Gods and Monsters
Creating the World
At the start of the game, the world is a blank slate. Sketch a new one with the six basic regions. If anyone wants to add some additional details along the lines of “here there be monsters,” go right ahead, but you don’t have to. As you create your gods, you’ll add a few more details—places sacred to your gods and the people who worship them—but you’ll come up with most of the fine details as you play the game and tell the tales of your gods’ actions.
At a minimum, your world starts with sub-regions equal to the number of player characters, along with one community.
Regions begin as large, homogenous areas with either one or two aspects, but no more: a concept and an optional refinement. These aspects can be invoked by anyone within the region. During play, the gods can change these aspects, creating sub-regions by adjusting the refinement, or even redefining the region entirely by changing its concept.
In the beginning, the regions are quite bland; this is intentional, as it provides a blank slate for the players to scribble all over. Also, the list of regions we give here is not exhaustive; make up your own during play to support the stories you tell.
If the world has responded to a character’s power once, it can be persuaded to do so again. Each region has a regional stunt, which can be used only by gods who have marked the region—see “Changing and Creating Regions” for more.
If a region is changed beyond all recognition, such as if the Forest Primeval is clear-cut, then the group should either amend the flavor of the regional stunt to reflect the new state of things or create a new stunt to replace the old one.
Sub-regions are smaller areas within regions where conditions are broadly the same but different in one or two particulars. A sub-region has the same concept and regional stunt as its parent region, but a different refinement. If the parent region doesn’t have a refinement, then when it gains a refinement, it can split off into a sub-region. A region can have any number of sub-regions.
Gods Move In Mysterious Ways
Generally, your god—and all others—can go anywhere in the world with minimal effort unless someone or something is actively trying to block you. This someone might even be yourself, as long as your god has an appropriate aspect to compel and there are interesting consequences to failing to arrive on time.
As part of shaping the world around them characters will often interact with communities: cohesive groups of people who can be led, manipulated or fought as a unit. When a community acts as a whole or you need some approximate stats for one of its members, use its community skills. Not all communities have all skills; if one is missing, assume it is Mediocre (+0). The community skills are:
- Culture covers the appeal of the community’s arts and “ambience” to outsiders.
- Integrity is used to resist the forces of change both internal and external.
- Subtlety reflects the level of skulduggery that the community engages in, including spying, stealth, and theft.
- Technology is the overall level of technical advancement. Technology rarely begins at a rank higher than Average (+1), but it can change over the course of the game.
- Warfare covers how many soldiers the community can round up and what level of training they have received.
- Wealth is self-explanatory: how rich does the community tend to be in material possessions? However, it says nothing about how those riches are distributed.
Communities also have a stress track and a set of consequences, used to resist raids, environmental destruction, depopulation by disease or misfortune, social pressure to change their ways, or other forces of change. Some communities also have stunts or other special powers, but these are rare.
It’s important to note that the PCs are powerful enough to operate on the community scale if they want to; you can sway a town’s opinions with a single speech by rolling to overcome the community’s Integrity, or you can fight an army by rolling to attack against their Warfare. Sometimes you’ll scale down your interactions and deal with individual members of a community, who will have their own skills and aspects, but if you want to work in broad strokes, you can.
Communities have the same aspects of the region or sub-region they lie within, and each can gain a third aspect that reflects some unique trait. Most communities won’t begin with this trait aspect—unless someone has a really good idea for it—but time and the actions of the PCs are bound to change that.