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Acropolis 1.0 - Rules, Comments, and Q&A
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:55 am    Post subject: Acropolis 1.0 - Rules, Comments, and Q&A Reply with quote

(my thanks to Xar who provided the inspiration and foundation for this game)

Rules Version 1.6

Syl's E-Mail Address: djakfrost(AT)gmail(DOT)com
Note: The above address is to be used when submitting turn orders. Subject line must contain the word "Acropolis"

Being a God

It's good to be a god, and not just because being a mortal sucks. Theoretically, you live forever, the work isn't too hard, if you screw up you can just blame your priesthood, and there's some perks - namely, wielding supernatural forces.

As a god, you have access to the Forum of the Gods. There you may converse (argue, same thing) with other gods.

The people of the Acropolis are truly pantheists - they worship all the gods, though some may favor one over others. They, along with the priesthood that serves only each particular god, are the source of all the gods' powers, either through their belief in the god's influence or through giving sacrifices to them.

Many gods have started out as demigods or heroes.

Being a Demigod

Nymph, satyr, whatever the mortals call you. Sure, you could've been a god. But in your own way, you already are a god. Hail to the demigod, baby. You can speak in the Forum of the Gods if you choose, but mostly you don't. You're content to run your own little corner of the Acropolis. It's not named after you for nothing.

You don't concern yourself with followers, sacrifices, and priesthoods like the other gods do, though occasionally the locals do leave out things for you they think you might like, especially if they have to travel through the land that bears your name.

Your power outside your little corner is limited to nonexistent, but inside it, few gods could hope to challenge you.

Being a Hero

Maybe one of your parents was a god, maybe you stumbled upon a magic item, or maybe you just found yourself at the right place at the right time, but people tell stories about you. Or maybe you tell them about yourself in the Hall of Heroes, a place set aside in the wharf district where only heroes, manifested gods, or invited high priests may enter.

There is something about you, some skill or trait that sets you above ordinary mortals. You generally go where you please, and citizens of the Acropolis expect you to know more of the lands outside of the Acropolis than anyone else.

Of course, the greatest part of being a hero is the fame. Your deeds and titles will be listed in the Hall of Heroes. And as you complete quests or survive trials, you'll likely pick up fortune along the way - measured in gold, ships, property, livestock, and magical items.

Domains

If you can name it and can't fit it in a box, you can probably be a god of it. If you need some ideas, check out Xar's list. That said, you might want to choose your domain carefully. It will provide your greatest power as well as your greatest limitations.

All deities may only have a single domain to start, and that will be their major domain. Minor domains can be acquired by spending three DSP or gaining a reputation for that domain.

A deity can have as many domains as he or she can hold onto. In fact, just because one deity has claimed it does not mean another one can't. However, each god must have a primary domain, and no two gods can have the same primary, unless one of those gods is inactive (inactive gods only have their name and rank listed). Your lesser domain can be the same as another god's primary, but I wouldn't recommend it.

If you haven't used one or more of your lesser domains in a couple turns or so, don't be surprised to see it dropped from your stats. If you haven't used your primary domain as much as one of your lesser domains, don't be surprised to see them switched.

When an event related to your domain happens in the world, or even better among deities, you can learn of it and probably find a way to turn it to your advantage.

Courts

There aren't any, strictly speaking. However, a court of all the gods can be set up if established by a 2/3 vote of all the gods. Whichever god becomes the titular head has the honor of naming The Acropolis. In the grand scheme of things, however, this doesn't mean all that much.

Beginner's Immunity

Newly created gods, demigods, and heroes are granted three turns of immunity. During these turns, the character cannot be antagonized by other players other than verbally in the Forum of the Gods or Hall of Heroes.

This immunity is forfeit if the character willingly or through negligence antagonizes another character.

