[Dark Dungeons] let's have a better look at Immortals' power

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[Dark Dungeons] let's have a better look at Immortals' power

Post by Yaztromo » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:04 pm

[this initial post generated various interesting ideas... so I changed the title of this post to reflect the development (the original title was: "does an Immortal count as worshipper?")]

I remember read on the rules that when Immortals are without worshippers for a full year, they die/vanish. OK, that's clear!
What is not clear to me is if these worshippers have to be mortals or if they could be immortals (that makes it much more difficult to vanish...).
I have seen that in immortals' stats sometimes they have: "Faith: oneself" but some other times they have other immortals (for example the immortal that sponsored them to immortality...).

Is it clarified somewhere if the "worshippers" have to be strictly mortals?
Last edited by Yaztromo on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by BillionSix » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:22 am

That sounds too much like a cheat. A group of immortals who decide to "worship" each other to keep each other from disappearing sounds like a munchkin move, in that it tries to follow the letter of the rules while ignoring the spirit. The spirit, to me, is that an immortal needs to be known in the world. You can't just set up a room in the afterlife and chill for eternity. You need to be getting your name out there.
Another aspect is that the word worship implies a lesser being and a higher power. Even if the immortal in question is older and more powerful, they are still both on the immortal level.

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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:05 pm

I agree with BillionSix. In fact I'd go further.

The intent is that the Immortal have to maintain a cult/church of mortal worshippers on the Prime Material Plane. Immortals themselves wouldn't count; and neither would a bunch of created servants squirrelled away on their home plane. The worshippers must be both normal mortals (not created creatures - but later generations of a created race would count if they maintained worship) and on the Prime Material Plane.

Actually, one house rule I thought of - which would radically change the character of the Immortal level game - would be to drop experience points for Immortals and have their level depend solely on the number of worshippers they have. That way, it's all about keeping your worshippers and fighting each other by proxy (either by destroying or converting each others' followers).

[b]Number of Worshippers[/b]|[b]Immortal Level[/b] 0|1* 1-24|1 25-49|2 50-99|3 100-149|4 150-199|5 200-299|6 300-399|7 400-499|8 500-749|9 750-999|10 1,000-1,249|11 1,250-1,499|12 1,500-1,999|13 2,000-2,499|14 2,500-3,499|15 3,500-4,499|16 4,500-5,499|17 5,500-7,999|18 8,000-10,499|19 10,500-12,999|20 13,000-17,999|21 18,000-22,999|22 23,000-29,999|23 30,000-39,999|24 40,000-49,999|25 50,000-59,999|26 60,000-84,999|27 85,000-109,999|28 110,000-149,999|29 150,000-199,999|30 200,000-249,999|31 250,000-299,999|32 300,000-399,999|33 400,000-499,999|34 500,000-599,999|35 600,000+|36
* Immortals with no mortal worshippers on the Prime Material plane are technically level 1, but will die after a year unless they acquire at least one worshipper.

If you used a system like this, it would mean that the power of Immortals would fluctuate along with the fortunes of their worshippers. However, this would have a couple of knock-ons...

a) If mortal adventurers knock over a small cult that happens to be the only worshippers of a minor Immortal, the Immortal is likely to immediately come looking for revenge before trying to get new worshippers. To prevent this, I'd suggest that when an Immortal's last worshipper dies or is converted they are sent back to their home plane in Embodied form and cannot leave, cast Immortal Eye, or take another form for a week. Firstly this prevents an Immortal's last worshipper being killed without them noticing, and also it basically gives whoever killed that last worshipper a week to get away. Sure, a particularly vindictive Immortal could waste time tracking down the adventurers after that - but any time they spend doing so is time they're not spending trying to get themselves new worshippers. It prevents them from teleporting in in their strongest mortal form within seconds of their last priest being stabbed and attacking the adventurers that did the stabbing before they've even had chance to leave the room.

