Meta-Deity's Guide

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Deities has little defined structure and what is there is loose and open to interpretation. So before a group can sit down to play, the Meta-Deity (MD) has a number of decisions to make and things to design. When thinking about the topics below, keep in mind the preferred gaming style of your players. Develop elements you know they will explore, and leave as details parts of the game they probably won't.


Divine Ascension

Perhaps the best starting place is deciding the event that makes the characters into gods. Were they sucked into an inter-dimensional rip in the fabric of spacetime that gave them near-limitless power? Were they unwittingly part of a science experiment gone wrong? Were they chosen by another god with Mortal Bias 1?

Your choice of method of ascension should conform to the natural or supernatural laws of the world in which the characters will be gods. If the game is only to be played a few times, the sky's the limit, but if you wish this to be an ongoing game, a bit of care should be taken in choosing the exact method.

The specifics of how this ascension works may delve deeply into the metaphysics of your game universe, which is discussed below, but which do not necessarily need to be determined in order to start the game.

Socio-Political and Physical Geography - a.k.a. the World

Starting Location

Next to consider should be where the characters will begin their lives as gods. You should map out the local region, its inhabitants, and anyone or anything else the characters may interact with. Know the miracles your players choose for their gods so that you can give them any additional information sensory miracles might give, or so that you can quickly determine the effects of active powers, like throwing fireballs or summoning a flash flood.

Typically characters will continue to believe they are mortal and, if transported, that they are still located where they were before they became gods. Plan for them to attempt to find signs of life as they knew of it before their ascension incident. For example, if the characters began as normal people on Earth and they are transported to a Tolkien-style world of fantasy and magic, first they will try to find signs of "civilization." This normally means they will attempt to find people to talk to and a direction in which to travel.

Beyond the Beginning

After working out the starting location, its inhabitants, and its properties, you will want to design the rest of the world. There are two ways to take this: inside-out or outside-in.

In the inside-out approach, simply develop more and more territory surrounding the starting location. If the gods started out on land, that land is probably claimed by a local ruler. So create the rest of the territory of the local ruler. If that ruler answers to a higher ruler, next design that higher ruler's territory. Continue this way until you're at the mega-ultra-emperor (or whoever is on top in that region). He must interact with neighboring civilizations, right? So next design their territory.

The outside-in method means starting with the world as a whole. Divide the planet into continents. After that, create the geography of the continents and then place inhabitants (of various species/races/etc.). Out of these inhabitants, create cultures for those sentient enough to create it, and finally create over-arching political territories. In these territories, work your way down further, repeating the world-creation procedure on an ever-smaller scale, until you reach the scale the gods will interact with.

The inside-out approach is more organic while the outside-in is more controlled.

Character Creation

The Character Creation page details the process from the players' side, so this section discusses it from the MD's perspective.

When players start creating their characters, especially when determining their starting miracles, a number of metaphysical questions may arise. The player should have a basic road map for where they want to take their character.


Keeping Track of Activity

The more gods do, the more they can do. This means as a god interacts with the world, he shapes and manipulates it according to his will. For example, if a god comes across a town, he will likely prove himself a god in some way in order to sway the inhabitants to worship him.

Eventually a god will leave this town, but the town won't forget about him. The process will repeat, with the god becoming more and more well known. Additionally, as a god lowers his Mortal Bias, he gains access to more innate abilities, in addition to adding whatever spells and miracles he decides to learn. These give him broader and broader, stronger and stronger powers over the world around him.

All of this means that you will need a way to record what happens. For a physical record, a good way to start is to get a 2-inch binder with sections according to region. In each region, add pages of information as events develop or as you create them. At the beginning of the binder, have a section where you keep a time-line of events. This way, you can keep track of things both by date and by location.

For a digital record, a private wiki is invaluable. Many places now provide free resources to create a small wiki, or, if you have the gumption, you can host it privately on your home computer. The same basic structure as the physical record applies; have a page devoted to a time-ordered list of events, and several pages outlining the structure of each territory and inhabitants. However, a wiki allows a level of organization and growth that is just not possible with physical sheets of paper.

Lowering Mortal Bias

As a game progresses, there comes a time when the players will ask about lowering their gods' Mortal Bias. To make this the most fair, you should work out conditions for this process.

One possible method is to set a philosophical goal for each point. Lowering mortal bias is, in a sense, about forgetting integral parts of humanity. The first few dots can be simple things, like a god realizing he cannot die (dropping to MB 19) or that he controls certain parts of reality or nature (MB 18). Higher dots can require more abstract contemplations, such as understanding the paradox that, ultimately, nothing mortals do matters, but that anything a god does is just as transient, and so everything matters just as much as before (MB 11).

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