View Full Version : Simpler system for god games [PEACH]

2015-01-01, 01:42 PM
The system introduced in Deities and Demigods is quite good at representing deific power but too complex for a casual game. Add to that the Epic levels from ELH and especially epic magic and mechanics quickly become impossible for anyone but the most experienced players. This is an attempt to design a simpler system that is quick to grasp and easy to use, that makes building and playing deific characters less impossible and more balanced.

Deities and Ranks

1) A "deity" is any being that isn't mortal, whether they're worshipped as gods, feared as abominations, remain neutral as cosmic powers, or are beyond mortal experience altogether. Alternatively, a "deity" is any entity built with these rules instead of the normal monster or character progressions.

2) A deity's Power measures how much it can invest in total into various deific abilities (see below) while a deity's Rank measures how strong each individual ability can be. Power 6 and Rank 1 are the weakest or newborn demigods, who only seem powerful when compared to mundane mortals. Greater Deities and Planar Lords can have Power in the hundreds and Rank in the dozens - there is no upper limit. There is no set way a deity gains power; depending on the setting, some might need worshippers, others might grow by claiming souls, some are tied to the importance of their portofolio, and some might either grow with time or remain entirely static.

Deific Abilities
Deities can invest their Power in the following abilities, with their Rank being the maximum per ability. These abilities represent acts deities can perform as deities, as well as their capabilities when physically present. All deities start with a single point of Power in each ability.

Measures the deity's influence with the world and its portofolio. A deity's rank in Authority is the number of times it can perform a miracle in a given scene or span of time, usually a game day. In addition, a deity can sense the intentions of any being it is aware of with lower Authority than itself that affect it or its interests. The DM should give a heads-up in important situations and assume unimportant situations are resolved in the deity's favor.

Measures the basic capabilities of the deity's physical form. Rank 1 (which every deity has) allows the deity to assume a medium humanoid form with 10 Outsider HD, an ability array of 18/16/14/12/10/8, +6 enhancement and +5 inherent bonuses to all scores. A deity's Avatar is not subject to sleep, suffocation, starvation, thirst, environmental hazards, aging or paradox. They can only be harmed through violence. Each subsequent rank advances the HD by 5, increases Constitution by 6 and grants a singe special ability or quality from the SRD, subject to DM approval.
Deities need avatars as anchors through which they can act in the world; only a deity's senses and passive influence work without an avatar. Avatars can be slain or incapacitated by any source of sufficient violence, even mortals; the deity can reform them by exerting Authority but until it does, it can't otherwise act. Avatars are also weak points; deific enemies of equal or higher rank that incapacitate one can prevent the deity from exerting its own Authority by temporarily reducing their own Rank by 1. Unless the deity can free itself with avatar actions or gets outside help, it can be kept imprisoned as long as its enemy is willing to pay the cost in Rank.

Measures the deity's ability to act with force through its Avatar. The first rank gives the deity an extra attack action or move action, increases Avatar strength by 6 and allows it to roll 4d8 instead of an attack's damage if it would be higher. Each subsequent rank gives additional attack or move, increases the bonus by another 6 and adds another 4d8 to the roll. Additionally, the deity can increase its height by up to 10 ft per rank and reach by 5 ft per rank at any time as free action - its stats aren't modified. Using Might requires an Avatar.

Measures the deity's ability to sense further than others do. Each rank in Insight allows the deity to project its senses to one additional location or creature it is familiar with and increases its Avatar's Wisdom by 6. Furthermore, the deity's senses can ignore one type of magical impediment (such as silence, obscuring mist, invisibility, shapeshifting) OR detect one additional type of information (such as magical auras, alignment auras, thoughts, temperature, creature type) OR ignore 5 feet of physical barriers per point of Insight. Insight does not require an Avatar to use, though without one (or with an incapacitated one) any relevant perception bonuses are +0.

Measures the deity's ability to alter reality and grant requests. Each rank increases Charisma by 6. At rank 1, a deity's miracles (when Authority is exerted) can replicate the effects of a 9th level spell, and deity can grant up to 2nd level spells to followers when either the appropriate training exists (levels in cleric class) or the approriate sacrifice is made. For each subsequent rank, the deity can grant spells 1 additional level higher and can (when Authority is exerted) replicate an effect 3 additional levels higher. A deity can add a given metamagic more than once if the total effect level is within the limit; the effects stack. Miracles are divine effects not subject to antimagic or SR. Using Spirit for miracles requires an active Avatar, even if the avatar isn't present. Granting spells does not.

Measures the deity's ability to craft things beyond mortal limits and shape new life. Each rank gives 6 points spread however the deity decides between Intelligence and Dexterity. Additionally, each rank allows the deity to exceed the limits by 100% when crafting a given object for any one trait other than the item's total magical bonus or effective spell level. At rank 1 they could, for example craft an item with 100% more HP, or hardness, or number of charges. At rank 3 they could, for example craft a wand with four times the charges, a building with one fourth the weight, or a weapon functioning as 3 size categories larger. Alternatively, a deity can create a new creature with 3 CR per rank in this ability. Each use requires exerting Authority and takes a single action, no matter how much time, feats or other resources a mortal would need. Skill requires an Avatar.