Ascension, Godhood, and Divine Rank (5e Variant Rule)

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This content deviates from 5th edition standards. Its use could dramatically alter campaigns, take extreme care. DesignDisclaimer.png
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This content intends to provide a different experience, or goes beyond the scope of the anticipated subjects and situations, than the 5th edition rules were intended to handle. Some portions of the content below may not be what you expect from traditional game content. When implementing this content, DMs and Players should read over all the information carefully, and consider the following specific notes of interest:
This is content intended to provide a very different experience, effectively allowing player characters to continue their adventures and troublemaking even longer, ascending into godhood and beyond. This is by no means an attempt to make an option balanced for standard 5th edition campaigns, and DM's should think very carefully before allowing this option.
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Ascension, Godhood, and Divine Ranks[edit]

Ascension is typically achieved after epic or mythic level questing beyond 20th level. There are exceptions to this rule, such as those favored by gods, freak accidents, or just the whim of the gods. Typically, the DM is left to decide what options if any are available to ascend. Upon ascending, a creature gains the ability to advance in Divine Rank. Immediately after ascension, they are given a Divine Rank of 0 and gain the benefits of such. Typically you advance in Divine Rank with time and by gaining worshipers. The more believers, the more power the deity has.

Above 20th level, experience holds little meaning, but you still advance in Divine Rank rather than class levels. Divine Rank of 1-3 denotes a quasi-deity, 4-5 a demigod(differs from mortals with a divine parent), 6-10 a lesser deity, 11-15 through an intermediate deity, and 15-20 a greater deity. Ranks above 20 are possible, but extremely rare and denote an overdeity or similar being.

Explanation of this variant rule and its place: This rule is not meant for typical D&D campaigns, nor is it intended to be a widely used rule. This is something I am adapting from someone's previous work on Gods, Leviathans, and Titans, which was abandoned and taken over by me before realizing it fits better as a variant rule and would work better being adapted from 3.5's divine rank system. As mentioned in the disclaimer above, this is meant to fulfill a very niche purpose, for those players who want to continue their character into their ascension. Not every character should ascend, but not every character if roleplayed correctly would even seek such.

Divine Rank[edit]

Divine Rank 0[edit]

Upon ascension, there are several important changes to your being. These are detailed below. Those with a Divine Rank of 0 are typically considered Quasi-deities and are the recently ascended. Typically having no more than a few worshipers, and only being locally known to be a deity, they cannot grant spells, and they may increase ability scores over 20.

Ability Score Increase. Upon ascending to divinity, you may increase 2 ability scores by 2, 4 ability scores by 1, or 1 ability score by 2 and 2 ability scores by 1 each. This occurs again at divinity levels 5, 10, 15, & 20.
Immortality. With your ascension comes the benefit of immortality. They are no longer affected by age, disease, or poison. Effects that would age the character no longer have any effect and the character is considered ageless.
Immunities. Deities are immune to any effects not imposed by itself that would alter its form or mind, including but not limited to ability damage, polymorph, petrification, charm, dominate person or monster, or other such effects.
Resistances. You gain resistance to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. At level 6 the deity gains resistance to one damage type specific to their domains, and becomes immune at level 12.

Divine Rank 1[edit]

Upon gathering a few hundred worshippers, a quasi-deity may embark on a quest to ascend further, to a demigod. These demigods begin to unlock the power of divinity as they increase in importance.

Immortality II. Upon reaching a Divine Rank of 1, you are no longer subject to massive damage, and in any case where you are slain in the mortal realm, your body reforms in 1d4 days, in addition to the other abilities granted by immortality.
Salient Abilities. Gods of Divine Rank 1 and higher gain a Salient Ability for each Divine Rank they possess. Refer to the section at the end of this page for elaboration on Salient Abilities.
Senses. Deities of Divine Rank 1 or higher have incredibly sensitive perception. Such a deity’s senses (including darkvision and truesight if the deity has them) extend out to a radius of one mile per divine rank. Perception is limited to the senses a deity possesses. A deity cannot see through solid objects without using its remote sensing ability.
Remote Sensing. You send your mind across space and dimensions, forming it into a quasi-real viewpoint from which you can see and hear some creature located at any distance from you, even if planar boundaries separate you. If the subject succeeds on a Wisdom save, the remote viewing attempt fails, and you cannot attempt to view that creature again for at least 24 hours. The difficulty of the save depends on how well you know the subject and what sort of physical connection (if any) you have to that creature. Furthermore, if the subject is on another plane, it gets a +5 bonus on its Wisdom save.
Table - Remote Sensing
Knowledge or Connection Wisdom Save Modifier
None* +10
Secondhand (you have heard of the subject) +5
Firsthand (you have met the subject) +0
Familiar (you know the subject well) –5
Likeness or picture –2
Possession or garment –4
A body part, a lock of hair, a bit of nail, etc. –10
If the subject is on another plane of existence they gain an additional +5 to their saving throw.
*You must have some sort of connection to a creature you have no knowledge of.

