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Athena, “Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft”

By After Cephisodotus the Elder, Public Domain,  Athena
By After Cephisodotus the Elder, Public Domain,

Roleplaying Elements from Deities & Demigods
By Rich Redman, Skip Williams, James Wyatt

Trojan  War: Roleplaying in the Age of Homeric Adventure

A Mythic Vistas Sourcebook for the d20 System
Written by Aaron Rosenberg
Liber Mysterium

The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks
By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team
Full netbook can be found on the followng website
Dom of D20 / D&D 3e Netbooks and Downloads.

The Lore of the Gods
Book One: The Greek Gods
Lead Designers
Steven Creech and Kevin Ruesch Lead Editor Steven Schend Creative Director Jim Butler Art Director
Todd Morasch Artwork Aaron D. Siddal

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, peace, warfare, strategy, handicrafts and reason, shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens, who built the Parthenon to worship her.


Athena’s cult as the patron of Athens has existed from very early times. She was the patroness of weaving, especially, and other crafts the metalwork of weapons also falls under her patronage, and she and leads battles as the disciplined side of war. Athena’s Wisdom includes the cunning intelligence of such figures as Odysseus.


Virgin Goddess of the City, Handicrafts, and Agriculture; Goddess of the Arts; Goddess of Justice; Goddess of War; Goddess of Wisdom; Goddess of Victory
Greater God
Home Plane: Olympus
Lawful Neutral
Portfolio:Combat, wisdom, crafts, civilization, war
Domain: Knowledge, Law, Community, Artifice, War, Weather
Symbol: Aegis (shield with the head of a Medusa), Olive Tree, and a snowy owl.
Traditional Allies: Hephaestus , Hera and Zeus
Traditional Foes: Giants, Medusa, Aranea and Arachnadia Demon Queen of Spiders
Servants Bellerophon, Diomedes, Heracles (half-brother), Jason, Odysseus, Perseus (half-brother)
Servitor Creatures Owls, Owl Celestial, Owl Giant The owls serve Athena, and carry her messages and omens. She can also request aid from any intelligent warrior.
Divine Artifact: Aegis (shield with the head of a Medusa)
Worshipers: Palladian Defenders, Paladins, fighters, monks, judges, constables
Cleric Alignments:
Favored Weapon:
Favored Class: Palladian Defender, Cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin

Benefits: Favored classes of Athena gain an inherent +1 attack bonus against giants.

The deity of noble combat, skilled craftwork, prudence, and cities, Athena appears as a tall, striking woman with strong features and a powerful physique. Her gray eyes, one of her most impressive features, shift from light to dark to reflect her mood. She usually carries a shield a shield bearing the Medusas head and wears helmet and armor.

Athena is the daughter of Zeus alone, because no mother bore her. One day, Zeus developed a terrible headache. To relieve it, Hephaestus used his axe to split open the mighty god’s head. Out sprang Athena, full grown and fully armed and armored a warrior and master of both weapons and strategies. She is the favorite child of Zeus and is allowed to use his weapons including his shield, Aegis, from time to time as well as thunderbolts and the javelin of the Tempest.

Athena, holding an owl, wears the ancient form of the Gorgon head on her aegis, as the huge serpent who guards the golden fleece regurgitates Jason; a winged lioness adorns the helmet; cup by Douris, Classical Greece, early fifth century BCE (Vatican Museum)
Athena, holding an owl, wears the ancient form of the Gorgon head on her aegis, as the huge serpent who guards the golden fleece regurgitates Jason; a winged lioness adorns the helmet; cup by Douris, Classical Greece, early fifth century BCE (Vatican Museum)

She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture. She invented the bridle (permitting man to tame horses), the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot, and many other crafts. She also created the olive tree as a gift to mortals. She is the protector of weavers, and, along with Hephaestus, the patron of handiwork and all the arts that make civilization possible. She is the embodiment of Wisdom, reason, and purity.

Athena is bold and decisive, though fear of incurring her father’s wrath keeps her in check. She fights to protect the sovereignty of Olympus, but only in defense of things she believes are worth protecting, such as cities, towns, and planted fields. In the war against the giants, she killed the giant Pallas by crushing him under a huge boulder. As the goddess of war, she always acts to restore order, and therefore she is also the goddess of peace. She opposes the destructive rampages of her half brother, Ares, whenever and however she can.

Athena represents the nobler aspect of war courage and self-control she appears on the battlefield beside her chosen warriors. She shows no mercy toward those who anger her, but protects her favorites and suggests ways for them to win fame and fortune. She also became patron goddess of many heroes, providing guidance while acting more like an ideal elder sister. She aided Bellerophon in taming the winged horse, Pegasus. She also frequently aided Heracles and Perseus in their adventures. She gave Peresus the information he needed to slay the Medusa, including lending him her shield, Aegis.

The witches of this sect are usually on good terms with those of Artemis. This witch is favored in the Craft of the Wise tradition because of Athena’s renowned Wisdom. They may choose the spear as their weapon.

