demigods

How I Run Demigods

February 25, 2020 - 3 min read

The Demigods game has a published Quickstart that I’ve been using to run stuff for my Monday group. You can see the recaps here. How am I running this game, and what are my influences?

See my GM notes here. This explains how I did prep and what elements I brought in. What about stuff beyond that?

Recommended Media

The game itself is obviously based on stuff like “Good Omens”, “Percy Jackson”, etc. etc. I listed some of those touchstones earlier, here. Here’s some other touchstones that are easy to jump into: music, trailers, and short clips.

Mechanics

The Demigods Quickstart has a lot of material on building PCs, but almost nothing for opposition - just a note on how much Harm a typical weapon will do (pro tip: guns don’t work against people with Epic Armor).

In general, I run the opposition in tiers, from lowest power to highest power:

  • Magical mooks (e.g. shark-men in tactical gear)
  • Supernatural beings (e.g. dragons, angels)
  • Other demigods
  • Actual gods

Mooks should only be dangerous in numbers. Supernatural beings should put up a good fight and do some Harm, but not win against the Weave. Individual demigods can present a challenge, but ought to be treated as “bosses”: they have a gimmick, and within that gimmick they’re going to win, and the goal is to get them off their home turf. Actual gods should crush demigods, unless you really build up to it - the outcome of a story arc.

In general the dice are there to tell you interesting things to do with the story. Demigods don’t fail, unless confronted with some greater power. If they blow it, make a hard move, but make them feel the significance of why it didn’t work. Don’t be a slave to the dice - honor the roll, but don’t feel like you can’t be creative in what it means.

Tonally

I’m basically making an action-drama-comedy-fantasy TV show happen, by putting actors into situations and letting them do stuff. What matters most is people, and what they feel. The gods might have inscrutable goals, but like all of humanity’s created gods, they’re still recognizably human in ways. Find the humanity in the mystical.

Similarly, when you are narrating a character or a scene or anything, ask yourself, “what about this is magical?” If you don’t have an answer, come up with an answer. The bank teller is surrounded by a halo of light because they just got married and are super happy. There’s miniature dragons nesting at the local supermarket. You see a ghost’s reflection in the mirror.

Demigods live in two worlds. Always keep them balanced on that knife’s edge.

demigods