Sunday, 20 January 2019

God's Head

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!
Hail th'incarnate deity!

God's Head is a small mountain village. The locals worship a God who watches over them - both figuratively and literally, as it sits cross-legged on the village border, roughly 100ft tall.

(Imagine the Angel of Death from Del Toro's Hellboy, pictured above, on the scale of a Japanese Daibutsu statue, such as the one in Ibaraki pictured below.)

The God:

- controls the weather and climate in the immediate area, and has no other apparent power
- is immortal and impervious to any damage less than God-Killing scale
- is an actual God, if that distinction matters in your setting
- sits and watches
- is silent

The God has Rules (some specifics you might find gameable are noted in parenthesis):
- do not murder (murder means killing other people who don't deserve it; define "people" and "deserve" harshly and with immense bigotry)
- do not steal or cheat (institutionalised economic imbalance such as charging extortionate rent does not count)
- do not have the wrong kind of sex (the "right" kind is for making babies and/or if you're married and the man wants it - marriage being between a Man and a Woman, of "The Gritty" variety)

If the God sees any of its Rules being broken, it will alert the Church authorities with a vision, or simply smite the offender with a lightning bolt if the instance of rulebreaking would cause large-scale unrest or dissent.

The God can see through all walls or structures, illusions or disguises, and in any type of light or darkness. It is always watching every part of the village that it can.

The God has Dominion over all it can see - the powers of other gods (actual gods only) will not work or will work much less effectively within this range.

The God cannot see anything underground or outside the village boundary.

The Church

The Church is the law in God's Head. All Church officials are men.

The Church have powers gifted to them by the God (in D&D terms, Cleric Spells and Abilities):
- they can use invisible force to hold, push and pull objects or creatures up to and including the approximate weight of a PC, one at a time, within around 15ft of them.
- they can predict the weather while the God is content
- they can receive visions from the God
- they can make small paper certificates called Pardons - when written and signed by a Church official, the Pardon excuses the holder from 1 instance of rulebreaking in the eyes of the God, at which point it burns away to nothing.

Pardons do not work if written for oneself, but Church officials can write them for each other, often doing so in order to excuse their sexual coercion of impressionable younger members.

There is one physical Church building in town, the Cathedral (technically this makes God's Head a city but I don't really care). Demons and undead cannot enter it.

The Church's powers do not work on virgins.

The Angels

Angels are beings made of light that look like androgynous humans with wings and far too many eyes. They regularly appear, patrol the winding streets of the village in a pattern that has no logic but seems somehow important, and then disappear.

They will only stop if something occurs nearby them that warrants the God's attention, for good or ill. They will watch until the occurrence ends, then depart.


Nobody in God's Head is an atheist - God is right there. However most simply live normal lives that happen to abide by the God's Rules, infrequently attending Church events but otherwise acting incongruously.

Zealots are different. They may live on the streets and dress in rags or nothing, so as to be in plain view of their deity. They may eat only manna, the flakes of dead skin that drift down from the God's body. More unnerving are those who simply smile and ask if you'd like a chat. They obey all the God's Rules and the Church's decrees to the letter, and brook no defiance of the same from their peers.

A local has a 1-in-6 chance of being a zealot - unless they are in a position of power in the Church, in which case it is unlikely that they care much about the God at all, though they may act as if they do in order to keep up appearances.


Pardons are the only way an individual may safely escape the God's judgement, but the Church makes them expensive and keeps them mainly to themselves.

Most defiance happens underground, out of the God's sight.

This unassuming house's basement contains:
1. A party. Revelry is not against God, but these people find it hard to relax under the Church's austere gaze. Plus this way if they meet someone they like they can fuck in the next room.
2. A gambling den. Friendly games, the stakes never particularly high. Just blowing off steam.
3. A meeting of a different religious group. Rituals (spells in D&D terms) are being carried out in secret - they can heal your wounded.
4. A sex dungeon.
5. A secret store of smuggled supplies. Stolen elsewhere, nobody wants to risk selling them above ground. Contraband, interesting items.
6. Church officials discussing shady dealings. They will offer to write Pardons in exchange for your cooperation.

Quest Hooks

1. Steal a holy relic from the Cathedral.
2. Help an underground cult to rebel.
3. Get a Pardon for a friend's specific indulgence.
4. You are all employees of a cool underground casino in town - do your jobs and protect the establishment.
5. Replace the head of the Church.
6. Assassinate the head of the Church.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I really like this for how localized it is. One town, one region. no need to worry about wide-scale cosmology, you get all your religious oppression and intrigue in one place.