It’s great to be a god
Tread where mortals have not trod
Be defied when really you’re a sham
Be an object of devotion
Be the subject of psalms
The title of god seems like a lofty one for any mere mortal to achieve, however it is well within the rules to reach if you know just what to do. Why be a cleric to some unknown god when you can be your own source of divine powers? Why worship some unknowable being playing their own cosmic games when you can get others to play yours instead?
Now before you freak out let me lay out the ground work with a few things. First – what is a god/goddess/deity? Well it is a being with cosmic power who lives in the Divine Realm, their power comes from those that believe in them. So if that belief ever dies so does their power, making them easy to cast out or overthrow. See where I’m going with this yet. Second – self determination. We are talking about the process by which a person controls their own life. Being able to have this as a player can be everything even for things like where they gather strength or power from.
What can we do with these two things is kind of endless as the all powerful DMs we are but this post has a very focused intended out come. Becoming a deity of power. A player could go around spreading the news of any old god or goddess they want to. It would be perfectly normal for them to spread tales of their own deeds as well. All it takes is that extra step of linking the two and suddenly you are working your way up the deity ladder of power. Talk to people, tell of your deeds, save people and let them know who did it. Spread your philosophy and your words as you travel. Leave altars to yourself along cross roads, camp sites, in every town and city you stop in. As the belief in you as a greater power rises so does your rise to full deity status.
Now comes the slightly trickier part of in game ramifications of your new deity status. It sounds all good and like a great goal for a character that could lead to some great growth moments. Also as a slightly evil DM I can think of so many story arcs that this could cause. But what mechanics can we use in game to show this without having a single player become overpowered and therefore overshadowing the group? There are a few tweaks we can do if we want to fully integrate such a thing into the game, which honestly should you do that I suggest giving all the characters this option. If you wanted it to be purely story just let them run wild with it and have it be the source of their powers like a cleric or a paladin.
For a crunchier take on things lets take a deeper dive on an option on tying the choice more directly into your game world. We will need a scale to work off of that gives boons as long as a certain level of commitment is maintained. Gods after all have people not only worshipping them but coming to them for answers or help. Maintaining your rising god status means dealing in some of the this divine paperwork. Now this blog is ranty and a bit loosey-goosey providing a trellis of sorts for you as the DM to have structure in your attempts to implement my madness from past campaigns. My suggestion for this scaled deity chart is to have additional requirements that must be met to keep the power curve in sync with the group. For example ‘Must have 1k followers/believers AND be at least 5th level’ = ‘A casting of smite tied to the theme you’ve chosen for yourself’ as long as ‘You spend at least 2 hours of any downtime or rest listening to prayers and requests, you do not need to answer back at this time’. Or ‘Must have 500k followers/believers AND at least 10 large shrines’ = ‘Any 3 spells from any spell list that fits your chosen theme, these can be cast once per day without spending a spell slot’ as long as ‘You spend at least half of any downtime you have fielding requests from your believers and make at least 3 attempts to guide them’.
Now you can see where I am going with this balance of things. With great power comes great responsibility as I think one high flying web slinging drider once said. Obligation in godly duties that cut out time from other advances or opportunities but powers as a reward. The time your Ranger spends taming a wyvern, or your Druid learning new wildshapes, or your fighter mastering fighting with two blades you are stuck listening to your believers to work up this deity hierarchy. It can of course suck but maintaining their belief in you lets you grow in power. A give and take between a god/goddess/deity an the followers whose belief fuels them. Which honestly to me sounds like throw all the players into that situation and just make a whole campaign out of it. That may end up being my next DMs Guild solo supplement actually.
All of this is to say that you can do some pretty wild things in not just D&D, where I’m pulling these particular rules from, but any TTRPG system if you look through the rules. There are little nuggets like this that often get overlooked, missed, or people just haven’t put two and two together yet. If you google this one though you’ll find I’m not the only one who has discovered this tidbit and hopefully you and I won’t be the last. So go forth and raise yourself to new heights! If you need me I will be making an air genasi tempest domain cleric spreading my own good news far and wide as the bringer of calm seas and strong winds for sailors.
With that little rambling over with, I’m JustKay your regular DM Dalliance on the web and I’ll see you next post.