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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ramdamalla, Petty God of Drama and Miscommunication

Special thanks to Jeff Rients, Faoladh, and Kapitan Von for help with this Pettiest of Petty Gods.

Name: Ramdamalla

Symbol: An inverted pyramid balanced on its tip,
looking simultaneously like an eruption (such a geyser or a volcano) and also like a great weight about to fall.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Ramdamalla is the third leg of an unofficial triumvirate of petty gods that contains Manidono and Dickanus and might, in modern times, be called "Deities of the Postmodern."  Alongside the Slacker God and the Asshole God, Ramdamalla is the Drama God -- no, not the drama of theater, but the petty dramas and stupid arguments and useless conflicts that afflict everyone's lives. However, while Dickanus is sophomorically self-centered and Manido doesn't care much about anything, Ramdamalla takes a perverse glee in ruining the everyday lives of people just for laughs. 

Ramdamalla is sometimes referred to as "That Motherfucking God," as speaking its name tends to invoke its attention. It has no one preferred form; rather, it is a mass of chortling chaos that shifts forms as whim and circumstance dictate. Known avatars in the past have been a rockslide, a seething mob, a torrent of vomit, a mountain of excrement, a herd of alpaca, and a grotesque troll. 


"That Motherfucking God is invoked by accident and served by fools."
 -- old proverb

No sane individual worships Ramdamalla; like many deities of ill-fortune, it is propitiated in the hopes that it will stay away from those who make the proper offerings. Those who do worship it (mostly its clergy, although there are always a few "champions" of Ramdamalla who terrorize cities, towns and countrysides) are unstable or disturbed in some manner; usually one of the various forms of sociopathy, although masochism is also common.

It is worth noting that Ramdamalla does not specifically endorse violence (but neither does it disapprove); it is not a god of murder or warfare. Neither is it a parallel to Eris, whose portfolio of Strife also encompasses the concepts of Chaos and "breaking down the established order." No, the only concepts important to Ramdamalla are arguments, hurt feelings, and wasted energy; feuding cliques between schoolchildren over clothing or popular culture are just as important to it as as fighting between politicians in the halls of government. To Ramdamalla, we are all just ants scurrying about after our anthill was kicked away, and it finds our frantic attempts to repair our lives to be humorous antics.

There are no grand temples to Ramdamalla; even among its clergy, there is too much discontent and misunderstanding to accomplish such a thing. (Centuries ago, there was a major schism over whether to call themselves "Ramdamallans" or "Ramdamallites.") Instead, shrines to the Drama God are found in caves, or basements, or other "hole in the wall" locations, usually maintained by a single priest. There may occasionally be an apprentice being trained by the priest, but inevitably there will be a falling-out between the two and one of them will leave.

There are no feast days or festivals; priests worship their deity through starting fights and enabling drama, all while declaring that they wish to be left alone. Ironically, Ramdamalla doesn't even need worship, or even followers; it gains its strength from factionalization and petty fights, with which humans provide it aplenty.

"Why would anyone be a priest of this god that ruins lives?" Look in a mirror, you fool. -- another proverb, this one attributed to Ramdamallan scripture.

Invocation and Abilities
Don't try to invoke Ramdamalla; you'll succeed, and then you'll be sorry.

There's no table to roll, no percentage chance to see if it reacts well to you. If you speak its name, it will bestow its attention on you, and it will never be a good thing. The DM is encouraged to inflict the pettiest, most soap-operatic thing that can happen to the invoker -- and his friends and/or compatriots, if possible.

Instead, Ramdamalla can be made to go away (un-invoked, if you will) by one of two methods:  ignoring it, or giving it attention.  There is a 50% chance that the method chosen is the correct one; the other will only make the situation worse.

Attention: This is best accomplished through ritual sacrifice, whereby the petitioner seeks to symbolically substitute objects of value for time that would be spent dealing with the problem. Every 100 gold pieces' worth of sacrificial items (money, jewels, livestock, magical items) equals a 10% chance that Ramdamalla will be satisfied and go away. A blood sacrifice can also be performed; sacrificing a hit point (the petitioner's own, not that of other beings) also equals 10% chance of propitiation -- but this damage must heal on its own, not via magic or potions, or else the sacrifice will not be considered favorable and the trouble will come back to the petitioner, doubled in intensity. Blood and goods may be combined in a single sacrifice, if desired.

Ignoring it: There is a commonly-known gesture that is believed to shield the performer from Ramdamalla's attention. By clapping one's hands together in front of one's chest, and then pushing palms-outward in the shape of a V, the drama is believed to be redirected back to its source.  However, this gesture (known as the Niemo Jemałpy in an obscure dialect) usually exacerbates the problem as the conflict is redirected onto itself.

The Author wishes to point out that this entry is not aimed at any one individual -- claps hands, "Niemo Jemałpy", etc -- but rather came to fruition because it seems like the world is going to hell and the internet, blogosphere, Facebook etc are turning on themselves and becoming whirlpools of strife and stupid arguments.

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