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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:30 PM 9/2/2002 +1200, John Machin wrote:

    >I believe that the only reason that the followers of the gods became the
    >new gods was because the old gods wanted them too. They each receieved
    >something additional to the power of a blood-line and it was this - the
    >conscious transfer of authority and power from old gods to new gods -
    >that permitted them to transcend their mortality and ascend to godhood.

    I`d agree with that, but the important distinction here is not only that a
    few mortals at Deismaar ascended but that they also went straight into a
    portfolio and a "major god" level of power. "Divinity" in gaming terms can
    have many levels of significance and power. There are a few guidelines for
    this sort of thing. Divine ascension has been a feature of D&D since 1e,
    so if we`re using the game as a guide then it`s certainly
    possible. Especially if combined with the BR bloodline system.

    >I would say that a mortal cannot become a god under his own steam, as it
    >were. However it is conceivable (although not at all likely in my opinion)
    >that a god might grant the gift of god-hood to a deserving mortal. They
    >then immediately cease to be mortal and become a god. Without this
    >conscious grant from a god, the mortal will never ascend.

    Not even a god can grant divinity to a mortal... but the DM
    can. Essentially that`s what it boils down to, right? Whether or not one
    wants to have this as a possibility in one`s campaign? For most campaigns
    I don`t think it`d really make a difference, but in BR where there are
    several characters (mostly NPC awnsheghlien) who seem to have this as a
    goal, I think it`s important that ascension is a mainstay of D&D, so
    deciding that it isn`t possible without divine assistance throws something
    of a monkey wrench in the characterization of those NPCs.

    I guess it might be one way to explain why none of them have actually
    transcended after 1,500 years of trying, though.... Still. I don`t think
    I`d exclude it as a possibility.

    > > Using the bloodline system of BR also inherently interferes
    > > with the distinction between mortals and humans. BR scions
    > > have divine power already and the means to improve their
    > > divine power. That`s more than other campaign settings (or
    > > real life mythology) presupposes.
    >
    >I disagree.
    >Mortals with bloodlines are powerful mortals. They are blessed by the
    >gods, like Abraham was. However no-one thinks that Abraham WAS a god.
    >Likewise, I cannot see how people could argue that even powerful scions
    >are truly like unto gods.

    Here`s how I`d argue it: Abraham wasn`t present at Deismaar. The
    difference is that he was merely "favored" not "infused" as it were. In
    D&D terms Abraham may not even have been a very high level character.... I
    generally avoid Biblical references because I`m pretty much a non-believer,
    so most of what I write on the subject winds up being offensive to somebody
    someplace, but since Abraham is the example I`ll make the following analogy
    with apologies in advance to anyone who might be offended: A (heretical)
    Biblical example might be that if Jesus had exploded on the cross, left a
    massive crater, and infused all those in attendance with divine power then
    we`re closer to the divinity of BR scions. Where Abraham was a BR commoner
    (albeit a favored one) scions are what would be equivalent to characters
    with a _Jesus, Major, 22_ bloodline.

    Many real world religions and fantasy fiction have many examples of people,
    animals, even the occasional inanimate object who transcend or are taken up
    or somehow or another transcend into immortal, divine forms. Sometimes
    they have divine aid, other times they don`t. Since it has been in the
    background of the game system for so long, has been possible in most
    campaign settings, and there are several reasons why it might be possible
    in BR then I`d just go with allowing for the possibility of divine
    ascension without divine assistance.

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:30 PM 9/2/2002 +1200, John Machin wrote:

    >I believe that the only reason that the followers of the gods became the
    >new gods was because the old gods wanted them too. They each receieved
    >something additional to the power of a blood-line and it was this - the
    >conscious transfer of authority and power from old gods to new gods -
    >that permitted them to transcend their mortality and ascend to godhood.

    I`d agree with that, but the important distinction here is not only that a
    few mortals at Deismaar ascended but that they also went straight into a
    portfolio and a "major god" level of power. "Divinity" in gaming terms can
    have many levels of significance and power. There are a few guidelines for
    this sort of thing. Divine ascension has been a feature of D&D since 1e,
    so if we`re using the game as a guide then it`s certainly
    possible. Especially if combined with the BR bloodline system.

    >I would say that a mortal cannot become a god under his own steam, as it
    >were. However it is conceivable (although not at all likely in my opinion)
    >that a god might grant the gift of god-hood to a deserving mortal. They
    >then immediately cease to be mortal and become a god. Without this
    >conscious grant from a god, the mortal will never ascend.

    Not even a god can grant divinity to a mortal... but the DM
    can. Essentially that`s what it boils down to, right? Whether or not one
    wants to have this as a possibility in one`s campaign? For most campaigns
    I don`t think it`d really make a difference, but in BR where there are
    several characters (mostly NPC awnsheghlien) who seem to have this as a
    goal, I think it`s important that ascension is a mainstay of D&D, so
    deciding that it isn`t possible without divine assistance throws something
    of a monkey wrench in the characterization of those NPCs.

    I guess it might be one way to explain why none of them have actually
    transcended after 1,500 years of trying, though.... Still. I don`t think
    I`d exclude it as a possibility.

    > > Using the bloodline system of BR also inherently interferes
    > > with the distinction between mortals and humans. BR scions
    > > have divine power already and the means to improve their
    > > divine power. That`s more than other campaign settings (or
    > > real life mythology) presupposes.
    >
    >I disagree.
    >Mortals with bloodlines are powerful mortals. They are blessed by the
    >gods, like Abraham was. However no-one thinks that Abraham WAS a god.
    >Likewise, I cannot see how people could argue that even powerful scions
    >are truly like unto gods.

    Here`s how I`d argue it: Abraham wasn`t present at Deismaar. The
    difference is that he was merely "favored" not "infused" as it were. In
    D&D terms Abraham may not even have been a very high level character.... I
    generally avoid Biblical references because I`m pretty much a non-believer,
    so most of what I write on the subject winds up being offensive to somebody
    someplace, but since Abraham is the example I`ll make the following analogy
    with apologies in advance to anyone who might be offended: A (heretical)
    Biblical example might be that if Jesus had exploded on the cross, left a
    massive crater, and infused all those in attendance with divine power then
    we`re closer to the divinity of BR scions. Where Abraham was a BR commoner
    (albeit a favored one) scions are what would be equivalent to characters
    with a _Jesus, Major, 22_ bloodline.

    Many real world religions and fantasy fiction have many examples of people,
    animals, even the occasional inanimate object who transcend or are taken up
    or somehow or another transcend into immortal, divine forms. Sometimes
    they have divine aid, other times they don`t. Since it has been in the
    background of the game system for so long, has been possible in most
    campaign settings, and there are several reasons why it might be possible
    in BR then I`d just go with allowing for the possibility of divine
    ascension without divine assistance.

    Gary

    ************************************************** **************************
    The Birthright Homepage: http://www.birthright.net
    Birthright-l Archives: http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
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