b) You'd need a new rule for Greater Immortal Spells, since they can no longer cost experience points to cast. They could simply cost "effective worshippers" - e.g. for every 10,000xp that a spell would have cost, 10 worshippers no longer contribute to the Immortal's level (except to prevent it from dying). You could still keep the limit where an Immortal can't voluntarily spend itself down in level. This means that much of what an Immortal does will permanently reduce its power, and if it starts losing worshippers this could drag it down to level 1 pretty much permanently (e.g. an Immortal with 1,000 worshippers but which has "spent" a total of 20,000 worshippers-worth of permanent power during better times is stuck at level 1 until it can regain another 19,000 or more new worshippers despite having only the abilities of a level 1 Immortal with which to do that). You could just leave this as a setting feature - the inevitable fate of all Immortals, no matter how careful they are spending permanent power, is that they will eventually get to the point where they can no longer even invest a new cleric and they will lose worshippers and fade away. Of you could mitigate it somewhat by either:

1) Making some of the "Permanent" costs recoverable. For example power you spent creating an artefact can be reclaimed if you can track down the artefact and withdraw that power; although if someone else destroys the artefact first the power is gone forever. Or power invested in creating a cleric could be recovered when the cleric dies.

2) Assuming that the "effective worshippers" whose power has been used up are actual real worshippers whose worship no longer counts. They may be dispersed throughout the Immortal's church (to make it less likely that the worshippers the Immortal is still getting power from are targeted by an enemy) or may even be a particular geographical group or heretical sect that have displeased the Immortal and which the Immortal is then free to abandon or even smite as an example to other without having to worry about losing their power. If you used this option, then - assuming they continue to worship alongside everyone else (and if the Immortal doesn't smite them they have no reason to know that their worship is any different to those of their fellow worshippers) - anything that reduces the number of worshippers that the Immortal has would reduce these worshippers alongside those that are still providing power proportionately or disproportionately according to their arrangement. Additionally, there might be a natural "replacement rate" of, say, 1% per year as these worshippers die off and are replaced by younger worshippers whose power has not been used up.

For example, Thor and Loki each have 10,000 worshippers, and each spends 2,000 "effective worshippers" to create a new plane, a new embodied form, a couple of artefacts, and other such stuff.

Thor decides to spread his non-powering worshippers throughout his church. He now has 8,000 powering worshippers and 2,000 non-powering worshippers. Because he has evenly spread these, each of his temples has 80% powered and 20% non-powered worshippers.

Loki decides to concentrate his non-powering worshippers in one area. He now has 8,000 powering worshippers in his mainland temples, and 2,000 non-powering worshippers in a couple of islands. He no longer cares what happens to the worshippers in the islands, and because those in one particular island displease him, he directs them to raid one of Thor's temples.

Thor's temple is raided and he loses 300 worshippers because of this. Since 20% of the worshippers in that temple were non-powered, 20% of the losses are from non-powered worshippers. He now has 7,760 powering worshippers and 1,940 non-powering worshippers. This means that he loses a level (he shouldn't have spent down to his minimum!)

Thor's worshippers retaliate against the raids from the island by wiping out the island and its Loki temple completely. This loses Loki 500 worshippers (the entire temple) but since all of these were non-powered Loki doesn't care. He still has 8,000 powering worshippers and 1,500 non-powering worshippers.

This may sound as though Loki has "won" the battle despite having heavier losses in absolute terms, and strictly by the numbers he has. But on a political level, Loki now has no worshippers on the island any more and Thor can place his clerics as "liberators" of the island from the Loki priests and is in a good position to gain lots of converts there if he can manage it right. Plus, stories of how Loki's temple on the island was wiped out and he didn't lift a finger to help it may start to circulate and he may lose worshippers on the mainland because of this...

That system seems to have lots of promise, but I think it might be a bit too complex for my tastes as it stands. It could do with more tweaking...
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Morfie » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:45 pm

Not a house rule I would use..
The Number of Worshippers is too low, I would multiply those figures by at least 10. Otherwise most Immortals will be over level 29 given perhaps 1 immortal is the most popular per country. Unless you are only counting worshippers as clerics.
But this causes all sorts of other problems. A decent win over other immortals could have an immortal gaining a dozen levels at once. This way is also too variable, immortals will be gaining and losing levels quite often.
Immortals of high breeding creatures such as Kobolds would be more powerful than Immortals of low breeding creatures such as Elves.
As for Mystara based campaigns, the Hierarch type immortals are less concerned with having worshippers on the Prime and so would have lower levels under this system.
Converting worshippers would happen rarely. Most likely the case would be that the losing immortal decreased more due to deaths of followers than the winner.

