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Theonosis:Collective

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Collabor: A role-playing game in which you can play a Deity
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Authorship: Write a novel, short story or poem set in Theonosis
Project proposals: Work on tabletop role-playing, video games, board or card games, or other purposes for Theonosis

Collective is a collective role-playing game. In a standard role-playing game, you play one character, or perhaps one character and a henchman or animal follower; in Collective, you will play a god, who takes many forms, and you will control the actions of numerous mortals. A few important points to remember as you learn how to play:

This is a collaborative world-building game. Rather than gain experience points for things your character does, you will gain Content Points for original content you add to this wiki. While part of the game is also increasing the amount of worship your god receives from mortals, the way to grow in power is to add original content. Your god seeks to maximize the sheer number of followers he has, but as a player, that is a tedious and ineffective way for your god to grow in power. It is akin to playing a warrior in a standard tabletop role-playing game and having your character spend all his time working out and practicing skills. It might be realistic, but it is not fun to role-play. Similarly, the fun part of playing Collective is coming up with original content and collaborating with other users, not tabulating population statistics.

Since every month in the real world is equal to one Generation, or 50 years, in the world of Theonosis, the first day of every month marks the beginning of a new Generation.

To assign a Province, Region or Setting to the game Collective, simply place {{Collectivebox}} on the relevant talk pages (you do not need to place the box on any page but the talk pages for the relevant Provinces, Regions or Settings).

Contents

Set-Up

You are playing your Deity and his church (though remember that sometimes a Deity is not a god). You may want to begin by playing a traditional table-top campaign in which a mortal becomes the Deity you will eventually play in Collective, but you don't have to. You and your fellow gamers should will begin worshiped in only one Province out of the Region you are playing in. You can either play in an established campaign online, or in a Region you and your gaming group reserve for yourselves.

You can start with three Zones. These are the subjects which you are considered to be a "god of", such as thunder, lions or fire. Your Deity will receive Theonosis:Deific Energy through the Zones your Deity possesses. So if you are the god of thunder, then every time a mortal thinks of thunder, you'll gain a little bit of Deific Energy. Your Deity's Ability scores are made up of the total number of points of Deific Energy that your Deity receives through all of his Zones. Since not all Zones are of equal importance in the lives of any given people, your GM will decide on a Saturation rate for your Zone in each part of the world you are worshiped in.

You will start with 100 points to distribute among your Ability Scores, which are as follows:

  • Cultural Manipulation represents the ability to manipulate the society and culture of a given region.
  • Prophecy Fulfillment represents the ability to formulate and implement a prophecy.
  • Deific Perception represents the ability to comprehend the ebb and flow of Deific energy.
  • Divine Manifestation represents the ability to create Manifestations successfully.
  • Economic Efficiency represents the ability to effectively conduct trade and commerce.
  • Military Effectiveness represents the ability to train and organize a combat unit (military, bandits, warriors).
  • Mortal Comprehension represents the ability to understand specific individuals and their likely behaviors and reactions.
  • Political Persuasion represents the ability to manipulate political and governmental entities and actions.

In preparation for your first session, you should describe how your Deity fits into the lives of people in the Province you are beginning in. For the purposes of this explanation of the game, let's assume our players are Lantern, Maraki and Malvorin. They are active in the Province Crikland, and they have reserved the region the Northern Kingdoms for their use. They must create one of each of the following kinds of Units:

  • Cultural Units are a spiritual or artistic group or movement.
  • Economic Units are a business, guild or trade group.
  • Military Units are an army, or group of knights, bandits or warriors
  • Political Units are a government or state-like entity

For example, Lantern is a god of healing, healing springs and his mountain. He creates the following Units:

  • His Cultural Unit is a group called the Spring-Born, of people who claim to have been healed of mortal wounds or debilitating illnesses through Lantern's healing springs. They evangelize and spread word of the springs' power.
  • His Economic Unit is the merchants who sell their wares around the base of Lantern's mountain. They make a tidy sum off the pilgrims traveling there.
  • His Military Unit is a small division of his church, the Crekkish Guards, who maintain security and order on the mountain.
  • His Political Unit is Lady Alabelle, a noble woman in the nearby City of Crikburg. She is loyal to Lantern and her retinue and family can represent Lantern's interests politically.

Lantern will write down his units, and give them each a score equivalent to the appropriate Ability Score. So, if Lantern's Military Effectiveness is 27, his Crekkish Guards have a Military Effectiveness of 27. Now that the Unit is created, its score will advance separately from Lantern's.

