Divine Rank (3.5e Variant Rule)
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Divine rank and how a deity moves between them is something the core rules don't discuss. The following is a baseline for players and GMs to help guide them through advancing characters and NPCs with divine ranks.
The Divine Spark
Firstly how a PC or NPC gains the ability to take divine ranks must be defined. With this system the character can gain a Divine Spark through various methods, the foremost being gaining worshipers or reverence, however any way a character can gain some sort of proximity or interaction with divine energies. The method of gaining a Divine Spark can vary greatly but the common methods are outlined here:
The Ahm Method
One method that only the greatest mortal sages might is a story of a terrible tyrant who owned a nation of slaves, he gathered roughly one million people and ritualistically sacrificed each person with a short prayer to himself, over the course of a month he worked his way through the slaves till they were all sacrificed. With the final knife stroke Ahm gained a Divine Spark and was swiftly slain by another god, some stories say it was a righteous god disgusted with Ahm and some say it was a god of death furious with what Ahm had become.
Proximity to greatness or certain events has been recorded to cause Divine Sparks to form. One such case is of a lich who found access to the raw field of divine magic that is the ultimate source of divine salient abilities and spell casting. The lich was fortunate that he tapped into the field near a ripple of negative energy, when he foolishly reached out and touched the field he lost his arm but retrieved a Divine Spark.
Another recorded tale is of a young boy, the last descendant of family tasked with guarding a deity burial grounds. Being pious and the last of his family, unable to leave his post to seek a mate upon his death he gained a Divine Spark.
Other gods have been known to share their Spark with mortals, when this occurs the result is often a quasi-deity or hero god, most of whom are unable to gain further rank however a rare few are not stunted in this way and may advance. A new salient Divine ability is listed below.
Vampire deities are unique in that they can spread their Spark with their curse of vampirism. Similar to the proximity method mentioned above vampire who gain a Spark and then turn their mortal their still mortal descendants often bestow Sparks with their curse, this has been known to occur with or without the initial vampire deities consent.
Grant Divine Spark
Divine Rank 20, CHA 29, Int 29, Create Object salient divine ability, Create Greater Object salient divine ability, Divine Creation salient divine ability.
This ability allows the deity to impart a portion of their own Divine Spark to foster Divine Rank in others. The deity takes a portion of its worship credit and invests it into a mortal creature, if the deity sacrifices one million credit the target is granted a Divine Spark, this Spark is stunted however and does not allow the target to gain further advancement. A second use of this ability at the cost of 1 million credits will invigorate the Spark and allow advancement. Alternatively the deity can sacrifice 2 million worship credit in a single use and grant the target a Divine Spark capable of advancement like any other.
This ability can only be taken once.
The rest requirement is 1 day. If on an outer plane the rest requirement is 12 hours, if in the gods divine realm the rest requirement is 12 hours, if the gods divine realm is on an outer plane the rest requirement is 3 hours. After the rest period, regardless of where it is used, this ability can't be used again for one year or until the credit invested is reacquired.
Suggested Portfolio Elements
Currently gods are divided up into 21 ranks (rank 0-20). Rank 0 gods are quasi-deities or hero deities, rank 1-5 are demi-gods, 6-10 are lesser gods, 11-15 are intermediate gods and lastly 16-20 are the greater deities. This supplement takes those guidelines and gives a more defined set of rules for when a rank changes.
The defining characteristic of what makes a god more powerful is its Divine rank, that rank is determined by an amount of worshipers giving active prayer and faith to the god. Faith is a strange thing however, there are varying degrees of faith with varying levels of output yet all creatures capable of making the decision to worship are equal. For example 10 commoners who thoroughly believe in a god grant x10 followers ,paladin and clerics grant x100 followers.
|Rank||Worship Credit Needed|
|0||None, Divine Spark|
Worship comes in 4 main categories and 2 outlying categories. These are Passing Faith, Belief, True Belief and Blind Faith with Quick Prayer and True Zeal as outlying categories.
Each tier of faith grants an amount of worship credit which directly translates to Divine rank.
Quick Prayer: Tier 0, 10 credit/follower gain, however should a mortal repeatedly pray to a deity and then choose a level of belief a one time bonus to credit is applied in addition to the credit now earned by the new level of faith.
The quick prayer is rated from 10 to 15 by the GM depending on the frequency before conversion, this is then multiplied by the new tier of faith, the result is the bonus acquired upon conversion.
For example if a faithless commoner prays repeatedly and one day decides that the god hes been praying to hes going to devote a nightly prayer, a simple passing belief. The commoner only prayed to this god when in need so the GM decides his Quick Prayer rating is only 10, the bonus gained from someone with passing faith (T1) and a 10 Quick Prayer rating would only grant 10 bonus credit. If this commoner had given up his life savings to the church and joined a monastery and took on a vow of poverty, taking on Blind Faith (T4) the bonus credit from this conversion, albeit strange, would be 20.
