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Using Sorcery to improve Gods

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  • Using Sorcery to improve Gods

    So I was watching this on YouTube,

    https://youtu.be/_Jw1FEns1iM
    basically a story of lesser Immortals trying to replace their bosses the Gods, eventually through eating the divinity of Other Demigods.

    This got me thinking, if Gods can’t improve supernaturally by buying charms outside of Martial Arts and Sorcery then what are ways Sorcery could be used to over time build yourself up from a lesser god to a beefed out one?

    And what about a sorcerous working to channel the divine power out of Gods you kill and absorb it? Like using sorcerous working to Alter a god to add the aspects of another spirit? I mean you can already make a God From scratch or even transform a ghost into something comparable to a second circle demon so why not something like this?


    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    Well an obvious method is using sorcery to bolster what you can do and gain more worship. Like people don't normally pray to a harvest god for rain even though its kind of important for a good harvest, but if you know that one spell that makes the weird bug arm things in the sky change the weather suddenly that's a thing they'll petition for which in turn will help your station.

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    • #3
      Oh what would the effects be if say you are the god of a spring and are relatively minor but you have a Dragonblooded Priestess spend half a decade on a sorcerous working that expands the spring into a majorly large Lake that is a source of Warmth in the Far North and also supernaturally purified. All of a sudden you could be a god of a nation. But what are the immediate boosts of going from a simple Spring to Lake Baikal?


      It is a time for great deeds!

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      • #4
        I think that if one is using sorcery to transform things around the god to improve the status of their domains, one will still ultimately run up against the principle that there's only so much that a god can change from such status, i.e. generally no more than two dots of Essence. With how god Charms work in this Edition, not being drawn from a generic list, I would say that there's less of a hard rule in how many Charms a god gets at any stage, but would certainly think that a change in the nature of their domain affords a few extra ones to reflect that.

        Otherwise, I think the setting of Exalted is one in which taking a spring god and turning their original spring into not only a lake, but a very important lake, kind of constitutes promoting the god beyond its level of competence, and that will create complications.

        Using sorcery to alter the god directly is a very different proposition, and one that I feel should have some premises to keep it from getting out of hand. I'd need to look back over the working rules to come up with anything specific, but for the time being I might find that any process for increasing the Essence of an already existing god constitutes the kinds of spiritual transformations that seem to fall under Solar sorcery.


        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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        • #5
          Well, sorcerous workings have ups & downs aplenty just going by the basic mechanics of rolls, intervals, means, finesse and etc. Loads of opportunities for things to go pear-shaped indeed.

          It can become even trickier depending on who's the actual sorcerer(s) playing with a spirit's numinous nature - do they wield emerald, saphire or adamant circle, would the person have peculiar charms, merits, hearthstones or other resources that might enhance one's chance of success, is the caster grasping for something usually beyond its capacities and much more besides.

          The ways the matter may be tweaked can offer plenty of complications and hooks for STs and PCs both to mess with in a myriad of forms, i guess.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
            Gods can’t improve supernaturally by buying charms outside of Martial Arts and Sorcery…
            It's not that they can't improve; gods are just generally more unchanging than humans. Considering how their lives stretch on toward infinity, and they often spring up with the magic sufficient to cover their few needs (and are shaped by that magic), even an ambitious god is unlikely to manifest a relentless drive for self-improvement in the way an ambitious human might.

            Moreover, while gods are not quite set in stone, they're still somewhat constrained by their nature, in a way that makes improvement a little more difficult than "spend XP to buy a Charm you want" (which should come as no surprise, seeing how that's all drawing on out-of-character stuff anyway).

            Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely down for using sorcery to glut a spirit on stolen power (though Isator is making good points that even that probably shouldn't elevate it more than a couple of points of Essence), but the options for a god to achieve upward mobility is not solely limited to "Martial Arts and Sorcery."

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            • #7
              I might guess that in setting there's a bit of observer bias with gods. Exalted tend to reach a plateau as well, on the whole. The differences is perhaps that most gods we observe at the time the setting starts are very old, so their growth potential phase tends to be all fulfilled, and they've been on a plateau for a very long time. Plus gods have a bit more latitude to be "created" at a point near their peak.
              Last edited by Ghosthead; 11-22-2018, 04:02 PM.

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              • #8
                What about gods that started as human.

                The lack of desire/will to grow isn’t universal and the game is all about exceptions so that is basically a non issue for me. If the subject is willing to go through all the trouble of sorcerous workings to shake the glass ceiling of power I don’t think they are the “standard god”. And 3rd ed seems more conducive to PC gods.

                Wait I’m a bit confused are we saying there may not be a limit on gods growing in charms without increasing in Rank now?


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                  I might guess that in setting there's a bit of observer bias with gods. Exalted tend to reach a plateau as well, on the whole. The differences is perhaps that most gods we observe at the time the setting starts are very old, so their growth potential phase tends to be all fulfilled, and they've been on a plateau for a very long time. Plus gods have a bit more latitude to be "created" at a point near their peak.
                  This puts me in mind of when the prior developers were first talking about the problems of Exalted Essence 6+, and how those problems didn't really exist for writing up gods because their overall power curve tended to be flatter and the references of a god's Essence level were clearly marked by what they were the god of.

                  I mean, the setting as a whole doesn't really function on the logic that gods of any stripe are on much of a personal trajectory, the extent to which they are is already covered by the "generally not more than two dots rule", and the whole thing for them is mostly a shorthand about how important the god's domain is.

                  I suppose there might be a story in there about allying with a minor spirit and facilitating its rise through the ranks until it becomes something like a major directional god, but it seems really niche (especially in a setting where the player characters have the kind of power and status that the Exalted do), and I have to question its value.

