Anyone have any notes or session reports from play for A&A? I want to live vicariously through you!

So, any word on the new edition?


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Talked about this and other things on the latest episodes of Hobbs & Friends of the OSR podcast if anyone is interested.

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You can listen to Greg (and me) talk about A&A on the latest episode of Hobbs & Friends of the OSR!

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for Ambitions & Avarice 2e development

Special Thanks to
- G+ Friends for keeping the fires lit
- Reading Percy Jackson to my kids at night
- Playing Pillars of Eternity

----- Meta Discussion -----
I have always found D&D deities lacking in certain things. They don't map very well onto the alignment system, since Gods often transcend moral matters for earthlings. There are some neat things in D&D afterlife (particularly Forgotten Realms) but I have never found the designs to be comprehensive or truly satisfying. I find that these systems are almost exclusively used to min-max character builds and not to think about how that character truly feels about the world or how the world truly WORKS.

Early on I made the decision to build an implied setting into A&A 2e. This involves bringing in Deities and OD&D Alignment (Law vs Chaos only, no Good vs Evil). So I have been thinking about those things for a while now. Finally, the mind tumbling has born fruit.

----- Soul Economy -----

Souls have a point value equal to their average attribute value.

1 to 3 : Small Animals
4 to 6 : Large Animals
7 to 9 : Weak humanoids (goblins, kobolds, etc)
10 to 11: Average humanoids
12 to 14 : Exceptional humanoids
15 to 18 : Monstrous beings (giants, trolls, etc)
19 to 24 : Demigods
25 to 29 : Minor Gods
30 or more : Major Gods

Each living being is formed and given a soul from latent magical energy on the ethereal plane. When they die, their soul energy goes back to the ethereal plane.This is the circular flow of souls and magical energy through the world. A large portion of energy belongs to non-sentient beings and flows as a neutral background.

However, a portion of the energy is controlled by the faith of the sentient beings on the mortal plane. The energy flow gives power to the deities commanding that faith and thus creates a field of competition. If the faith of a sentient being grows strong enough for a deity, that soul's magical energy will align to that deity. The more energy aligned to a deity, the more real world influence they have to intercede in mortal affairs.

If a dying being is aligned to a deity, their energy will flow to that deity in death. Their soul will either serve the deity permanently as an ethereal spirit or dissolve peacefully into that deity's portfolio. When the deity takes action in the mortal realm, this stored energy is used to power that intercession.

Birth and creation draws magical energy uniformly from all deities. This creates a natural entropy that all deities must work against. A deity that stagnates in their duties will slowly lose power until they are vulnerable to being preyed upon by other deities. This creates a competitive environment where the strong survive and the world endures.

----- Major Gods -----

A major god has a broad top-level portfolio like the Earth or Family. They receive small amounts of soul energy from prayers and devotional acts, as well as engaging in their portfolio (ex. building a fire gives energy to the fire god). Over time, these small acts result in enormous reservoirs of magical energy.

However, they must use a large portion of this energy to maintain their portfolio. For example, the God of Labor must expend his energy to help farmers grow their crops, maintain scholarly learning, and help artisans keep up production. If he cannot get enough support from his followers, their lack of faith will translate into crop failures, lost manuscripts, and work injuries. Because of these great responsibilities. they tend to rarely become interested in mortal affairs unless they conflict with their goals.

Major gods are incorporeal and dwell on the ethereal plane. While on the ethereal plane, a major god has nearly unlimited power and cannot be slain. However, if they manifest on the mortal world then they are assigned hit dice in proportion to their power. While in the presence of a manifestation of their portfolio, they gain hit dice in proportion to that expression. Thus if the God of the Earth is on the mortal plane but deep underground, they will be incredibly powerful. On a mountaintop surrounded by open air, they will be much weaker.

A Major God that lies with a mortal will create a Demigod. This process drains an enormous amount of energy from the deity. When that Demigod reaches maturity, there is a 25% chance they will grow into a Minor God and seize control of a single portfolio element of their parent. This may create a strong antipathy from the major god, but the rivals of the Major God will likely then ally with the new god. For example, the God of the Earth may sire a child that grows up to become the Minor God of Stones.

Two Major or Minor Gods can have a Demigod child together (if male and female) that will become a Minor God upon maturity, but it will take an entire portfolio from one of its parents when this occurs. If there are no extra portfolios, it will simply remain a demigod but have exceptional characteristics. Since the deities can share the creation energy cost of their child, this is a much safer way to create progeny.

----- Minor Gods ---

A Minor God has a limited portfolio such as death, travel, or deception. They receive soul energy in the same way as a Major God but due to their smaller portfolio they have much less power.

