Concilium Deorum

Concilium Deorum

This RPG inverts the normal structure of the RPG; there is a single player (the Hero), and multiple GM figures (the Gods). The Gods will challenge and aid the Hero in equal measure, all the while plotting and vying for power. 

Requirement List:

D6 dice

At least 5 players

Tokens in various colours

Chess set

Materials for taking notes

The Gods and Their Duties

Gods marked with * are required for the game to function.  The other Gods add flavor and complexity, and should only be included if the group is confident. 

*The God of Knowledge (Blue) describes what the Hero sees, and maintains all lore created during a game. Every Concilium Deorum must have a GOK.

*The God of War (red) manages combat, and the stats for any foes that The Hero may face. The GOW is required in every game, and empowers the Hero through challenging them; even if a hero is killed, they may be saved, or enter the realm of death..

*The God of Death (black) manages the Underworld, and keeps a record of every important dead NPC or foe, who the Hero could encounter upon entering the realm of death. 

*The God of Love (white) manages most NPCs, and deals with any relationships the Hero may form. 

The God of Nature (green) manages the wild places of the world; natural hazards and changes in climate are their purview.

The Trickster God (Orange) manages the traps and misfortunes which afflict a Hero. 

Each God begins with 10 tokens of their colour, which represent their power and influence upon the mortal world and each other. The basic move a God makes is the Spend; pushing forth a number of tokens, they declare something based on their role. Another God or Gods can Counter by pushing forward one of their own tokens. The Countered God can either accept this and leave it be, or Raise with another token of their own. The countering God may accept this or continue until one party has run out of Tokens. 

Another move a God may take is the Bribe; should they have a token belonging to the target God, they may Counter the Spend without needing to Raise.  The Bribed God may counter it by bribing the first God in response. 

The Journey's Genesis: Making a Hero

The Hero has the stats Stone, Bronze, Sinew, and Light, explained later. For now, the Hero must assign each stat a value of 8, 6, 4 and 2, then roll a D6 to add to each. 

The Gods then bid for parentage of the Hero; each may place a number of tokens in secret as their bet. Whichever God wins gets parentage of the Hero. The Godly Parent can never be killed by the Hero, and can only unlock their Divine Right of Destiny if the Hero kills the Nemesis (see below).

When the bids are announced, one of the Gods may have decided to avoid betting altogether; this makes them the Hero’s Nemesis, who will unlock their Divine Right of Strife should they slay the Hero. 

The Hero receives all tokens spent during the bidding, which they will then spend on Boons. When they Hero buys a boon, they may do so with any colors, and distribute the tokens among The Gods as they see fit; this ensures that the Gods gain a mix of tokens, and gives the Hero more agency. 

Heroes should look at traits possessed by characters of myth and legend, but within reason; a Hero could not eclipse a God, after all! 

A God may pay a token at any point, which allows them to modify the Boon being paid for. This may result in a very flawed Hero; the best kind. Flaws are made to be overcome. 

When a Hero is fully formed, their fate must be decided using a chess set. The GOK holds both kings, one in each closed fist, and the Hero chooses which fist opens, sealing their fate. 

If the Hero gets the white king, their destiny is light; in defeating their nemesis, they will accomplish something great, and change the world. 

If the black king is revealed, the Hero will plunge the world into turmoil, whether through failing to kill their nemesis, or succeeding at great cost. 

Trials of The Hero: Resolving Contests

When the Hero must fight a foe that the GOW placed before them, they must roll a pool of D6s, determined by the corresponding stat:

Stone is the Hero's strength and power.

Bronze is the Hero's wealth and appearance.

Sinew is the Hero's dexterity and agility.

Light is the Hero’s faith and strength of will. 

Combat 

Magic

The Divine Scrolls

KNOWLEDGE

You are the arbiter of all truth and all knowledge; of all the Gods, your role is closest to that of a traditional GM. You will narrate and create anything that lies outside the purview of the other Gods. 

You may spend a token to establish an Irrefutable Truth once per session; this cannot be countered. I'd this truth hinders the Hero, the token goes to them. Of it hinders the other Gods, you may swap the token for one of theirs. 

As the GOK, you have the Divine Right to:

The Word: You may send an astral wraith to guide the Hero. Talking directly to the Hero no longer requires any tokens to be spent. 

WAR

You are the blood soaked Lord of violence, and strife feeds your power. If you always loved reading monster compendiums and building fiendish foes as a GM, this is the role for you. 

A later section will expand on monster creation; for now, all you need to know is that when you want to introduce a foe to the scene, you just have to slam down a red token and snarl a hot-blooded oath of carnage. 

You may spent a token to introduce an Indomitable Foe once per session. This foe cannot be countered or thwarted by the other Gods, and will pursue the Hero tirelessly should the latter flee. You may spend a maximum of 4 tokens on the Foe, all of which go to the Hero upon its death. Should the Hero die at the hands of the Foe, you gain all the tokens owned by the Hero. 

Fate of The Divine

Every God was once mortal, and maintains a weakness that, should it be discovered, would undo them completely. Every God should choose an option from below; should another God's weakness turn out to be identical, simply change yours before it is uncovered. Each God must write their weakness down on a piece of paper, and seal it with tape. Make sure you remember your weakness! 

Another option is to give the GOK all weaknesses, but only the most trustworthy of players should be considered for this honor.

At the end of session 1, the God with the fewest tokens has their weakness revealed. The God in question should narrate how this occurs, as they dramatically unbind and reveal one of the following weaknesses:

  1. Your true name  is etched by lightning at the peak of the world's tallest mountain. Speaking it aloud will revert you to mortal form, and the uncountable years which you evaded will render you unto dust unless you kill the Hero. 

  2. The ritual that made you a God can be performed backwards to unmake you; the last copy of the spell rests in a sunken library, guarded by ancient denizens. 

  3. A weapon you used in mortal life still exists, and a single blow from it will slay you. It is owned by a sorcerer king who rules a remote city state. 

  4. Your life is bound to a jewel. Smashing it will disperse your essence across the universe. The jewel is identical to one of several, scattered around the world.

  5. Your descendants still live as mortals; killing them all or causing them to renounce you will strip you of your immortality. 

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