Areas of Influence: War, Wisdom, Women

She appears attended by an owl, often accompanied by the goddess of victory, Nike.


Athena expects her followers to uphold the highest ideals of wisdom, reason, and purity. She expects her followers to fight in defense of home and state against outside enemies, and to be skilled in the arts of peace as well as war. She represents Wisdom in matters of life and war. Her worshippers are normally generals fighting just causes.

Clergy and Temples

Clerical Training: As Athena and Ares despise one another, their priests do not get along. Clerics of Athena fight against worshipers of Ares whenever they can and spend the rest of their time protecting civilized lands from outside threats. Her church is a great patron of the arts, sponsoring both public works and individual painters, sculptors, and architects.

Athena’s clerics are always active in civic life, serving as judges, advisers, planners, and teachers in many communities. They learn to fight, teaching villagers enough combat to defend themselves. Most nobles learn swordplay and the use of a spear from a priest of Athena.

Her priests also dabble in or support the arts, encouraging their neighbors to decorate their homes and their wares. Temples to Athena are always stately and pleasant to look at. In less settled areas where monsters or raiders are a threat, Athena’s temples tend to be fortified, but they are still built to be aesthetically pleasing.

Quests: Athena may send her priests on quests to discover new lands or to perfect their artistic or combat-oriented skills. A priest of Athena will aid anyone in need, even if the aid delays his quest.

Prayers: Warriors pray to Athena before battle, seeking strength and strategy. Explorers pray to her when they start a new voyage or a hike. Judges and kings pray to her before reaching a decision in a case, and orators often include her in their prayers before a debate.

Shrines: Most large towns and cities have temples to Athena. These buildings are always large, solid, and easily defended. In smaller settlements, she might have only a shrine, though carefully placed so that in case of attack, the villagers can use it for defense.

Rites: Athena does not stand on ceremony. Her rituals are short, simple, and elegant, with simple phrases and gestures.

Trojan War Attitude: Athena solidly supports the Achaeans. Like Hera, she hates Paris for giving the apple to Aphrodite, but she also has a strong bond with one of the Achaean heroes, Odysseus. She wants the Achaeans to win so Odysseus can win more fame and glory, all of which he dedicates to her in turn. Athena enters the war in person, found at Odysseus’ side and shielding him from harm.

Fighter 20/Cleric 20
Large outsider (Good, Lawful)
Divine Rank17
Hit Dice20d8+140 (outsider) plus 2d10+140 (Ftr) plus 20d8+140 (Clr) (940 hp)
Initiative+13 (+9 Dexterity, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed80 ft.
AC92 (-1 size, +9 Dexterity, +17 divine, +30 natural, +10 +5 breastplate, +7 +5 large steel shield, +10 deflection)
Attacks*+5 holy lawful speed shortspear +74/+74/+69/+64/+59 melee; or spell +64 melee touch or +65 ranged touch *Always receives a 20 on attack rolls; roll die to check for critical hit.
Damage*+5 holy lawful speed shortspear 1d8+32/19-20/×3; or by spell *Always does maximum damage (shortspear 40 points).
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.
Domain powers, salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities, turn undead 13/day.
Divine immunities, DR 52/+4, fire resistance 37, spontaneous casting of divine spells, understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 17 miles, remote communication, godly realm, teleport without error at will, plane shift at will, SR 49, divine aura (17 miles, DC 37).
Saves*Fort +56, Ref +58, Will +66. *Always receives a 20 on saves.
AbilitiesStrength 27, Dexterity 29, Constitution 25, Intelligence 33, Wisdom 45, Charisma 31.
Skills*Appraise +49, Climb +40, Concentration +44, Craft (pottery) +91, Craft (sculpture) +91, Craft (stoneworking) +91, Craft (weaving) +91, Diplomacy +74, Handle Animal +70, Heal +36, Jump +40, Knowledge (arcana) +48, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +51, Knowledge (history) +51, Knowledge (religion) +71, Listen +69, Profession (farmer) +77, Profession (herbalist) +77, Ride (horse) +71, Scry +48, Search +51, Sense Motive +67, Spellcraft +48, Spot +69, Swim +45, Use Rope +37. *Always receives a 20 on checks.
FeatsAlertness, Blind-Fight, Blindsight 5-ft. Radius, Brew potion, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, CraftWondrous Item, Divine Might, Dodge, Combat Expertise, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Great Cleave, Hold the Line, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Knock-Down, Mobility, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Power Critical (shortspear), Reach Spell, Sacred Spell, Scribe Scroll, Spring Attack, Sunder, Superior Expertise, Weapon Focus (shortspear), Whirlwind Attack.
Ability damage, ability drain, acid, cold, death effects, disease, disintegration, electricity, energy drain, mindaffecting effects, Paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, transmutation, imprisonment, banishment.
Divine Abilities
Alter Form, Alter Reality, Alter Size, Area Divine Shield, Avatar, Battlesense, Create Object, Create GreaterObject, Divine Armor Mastery, Divine Battle Mastery, Divine Blast, Divine Dodge, Divine Inspiration (courage), Divine Shield, Divine Storm, Divine
Weapon Focus
(shortspear), Divine Weapon Mastery, Divine Weapon Specialization (shortspear), Extra Domain (Community), Extra Domain (Law), Extra Domain (War), Mass Divine Blast.
DomainPowersCast conjuration (creation) spells at +1 caster level; 17/day use calm emotions; cast good spells at +1 caster level; cast divination spells at +1 caster level; cast law spells at +1 caster level.
Athena uses these abilities as a 27 th level caster, except for conjuration (creation) spells, good spells, divination spells, and law spells, which she uses as a 28th-level caster. The save DCs are 37 + spell level. Blade Barrier, Bless, Call Lightning,Call Lightning Storm, Calm Emotions, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Control Weather, Control Winds, Detect Secret Doors, Detect Thoughts, Dictum, Discern Location, Dismantle, Dispel Chaos, Divination, Divine Power, Find the Path, Flame Strike, Fog Cloud, Foresight, Greater Status, Forge of Air, Hephaestus’ Blessing, Heroes’ Feast, Hold Monster, Hone, Legend Lore, Magic Circle against Chaos, Magic Vestment, Magic Weapon, Major Creation, Mass Heal, Minor Creation, Obscuring Mist, Order’s Wrath, Power Word Blind, Power Word Kill, Power Word Stun, Prayer, Protection from Chaos, Refuge, Shield of Law, Sleet Storm, Spiritual Weapon, Status, Stone Shape, Stone Warriors, Storm of Vengeance , Summon Monster IX (as good or law spell only), Sympathy, Telepathic Bond, True Creation, True Seeing, Whirlwind