Divine Rank 2[edit]

You gain a domain as a lesser deity and 3 lesser abilities that are appropriate to your domain. ie., Domain of death might get Animate Dead at 5th level at will. After use, roll a d6, if 6 ability is recharged.

Salient Abilities[edit]

A salient divine ability is a special sort of feat which only deities with divine rank can take, as according to the rules spelled out in Complete Epic. It gives a deity a new capability or improves one that the deity already has. A deity can have up to one salient divine ability for each divine rank the deity has. Some salient divine abilities have prerequisites. A divine rank of at least 0 is a prerequisite for all salient divine abilities. A few deities have unique salient divine abilities that are described in the deity’s individual entry.

Salient Ability Feats

Alter Form Transform into alternate forms at will, based on your divine rank. Divine Rank 1 High
Alter Reality Gain the ability to duplicate most of the effects of wish once per minute. Divine Rank 16, at least one domain portfolio High
Alter Size Transform anywhere from Fine to Colossal size. Divine Rank 1 High
Annihilating Strike Destroy things with a powerful disintegrating strike. Divine Rank 11, Str 25 High
Arcane Mastery Gain all spells in your spellbook, or trade out spells daily as a sorcerer. Divine Rank 1, Spell Mastery, Spellcaster level 20th, Spellcasting Ability Score 29 High
Area Divine Shield Spread your Divine Shield salient ability to an area. Divine Rank 6, Cha 25, Divine Shield salient ability High
Banestrike Choose a favored enemy and strike hard and fast. Divine Rank 1, at least one Favored Enemy High
Battlesense You cannot be surprised or flanked, except by a deity of higher rank. Divine Rank 0 High
Call Creatures Summon creatures to your aid. Divine Rank 0 High
Clearsight Gain true seeing and a bonus to defeat Disguise checks. Divine Rank 1, Wis 15 High
Command Plants Speak to plants, rebuke them, and and control the growth and death of plants. Divine Rank 1 High
Control Creatures Take control of mooks, possessing them even at range. Divine Rank 11, Cha 15 High
Craft Artifact You can craft artifacts ahead of your time, and better than others too. Divine Rank 1 High
Create Greater Object Create even more rare and exotic matter from thin air. Divine Rank 11, Create Object High
Create Object Create nonmagical matter at whim. Divine Rank 6 High
Divine Air Mastery Gain bonuses in combat when you and your opponent are airborne. Divine Rank 1, Minor Air Domain portfolio, fly speed High
Divine Archery Shoot from really really far, spray a volley of arrows, and ignore cover and concealment with your shots. Divine Rank 1, Dex 29, High
Divine Armor Mastery Any armor you wear acts as if you're not wearing armor at all, and what armor you do wear is improved. Divine Rank 1 High
Divine Bard Sing out for miles, quickly, and even effecting things normally not effected. You can even countersong on the fly. Divine Rank 1, Inspire Courage +4 High
Divine Battle Mastery You can attack wide groups of tempo, attack without penalty to attack rolls, and change weapons as a free action on a whim. Divine Rank 1, Fighter 20th High
Divine Blast Fire blasts of energy out to a great distance. Divine Rank 6, Cha 25 High
Divine Blessing Grant half your ability score to others. Divine Rank 1 High
Divine Celerity Whenever you're hastened, you gain superior benefits. Divine Rank 1 High
Divine Creation Create magic items, or even creatures with your divine mastery. Divine Rank 16, Create Object salient ability, Create Greater Object salient ability High
Divine Dodge Perfect dodge. It's almost like you're playing Exalted. Divine Rank 1, Dex 29, Dodge High
Divine Druid Change shape in a wildshape as a swift action each round for the duration. Divine Rank 1, Wildshape (Huge Elemental) High
Divine Druid-CE Get Colossal and the ability to change into Magical Beast Divine Rank 1, Wildshape (Huge Elemental) High
Divine Earth Mastery Gain bonuses in combat when you and your opponent are groundborne. Divine Rank 1, Minor Earth Domain portfolio High