Divine Strength

Each deity's power is represented by their Divine Strength (DS). Divine Strength potentially goes from 1 (the lowest) to 15 (the highest). This rank signifies your power: each turn, you can divide these points as you see fit among the various situations, and the more points you put in each one, the more you are actively trying to influence its outcome. The pool of divine strength points (DSP) is replenished each turn, depending on your PSR (Population, Sacrifices, and Reputation. more on those later). Describing how you attempt to influence the event also has an impact upon how successful you are.

Divine Strength Points and How To Use Them
You gain or lose divine strength based on the number in your priesthood, your number of sacrifices (animal or material, though if you think you can get away with it, humans, too) performed the preceding month, and your reputation. Each category can yield a max of five DSP, for a total of 15. There is such a thing as fractional DSP (FP), but a deity must use whole DSP for any action. The fractional DSP will merely be carried over until it becomes a whole DSP. Any whole DSP not used on a given turn will be forfeited.

To calculate your total DSP, add together your Priesthood Strength (PP), Sacrifice Strength (SP), and Reputation Strength (RP). Add to that any FP from your previous turn. The whole number will be your available DSP. Any number after the decimal point will be your new FS which may be donated to another player or carried over to your next turn.

All of this will be given in your turn results, so if you find this confusing or just don't want to do the math, don't worry.

There are no limits on what you can do with your DSP. You're a god, after all. Whatever your imagination allows.

Manifestations

Fully manifesting as you may be accustomed to in Pantheon or Aesir is not as viable in The Acropolis. Something of that magnitude would take at least ten DSP to accomplish. For one DSP you could appear to a single mortal in a dream or vision. For two you could take on the guise of a mortal, though if the guise is penetrated you will be immediately demanifested. For three you may make known to one follower only of your true identity without demanifesting. From there on, the gains would scale slightly more steeply, and whatever DSP you don't spend on manifesting may be spent in the regular fashion.

The drawback of manifesting is that you will only be able to see what a mortal would see in your position. You do not have the view from on high a god would normally have. Communication with your High Priest would also be limited to a vague emotional telepathy.

If two manifested gods are in the same location, the deity who spent the most DSP on their manifestation may demanifest the other. In this case, their own manifestation would take on the characteristics of the difference in DSP spent. Needless to say, if mortals witnessed such a clash, it is incredibly likely that both (or all, I suppose) deities would be banished back to the godly plane.

Deicide and Resurrection

You're immortal. A god only "dies" if they have no High Priest or priests to replace one. If this happens, it probably means you've given up on the game and don't care anyway. However, a god can be maimed or such in rare occasions, in which case it would take an expenditure of DSP to repair.

Nullification
While no god can die who has a high priest, this does not mean there aren't ways of disposing of him. Those ways are so far unknown, but it involves the god being locked away somehow, unable to exert power on the Acropolis.

Any god who dies, goes inactive, or is nullified can come back to the game eventually, nullification probably taking longer than the others. Also, any player who finds themselves in one of those situations may choose to play a new god instead.

High Priests

Every god needs a priesthood. That means you need at least one mortal to run the thing. This is the only mortal you can speak to without spending DSP. They're pretty important, so try to hold on to them. You need at least one for every temple, though as long as there's a priesthood under the guy, someone can always fill the position if he dies. But though the position can be transferred, any investment in the mortal is lost when he is. Without DSP investment, he's mostly the same as any other priest except for the communication thing. Your primary domain (or lesser domains, if you're strong enough in them) will also grant him a slight grace of a similar nature, but even the God of War should try to keep their high priests out of bar fights.

It takes the expenditure of three DSP to create a High Priest. In addition, you may only have one High Priest for every temple you control (more on those later).

It takes one DSP to ordain a priest, though this can also be done through sufficient non-DSP action.

If a regular priest is noteworthy in some way (he or she has previously been mentioned in some important capacity), it only takes two DSP to promote them to a High Priest.

