If the demon princes and archdevils are seen as gods among the rest in the pantheon I'd allow such temples in all but the most good or monotheistic nations. I do, however, think that the notion of demon and devils indicate that these aren't gods, otherwise the evil gods like Nerull and Hextor would be among the demonic/dameonic/devilish crowd.
I just noticed that Scott asked EGG this question on the Troll Lord Games forum shortly before he died; EGG responded on Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:58 pm:
Quote: ScottyG wrote: Gary, do you think that a town like Yggsburgh would tolerate evil temples operating in the open? I know that in, ahhh, Dunfalcon there are evil temples and some evil priests that hold some high positions in local government.
No, I do not think the populace would, knowing that malign worship begits nothing but ill for the community.
Of course, similar to the assassins in the town, a secret place of evil worship is not at all unlikely for the evil element in the place.
The only way I could make sense of it was to imagine a set up similar to a city in the Ancient Near East with priests of various gods like Baal, Moloch, Dagon, Marduk, Ishtar, El and Mithras sharing power grudgingly... One man's god is another man's demon.
Post by geneweigel on Jan 11, 2019 11:04:06 GMT -5
I can't cite anything now but Greyhawk city and Dyvers has people aware that the places exist but its not like COME ON DOWN TO EVIL RIGHT OVER HERE. Innspa has around the same amount of temples and shrines that there are deities in the 1983 WOG boxed set. I believe, now I'm paraphrasing off the top of my head, its a "half hundred temples and shrines". Now don't quote me on htat but its an obvious thing. Multiple gods is different in that a "good" seeming person accepts evil in certain circumstances and I think the novels mention the regulars avoid them at night so as not to be sacrificed.
Post by foster1941 on Jan 11, 2019 12:55:51 GMT -5
My preferred understanding of Greyhawk and other similarly-situated free and/or neutral-oriented cities is that there are absolutely openly-acknowledged temples of the lawful and neutral evil deities (Asmodeus, Hextor, Nerull, etc.) and even the chaotic evil ones would be tolerated if they were better behaved - didn't constantly attack the other temples and launch plots to destroy the city. As long as they pay their taxes and will join in the common defense of the city when needed they get a seat at the table (literally for those temples with sufficient influence to be included in the council of oligarchs).
Nerull in particular has the public aspect of being the God of Death - effectively a force of nature - and thus in a polytheistic society will receive propitiation from relatives of the newly-deceased praying for him to intercede (or, rather, NOT intercede) on their dearly departed loved one's behalf - to allow their souls to pass on to Nirvana or Paradise or wherever and not be snatched down to Hades for eternal torment. Not from those specifically dedicated to a single other deity who are counting on that deity's sponsorship and protection (i.e. PCs, generally) but from the mass of regular mundane folks who pray at a variety of temples circumstantially (polytheists).
The lawful evil deities of course make a big show of following all the laws and will be quick to point out that they are better citizens than the chaotic goods, and that in a real sense they are the ones being persecuted by the intolerant lawful goods. In the 60s-70s Anton LaVey's Church of Satan was openly operating in San Francisco (and from what I understand Fritz Leiber was an occasional attendee) - I'm sure that's the image Gary had in mind for the churches of Asmodeus in Greyhawk, Dyvers, etc. The lawful evil churches probably advertise something along the lines of "the multiverse is a pyramid of power, and if you join us you're more likely to end up nearer the top - we're just being realistic here," which is appealing logic to lots of folks - I'm sure we can all easily draw real-world parallels on our own.
Of course the good churches chafe mightily at the open presence of the forces of evil, that they're allowed to openly spread their lies and are cynically manipulating the neutrals, but they don't have enough power to do anything about it within the law, and if they go outside the law then THEY'RE the ones who will be punished/expelled/driven underground.
Post by geneweigel on Jan 11, 2019 14:14:56 GMT -5
Another aspect to digest (I'm a little busy today and being glib) is the principle of the players being on another level besides the rest of the populace. Where they understand what alignment really means and Mr Sedentary... DOES NOT! To borrow from George Carlin ("Dusty was Catholic and Buddy... WAS NOT!")