Divine Fast Healing Gain fast healing (or additional fast healing) based on your divine rank. Divine Rank 1, Con 25 High
Divine Fire Mastery Gain bonuses in combat when you and your opponent are on fire! Divine Rank 1, Minor Fire Domain portfolio High
Divine Glibness You are immune to things which detect your lies, and your silver tongue can sway the wills of others. Divine Rank 1, Cha 25 High
Divine Inspiration Give your divine aura additional options. Divine Rank 1, Divine Aura, Cha 29 High
Divine Monk You suffered through monk, but now you're the god of monks, and it shows. Divine Rank 1, Monk 20th High
Divine Paladin Improve your paladin abilities with intense divine power. Divine Rank 1, Effective Paladin 20th High
Divine Radiance Radiate light and dispel darkness, shoot lasers, and become immune to dazzling and blindness. Divine Rank 1, Minor Sun domain portfolio High
Divine Rage Stay in rage forever, and gain access to stronger more potent rage powers and resistances. Divine Rank 1, Mighty Rage High
Divine Ranger Gain both combat styles of a ranger, additional favored enemy bonuses, and blindsight against your favored enemy. Divine Rank 1, Ranger 20th High
Divine Rogue You can dodge out of any trap, determine how much loot you have with an instant, sneak attack oozes, constructs, you name it, slide out of sight, and even evade death! Divine Rank 1, Sneak Attack 10d6 High
Divine Shield Gain a shield to absorb attacks. Divine Rank 1, Cha 19 High
Divine Skill Focus Become a master at any one skill, doing it faster and harder and ignoring the dangers of failure. Divine Rank 1 High
Divine Sneak Attack Sneak attacks deal divine damage and apply against those who provoke attacks of opportunity or who are weaker than you. You can even deal nonlethal damage in any ratio you wish. :Divine Rank 1, Sneak Attack 10d6 High
Divine Spell Focus Gain +2 DC to the spell of your school, a bonus on caster level checks, and ignore evasion and mettle. Divine Rank 1, High
Divine Storm Your alignment manifests as a powerful maelstrom which destroys those opposite to you and protects you in divine energy. Divine Rank 11, any alignment subtype High
Divine Water Mastery Gain bonuses in combat when you and your opponent are underwater. Divine Rank 1, Minor Water Domain portfolio, swim speed High
Divine Weapon Focus Take 10 on attack rolls once a round, 20 with a full attack action, and never fumble again. Divine Rank 1, High
Divine Weapon Specialization Add divine rank to damage with your chosen weapon, forcing concentration checks and hitting even when you might miss. Divine Rank 1, High
Energy Burst Emanate 1d8 points of energy per divine rank, out to 10 feet per divine rank. Divine Rank 6 High
Energy Storm Your body releases positive or negative energy into a powerful maelstrom which destroys your opponents (and heals allies) and protects you in energy. Divine Rank 11, able to cast cure or inflict spells High
Extra Energy Immunity Become immune to one element. Divine Rank 6, resistance to the energy type selected High
Extra Sense Enhancement Your senses can stretch for miles, and even see through objects. Divine Rank 1, Wis 29 High
Footsore Create difficult terrain 10 feet per divine rank away from you. Divine Rank 1, Minor Travel domain portfolio High
Free Move The deity can move up to its speed once a round as a free action. Divine Rank 6, Dex 29, Divine Celerity High
Frightful Presence Get a frightful presence which ignores fear immunity, as well as have intimidate ignore fear immunity. Divine Rank 1, Cha 25 High
Gift Of Life Cast true resurrection at will, with scaling benefits based on your divine rank. Divine Rank 1 High
Grow Creature Use animal growth (applied to a creature type of your choice) on a number of creatures equal to your divine rank. Divine Rank 1 High
Hand Of Death Cast destruction at will, with scaling benefits based on your divine rank. Divine Rank 1 High
Increased Damage Reduction Improve current damage reduction by 5, and add an alignment requirement. Divine Rank 1, an alignment subtype, Con 25 High