Heroes of the Gods

Heroes often gain the favor of the gods (and often their enmity). In the place of a High Priest, a god may spend 5 DSP on choosing a Hero. The drawback is that this limits a god's possible DS gained through Priesthood and Sacrifices. The advantage is that the god's reputation will rise (or perhaps fall) with the Hero's fame.

Heroes do not share the same mental bond with gods that high priests do. To communicate with their hero, a god must either mediate with one of their high priests or appear in a manifestation.

A hero player may choose to be the hero of a god player if both sides agree. The same DSP must be spent, although half will be returned if the hero player decides to cancel the arrangement.

Races

Human only, sorry. Other mythical races or beings may be encountered, even controlled, but they will never fit in in The Acropolis proper. The only exception is for players who choose to be demigods. They may be whatever race they'd like.

Monthly and Feast Day Patrons

A deity can choose to exert two DSP to establish a feast day (holy day, holiday, etc.). Sacrifices to a god on this day could total the number a god receives in a month alone, and things generally go much better for a god on this day. For four more DSP, this is turned into your holy month, the pinnacle of which is the feast day, but the feast day must be established first.

The Acropolis follows a lunar calendar of exactly 28 days a month, twelve months a year. Seasons follow the same as they do in real life.

You cannot declare it in the month in which your turn is to take place.

Artifacts

Deities can imbue any object with the essence of their domain for whatever purpose, but its power will fade at the end of the month. In order to create an object of lasting effect, a major artifact, five times the amount of DSP must be put into it. If the object is living in any sense, the the magic will fade in nine months. If not, one year.

If, however, you want an object to do something that would normally require DSP but you just don't want to spend it all in one turn, you can create a lesser artifact. For example, the God of Healing could give his high priest a medicine pouch, the use of which could bring a man back from the brink of death. Once it's used the item is worthless (unless recharged with DSP), but until then... This costs no additional DSP to do, but will require some creativity on your part (nothing monumental, but you have to sell me on it). Any attempt to game the system or throw things off balance with this will be punished.

Divine Artifacts

Each god receives a gift from the Autarch when they begin the game. Unlike regular artifacts, they do not expire (unless the god does. ha ha). Their exact purpose and function are a mystery for the god to discover (much like that thing your aunt gave you which you don't know what it is). It is safe to say, however, that they are an extension of the god and the god's power. They may be used by themselves to perform some minor task, used in conjunction with a god's DSP to make the DSP action more effective, or DSP can be used in conjunction with the divine artifact, charging it up to make it more powerful.

Any DSP channeled into the artifact will fade at the turn's end, though, just like normal DSP usage. The only exception is if you permanently modify the divine artifact. By spending five times the amount of DSP that it would take to charge the divine artifact for an action in one turn, you can augment it. This augmentation lasts as long as the divine artifact does. You may only do this twice, once when your combined P/S/R equals 5 or more, the second when it reaches 10 or more. Before the 5.0 mark, the first DSP put towards augmenting the divine artifact will give it a slight boost in that direction.

If a player does not like their divine artifact, they may request to exchange it for something else so long as they have not started to augment it.

Investment

Broadly speaking, investment refers to exerting your power on or into something. Your priests are invested with your authority, and your temples are invested with your presence.

When used more specifically, however, investment takes on a different meaning. If you directly and explicitly control a person (like a high priest), place (like a temple), or thing (like an artifact), you can put your power into it. For example, the God of Law could spend one DSP to further invest his temple, causing a feeling of anxiety in anyone who has broken the law. In general, this is less effective than a major artifact, but more lasting than a lesser artifact. Unlike a major artifact, there is no set duration. And while it's not one use only like a minor artifact, rely on it too much and it loses its efficacy.

Investments are limited by the vessel, both in number and strength.


