What spells should a god have?

dave2008

Hero
So I've been working on a supplement to convert The Immortal Rules from BECMI (and some Deities & Demigods and Legends & Lore) to 5e and I've run into a bit of writer's block. I am giving deities some base-level innate casting. Spells all deities should have. Spells that mimic basic abilities we think gods should have. I am having a hard time deciding what spells say "god" without stepping on the toes of specific gods too much.

So, what spells do you think a:
Demigod should have?
Lesser god should have?
Intermediate god should have?
Greater god should have?

EDIT: I have clarified this a few times, so I thought i should put it in the OP: a god (in this system) can cast any spell at will, but it has a cost. I am interested in some innate spells that would have no cost, but are iconic, in a generic sense, to deities. What spells does any god need to be a god?
 
Last edited:

aco175

Adventurer
I remember the 2e FR books on gods and think that greater gods could cast anything without components and casting times. Something with their avatar over their actual body.
 

dave2008

Hero
I remember the 2e FR books on gods and think that greater gods could cast anything without components and casting times. Something with their avatar over their actual body.
Yes, the 2e books were pretty much any spell at-will. I am asking less about what has been done in the past and more about what iconic abilities should they have. For example, it makes sense for them to have command and geas at some point. And probably power word kill, true resurrection, and wish at some point as well.
 

aco175

Adventurer
I would allow greater gods to cast any metamagic at-will and scale that down to minor gods having only one or 2 metemagics to use at will. Demi-gods may only get one.

I would give them all spells as well, even gods that focus on war and such. Maybe it is just a school or up to a certain level based on the ranking.

Maybe it would be easier to rank the gods 1-10 and each rank can cast spells of that level and power. So a lesser god of rank 2 can cast up to any 2nd level spell and maybe give some flavor spells of higher level.

Not sure on iconic abilities, but a lot may be based on flavor and non-combat. A nature god may be able to cause and plant to ripen and bear fruit at will, or a war god could create a magical version of any weapon.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
For demigods, I might only give them spells related directly to their sphere of influence.

For lesser gods and upwards, your list above fits, I'd also add planeshift and gate. Holy Aura would also be a good fit. Additional spells I'd add would be anything that seems like it comes direct from the deity such as divine word, and hallow.

I guess technically, if they have wish on their list of possible spells then any 8th level spell or lower is also on their list. Gods being gods, they wouldn't be affected by the negative effects of a wish spell.
 
Last edited:
Yes, the 2e books were pretty much any spell at-will. I am asking less about what has been done in the past and more about what iconic abilities should they have. For example, it makes sense for them to have command and geas at some point. And probably power word kill, true resurrection, and wish at some point as well.
Any cleric spell related to healing - resurrection - restoration.
Scrying
Teleportation
Disintigrate
Meteor Swarm
Summoning spells (probably some not accessible to players)
Druid spells pertaining to nature
The strongest illusion spells
Spells that magically influence others
Counterspell
Dispel Magic
Levitate
Invisibility
Fly
Dimension Door
etc.


I don't really see gods having the minor defensive spells. I don't really see minor offensive spells being a thing either.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
@FrogReaver - your list is pretty good but misses a few key elements:

Grant spell powers to others (i.e. mortal Clerics)
Be able to function on more than one plane/world at a time
Grant wishes (or miracles) to others
Fulfill wishes made (or miracles requested) by others

That said, the whole question probably isn't relevant when comparing deities to mortals (from a mortal perspective, most deities should be able to more or less be able to do anything), but becomes very relevant if one ends up in a situation of having to compare deities/immortals vs other deities/immortals.
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
@dave2008

I’m not sure where you’re coming from, exactly.

If you’re looking to make a system where deities are playable – if you’re working off of BECMI – then I would recommend a fairly limited palette of “universal” magical powers, with more diverse and flavorful portfolio-specific elements for specific deities/immortals.

Spells which bestow benefits on worshippers (bless, remove curse, break enchantment etc.); likewise curses to heap on those offending the deity. Perception-augmenting spells (detect x etc.); spells which allow the deity to perceive and interact at a distance with mortals (dreams, telepathy etc.); the ability to cause an effect at a distance – that one’s a bit trickier.

Most of these could be scaled fairly intuitively through demi-, lesser-, intermediate- and greater deity status.