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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:57 pm

Hi Blacky, I very like the direction of your thought (it might find its way into Darker Dungeons, maybe?), but I think it needs some more review (along the same guidelines).
In particular I don't like the fact that a "spent" worshipper is spent forever.

If you think about Olimpic gods, they were not only happy with worship, but also with temples, statues and sacrifices. I think we should somehow use that in order to "regenerate" their power.

There is also another aspect to consider, that is the fact that in a pantheon, ALL gods are worshipped (of course) and each of them has particular worshippers depending on his/her "portfolio", for example Mars is especially worshipped in connetcion to a war, Venus for matters of love and beauty, Neptune for safe sailing and fishing, Pluto when somebody dies, Ceres at harvesting times, etc.
So no god has normally "exclusive" worshippers (probably apart from priests?) if we take the model of Olimpic gods or other polytheistic societies (like nordic-style pantheon and several other pantheons).
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:12 pm

Morfie wrote:Not a house rule I would use..
The Number of Worshippers is too low, I would multiply those figures by at least 10. Otherwise most Immortals will be over level 29 given perhaps 1 immortal is the most popular per country. Unless you are only counting worshippers as clerics.
I made the numbers up pretty much from whole cloth this morning. I suppose it would depend on the setting. In some worlds 600,000 followers would be a large chunk of the population. In others you may need to multiply by 10 or even 20 to get results that fit the world population.
But this causes all sorts of other problems. A decent win over other immortals could have an immortal gaining a dozen levels at once. This way is also too variable, immortals will be gaining and losing levels quite often.
Immortals of high breeding creatures such as Kobolds would be more powerful than Immortals of low breeding creatures such as Elves.
I don't see that as a problem as such, merely a feature which may or may not fit your setting.

Why else do you think the churches encourage people to go after the kobolds, goblins and other such creatures to keep their numbers from getting out of hand...
As for Mystara based campaigns, the Hierarch type immortals are less concerned with having worshippers on the Prime and so would have lower levels under this system.
Converting worshippers would happen rarely. Most likely the case would be that the losing immortal decreased more due to deaths of followers than the winner.
Yeah, it wouldn't necessarily be a great fit in Mystara.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:14 pm

Yaztromo wrote:Hi Blacky, I very like the direction of your thought (it might find its way into Darker Dungeons, maybe?), but I think it needs some more review (along the same guidelines).
In particular I don't like the fact that a "spent" worshipper is spent forever.

If you think about Olimpic gods, they were not only happy with worship, but also with temples, statues and sacrifices. I think we should somehow use that in order to "regenerate" their power.

There is also another aspect to consider, that is the fact that in a pantheon, ALL gods are worshipped (of course) and each of them has particular worshippers depending on his/her "portfolio", for example Mars is especially worshipped in connetcion to a war, Venus for matters of love and beauty, Neptune for safe sailing and fishing, Pluto when somebody dies, Ceres at harvesting times, etc.
So no god has normally "exclusive" worshippers (probably apart from priests?) if we take the model of Olimpic gods or other polytheistic societies (like nordic-style pantheon and several other pantheons).
As I mentioned above, I did just make up the whole thing this morning. It could definitely use much more work.

Any suggestions for handling pantheons and the like?
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:27 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:
But this causes all sorts of other problems. A decent win over other immortals could have an immortal gaining a dozen levels at once. This way is also too variable, immortals will be gaining and losing levels quite often.
Immortals of high breeding creatures such as Kobolds would be more powerful than Immortals of low breeding creatures such as Elves.
I don't see that as a problem as such, merely a feature which may or may not fit your setting.

Why else do you think the churches encourage people to go after the kobolds, goblins and other such creatures to keep their numbers from getting out of hand...
As for Mystara based campaigns, the Hierarch type immortals are less concerned with having worshippers on the Prime and so would have lower levels under this system.
Converting worshippers would happen rarely. Most likely the case would be that the losing immortal decreased more due to deaths of followers than the winner.
Yeah, it wouldn't necessarily be a great fit in Mystara.
If you think about the story of Aztanteotl, that swapped elves for faster-breeding humanoids, this point of view may make some sense even in Mystara.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:53 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote: As I mentioned above, I did just make up the whole thing this morning. It could definitely use much more work.

