A recent discussion of Tegel Manor (a classic third-party D&D module published by Judges Guild in ’77 that was a gonzo madhouse, but that has the best looking map of any adventure I had ever played) had me delve deep into my Judges Guild stuff (mostly looking for stuff with Jennell Jaquays’ name on it).
One book I haven’t looked at in AGES is “The Unknown Gods” which is full of 83 “minor” gods statted out for D&D. But we are talking lower-echelon gods mostly – with hit points in the double digits, some abilities not much stronger than some PCs have, and a d6 table for their attitude when encountered.
Because these gods are meant to be encountered.
It reminds me of the gods in Lankhmar and the ones in Thieves’ World. Gods that wander the world or are even trapped in a particular city. The patron god of Dolhurst isn’t just some divine patron that inspires, it’s an actual god in the city (hopefully well appeased and basically locked up in the temple). It makes me want to take these 83 gods, add them to the massive collection from the Petty Gods book (seriously, if you are at all OSR oriented and this sounds at all like your cup of tea, go get this book – links at the bottom), and run a campaign where these minor gods all live in the prime material and interact with powerful people (aka: adventurers).
And why do they interact with adventurers? Because at high levels, many adventurers are on nearly equal footing with these folks.
My only complaint is that the listings in Petty Gods aren’t quite as terse and short as the descriptions in Unknown Gods.
(Image from The Unknown Gods, published by Judges Guild, illustration by Jaquays)