Temples

If you want sacrifices, you need to have a place for them. They are, in essence, the base of your worldly influence. While not having a temple isn't as bad as not having a high priest, it's pretty close. Every god will start with one, though for the beginning god, it's more of a shrine (your High Priest being the crazy guy taking care of it). As well as taking sacrifices and serving other ritual-like needs, temples also determine the size of your priesthood. 500 priests (including the High Priest) is the max per temple. It takes three DSP to establish a new temple (investing it with your essence, basically. securing the building itself should be done with more worldly means), and it takes five temples with the full complement of priests to get the max PP for that category. You can create a temple without a High Priest to run it, but until you have one, it's basically nothing more than a shrine.

How you choose to categorize or run these temples is entirely up to you.

Priesthood

These are the people that have dedicated their lives to your service. They see to the maintenance of your temple, take sacrifices, follow the instructions of the temple's high priest, and perform other actions as needed. As noted elsewhere, it takes 1 DSP or sufficient non-DSP action to ordain a priest. Each temple can hold up to 499 priests, and they are considered to belong to that temple unless reassigned to another. While they have dedicated their lives to your service, this does not necessarily mean that they do not worship other gods. Unless you forbid it, which would likely have some consequences, they will continue to sacrifice to other gods as needed.

Sacrifices

In order to gain your favor, the citizens of The Acropolis sacrifice something of value to you. It could be livestock, fine incense, a slave (again, human sacrifice would be very tricky), or whatever you can imagine. But if you couldn't buy it at a market, you probably won't gain anything by sacrificing it. The value has to be material, and to be fair, the value will be measured in a material sense against the sacrifices of other gods. Basically, your essence cannot enter the material world without some material essence leaving it.

The ritual or attitudes of these petitioners is entirely up to you. Generally, however, the sacrifice must take place in one of your temples.

The accumulation of this 'wealth' offered to you is usable by you as DSP. This is also the only whole DSP you can give or trade to another god.

Reputation

Each deity starts with a reputation of .3 and can have a max reputation of 5.0. The lower end of the scale means the mortals of the Acropolis know of you, but they don't (yet) think much of you. The other end of the scale means they have complete faith in you and think you're everything a god should be.

The strength of your reputation says nothing about how they perceive you, however. A really wicked god and a really good one both could be 100%. This perception, though not affecting DSP gains, will have other effects, which could lead to schisms, domain changes, and so forth.

Extra-territoriality

The map as described should be considered your stage, but do not let this dissuade you from performing actions off stage, so to speak. Things will come at The Acropolis from outside, so it's only fair to let you venture outside. You can trade, war, quest, and so on. Just keep in mind that what occurs on stage is more important and more permanent.

Oaths and Consequences

Most gods lie. Some of them lie a lot. I hold no responsibility, though if any try to pull the wool over my eyes... *shakes fist menacingly*

Other Stuff
You are all gods (or heroes) of a single city. You may notice I have used the word "antagonize" in place of "attack" a few times. The people don't necessarily expect you to work together, but if you work against each other it's very bad to do so in a way that's detrimental to the city itself.

In fact, if you want to increase your DSP, it's almost a given that you're going to have to increase the size of the city which will in turn benefit the other gods (though if you do so skillfully, you more than them).

Events will occur that will force all of you on the same side. The best you can do in such situations is to make yourself look best, gain advantage.

Competition against each other is still possible, encouraged, even, but you have to be less direct, more tricky about it.

As in Aesir, DSP cannot be given to another god carte blanche. I recommend you exchange services or sweet talk the other god to get something from his or her domain. The exceptions to this are Fractional DSP (FP) and Sacrifice DSP (SP). If this occurs frequently, though, expect to see a corresponding decrease or increase in reputation, and people offering sacrifices may start cutting out the middle man.

Another note is that I will be implementing a risk and reward system rather than using dice or other random event generators. Putting some champion or even yourself in harm's way for a possible gain will get you stuff. If this is done with DSP, the yield will be greater than simple DSP expenditure alone. It could all go wrong, but fortune favors the bold.

