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💀 Necro [Basic D&D] What was the Immortals Set like?

Rolzup

Dinoczar
Validated User
With our 4e game having come to an end, we've been discussing various and sundry alternatives for the future. For now, we seem to have settled on Savage Wrolds, which is growing on me with increasing speed.

But during our back-and-forth, I mentioned an idea that I'd had for Epic-Level 4e play -- Legbreakers of the Gods -- and recieved the suggestion that it might work with Basic's Immortal rules. Which were, I think, in the Big Compendium?

But these rules, I know from nothing.

Not that this game is likely to happen anytime soon, but even so -- what can you all tell me about the Immortals? Wieldy, or un?
 

Lord Crimson

Prophet of Darkness
Validated User
I don't think the RC actually had any rules on Immortals. Just a vague idea of what they were and that higher level PCs were assumed to be gunning to become one. Some stuff about the Spheres and planes, maybe.

The original Gold Box Immortal Rules were, as I understand, extremely vague for a whole boxed set (I never got a chance to buy it in my youth and haven't had a chance to peruse it). And the latter Wrath of the Immortals set had some other issues (again, I cannot verify, as I didn't own it).
 

timbannock

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Correct, no Immortal rules in the RC. You can probably get them (or something very, very close, and maybe even cleaned up a little) in one of the old school clones out there now. Swords & Wizardry, maybe? I can't recall, but I'm sure you can poke around asking about the old school D&D clone games out now and find one that has it, because I KNOW it's out there, and likely free, which makes it really easy to peruse ;-)
 

JoeNotCharles

Registered User
Validated User
The original D&D Immortals rules were published in the gold-box Set 5: Immortals. The Rules Cyclopedia collected Sets 1-4, but not the Immortals rules. Then the boxed set Wrath of the Immortals contained a mega-adventure, giant gazeteer of Immortals, plus a revision of the rules from the gold box for playing Immortals. I've heard they differ significantly (less clunky), but I don't know the details.

The Wrath of the Immortals rules involved each immortal having a Power Level which determined how many Power Points they had, and a list of powers and attributes which each cost Power Points to use. Most cost temporary Power Points (refilled to equal your permanent Power Points at the beginning of each day) but powers the create permanent objects, such as creating an artifact or magic weapon to bestow on a follower, creating a new physical body for yourself, or creating or altering a plane, cost permanent Power. Rather than earning Experience Points, once you become Immortal you start earning Power Points directly: there was a conversion guideling where 1 PP = 100,000 XP or something like that. Which means that spending too many permanent Power Points can cause you to lose a level.

Dark Dungeons, the free retroclone of the Rules Cyclopedia, also contains the rules for playing Immortals from Wrath of the Immortals, although I think they changed some of the terminology (like having you keep earning XP after becoming an Immortal, and just having you spend XP directly to create things, just by multiplying all the costs by 100,000 or whatever it was).
 
The original D&D Immortals rules were published in the gold-box Set 5: Immortals. The Rules Cyclopedia collected Sets 1-4, but not the Immortals rules. Then the boxed set Wrath of the Immortals contained a mega-adventure, giant gazeteer of Immortals, plus a revision of the rules from the gold box for playing Immortals. I've heard they differ significantly (less clunky), but I don't know the details.
The Gold Box rules had:

  • Immortals had 6 broad ranks rather than levels
  • There were limited numbers of Immortals at each rank, and there are tournaments and "Olympic Games" to determine who can rise a rank.
  • Much space is given over to the nature of 5-dimensional space, and how 3d, 4d and 5d creatures interact when they're aligned along different dimensions.
  • Gold Box Immortals are not gods, and are not worshipped by clerics.

The Wrath of the Immortals rules involved each immortal having a Power Level which determined how many Power Points they had, and a list of powers and attributes which each cost Power Points to use. Most cost temporary Power Points (refilled to equal your permanent Power Points at the beginning of each day) but powers the create permanent objects, such as creating an artifact or magic weapon to bestow on a follower, creating a new physical body for yourself, or creating or altering a plane, cost permanent Power.
Yep.

Most of that applies to the Gold Box version as well, although the big differences are:

  • WotI Immortals have 36 levels split into 6 groups of 6 (corresponding to the old Gold Box ranks).
  • WotI drops the 5-dimensional stuff.
  • WotI Immortals are worshipped by clerics, and clerics of each Immortal get a different special ability.

