will eventually invent "normal". The Elder Gods meddled with forces they could neither understand or control and this region of the multi-verse is unpleasant to the Eldrich Monstrosities.

Our "reality" being incompatible to Old Ones more or less ensures that something else will come to power. Enter our gods stage right.

After that "In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God." has a precident.

We are just a temporary island of stable physics in a vast sea of unimaginable meta-physics. The best "minds" on the "outside" are doing their best to contain the contamination and repair what parts can be salvaged.

We think we are right and proper simply because we happen live here and don't get out much.

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Evolution.

So, some eldritch beings created the universe. That is not a big differentiation from our own universe which, depending upon your beliefs, either sprung into existence from vibrating nothingness or was carefully crafted by any of several pantheon's of eldritch (i.e. beyond human understanding) beings.

The big difference is that you seem to want your universe creating beings to actually live in and interact malevolently with their creation. That would put them by default at the top of the food chain which would have a significant effect on all other life in the universe.

If humans as we know them were to evolve, it would have to be on a planet which was isolated from or overlooked by the eldritch creators. Again, this could very well be our current situation in the real world.

I don't think you need a strong rational for human existence because we exist and because nothing that you are postulating about your fantasy universe can be definitively proven to not be the underlying nature of our actual universe.

As for the human attainment of god-like power, again that is not very different from actual reality. We are already well on the way. Science is unlocking new miraculous abilities every day. A hundred years ago, we couldn't eradicate all known life in the universe. Now, the leaders of several nations each have that ability. Through genetic engineering, we are already crafting life which is another divine privilege. Give us another few centuries and those wimps we thought lived in Asgard and Olympus will seem anorexic compared to humanity 2.0.

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For Malevolent, make them try to fulfill evil desires, by producing a creature that either reflects Humanity, or tries to trick it. (Like japanese Tengu yo kai). There might even be a birth caused by a deed that was "too evil", that caused a genius loci to take physical form.

A mountain, river, or tree may take on a form, created by the evil intent, or the action itself. The ghost of the victim, or a genius loci trying to recreate the event, until it has enough power to transform itself. Like a murdered bride, and the groom suicided, might bring a bride that attracts men and kills them, or a groom that punishes the rapists, but does not evaporate after the completed vengeance.

It could be a ghost that delivers so many negative levels on their victims that they become a solid form again, but retain ghostly powers. Eventually, that personage might keep right on living, until it becomes godlike in it's powers. Keep ratcheting up the powers, perhaps defeating ghost after ghost, like a cleric might in D&D settings. Maybe it can put positive levels on ghosts (or continues on killing humans), until it defeats enough to give it more powers.

For passive, make certain ley lines "magical nodes" where elemental beings can transform into bodies. Even animal or insect bodies. It doesn't matter what kind. They can be genius loci, until it has worshipers, or the genius loci gains more power, over time, from being at that node. It will eventually have the power to leave that place.

You might also consider using "ancestral weapons", where the weapon eventually begins conferring powers on the wielder once per day (as a cleric would). Eventually, that weapon could become a person, by absorbing excess XP from wielders, and become the guardian of that family line, and absorb xp from any and all descendants.

The focal point could be a throne, for a nationality, or the land itself (Excalibur can bring back Arthur, etc.).

One way I tried out was to give magic users the possibility of controlling any and all magical power between ley lines, in zones. Once a person has control, then any magic used in that area would have to be controlled by them, and used with that person's permission, or wrested from them for each use made by Magic users in the area They would be called "Baronies", or "Dominators", and a person could control more than one barony, gaining greater powers for each area they dominate.

They could convery powers on people who don't have magical abilities, and the greater the Baron, the greater the range and number of people that they can bestow those powers upon, making those Baronies stronger and less wild. On that same vein, wild baronies would produce genius loci, aberrant power affects, and the birth of magical beings.

An altar might be a focal point for xp, or sacrifices (evil stains), and bestow supernatural gifts on people present (Bless, Protection from fire, etc.), and keep getting stronger, as time goes by.

Acts of good, done in the name of that genius loci, or xp from people who have been bestowed magical affects, might also be a way to do it. So, the people with "protection from fire" might be guards hunting down bandits, and even though the protection might not be used, the connection is there. Eventually, the "protection from fire" may be bestowed on a devoted follower, when they are out protecting their country, and the connection to them remain whether the "protection from fire" is bestowed or not.

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