Adam Creator
The Gods

An Enigma Live Game

by Scott Martin


The Gods is a mixture of a live-action role-playing game, a strategic board game, and a collective exercise in creative mythology. Players will interact simultaneously as individuals in Heaven (the live-action game) and as remote powers manipulating the affairs of Earth (the board game), with each aspect of the game affecting the other. All characters share the common goal to become the supreme god of Heaven and Earth.

The Gods will be played in four main episodes, referred to as eras. Each era will be an evening live game, followed by a transition phase of a few months. (See Sequence of Play.)


Joining the Game

The first era of the game, Era Null: From Chaos, will occur on Saturday, October 12 at the Gamemaster's apartment. This episode is basically a party at which everyone creates their characters. (Refreshments provided by the Gamemaster.) The first twelve players to show up will become the greater gods; all later arrivals will have to wheedle a position as a lesser god or accept status as a divine servitor. (Of course, players may upon arrival voluntarily waive greater godhood if they wish.) No preparation for this event is necessary.

The second episode, Era Aleph: In the Beginning, will be held on Saturday, November 9. It will be a full live role-playing game complete with costumes and props. The two subsequent eras/live games will take place early in winter and spring quarters (respectively) at the same location.


Sequence of Game Play

* Era Null: From Chaos
Players receive a random selection of powers which they then trade among themselves, thus defining their spheres of influence and divine natures.
* Transition Phase Primus
Each player writes a description and set of myths about her character, including a personal goal.
* Era Aleph: In the Beginning
The gods create the Earth and the various races and cultures that will populate it.
* Transition Phase Secundus
Players create game paraphernalia for the next era and select a second personal goal.
* Era Centrum: The Great Game
The history of the world is enacted as the gods manipulate both nature and civilization toward their own ends.
* Transition Phase Tertius
Players select their third and final personal goal.
* Era Omega: Ragnarok
The final battle of the gods is fought in both Heaven and Earth, until only one god reigns supreme.

Concepts

* Heaven and Earth
The Gods is played on two levels, Heaven and Earth. Heaven is the live role-playing game itself, in which gods interact personally and can make deals and combat one another. Heaven is divided into a variety of mystic realms, including the Abyss, the Primeval Wilds, and the Arena. Earth exists outside of Heaven and is much like a board game on which the gods move pieces. Events on Earth are a major source of mana for many gods.
* Greater Gods and Lesser Gods
The twelve greater gods have the option of sacrificing a portion of their power to create lesser gods, thus bringing more players into the game. Though lesser gods are free-willed players, greater gods hold a number of controls over any lesser gods they create. When a greater god is annihilated, it is possible for a lesser god to ascend into his position.
* Divine Servitors
Divine servitors are residents of Heaven with less power than the gods. They have no ability to collect mana or affect the Earth, but may have their own unique powers and goals.
* Spheres
Each god has powers defined by his spheres of influence, represented by cards in the first game era. A god's spheres determine her personal powers in Heaven, how she can affect Earth, and how she gains mana. A god can have many different spheres, with little power in each, or collect multiple cards in a single sphere, drastically increasing his power in that sphere. In addition to the twelve major spheres, lesser gods may have minor spheres of less power.
* Mana
Divine powers which affect Heaven or Earth cost mana to use. Mana can also be used to gain more sphere cards during the transition phases. A god gains mana from a variety of sources, defined by her spheres, including terrain and events on Earth, the worship of mortals, specific events in Heaven, player contributions to the game (in the form of background, costumes, and props), and achieving personal goals.
* Death
Gods defeated in combat lose some mana and are banished to the Abyss for a short period, but return to Heaven otherwise unaffected. Full annihilation of a god is extremely difficult. Any god who is annihilated may come back in the next era as a demon, a powerful being bent on the destruction of Heaven, Earth, and all of the gods. Only in Ragnarok are deaths final.
* Goals
All gods share a single, mutually exclusive goal: become the ruling deity of Heaven and Earth. A character becomes supreme deity only if all existing gods acknowledge his supremacy; any dissenting gods must be forced to pay homage or be annihilated. In addition to this over-arching goal, each character will eventually have three personal goals unknown to the other players. These goals may be almost anything that deals with game events in either Heaven or Earth. At least one of the goals must define an immortal enemy whom the character wishes to annihilate.

The Spheres

* Spheres of Nature
Gods of nature have the most power to affect the terrain and life of Earth, especially during creation, but can usually only affect mankind indirectly. Often inimical to civilization, they gain most mana from untroubled nature.
  • Fire and Earth: Create mountains and deserts. Vast destructive power in both Heaven and Earth.
  • Sea: Create seas and rivers. Powers both offensive and defensive in Heaven and Earth.
  • Sky and Ice: Create ice, glaciers, and storms. Wide variety of personal powers.
  • Nature: Create forests and animals. Great power in the Primeval Wilds. Powers on Earth can aid or destroy low-level cultures.
* Spheres of Man
Gods of man have the ability to create and encourage powerful cultures on Earth, and then manipulate those civilizations. They gain most of their mana from the actions and worship of mortals.
  • Cities and Wealth: Minor personal powers of persuasion. Core powers to produce great, wealthy civilizations.
  • Crafts and Knowledge: Create mineral resources on Earth and items of power in Heaven. Powers of information. Teach key abilities which allow civilizations to achieve great heights.
  • Love and Beauty: Great personal powers of persuasion. Many powers to affect the behavior of mortals.
  • War: Personal combat powers. Great ability to influence conflicts on Earth.
* Spheres of Heaven
Gods of heaven generally have limited power to affect the Earth, but great power in heaven. They draw mana equally from events in both Heaven and Earth.
    Chaos: Ability to incite strife and discord in both Heaven and Earth.
  • Death: Many powers over the Abyss. Destructive abilities on Earth.
  • Fate and Justice: The ability to predict and pre-determine the future of mortals and gods. Strong combat powers.
  • Light: Create the sun and stars. Manipulate mana sources.