Wednesday, May 31, 2023

On Great Men and Little Gods (GLOG Class: Demigod)

    This one's off the top of my head, no playtesting. Compare to Locheil's Magos, Demonologist and Sacred One, from which I stole most of the mechanics. Sorry for copying your Sacred One again buddy, it's a good class. The obvious second round of ripoffs came from Kevin Crawford's Godbound. There are other references, but they're mostly linked in the text.

Source: John Augustus Knapp

    This is related to an in-the-works setting with limited presence on this blog. Highlights include a Mughal-colored Hobgoblin Empire, race-as-class, class-as-race, and a very complex system of minor gods and worship. I was writing up a post for a Domain Game where the players are minor gods, and they rule over a little cult with its little temples and so forth. Then I got to thinking: surely those minor gods aren't so minor they're doing their own adventuring. When they need something done right the first time, who do they trust?

Class: Demigod

    You are a Demigod, a supernaturally powerful human with one mortal parent and one divine parent. No other detail about you and your life is as interesting as that, I'm sorry to say. Your divine parent is one of the "little gods", of which there are many, though because they were one of the 66 gods with Major Domains they were powerful enough to have you as a child. Choose two Domains from the list at the bottom of this post and reference it throughout the class. Because the 66 gods each have their own unique pairing of domains, if another demigod has the same Domains as you they must be your half-sibling.
   Demigods may wear all types of armor and can use all weapons. It's nice to be someone important.

Skills: 1. Trivium 2. Quadrivium 3. Smooching up on the sweeties
Starting Equipment: hunting spear (heavy), three bronze throwing discs (light), priestly robes (as unarmored), fine silver mirror
  • A Glory, Power, Kingdom
  • B Servitors
  • C Miracles
  • D Reify  
    Those who see you immediately know you are someone important, though not everyone is so well-versed in lore as to recognize a demigod immediately. This makes you the most prominent member of any group, unless you are in the company of a higher-level demigod. You can temporarily suppress this ability for as many days as you have [templates] if you wish to walk among mortals unnoticed, but the reveal of your true nature is more dazzling and terrifying the longer you do this. Don't hide for more than a few hours if you don't want people saving vs. blindness or insanity.
    You have a pool of divine power which you spend to fuel your abilities. You start with a maximum of 2 Divinity, gaining one more for every [template] in this class. Temples, shrines and statues can enlarge your pool, though of course these can become targets for you enemies. At this level you can invest 1 point of Divinity in a creature with a touch, granting it +1 maximum HP and +1 to all saves and checks. You can invest up to [templates] points in a creature at a time, and can withdraw any amount of Divinity with another touch. Two demigods can transfer any amount of Divinity to each other with a touch.
    When someone sacrifices a cow, three goats or a dozen birds in your name, you regain 1 point of Divinity. When you slay a monster or hero of HD equal to or greater than yours, you gain 1 point of Divinity, though you must strike the killing blow.
    You also have a demirealm, under your absolute control and in an aesthetic style determined by you. It's somewhere someone could get to by walking, if they knew how, and most likely adjacent to or inside your parent's realm. When someone you have invested Divinity in dies, you immediately know, and may choose to have their soul migrate to your Kingdom. The shades of the dead have most of their memories and a little of their personality, though they aren't very talkative.
    You can enter your Kingdom at any time from a temple dedicated to yourself or (if you haven't got one of those) to your divine parent. You can bring other living creatures if you have invested your Divinity in them. There's food, water and air in your Kingdom but it's probably not very pleasant for mortals.
    By spending Divinity you can summon a divine servant, who appears from off-screen by odd coincidence. The form and abilities of these servants depends on your parent's Domains, and they have HD and powerlevel based on how many points of Divinity you spend. Servitors are fairly loyal (though they may be odd or may have duties to perform), reasonably intelligent (though in an inhuman way), and stick around until their physical bodies are killed or you dismiss them. If you dismiss them in your presence, you regain spent Divinity.
    By spending Divinity you can perform miracles to punish your enemies or reward your allies. Every demigod has the basic ability to throw a bolt of power for [Divinity]d6 points of damage, or heal [Divinity] mortal wounds with a touch. Your parent's Domains give you other Miracles. You choose one from each domain for the moment, though you can adventure to gain more.
    You may alter reality in the entire area within your sight, so long as that which you alter is at least tangentially related to one of your Domains. Dictate as many facts about the new way reality works as you wish. For each noun, verb, adverb or adjective, pay 1 Divinity. This is a major working which exploits the authority of your divine parent. Do not use it lightly. Be careful when using it in populated areas or the presence of powerful magi. And never do it in the realm of another god, unless you're ready to die for the privilege.


