Friday, May 20, 2016

Second Hand Treasures - Requiem for a God

I know I claimed this would be a semi-regular thing, and in the long term it will be, but for now I have a lot of stuff from the bin I can speak to...

After picking up and reading When the Sky Falls I found myself really interested in seeing what the other event books contained. Requiem for a God seemed likely to be the better of the remaining two. Not that Cry Havoc doesn't have potential, but from what the DriveThru page for it says I think I'd get a lot less out of it. At any rate, Requiem for a God is the kind of RPG supplement that I really enjoy. It's full of possibility, and has a sense of scale that you don't often see in RPGs. After all, how often do you get to kill a god?

As with When the Sky Falls this book is built to be useful to the GM as a resource for a setting altering event. It's not an adventure, but it has a handful of ideas at the end of the book for various levels. The first chapter covers bunch of options for just how to kill a god, what god should die, multiple god deaths, and the like. It prepares you for the event by asking you the important up front questions.

The second chapter is what I'd call the meat of the book. Basically a full third of book, chapter two is dedicated to the aftereffects of a divine death. The repercussions of a dead god are considerable: de-powered clerics, the appearance of mystical materials like godsblood and godflesh, and even the effects of all that divine power that is no longer contained. It also contains some groups, the reactions of other divinities, and how a gods death will impact society. There's a lot here, and much of this is stat free, and what little else is fairly stat lite. Either way, it's easy to use this in most any game system.

The remaining book has a lot of d20 materials like feats, spells, prestige classes, monsters, and items. For people, like myself, who use other game systems these can serve as good sources for inspiration, or even for conversion materials with some effort. Take the Cypher System for instance; Creatures convert easily enough with just a level, Items make easy Artifacts with the addition of a depletion roll, and spells and feats can inspire new Cyphers, or even new Type or Focus abilities.

Of course, if I'm going to use this in a game I either need to build a setting to use it with, or fit it into an existing setting. Numenera could work. Some reinterpretation would be needed. The "god" to die could be a god of the datasphere for instance, its physical remains are less godflesh, and more the circuits and cyphers of its broken central processing unit. The shift in the datasphere would need to be played up by the GM and in general this would work best if the datasphere was already a major part of your game.

Maybe The Strange is more your speed. Requiem for a God could be the basis for an entire campaign set in the deep past of Ardeyn when the Maker was betrayed and slain! The loss of "clerical" powers could explain the way the angelic quephilim of old lost their divinity and became those we know in the modern age. In the wake of the Maker's death the heroes would need to stop the Betrayer from waking Lotan and help to shape the world that Ardeyn will become.

There's more though. Combining Requiem for a God with When the Sky Falls is also an option, you could use this on a smaller scale during a "war in heaven" type event where angels perish and fall to the earth wreaking havoc on the mortal plane, and spreading unconstrained divinity. Or you could go big. Like really big. Think Ragnarok. Or better yet, think Gods of the Fall, which suddenly comes into a whole new focus with the understanding that the same creators involved with these two event books are at the center of the newest Cypher System setting. I think both of these books will prove immensely useful when Gods of the Fall drops in a few months, with ideas for postmortem divinity, and the aftereffects of supernatural meteors like the broken shards of heaven itself.

I grabbed this from a vendor on Amazon for less than $10. If you think this is something you want to check out, find it in your local bin, or grab a copy from Amazon, ebay, or DriveThruRPG.