Character Progression

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Experience

Gaining Experience

The convention at our table for the majority of the time is that every hour of "gameplay" yields 1 experience point (XP). This number was periodically altered to reflect the amount of "goings on" in the world (e.g. when the cabal was castle-building the Mysts, the amount was reduced to 1hr=0.5xp), but the vast majority of the time followed this rule.

Since this game will be focused far more on world-building, this convention should be somewhat supplemented, however I am so far unsure as to how to supplement it.

Spending Experience

Experience points are spent according to the table below. The word "Current" refers to the existing value the character has. For example, raising a god's willpower from 5 to 6 would cost 5 XP.

Attributes NA
Skills 3 X New
Mortal Bias 5 X (21 - Current)^(2/3)
Miracles Tier Value - Domain Knowledge
Spells 3 X Tier Value - Domain Knowledge factor (see below)
Domain Points (Special)
Domain Knowledge 3 X New
Rituals (Special)

Attributes cannot be permanently raised after character creation, though they may be semi-permanently buffed by domain points. Rituals take years to develop depending upon their power. The exact amount of time required is up to the MD, so due to this in game requirement they do not have a fixed XP cost.

Mortal Bias

Current Value 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
XP to Next 5 8 10 13 15 17 18 20 22 23 25 26 28 29 30 32 33 34 36 37

Domains

From character creation, the god retains his natural domains unchanged. The natural domains only "change" when a god goes from minor to medium status or from medium to major status.

Domain points, however, change as the gods' followers change. If a god has attained many followers in a new domain and has neglected his followers in another domain, the domain points will shift to reflect the mortals' perceptions of the god's influence in their daily lives. Also, domain points are not restricted to natural domains, and so a god attains domain points in any domain in which he has at least one devout follower.

Domain Knowledge

Domain points are dictated by followers, but gaining Domain Knowledges is controlled strictly by the god himself. When a god wishes to learn about a domain, he goes about studying it in a pseudo-scientific manner (i.e. creating hypotheses, performing experiments, measuring results, forming conclusions). What makes this pseudo-scientific is that results may show the god not what is true, but how to make the god's desires about the domain become true.

As a god learns, he gains points of knowledge in the domain of study (which is not limited to one in which he has domain points). Domain knowledge reduces the amount of XP needed to buy a miracle or spell, potentially to zero, at which point the god may manifest new miracles and spells at will. Obtaining higher and higher points of a domain knowledge requires more and more extensive study and experimentation. Study beginning for the 5th point requires experiments so vast as to alert any god on the material plane of such activity, and study beginning for the 7th point is so vast as to alert even most mortals that a god is delving into the very primordial forces of reality.

If a god is researching a knowledge and has the ability to manifest miracles or spells pertaining to that domain, XP spent manifesting those abilities counts towards purchasing the point of knowledge. However, a god must already have 2 points in a knowledge to manifest spells of a domain in which he has no domain points, and miracles purchased after obtaining these points do not retroactively pay for those knowledges. Likewise, manifesting spells and miracles in a domain not currently being researched by a god does not count towards any future domain knowledge purchase.

Miracles and Spells

A miracle is a novel divine power that a god decides to develop in one of his natural domains. A spell is a novel divine power that a god decides to develop outside of his natural domains. As the word "natural" suggests, manifesting miracles is easier than manifesting spells.

If a god wishes to learn a new miracle in one of his domains, and the miracle is decided to be at or below the god's tier value (that is, a medium god cannot learn a major domain miracle even in his own domain), the god may simply manifest the miracle when desired. The expenditure of XP occurs on the first use of the miracle, so establishing a list of miracles to manifest when necessary is encouraged.

If a god wishes to learn a new miracle outside of his domains, this is learned as a spell. If the god lacks sufficient knowledge in the domain (i.e. a domain knowledge score less than two in the relevant domain knowledge) the god must learn the power from another god of the necessary domain and power (a major spell can only be taught by a major god). If the god does not wish to learn from such a god, or if no such god exists, he must obtain at least two points in the relevant domain knowledge in order to manifest the spell. A spell learned in this way costs its full price.

If the god is taught the spell by a god for whom the spell falls under his natural domains, the XP required decreases by two.

Ascension

When a god's mortal bias drops from 14 to 13 or from 8 to 7, he ascends to the next tier of domains. This advancement can be quick, happening with a coup in which the god steals the followers of gods of related domains and drops a point of mortal bias in the process, or it can take years, decades, or centuries, as the god slowly assimilates roles of other, lesser gods who are no longer as active as before.

With each ascension, the "value" of a god's domain points double for lower domains. This means that at MB 14 the god can put up to 14 domain points into minor domains, while at MB 13 the god can put up to 16 points into medium domains, or 32 points into minor domains, or some combination of the both.

