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How to promote a God with no domain?

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  • How to promote a God with no domain?

    So I'm running a game where the characters previously encountered a River God who had lost her River and become a wandering spirit with no tether. She helped the Circle and eventually they parted ways when their objective was complete, however in the current story they're in they'll be traveling to a Nexus where one of the River Gods has been slain in recent years leaving the Yellow River without its matron. I had never intended the original River God to return, she was just a kind of one off character for that story but the players decided they wanted to track her down again and try to make her the new god of the Yellow River.

    A few problems come up with this story idea however, one being that the Grey River's god is still alive and may not appreciate her sister being replaced so easily. The other is... I have no idea how one would handle making a God into the God of something they were not originally meant to be. So has anyone run into this before? I could use some suggestions for how to handle the transition of the River God becoming the new Yellow Lady.

  • #2
    First, ensure the river's old god is not coming back - and convince the Grey River's god too (indeed all of the river gods of the scavenger lands; the Yellow's god was most likely the head of a major spirit court, after all ). What are the circumstances behind the demise? For gods, death is not usually permanent, unless slain by another god, ghost eating technique, or such. Which can mean that "Bringing the murderer to justice" might be a useful side quest. At the very least, to prove that your circle did not arrange to have the position vacated.

    As to how, well, assignment, and promotion is a function of the Celestial Bureaucracy. There's only one story of a god who claimed a domain by force major -- when Five Days Darkness declared himself God of Calibration. That's definitely an exception. Well, if sorcery could do it, it would likely be Adamant Circle Working but still, that would be opposed by the Celestial Bureaucracy on matter of principle.

    So you'd have to speed the wheels to get them to acknowledge that the position is vacant, needs to be filled without delay, and that your candidate is somehow the most suitable replacement for management of the central river of the Eastern Dirrection. Getting the other river gods on board would be a crucial, though difficult, step.

    As to where, well, Gray Forks is obviously a good place to start bureaucracing, but Nexus is more likely to be near the seat of a river spirit court -- it is on the confluence of the Great Rivers, and their gods portfolio would include river trade.

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    • #3
      IIRC in previous editions when a god was slain Creation would eventually generate a new god for the domain. If the PCs want to interrupt that process and install someone they know then I would have them petition Yu Shan/the Celestial Bureaucracy for it. They'll have to act fast though.

      This might be a good way to introduce Sidereals to the game. You know, to assist the PCs by having the connections in heaven to get this thing done. Or at least help them fill out the requisite paperwork correctly. Point them to the right officials to bribe. Such bribes could be fulfilling a quest in Creation for example.

      As for the Creation side of things, I think I would require the PCs to build shrines (or convert the old shrines of the former river god) to the river god they want along the river. Convince people that a new god has claimed the domain or whatever and further convince them to make offerings and give prayer to the PCs' choice god.

      I think that's a decent start.

      Edit: I like what Greyman said. The spirit court/s is/are going to be a big deal. They'll require convincing as well.
      Last edited by Darkon; 01-26-2018, 05:53 AM.


      Good night sweet Green Sun Prince: And flights of demons beat thee to thy rest...with billyclubs!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Darkon View Post
        IIRC in previous editions when a god was slain Creation would eventually generate a new god for the domain.
        Uhm, no. Not as far as I know. Where are you getting this?

        The creation of new things prompts the spawning of a spirit to oversee them.* [RoGDI, pg 17] This does not appear to be the case for the vacation of an extant domain​.

        When a position is vacated, the Celestial Court / Terrestrial Bureaucracy must assign a replacement by promotion or transfer. Ideally this happens as soon as an investigation reveals why reports are not being filed, in practice it may take some time for some vacancies to be identified. (Likely not for the Yellow River.) Likewise when a domain ceases, the god is unemployed until duties are reassigned. [Roll of Glorious Divinity I, page 13]


        ---

        ​* Plus, in Ex3, the "there are least gods of all things" angle has been greatly deemphasised.
        Last edited by Greyman; 01-26-2018, 06:18 AM.

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        • #5
          While there are benefits to getting official recognition, I think it maximizes drama if the only thing a god really needs to do to claim a vacated domain is set themselves up there and declare it to be theirs.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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          • #6
            Your Circle could try and do it the official way, by petitioning the Celestial Bureaucracy, and win the other River gods to their side, or they could try to do it the old way... Go up and down the Yellow River, convert the old shrines to the new god/goddess, and convince people that they should pray to this new god or goddess. Once the prayers start coming in, the one recieveing them will know something is up, and will come investigating the situation. You don't even need to go look for them.

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            • #7
              Sidereal has their Occult capstone charm which allow them to assign an office to a god who don't have one yet.


              The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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              • #8
                The circumstances for the Yellow Lady's death involved a cult that worshipped her being headed by a Solar that she fell in love with. The Solar was doing a great deal to further her cult and give her even more influence in the Riverlands than she already had so eventually it drew the attention of the Wyld Hunt. They showed up and she was slain by an ignorant youth who didn't fully understand her importance and was merely trying to make a dramatic statement.

                These are all really great ideas though, I hadn't even considered there would be a Spirit Court of Rivers which gives me an entirely new story angle I can work with on the side, having them approach and convince the spirits in it. They're currently working with the Grey Lady to avenge the death of her sister, and I'm going to guess the Grey Lady would probably be the one who stepped in as the new lead of the Spirit Court so that'll go a long way in helping them if they can help her. I appreciate the advice.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Einlanzer View Post
                  They showed up and she was slain by an ignorant youth who didn't fully understand her importance and was merely trying to make a dramatic statement.
                  ​I take it this person was still Exalted?

