Divine Favour

A champion must be aware of how their actions are seen, both by their own patron and by other gods. Gaining favour from one or more gods will inevitably earn the displeasure of other gods.

What the Gods Know

Olympians and other divine beings are not omniscient or omnipresent. Their powers allow them to be present at, or to witness remotely, almost anywhere but their attention is limited. Much of their knowledge comes from the prayers of their followers and a god will only know of harm done against them if there are witnesses to report it. However, everybody prays to the gods. Any evidence the heroes leave behind, even the news of their presence in an area, will end up in someone's prayers. Mortals will be wise to remember that whilst the gods are many things, they are not stupid. They can easily infer a connection between the characters arriving in a polis and the mysterious disappearance of a high priest.

Inter-deity Relationships

The web of friendships and allegiances in the divine world is important to the champions. Their patrons' enemies become their enemies though their patrons' friends are not guaranteed to be friendly. As the characters progress through adventures, the twists of fate may earn them favour from their divine enemies and displeasure from their patrons and friends.

The gods each have their own agenda beyond the shared goal of keeping the Titans and foreign gods at bay. These plans revolve around defending their realms or gaining more power and are why the Olympians have champions. A god's plan may be as significant as Hades ordering a blasphemer to be killed for mutilating corpses or as frivolous as getting a whole city drunk in the name of Dionysus. Yet if the drinking leads to the city burning down or the mutilator of corpses was a skilled general holding back the northern hordes, the champions may earn the disfavour of many gods and the favour of just one.

Keeping Tally

Game Leaders do not need a detailed log of the ebb and flow of the gods' favour. It is too capricious to be quantified. However, do keep notes of the characters' actions. A god likes nothing better than to deny a favour to a mortal who has previously slighted them.

Gaining Favour

There are many ways to gain the favour of the divine beings but certain gods are attracted to certain types of deeds. The gods will favour any who fulfil their plans and foil the plans of their enemies. However, the way mortals go about their tasks is important and each god favours specific ways of doing things. Actions such as defending a city loved by a god will always gain mortals favour. If all else fails, the gods are not above flattery through prayer and sacrifices. Mortals who pray often and observe religious festivals are more likely to have their pleas for help heard.

Losing Favour

All gods have symbols, things sacred to them. Showing proper respect to these things is important and defiling them will incur a great deal of wrath. The same applies to realms and each god guards their part of the world. The gods each have favoured cities and attacking, betraying or otherwise endangering them will draw down the god's wrath.

Favour can also be lost by not displaying the virtues the gods prefer. Champions are chosen based on their personal qualities and gods do not appreciate those abilities being wasted. Wise mortals will avoid the hubris of speaking for their god. Failure to complete a god's mission is not tolerated, though a few gods may be more forgiving than others depending on how the failure happened. Finally, all of the gods are arrogant and will not tolerate impudence or any challenge to their authority.

Benefits of Favour

Being in the favour of other gods and not just their patron will bring great boons to the heroes. The scale of the benefit depends on the extent of the favour and how the characters have attracted it. The gods alone choose how they show their good favour. Heroes can ask for help, information or items, but must not appear pushy or demanding. A hero who always needs assistance is of no use to a god.

Blessings and Gifts

A blessing is a gift from the gods. It operates as a status effect (see 6d6 RPG Core), and the value (CP) of the blessing and its duration are decided by the Game Leader. The blessing will take a form appropriate for the realms and symbols of the god granting the boon.

It was common in the Age of Heroes for the gods to give powerful or mysterious items to mortals. Hephaestus and Ares both have a history of this in particular. Game Leaders are encouraged to send the heroes strange items which add interest to the game. For example, a slightly better spear is less interesting than a rope which comes to the owner's hand when called, or a bottle of glue capable of joining any two objects.

The gods choose their champions based on their natural qualities. It is unwise to ask the gods for the blessings of being beautiful, strong or clever. Mortals should strive to achieve these themselves and to impress their patron with the great deeds using these abilities.


A hero who enjoys the favour of a god (their own patron or another) is protected from the direct threats of other Olympians. Often champions are unaware of how their patron is protecting them as threats are dealt with long before they trouble the character. Sometimes the simple knowledge that a mortal has the favour of a god will prevent others from taking direct action. To circumvent such protection, divine plans are often carried out at arm's length using mortals and other pawns.

Consequences of Disfavour

The fate of a hero who falls into disfavour with their patron varies depending on how it was earned. A hero who bores a patron god through inactivity or by not making use of their virtues can expect their god's power to be withdrawn. There will be omens indicating the god's displeasure and warnings that further failure to be interesting will not be tolerated. Alternatively, a hero who defies or fails their patron will find their god choosing a more direct and physical way to express their anger.


A curse is an unpleasant status effect, a hazard advantage, given by a god to a character. When cursing mortals the gods get creative. Cassandra's famous curse was the 'gift' of accurate prophecy which no-one would ever believe. Others have been cursed to lie or tell the truth, or simply inflicted with a disease. Rather than actively curse someone a god may remove a blessing bestowed by themselves or another god. It does not have to be obvious when this has happens as it amuses the gods to see mortals discovering the absence of a blessing at an inopportune time.

Smiting and Scheming

Rarely will a god to appear in person to smite a character and even the most direct of gods prefers to send a champion to kill an offending mortal. Less brazen gods will arrange an accident, such as sending a fly to sting a horse while crossing a mountain pass so the rider is thrown from a cliff. Such direct attacks on a hero will force their patron to respond, either to protect the mortal or to revenge their death. This makes it a dangerous course of action for weaker gods.

A god wishing to avoid direct confrontation with another god will revert to scheming against their target. They will secretly undermine a hero so they fail in their appointed tasks, forcing the champion's own god to punish the mortal. The gods can be patient and malicious in their revenge, for example, letting the hero witness the slow destruction of their reputation and wealth as part of a scheme to drive them to suicide. Surviving a god's spiteful scheme is the stuff of legend and nothing is more befitting of a champion than outwitting a god. Champions are however wise to avoid deliberately provoking the gods merely for an opportunity to outsmart them.

The gods hold grudges and a hero who earns the disfavour of a god can expect that god to keep interfering for a long time. Hera hounded Herakles for years and Poseidon spent a whole decade trying to kill Odysseus.


Mark Foster, 2012/10/09 21:50

another note from Jmaes from elsewhere:

cusrse are punishments handed out by the gods on those who have earned their displeasure. They are red boredered hazaard cards under the control of SL. The sit permqntly in the statuc pool of the player, coming into effect as a negative dice/value whn the description. Takes efffect. I'e' ehen the player tries to peerfrom an action. Curses can only be reomved by a god as or more powerful than the one who set it. For this purpose, consider the 15 /)@olympians as equally powerful, with the older 6 being more equal than others.

James Foster, 2013/11/24 21:47

should be careful about mentioned the gods turning up and outright killing the players. given the power difference, it is unlikely to be fun roleplay

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open/settings/6d6hellenic/divine_favour.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/01 18:41 by tregenza
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