Any suggestions for handling pantheons and the like?
I need to think a bit more about this and maybe other piazzans can add their suggestions and experiences.

I'd base immortals' powers not so much on the "number" of worshippers, but on the acts of worship that they receive.
This means that temples, shrines, statues, sacrifices all should give some power points (every day? every month?) that can be spent in a similar way to the experience points described in your chapters referring to immortality.

For pantheons, if you think about it, Olimpic pantheon has twelve major gods (Zeus, Ares, Aphrodites, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, etc.), honoured by all worshippers, followed by "second tier" gods (honoured particularly in some months and less in some other months) and then "local" gods (honoured only in particular cities or regions).
On top of this, all gods (including major ones), where more worshipped when their "portfolio" was more relevant (i.e. Ares during wars, Ceres at harvesting, Poseidon during sailing seasons, etc.)
The underlying idea is that normal population (i.e. non-clerics) is shared with different percentages depending on the overall importance of the god (possibly we can use the ranks: Temporal, Celestial, Emphyreal etc.), the city or region (each will have a special patron (like Athens had Athena and the like), the time of the year (possibly each god may have a dedicated month), the prevalent occupation of the people (are they fighting a war? are they in peace? are they farmers? are they miners? are they herders? are they artisans? are they sailors? do they have a university in their city? do they have a developed legal system? etc.).
This way each god will push for some favoured situation in order to get more power (war rather than peace, herding rather than farming, civilization advancements rather than traditions, etc.).

For each god you'll have a share of the population total offerings (tenths?) that will go for offering sacrifices and, if they are rich enough, to build and maintain statues, shrines, temples, that will increase their god's power (but need some upkeep as well).
On top of this, you can have various rules offering sacrifices and building temples etc. in order to attract the favour of the gods.

This also explains why the gods of a pantheon usually get together and push for a "civilization war" when a "single god cult" emerges (think about traditional Egyptian gods vs. Amon cult or traditional Roman gods vs. Heliogabalus/Elagabal at the time, but they are not the only examples): pantheon gods are Ok to elbow each other a bit out of the way, but a single god approach would wipe them out all together in a single hit.

How does all this blabbing sound?
Too bent towards "Olimpic style" gods?
Completely out of the way?

If you think there's something worth a second look in this, please feel free to work on it and improve it... ;)
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:28 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote: a) If mortal adventurers knock over a small cult that happens to be the only worshippers of a minor Immortal, the Immortal is likely to immediately come looking for revenge before trying to get new worshippers. To prevent this, I'd suggest that when an Immortal's last worshipper dies or is converted they are sent back to their home plane in Embodied form and cannot leave, cast Immortal Eye, or take another form for a week. Firstly this prevents an Immortal's last worshipper being killed without them noticing, and also it basically gives whoever killed that last worshipper a week to get away. Sure, a particularly vindictive Immortal could waste time tracking down the adventurers after that - but any time they spend doing so is time they're not spending trying to get themselves new worshippers. It prevents them from teleporting in in their strongest mortal form within seconds of their last priest being stabbed and attacking the adventurers that did the stabbing before they've even had chance to leave the room.
This would actually move the issue to the last worshipper: all immortals would re-incarnate besides their last mortal worshipper in order to support and protect her/him from any attack. (This could actually be a way to ambush a "weakly worshipped" immortal...)
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:54 am

Yaztromo wrote:
Blacky the Blackball wrote: a) If mortal adventurers knock over a small cult that happens to be the only worshippers of a minor Immortal, the Immortal is likely to immediately come looking for revenge before trying to get new worshippers. To prevent this, I'd suggest that when an Immortal's last worshipper dies or is converted they are sent back to their home plane in Embodied form and cannot leave, cast Immortal Eye, or take another form for a week. Firstly this prevents an Immortal's last worshipper being killed without them noticing, and also it basically gives whoever killed that last worshipper a week to get away. Sure, a particularly vindictive Immortal could waste time tracking down the adventurers after that - but any time they spend doing so is time they're not spending trying to get themselves new worshippers. It prevents them from teleporting in in their strongest mortal form within seconds of their last priest being stabbed and attacking the adventurers that did the stabbing before they've even had chance to leave the room.
This would actually move the issue to the last worshipper: all immortals would re-incarnate besides their last mortal worshipper in order to support and protect her/him from any attack. (This could actually be a way to ambush a "weakly worshipped" immortal...)
I'm not sure they would - for two reasons.