Rather than earning Experience Points, once you become Immortal you start earning Power Points directly: there was a conversion guideling where 1 PP = 100,000 XP or something like that. Which means that spending too many permanent Power Points can cause you to lose a level.
I don't think you can voluntarily spend enough points to lose a level. But yes, the conversion is simply 1pp = 100,000xp

Dark Dungeons, the free retroclone of the Rules Cyclopedia, also contains the rules for playing Immortals from Wrath of the Immortals, although I think they changed some of the terminology (like having you keep earning XP after becoming an Immortal, and just having you spend XP directly to create things, just by multiplying all the costs by 100,000 or whatever it was).
That's right. The Dark Dungeons rules for Immortals are a pretty much exact match to the WotI ones mechanically. However, I did do a lot of clean-up; including:

  • Running with the 1pp=100,000xp equivalence by simply listing the cost of things in xp; that way there's no confusion between spending power and spending power points any more. You spend xp or power points.
  • Rearranging the various miscellaneous abilities that WotI Immortals had and giving them a consistent format (calling them "Immortal Level Spells").
 
In general terms, Immortals are basically a whole order of magnitude above mortal characters. They're immune to mortal level magic, and even a 30th level party would have trouble taking out a 1st level Immortal.

However, they're more like cosmic level superheroes than traditional gods. They don't have "spheres" or "domains" or anything like that. So you won't get an Immortal "of" war or an Immortal "of" death or whatever - they're fundamentally people with personalities and goals like anyone else.

The power level involved is immense compared with most D&D characters. For example there are rules for creating and moving around entire solar systems and planes and these rules are designed to be used by PCs. In most campaigns the sheer power level of Immortals is held in check by "councils" and such like who make sure that Immortals don't break the world by fighting in it. Usually there's a "no direct intervention on the Prime Plane" rule for that very reason, enforced by Immortals of all alignments.

In terms of game play, in my experience it plays a lot like a social-oriented game such as V:tM or Ars Magica. On the one hand you're phenomenally powerful, but on the other hand so are your peers and you know you're just small fry compared to some of the people you interact with; and there's a Masquerade-like prohibition on simply going out and using your power amongst mortals. This, combined with the fact that the mechanics are such that Immortals have much better defences than attacks (so trying to kill another Immortal takes lots of careful planning - you don't just get into a brawl and end up with one of you dead), means that most of the time is spent politicking with your rivals while using a combination of minions and "mortal forms" (temporary mortal avatars which don't have your full power set - kind of like Thor becoming Donald Blake) to undermine their schemes and further your own.
 

JoeNotCharles

Registered User
Validated User
I don't think you can voluntarily spend enough points to lose a level. But yes, the conversion is simply 1pp = 100,000xp
Doesn't that mean that when you're level 35, you can create universes, but as soon as you tip over to level 36, when you should be more powerful, suddenly you can't even create a magic sword any more?
 

JohnBiles

Registered User
Validated User
In terms of game play, in my experience it plays a lot like a social-oriented game such as V:tM or Ars Magica. On the one hand you're phenomenally powerful, but on the other hand so are your peers and you know you're just small fry compared to some of the people you interact with; and there's a Masquerade-like prohibition on simply going out and using your power amongst mortals. This, combined with the fact that the mechanics are such that Immortals have much better defences than attacks (so trying to kill another Immortal takes lots of careful planning - you don't just get into a brawl and end up with one of you dead), means that most of the time is spent politicking with your rivals while using a combination of minions and "mortal forms" (temporary mortal avatars which don't have your full power set - kind of like Thor becoming Donald Blake) to undermine their schemes and further your own.
Mortal forms are very useful because while they are weaker than an Immortal, you can do whatever you want in them without the usual limits put on Immortals. So if you are Karrash (an Orcish Immortal of the sphere of Energy) and the Company of the Ten Monkeys kills your high priest, you can't strike at them directly as Karaash unless they are foolish enough to invade your home plane, but you could take on your mortal identity of Gian Asskicker, high level fighter, and go hack them into kibble. Of course, adventurers being what they are, they may end up hacking YOU into kibble, but them's the breaks.

Immortals are organized into five squabbling factions: Matter (Earth), Energy (Fire), Thought (Air), Time (Water), and Entropy. They constantly squabble over how the world should work. And Immortals have petty, personal feuds over who stole the stapler 3000 years ago. If you successfuly thwart a foe's major plans or overthrow one of his major groups of worshippers, you can weaken him.
 

TRM

Infrequent Poster
Validated User
Doesn't that mean that when you're level 35, you can create universes, but as soon as you tip over to level 36, when you should be more powerful, suddenly you can't even create a magic sword any more?
Presumably an Immortal invested the power to create universes into becoming level 36, and needs time to gather more power.
 
Presumably an Immortal invested the power to create universes into becoming level 36, and needs time to gather more power.
Yep. By going up to level 36 you are effectively spending the spare xp that you could have used for creating universes on making yourself harder instead.

Also, the magic sword example is unlikely because we're talking about having an experience total in the hundreds of millions and creating a magic sword would only need a couple of thousand - so the odds of having gained exactly enough to go up that level without having enough left to make the sword are fairly remote.
 
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