A pantheon is a team of super humans who have banded together for a common goal or Agenda. There are several benefits to forming a group:
Teamwork toward a common goal is easier to do when you have like-minded beings working in that direction.
There is protection in numbers from one’s enemies.
The team has a much larger pool of resources. Teams often intermingle their resources for the greater whole, enabling them to buy weapons, research and scientific equipment, and team gadgets. Characters can pool their Experience Points to buy large ticket items such as expensive bases of operation or a group vehicle or communication devices. To do so, they set aside Experience Points used for group endeavors.
A team of Heroes has a much higher profile than an individual, and they are thus able to channel more Ka.
Each Pantheon has unique Boons and Banes. As a group, the Players build their Pantheon and then give it a name.
Pantheons have traits that define them much like characters, and these traits help define the team.
The wheels are moving, and the pedal is to the metal. GODSEND Agenda is taking shape in the most unexpected and fantastic way. I hope to soon share the latest iteration of the GODSEND Agenda; a game I’ve worked on quietly for some time now.
Below are twelve Socratic questions about the game. I hope to enlighten and explain what the game is about.
1.) What is the game about?
If gods walked the earth today, they would be considered superheroes.
GODSEND Agenda is a game of postmodern mythology where the players create members of a pantheon that shapes the world. Through their proactive actions, the heroes will change the setting as they see fit. The world of GODSEND Agenda is not static or dependent on an existing state of affairs; it is a world in a constant state of flux influenced and altered through player agency.
2.) What do the characters do?
The protagonist are active superhumans that don’t wait for things to go wrong but proactively shape the situation to fit their world view. With godlike powers come godlike responsibilities.
3.) What is the resolution mechanic?
The system uses two ten-sided dice (2D10) for the resolution mechanics. The dice are rolled, attributes and skills are added, and the total is compared against an Action Chart. If the roll is 11 or higher, the action is a success.
4.) How does character creation reinforce what the game is about?
Most games with superhuman abilities and powers attempt to restrain the character. GODSEND Agenda wants to give you every tool needed to make a being with godlike capabilities and resources that change the world. The player characters are active agents, and their abilities should reflect this. To this end, characters are heroic from the start; even heroes without superhuman abilities are a quantum leap above their mundane counterparts.
5.) How do players contribute to the story?
The protagonist in GODSEND Agenda actively attempts to change the world for the better or worst. Each hero is a capable force in the game and, through their “Agendas,” change the course of human history for the better (hopefully).
6.) How does the setting reinforce what the game is about?
The setting is in a constant state of flux, always changing and reacting. If the heroes do nothing, the world will eventually change in ways that make the world a much bleaker and harsher place. If the heroes do not act, there are other agents of change that will enact their Agendas and shape the world in their image.
7.) What should the players feel when playing?
The protagonist in GODSEND Agenda should feel a sense of change at every turn. The game, if played as intended, should never reset to the status quo. The heroes should continuously move forward, making changes. The world at the start of a GODSEND Agenda campaign should look very different than the finale.
8.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does the game encourage?
The heroes paint the world in broad strokes. The game does not support zero- to hero-style play and allows creation of heroically compelling characters with the ability to change or, at the very least, make a mark on the world.
9.) Where does the game take the players that other games don’t?
GODSEND Agenda is not a superhero game. It doesn’t concern itself with catching bank robbers, catching crooks, or other “police” action. The game is less about maintaining the status quo and more about massively powerful beings subverting or changing the situation to better suit their version of an ideal world.
10.) What does the game do to engage the players’ attention; why should they care?
The heroes of GODSEND Agenda are the active movers and shakers in the world. Others may try to stop them, but the players have the agency and the game mechanics to make significant and lasting changes.
11.) What are the publishing goals?
Beyond the Core book, other books will follow detailing the different eras of play. Depending on the success, the game may expand out into future scenarios where the GODSEND Agenda reaches for the stars and other planets.
12.) Who is the target audience?