As Lantern progresses, he may move into a new Province, perhaps creating a new healing spring on a nearby mountain. He will need to make a new Cultural Unit of Spring-Born to indicate the new Province, even if this distinction doesn't exist in the Spring-Born organization.

  • To make a check, you roll a percentile die (d100) and add the relevant Ability Score. Now, compare it to the assigned difficulty, which is a base of 50 but will likely be modified.

Phase 1: Generational Action

The first day of every month is the beginning of a new Generation, with each Generation representing 50 years. This does not mean that each week (in the real world) represents 25% of a Generation. Your GM will decide on a day of the week to be considered the official gaming day. You do not necessarily have to do anything on this day; it is just the deadline for your action for the week.

Each gaming session, you will choose one of the following Generational Actions.

  1. Create a Manifestation.
  2. Expand in worshipers by 100,000 in either one Zone or one Province. Either way, you will gain 10 more points to distribute among your Ability Scores.
  3. Increase the Saturation Rate of any one Zone in a population by no more than .10.
  4. Create a new Unit of any kind
  5. Add 75 points to one of your Unit's scores or 50 points to an Ability Score.
  6. Create a Champion, a mortal hero who acts as all four Units at the same time, possessing the Deity's Ability Scores in each. You should make your Champion under whatever set of table-top role-playing rules your gaming group agrees on. (A Champion is a special type of Manifestation, so the rules for creating one are the same as for creating any other Manifestation.)
  • Alter an environment, such as by creating a new landscape, cursing or blessing an area, or creating a new type of item or species.
  • Make a Deific Perception or Cultural Manipulation check to gain understanding of the actions of other Deities and change some element of a culture or society.

You should each tell your GM or write down which Generational Action you are taking and specify what your intended result is (e.g. what kind of Unit do you want to make? which scores do you want to add points to?). These Generational Actions will mostly be public, so if you want to keep them a secret, let your GM know.

The GM will note which of the following rolls apply, and begin making a list of modifiers. You will not actually make this roll until the end of the month, so the GM needs to write them down and keep track of all modifiers that develop over the next few weeks.

  1. If you created a Manifestation, you will roll a Divine Manifestation and (possibly) a Prophecy Fulfillment check. You may have added your unit's Ability score to your roll, or your opponents may have subtracted their units' Ability scores from your roll.
    1. If you create a Manifestation that possesses more powers than normal (see Manifestation), you must subtract 10 from your check for each additional power beyond the normal range.
    2. If, at the end of the month, you roll a total of 0 or below, you have created a Deific Abomination. Everybody should subtract one point from their Ability Scores to represent the Abomination's toll on the local population. This will last until somebody creates a Champion whose sole job for the Generation is to kill an Abomination.
    3. A Manifestation can normally have one ordinary magical power. If you succeed in your roll by more than 100, you gain an extra power for your Manifestation. For every 100 points by which you succeed beyond that, you gain another extra power.
  2. If you chose to expand in worshipers or increase the Saturation Rate of a Zone, roll a Cultural Manipulation check.
    1. If you are trying to expand using a whole new Avatar who is not worshiped anywhere nearby, subtract 50 from your check. Note that the creation of this Avatar is a separate Generational Action that has to have already happened.
    2. The GM may raise the difficulty above 50, for example, when moving into worship by a different race or culture.
    3. The Saturation Rate becomes progressively more difficult to increase the higher it gets.
  3. If you created a new Unit, roll the appropriate check (Political, Economic, Military or Cultural).
    1. If you succeed by more than 100, you gain an extra 50 points in strength for your Unit. For every 100 points by which you succeed beyond that, you gain another extra power.
    2. If you fail, no Unit is created but nothing else happens.
  4. If you added 75 points to a Unit, you'll need to make a Mortal Comprehension check with a difficulty equal to your unit's current ability score.
  5. If you altered an environment, you'll need to make a Divine Manifestation check just as though it was a Manifestation. The difficulty, however, will be 200 as a base, and may be higher the larger the area you wish to effect or the more unusual and/or powerful the race you wish create is.
  6. If you made a Deific Perception check or Cultural Manipulation check, you'll need to beat a difficulty of 50+any opponents' modifiers.

You should calculate and announce which of these modifiers will apply to your roll, but you can not roll yet.

Phase 2: Unit Actions

Now everybody can choose a Unit Action for each Unit that they control. Again, you may be able to keep it a secret.

