How did the 2e-D&D-onwards paradigm of polytheistic gods ALWAYS being über-powerful cosmic overlords come about? There is no mythological basis at all for greater gods being able to reshape vast swaths of reality with a mere thought, let alone minor gods doing the same.
Even the likes of Odin and Thor had to travel around physically, hunt for food, and cook that food. Transforming into a bird is considered impressive for a god, and teleporting willy-nilly and with few restrictions is very rare. Yes, they can perform truly godlike feats like reshaping mountain ranges or raising continents, but that tends to be the result of "deific plot magic" in the climax of a long and arduous work-project or quest, not something any god can do on the fly.
So why is it that from 2e onwards, polytheistic gods suddenly became these cosmic, reality-reshaping juggernauts that made high-level wizards look like chumps? Even the avatars of the gods in 2e and 3.X can wipe the floor with a high-level optimized party. 4e gods are level 34 solos at minimum. Nothing but some vague notion of "deific warfare MAD" is stopping them from reshaping the multiverse like putty on a whim.
Is it because of people conflating a god's "divine plot magic at the end of a great work-project/quest" with their on-the-fly abilities while adventuring out in the field?
Is it because AD&D 2e wanted to move away from "gods are just strong monsters who can be killed," so as to placate the moral guardians of the time?
Is it because of the 2e-onwards paradigm of "there always has to be something stronger than the PCs who can keep them in line," which is why avatars can curbstomp any party?
Is it because the capacities of mid-level D&D characters are already on par with that of many mythological gods, so the actual gods in D&D had to be power-creeped to even greater cosmic power?
Is it because of preconceived notions of the nigh-omnipotent Abrahamic god leaking into these polytheistic gods' D&D interpretations?
This 1e book was expressly designed to let high-level parties go around godslaying.
It still vastly overshoots gods' abilities compared to their mythological versions, but their power level is much lower than the gods' 2e (no statistics, unbeatable) and 3.X (impossibly strong statistics and magic with Alter Reality) incarnations.
You know, OP, D&D is actually not that big of a thing. It could be as simple as "The authors felt like it." There needn't be a big conspiracy plot to explain minor details of the game setting.
The authors of Deities & Demigods 3e and the 4e Deities & Demigods DragMag articles are still alive, OP. Why don't you ask them, instead?
>D&D is actually not that big of a thing
it would be a mistake to assume that mythology was the only, or even the most important, part of ancient religions. the way gods were portrayed in mythology was naturally more anthropomorphic, for the sake of storytelling and symbolism. yet many basic and ordinary events of life were attributed to the gods, implying they held broad sway over nature.
the fact people prayed to the gods and expected results implies 1. they believed the gods could see and hear them, regardless of where they were and 2. the gods had a wide variety of powers, since people prayed for many different things and 3. given these religions were practiced over a wide area - and even foreign gods might be interpreted as different forms of your own gods - it must have been believed that the gods held sway over a wide area or even the whole world, and were capable of making things happen in many different places, without having to physically run back and forth.
so naturally if you want to stat your gods in an RPG, and you want them to be able to answer people's prayers, they need to be fairly powerful. probably a lot more powerful than your players.
Maybe it's result of these gods being interpreted by people whose idea of what a god should be was heavily influenced by the fact that they grew up in a largely Christian country where God is seen as all powerful?
I am not sure what you are trying to prove, with that. That D&D is bigger than Warhammer? Sure. Still tiny, and still made by a small group of people who don't need a cosmic reason to choose how exactly to write the setting's gods.
So there's double the number of D&D games out there, but almost infinitely more players of non-D&D games.
Thus if you want to appeal to largest section of the existing market share, you need to make a game for those non-D&D players.
Wait a second, I just noticed that the average number of players in most D&D games is 2.
While the average number of players in non-D&D games is ~6
D&D confirmed for the game of losers and loners.
Wrong place to ask OPs question really. That answer should come from the people who made those decisions. Or at least from people who actually work in that section of the industry.
For the most part, yes. They generally just create a thread for speculation and conversation, and rarely does someone actually answer the question with a reputable source to back it up.
New Thread Topic: how do you do gods in your setting?
Nonsense. They answer questions in conventions, and on Twitter, all the time. You might have difficulty because you're impolite, but for normal people? No problem at all.
It's far from impossible, you just need to have the right access and make an effort, which is something most of don't have and decide not to do.
I mean really, now many of the people of /tg/ actually go to major gaming conventions with the intention of finding X person to ask questions A, B, and C about their favorite game?
Here on /tg/, the purpose of every thread is really just to generate discussion, in the hopes that a diamond or two will be found within all the shit that's destined to spew forth.