Wednesday, April 23, 2008

World Hopping At God-Level

As my campaign approaches Godhood, :) I'm considering the means available to PCs to travel from world to world. World hopping seems fairly vital to the game at that stage, yet not every PC is likely to have true access to it. So, I'm compiling a list of how one could gain access, so that the players can make informed decisions at the time of achieving Godhood.

Methods that exist largely irregardless of your character sheet:
  • Cultural Connection: You can get into your Pantheon's regions of the Underworld from places related to your Pantheon's death practices. This tends to be slow and awkward, and it doesn't give you a way back.
  • Death Connection: Can be used to gain access to the Underworld from various tombs, graveyards, etc in the mortal world. Cheap but not easy. It only takes a Birthright (no boons, technically), but it's one-way only, you have no control of exactly where in the Underworld you arrive, and it can take some time and circumstance to work it.
  • Terra Incognita: Mythical places that exist as cul-de-sac's off the main stem of the world. Most can be entered by any Scion for a legend point or two, but it's hard to find them unless you have the 5th level of Psychopomp. They are a destination themselves, not truly a means of transit to other places.
  • Axis Mundi: There are a number of pre-existing bridges between worlds. They aren't as fast as using powers, but they don't cost XP, either. One draw back is you need to know of them and find them, and there's no equivalent of the Terra Incognita Power of Psychopomp. Typically, each Pantheon has one or more that they access, and which they guard from Titans and other intruding outsiders.
The following boons will help you travel more freely:
  • Death 8: Far better than just the generic Underworld transit ability conveyed by having access to the Death Purview and standing around in a graveyard. It's faster and more versatile, but more expensive. It's still just one-way, too.
  • Guardian 5: It's limited to taking you to people under your protection and places you've visited before. Further, you can only use it if that person, place or thing is in danger.
  • Moon 9: You get a private estate on the Moon, which then has doors leading to the world and the overworld (no access to the Underworld) and you are somewhat limited in where in those places it can take you.
  • Psychopomp 4: Let's you drag others with when using other powers. The book seems to specify that this is only other Psychopomp boons, but I don't think it's broken to broaden it a bit (and I've done so in my game) to other travel/movement powers.
  • Psychopomp 5: Gives you access to Terra Incognita. It's not terribly flexible or useful during combat, and you're at the whim of the GM and/or locale.
  • Psychopomp 9: A major transit power. This lets you jump from world to world largely free from restriction. It's expensive, but it's very versatile.
  • Psychopomp 10: You can exist in multiple places at once. Technically not quite as good as Psycho 9 for exploration or retreat, but still an astounding world-hopping power.
  • Avatars: While only a few specifically mention traveling between worlds, I bet most GMs would let most Avatar boons let you world-hop, especially if doing nothing else with the Avatar activation. Earth could burrow anywhere, Water could wash up on any shore, etc.
Other options:
  • Sanctum Background: Gives you a single location that lets you travel between specific places in two worlds. Costs 1 to 5 Birthright points for the Sanctum, plus an extra Birthright point to link it to another world. Basically, you can buy your own little Axis Mundi or Underworld Passage connecting your Divine and Earthly estates for 2 bonus points.
  • Psychopomp 6 & 7, Moon 7, and Sun 7 all speed up Earthly transit significantly. They can't change what world you're on, but they'll cruise across it speedily.
So, one thing I've learned from compiling this list is that I've been playing my Gods as a bit too free to travel. As the books are written, most Gods really don't have a means of easy transit from world to world and (surprisingly) from place-to-place within the same world. So, for Poseidon to get from the Overworld to any specific place in the Ocean, he must
  1. climb Olympus,
  2. descend a mundane mountain,
  3. hoof it to the sea,
  4. and swim,
or pop 30 legend on an Avatar. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

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