  1. You can choose to add your Unit's level to one of your Generational Actions, or to a Generational Action of any other Deity.
  2. You can choose to attack another Unit with one of your Units of the same type. Both you and the opposing Deity roll, adding the Unit's level, and the losing Unit must lose 50 points.
  3. You can choose to add one of your Unit's Cultural/Political/Economic/Military scores to the difficulty of a Deity's roll on any Generational Action.
  4. You can attempt to decrease worship of a rival Deity in a specific Zone. You must roll your Unit's score against the Deity's roll with the same ability score; if your Unit succeeds, the Deity must lose 1 point from that Zone.
  5. For any purpose, a Champion can be treated as a Unit. If one or more Champion is assigned to another Champion, they duel and should use combat rules in whichever system the group has agreed upon. A Champion may also go on any other quest or journey a Deity may require.
  6. You can use a Unit (or Champion) to complete an extra Generational Action. In addition to a Unit Action, this requires 100 Content Points, which are a bare minimum and do not affect any roll.
  7. You can use a Unit (or Champion) to create a Prophecy Action. This means your god will create a prophecy or otherwise decree that a particular action or series of actions will occur, leading to the creation of a Manifestation. For example, you might say that a Temple will be created when the stars are in a particular alignment, or that the ninth generation descendent of a particular man will become a Champion. Unlike an ordinary Generational Action, a Prophecy Action does not require any Content Points. It does require time. For every Generation you wait, you will gain a +100 to your roll, which will occur only after at the end of the last month of the prophecy.

Each week, the GM will note what effect on upcoming roll each Unit Action has, but the roll should not be made until the end of the month. This means that by the time the roll is actually made, many modifiers might have been added to or subtracted from the roll.

Phase 3: Expand

Continue throughout the month, with the GM and/or the players updating this website. Between the game session and the week before the next one, you should add detail to whatever has occurred that week. So, you'll describe exactly what actions your respective Units took to achieve your goals. The more detailed you are, the more Content Points you will receive. Since you will choose one every week, every month you'll be able to do complete four Generational Actions, assuming you succeed at each one (and you don't use a Unit Action as a replacement). You will not roll for the completion of your Generational Actions until the end of the month. At that time, the GM may also roll on the Random Event chart.

All of your actions must be justifiable in-universe. For example, you can not use a Military Unit to decrease worship of a Deity if you can not come up with a viable mechanism by which that Military Unit could actually do so. This is considered the bare minimum of what each player should do in week: write a sentence or two explaining what, exactly, you are doing to achieve your goals. You will gain additional Content Points that you can add to any roll or use for additional Generational Actions for adding original content to Theonosis, for example:

  1. Short stories, novellas, novels
  2. Poems, epic poems, limericks, proverbs
  3. Plays or dialogues
  4. Drawings, artwork, photographs or films
  5. Recorded music, lyrics or sheet music

For a complete explanation of how to expand using original content, see Theonosis:Collective/Original content.

Table-top role-playing (Optional)

You may wish to gather several players together and each make a Champion. You can play a standard tabletop role-playing game using those Champions - and possibly other characters - each gaming session.

  • The GM may give an experience bonus and Content Points if some piece of content you create is used. For example, if you create a random encounter chart for a particular forest, and the characters spend the night in the forest, you will get an experience bonus for each encounter used. The GM may also stop a game suddenly if he has a need for an unplanned character or circumstance; for example, if the party's thief fails to successfully steal from someone, the GM may need an interesting local character that the GM hadn't planned on using. He may open it up to the gaming group. Whoever first comes up with such a character can play him for as long as needed, and will be given an experience bonus. The character you create may, but does not have to, have any relation to your Deity.
  • Anybody may GM a game and award Content Points, even to themselves. Remember that there is no point to trying to inflate these points - if you wanted to, you could participate in this website and add content without playing any kind of organized game (see Theonosis:About), or make up your own game in which you can gain in power more quickly. For now, at least, User:Modrobene will moderate, and since the game is new, you may find that rules change as we experiment. As always, feel free to make a different game (on this website or elsewhere, as you wish) or discuss options. As a site-wide rule, your original content can't simply be removed unless you are banned, which won't happen unless you are obviously disruptive, so don't worry about misinterpreting the rules or having them change on you, or about getting into conflict with other gods (while gods may make war, players may not - if your characters are at war, you should use the opportunity to collaborate to describe mutually important events. Neither of you will be allowed to remove each others contributions wholesale, nor kill each others characters).
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