                  Barring that, there are some of those Sidereal Charms one might use in the event that an important and powerful god is killed and there isn't really anybody to fill the slot in the conventional system of promotion. Not just The King is Dead, I'm sure they had... something similar in Occult.

                  Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                  What about gods that started as human.

                  The lack of desire/will to grow isn’t universal and the game is all about exceptions so that is basically a non issue for me. If the subject is willing to go through all the trouble of sorcerous workings to shake the glass ceiling of power I don’t think they are the “standard god”.
                  I think that, by and large, gods that started out human are finding that they've effectively fulfilled their major life goals once they've become immortal and have a bit of power to help out their community or whatever and get a bit of say on the bigger stage. Assuming it's one of those occasions where they set out deliberately for it and it wasn't something that happened because a lot of people cared after they died or some other god bestowed it upon them on a whim.

                  I don't generally see the idea as there to facilitate a story of people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and reaching for the stars.

                  Hell, I kind of have to question what the inciting motive for the sorcerous Exalt in question was.

                  Originally posted by Eldagusto
                  Wait I’m a bit confused are we saying there may not be a limit on gods growing in charms without increasing in Rank now?
                  I'm not entirely sure what this is saying, but I'll point out that they're almost certainly not going to return the Rank system from Compass: Yu-Shan again (which was goddamn confusing in its own right, since every other god in the chapter listing them was referred to as having a Rank that had nothing to do with the layout the book established earlier), and there isn't really a place in the system for gods growing in Charms like that anyway because their power isn't modelled with how much of the generic Charm list they can get access to.

                  Like, in Second Edition, it was easy enough to say that getting an extra dot in Cult gave you an extra three Charms or whatever, because you just picked them from a list, but here you've got to design them from scratch.


                  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
                    Well the initial post I am talking about a story where some lesser gods were stealing specific powers from other lesser gods to learn new tricks, and I was basically using that as a jump off point. Using specific sorcerous workings to incorporate stolen distilled divinity to imbue yourself with specific powers like the god who died. Thus using sorcerous workings to steal a new patwork purview. Like say the Spring turned Lake God above kills and distills a wildfire gods ability to create and dampen flame.

                    And it’s not the point what’s in it for an Exalt to help a God, there could be a thousand reasons, and it doesn’t even need to be an Exalt, it could even be multiple spirits working together.

                    And if you say becoming a God means fulfilling all your love for goals the same applies to becoming Exalted...


                    It is a time for great deeds!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                      Well the initial post I am talking about a story where some lesser gods were stealing specific powers from other lesser gods to learn new tricks, and I was basically using that as a jump off point. Using specific sorcerous workings to incorporate stolen distilled divinity to imbue yourself with specific powers like the god who died. Thus using sorcerous workings to steal a new patwork purview. Like say the Spring turned Lake God above kills and distills a wildfire gods ability to create and dampen flame.
                      I feel as though...

                      Sorcerous workings already have something in terms of imbuing somebody with additional powers. You can give somebody the ability for their spilt blood to turn into scorpions that go for their attacker, and I see no reason why that couldn't work for gods as well (insofar as they bleed).

                      So that's one way to do it with a basic application of the concept.

                      But I do think it gets a bit too complicated if it becomes a matter of making patchwork gods.

                      The overall plot of a conspiracy of relatively minor gods looking to greatly ascend the ladder through usurping the upper ranks feels fairly appropriate to the setting, but it's one that I feel is best facilitated through obscure and unique plot device rather than just sorcery.

                      Originally posted by Eldagusto
                      And if you say becoming a God means fulfilling all your love for goals the same applies to becoming Exalted...
                      Well, the Exalted have their own narrative space and have certain in-character reasons to not rest on their laurels too much.

                      But again, we get back into how the system and setting more effectively models the power of Exalted as something that has multi-faceted applications and can grow over time. Saying that becoming a god is a perfectly viable path towards accomplishing the same thing feels kind of weird in the setting's general treatment of gods.

                      I probably did overstate it before, and it does make sense that becoming a god grants power to achieve things that mattered to you before, but not within a course of "okay, you've become about as powerful as a field god, now to shoot for the kind of statute that Ahlat has", and I don't think that having become one in the first place because you were very strongly motivated to become as big as Ahlat one day should override those points.


                      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)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I didn’t quite understand that last paragraph.


                        But what do think the viability is of an artifact that allows gods to usurp powers qualities or charms from another god?


                        It is a time for great deeds!

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                        • #13
                          Hmm, suddenly I hate everything I've written in this thread, and want to try and come at it again as more of a good sport.

                          That'll take a while, so for the time being:

                          Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                          But what do think the viability is of an artifact that allows gods to usurp powers qualities or charms from another god?
                          I see a few ways to approach this. It definitely needs to have its limits to keep from being completely crazy (even if it was N/A, giving it no ceiling feels like it would escalate too quickly).

                          The basic idea is something that has more sophisticated powers than a yasal crystal, being able to suck the god up and bestow power to the wielder. Limited a bit by only being able to hold one such god at a time.

                          Something kind of like a Charm-transferring version of Soulfarer… overcome a foe, inflict an indefinitely crippling wound, get to acquire one of their Charms. Might be balanced a bit by not being able to overcome Essence prerequisites.

                          Then there's the thing the game has had for a while, in which one god defeating another has the option to convert them into an Artifact as a show of dominance; that's not the starmetal thing, they directly became an Artifact, which could be jade or something. The Eastern goddess of hunting was always supposed to own a special jade whistle made from her predecessor.


                          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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