Dungeons & Dragons Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes
Written by Rob Kuntz & James Ward
Illustrations are not credited
This PDF is taken from the original edition premium reprint and is thus titled “Book VII” instead of “Supplement IV.” This version omits the Hyborea and Melnibone sections that were present in the original book. The PDF has bookmarks
History and Trivia
Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes was originally released in July, 1976 and was the last supplement for the original edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
Is it Pretty?
The cover art is new for the premium reprint and replaces the Egyptian themed cover art for a depiction of Thor. Interior art is almost non-existent, consisting only of a few symbols and section division embellishments. What is there is decent enough but the overall lack of artwork makes the book rather bland in appearance.
Is it Professional?
Unlike previous supplements, this one does not follow the section divisions aligning with the core set booklets. Instead, it is organized by pantheon. This makes navigating the book fairly simple and allows the Dungeon Master to easily reference a single pantheon during play if needed. Despite the general lack of artwork, the layout of the book is functional and, unlike monster entries in previous supplements, statistics are provided with each deity and monster entry. This book is definitely a step up from previous supplements in the professionality of presentation department.
Is it Useful?
Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes offers stats and brief descriptions for gods and monsters from Egyptian, Indian, Greek, Celtic, Norse, Finnish, Mexican/Central American, and Chinese mythologies. Since it was written in the 1970s and adapted for use in a game, the descriptions are not really accurate to the mythologies, stories, and folk tales from which they are derived.
Each god entry consists of a stat-block, and a brief description of their appearance and powers. Personality, history, and other details are left to the DM to research or invent. There are also some monsters and magical items described as well.
The Norse pantheon get the most detail with several gods having expanded descriptions of their magical weapons, artifacts, and companions.
The Finnish section details heroes who have a variety of powers and items and are equal in power to the gods of the other sections. Mothers get a special entry and a variety of powers, oddly enough.
DMs will find quite a bit of useful and interesting information in this book, though they will need to flesh out a lot of the details themselves.
Is it Affordable?
With a price of $4.99 for the PDF and $8.50 for the print-on-demand option (or $10.50 for the print/PDF bundle), this is definitely worth the money compared to the $60+ you’ll be spending for an original print copy.
Note, however, that if you want the omitted sections, you’ll have to pay the extra for an older print copy.
Is it Fun?
Though the details are a bit sparse, there’s plenty here for DMs to add some divine influence into a campaign.
Where to find it
The PDF and print-on-demand versions of this book can be found on drivethrurpg, listed as OD&D Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (0e). Original printings can be found on ebay and similar sites.
Other than the lack of art, this book is a gem sure to enhance an OD&D DM’s campaign. 4 out of 5 stars.
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