In Mind Weave, I make an effort to provide interesting game mechanics for highly religious characters. A big part of this is defining deities in such a way that they have concrete things to offer a player and concrete parameters in order to obtain deistic benefits. Here I discuss some of the things a Mind Weave deity needs.
All deities must offer a blessing for the Bless ability to use. This blessing allows the user of Bless to empower a weapon with power associated with the deity. A deity’s blessing is generally equal to about 1 DoP in magic, 1d6 or +3 in general. This blessing can take any form from damage to increased range to mental effects. For example, a fire deity might give a blessing of +3 fire damage, a blood deity might give 1d6 death damage, an archer deity might give +3 To-Hit, and so on.
Divine Blow also uses the blessing with a power level determined by the player’s level in Divine Blow and the original blessing power.
Most deities will have artifacts that they reward to their most loyal followers at the Master Weaver’s discretion. These artifacts can be given as a reward for acts or as tools for achieving an assignment from the deity.
Divine artifacts are not limited by the magic system as enchantments are. This means that they can have much wider ranges of effects and power than enchantments. Master Weavers and world builders must take care that they are not imbalanced.
Gifts of Power
Gifts of power are the sorts of powers that a deity might grant to followers upon request or need. This is one way in which deities might answer Prayers, especially those requesting aide. These powers must be considered to have some cost for the deity, and so they will consider who is asking for them and what their need and standing is before granting these gifts, particularly their larger gifts. Some deities should also consider the recipient to have burned some credit in receiving the gift.
Again, Master Weavers must be judicious in granting these powers to characters in need. Players who make religious characters should also be careful to know what sort of deity they worship. It may even be insulting to a war god to have a follower ask for healing when a battle is going badly. Do not ask deities for things they cannot grant or things they abhor. Remember, there is a chance a deity will be angered and instead smite the supplicator if they ask more than they have a right to expect.
These may coincide with the gifts of power when applied against the enemies of a worshiper. However, when the deity is angered by a worshiper, it might smite him as well. Smites should have various powers and results so deities can meter their rage, rather than killing everyone who bothers them.
Sources of Knowledge
Mind Weave deities can certainly be omniscient, but they don’t need to be. It seems more exciting to me to give deities specified sources of information to limit what even they know. Whether it is “perception through flames in proportion to their wildness,” “awareness of all large movements of people,” or “sight through the eyes of all eagles and other birds of prey,” this limitation adds color to the deity and limits what sort of knowledge a player can expect to obtain through prayer. As with gifts of power, there is a risk of angering the deity by inquiring after things of which they are ignorant. More humble deities will simply admit they do not know, but proud and malicious deities may well punish your insolence.
A deity’s alignment is a general measure of what sort of attitude it has. Lawful deities will expect great obedience from their followers. Chaotic deities will expect independence. Good deities will support those doing good in general. Evil deities will support those doing evil.
In order for a character to gain a deity’s favor, he must live according to the deity’s tenets. These represent ways of life and may include never attacking from behind, never harming an innocent, never paying taxes, raising pet snakes, travelling only on foot, being a leader, etc.
Living by these tenets increases favor with the deity, not living by them can harm favor with the deity. These are the ever present costs to buy the power of deity. A player must be careful to remember them in every action or risk losing the deity’s support.
Deities will also often have specific commands which can be carried out by the character to gain more favor. These can be very costly, but can show great dedication to the deity who will award the character accordingly. These might include offering sacrifices (animal, plant, human, etc.), preaching the deity’s tenets, performing rituals, etc.
Examples of Deities
What do you think of Mind Weave deities? Any deities you would like to suggest? Please, let us know below and we may expound on them in later posts.