  1. Chance

        All demigods of Chance are auspicious. In your presence, your friends gain an extra +2 save for each of their [templates]. You may spend Divinity to grant yourself an equal amount of +1s on any save or check after you see the result (but please be polite and tell your DM if you intend to use this power).
        The Servitors of Chance are the Fairy. They may be wee folk, or winged sprites, or tall gentlepersons with pale skin and dark eyes, or hideous bridge-trolls, though they will tend to be larger with more Divinity. They cannot lie, though they can bullshit incredibly and like to spend their free time dicking about with mortals. In a fight they can whip out +Divinity weapons of green wood, tinsel and glass. These weapons dissolve quickly in the hands of anyone else. Fairies are very proud of their reputation for irascibility and conspicuous hatred of other Servitors and demigods.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Openly Cheating
      Pay 1 Divinity to get the maximum result on one of your rolls.
    • Evil Eye
      Pay 1 Divinity to force someone else to reroll anything.

        When a demigod of Chance has a pool of 5 Divinity, their eyes have 1–6 pupils every time they blink. When they have 10, dice rolled or cards dealt in their presence come up as they dictate, even in impossible ways (rolling 7 on a six-sided die, five-of-a-kind poker hands, &c).
  2. Death

        All demigods of Death are horrifying. In your presence, foes get a penalty to Morale checks equal to their [templates]. You may spend Divinity as you mark a doorway with blood or charcoal. If blood, the inhabitants of that building gain a +Divinity bonus to avoiding Death. If charcoal, an equivalent penalty.
        The Servitors of Death are the Psychopomps. Their appearance is by far the most variegated of all Servitors (with the possible exception of Aliens), as it depends on local superstition. They may be skeletal corpses, angels in black cloaks, tiger-headed men, flocks of pigeons, long shadows, black cats... but all of them are instantly recognized by mortals. Their weapons are fine steel, and wounds dealt by them take a long time to heal which cannot be hurried by magic. Psychopomps can be told a name as they are summoned. They always know how far away and in what direction the thing that bears this name lies, unless carefully shrouded against them. Let me repeat that so you can note the wording carefully: they KNOW how FAR AWAY and IN WHAT DIRECTION the THING that BEARS THIS NAME lies, UNLESS CAREFULLY SHROUDED AGAINST THEM.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Merciless
      No one in your presence may die from any cause besides swords, fire or water unless you allow it.
    • Pale Hand
      Pay 1 Divinity per HD to instantly slay a target with a single touch, no save. No effect on lifeless automatons.

        When a demigod of Death has a pool of 5 Divinity, they no longer bleed. When they have 10, they no longer need to breathe, and are cold to the touch.
  3. The Dungeon

        All demigods of the Dungeon are dismal. In your presence, traps (deliberate, mechanical ones) are revealed. You may spend Divinity to open a conventional lock, or spike a door against [Divinity] adult men's worth of battering.
        The Servitors of the Dungeon are the Gnomes. Short, behatted, barbigerous gentlemen, indefatigable, slightly vicious, famously industrious. To non-gnomes all Gnomes appear almost entirely identical to each other except for the color of their wee jackets and pointy caps. All gnomes know each other, and have well-developed (if slightly biased) opinions of each others' ability. Despite being knee-high, a gnome is as strong as [Divinity] men and can do the work of [Divinity] times ten. They excel at bridge-building, ditch-digging, wall-tumbling, safe-cracking, vault-drilling, tower-erecting, wall-extending, and all other forms of building and breaking. Gnomes love toil and grumbling equally well.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Artisan
      Pay Divinity to create a magical treasure. At minimum you could make a +X sword, or you could negotiate with your DM for other benefits. Two points could get you a +1 Flaming Sword, +1 Vorpal Axe, Wand of Casting a Spell at 2MD Once Per Day, that sort of thing.
    • Sick Lands
      An area about the size of an acre or a few stories of a large building becomes inhospitable to human life. Monsters infest shadows, trees drop poison fruit, doors become trapped at random, magical gloom prevents darkvision, and the like. You are immune to these negative effects.