Firstly we're talking about people knocking over a temple with a couple of dozen worshippers in it or even up to a hundred, not it's not just the last one on their own vulnerable to attack.

Secondly, the Immortal knows that even if their only remaining worshipper dies they've still got a year to find some more. So a better response to "Oh no, I'm down to my last worshipper!" is to go out and convert more people rather than to stick around the one you have all the time like a guardian angel.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:00 am

Yaztromo wrote:
Blacky the Blackball wrote: As I mentioned above, I did just make up the whole thing this morning. It could definitely use much more work.

Any suggestions for handling pantheons and the like?
I need to think a bit more about this and maybe other piazzans can add their suggestions and experiences.

I'd base immortals' powers not so much on the "number" of worshippers, but on the acts of worship that they receive.

This means that temples, shrines, statues, sacrifices all should give some power points (every day? every month?) that can be spent in a similar way to the experience points described in your chapters referring to immortality.
That's a possibility, but I think we'd get into the realms of hideous amounts of bookkeeping very quickly if we did much more than simply count a population of worshippers.
For pantheons, if you think about it, Olimpic pantheon has twelve major gods (Zeus, Ares, Aphrodites, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, etc.), honoured by all worshippers, followed by "second tier" gods (honoured particularly in some months and less in some other months) and then "local" gods (honoured only in particular cities or regions).
On top of this, all gods (including major ones), where more worshipped when their "portfolio" was more relevant (i.e. Ares during wars, Ceres at harvesting, Poseidon during sailing seasons, etc.)
The underlying idea is that normal population (i.e. non-clerics) is shared with different percentages depending on the overall importance of the god (possibly we can use the ranks: Temporal, Celestial, Emphyreal etc.), the city or region (each will have a special patron (like Athens had Athena and the like), the time of the year (possibly each god may have a dedicated month), the prevalent occupation of the people (are they fighting a war? are they in peace? are they farmers? are they miners? are they herders? are they artisans? are they sailors? do they have a university in their city? do they have a developed legal system? etc.).
This way each god will push for some favoured situation in order to get more power (war rather than peace, herding rather than farming, civilization advancements rather than traditions, etc.).

For each god you'll have a share of the population total offerings (tenths?) that will go for offering sacrifices and, if they are rich enough, to build and maintain statues, shrines, temples, that will increase their god's power (but need some upkeep as well).
On top of this, you can have various rules offering sacrifices and building temples etc. in order to attract the favour of the gods.

This also explains why the gods of a pantheon usually get together and push for a "civilization war" when a "single god cult" emerges (think about traditional Egyptian gods vs. Amon cult or traditional Roman gods vs. Heliogabalus/Elagabal at the time, but they are not the only examples): pantheon gods are Ok to elbow each other a bit out of the way, but a single god approach would wipe them out all together in a single hit.
You could simply say that a pantheon shares their worshippers (and assume that the different patronages and spheres all balance out in the wash). So if there are 12 Immortals and 60,000 worshippers they only count as having 5,000 each. On the one hand they'd all be aware that they would be far more powerful if the population worshipped them solely and the rest of the pantheon weren't around; but on the other hand they are also aware that their power base is much more stable because there's no infighting over worshippers and they have a whole group that can gang up on outsiders.

Again, I'm trying to keep things simple in terms of bookkeeping..
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:25 am

Blacky the Blackball wrote: Again, I'm trying to keep things simple in terms of bookkeeping..
Yeah, possibly it could turn out to be similar to dominion management for noblemen... I still think that extraordinary offers, sacrifices and temples, shrines, statues etc. should give an extra power, possibly higher than "normal" worshippers (it would open more opportunities for roleplaying...).
However, I have the feeling that this is mostly an "Olympic gods" approach, that may or may not be appropriate for every campaign... but probably fun!
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:15 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote: Firstly we're talking about people knocking over a temple with a couple of dozen worshippers in it or even up to a hundred, not it's not just the last one on their own vulnerable to attack.