There is no permanent DSP expenditure. Such actions have just been made more expensive to compensate.

Turn Submissions and Turn Results

Submit your turns on time, and we won't have any problems. No huge deal if you're a little past deadline, but the longer it is, the more likely things are to go badly for you. Don't submit by the time I send out results and you miss your turn.

Use the aforementioned address for submissions (top of page). I prefer the subject line to follow this format:
Acropolis - Deity's Name - Turn X

DSP use must be very clear (and bad math will be punished Wink). Please give as much detail as you feel necessary to get the information across, but remember that I do not need to be entertained. Summarize if at all possible.

You are allowed to submit as many non-DSP actions as you like. However, only one of those is considered to be "free" (and must be declared to be the free DSP action in your submission). Any and all other actions, except those involving artifacts, that you do not exert DSP on in that turn must be related in some shape or form in the Tales of the Acropolis. You do not have to post a long story about it, and it doesn't have to fully explain the action to other players. It does have to be what another player would expect to see if it was in their turn results, since the point is to save me from having to explain a potentially infinite amount of events to every player on every turn.

Most actions of your high priests don't fall under this restriction. If they're doing something really big, though, it will probably help your chances to post something about it or use DSP.

Unless you spend DSP specifically on making something secret, there is no guarantee of secrecy. Even then, the veil can be penetrated with sufficient perceptive force. Of course, I will do my best to not reveal something another player wouldn't have a good reason for knowing, and it can help try to be sneaky about what you're doing.

All posts in the game thread need to be literary in format. No blockquotes. No emoticons. No abbreviations. I will go as far to say that the only emphases used should be bold or italic print and punctuation only where it is appropriate. It's a given that you're speaking, so quotation marks aren't necessary, though if you're also using narrative, please use them. A little draconian, perhaps (this really shouldn't surprise most of you), but I think it will end up adding much more to your styles.

Needless to say, everything posted in the game thread should be in character and in game.

Small slips are inevitable, and if I can, I'll try to just edit them. If it gets tricky or I don't have time, though, the post itself might get deleted. This doesn't mean you can't post what you did, only that it's up to you to reformat and repost it.

I don't like cryptic hints. Never have. Anyone asking for one (not now) will receive one, and I guarantee they won't like it. I will, however, give cryptic hints out as rewards for forum activity. The more you post, the more I'll hint... or just get rewards out faster.

Only gods can post in the forum of the gods. Only heroes or manifested gods can post in the hall of heroes.

My PM box is always open, but please don't take advantage of that fact. If at all possible, ask here so that others can benefit.
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-George Steiner


Last edited by [Syl] on Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:32 pm; edited 15 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's all this about sacrifices?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question.

The object of the sacrifice is for the petitioner to give up something of value - be it an animal, incense, slave (again, human sacrifice would be very tricky), or whatever.

The ritual of the sacrifice, attitudes towards it, and so forth are entirely up to the god being petitioned.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm seriously not understanding this idea. Let's start with this: How often must every worshiper sacrifice something in order to be considered a worshiper - and, therefore, part of the count that determines Rank?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worshipers don't count toward your rank, only the number of sacrifices. The citizens of The Acropolis are opportunists - they'll sacrifice to whomever they think will help them most. Even if they prefer to sacrifice to Zeus, it won't stop them from sacrificing to Apollo if they need to be cured of the clap. Wink

Now, your priesthood is a set number counting towards your overall Divine Rank, and they will probably offer sacrifices to you as well. But unless you forbid it, they still might sacrifice to other gods. There's also a risk that if you do forbid them to sacrifice to other gods they might well find your governance too strict or your provenance lacking. They are still citizens of The Acropolis, after all.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syl wrote:

Worshipers don't count toward your rank, only the number of sacrifices.