        When a demigod of the Dungeon has a pool of 5 Divinity, their footsteps always sound like bare feet. When they have 10, their eyes reflect like gold, and they can see in the dark as well as a cat can.
  4. Fertility

        All demigods of Fertility are lovely. People and animals have +2 reaction to you for each [template]. You may spend Divinity to charm someone for [Divinity] days with a kiss, or bless a field, village, flock or orchard for [Divinity] seasons.
        The Servitors of Fertility are the Foxes. They appear as alluring, mysterious strangers, often with remarkable physical characteristics (get your mind out of the gutter, I mean things like "bright red hair" or "sharp teeth they hide with a fan or veil"). They fight savagely with torches and daggers, but they prefer to avoid combat. Foxes may legally marry [Divinity] people, and their romantic pursuits are always successful. Servitors and other monsters are oddly unwilling to harm or impede them, but Foxes are unwilling to really abuse this favor.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Esoteric Birth
      Pay any amount of Divinity to bless a target with the assurance of a healthy conception, or to simply induce pregnancy. You may dictate up to [Divinity] supernatural qualities that the child will be born with or develop.
    • Green World
      Overnight, plants within 10 miles of you grow wildly as if for [Divinity] seasons.

        When a demigod of Fertility has a pool of 5 Divinity, their shadow changes to that of an animal of their choice. When they have 10, they can perform impossible feats of harvest, such as pulling ripe fruit off of trees in the middle of winter, or catching giant saltwater tuna in small creeks with their bare hands.
  5. Fire

        All demigods of Fire are bold. Fire will not harm you, even by smoke or by collapsing buildings on top of you. You may spend Divinity to summon a werelight for [Divinity] hours, with luminosity dependent on the Divinity spent.
        The Servitors of Fire are the Salamanders. They appear as crawling things, squamous or non-, of some bright color. All Salamanders are immune to fire in any form, including supernatural or Hellish. They also all have deadly poisonous (to the tune of [Divinity]d6) breath, though they breathe almost not at all. Salamanders summoned with more Divinity have sturdier hides, and may be winged or poison-spitting. They tend to be surly and inattentive servants, and prone to robbery and random acts of cruelty. Even kicking and shouting at them won't make them obey you more swiftly, but they can be bribed, and all Salamanders love riddles.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Kindling Word
      You cover an acre of territory with a rain of fire for [Divinity] minutes. Each combat round, creatures in that area must save or take 1d6 points of fire damage. There are about 10 combat rounds in a minute.
    • Repayment
      Pay any amount of Divinity to draw an object or creature out of a bonfire, as if rescuing a dropped sausage. Anything or anyone who has been destroyed by fire within the past [Divinity] seasons is a valid target.

        When a demigod of Fire has a pool of 5 Divinity, they are accompanied by the smell of woodsmoke at all times. When they have 10, they can raise their body temperature high enough to scorch grapplers or light clothing or wooden objects ablaze.
  6. Madness

        All demigods of Madness are alarming. In your presence, rolls of a natural 1 or a natural 20 have slightly-implausible effects. You may spend Divinity to grant an equal number of days of speech and self-knowledge to an animal or object; they are rarely grateful.
        The Servitors of Madness are the Aliens. They appear as strange, horrible and twisted things. Think of deer with antlers of interlocking hands, backwards men in dark suits, swarms of winged eyes and the like  — as much as there is a "like" to Aliens. Touching them with bare flesh has cancerous consequences. Breathing their air sickens. Considering their form deranges. On the other hand, they love a good party.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Inspiring Words
      Choose an emotion. A shimmering sign appears in the air above your head for [Divinity] minutes, and all who see the sign experience that emotion. Powerful creatures may save to avoid it. "Drunken revelry" is an emotion.
    • Suicidal Secret
      Scream in a targets face. They will, in [Divinity] sentences, tell you those things they least want you to know at that moment, as judged by the DM.

