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An avatar was a physical manifestation of a deity on Toril.[1]


An avatar was significantly less powerful than the deity it represented,[1] but on par or beyond the most powerful of mortals.[2][3] The loss of an avatar usually[4] did no permanent damage to a deity,[5] as could be recorded for Mystra[6] and Tiamat. It could, however, mean a set-back for divine plans and was always seen as an affront.[7][1][2]

Depending on a deity's rank, it could possibly have a number of avatars at once. Divine power also determined how long it would take a god to reform an avatar destroyed on the Prime.[5]


Many avatars employed in the Realms were mightier than those found in other crystal spheres,[8] as befitted a world with many powerful mortal individuals.[2][9][10][11]


The Time of Troubles in 1358 DR marked an exception to many rules concerning avatars: Ao forced the full persons of all deities to walk Toril in the form of their avatars, which lead to many extraordinary events and the demise of several gods.[12] In the years following this Avatar Crisis, many deities invested their manifestations with increased power.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][note 1] No such development has been reported for most monster deities.[note 1]


Behind the Scenes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 In 2nd edition, the Faiths & Avatars accessory from 1996 introduced rules for avatars up to 40th level. These were also used by its companion volumes Powers & Pantheons and Demihuman Deities. Both Forgotten Realms and Core books published earlier restricted avatars to 20th or (rarely) 25th level. This lead to discrepancies for avatars appearing both before and since Faiths & Avatars, and to comparatively low power for avatars appearing only before that accessory.

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 17. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  3. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 18. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  4. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  6. Ed Greenwood (December 1995). Elminster: The Making of a Mage. (TSR, Inc), p. ??. ISBN 0-7869-0203-5.
  7. Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 133–134. ISBN 978-0786906574.
  8. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 128. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  9. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  10. Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
  11. Dale Donovan (July 1998). Villains' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-1236-7.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 264. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  13. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 21–42. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  14. Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 16–26. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  15. Eric L. Boyd (November 1998). Demihuman Deities. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 11–41, 49–107. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  16. Scott Ciencin (May 2003). Shadowdale. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-7869-3105-1.
  17. Ed Greenwood (1989). Tantras (adventure). (TSR, Inc), pp. 42–44. ISBN 0-88038-739-4.
  18. Ed Greenwood (1989). Waterdeep (adventure). (TSR, Inc), pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-88038-757-2.
  19. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 34, 37, 45, 124, 128, 163. ISBN 978-0786903849.