View Full Version : Wrath of a god: how do you show it?

2009-10-28, 11:14 PM
Just a compare and contrast thing. I'm interested to know how other people have shown the displeasure of a god aimed at the PCs (other than combat/pursuit with the deity or their followers).

A couple I've played or DMed:

In a world with an Ancient Greek pantheon, when the players slighted Hesita (goddess of the hearth), I had all food cooked on a hearth turn to ash in their mouthes. I also had persence at a heath trigger her deity sense, so they had to avoid staying in inns or as guests in homes to evade pursuit by her allies (they all love her up on Olympus: the collective churches were quite pissed).

In another game, my party caught the ire of the god of dreams. A couple sessions later, we weren't going to be able to make the normal session work, and ended up each trapped in our individual nightmares, unable to wake. We had some help from the goddess who was sending us on the mission that pissed the dream god off. Essentially, we each ended up with a solo adventure we each ran with the DM when we had time over the next couple of weeks (that is, when we were in the comic shop for any length of time).

2009-10-28, 11:19 PM
Destroy all creatures. They cannot be regenerated. :smallbiggrin:

2009-10-28, 11:21 PM
Destroy all creatures. They cannot be regenerated. :smallbiggrin:

2009-10-28, 11:22 PM
Destroy all creatures. They cannot be regenerated. :smallbiggrin:

Damn...that's what I thought when I saw the thread title too :D

2009-10-28, 11:34 PM
Destroy all creatures. They cannot be regenerated. :smallbiggrin:

That's why I put in the article "a."

Also, dear lord, are we really up to 10th edition already? I still remember being all worried about getting enough snow covered lands for my ice age decks.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-10-28, 11:36 PM
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

2009-10-28, 11:37 PM
"The clashing warriors turned to face O-Kagachi, the greatest kami, and their sigh of awe was their last breath."
—Great Battles of Kamigawa

2009-10-28, 11:38 PM
That's why I put in the article "a."

Also, dear lord, are we really up to 10th edition already? I still remember being all worried about getting enough snow covered lands for my ice age decks.

Actually we're up to the 11th edition in the core set, or M10 as they call it.

2009-10-28, 11:39 PM
Technically we're up to M10.

On topic, I've done things like the generic lightning bolt from the sky for XD6 damage, to ominous bad-luck rolls to a few more esoteric curses that led to atonement quests. Currently in Scion we have 2 Gods angry at us, Artemis, Susano-o and Apollo is mildly annoyed with us, so I'm curious and a bit afraid where our SL is gonna take that.

2009-10-29, 12:06 AM
Dieties and Demigods (I think) says a God of greater power can block off the power of a God of lesser power. Got any divine casters with weak gods?...

2009-10-29, 12:08 AM
Well, in the one instance where my players did manage to peeve a god off enough for them to actually take action(my gods kinda treat mortal realms like Populous - interesting past time, but they don't really care all that much), I took a few simple measures.

First, they got damned. Literally. They knew, with perfect and crystal clarity that once they die they're going to Hell and there's nothing they can do about it.

Second, every place they cared about turned into a smoking crater and their loved ones to dust.

Third, each one of them received a divine mark that could not be concealed that immediately informed anyone seeing it that they were dealing with someone who angered a god.

So yeah. That was actually pretty fun, the rest of the campaign was them trying to wiggle out of these consequences.

2009-10-29, 12:12 AM
Did they succeed?

Hmmm. . .wrath o' god, eh? Every mouthful you drink turns to blood, that's a good start. Food turns rotten at your touch. Edible, but make a fortitude or be sickened. Your touch poisons the land, staying in one place causes plagues and crop failure,and wherever you go you attract rats. Metal corrodes at your grasp. Every day your weapon doses one point less damage. When it reaches zero, it rusts away, no matter the material.
I like the Mark idea, that's a good one.

2009-10-29, 06:52 AM
Collective punishment. Being, by-and-large, a bunch of vicious and unjust w@nkers gods are always big on spreading their wrath like it was butter. You do something they dislike, your entire hometown gets cursed.

2009-10-29, 07:30 AM
Rains of Fire I hear are quite popular in the decerning wrathful deity, also unbreakable curses that poison the land for leauges about, maybe something in a light flood, say no more than fourty to fifty metres for a month or two...

Mercenary Pen
2009-10-29, 07:41 AM
Extreme bad luck... Any d20 roll of 4 or less is now an auto-fail and cannot be re-rolled, regardless of class features that allow re-rolls.

Also, your party suddenly have visions of a fluorescent-purple and orange flying rabbit that cuts across their vision any time they try to do something important... dancing the can-can and singing classical opera.

2009-10-29, 07:57 AM
Did they succeed?

Well, not in reversing the deaths of their loved ones(who got a happy afterlife, in case that matters) but in reversing their own damnation/marking - yes.