        When a demigod of Madness has a pool of 5 Divinity, they can babble in the secret language known to all idiots and madmen. When they have 10, they can no longer sleep.
  7. Order

        All demigods of Order are imposing. No one can lie to you while maintaining eye contact. You may spend Divinity to take 10 on a check, save or attack.
        The Servitors of Order are the Celestial Bureaucrats. They appear as nebbish little pear-shaped men and women in rumpled, middling-quality businesswear. They have a certain je nais se quois, a certain quality, occasionally seen in lesser forms in McDonald's managers, OSHA inspectors, mall security guards, DMV clerks, traffic cops and hospital staff: an unnameable smug, greasy, puffy-eyed, predatory, I-know-something-you-don't toadosity. Mortals cannot harm or impede a Celestial Bureaucrat by conscious action (though they can refuse to unlock a door, for instance). Unlike the Foxes, they relish opportunities to abuse this. They are no more physically dangerous than any other nebbish little pear-shaped people, though the authority of their positions may make them dangerous in other aspects. Celestial Bureaucrats are uncommonly good at counting small objects and Verifying Documents.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Faithful Beyond Death
      When a mortal breaks an oath sworn on your name, you know. You may pay 1 Divinity to kill them without a save or inflict any other curse that occurs to you.
    • Red Crown
      You have an intuitive awareness of all public goings-on in a community you have authority over. You can communicate your will to your subordinates at any distance, though they cannot respond.

        When a demigod of Order has a pool of 5 Divinity, one side of their face mirrors over the other so that they appear perfectly symmetrical. This is a disconcerting effect. When they have 10, they become immune to disease and permanent injury.
  8. The Road

        All demigods of the Road are shifty. You can walk on any surface less than perfectly vertical. You may spend Divinity to walk that many hundreds of miles in an hour, to any location you've visited before and could have reached by foot and unchallenged.
        The Servitors of the Road are the Crossroads Devils. They appear as men and women who are tall, thin, and handsome in an asymmetrical sort of way. Their clothing is very mode, their hair impressively voluptuous, their cigar (if male-presenting) fat and strongly-scented, their cigarette (if female-presenting) long and ever-burning, their shoes patent leather, their eyes unblinking. Though a devil can fight, they prefer to talk. It's hard to stop them from talking. They love the rich, deep voices of their physical bodies. They can talk someone into anything, but the thing they love most is to talk someone into making a deal. Think of a Crossroads Devil as your middleman, your bookie, your portfolio manager. You give them Divinity and send them out into the world; they find someone with a Need, someone who'll pay through the nose to satisfy that Need; and you reap the profits. 

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Exodus
      You and up to 10 people may walk [Divinity] hundred miles in an hour. At 2 Divinity, you may select 10 captains who may each select up to 10 people. At 3 Divinity, you may select 10 lieutenants who may each select up to 10 captains who may each select up to 10 other people, and so on and so forth.
    • Shield Ring
      People who are not welcome in a community or at a location of your choice take [Divinity] extra days to journey to it, and must save every day or become hopelessly lost and need to start again.

        When a demigod of the Road has a pool of 5 Divinity, they cannot get lost. When they have 10, they can march in their sleep.
  9. The Sea

        All demigods of the Sea are moist. You are as fast and as holdyourbreathy in water as a dolphin. You may spend Divinity to turn an acre of earth to mud, mud to quicksand, quicksand to brackish marsh, or brackish marsh to open sea. The change takes place over only a few seconds, and generates the standard set of critters. 
        The Servitors of the Sea are the Undine. They appear as beautiful, scantily-clad women, some of them with fishtails, some of them with halfshell brassieres. They sing charmingly, and if in a good mood guide sailors through troubled waters or to hidden treasures. If in a bad mood they guide sailors to their deaths, and they lay horrible curses on their slayers. Undines are skilled fighting-men and dangerous in combat, but their effectiveness in actual battle is limited by their keen-eyed search for Mr. Right. The odds of the enemy army not having even one hunk worth kidnapping quickly approaches zero. 