The god can choose to keep his existing domains, or assimilate similar ones into a more-encompassing, higher-tier domain. Domain points of assimilated domains are combined to form the total for the new domain. For example, ascending from the god of battle-won glory (2 dp) and field medicine (3 dp) to the god of battle would give the battle domain 5 dp. If the god does not (or cannot) assimilate a domain, it remains along with its domain points. If the god wishes to move those dp to other domains and drop that domain, he must convince his followers that he no longer commands that domain (that is, such a rearrangement of points is not granted by ascendancy in and of itself).

Second, the ascending deity gains 2 more domain points (as usual) to spend in existing domains or new domains. These represent either the increase of followers the deity has experienced and the subsequent addition to his mythology created by these followers, or, more commonly, the gods slightly enhanced ability to recognize the subjective flows of reality. Again, old domains cannot be dropped, but they can be merged with new domains in order to assimilate the points. For example, if Jeff the god of biscuits (3 dp) wishes to put his 2 new dp into the baked goods domain, he may assimilate the points from his biscuits domain to become simply Jeff the god of baked goods (5 dp).

Examples

Since this is quite complicated, let's take a more encompassing example.

Minor to Medium

Using the god Jeff from above, let's say Jeff is a god of biscuits (5 dp), deep sea diving (3 dp), and big game hunting (6 dp). He has just dropped his 14th point of mortal bias to become a medium tier god. First, Jeff's player Karl decides to assimilate deep sea diving and big game hunting into exotic exploration. His domain names don't quite reflect this assimilation, but Karl has been playing Jeff to such an extent that everyone agrees this assimilation is fair. At this stage, Jeff is the god of biscuits (5 dp) and exotic exploration (9 dp).

Next, Karl wants to use 1 of his 2 new dp to assimilate biscuits into baked goods. This puts Jeff as the god of baked goods (6 dp) and exotic exploration (9 dp) with 1 more dp to spend in either those domains or a new one. Karl decides to use the last of those dp on the first tier lingerie domain. Since Jeff is a medium god and lingerie counts as a minor domain, this investment counts double.

Finally, Jeff is now the god of baked goods (6 dp), exotic exploration (9 dp), and lingerie (2 dp).

Medium to Major

After a thousand productive years, Jeff has slowly led his people to displace many of the other faiths in his region of the world. During this time, Jeff has lost now an additional 6 points of mortal bias, bringing him down to a mere 7. This sparks another ascension, and Karl once again rearranges Jeff's domains. In the time since his last ascension, Jeff has expanded lingerie and picked up a minor domain of the forge, making Jeff the god of baked goods (6 dp), exotic exploration (9 dp), lingerie (10 dp), and the forge (12 dp).

First, Karl is going to assimilate baked goods (6 dp) with lingerie (10 dp) into the new tier 1 domain femininity (11 dp), and exotic exploration (9 dp) with the forge (12 dp) into the domain masculinity (15 dp). So at this stage, Jeff is the god of masculinity (15 dp) and femininity (11 dp).

Second, Karl also wants to take Jeff in a totally new direction, so he puts his 2 new domain points into the medium (tier 2) domain of learning. Again, since learning is a medium domain, while Jeff is now a major god, these points count double. If Karl had chosen, say, "lightning" as a minor domain instead of learning, the multiplier would instead by 4, giving him effectively 8 dp in lightning.

Nearing the epitome of power, Jeff is now the god of masculinity (15 dp), femininity (11 dp), and learning (4 dp).

Losing the Last of Mortal Bias

Losing the last point of mortal bias is a universe-shaking event. At this point in his incredibly long existence, the god has reached to the outermost bounds of his divine abilities. He has shattered his illusory mortal barriers and found his true (but distant) godly limitations. Dropping the final point of mortal bias represents an ascension from godhood equivalent to the ascension into godhood.

If a player character were to reach this level of achievement, there are many ways to take the character from here. One possibility is to continue the game, and to bestow the god with more powers, say, open higher tier domains (whatever those would be) and give him more domain points to spend.

Alternatively, the player can choose his god's "major" domain, and the god may, at will, dissolve into or coalesce from the abstract concept of that domain. For example, the god of war could ascend into the concept of war itself. At the bare level, this would allow him to instantly transport himself to anywhere a war was raging, even if the war was cold, and even if he had never been there. His power over war would no longer be contingent upon his followers' belief in that aspect of him (in game terms, whenever the god should lose dp from the domain of war, his effective number of points remains constant). Artifacts and rituals that have the power to destroy even gods would only dissolve the god into his major domain, from which he could again coalesce at any time and place where the concept of the domain exists.

Another possibility is that this ascension is mirrored in his followers by a conversion to monotheism. "Jeff the god of biscuits" becomes simply "Jeff, the one true god." The god is considered to have 10 dp in all domains, except those in which he had more, where the higher of 10 and its value is used.

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