Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-12-2021, 12:10 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

For cases where your worshippers are just some farmers who can't do much directly, is there some way to represent advantages their worship gives you from a dsitance?

I know up close they could contribute FP to Ceremonial Magic but since gods reside in other dimensions, is there maybe some kind of inter-dimensional Leech FP to get energy from the consenting for greater works?

I realize early on that 'new gods' might effectively be tulpas with Dependence (Belief) so it's something you get to avoid a loss of HP or FP, but you'd figure that long-term gods would eventually find some way to get rid of such a disadvantage (particularly if they began as mortals).

One possibility might be to treat this like B122 Non-Chemical Addiction for telepathic contact. If we treat gods as telepaths (can make contact with anyone) even though it's "free" we could justify the pursuit of worshippers as facilitating this: it's still EASIER to make telepathic contact with someone consenting and trying to contact you, perhaps?

Since "Expensive" is only "telepathic contact with one specific person" I don't think it'd go quite that far (-10) but "worshippers only" telepathic contact is at least somewhat more restrictive than anyone, so maybe a slightly more generous base value of -6 instead of -5 ?

This way, since telepathic contact with consenting worshippers is presumably legal (+5) it's at least worth a net -1 (a quirk) instead of 0, which lacks incentive.

In dealing with the 'psychological dependency' you would use Will rolls with B440's Withdrawal rules, failure causing 1pt quirks instead of 1 HP loss like a HT-based physical withdrawal, quirks which vanish soon as you indulge your addiction again, or if you completely withdraw (14 successes) unless you crit-fail the extra Will roll at the end.

Ways we could make it even more important is by using Required Disadvantage: Addiction (PU8p16) as a -1% disadvantage. This is sort of like 'free points' so long as you have worshippers to contact: hopefully you have enough that there's always some around, and some kinda long-distance telepathy with them so contact is easy.

Telepathy you control is generally more flexible (so long as worshipper is alive you can tap their mind anytime you like) but if you have a cheaper kind of telepathy which requires a worshipper to initiate contact (pray to you) that could create more incentive to create active worshippers who are prompted to think of you regularly.

IE if someone only prays to Thor once a week, that's 6 days of withdrawal if Thor requires them to pray, but if Thor can initiate the contact when he likes then it doesn't matter if they forget their daily prayers.

-1% isn't incentive for weak characters, but powerful gods probably have some advantages worth hundreds of points, so it can plausibly cheapen purchases.

One thing does sort of complicate gaining points via Required Disadvantage:
Sometimes, voluntarily or otherwise, you must try to give up your Addiction.
Should you successfully withdraw from an Addiction, you must immediately buy off this disadvantage
It seems like GM is obligated to, if a god won't voluntarily try to curb their addiction to worshippers, involuntarily create a situation where they must, like maybe their worshippers get killed off, telepathic contact is severed, etc.

It seems like "Minor Addictions" could be a way around that though, since you can "waive the usual withdrawal rules" which presumably includes being forced into "must try to give up" situations by GM.

It still has a "must buy it off" caveat though, but it's much harder to get there: instead of a TOTAL of 14 successes you need 14 cumulative ("successful rolls in succession") ones.

This requires an addiction be worth -5 though... which somehow alcohol or tobacco qualify as. I guess to be an alcoholic/chainsmoker since it's legal (+5) you need a base -10 from Expensive meaning you spend 0.5% starting wealth per day on your vice... which works out to 15% of average starting wealth per 30 days.

Apparently if you take a -5 addiction and reduce it to 0pts via +5 legality it's automatically a "Minor Addiction" though and worth -1 anyway, so that could be the way to go here to create the trait upon which a -1% required disadvantage discount would work.

B164 specifies "addicted to a drug that causes psychological dependency" so I'm not 100% sure if we're allowed to do quirk for non-chemical dependencies like telepathic contact though.

Given that "telepathic contact" is not elaborated on, I'd assume anything most stuff listed on B257 would work (except passive defenses like Mind Shield), so you'd want to find the cheapest possible ability with the longest range to fulfill the addiction. Empathy (B51) is listed, but instead of 15 you could probably take the 5pt sensitive version.

Spirit Empathy is the eventual upgrade most gods would want though, because then you could take P48's "Remote" enhancement and get contact via supernatural means like remote viewing. This would explain the shift from "active in the material plane" gods to "talk to you when you reach the afterlife" behaviors: it's just safer and lower-effort to make contact with the spirits of worshippers to fulfill your Addiction requirements.

Interceding with the material world when you have Spirit Empathy would just be moreso to court potential worshippers so they'll flock to you when they die, to make sure no other god makes contact first.

To cover that, you could have it be resistible empathy, and assume consenting worshippers voluntarily flop their Will rolls while those worshipping another god already will resist it and prevent contact.

