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Tuesday 29 April 2014

Lords of Olympus: Immortality

It was one of my considerations for the LoO game that Immortality can be a major plot point in certain campaigns; thus it is set up as a (relatively low-cost power) but one that comes with a lot of setting elements.

In LoO, you can theoretically begin as an Immortal, the boon of immortality having been given to you (usually) by one of the three rulers of the Multiverse: Zeus, Poseidon or Hades.  I would suggest that even those players who start with this power should consider who gave it to them (though the GM might be the one who specifies that in some campaigns) as that does define certain things about the character; it will usually depend on where one “starts out” in terms of background in the game; are they primarily of Olympus, Atlantis, or the Underworld?

But there are basically three ways a GM can choose to regulate the Immortality power:
1) he can choose to let all PCs start out as Immortal; either by granting it as a free or extra power without cost, or by requiring it be bought (essentially, all players get the power but have ten less points to spend on other things).   This is ideal for those games where the GM doesn’t really want Immortality to be a big part of the plot.

2) He can leave it up to the players; those who wish to need simply spend the 10 points to be immortal from the get-go, but others may prefer to start the game as mortals and have to obtain their immortality in play.  This will likely result in a mixed group: some players already starting out as Immortal, while others are children of gods but do not yet have the boon of eternal life.  It allows those players who would find the “quest for immortality” interesting to play it out, without everyone having to do so.

In this case, those players who are not yet Immortal will have to earn it; typically receiving it as a grant from one of the three aforementioned gods.  This might be quite easy for some players, depending on their background, parentage and connections (as well as their starting Luck scores); while for others it may be far more difficult, if their birthright doesn’t already start them out in a position of trust with any of the gods capable of granting immortality.  They may have to prove their way with tests of loyalty, heroic deeds, or crafty forging of alliances or deals.  In some cases, players may wish to try one of the alternate sources of Immortality; the most obvious of these is Hera, who has control of the garden of immortality-granting Apples; this would of course leave any character that obtained the boon this way indebted to Hera, as well as likely being notable as such to the other gods.

There’s another way to obtain Immortality; through the Primordials.  Not all of the Primordials should be able to grant Immortality, only the most powerful of them, and of course many of the Primordials will have no interest in doing so, a character would have to go to great lengths to gain immortality from many of these truly alien entities.  The other catch is that Immortality through a Primordial would almost certainly involve an alteration of state; a character gaining Immortality from a primordial would likely become an agent of the entity who granted him such a boon, and may become physically like them; they might be changed in truly strange ways, and lose some of their humanity.  They would also be far more under the power of the Primordial who gave them this gift than in other circumstances; with Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, or Hera, the “connection” would be largely formal or social, but with a Primordial like Khaos, Phanes, Tartarus, Erebus, Aethyr, Moros, Thanatos or Hypnos (the ones who I’d say would be capable of granting Immortality, in some way or another) they would not only literally be transformed into something more like these beings, they would probably be literally bound into some kind of obedience or connection to them (the particular nature of which would depend upon the Primordial in question), perhaps afterwards obliged to fulfill the often incomprehensible whims of these mighty entities.

3) Finally, a GM might choose to make Immortality initially inaccessible to any PC.  This would make for a campaign where obtaining Immortality would be a major theme of the game. All of the conditions and complications mentioned in point #2 would apply, only it would also be possible that the PCs would find themselves all in competition with each other to win this greatest of prizes.


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Bent Egg + Rattray’s Accountant’s Mixture

(originally posted March 22, 2013; on the old blog)

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