If gods exist in a story, why don't they step in and save the heroes? Here are some ways to keep the gods alive while leaving the heroics to the heroes.
- The gods have created the world and now don't want anything to do with it.
- The gods were insulted by mortals and are enjoying the conflicts. (This resembles the plot of the original Drangonlance chronicles.)
- The gods are bored with their perfect lives.
- The gods fight among themselves with gods of equal power on each side, and human conflicts mirror theirs (Warning: the image of gods playing chess with the mortal characters has been done... and done.)
- The gods have ethical objections to politics.
- The gods have other worlds to take care of and can't be multiple places at once.
- The gods only have power within the minds of their followers (to offer comfort or admonishments, for instance,) not the world as a whole.
- The gods can give magical powers to mortals but not change the world by themselves.
- The gods only have as much power as mortals believe they do, or power according to the number of their followers.