Are you using the Matter/Energy/Time/Thought sphere breakdown of the Immortals Rules?
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
None, they should be given a list of powers and auras instead including use of any spell on their Domain list
 
Last edited:

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yes, the 2e books were pretty much any spell at-will. I am asking less about what has been done in the past and more about what iconic abilities should they have. For example, it makes sense for them to have command and geas at some point. And probably power word kill, true resurrection, and wish at some point as well.
I think that they only inherently need spells/abilities that would enable them to reach, communicate and see their followers and the mortal realm. Plane Shift, Teleport, some sort of Telepathy, visions, etc. The rest would depend on their portfolio/classes. I don't see Zeus having Power Word Kill for example, but Lightning and Chain Lightning are no problem. Hades WOULD have Power Word Kill and True Resurrection.

Command and Geas type ability would be better served by giving them some sort of rank and/or charisma based power to awe mortals with.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Do you differ between god in true form and avatar? Because except for demigods the spellcasting rules only make sense for avatars. Even lesser gods can alter reality at will, the only thing hindering them to do so would be the intervention of some other god.

For avatars you could fit the spell selection at hand to match the gods portfolio. The higher the god's ranking (best refer to 2e material to determine that) the higher the level of those spells an avatar could cast at will.
 

dave2008

Hero
@FrogReaver - your list is pretty good but misses a few key elements:

Grant spell powers to others (i.e. mortal Clerics)
Be able to function on more than one plane/world at a time
Grant wishes (or miracles) to others
Fulfill wishes made (or miracles requested) by others
That is not what I am looking for though. I've got that covered in other area. I am just interested in what spells people think are iconic to deities.
 

dave2008

Hero
Any cleric spell related to healing - resurrection - restoration.
Scrying
Teleportation
Disintigrate
Meteor Swarm
Summoning spells (probably some not accessible to players)
Druid spells pertaining to nature
The strongest illusion spells
Spells that magically influence others
Counterspell
Dispel Magic
Levitate
Invisibility
Fly
Dimension Door
etc.


I don't really see gods having the minor defensive spells. I don't really see minor offensive spells being a thing either.
That is pretty close to the list (and concept) I was coming up with. Thank you for sharing
 

dave2008

Hero
If you’re looking to make a system where deities are playable – if you’re working off of BECMI – then I would recommend a fairly limited palette of “universal” magical powers, with more diverse and flavorful portfolio-specific elements for specific deities/immortals.
Yes, that is what I am looking for. These spells would be free spells. A god can cast any mortal spell by spending quintessence (power in BECMI, or prime in the Primal Order), but these typical spells can be cast at no cost.

Spells which bestow benefits on worshippers (bless, remove curse, break enchantment etc.); likewise curses to heap on those offending the deity. Perception-augmenting spells (detect x etc.); spells which allow the deity to perceive and interact at a distance with mortals (dreams, telepathy etc.); the ability to cause an effect at a distance – that one’s a bit trickier.
Yes, that is what I am think as well.

Are you using the Matter/Energy/Time/Thought sphere breakdown of the Immortals Rules?
Yes, but like the update rules (Wrath of the Immortals) I am not tying spells to a sphere (what I call Authority). Authority is more powerful and precious than magic / spells.
 

dave2008

Hero
None, they should be given a list of powers and auras instead including use of any spell on their Domain list
Gods (in my guidelines / rules) can cast any mortal spell, but at a cost. What I am working on is a list of free spells the can cast that are just iconic to the concept of gods. They will already have auras and a list of powers. These spells are really just ribbons that you say, oh ya a god should be able to do that.
 

dave2008

Hero
I think that they only inherently need spells/abilities that would enable them to reach, communicate and see their followers and the mortal realm. Plane Shift, Teleport, some sort of Telepathy, visions, etc.
That is basically what I am think too.

The rest would depend on their portfolio/classes. I don't see Zeus having Power Word Kill for example, but Lightning and Chain Lightning are no problem. Hades WOULD have Power Word Kill and True Resurrection.
I was kinda think the ability to Kill (with a word) and Resurrect mortals (to a limited extent) was something that should be available to all gods. But maybe I need to rethink that.

Command and Geas type ability would be better served by giving them some sort of rank and/or charisma based power to awe mortals with.
They have auras which can impose the Charmed, Frightened, or Dazed conditions (new condition). So I was planning on command and geas being part of the list. The seem very iconic and god-like to me.
 

dave2008

Hero
Do you differ between god in true form and avatar? Because except for demigods the spellcasting rules only make sense for avatars. Even lesser gods can alter reality at will, the only thing hindering them to do so would be the intervention of some other god.
I'm discussing the deities themselves, avatars and aspects are different. Similar to the Immortal Rules, gods in this update cannot alter reality at-will. They can alter reality but there is a cost.
 

Advertisement

Top