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.
Terms and abbreviations. Faith Points = FP
Faith Points are the currency of the gods and what is used to measure their power.
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 worshippers or reverence, however another way a character can gain a divine spark would be through 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 most knowledgable of sages would recall is a story of a terrible tyrant who owned a nation of slaves. He gathered tens of thousands of 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, but 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 a raw field of divine magic that is the ultimate source of divine salient abilities and spell casting. Most likely left behind by the death of an ancient god. The lich was fortunate to find a ripple of negative energy within the field, but when he foolishly reached out to touch the field he lost his arm. In return however he was able to retrieve 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.
Vampire deities are unique in that they can spread their Spark with their curse of vampirism. Similar to the Divine Encounter method a vampire who gains a divine spark can pass on their divinity to one of their direct descendants, often through the spreading of their cruse. 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 Faith Points and invests it into a mortal creature, if the deity sacrifices 100,000 FP 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 FP will invigorate the Spark and allow advancement. Alternatively the deity can sacrifice 2 million worship FP 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 FP 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 Faith Points, 10 paladins / clerics grant x100 Faith Points.
If a mortal somehow accumulates 100000 Faith Points, they will immediately compress into a Rank 0 Divine Spark. Leaving the new Deity with 1000 Faith Points. If these points should drop any lower, their budding Divine spark will fade and leave them mortal once again.
Once Faith Points are earned they stay 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 Faith Points, the phenomenon of an afterlife is something deities maintain only to entice living followers.
Worship comes in 6 main categories. These are Quick Prayer, Passing Faith, Believer, True Believer, Blind Faith and True Zeal.
Each tier of faith grants an amount of Faith Points which directly translates to Divine rank.
It is important to remember that only sincerity from an individual can grant faith. A commoner who attends church, pays tithes, performs every right and who has read every word of scripture can still be a non-believer if they only do such because of cultural or social expectations. Thus, even a city of 10,000 who all attend church, pay tithes, read scriptures and all give daily prayers, may only yield a few hundred to possibly a thousand or so Faith Points for a god.
Quick Prayer: Tier 0, 0 or 1 FP / Bonus Faith
For example if a faithless commoner decides to make it a nightly event and prays repeatedly to a god as a nightly prayer. A quick prayer. These prayers are not consistently sincere and thus only randomly will grant Faith to a god.
Passing Faith: Tier 1, 1 FP / follower
If the commoner decided to devote time and effort into their belief in the god, such as offering sincere prayers for others and taking time out of their day to perform simple rights of the faith on a semi consistent basis. A passing faith in their god is born.
Believer: Tier 2, 2 FP / follower
If the commoner decides to devote even more time and effort into their belief in the god, such as attending church, performing the rights of their faith on a consistent basis and giving offerings to their church to show their belief. Can be considered a regular Believer.
True Believer: Tier 3, 10 FP / follower
If the commoner devoted time and effort to learn the full breadth of Scriptures and teachings of the church and truly taken to heart these teachings. Often becoming a cleric or other member of the clergy. Can be considered a True Believer.
Blind Faith: Tier 4, 20 FP / follower
One does not need to be a paladin or cleric of their god to be known as one with blind faith. Blind faith goes beyond what you can experience or see with your own eyes. It is the kind of faith only the innocence of a stubborn child or Hopeful orphan can offer.
True Zeal: Tier 5 40 FP / follower
Some people call them Crazy, others say they've gone beyond common sense. For their faith is so ingrained into their very being that nothing is capable of shaking their Faith, not even magical charms.
|Rank||Faith Points Needed|
|0||1000, Divine Spark|
What deities do with Faith Points
Faith Points, the faith 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 in Faith. The soul of a mortal decides who gains it Faith and in essence where it goes after death, however those Faith points once earned by a deity are only tied to that particular follower so long as they remain faithful. Deities trade Faith Points among themselves for favours, rights to territory and followers, to settle disputes among themselves and in rare cases between their faithful.
Faith Points can only be traded willingly, no amount of force, magic or salient divine abilities can coerce a god to give up their Faith Points.
An example of a use of this power. At the cost of 10000 Faith points the god can grant a mortal Zealot the possibility to cast a spell of 9th level once. The Zealot must succeed on a DC 20 + their level (or CR) Fortitude save or else waste the Faith Points.
If a deity feels the only way to stop a threat is to sacrifice everything about itself. Their atoms, divine ranks, classes, enchanted items, all good and bad experiences, all energy's they've faced or absorbed and their soul are compressed into one powerful blast with no save. Dealing a certain amount of damage based on their divine rank which can kill all beings of the same Rank or lower. All who are friendly to the deity are sent somewhere randomly out of range of the blast in groups. The environment, wild life and any native creatures come back after 1 week.
Divine Rank 0 1d10 mile radius 300d4 damage Only through the co-opted use of both the Wish spell and the True Resurrection spell can one be brought back to life.
Divine Rank 1-5 5d6 mile radius 300d8 damage Only a God 5 ranks higher can bring back 1 person after 3 months of effort.
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 1000d20 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 Faith Point score, and bonus FP acquired, any FP 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 Faith Points) listing the followers of that deity that are still alive with three small boxes somewhere else on the sheet for bonus FP earned, FP lost and the deities total Faith Points.
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.
God: Chronotyr Rank 2
|Passing Faith Followers (T1) (1659)||Followers Who Believe (T2) (1319)||True Believers (T3) (343)||Blind Faith Followers (T4) (23)||True Zealots (T5) (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|
|Quick Prayers FP: 161||FP Lost\Spent: 0||Total 8187|