                  ​Although it also raises the question of why they would employ the Charms to permanently kill a spirit.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                  • #10
                    More importantly DBs have very few charms that actually CAN permanently kill spirits. The only two I can think off of the cuff come from Wood Dragon Style and both have complications attached to them.


                    My Mage 2e Homebrew

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Flinty View Post
                      More importantly DBs have very few charms that actually CAN permanently kill spirits. The only two I can think off of the cuff come from Wood Dragon Style and both have complications attached to them.
                      The person who killed her was a Dragon-Blooded character, someone that the group is going to be hunting down and dealing with later. This idea was that they would have to deal with a morality situation when they find this guy who has somewhat fallen apart after realizing the weight of his actions and somewhat brought to question his Immaculate faith. At that point the idea was they could merely kill him, and thus avenge the Yellow Lady in the simplest of ways, or they could convince him to help them fix what he has done and turn him to their side, showing that the "anathema" may not be as terrible as he was raised to believe.

                      As for why he killed her to begin with. The background behind the situation was that they were well aware that they were dealing with a power Anathema who had amassed an "army" (most of them were simple villagers who had come to pay respects to the River that brings all life to the River Province). When they arrived he cut through the ranks of their mortal soldiers like a hot knife through butter. In the heat of the battle the young lieutenant, a Fire Aspect with a hot head, attacked the Yellow Lady thinking she was merely his lover (and possibly a demon) and permanently destroyed her.

                      The battle ended with that because the Solar flew into a frenzy (none had ever seen a Solar until now, so the mere sight of the very power of the Sun coming to murder you and everything you hold dear induced pants shitting terror) and the Elder DB that was there realized what had just happened, so they fled as quickly as they possibly could with what little of their forces remained.

                      Originally posted by Flinty View Post
                      More importantly DBs have very few charms that actually CAN permanently kill spirits. The only two I can think off of the cuff come from Wood Dragon Style and both have complications attached to them.
                      I'm using a homebrew DB book for 3e (A Clutch of Dragons) which has an Occult 3, Essence 2 charm in there that lets DBs permanently slay Spirits.

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                      • #12
                        Regardless of what is canon to the game line as a whole, the event is canon for Einlanzer's table. Debating how or why it was done now seems like second-guessing that, which isn't really the point if you ask me.

                        Anyway, to address the original question: I would suggest that you consider the needs and priorities of your game before stressing about being faithful to the published setting and mechanics. Official channels and heavenly petitions OR audacious declarations of intent both totally sound in keeping with established feel, but if that's not what you're group is into or what you want to run, I would recommend against forcing it. How focused is your game on combat? Or social encounters? Or the nuanced occult bureaucracy of heaven? Are any of those (or other options) things you want to showcase and that you feel would inspire your players to get involved and immersed?

                        I will say, from my POV, there's nothing saying that each individual godly domain may differ in how one goes about acquiring the position. For one, the gods might choose martial champions as proxies for a tournament (or participate directly). For another, there may be elaborate occult rites that must be performed flawlessly, while yet another may require encyclopedic knowledge of the haikus of Dak Wanu, Shining Poet of the 3rd Shogunate.
                        All that is to say, don't feel like there's only one way to do this or that you have to commit to All Gods Forever And Always using whatever methodology you decide on for this instance of change.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gargoyle View Post
                          How focused is your game on combat? Or social encounters? Or the nuanced occult bureaucracy of heaven? Are any of those (or other options) things you want to showcase and that you feel would inspire your players to get involved and immersed?
                          Up until now the game has had a lot of combat, but only two of the five characters are truly combat focused. One of the characters is almost entirely focused on social stuff, with Socialize even being her Supernal so this current story starting in Nexus I wanted to spread things out a bit more and let each character shine in their respective fields. I planned to involve a lot of the political and economic intrigue of Nexus take the forefront of the story, and the ultimate goal is that eventually one of them will find a seat on the Council of Entities where they can essentially start their mini Solar Empire. They have dealt with a lot of Demons up until now, but very little interaction with Elementals or Gods so introducing the Spirit Courts and having them deal with the political maneuverings of Gods as well seems like it'd be a great way to expand on the initial social element of the story I had planned, and having them travel to Yu-Shan eventually to deal with this problem seems like a great way for them to also make a grand entrance to announce the Solars are back and taking back the reins. Clearly this won't go over well, but I think that'll open the door for future stories to unfold.

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                          • #14
                            Well, my main questions are:

                            - How long has the river deity been "jobless" - years, decades, centuries or more?

                            - What has been it up to since - did it adapt somehow and found ways to geet work and worship from a dry riverbed, carve itself some new niche through a mix of chicanery, coercion and grandstanding like many gods in the Time of Tumult are wont to or was turned by its loss into some sort of vagabond, hermit, hero, lunatic, monster or any combination of those?

                            Answering those things seems important to me, as they may affect how other groups of power, mundane or supernatural, will react to the proposal and define how actually interested or adequate might it be or not to the task. Being brought to the center of the plot as it is now, looks like a good time to further flesh out this one off character, for your own convenience.
                            Last edited by Baaldam; 02-09-2018, 10:31 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Take beauracratic actions to get the god hired. Basically it seems Creation is set to auto replace gods, often by creation of new gods wholesale. But you want to have it the river was absent of a steward for a year. Normally to have a god replace another rather then a new one being created I have it that patrons set a standing order to have replacement in place.

                              So go talk with a ranking god in the area and make official request to lobby a god to be replaced. If you absolutely need to you can take it to the Censor of the Direction, or you can go to a higher up in Yu-Shan.


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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