Secondly, the Immortal knows that even if their only remaining worshipper dies they've still got a year to find some more. So a better response to "Oh no, I'm down to my last worshipper!" is to go out and convert more people rather than to stick around the one you have all the time like a guardian angel.
I think I have to review and re-think the connection betwee the number of worshippers and the ability of the Immortal to use his power.
If we stick to turning current experience points system into "number of worshippers" than if you have just a handful of worshippers you are doomed, as there is almost nothing you can do, including even consecrating new clerics!

Possibly you should be able to "bank" power points that are (monthly?) generated by your worshippers (+ temples, sacrifices and the like to provide a major share of your power), so that if your worshippers numbers dwindle quickly for some reason, you may still have power points banked and ready to be invested carefully and expand again your influence.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:40 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Blacky the Blackball wrote: Firstly we're talking about people knocking over a temple with a couple of dozen worshippers in it or even up to a hundred, not it's not just the last one on their own vulnerable to attack.

Secondly, the Immortal knows that even if their only remaining worshipper dies they've still got a year to find some more. So a better response to "Oh no, I'm down to my last worshipper!" is to go out and convert more people rather than to stick around the one you have all the time like a guardian angel.
I think I have to review and re-think the connection between the number of worshippers and the ability of the Immortal to use his power.

If we stick to turning current experience points system into "number of worshippers" than if you have just a handful of worshippers you are doomed, as there is almost nothing you can do, including even consecrating new clerics!
Well, let's take the most limited example: you're a new Immortal and for some reason your patron isn't able to provide any help so you're on your own. What can you do to get worshippers?

Well, you can't appear in your Embodied form because of the normal rules against doing so on the Prime Material (of course, exceptions might be made for new Immortals wishing to impress their first potential worshippers, but we'll ignore that for the moment).

You also can't use any Greater Immortal Spells because you've no XP-equivalent to pay for them with. So you can't appear in mortal form and you can't invest clerics. So basically, while you're very powerful in general (you've enough of a Power Reserve to be able to cast any mortal spells you like, for example) the problem is that without appearing in embodied form you can't actually use that power to convince anyone to worship you!

The only real tools you have are that you can:

a) Use your Spirit Form to talk to people and control their dreams - promising them that if they worship you and convince others to do so too they'll be first in line for High Priest when the religion gets going. This can be either done overtly (by simply appearing in front of them and talking to them using pretty much those words) or more subtly by influencing their dreams.

b) Use your Embodied form powers on other planes. For example if you want to miraculously heal someone you can sit on your home plane and use the Gate spell to bring them to you, then use mortal level magic to heal them (and your aura and the fact that you Gated them in to impress them).

Of course, you can get clever with this. Farmer lost his sheep in the mist? Appear in your Spirit form and lead him to them. Local tribe of orcs plaguing a village? Appear in the their dreams smiting them in a form that looks like your Spirit form, then next time they go for the village appear in public in your Spirit form and chase them off, saving the village. And so forth.

You should be able to get a small group of worshippers using those methods. And this is if you have no help whatsoever, of course. If you've a patron or friend who's willing to help they can easily spend a bit of time in a Mortal Form with clerical abilities doing deeds in your name and spreading the word.
Possibly you should be able to "bank" power points that are (monthly?) generated by your worshippers (+ temples, sacrifices and the like to provide a major share of your power), so that if your worshippers numbers dwindle quickly for some reason, you may still have power points banked and ready to be invested carefully and expand again your influence.
I actually like the fact that a quick dwindling of worshippers is crippling (or possibly even fatal) to an Immortal. I see that as a feature rather than a bug, in that it gives Immortals a way to indirectly attack each other, so I don't think that ways to "bank" power are a good idea (remember, you'll still have power points without worshippers - it's only the stuff that would normally cost XP that you won't have access to).
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:23 pm

I've had an idea...

