Friday, November 5, 2010

Gods, Demigods, or Godlings

Over the past few days, there have been some posts about gods in gaming worlds.  Here Scott listed descriptions for a bunch of gods in his game world.  On the same day, that guy over at Planet Algol had this to say on the subject.

Turns out that Planet Algol was the last blog that I read on my trip through the blogosphere last night, so as I lay down to my night's rest, my mind immediately started racing with ideas for "little" gods for a game world.  Then I started thinking, maybe I could write up a little project like that...

Anyway, I present one of them for you here, with others to follow in the coming days:

(Also known as He Who Bleeds)
(Also known as Rent-by-Daggers)

Chadek-Hadek always appears as a man, seemingly pummeled by a long and harsh existence.  He walks with a limp; his cheeks, covered with salt-and-pepper stubble, are scarred from countless battles; his right arm shows the remains of several tattoos that appear as if he has tried to remove them--they are no longer legible as anything other than smears and random lines.  He wears trousers and a thick woolen cloak.  Beneath his cloak, he wears no shirt, and his chest and stomach are (except when he makes the effort to hide them) bare.  Most shockingly, three daggers, buried to their hilts, penetrate his chest and abdomen; the wounds ooze and bleed, and thick and dark scabs surround them.

Chadek-Hadek is often prayed to by those who have suffered great wounds but who are too poor seek the assistance of the local temple or healers or, for whatever reason, are desperate for help.  They would have to be, because the help that he offers is often exactly the opposite.  If he appears to one who prays to him, he will typically examine the wounded individual and pass judgment.  No one knows (or at least, no one is telling, and he certainly does not) the scale by which he judges someone, but upon making his decision, he pulls one of the three daggers from his body and strikes the wounded supplicant.  The act of pulling the dagger from his own body is obviously agonizing, as he grits his teeth, shudders at the pain, and typically does not handle it well.

Depending on the dagger that he draws, the effect of his attack varies:

The dagger that is buried just above his left hip will cause 1d6 hp of damage to the individual.  (Obviously, quite possibly enough to kill the average 0-level person.)  If the individual survives the strike, they will sink into a coma for 1d20 hours.  When they awake, they will be completely healed of all damage, however, their hit point total will permanently decrease by one.  (If the individual had only one to begin with, the drop will not occur.)

The dagger that is buried in his abdomen just beneath his right rib cage will cause 1d6 hp of damage to the individual.  If the individual survives the strike, they will sink into a coma for 1d10 hours.  When they awake, they will be completely healed of all damage, and their hit point total will permanently increase by 1d4+1 hit points.

The dagger that is buried between two ribs on his left side will inflict one hp damage.  If the individual survives the strike, they will sink into a coma for 1d4 days.  When they awake, they will experience a change described as follows.  To determine the effect, the DM shall roll 2d6.  The first die will determine which character attribute is affected (STR, INT, CON, WIS, DEX, CHA).  The second die will determine how that attribute is permanently changed (+3, +2, +1, -1, -2, -3).

Chadek-Hadek will only "treat" someone one time in that person's life.  If he is prayed to in order to benefit someone that he has already treated and he chooses to appear, his reaction is often violent and random, quite often including attacks against whomever else is around.  Of course, if the person is lucky, He Who Bleeds just won't appear.

If he is encountered when he was not prayed-to, he will typically appear impatient and anxious to be on his way to somewhere.  If combat with him should ensue, he will attack with only his fists--thick fingered and with bulbous knuckles.  He can strike twice each round, and his fists do 1d4 damage each.


During a break from typing that, I came across this post from James over at Grognardia.  Sounds like his little project is going to be pretty nice.

And it also sounds like he has beaten me to the punch.  Perhaps my little project will go by the wayside, and I could contribute to his.


  1. I love the idea of petty little gods operating on a more human-accessible scale to offset the big horrible Things that often lurk in the backgrounds of my settings. I got a lot of use out of Unknown Gods.

  2. Little gods are generally way more useful, especially at lower levels, which is why I generally prefer them in my sandboxes.