Cleric Spells

6/11/10/10/10/10/8/8/8/8; base DC = 27 + spell level.


Helmet of Athena

Athena wears a helmet that creates an antimagic field (as the spell) with a radius of 10 to 150 feet around her. Athena can set the radius each round as a free action. Also as a free action, Athena can turn the antimagic field completely off or turn it back on.

Caster Level: 25th; Weight: 3 lb.

Shield of Athena

When Athena is not carrying Zeus’s shield, Aegis, she uses a +5 large steel shield with the greater fortification special ability. The shield also bears the likeness of a medusa. When activated, the shield makes a gaze attack each round similar to a medusa’s gaze. Mortals within 150 feet must make Will saves (DC 25) or be turned to stone.

Athena can activate or deactivate this power once each round as a free action.

Caster Level: 25th; Weight: 15 lb.

Other Divine Powers

As a greater deity, Athena automatically receives the best possible result on any die roll she makes (including attack rolls, damage, checks, and saves).

She is immortal.

Senses: Athena can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of seventeen miles. As a standard action, she can perceive anything within seventeen miles of her worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of her titles or name was spoken in the last hour. She can extend her senses to up to twenty locations at once. She can block the sensing power of deities of her rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once for 17 hours.

Portfolio Sense: Athena senses the working of any craft, any fighting, and anything that threatens any settled area (communities with populations of 901 or more) seventeen weeks before it happens and retains the sensation for seventeen weeks after the event occurs.

Automatic Actions: Athena can use Craft (pottery), Craft (sculpture), Craft (stoneworking), Craft (weaving), Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (architecture and engineering), Knowledge (history), or Knowledge (religion) as a free action if the DC for the task is 30 or lower. She can perform up to twenty such free actions each round.

Create Magic Items: Athena can create magic weapons, armor, and items that can sustain the user through adversity, such as a necklace of adaptation, a ring of regeneration, and a periapt of wound closure. She also makes items that help the user remain morally and ethically steadfast, such as a phylactery of faithfulness.


Athena sends her avatar to defend cities and towns against attack, to witness great achievements in arts or crafts, and to oppose the actions of Ares.

Avatar of Athena: As Athena except divine rank 8; AC 74 (touch 36, flat-footed 65); Atk +63/+63/+58/+53/+48 melee (1d8+23/×3, +5 holy lawful speed shortspear) or spell +55 melee touch or +56 ranged touch; SQ DR 43/+4, fire resistance 28, SR 40, divine aura (800 ft., DC 28); SV Fort +47, Ref +49, Will +57; all skill modifiers reduced by 9.

Salient Divine Abilities: Alter Size, Battlesense, Divine Battle Mastery, Divine Dodge, Divine Shield, Divine Weapon Focus (shortspear), Divine Weapon Specialization (shortspear), Extra Domain (Community), Extra Domain (Law), Extra Domain (War).

Spell-Like Abilities: Caster level 18th; saving throw DC 28 + spell level.

Artifact of the Gods that the Avatar may possess:

Aegis, the Shield of Reflection

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