Increased Energy Resistance The deity gains resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic energy. Divine Rank 1 High
Indomitable Strength Roll 20s in opposed strength checks, wield weapons with greater strength behind them and less difficulty, and break force effects. Divine Rank 1, Str 31 or Minor Strength Domain portfolio High
Instant Counterspell Counterspell as a free action which consumes an attack of opportunity. Divine Rank 1 High
Instant Move The deity can travel up to their move speed as though using the dimension door spell, except that the deity never appears within a solid object and can act immediately after teleporting. Also, immunity to being prone. Divine Rank 6, Dex 29 High
Irresistible Blows Cause an attack penalty on those you strike, bypass or reduce the effect of DR, and stagger opponents on critical hits. Divine Rank 1, Improved Critical with selected melee weapon High
Irresistible Performance Gain several bardic music-like abilities, and bards gain increased power. Divine Rank 1, Perform 25 ranks High
Know Death Gain constant deathwatch and Lifesight, and keep status on the health of others. Divine Rank 1 High
Know Secrets You can roll 20s on Knowledge checks automatically, and know things you should know. Divine Rank 1, any two INT skills +18 High
Lay Curse Use bestow curse at will, greater bestow curse up to your divine ranks per day, and give off a dying curse if slain. Divine Rank 6 High
Lay Quest Use a special form of geas/quest to get things done, be aware of its progress, and be able to contact your unwitting servants. Divine Rank 6 High
Life Drain Release a zone of darkness which drains levels and conceals you in darkest shadow. Divine Rank 1, Minor Death Domain portfolio High
Mass Divine Blast As Divine Blast, but can be done to multiple targets or in various shapes. Divine Rank 11, Cha 29, Divine Blast salient divine ability High
Mind Of The Beast The deity can make plants and animals sentient, and it can reduce sentient creatures to animal or plant form. Divine Rank 1, Nature +16 High
Possess Mortal Possess mortals and make them do your bidding. Divine Rank 11, Cha 29 High
Power of Luck Gain a luck pool equal to your divine rank to spend on dice rolls, both yours and others. Divine Rank 1, Minor Luck Domain portfolio High
Power of Nature Control the weather and earth with a thought. Divine Rank 1, Knowledge Nature +16 High
Power of Truth Know when creatures are lying, and force them to tell the truth. Also, bonuses against illusion. Divine Rank 1 High
Rejuvenation Gain the rejuvenating abilities of a deity one title higher than yourself. Divine Rank 1, Divine Fast Healing High
See Magic See magic as if using a superior form of greater arcane sight, and exclude allies from your areas of effect. Divine Rank 1, Minor Magic Domain portfolio High
Shapechange Gain a modified shapechange at will. Divine Rank 11, Alter Form, Alter Size High
Speak With Creatures Speak with everything. Literally everything. And use the power of language against others as well. Divine Rank 1 High
Stride Double your speed, possibly beyond the speed of light. Divine Rank 1, Minor Travel domain ability High
Sunder and Disjoin Break or disjoin weapons on a touch, and be immune to mundane weapon attacks. Divine Rank 1 High
Supreme Initiative Add your divine rank to initiative, avoid being flatfooted, and even strike harder on the first round. Divine Rank 1, Dex 29, Improved Initiative High
Tap Into the Source You can tap into the immeasurable power of the source, gaining new abilities and greatly empowered your previous abilities. Divine Rank 16, Idylean young God template. Very High
Undead Mastery Gain unlimited destructive turn attempts, and you may use it once per round as a free action. And you didn't even need to take all turn-granting classes to do it. Divine Rank 1, Turn or Rebuke Undead High
Wave of Chaos Gain an aura of confusion and insanity. Rather fatal for low-level mortals. Divine Rank 1, Chaotic alignment subtype High
Wound Enemy Deal damage to a creature's maximum hp total, and penalties on a critical hit. Divine Rank 1, High

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