Players (Game Master included) that enjoy heroic and epic stories that take them beyond the confines of a typical “supers” games. GODSEND Agenda does not restrain players with extraordinary power, it celebrates them.
The rough unedited playtest document is available for you to consume, play, and comment on. GODSEND Agenda 3rd edition is in Beta, and we hope, with your help, we can make this the best version yet.
Today I broke down a bookshelf to put up a new one, and found all sorts of goodies. Chief among them was the first iteration of GODSEND Agenda from 2001. Its what I used to play and playtest the game. It’s the UR document that my first published RPG work sprung from. 71 pages of pure unadulterated enthusiasm, unencumbered by what “should” be in a roleplaying. If this document were published in 1981, it would be a million seller, but as a game design goes, its like looking at myself crawling out of a primordial swamp and gulping air for the first time.
I may make a character and play it just to see what its like looking at it through my old and wizened eyes.
More sneak peeks of what the game will look like when finished. The PDF presented is still a very early Beta version sample of the Angelos and a sample character. Later this month, I hope to have the full beta version up for interested people to see.
Let’s look at what a GODSEND Agenda character is made of.
1-Species: There are six different species in GODSEND Agenda.
U.S.E.R. Agent (Human)
2-Archetype: Each character has an archetype, and each type has a different outlook on life and how they live as a superhuman. Zuriel is a Warrior archetype and settles conflicts with his fighting ability. Being a Warrior Archetype also gives Zuriel a “signature Attack.” The attack is player-defined and can be used times per round equal to his Ability Level
3-Divinity: This is a lot like Archetype and helps steer the player into a concept. The Divinity gives the player a price break on certain abilities and powers. So, a Super Soldier gets a point break on skill specializations and a few attributes.
4-Attributes: All attributes start at +0 and go up from there. A +0 is the average human and what everything else is based on. A +1 in an attribute, makes you twice as good as someone with a +0, and a +2 makes you four times as good.
The attributes are
Combat Rating (CR)
Metaphysics Rating (MR)
5- Ability Level: this determines how powerful your hero is in the GODSEND Agenda. It starts at zero and works its way up to ten. The default start is Ability Level 3; a baseline human is Ability Level zero.
6- Hero Points: a meta currency in-game that allows the player to augment rolls, negate or add damage, or fiddle with the setting. Players start the game with twice their Ability Level plus their MR attribute.
7- Wealth Rating: this determines how much resources the hero has. The higher the attribute, the more wealth a hero has at their disposal.
8- Hit Points: How much physical damage a hero can take. The average human can take 5 points of damage; a starting hero can take 10+ CON attribute.
9- Mind Points: How much psychic damage a hero can take. The average human can take 5 points of damage; a starting hero can take 10+ WIL attribute.
10- Renown: How famous or infamous your hero is. The more Renown they possess, the more they can affect the world around them.
11- Skills: Skills start at +1 for a novice and go up from there, no upper limit. Skills plus Attributes are added to 2D10 and rolled versus a GM assigned difficulty. Specializations as a Margin of Success (MoS) to the roll.
12- Disadvantages: Every hero has them, and the player defines what they are. Each hero has one of the following:
Relationship- someone that the player is vexed by. They could be in love with this person, hate this person, or are involved with a person that could compromise them in situations.
Internal- This is something going on inside the hero. A personality quirk that hinders the hero.
External- Something everyone on the outside, sees and reacts to.
Each Disadvantage is rated from 1 to 3. The player has 5 points to distribute among them, and activating them gives the hero more Hero Points to use.
13-Gadgets: This is Zuriel’s equipment. Some heroes have powers, and some have equipment, while others have a combination of both. Zuriel is all about his equipment. The equipment is built using the powers and gadget system in GODSEND Agenda.
14- Result Chart: A small bit of help at the bottom of the sheet to help determine the result of the dice rolls. The higher you roll, the more Margins of Success you receive.
A basic success is a roll of 11 or higher. Partial Success is when the result is 6-10, and failure is 1-5.