Role-playing design notes

Random notes on the design of Gods & Monsters, and maybe even Men & Supermen if I can remember what I was drinking when I wrote it.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

Partial Spirits, Divine Manifestations, Flavor Text, and Concentration

Jerry Stratton, March 21, 2004

These changes affect the books Divine Lore, the Encounter Guidebook, Arcane Lore, the Adventure Guide’s Handbook, and the Gods & Monsters rulebook.

Most of these have something to do with divine spirits.

Spirit Drain

I’ve added a new specialty for prophets that allows a prophet to use part of a called spirit. If a prophet wishes to use a spirit manifestation at a level lower than the level of the spirit, they can do so if they have the specialty Spirit Drain. The spirit loses one level (besides the level of the manifestation) in the process.

Let’s say that Valono, now sixth level, has a sixth level animal spirit. He wants to manifest Animal Tracks but only needs it to manifest at level two. Since Valono has the Spirit Drain specialty, he can do so. The spirit loses two levels for manifesting at second level, and one level for manifesting partially. Valono now has a third level animal spirit “left over”.

Spirit Manifestations

Earth Shot infuses pebbles with divine power, making them more effective when used in a sling against the morally-opposed enemies.

Divine Custody will warn the prophet whenever the target creature is endangered.

The first-level Bless/Curse was broken into Bless/Defile and Divine Favor/Disfavor. Divine Esteem was added for third level as a more powerful version of divine favor (but which requires constant concentration and chanting).

Divine Greatness allows the prophet to channel divine greatness into one ability score.

Flavor Text

A tiny paragraph on flavor text has been added to the “Encounter Entries” section of “Designing Adventures”.

When writing flavor text or describing an encounter to the players, consider what their characters see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel, and what they taste. If you find flavor text difficult to write (but find it easier to have flavor text than to describe encounters impromptu), first list what, if anything, the characters would see, hear, smell, feel, and/or taste. List these sensations in order.

After you write the flavor text, you’ll write information that only the Guide knows, but which the characters might discover through careful searching or judicious use of logic. Remember that there is never any need to hide things from the Guide. The more relevant information you can give to the Guide, the more prepared the Guide will be for all the strange ideas players come up with.

This is especially useful if you expect other Guides to use the adventure, but it is also helpful for you: it is amazing what you’ll end up temporarily forgetting in the heat of a really good game session.


A section on concentration was moved from Arcane Lore (where it applied only to sorcerors) to the main rulebook, where it applies to sorcerors, prophets, and monks.

  1. Inscription Fix ->