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Flashing Eyes
      Negate up to [Divinity] points of another demigod's Miracles.
    • Earthquake
      The water level within 10 miles raises by thirty feet for [Divinity] hours. Riverside and coastal communities are likely to be completely destroyed with massive casualties. Armadas are able to sail to the gates of inland cities.

        When a demigod of the Sea has a pool of 5 Divinity, they can speak to fish Aquaman style. When they have 10, they can walk on water if they so wish.
  10. The Sky

        All demigods of the Sky are starry-eyed. You can project sunlight out of your eyes like a search beam. If you wish, you can politely ask the weather in the region to do your bidding. Spend any amount of Divinity, roll a reaction with that as the bonus, and see how amenable the weather is to your request. The winds and the rain are often busy! Don't take it too hard if they can't accommodate you.
        The Servitors of the Sky are the Sylphs. They are tall, thin, and slightly mothlike. They can fly, but their wings are made of a slinky, gauze material and are entirely decorative; sylphs float around like clouds. They can turn invisible at-will and like to whisper in the ear of vain, powerful people, giving them sartorial or venereal advice. It's good advice, mostly. Though effective spies, Sylphs are practically useless in a fight, and they make worse vamps than Foxes. Think of a Sylph or Sylphid (the feminine form) as more of a muse: something nice to look at and sweet to talk to.  

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Azure King
      You can fly like the wind (~120mph).
    • In Heaven's Eye
      You may pay Divinity to ask a question of the sun or the moon, to which you will receive a truthful answer. They see everything that happens on the surface of the earth so long as the clouds aren't too thick.

        When a demigod of the Sky has a pool of 5 Divinity, a glowing crown sized for a giant hovers about their head. When they have 10, their voice thunders like an army unless they make an effort to whisper.
  11. Time

        All demigods of Time are haggard. You can see about half a second into the future, which gives you a +4 bonus to AC and to checks and saves to dodge a rain of arrows, pick a trapped lock, or other tasks which would benefit greatly from a touch of foresight. You may spend Divinity to peer that many days into the past of the location you're standing in.
        The Servitors of Time are the Sandmen. They appear as strange old men with wrinkled faces and closed eyes. They bear wands of dreaming in one hand, with [Divinity] charges reserved for your use, and sharp steel scissors in the other, for stealing eyes and fingers. Summoning these Servitors disrupts their vital work, so you'd best have a good reason for it. Other, lesser Servitors fear the Sandmen much more than they fear merely physical death. 

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Look Forward
      Pay Divinity to ask a question of the DM about the likely outcome of a course of action, and receive a truthful one-sentence answer.
    • Thumb on the Scale
      Dictate a prophecy about their future to a mortal person, or a non-Time demigod with fewer HD than you. Nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives cost 1 Divinity each. Your prophecy cannot be defied, though of course events might twist it, and demigods are particularly adept at doing so. Everyone thinks "you will die" is a good 3-Divinity death-curse until they give it another few seconds of thought.

        When a demigod of Time has a pool of 5 Divinity, fine sand pours in small amounts from their cuffs and hair. When they have 10, they stop aging.
  12. War

        All demigods of War are fearsome, terrible, and doomed. You have an extra attack, your attacks cleave, and any unit you control has an extra attack in Mass Combat. You may spend Divinity to bless Mass Combat units as if they were individuals. 
        The Servitors of War are the Spartoi. They appear as burly, oiled-up Classical soldiers in heavy bronze armor with face-concealing helmets. They are 4th level fighting-men with the maximum amount of HP, and for each point of Divinity you spend summoning them, you receive 10 Spartoi. Besides their fighting ability and their cheerful willingness to march to their deaths, Spartoi are no more dangerous or competent than a mortal human.

        When you gain your Miracles, choose one:
    • Cutting a Red Road
      For [Divinity] minutes, mortals of fewer HD than you must save when attempting to attack you in melee. If they fail, they die. When fighting only mortals of fewer HD than you, your damage is applied to HD, not HP.
    • Strategic Genius
      You may lead [Divinity] units in battle, simultaneously, from the comfort of a command tent.

        When a demigod of War has a pool of 5 Divinity, weapons sharpen themselves and begin to ring in their presence. When they have 10, everything they touch is bloodied.