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Great Ork Gods talks about what to do if you've got fewer players than there are Gods, but what if we have more than seven players? It'd be very unfair, I think, to have a player with an Ork but no God--they wouldn't get any automatic easy difficulties, or earn Spite during play.

How should we distribute the Gods if there are more players than Gods?

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I never intended it to be played by more than seven players. And that, if you want a canonical answer to the question, is that.

I would suggest that you split one of the major gods (i.e. Slashings and Slayings, or That Which Guards the Gate) into two smaller spheres of responsibility if you want to do this. You could, perhaps, divide That Which Guards The Gate into deaths in combat (I would call this god The Path To Glory) and deaths outside of combat (I would call this god Mockings and Failings) but you are ultimately treading ground I didn't write the game for, so innovate as you see fit.

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By the rules

According to the rule book, in the Assigning the Gods section, the DM is supposed to start this process by putting out as many god cards as there are players. Technically, the game would stall at this point. Eliding that little problem, you'd end up with the person or people who happened to roll worst not having a god card.

However, as you point out, this seems like it might be unsatisfying. Here are some approaches to how you might handle it and how they (or similar things) worked out in my games.

Roll with it

Since the gods hate you, none of them favor you. Better luck next time. I think this works out from two different examples.

First, no game has an equal balance of gods between the players. Only in the case of seven players do they even have the same number of gods each. Surely even then, the gods are called on at different rates. This setup has an inherent tendency to self-balance. The more spite each god spends, the more players fail, the less spite the gods get.

Second, I once ran a game wherein a player used spite exactly once. She had earned more than a dozen by the end of the game. It didn't impact her orks at all compared to the other players'. This may be because the antagonism dynamic in the group was Team Gods vs. Team Orks, up to and including players spiting their own orks. There was zero antagonism between players per se. In this scenario, I would say the same overall spite was spent as compared to my other experience, due to the above-mentioned feedback loop.

If your table tends to be more player-player adversarial (as if their ork(s) could somehow win), this route is much less likely to work out.

Find a new god

Make a new god by either splitting responsibilities of an existing one or defining a new category. Throwing came up a good amount in the games I've run, and it was often a toss up between Pounding Stone Lifting Rock and Slashings and Slayings.

I considered making this official to balance out two gods per player in a four man game, and opted not to. From a game play perspective, I as DM found myself wishing there was one more often than I ended up calling for the gods that were used less, such as the un-orky Lying Tongue Twisting Words and the cowardly Sneekings and Peekings. There's definitely enough room for more gods in the pantheon if you feel the need to balance out actions taken. It would reduce the spite from the more heavily used gods, but would give potentially more spite under the succeed-with-your-own-god rule.

Pool the spite

Consider sharing the decision making between all the players, and giving each god their own spite pool. This is more or less how my tables ended up running anyway. My players spontaneously decided to role play reasons for why their god was adding spite to any given roll. Maybe three quarters of the rolls went unremarked, while the others all solicited some commentary or other about why a god wouldn't like it. The players would happily suggest reasons various gods would add spite, regardless of the controlling player. The commentary worked best when the ork and I were very descriptive about what was happening, and the players all maintained an non-adversarial mindset. I did notice the more outgoing and enthusiastic players more often suggest things, and thus got their ideas implemented. This didn't seem to be a problem for anyone at the table.

Share the hate

On the less supported-by-experience side, you could allow the gods to capriciously change players. There are a number of options here.

  • Rotate once in a while (say, every half hour or scene break)
  • Rotate any time they're used
  • Redo the Assigning portion halfway through the game, in the reverse of the original dice order.

You could also have a god's spite tokens move with him, but I'd recommend letting players keep the spite they've earned.

Unfortunately, the closest experience I have to this is when one player left the room. Their god was called for, so I just had the player seated next to him choose instead. The absent player got the spite for success, and there was no notable side effect (either in game or socially at the table).

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    \$\begingroup\$ What effect would each of your suggestions have on the game? How would they change or preserve the game's antagonistic themes, or modify the balance of power? If you haven't played with these changes, what source are you drawing on to figure out what effect they'll have? My group can brainstorm all kinds of untested speculative solutions just fine. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Nov 4 '16 at 1:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't realize quite what you were looking for in an analysis. If things like balance of power and antagonism are important to you, then they should be edited into the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Nov 4 '16 at 4:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Every question can be assumed to expect answers to talk about why the advice is advisable, what effect it can be expected to have, and how the answerer came to their conclusions. That's just basic "how to write a good answer" stuff. Unsupported speculation is not what the Stack is for. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Nov 4 '16 at 6:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Meta/policy reference on what BESW is saying: Is homebrew an acceptable answer to a question? Homebrew answers are expected to be playtested, and to be able to speak about the kinds of results it produced in actual play so we can be advised on whether it's the appropriate solution for a Great Ork Gods playgroup. "You could do this, but I've never tried it and don't know how it'll work out" is the kind of unsupported speculation we're trying to avoid as a site in homebrew answers. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 4 '16 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would support the 'Find a New God' and 'Share the Hate' options. If you try them, let me know how it works out and I might add them to future rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Aidley Nov 9 '16 at 22:46

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