Olidammara

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Olidammara
Game background
Title(s) The Laughing Rogue
Home plane Heroic Domains of Ysgard
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio Music, Revels, Wine, Rogues, Humor, Tricks
Domains Chaos, Luck, Trickery
Superior none
Design details

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting and the default pantheon of deities for the third edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, Olidammara is the god of Music, Revels, Wine, Rogues, Humor, and Tricks. He is often called the Laughing Rogue.

Olidammara is one of the more eccentric gods of Oerth. The Laughing Rogue is often involved in good-natured schemes involving the other gods (less good-natured for the more evil deities), with repercussions that can make life difficult for his faithful. He has few proper priests, but is held in high regard in almost all non-evil regions of the Flanaess.

His home plane is Ysgard. His realm, on the border with Limbo, is called the Den of Olidammara. His holy symbol is a grinning mask. Other symbols of his faith include the kantele and the number nine.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Olidammara was first detailed for the Dungeons & Dragons game in "The Deities and Demigods of the World of Greyhawk" by Gary Gygax in Dragon #70 (1983).[1] Olidammara was subsequently detailed in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983).[2]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Olidammara was one of the deities described in Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998).[3]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[4] Olidammara is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

Olidammara appears as one of the deities described in the Players Handbook for this edition (2000).[6] Olidammara's role in the 3rd edition Greyhawk setting was defined in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000).[7]

Olidammara is also detailed in the Deities and Demigods (2002).[8]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

Olidammara appears in the revised Players Handbook for this edition (2003).[9] His priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004).[10]

Olidammara and his priesthood were expanded upon in Dragon #342 (2006), in the "Core Beliefs" column.[11]

Description[edit]

Olidammara commonly appears as a slender young man with olive skin, merry green eyes, chestnut hair, and a rakish beard. His magical mask allows him to take any form, however. His favored musical instrument, the Kantele of the Oldest, can conjure illusions and real matter and shape the emotions of those who listen to its sounds as if they were moist clay.

Relationships[edit]

Olidammara, bard of the gods, is on good terms with Aasterinian, Fharlanghn, Dalt, Garl Glittergold, Ehlonna, Ye'Cind, and Kord. Heironeous and Hextor may find him annoying at times, but they tolerate him because of his charm and humor. He even gets along with Zagyg, despite their past run-ins; the Mad Archmage appreciates Olidammara's embrace of chaos. (The Laughing Rogue was once transformed into the shape of a small carapaced animal and imprisoned by the mad archmage, Zagyg, but managed to escape.) Olidammara sponsored the apotheosis of the demigoddess Rudd, who remains his favorite among the divinities. He also sponsored Kuroth. He is the brother of Scahrossar, but these two deities have nothing to do with one another, and their relationship is only mentioned in the most obscure of texts.

Kurell feels great jealousy toward Olidammara for his greater popularity among thieves, and seeks always to steal away his worshipers. Astilabor dislikes the Laughing Rogue. Olidammara avoids Nerull, Erythnul, Iuz, and other blatantly destructive deities, as their malevolence is jarring to him. He would have liked to be their friend, but contents himself with teasing them gently.

Dogma[edit]

Olidammara teaches his followers to avoid predictability and routine, to delight in wine, to learn music, to seek out happiness, joy, entertainment, and the company of others. Olidammara advises his faithful to appreciate both the jokes they play and the jokes played on them. He also teaches that misery, temperance, and solemnity are the greatest poisons to the soul.

Scriptures[edit]

Olidammara's religion lacks a single holy book, but instead maintains hundreds of mutually contradictory collections of parables and songs. Any attempt to codify or reconcile these texts is anathema to Olidammara's creed, which teaches that chaos should be embraced and material things have little importance or intrinsic value.

Worshippers[edit]

Olidammara is worshiped by rogues, bards, beggars, thieves, and all lovers of life.