Basically speaking, their method was to use Contact Other Plane to talk with ~an overgod/leader of the pantheon sort of god. They asked him what would they need to do for him to reverse the curse.

Which basically lead to a campaign's worth of quests and missions.

Incidentally this is probably a good place to remind everyone that if you're using the wrath of god sort of thing you shouldn't use it to make it unpleasant for the players but rather the characters. Thus, treat it as an interesting plot hook or your players will get annoyed with you.

2009-10-29, 08:10 AM
Constant nightmares and treating natural 20's as natural 1's would be good ideas to "force" your players into making amends to the offended deity.
The Book of Vile Darkness has some variant curses and greater curses you can apply to your players :smallbiggrin:
There's no need to grant them a curse that is affecting the outside world. That would
a) make other gods angered (Ehlonna: So Pelor you cursed those people into ruining every plant they touch? Consider our alliance broken!)
b) they might exploit the curse. Rusting metal? Say hallo to improved disarm and touch attacks at metallic golems. Cities turning into ashes? They can make it known and demand tribute or they will curse a village or 2.

2009-10-29, 08:36 AM
Depends on which god, and how mad they've made it. The retribution is always appropriate to the god's portfolio regardless.

2009-10-29, 09:09 AM
in a totally random (in the sensly, for xps only, not related to plot, not to anything) random encounter
we fought a solar, (we're a good/neutral aligned party ECL 13-17 (ECL13 being me...))
i rubbed my prayer bead, so summoning wich should sned a powerful emersery of my god to help me.
DM: "nothing happens, the god have chosen to stand aside from this battle"
I raise my arms to the air, "WHY! Gods Why have you Deserted Me!"
dm: Make a reflex save, you get hit by a bolt of lightning, you take 20d6 damage.
Me: I have 126 HP, and.... what was it... umm... oh! Imminity to lightning!
DM: Vile Lightning
Me: well f***
Me: Raises hands to the air, "I didn't want to do this but:"
*Pulls off some nasty munkinry, and basically one shots the solar*

2009-10-29, 09:13 AM
You're gonna have to be careful, as nothings more fun then turning a supposedly crippling or harmful curse to your own use. Cause plagues? Hire yourself out to demons or rival nations for truck loads of gold. Cursed with a mark? Turn your mark into your battle standard that brings fear to your enemies, saying "I pissed off a god, and I'm still alive!". Food rots at touch? Poison food supplies of enemies. Or go the direct route to get rid of it and go around killing the god's clergy until they fear you enough to reverse it or their god takes direct action against you. But striking down loved ones, destroying homes, that sort of thing seems to work out good. At least, unless the PCs become enraged and feel justified in pissing off the god, if it kills innocents to get back at them, leading the the previously mentioned killing of clergy.

2009-10-29, 09:35 AM
Most importantly, it depends on the setting.
Then, on how mad you made it.

In the one I have used the most, the most minor reaction would be sending a devout cleric/paladin/crusader a vision of the offender's crime, the message being clear that this one should be stopped.
I guess the most major would be to take physical form and rip apart the material plane in search of the mortal. :smalltongue:

(But yeah, the last one would be a bit like smashing your computer because some NPC in a game pissed you off. Your friends would make fun of you forever.)

2009-10-29, 09:36 AM
I've always been partial to the god cursing you directly. Screw luck rolls, how about one of your arms or eyes withering away? It sucks, but nothing show's a god's wrath more than, every time you try to pick up a fork, remembering that, oh yeah, I can't, because the gods are pissed.

Edited for bad grammer.

2009-10-29, 10:06 AM
I believe I had exactly one instance where my party pissed off an over-deity of all things enough to warrant actual retribution. The sky turned dark and cloudy, they didn't know why at first until one of them rolled a spellcraft check and identified the spell.

DM: You recognize the clouds above as being the preparatory effect of a vile spell known as apocalypse from the sky. However you find the spell unusual because instead of remaining in one spot, the very center of it seems to be following your party about. The energy compromising the spell also seems unusually strong, even for such a destructive spell like this one. OOC? You lot have FUBARed time and now the Over-Deity has sent an Empowered, Extended, and Intensified Apocalypse from the Sky spell that homes in on your location. You have until the end of the day to fix it before the spell goes off.

Was it a planned plothook? No. Was it a fun one? Mostly. :smallbiggrin: I enjoyed them ferreting about trying to fix what they had done wrong and they enjoyed eventually deciding to spread out as far as possible to take out as much of the world with them when they died. xD Then inadvertently fixing the problem anyway.

2009-10-29, 10:29 AM
If the god is angry enough, the players are screwed. The only time we managed to piss off a god we had another one take our side so we didn't get too annihilated.

2009-10-29, 10:35 AM
One game I was in, the extremely pissed off god of earthquakes and storms changed the topography of the entire continent.