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Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes is a sourcebook for Original Dungeons & Dragons released in July 1976.

Official synopsis[]

Well, here it is: the last D&D supplement. It is with a strange mixture of sadness and relief that I tell you this. My first assignment, fresh out of college, was BLACKMOOR. I came to regard it with a mixture of love and loathing, that has gradually seen the love win out. The loathing grew out of the educational trip that it was for me. They don't teach you in college what to do when the press breaks down, or your manuscript gets mysteriously misplaced; you just have to wing it.

Well, the same applies to D&D'ers everywhere: we've told you just about everything we can. From now on, when the circumstances aren't covered somewhere in the books, wing it as best you can. As we've said time and time again, the 'rules' were never meant to be more than guidelines; not even true 'rules.'

What the authors have done in this volume is to attempt to set down guidelines that will enable you to incorporate a number of various mythologies into your game/campaign.

They make no claims that any of this material presented is exhaustive, or even infallible. Mythology is defined as 'a body of myths, especially: the myths dealing with the gods, demi-gods and heroes of a particular people, usually involving the supernatural.' Myth is defined as a legend. Obviously, when dealing with material of this sort, there is a lot of latitude in interpretation. This is what the authors have presented: their interpretations. These interpretations are the result of months of painstaking, arduous research. As earlier defined, mythology is legend, and hundreds of volumes have been printed, each with its own interpretation. Further research and reading is recommended into all of the mythos presented herein. This is the merest of outlines, presented in D&D terms.

This volume is something else, also: our last attempt to reach the "Monty Hall" DM's. Perhaps now some of the 'giveaway' campaigns will look as foolish as they truly are. This is our last attempt to delineate the absurdity of 40+ level characters. When Odin, the All-Father has only(?) 300 hit points, who can take a 44th level Lord seriously?

This volume does not herald the end of new D&D material. There will always be new material; 'tis the nature of the beastie. There were many myths that couldn't be squeezed into this. Keep looking for new stuff in the future in the pages of our periodicals, those that didn't fit, as well as those aborning at this very moment. Just don't wait with baited breath for another supplement after this one. May you always make your saving throw.


Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes introduces the mythos of various real-world and fictional pantheons of gods.

The real-world mythologies featured are the Egyptian, Indian, Greek, Celtic, Norse, Finnish, Mexican and Central American Indian, and Chinese pantheons of gods.

The book also contains characters and gods of Robert E. Howard's Hyborea, setting of Conan the Barbarian; and Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné. The 2013 deluxe reprint and subsequent digital releases removed these sections for copyright reasons.

The 2013 reprint also makes small changes to the chapter titles, standardizing all on "[culture] Mythology"; for example, "Indian Mythology" instead of "Gods of India", and "Chinese Mythology" instead of "Eastern Mythos".

Development and release[]


The book was written by Rob Kuntz and James M. Ward.


Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes was released by TSR in July 1976 for $5.00 US.

It was first printed in July 1976, and received several reprints, with the final 7th printing in November 1979. The fifth printing is accidentally labeled as sixth (Nov 1978), and the sixth accidentally as the seventh (Apr 1979). The actual seventh printing (Nov 1979) was correctly labeled.[1]

On November 19, 2013, Wizards of the Coast reprinted the supplement as part of the deluxe reprint, which featured the original rulebooks and four supplements. This version removed the section on the Hyborean and and Melnibonéan mythoi due to copyright.

On February 23, 2016, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $2.99. The lower price than the other supplements ($4.99) may be due to the removal of sections, which reduced the pagecount.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes reached the rank of Platinum seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

The concept of a deities book reprised in the AD&D sourcebook Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980), later reprinted as Legends & Lore (1e) (1984). It was in later editions followed by Legends & Lore (2e) (1990) and Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002).

External links[]


Original Dungeons & Dragons
Core rules
Dungeons & Dragons 3-Volume Set
GreyhawkBlackmoorEldritch WizardryGods, Demi-Gods & HeroesSwords & Spells