Overview

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Introduction
Character Creation
World of Gods
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Meta-Deity Guide

Deities is a d6-based system for managing a tabletop role-playing game where players take on the roles of gods in a fictitious world of the design of a special player called the Meta-Deity.

The Deities system is follows a philosophy of minimalism to provide the most freedom of expression for players, as discussed on the Philosophy page. Players design characters according to the rules of Character Creation, while the Meta-Deity designs the world in which they act.

Character statistics fall into three categories: mundane attributes, supernatural attributes, and abilities. Mundane attributes consist of a forte and a failing, each describing a broad range of activities at which a god is naturally adept or inept, respectively, and a list of boons. Boons are skills, knowledge, talents, and training that further describe a god's capabilities.

Supernatural attributes include Mortal Bias, being a measure of how much a god feels and acts like a mortal, domains, and domain knowledge. Domains are the slice of reality over which a god has supernatural control. Domain knowledge is the divine understanding of reality attainable only by gods.

Abilities include specific actions a god can perform that other gods may not, and that are beyond the realm of any individually-acting mortal. Miracles are those actions that come naturally to the god, such as curing a mortal's disease for a god of healing. Spells are abilities taught to a god by another god that lie outside his domains, such as curing disease for a god of knowledge.

Mundane Attributes

Each god has a forte, a failing, and a list of boons. The forte and failing can be Physical, Mental, or Social, and one cannot be chosen for both (i.e. if the forte is Physical then the failing must be either Mental or Social).

Boons may be skills, talents, or specialized training the a god possesses. They are divided into General Boons and Specific Boons, with each Specific Boon falling under one General Boon. For example, a god of harvest may have a General Boon of Farming with Specific Boons of Crop Raising and Cattle Herding, while a god of knowledge may have General Boons of Academics and Science, with Specific Boons of Psychology and History under Academics and Chemistry and Genetics under Science. Deities has no set list of boons; they are set by the Meta-Deity at the start of a campaign.

Supernatural Attributes

Each god possesses a Mortal Bias, multiple Domains, and some (or no) Domain Knowledge. Mortal Bias is a single number, whereas Domains and Domain Knowledge are aggregate collections of stats.

Mortal Bias (MB) is a collective term referring to the mortal perspectives, mannerisms, emotions, and philosophies that a god has brought with him into godhood from his mortal life. His views on life, friendship, respect, and even how he gets out of bed in the morning reflect a person acclimated and thus chained to a mortal existence. A transition into divinity immediately changes the very nature of all of these things, but a god's mind does not immediately acclimate to his new existence. Indeed, how and how quickly a god comes to understand his new identity is shaped entirely by his old.

In game terms, Mortal Bias is the core stat that measures the god's progress in breaking free of his mortal mindset and embracing his divinity. As a god's Mortal Bias lowers, he gains new core abilities called Mortal Bias Restricted Powers, his maximum benefit from having worshipers increases, his Divine Concentration increases, and more. On top of all of this, there are many supplementary rules that use Mortal Bias to determine power.

A Domain is a facet of reality over which a god may exert divine control. Which domains a god can naturally expand into are chosen at character creation, though if he gains followers of a domain other than his chosen domains, it becomes a Synthetic Domain. Many actions a god performs related to his domains are supernaturally successful.

Domain Knowledge measures a god's fundamental insight into a facet of reality. Unlike domains, domain knowledges are not fixed at character creation, nor does the player choose any. Like a mortal skill, a deity increases points in a domain knowledge by study and practice. Unlike domain points, the points in a domain knowledge are not restricted by mortal bias, and domain knowledges is not classified by tier.

After a god has sufficiently studied a domain, he gains points in a related domain knowledge that corresponds to a medium level domain. Domain knowledge is measured on a 10-point scale.

Abilities

Of the core abilities, Divine Wonderworking contains all abilities that are deity-specific. While Divine Powers are obtainable by any god, miracles and spells must be created or taught in order to be acquired.

Miracles are the bread and butter of divine existence. From turning water to wine, slaying the first born males of a nation by plague, or sending lightning bolts to strike down foes, gods perform miracles of all sorts. As opposed to Innate Powers, miracles are deity-specific, as typically a god of death cannot turn lead into gold (though there are exceptions; see Spells below).

As with domains and gods themselves, miracles are divided into a three-tiered hierarchy of minor miracles, medium miracles, and major miracles. The differences between the tiers lie mostly in scope, as it should be simple even for a minor god of healing to heal a mortal of all of his wounds, no matter how grievous. Minor gods can only create or learn minor miracles, while major gods can create and learn miracles of all levels.

Spells are miracles a god has acquired outside of his domains. They may have been taught to him by another god who possesses them as miracles, or he may have created them himself from intense study. Whereas miracles are those powers a god naturally manifests in his domains, spells are exertions of divine will that the god has taken the time and effort to learn and master.

In all form and function, spells are identical to miracles. They fall into the usual minor, medium, and major hierarchy, and each has an associated minor or medium domain, base statistics, and so forth.

Divine Powers are abilities that all gods either have or may obtain. All deities begin with innate powers available to them, and as he lowers his mortal bias, he gains additional powers, called Mortal Bias Restricted Powers. For example, upon dropping his mortal bias to 17, a god may take the shape of any living thing, and upon reaching mortal bias 13, a god may take any shape he can imagine.

Some powers require Divine Concentration to use and are called active powers. These are marked with the prefix (A). Those that do not require Divine Concentration are called passive powers and are marked (P).

Innate Powers are divine powers that every god has access to. Many of these are the qualities that really make a god a god.

These powers are

  • (A) personal flight,
  • (P) indestructibility,
  • (P) immortality,
  • (P) eternal youth (or whatever age the person was when he became a god),
  • (P) immunity to diseases, poisons, and toxins,
  • (A) instantaneous teleportation to any place previously visited,
  • (P) the capacity to speak all and understand languages,
  • (A) non-magical item conjuration (up to the size of a large building),
  • (P) the capacity to hear domain-related prayers,
  • (P) the ability to detect domain-related magic and anything mundane but intensely influenced by god's domains.

Strict interpretation of what each power means is left to the Meta-Deity. For example, though a god is indestructible, this does not mean he is immune to physical trauma and pain. The classic case of the exploitation of this is the story of Prometheus from Greek mythology. He was confined to a mountain where every day a bird would devour part of his liver. He would remain alive, and it would regrow, but he still felt pain and received physical harm.

Examples of implementation can be found on the Game:Alpha page, and other games.

See the Divine Powers page for the list of mortal bias restricted powers.

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