Instead of your level being based on your current number of worshippers, it is based on your Worship total, which is derived as follows:
  • Each worshipper you gain provides 1 Worship per year on your Holy Day (but if they keep flip-flopping between worshipping you and someone else with a different Holy Day you don't both keep getting more Worship each time they change their mind!)
  • Having a temple built gains you 500 Worship (it must be a new temple, you can't just have temples torn down and re-built to get the bonus Worship again!)
  • Having plants/animals sacrificed to you gains you 1 Worship per X* value of the sacrifices (the amount of sacrifice must be measurable on a "Dominion tithe" scale to count; not just the odd chicken here and there.)
  • Having a sapient being sacrificed to you gains you 100 Worship (oh so tempting, but oh so naughty!)
  • In all the above cases, if you are part of a pantheon you only get a portion of the Worship based on the number of members of the pantheon.
  • You can never have more Worship than (10 x current number of worshippers)
This way your Worship will build up over time even with only a small number of worshippers, and when you've spent it (on Greater Immortal Level Spells) you'll get it back over time. Additionally, there's a big incentive to having temples built in your name.

However, the hard cap means firstly that you can't simply keep accumulating it forever. If you want to grow more powerful you'll have to keep expanding your number of worshippers to expand your cap. Also, this means that losing followers hits you immediately rather than just the next year when you get your yearly Worship on your holy day.

* I haven't bothered doing the maths, but this value should be the same as the cost in Worship of making mundane items. In other words, if your worshippers sacrifice 500gp worth of animals you get enough Worship to spend making 500gp worth of mundane items. This rate will be the base rate that all the other values in the system can be re-balanced around.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:49 pm

Sounds in the right direction to me...

Any other ideas from other piazzans??? :-)
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:54 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:[*]Having plants/animals sacrificed to you gains you 1 Worship per X* value of the sacrifices (the amount of sacrifice must be measurable on a "Dominion tithe" scale to count; not just the odd chicken here and there.)
If you think about it, in the Iliad there are examples of extravagant offerings to "smooth" the wrath of the adverse gods or something like that...
You may have some kind of "flat rate" offerings (possibly managed in a "dominion tithe" way), but on top of that you may have special offerings (that only kings or similarly wealthy worshippers or communities can afford), that leave more room to roleplaying.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:59 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:[*]Having a temple built gains you 500 Worship (it must be a new temple, you can't just have temples torn down and re-built to get the bonus Worship again!).
I'd consider it as a regular Worship source over time, with some kind of "upkeep" for the temples (something like "you need so many priests dedicated to it and/or offerings, otherwise it goes back to desecrated status and doesn't generate Worship anymore).
Possibly, like for priests, you need to "invest" some of your power also for consecrating temples, shrines, statues, etc. and this explains why gods don't like to have their temples desecrated, robbed, defaced, etc.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by BillionSix » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:58 pm

Oooh! I just thought of something! A group of gods decides they don't want to die. They each have modest amounts of worshipers but they have to maintain them, and all that stuff. So they come up with an idea. They form a pantheon. Basically they work together to increase the worship of the group. They pimp each others name and so forth.
Why? Insurance! If Hondo, God of Killing People, is known to travel with Sleeva, Goddess of Taking Their Stuff, then you can't really think of one without thinking of the other. When you think of one god's stories, you think of how he interacts with the other gods.
This keeps a god from disappearing. Even if his personal worship wanes, there will probably be temples to the pantheon with his statue there.

This is great if all the gods are great friends. But immortality is a tricky thing. If one of the gods turns against the other and becomes an Evil God that no sane person would worship. N00b Killa, God of Blowing Up Temples and Killing Anyone Who Looks At Him, decides to go wandering in the world, and the rest of his pantheon (who were probably fairly foolish to make him part of the pantheon to start with) has to spend a lot of time stopping him and cleaning up his messes. No one worships him, but he is now considered a full member of the pantheon, albeit as the pantheon's "devil." Simply kicking him out won't do anything. People must forget about him, because even a story like "He was kicked out of Heaven" is enough to make him part of their stories.

So, to use an example in real world mythology. The Norse have lots of cool gods who do lots of cool things. But they also have Sif, who doesn't do too much except be married to Thor, and get tricked into shaving her head. Also there is Loki, who has stories about being friendly with the gods, but also being opposed to them. You could see Loki as a "character" who joined a pantheon in good faith but became a troublemaker they couldn't get rid of.