Clergy[edit]

Olidammara's clerics often have a second occupation, such as vintners and entertainers in urban areas, or as minstrels, messengers, and jacks-of-all-trades in rural areas. They wear comfortable clothes, preferring browns, greens, and blacks. Some wear an actual mask as their holy symbol, while others merely wear a signet or amulet inscribed with a drawing of a mask.

Temples[edit]

Small shrines to Olidammara are more common than actual temples; these can be found anywhere, in pubs, in dens of thieves, and in the form of piles of stones at roadsides, carved with his symbol. Most faithful drop a small token of their esteem by the shrine: a few coins, a bit of tasty food, or a cup of wine.

Many of Olidammara's temples are converted inns or taverns, while some are theaters or actual thieves' guilds. Services typically involve songs, feasts, and a much drinking.

Holy Days[edit]

The entire week of Brewfest is considered a holy time by Olidammara's faithful. Other holidays include:

  • The Great Escape. This is a reenactment of Olidammara's capture by and escape from the archmage Zagig, and is celebrated on a Godsday when the weather is pleasant.
  • The Feast of the Doubling Dare. Celebrated just after the new year, this holiday includes a contest in which the participants challenge each other to perform ever-wilder pranks and deeds.
  • Taste of a Hundred Years. This is an annual wine-tasting event where a cask is opened that was vinted exactly a century before.

Myths and Legends[edit]

Andromalius[edit]

Andromalius, once Olidammara's herald, repented of mischief and roguery on his deathbed, hoping in this way to cheat his god of his soul. This, Andromalius believed, would be the greatest theft of his long career.

The Laughing Rogue was at first upset with his servant at this apparent betrayal, but soon he laughed, realizing the irony of a thief who seeks to steal by forsaking thievery. Yet he couldn't accept Andromalius' spirit, for that would ruin the joke; nor did he wish for another god to have such a clever soul. Finally, the god decided to "steal" Andromalius from the cosmos altogether, casting him into a void between existence and non-existence. Whether Andromalius appreciated this "joke" was never clear.

The Grand Illusion[edit]

This myth tells of how Olidammara, in the guise of a beggar and wielding the Kanteel of the Oldest, inspired a rebellion against a tyrannical lich-king thousands of years ago.

Olidammara and the Grand Talisman[edit]

This myth tells of how Olidammara, traveling in the company of Fharlanghn, charmed the truename from the Nameless Demon and forced him to give up the amulet that contained his soul.

Zagig and the Carapace[edit]

This myth, of very recent vintage, tells of Olidammara's attempt to loot Castle Greyhawk of its treasure in the last days of Zagig Yragerne's residence. To his surprise, his protégé Rudd was imprisoned there in Zagig's Godtrap. He tried to rescue her, but Zagig turned the tables on him and imprisoned him the form of a small, carapaced animal. Olidammara escaped, later stealing some of the Mad Archmage's treasure anyway. He retains the ability to form a shell to protect himself, leaving the shell behind as he teleports merrily away.

History[edit]

Olidammara is an exceedingly old deity. His worship is thought to have originated among nomads and travelers of no particular race, but it soon spread to settled communities and cities. He was known to the ancient Flan, who revered him in the shrine in the Tilvanot peninsula known today as the Burned Circle. He was known to the Oeridians as well, and is sometimes counted among the Oeridian pantheon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. "The Deities and Demigods of the World of Greyhawk." Dragon #70 (TSR, 1983)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (TSR, 1983)
  3. ^ Moore, Roger E. Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (TSR, 1998)
  4. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  5. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  6. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  7. ^ Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  8. ^ Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  9. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  10. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  11. ^ Reynolds, Sean K. "Core Beliefs: Olidammara." Dragon #342 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)

Additional reading[edit]

  • Brown, Anne. Player's Guide to Greyhawk (TSR, 1998).
  • Gygax, Gary, and Frank Mentzer. The Temple of Elemental Evil (TSR, 1985).
  • Living Greyhawk Journal no. 3 - "Gods of Oerth"