To prevent just brute-forcing spirits who resist, you could do something like Limited Use.
Plane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 12:30 PM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
For cases where your worshippers are just some farmers who can't do much directly, is there some way to represent advantages their worship gives you from a dsitance?
Advantages with Temporary Disadvantage: Shutdown, Maintenance. Maybe Advantages with Accessibility: Only with assistants.

In certain cases I'd suggest Granted By Worshiper Group, but that one seems to be built on the assumption that the group members are all strongly invested - it grants no discount at all for large groups, presumably on the theory that their numbers mean it's hard for anything to shut enough of them down to matter. Whereas for a kind of godly supercharged ability driven by mass worship I'd want the countervailing point that it may be difficult to mobilize the whole relevant group to do the empowering when you need it...
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 01:42 PM   #3
Donny Brook
 
Donny Brook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Snoopy's basement
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Trigger or Environmental.
Donny Brook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 01:52 PM   #4
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Advantages with Temporary Disadvantage: Shutdown, Maintenance. Maybe Advantages with Accessibility: Only with assistants.
Personally, I'd be inclined to just create a "Worshipped" Power Modifier. If countermeasures are usable by your opposition to cut you off from your worshippers, follow the guidelines from Powers. If said countermeasures basically amount to killing or converting most/all of your worshippers, however, that's probably a +0% - needing to resort to genocide to cut you off is extreme enough not to really count as a Limitation. At most, you may be able to claim a Duty or Sense of Duty to your worshippers, to stop them from getting wiped out.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 02:06 PM   #5
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Any ability you like, powered from an ER with Special Recharge (Worship). No worship, no kewl powerz.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 02:11 PM   #6
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Personally, I'd be inclined to just create a "Worshipped" Power Modifier. If countermeasures are usable by your opposition to cut you off from your worshippers, follow the guidelines from Powers. If said countermeasures basically amount to killing or converting most/all of your worshippers, however, that's probably a +0% - needing to resort to genocide to cut you off is extreme enough not to really count as a Limitation.
For the kind of characters in fiction with that sort of empowerment it is often a plausible angle of attack... or at least not much less plausible than anything else that can actually hurt them.

It might be irrelevant in gameplay depending on the scope of the game, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
At most, you may be able to claim a Duty or Sense of Duty to your worshippers, to stop them from getting wiped out.
Duty means that you've got an obligation that takes screen time on a (stochastically) regular basis. Sense of Duty is self-imposed. And neither of them covers being disempowered if you don't succeed in protecting your power base.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 04:11 PM   #7
weby
 
weby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

In my long fantasy campaign going from 100 to 5000+ points and godhood, I had a lot of "God powers" divided into demigod/local god/minor god/major god powers that the characters could progress along, with the major requirement being number of worshipers.

But basically for the prayer power it self I used the maintenance as a base to give a discount.

The actual rules I used are pretty complex and based on a huge amount of adapted material from many systems.
__________________
--
weby's gaming stuff: http://weby.roto.nu
weby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 04:13 PM   #8
naloth
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

I'd call it a Pact, where you need to keep your followers to retain your power. The exact conditions of what you do for your followers determines the value of the pact.
naloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2021, 04:44 AM   #9
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
I'd call it a Pact, where you need to keep your followers to retain your power. The exact conditions of what you do for your followers determines the value of the pact.
Well, that's good but it works both ways - Pact is exactly the setup for powers granted to mortals by their deity.

One way to look at it might be that the real way in which a deity not living in this dimension can "do things" in this dimension is... having believers and giving them (natural or supernatural) Powers as long as they comply with their Pact terms. The believers then do the deity's will.

If you deem that the worshippers having an Advantage or Power with Pact is the one getting more put of the transaction, even though he has to pay a price (worshipping, rituals, sacrifices etc.), then it's the worshipper who has to pay a (discounted) price, and the deity, if anything, has a Duty (compliance with their side of the Pact transaction).
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2021, 07:54 AM   #10
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: power-gain incentives for being worshipped like a god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
For the kind of characters in fiction with that sort of empowerment it is often a plausible angle of attack... or at least not much less plausible than anything else that can actually hurt them.

It might be irrelevant in gameplay depending on the scope of the game, though.
Being vulnerable to a device that generates a nullifying field is only worth -5% (Mundane Countermeasures), so that makes it pretty hard to call for much of a Limitation here. Still, it's not like assigning a Limitation is Hurting Wrong Fun. If Dependency (Worship) is a legitimate trait, then Temporary Disadvantage (Shutdown): Dependency (Worship) seems like the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Duty means that you've got an obligation that takes screen time on a (stochastically) regular basis. Sense of Duty is self-imposed. And neither of them covers being disempowered if you don't succeed in protecting your power base.
The idea was that, while the dependence on worshippers may not be worth a Limitation, if the character is likely to intervene to protect his/her worshippers, this could be represented as a Duty or Sense of Duty, depending on the particulars.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
minor addiction, non-chemical addiction, required disadvantage, spirit empathy, telepathy

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.