Basically, joining a pantheon is like getting tenure. A lone struggling god is always afraid of losing that last worshiper. He might not join a pantheon due to pride and wanting to be The One True God. Or it might just not happen. Getting a pantheon started is hard. It's hard enough to get people to worship you, harder to get a bunch of gods' stories intertwined enough. Getting inducted into an existing pantheon sounds like a good idea, but is harder than it sounds. They already have their "canon" set, and though they may like you, the inertia of thousands of worshipers is hard to overcome.

Anyway, just some thoughts. Feel free to pick them apart.

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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:48 pm

I think the discussion is building up ideas in the right direction... any other willing to bouce more ideas?
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] does an Immortal count as a worshipper?

Post by Yaztromo » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:28 pm

I thought that, a bit like in the dominion management (barons, counts, kings etc.), the immortals could "pay" a tenth of their yearly Worship to the immortal that sponsored them (now you know that taxes will follow you even you become immortal...).
This way it gives a reward for sponsoring new immortals, helps "elder" immortals staying more powerful and mitigates for the loss of worship that can come from admitting a new immortal to your pantheon (that would cut the "slices" thinner...).

How does it sound?

Possibly a Novice Immortal can have the "tax" waived in the beginning, when he's weaker (first year? first ten years?)
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] let's have a better look at Immortals' p

Post by ExTSR » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:13 pm

Interesting. (Just found this thread.)

I have a (private) system for Belief/Faith. The more Belief points an Immortal accumulates (an ever-changing figure, goes up & down), the more Hshe* can reach out, interact with said Believers. Expenditures cost (temporary) Power (regnerates).

But Blacky limits this to Prime mortals. By contrast, I feel that the first task of a new Immortal is to establish Hir* Home Plane, start a proprietary race of worshippers (as a Power base), and continue from there.

I would suggest that an Immortal's "tally sheet" include Hir* standing on various planes -- the Prime being the most important for growth & longterm progress, but the Home Plane being the foundation upon which all else develops.

Immortal Canon:

Blessed be your Home, the Heart of your entire existence. Carefully tend the Lives of Your Creation, lest your own life diminish and expire.

Blessed be the Womb, the unique Prime, whence spring Immortals and thereby the entire Multiverse. Keep it holy, lest all other Immortals rise up against you.**

F

* lousy generic gender terminology... English has some nasty gaps. :/
** Entropics are typically the only Immortals permitted full access to the Prime... since All Things Shall Pass, and their job is to make it so. (What few controls thereon do exist are dictated by the Plural-yet-Single Mind of the Five Hierarchs.

ps: I dislike "worship" as that infers a personal attitude to which not all immortals subscribe. "Belief" leaves it unbiased. ;>
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] let's have a better look at Immortals' p

Post by PelinoreRevived » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:17 pm

Interesting thread. I am working on an article along similar lines for my Pelinore fanzine

viewtopic.php?f=71&t=10734

I was also thinking of working in a theme about heresy in the religions that could result in a shift in the immortals' areas of influence, depending on how large the heresy became. In other words, in order to retain worshippers the immortals may be required to shift paradigm.
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Re: [Dark Dungeons] let's have a better look at Immortals' p

Post by MPA » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:26 am

With the Exception of Frank you guys need to stop relying on your memory when you come up with this stuff. Nothing of what you say resembles what is mentioned in WoTI.

Let's start from the beginning. Firstly, the immortal does NOT die after one year from when his last worshiper dies or stops believing in him.

What happens is that the process, "Fading", begins one year after he loses his last worshiper. If he doesn't take steps to change this, then after TEN YEARS he will fade to nothingness. By nothingness he is a mindless wisp of dim light with no consciousness. He does NOT die and he is undetectable.

According to the rules it is implied that the bar to either keep immortals in their current status or to bring them back from the Fading, is extremely low. In my opinion, it only takes an archeologist or an RPG gamer to learn about the immortal and take interest. The term worship is thus a vague term, and I think that has already been established by the D&D writers and publishers.

Secondly, as hinted at above. Nothing in the rules state that the number or worshipers have any bearing on how powerful an immortal is. Although, the expectation is that the higher level you reach the more worshipers you have.

According to the rules: Immortals go up in experience levels the same way mortals do. That is by either adventuring or by way or ruling. Remember you can get experience as a ruler. And Immortals are the ultimate ruler. So the question becomes do you gain experience from your worshipers on the Prime or on your home plane or both?
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