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I am looking through the Deities & Demigods book for D&D 3.5 and it lists all the different powers and feats/salient abilities, but it does not touch on progressing your Divine Rank. Is this strictly up to the DM? Is there an XP chart for Divine Rank, or something? How does advancement as a god work? I am unable to locate any explanation.

In particular, I'm interested in how one attains Divine Rank 1 from Divine Rank 0.

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PC advancement as a deity is entirely handled by DM fiat. The rules for initially becoming a god and later becoming a more powerful god are left intentionally vague, and are intended to be totally up to the DM.

While advancement is pretty much entirely handled by DM fiat, the rest of the systems are more precisely specced. The book has clear rules for what stats you get as a god, how many salient divine abilities you get, etc.

In addition, I would very much suggest against using any material from that book. It's really not super well built, and there's a lot of stuff that's totally game breaking. There's no balance in the power of the salient divine abilities, and there's a lot of poorly written rules that can lead to weirdness down the line.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that balance was the point of the book so much as having statistical representations of deistic qualities. After all, they're gods. They don't need to be balanced. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, but if you make a book that contains tons of mechanics and little fluff, you should probably at least make the mechanics work together. :) I would argue that statting out gods at all is a mistake, and this book just encourages you to make that mistake worse. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Critiquing balance while saying it all works by fiat in the first place does seem somewhat out of place though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Advancement works by fiat, everything else has a bunch of systems that make it run. For certain values of "run". \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding using nothing from the book, the domains, feats, and spells are by-and-large fine. They’re balanced for player use (at least, as much as anything else is in 3.5), and none of them stand out as being particularly problematic. Pretty much agreed on everything else (ya know, the thrust of the book, rather than side-bar-esque player material shoehorned in). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:45
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The divine ranks are broken up into groups of 5, with a description for set. The description provides a numerical value for the number of worshippers a god must have to be within each band, along with some other requirements. For worshippers, as an example, this goes as follows:

0: They may have some worshipers.

1-5: A demigod has anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand devoted mortal worshipers and may receive veneration or respect from many more.

6-10: Lesser deities have anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of worshipers.

11-15: They have hundreds of thousands of mortal worshipers

16-20: may have millions of mortal worshipers

21+: beyond the ken of mortals and care nothing for worshipers.

Lets break this down. At the lowest (0) and higher end (16+) ranks the language used is not restrictive, and does not indicate that beings of these ranks must have at least and not more than a certain number or worshippers to possess these ranks. At the intermediate levels (1-15) the language used is restrictive, and indicates that such beings must have worshippers within the band in order to be a being of that rank. An argument could be made that 'some' is intended to refer to numbers less than 'a few hundred', but that we'll ignore that for now.

Lets say we have a god at rank 4. He wants to progress to a higher rank. What can he do?

A rank 4 Deity is within ranks 1-5 so he currently has the following:

These entities, called demigods, are the weakest of the deities. A demigod can grant spells and perform a few deeds that are beyond mortal limits. A demigod has anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand devoted mortal worshipers and may receive veneration or respect from many more. A demigod controls a small godly realm (usually on an Outer Plane) and has minor control over a portfolio that includes one or more aspects of mortal existence. A demigod might be very accomplished in a single skill or a group of related skills, gain combat advantages in special circumstances, or be able to bring about minor changes in reality itself related to the portfolio.

Rank 5 would have the same description, so there's nothing he can do to get that but beg his DM. Rank 6, however, is rank 6-10 so:

Called lesser deities, these entities grant spells and can perform more powerful deeds than demigods can. Lesser deities have anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of worshipers and control larger godly realms than demigods. They also have keener senses where their portfolios are concerned.

So we have

  • perform more powerful deeds
  • Have 'few thousand to tens of thousands' worshippers
  • control larger godly realms
  • keener portfolio senses

as the differences. If our would-be lesser deity achieves any of these, he no longer meets the requirements for being a demigod, at which point three things can happen:

  • He can't ever really achieve any of these because he's a demigod and so reality adjusts itself to prevent him from accomplishing any of these. If he converts worshippers that would put him above the limit, old ones must stop worshipping him. If he expands his godly realm too much (i.e. to a size greater than that of the lesser deity with the smallest realm), he will lose control of it and get a new one of the right size or only lose control of part of it or something.
  • He can't achieve any of these and not be a lesser deity, so reality accords him the rest of the qualities, too. If he converts enough worshippers his godly realm gets bigger and he can do more stuff. If he expands his realm enough, more people worship him.
  • He doesn't meet the requirements for any Divine Ranks other than none, maybe 0, and maybe 21+. He must therefore have one of those ranks now. Presumably the DM picks one.

In both options 1 and 2 you will rank up if you ever really achieve another rank's requirements. In option 3 you might rank up if you achieve them all at once, but you could just as easily stop being a god altogether.

This, of course, only works if you start at a rank that has requirements. Unfortunately for your would-be demigod, the only requirement for being a rank 0 deity is that you can't be able to grant spells, unless your DM interprets 'some' as indicating 'less than a few hundred', in which case you have a worshipper requirement, too. Worship is much easier to change, of the two, so go with that if you can. Also, if one of your parents is divine and the other mortal, you're screwed unless you can get the mortal ascended or the other un-deified, or stop having them as parents somehow.

Many settings significantly alter these rules, and only Planescape seems to potentially actually use them as a base from which to expand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Highest is 21+, not 16+ \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I see what you’re getting at now. Yes, better. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ So by this a heretic who has gathered followers prior to gaining any divine rank would be escalated immediately based on the number of followers? Or if a PC knew this was an eventuality or something they strive for they could garner followers prior to gaining divine rank. In essence once they attained divine rank they could be sling shot from 0 - X based on how effectively they setup shop prior? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nytespade
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nytespade Yes, so long as one of the relevant rulings is the case, and the PCs/heretic has divine rank 0 somehow. Divine rank 'none' is hard to overcome. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 17:02

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