Gods of Wandrossa (Design Notes) | Optional Rules for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Ever wanted to be a god of a D&D campaign world? Well, now you can!

I’ve begun development on a set of rules that allow my patrons to become gods over the Wandrossa campaign world that we’re developing. And it’s EXCITING!

Here’s how this all started…

Something cool’s been going on over at my Patreon page. Finding myself sometimes tapped for ideas, I turned to my patrons to help me brainstorm the campaign setting I hope to publish at the end of the fourth quarter. What started as a few simple polls quickly turned into an entire worldbuilding series.

The name of the world is Wandrossa.

Today, I got another idea. What if the patrons weren’t just patrons making suggestions, but what if they were the Gods of Wandrossa themselves?

My patrons are all Gods of my campaign world.

The Patrons develop the history, make the big moves, and decide how the world of Wandrossa operates. Of course, not all of my patrons have to participate. But those who do will see the effects of their divine influence in all of the printed material surrounding Wandrossa.

Examples of how it will work.

For example, a patron can use its divine powers to completely level a town. That town is literally destroyed, totally removed from the campaign book.

Another patron can place a dragon in an abandoned tower in the middle of a swamp. From then on, there’s a dragon in that swamp… until another patron uses its chosen one to slay the dragon.

A third patron builds a temple in a large city.

Later, a fourth patron attacks the city, leveling the patron’s new temple.

And so on.

The only thing left to do at this point is to create formalized rules.

Fortunately, a friend of mine recently pointed me to an old ruleset (it just turned 31 this year) that game manufacturer GDW created to build the back history of their Traveller 2300 world. Taking a few cues from that ruleset and blending it with Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, I came up with the rules for the Gods of Wandrossa.


Playtest Content

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game.

Constructive feedback is welcome and appreciated in either comments or social media. If you can give me a valid reason with examples why something is off, 9/10 I’m likely to make changes to the content and credit you for doing so. Otherwise, feedback without anything to back it up gets ignored (or at most a smile emoji like this 🙂 ) Thanks!


Gods of Wandrossa Design Notes

I started this build by creating a rough outline of how it would work, using the Fifth Edition PHB as my guide.

A few things that I hope to accomplish with these rules:

  • Each patron is a god with a divine rank, which is sort of like a god’s class levels. As the patron/god takes actions, it earns followers. You can see the full Divine Rank table here. There are 20 levels just like in Fifth Edition, ranging from quasi-deities (like Hercules) to greater deities (like Zeus). There is also an overdeity which is the adjudicator (me).
  • The more followers a god has, the higher its levels are. Followers act like experience points (they don’t mean social media followers, etc.)
  • Each patron is allowed a single action, reaction, and bonus action each day.
    • An action is performed by commenting on the daily history log.
    • A bonus action is a secondary action that the patron can perform. Patrons earn bonus actions from their portfolio aspects. Also, patrons can move their chosen ones as bonus actions.
    • A reaction is done in response to another patron’s action.
    • Due to the limited action economy, patrons are forced to make tough decisions.
  • A patron must take its actions, reactions, and bonus reactions each day between 12am CST and 6pm CST. If it takes no actions, it automatically is considered “Neutral” for the year.
  • A single day represents a year in game time. One week is five years and one month is 20 years.
  • The number of followers a patron has increases each time they take an action, regardless of its outcome, by a minimum of 10. If a god is “neutral” (they take no actions) they do not gain followers, but they also won’t lose any followers.
  • There will be no dice rolls in the Gods system. All checks are passive and boosted by portfolio aspects and might. It’s a bit like the game diplomacy. You either win or you don’t.
  • A god’s might is equal to its level. Might is how well a god performs an action. For example, if a god with 3 might makes its followers attack a village with a Defense Value of 2, the god succeeds its check by 1, allowing it to change one aspect of the village. For example, it could raze a temple or reduce the population. It could even install one of its chosen ones as the leader.
  • The actions a god can take each year are (likely to change):
    • Conflict. War breaks out in a settlement or other strategic location. The god’s might must be greater than the settlement’s DV. If the god succeeds its war check, something happens according to the war results table such as a temple being destroyed, population decreasing, form of government changing, etc.
    • Convert. The god converts the followers of another god into its own followers. The god gains 10 followers for each point of might it has and the target god loses an amount followers equal to that amount. A god’s followers cannot be reduced to less than 0.
    • Influence. The god can increase or decrease a settlement’s satisfaction by an amount equal to its might.
    • Neutral. The god is immune to conversion attempts for the year. If a god takes no action in a year, this is the god’s default status.
    • Divine Power. The god uses one of its divine powers. Divine powers act like spells tied to the god’s portfolio. They can change the face of the world, kill populations, invent new creatures and more.
    • Increase Initiative. The god increases its overall initiative. A gods’ starting initiative equals its might.
    • Protect. The god adds its might to the DV of a single settlement.
    • Temple. The god’s followers build a temple in a settlement or upgrades a temple. Temples gain followers equal to the temple’s level times 10. A temple cannot have higher levels than its. Nature gods can build their temples outside, but they cannot be within 2 hexes of another nature temple. In addition, a god may only build one temple per settlement.
    • Help. The god adds its might to the check of another god (reaction).
    • Chosen. A god can move any of its chosen as a bonus action or reaction (depending on the chosen). Chosen can secure special locations, clear dungeons, become leaders, slay apex predators and more.
  • Settlements have stats, too:
    • DV is the “Armor Class” of settlements. In order for a god’s followers to attack a settlement, its total might (plus any bonuses offered by other gods) must be greater than the DV of the settlement. The outcome of the attack is then compared to a war outcome table.
    • Pop is the population of the settlement. The population of a settlement increases by 1% each year. Death gods can reduce a population’s growth rate by 1% for the year and Life gods can increase a population’s growth rate by 1% for the year.
    • Size is the how large of a settlement it is. The size determines a settlement’s base DV as well. In addition, a settlement is limited by its size to the number of temple levels that it can have. For example, a hamlet can only have a maximum of 1 temple level, whereas a large city can have up to 12 levels of temples.
      • Hamlet – base DV 1- temple levels 1
      • Village – base DV 2 – temple levels 3
      • Town – base DV 4 – temple levels 6
      • Small City – base DV 7 – temple levels 10
      • Large City – base DV 11 – temple levels 15
      • Metropolis – base DV 16 – temple levels 21
    • Sat is the satisfaction of a settlement’s population. All settlements start out with a satisfaction score of 15. If a settlement’s Sat drops below 10, there is civil unrest. The effects of civil unrest depend on how low the Sat drops. At the start of a new year, the settlement’s sat returns to 12.
    • GR is a settlement’s growth rate. This is the amount the population of a settlement grows in one year. All settlements start with a GR of 1%.
  • Dungeons, ruins, etc. will probably also have stats related to chosen ones.
  • Greater aspects are based on the 12 published domains.
  • Lesser aspects are an individual element of the game such as monsters. These may work somewhat like skills. Still figuring out the mechanics on this.
  • All gods start off knowing the Miracle divine power plus one other divine power of their choice. They learn more divine powers as they increase ranks.
  • Gods get chosen ones, special legendary NPCs that are an important part of the world of Wandrossa. Chosen ones can be leaders, warlords, or even dungeon builders. Depending on the type of chosen one, the god can use its bonus action or reaction to utilize its chosen ones.

