Friday, July 31, 2015

Game Masters Class Lesson 3 "Turning It To 11"

Last week I talked a bit about the Power of Gods and how they shouldn't ever be a fair fight against heroes.  In that post I mentioned how heroes can however get a "taste" of that power themselves.  Now as it only being a taste obviously this is something an entire campaign can revolve around gaining the ability to do once, but being used once needs some mechanics under the hood so you know the limits and abilities of this power.

Our's Goes to 11:
To put is simply, I find it stupid that God in D&D games stop there spells at level 9 just like heroes.  This means that, while at high levels, heroes already have power on par with gods.  For Savage Worlds these are Legendary Powers.  While gods can do these things in my games they can also do more.  In D&D I up there slots to Level 11 and in Savage Worlds There is Godly Powers.

Giving Them a Taste:
First you might be asking what Level 10 spells are and the answer is there aren't any.  There is an entire bridge of power that separates god like power from heroes.  Slots still exist because spells can be buffed up to higher levels and even at super high levels I allow players to get a permanent level 10 spell slot, if they Quest for it.  In D&D this is handled by being an Epic Boon that grants a Single 10th level spell slot. For Savage Worlds I don't have to worry about slots, but Godly powers tend to cost 30 Power Points, so the heroes have to work at being able to gather enough power to even have the resources to pull them off anyways.

The Powers of Creation:
No one to the actual spells gods can whip around.  There isn't a massive list or anything like that. In fact there are only three.  The thing is these three powers are massively powerful and can break or fix an entire campaign with a single casting.

Permanent: This on seems like the least powerful, but in truth it just tends to be on the that causes the least ripping in the world (I'll get onto that in a bit).  This power is used to cast any 8th level or lower spell, but the trick it that spell now becomes permanently active.  This doesn't mean if you cast it on a person they can now cast it whenever they want it means that it is on ALL THE TIME.  Spells with a save still get it however given the power of gods the likely hood of saving isn't high.  For those pesky powers that let someone save after every round, that's extended to one save per year.  If it's every minute that's 10 years.  Many also use this power to cast into items creating powerful relics.

Create Truth: Now onto the BIG ones.  This one creates a truth into the universe.  Laws of reality can be rewritten, history can be changed, and if you aren't careful in how you word things the entire game and implode.  Remember these are powers of gods and gods know what they are doing with them.  If heroes get a chance to use them even once a sloppy hero can actually destroy the world they were wanting to save.  The Big thing to remember with this power is it also reshapes history to make your truth work.  If you use it to bring someone back to life it does not raise them from the dead but instead changes things so that they never died and this might mean that the hero never went on the quest to do what he just did.  This is a pretty complex problem causing paradoxes just like any time travel game.  There is one thing that helps with this though.  Gods, and anyone who might have cast the spell that isn't a god, are aware of both the reality that once was as well as the new reality.

Erase: This is just as powerful of a spell, but for the exact opposite reasons.  Erase can remove all erase of something from the universe.  Just like Create Truth though the universe will reshape to make sense of this erasure and casters without foresight might actually make things much worse when they wanted to save the world.  Most importantly though is that Erase is the counter spell to Create Truth.  This also means that if a hero, or greedy god, really throws things out of whack another god might step in declare no  and undo it.  This fact is actually the corn stone of why gods in my world HAVE to work together or at least come to agreements.

Rippling Effects:
As I've mentioned above these spells can have rippling effects that can completely change the world.  When it comes to heroes wielding these this means they both need to make sure they don't change things they don;t intend to change as well as don't make things so obvious that a god might step in and simply undo their hard work.  On the plus side gods are busy beings and being able to observe all the universe means that if you keep things small you are likely to go unnoticed.

There are more rules the gods follow in my world when it comes to when and how they are allowed to use these powers to mess with the mortal world, but I'm going to save that for my Ashen Grey Pantheon article as those rules are actually very much tied into the setting and lore.  I will say though that with this kind of power how gods choose to use them will say a lot about the setting you play in.

1 comment: