Eclipse – Godhood versus Divine Rank

   Eclipse makes it pretty easy to play a God or Demigod. All you need is the game masters permission and twenty-four character points to invest in the Dominion – Manipulation – Sphere of Influence – Godfire sequence.

   As intended, of course, being a god in Eclipse has it’s perks, but doesn’t overwhelm the game; we’ve had several gods in play, occasionally at party levels as low as three or four, and it hasn’t been a problem. Yes, they have a trump card they can pull out – but Godfire is REALLY hard to come by, and most of them prefer to save it for the really big problems or to pull the party back after something goes horribly wrong. It’s even nice for the game master; accidently overwhelmed the entire party and killed them all in an encounter-gone-wrong? Well, that’s what the party deity has been saving that precious point of Godfire for. Perhaps, in a year or so, they’ll have another.

   Being a standard demigod is a bit harder. For that, you want to start with the Divine Rank 0 Template – and that thing is expensive.

   How expensive? Well, there have been one or two inquiries about it, and  it’s easy enough to break it down:

Divine Rank 0 (3.0 Version)

   Basics:

  • Advanced Augmented Bonus/HP per level (18 CP). Adding a second attribute bonus to your constitution bonus at each level will effectively max out your hit dice quite nicely. It may even put you over that maximum.
  • Celerity III/+30′ Speed (12 CP). OK, Gods are fast. I can go with that; most classical gods didn’t lose foot races to mortals.
  • Damage Reduction level XIII – that is to say, 35/+4, Specialized/Physical Only and not versus +4 or better Weapons (75 CP). That’s a lot of protection in some ways – but by the time anyone will be able to afford this template, anyone who needs one is certainly going to have a powerful weapon and the rest will be throwing spells. This probably isn’t worth it.
  • Improved Spell Resistance (12 CP). Well, Spell Resistance is always handy.

   Immunities:

  • Forced Physical Transformations (Common/Severe/Legendary; 48 CP). Well, that certainly isn’t typical of all classical gods, but transformation attacks that CAN affect gods aren’t exactly common in most stories either.
  • Mental Manipulations (Common/Severe/Legendary, 48 CP). This one’s a bit harder; classical mythology shows an awful lot of gods being manipulated – and sometimes by some tricks that shouldn’t fool most alert six year olds.
  • Energy Drain (Common/Major/Legendary, 36 CP). This is hard to evaluate. I could argue against it – many divine visits to underworld realms did not go well at ALL – but “Energy Drain” is purely a game construct anyway.
  • Ability Drain and Damage (Common/Major/Legendary, 36 CP). Personally I wouldn’t have put this in at the Legendary level; while only other gods can usually affect gods this way, there are lots of stories about gods being weakened or restrained by other divine powers.
  • Time (Uncommon/Major/Legendary, 24 CP). Gods don’t age. Oddly enough, in many cases, that isn’t accurate; the Greek gods apparently didn’t age past adulthood, but the Norse, Egyptian, and many other gods did.
  • Normal Bodily Needs (Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping) (Common/Minor/Legendary, 24 CP).
  • Fire (Common/Major/Major, Corrupted: 20 points only, 6 CP). Why fire in particular? OK, it would be embarrasing for a god to be burned by a common peasant with a flask of oil – but surely the same should apply to any common spell? Or to frostbite from a blizzard?

   OK, now the ability to revert from petrification and polymorph effects after a brief delay comes free with Godfire, and a lot of the rest can be resisted – at least for a time – with Dominion, but those are some pretty handy immunities. Of course, a lot of demigods and divine beings from mythology were not quite so invulnerable – but that is part of the price of standardization.

   That’s a 339 CP Template, or +10 ECL. Pretty pricey.

   The 3.5 Version is similar, but replaces the DR 35/+4 with DR 10/Epic (only 18 CP) and reduces the Fire Resistance to 5 (Common/Major/Trivial, 3 CP). I’m unclear offhand as to whether they still get the boosted speed, but I’ll assume that they do. That gives us 279 CP, which is only +8 ECL.

   That’s still pretty pricey, but not totally unreasonable; the immunities are nice. On the other hand, defenses against relatively unusual attacks aren’t all that vital – and the reduced DR will no longer make such a character virtually invulnerable to attacks by creatures that can’t bypass it.

   I’d say it probably isn’t worth it – unless you bring down the price a bit. If, say, having one of these templates means you can’t be resurrected normally, are a target for interference from other divine powers, have annoying relatives demanding services, keep having to fight some pesky destiny, and so on, we can call the whole thing Corrupted or even Specialized (if we go for the whole laundry-list of difficulties).

   Hm. 169 CP for a Specialized version of the 3.0 Template falls at exactly the limit for a +4 ECL Template – unless the Game Master makes you round .5 up, in which case you’re in +5 ECL territory. The 3.5 version falls neatly into the +4 ECL category.

   That would be a lot more worthwhile – but if the game master allows that specialization, he or she will doubtless be making sure that enough trouble springs from it to make it worth all those points you’re saving.

   Overall? I wouldn’t recommend going this route – if only because those Legendary Immunities are usually pretty boring in actual play. Resistances, the ability to handle a lot of damage, and the ability to recover (albeit at the cost of an extremely-hard-to-replace point of Godfire) are a lot more interesting in actual play. They require planning, decisions, and tactics to use to best effect – whereas Legendary Immunities simply let you wade right in and ignore a lot of the opposition.

   I’ll just have to file this one under “things not to do”.

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4 Responses

  1. You forgot that there is also a immunity to many salient divine abilities. Though I suppose this could also be a privilege, right?

    • I presume that you’re referring to the various salient divine abilities that target “Mortals” (Deities and Demigods defined a 3.0 “Mortal” as “a creature with no divine ranks”; the definition was not changed in the 3.5 update). Since that restriction is listed in the descriptions of individual salient divine abilities, it’s a restriction on those powers – not a part of the the divine rank template.

      For mixed Eclipse / 3.0 / 3.5 / Pathfinder / whatever games any being that has Godfire has “Divine Rank” and is not a “mortal”. If something calls for a comparison of divine ranks (a distinct rarity in most games) simply use (Current Godfire / 2), rounded down – giving those infused with a single point of Godfire a divine rank of 0 and those with lots of it on hand a much higher rank.

      • I suppose… that makes me wonder: Does the eclipse-advancement of divine ranks work like the mythic ranks you posted? I mean, it seems to make sense, and I suppose even as broken as most salient divine abilities are, the “Double” Metamagic doesn’t say that double can’t mean full affect on a save instead of half…

        Though even then, one could use “Fortune” for Fortitude saves when it comes to the Life And Death ability…
        How would one make such an ability?

  2. […] – or even real information – at all), but they got a LOT of levels and had “Divine Rank” – a special source of immunities and powers that characters who didn’t have […]

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