Daily Protocol:

  • Each day, I will post a “Wandrossan Almanac” which recounts all of the events in a single Wandrossan year. Patrons can post one action (a comment on the thread), one bonus action (a second comment on the thread), and a reaction (a reply on another thread’s comment). All extra comments and reactions will be ignored.
  • Actions are resolved in initiative order. If there is a tie in initiative orders, ties are broken by divine rank then by seniority. If there is still a tie, the overdeity decides whose action goes first.
  • After all of the actions are resolved, the results are posted that evening along with updates to follower accounts as well as changes to settlements and overall geography (if necessary).
  • The goal of the Gods of Wandrossa is to gain followers and gain divine ranks. The more divine ranks you gain, the more powers you have.

This is the class table I created for the Gods of Wandrossa: Gods of Wandrossa Divine Ranks.

 

Divine Power Ideas

Here are a few ideas for divine powers tied into the request system. These are just a sampling. There’s more to come.

  • Create Monster (2nd level). You create a new monster of CR 1 – 4. It must be of a type covered by your portfolio aspect. Creating a new monster increases your might by 1 for 5 years when you cause a war. At higher levels, you can create monsters of CR 5 – 10 (3rd level), 11 – 17 (4th level), and 18+ (5th level). Your might increases by 1 for each slot you expend beyond 2nd.
  • Create Spell (3rd level). You create a new spell of level 1st thru 2nd. Creating a new spell increases the DV of towns with your temple in it for 5 years by 1. Higher levels: 4th level: +2 DV and spell 3rd thru 5th, 5th level: +3 DV and spell 6th thru 9th.
  • Create Feat (2nd level). You create a new feat. Creating a new feat gives your followers resistance against conversions for 5 years. High levels: resistance increases by 5 for each slot above 2nd level.
  • Create Magic Item (2nd level). You create a new magic item of common or uncommon rarity. In the next year, your might increases by 1. Higher levels: 3rd level: rare item, might increases by 2; 4th level: very rare item, might increases by 3; 5th level: legendary item, might increases by 4.
  • Create Artifact (5th level). You create a new artifact. Select one settlement. That city’s DV increases by 10 for 5 years.
  • Miracle (1st level). You gain 50 new followers. Higher levels: gain an additional 50 followers for each slot used above the 1st.
  • Create Subclass (5th level).
  • Devastation (5th Level). You reduce a settlement by one level.
  • Strike Down (4th Level). You kill an important leader. If the leader’s settlement’s satisfaction is less than 15, the settlement gains +5 satisfaction. If the leader’s settlement’s satisfaction is greater than 15, the settlement loses 5 satisfaction.

More to Come…

Now that I’ve hammered out most of the rough ideas, it’s just a matter of organizing everything. If you’re interested in joining in on this system, you’ll need to follow me on Patreon.

It’s only $3 to get started. Just $3 to become a God!

Art by Wayne Renolds.

2 thoughts on “Gods of Wandrossa (Design Notes) | Optional Rules for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

    1. As many gods are there are Patrons (that want to participate), and you pick your Porfolio just like making a character.

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