Any idea what sort of numbers we're looking at? 100 sacrifices a month = 1 DRP, 200 = 2 DRP, etc...?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm off to bed. I'm gonna hope there's more discussion on this by the time I get up, so I'll have a clue. I am tired. Maybe more than I thought, because I really don't get it. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I understand it, the worshipers of Acropolis are more of a general pool for the God's as a whole. Whoever they offer sacrifices for, they get the blessing of. Or so they think.

Our priesthood, the followers directly involved in each God's work in the Acropolis, are the ones who count towards your DRP, in addition to whatever additional sacrifices you gain from followers.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't worked out the exact numbers yet, but right now, I'd say zero sacrifices (lets say chickens) a month = 0 DRP (lower limit), 28 sacrifices a month (one per day) = .5 DRP. 6720 sacrifices a month (four per hour over a twelve hour day in five temples over 28 days) = 5 DRP (upper limit). If anyone can graph that or provide a workable equation, I'd appreciate it. I'm an English major.

So, your sacrifices are limited by the number of temples (other factors could also come into play. for instance, it would take a huge economy to provide that much spare livestock), and they'd more or less be slaughterhouses during working hours. And to operate at that maximum capacity, those temples would have to be fully staffed.

There will be a lot of play between the three DRP factors, and gods will likely find their DRP fluctuating far more than they are used to. I don't think it will be at all uncommon for a god to have six DRP one turn and two the next, or vice versa.

Basically, mastering all three factors (and maxing out DRP) will be very hard, but balancing all three very rewarding. Likewise, becoming adept at even one could yield significant results.

That's it exactly, Balon.

You have three sources of income (paid in DRP):

1) The size of your priesthood
2) The number of sacrifices you receive (or value thereof)
3) Your reputation, given in the form of a percentage, which represents the amount of faith the citizens of The Acropolis as a whole have in your ability to get things done.

Each source can provide a maximum of 5 DRP, for a theoretical limit of 15 DRP. Realistically, though, I think anyone should be extremely pleased to have half that amount. In the event that my math is really bad or someone is really good at working the system, I might have to play the god from the machine and govern players back a little bit. If this happens, please don't take it as a sign of disapproval but as a mark of respect. I promise I will not disadvantage anyone to the point that they then lag behind someone else.
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-George Steiner


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added some stuff on venturing outside the map and the lack of permanent DRP expenditure.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So increasing the size of these three sources increases the power (DRP) of a God, yes? And one spends DRP to try and improve these three avenues in the monthly turn. Meanwhile, Gods can interact with each other - and the people of Acropolis - to improve their own position, pressumably through an open thread, and also through pm's and the like. But such plotting and schemeing is not binding, unless acted upon during the monthly turn.

Am I close?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All sounds good to me.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a preference for registering with a minor domain? If it's not chill, I'll switch to flat Luck.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Acquiring a minor domain will take either three DRP or result from your reputation (the non-percentage side of it). If your minor domain is close enough to your major, you can still use your DRP for it (giving thieves luck, say. easy). Do so often enough, and your reputation as a god of that domain is practically ensured.

You can have as many minor domains as your reputation allows.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a set amount of DRP, reputation, and worshippers for a starting Deity?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All deities will start with 1 DRP. No deity will have less than 1 DRP for any turn.

Stats for all gods will be posted, though no stats will be available until the results of turn 1 are processed. Until then, it's safe to assume you have 1 High Priest, 1 temple, 1% reputation, and zero sacrifices.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha. 1 High Priest and 1% reputation equals how many worshippers, approximately? And how widely known would a starting God be, amongst those that don't worship him/her?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the population of The Acropolis (including outlying areas) will be roughly 5000 (wild ass estimate) to start, so you have a pool of 5000 worshipers. Everyone will know of you, though only 1% are confident enough in you to consider sacrificing to you for general purposes. You'll likely get a couple sacrifices per week. This is the bare minimum, giving you that single DRP.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh! (*light bulb ignites above head) Cheers, Syl. I think I've got it now.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, instead of a prophet, we have a high priest?
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