A Minor God that lies with a mortal will create a Demigod. This act drains a large amount of soul energy, but Minor Gods tend to lack the reserves of a Major God with an expansive portfolio. Creating progeny will likely leave them weakened for several years. Such periods will appear as disasters to mortals. For example, the weakening of the Storm God could lead to droughts. Such things can shake the faith of your followers. However, this may give the Minor God a long term ally in the child. A Minor God with powerful demigod children is much more potent than a Minor God who has undivided control of their portfolio.

Like Major Gods, Minor gods are also incorporeal and inhabit the ethereal plane. While on the ethereal plane, they have nearly unlimited power and cannot be slain. However, if they manifest on the mortal plane they become vulnerable, even more vulnerable than Major Gods.

--- Demigods ---

Demigods are semi-immortal beings that are generally tough (around 20 hit dice) with a single profound weakness (think Sampson or Achilles). Reducing a demigod to zero hit points will permanently kill them. Demigods are corporeal and limited to the mortal realm, but have the ability to communicate telepathically with anyone who prays to them. They are much easier to kill than Major or Minor Gods, but far beyond the abilities of mortals regardless.

Demigods have very limited and specific portfolios that are offshoots of their parent. For example, the god of anger might spawn a demigod of revenge, a specific form of anger. Prayers for help in achieving revenge would strengthen this demigod.

Cults forms around Demigods and they take a much more personal role in the lives of their followers. Sacrifices made in their name instantly transfer the energy of the sacrificed soul to the demigod. This connection is much stronger than the bond of a priest to a deity. Demigods also gain energy from worshipers in proportion to their strength of faith, thus highly devout followers are preferred.

A demigod may or may not have fondness for their parent. If on friendly terms, they are likely to act in a coordinated way with their parent. Regardless of affection, the parent may intercede if the demigod is gravely threatened.

A lawful demigod may be referred to as a hero or angel by their followers because of the role they play in their lives, but these terms have no substantive value. Conversely, a chaotic demigod may be referred to as a demon or devil. Despite this, there is no Christian morality or dualism in this religious system.

Demigods may serve as Champions of particular mortal races if that race (as a whole) provides a significant amount of energy to the portfolio from which that Demigod is taken. For example, if Dwarves are worshiping the Minor God of the Depths then he might sire a child with a Dwarven woman to be the Dwarven champion.

--- Death of a God ---

A god can consume another god by killing them and devouring their soul. This process will seize the defeated god's portfolio. Typically this is done by a Major God but clever Minor Gods (or even Demigods) may see it as a path to greater power and influence. Other deities are likely to think poorly of those that engage in such methods. A Minor God that seizes control of 2/3rds of a top-level portfolio will become a Major God.

--- Portfolios ---

Forces of Neutrality:
These portfolios are Neutral in alignment. They don't have any moral value.

The Earth
- Stone : Rocks, Mountains, Cliffs
- Wilds : Forests, Marshes, Savannah
- The Depths : Caves, Lava, Metals

The Void
- Cold : Snow & Ice, Tundra, Winter
- Death : Disease, Pain, Suffering
- Time : Decay, Longevity, Speed

The Luminus
- Sun: Light, Vision, Deserts
- Moon : Night Sky, Darkness, Shadows
- Fire : Fire, Heat, Prophecy

Forces of Law:
These portfolios are aligned to Law. They impose order and structure onto the natural world.

- Authority : Nobility, Tyranny, Justice
- Travel : Roads, Messengers, Commerce
- Fellowship : Guilds, Friendship, Festivals

- Study : Apprentices, Magical Research, Knowledge
- Craft : Construction, Handiwork, Machines
- Cultivation : Planting, Growth, Harvest

- Hearth : Cooking, Home, Protection
- Caretaking : Childbirth, Husbandry, Marriage
- Purity : Serenity, Honesty, Healing

Forces of Chaos:
These portfolios are aligned to Chaos. They break down order and structure.

- Corruption : Curses, Undeath, Poison
- Magic : Spellcraft, Wild Magic, Magical Creatures
- Deception : Lies, Thievery, Secrets

- Passion : Love, Lust, Youth
- Anger : Hatred, Revenge, Cruelty
- Creativity : Music & Dance, Inspiration, Illusion

- Storms : Wind, Rain, Lightning
- Sea : Water, Waves, Currents
- Violence : Murder, Warfare, Destruction

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+Roger Brasslett​ and I pimping all things Ambition & Avarice at Gamehole Con.

Hi all, just reading A&A for things to borrow for other OSR games, and I find I do like what I read. Playable monsters and the followers have piqued my interest. I am wondering how they will work in game? A level 2 party of 4 players will be 12 people strong. And it just gets more and more afterwards. I am unsure how you would do dungeon crawling with that many people. Thanks for the game, a lot of cool ideas. I hope you are better soon as a second edition sounds sweet.

Hey! I know you've previously have been in a funk, but I'm still so enthralled by this game that I poke around every once and a while to see if anything has happened. Thanks for all the great work none-the-less, and I hope for you a speedy recovery.
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