I'd like to brainstorm a little about Godbound as symbionts.
A couple years ago, I ran a Savage Worlds campaign in which each PC was the combination of a metaphysical Song and a human Host. In game-mechanical terms, the Host was a normal fantasy-setting character, while the Song was an Arcane Background (basically a set of supernatural powers, such as "magic", "psionics", etc.) that attached itself to the Host. Songs could also pick up other abilities and the composite character used the better of the Song's or the Host's abilities in any given situation.
(Aside: The point of all this was that I wanted to run a highly-lethal old-school-type campaign, but not force players to start over from scratch every time they died. Thus, the Song served as something of a "save point", with its abilities providing a minimum capability which would automatically carry over to your next character, while other abilities would be effectively randomized as it took over the nearest available Host.)
Now I've been thinking about reviving this campaign as a Godbound game, which raises the question of how to implement the Song/Host model in the new system. My current thoughts are:
- Songs are created as Godbound characters, but without stats. Words, Gifts, Effort, Dominion, and that's about it. They start with only one Fact and gain a Fact each time they level as usual, but I'm contemplating requiring the new Fact to be taken from their Host (basically "locking in" that Fact to remain available after moving on to future Hosts).
- Potential Hosts are created by the GM as common mortal NPCs and can level up as such, becoming heroic mortals if and when a Song possesses them. The Host provides ability scores, HP, etc. and is created with four Facts as usual.
- The combined Song+Host character acts as a single entity in play, so, e.g., they only get one action per round in combat, during which the Song can use an Action gift or the Host can attack, but not both.
- The Song and Host each gain XP and levels independently, so you can have a level 5 Song in a level 1 Host, or vice-versa, if higher-level NPCs are available to become Hosts. Influence is based on the average of the two levels.
- I'm uncertain about whether to use the Host's or the Song's level for determining saves. I also keep going back and forth on whether there should be a cost for Songs to move to a new Host (loss of XP and/or Dominion?) or not.
I've probably left out some details, but does anyone see obvious flaws I've failed to address or have suggestions for how to improve on it?