Discussion: Paths to Immortality.   Posted by Master Chronicler.Group: 0
Master Chronicler
 GM, 4 posts
 Dreamer of the Sourcemind
 Curator of Cosmic Lore...
Mon 12 Dec 2016
at 08:04
Discussion: Paths to Immortality
Immortals progress along their path by taking up challenges associated with a power source. If they overcome the challenge, they gain a victory and with it a gift from the universe. They can then channel their power sources through their gifts to create effects. When one accumulates enough victories they may attempt a Great Challenge. If one passes this Great Challenge, they can progresses to the next immortal level.

Each time an immortal succeeds at a Challenge he gains access to a power source. This power source has many names depending where the Immortal is from. Some have called it Quintessence, the Flow, Omnipower, but most commonly Primal Energy.

This Primal energy can be acquired in the game in four ways, each type determines how the character interacts with the source as well as the benefits and penalties it provides.

Those who succeed in their challenges become more in tune with a specific power. If they fail and survive then they may attempt the challenge again, when one has recovered. A succession of these challenges, leading from mortality to Transcendence, is called a "Path to Immortality". A specific campaign world may support a single path, several specific paths or an infinite number of them.

Examples of possible challenges include:

Trial by Sphere
Trial by Pantheon
Trial by Combat

Challenges often play a key role in preparing an initiate for ascension. A Challenge should be a task that is slightly above the character's capabilities and designed to test his or her resolve and commitment. The ideal Challenge would accomplish something for the sponsor, expand the power of the character, and contribute to the prestige of the religion or the immortals sphere.

Each Challenge is keyed to a specific power source. If the character succeeds in meeting the challengeís conditions he gains a Gift in that power source. If he fails, then he suffers some painful (Drawback or Disadvantage), effect as specified in the challengeís conditions.

The first category of power sources, covenants, represent agreements between the character and another intelligent power. In return for the character performing specific duties as specified in the covenantís terms the character receives access to power. The more power the character receives, the more terms he must abide by.

If the character violates the covenantís terms he loses access to the gifts and powers associated with the covenant until he makes amends. This loss reduces the Rank, but does not affect his place along the path to immortality. (Level)

The second category of power sources, taps, or what is called "The Resonance" represent direct connections with the fundamental forces of the universe. The tap allows the character to access this power, shaping it using his gifts and skill into effects not unlike those created by mortal magic.

Each tap connects to a wellspring, a physical manifestation of a particular fundamental power linked to a plane where the power has some influence over.  It is possible that someone may attempt to block the wellspring. Immortals have many enemies, other immortals, the mightiest of mortals, sorcers supremes and alien intelligences. Once a wellspring is blocked the character looses access to the Gifts tied to it. This reduces the characterís Rank but cannot affect his Level.

If some force destroys the wellspring the character loses gifts, blessings, banes and possibly their level. Some Wellsprings are easier to destroy than others. Wellsprings are improved and over time you gain defences and Gifts that affect your Wellsprings.

The third method is by the faith and adoration of mortal souls. The immortals call this the Path of Glory and many immortals are true gods with legions of followers, fanatics and the faithful to the immortals tenets and beliefs. This need not always manifest out of adoration many dark powers rule by fear and collect that. Sometimes the collective beliefs, and devotion to a celebrity or well known individual will ascend them into an immortal at the end of their mortal life.

The fourth is the most rare the collection of the "Quickening" (or Amaranth) by slaying an immortal, not an easy task by any means. For the brave and truly legendary powers there is power to be had and taken by every bit of divinity your enemy has.

What are Great Challenges?

A Great Challenge occurs when the character wishes to pass from one Level of apotheosis to another. The character must have at least three victories at his current apotheosis step in order to initiate his next Great Challenge. Passing the Great Challenge allows him to advance to the next apotheosis step.  Each Great Challenge incorporates between three and five ordinary challenges. The character must successfully complete the majority of the challenges in order to pass the Great Challenge.  Generally if the character fails the Great Challenge he immediately loses all accumulated victories. Each Path is different however and there are hidden secrets and exceptions to the rule.

A character may choose to accumulate more than three victories at his current apotheosis step before taking a Great Challenge to advance. Doing this dramatically increases the risk of each Great Challenge, as the character could lose even more investment in his path to immortality.
Arulas Sakarian
 player, 5 posts
Mon 12 Dec 2016
at 10:38
Discussion: Paths to Immortality
This I like. A LOT. Gives you a variety but not so much that it is overwhelming. My only suggestion for any improvement is this.

Greater Challenges should be by their very nature extremely difficult. That being said it should also be possible for one to make them marginally easier. Say no more than 5 levels of potential Rank up can be used to power up a challenge. If you choose to do that and fail you could be temporarily reduced a level to compensate for the investment.
 player, 7 posts
Mon 12 Dec 2016
at 19:49
Discussion: Paths to Immortality
I was getting a headache by the end of this!

You need to use labels and headers, boldfaced and stuff, to make it readable.

As it is, the terminology is getting in the way. Rank and Level aren't defined, and get confusing. Either come up with a different term or use qualifiers, such as Divine Rank and Power Level (or whatever).

I think defining a Great Challenge as 5 ordinary challenges is a bit silly. A Great Challenge should be something unique on its own. while the GM may wind up doing it in 5 stages, there should be an ultimate goal.

How does this jive with a top tier Entity having something to do? There's nowhere higher for him to go, so he just sits around like Buddha? He might have to defend his power from other Entities, but there should be something else as well.

What is Trail by Sphere? Trial by Pantheon?

Rather than 'tap' or 'Resonance', how about Siphon?
Master Chronicler
 GM, 8 posts
 Dreamer of the Sourcemind
 Curator of Cosmic Lore...
Tue 13 Dec 2016
at 06:01
Re: Discussion: Paths to Immortality
I think defining a Great Challenge as 5 ordinary challenges is a bit silly. A Great Challenge should be something unique on its own. while the GM may wind up doing it in 5 stages, there should be an ultimate goal.

The Great Challenges can be made of 5 smaller challenges but the idea behind it is that is should be unique on its own. I will be posting more about Challenges and give examples so we can see how it will work eventually.

Trial by Sphere - Committing an epic deed relating to the sphere if you are the God of strength then maybe you held a world up on your shoulders this is certainly an epic trial that might have led to gaining that Sphere.

Trial by Pantheon - Involves paying a tribute to the group in question. The tribute could be anything from finding a long lost relic, rescuing an immortal held by a rival group, or bringing them the head of a particular enemy. Those characters who petition to join a group they have no prior affiliation with, must first find one among its numbers to act as a sponsor.

Also rather than 'tap' or 'Resonance', how about Siphon?  I am open to it but as to not confuse us any further we really should settle on our terminology. In fact before we design too many different aspects of the game we need to focus on what we have eventually we can get to the details of how Avatars work and creating Gifts and Challenges can come later.