Passing Faith: Tier 1, 50 credit/follower
Belief: Tier 2, 100 credit/follower .
True Belief: Tier 3, 120 credit/follower
Blind Faith: Tier 4, 200 credit/follower
True Zeal: Followers with True Zeal 500 credit/follower however they often find themselves at odds with unfaithful and lesser faithful (T1&2) and without direct assistance and relative seclusion are short lived. A Quick prayer follower can, through extreme circumstances, become a True Zealot for a massive bonus.
Once credit is earned it stays for as long as the faithful remain alive. Faithful that pass away expect to go to some form of afterlife, how they get there is up to their god. Once dead the faithful stop granting divine credit, the phenomenon of an afterlife is something deities maintain only to entice living followers, because without this promise no one would worship that deity.
What deities do with credit
Credit, the faith gain granted by followers, is a form of currency among the gods. Much like souls are traded as currency in the Abyss and in the Nine Hells true gods trade credit. The soul of a mortal decides who gains it credit and in essence where it goes after death, however that credit, once earned by a deity, is only tied to that particular follower in that the god only has it as long as they are faithful. Deities trade credit among themselves for favors, rights to territory and followers, to settle disputes among themselves and in rare cases between their faithful.
Credit can only be traded willingly, no amount of force, magic or salient divine abilities can coerce a god to give up credit. As well no deity can give up enough credit to fall a rank, the only way for a god to drop divine ranks is to lose its followers. For example, a Rank 6 god needs a minimum of 50,000 credit, if a Rank 6 god has 55,000 credit it can freely trade 5,000 credit to other deities.
If a deity feels only way to stop a threat is to sacrifice everything about himself. His atoms,divine ranks,classes,enchanted items, all good bad experiences,all energy's he has faced or absorbed and his soul are compressed into one powerful blast with no save dealing a certian amount of damage based on divine rank is distributed it can kill all beings no matter alignment any deity divine rank under him has to be sent back to home plane to rematerialize. Now anyone deity knows that are friendly are sent somewhere randomly out of range of blast but in groups. The environment and wild life and any native creatures come back after 1 week.
Divine Rank 0 1d10 mile radius 300d4 damage True resurrection spell to bring people back
Divine Rank 1-5 5d6 mile radius 300d8 damage Only a God can bring back 1 person every 3 months.
Divine Rank 5-10 5d8 mile radius 300d10 damage
Divine Rank 10-15 10d12 mile radius 500d10 damage
Divine Rank 15-21 10d20 mile radius 100d20 damage
Divine Rank 21+ 50d10 mile radius Anything with-in it's radius dies permantally including elder evils and low level omnipotent gods, or on plane that section of plane is destroyed , but environment eventual reforms. But anything angels,demons,magical beasts ,gods,archdevils,elder evils, no matter immunities,abilities items and no matter size is destroyed forever.
The pertinent information to record for a given deity using this system are its current credit score, and bonus credit acquired, any credit lost and a list of its followers by tier.
A blank sheet of paper with five columns (one for each tier of follower that gives credit) listing the followers of that deity that are still alive with three small boxes somewhere else on the sheet for bonus credit earned, credit lost and the deities total credit.
When recording followers it is not necessary to record a full stat block for each follower. Deities require such a large following its simpler to record either how the follower was gained, by class/race notation, where the follower is located or, if familiar enough, just by name.
This is an example of a star jamming Chronotyryn from one of my games who recently became a deity. She has constructed a city in a pocket dimension where various races of freed slaves live in a harmony of sorts. Some of her followers are in that city (Ral'Zaggoth), other followers are listed by name as they are either NPC's listed elsewhere or they are familiar enough to her to not need further explanation. The listing for Missionary Gains is exactly what it sounds like, followers gained through missionaries sent out, because of their traveling nature its easier to bundle those followers under one entry. The only entry without explanation are the Chronotyryns and the Exo-Vampires, this deity has only met one place with Chronotyryn and has recently released a particularly vicious vampire PC onto a planet she was visiting while star jamming and has gained followers from both encounters.
|Passing Faith Followers (T1) (1659)||Followers Who Believe (T2) (2838)||True Believers (T3) (1044)||Blind Faith Followers (T4) (92)||True Zealots (T6) (0)|
|88 - Quaggoth Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
90 - Chronotyryn
1000 - Kobolds Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
131 - Elder Myconids
150 - Missionary Gains
200 - Platinum City Citizens
|822 - Exo-Vampires
50 - Chronotyryn
20 - Platinum City Intellectuals
9 - Minotaur Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
59 - Halflings Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
95 - Gnomes Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
40 - Kobold Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
157 - Quaggoth Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
45 - Missionary Gains
20 - Scribes of the Platinum Order
20 - Chronotyryn
15 - Platinum City Intellectuals
128 - Kobold Ral'Zaggoth Citizens
130 - Missionary Gains
45 - Knights of the Platinum Order
|23 - Legion of Chron||None|
|Bonus Credit: 161||Credit Lost\Spent: 0||Total 5794|