Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game (Kisiwa: 1600 BD)

Speculative evolution and forum games
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BakedToast
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Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game (Kisiwa: 1600 BD)

Post by BakedToast » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:55 pm

A Thematic Aside about god games on the forum:
Itzan was the first god game on a forum that I have ever played, and it will always hold a special place in my heart (which is why I made the audiobook version of it). The idea of accruing followers to show your worth as a god was a good one, and it definitely centered around play where realistic religions could develop, because the religions were trying to convert mortals in order to strengthen their deities and ended up behaving much like IRL cultures, ideologies, and religions do.
We launched a successor game, Carnac, a while back after Itzan died, following on an almost identical premise. A similar scenario resulted, although it was much more short-lived.

Looking back on these two games, I came to the conclusion that while follower-count scoring is an interesting metric for judging the rank of various gods, I found it to be too quantitative, and also seemed to be more a measure from a mortal's perspective.
I also found that in the above two games, the rule-creation system at the beginning was very fun and interesting, but that ultimately during gameplay, rules were often bent or occasionally outright broken, with little concern or care from the gods that another had broken a rule; (except for one particularly salty deity in the first game, we won't mention any names).

Following other discussions we had on the forum about the meta-feel of god games and other games, players seemed disgruntled by the fact that they became political/societal too quickly, especially on a forum about speculative evolution. Many players avoided playing god games because they didn't have enough evolution in them, and other players avoided evolution games because they were looking for a more role-play type of feel to their games.

So, I thought for a while, and came up with the below idea for a god game. The basic premise of this game is that while we are gods, our world is still organic and built around the core processes and ideals of evolution, and so while there will be room for god complexes, roleplay, and scandals, there will also be room for biomes, lifeform evolution, development of sentience, and a whole host of other things. This will allow players to become attached to the world not only for the sake of their own deity, a society, a religion, or a specific mortal (although this can still definitely occur), but to also become attached to the world for the sake of the world itself, its ecosystem, and the evolving creatures living therein. Furthermore, when it comes to rules and behaviors of deities, in this game every deity will be taking on a physical form, meaning that disagreements about what is and isn't allowed will be solved in the physical universe by discourse or force, not by meta-discussion. There won't be a "divine pact", but groups of deities may still attempt to make or enforce one organically if they so choose. Scoring, also, will not be attributed to worshipers, particularly because we will be evolving the world from the ground up, and thus sentient worship won't be available right from turn one. Scoring will instead be done based on "divine merit", things that are considered great by the world itself, who will be a silent arbiter of the actions of the deities (the world itself will be roleplayed by me, the GM).

So, hopefully, this does two things: encourage more players to join, due to a wider interest area and a wider scope of actions remaining relevant, and also keep the game interesting for longer, since population isn't the scoring metric.

Initial Setting:
In the beginning, there were none. The world was silent, lifeless, with no voice to fill its emptiness. Then something happened. Even the one who came first did not know what.
But then there was one. Nameless, it echoed throughout the silent island, a voice with no substance, a shout with no content. And it was the first god. And it did not want to be alone.
And thus, from the first was birthed the second. From the first and the second was birthed the third. The first and the second then fought over who would birth the fourth with the third, and after a harsh battle which lasted a century, the first won over the second; and although the third did not wish it, the first and the third together birthed the fourth.
They four traveled the island together for centuries, looking about at its lifeless void. And despite their past grievances, they decided it was time; time to give birth to much, much more. But they knew that there had to be more than simply birthing more. Until now, there has been only four. No reason for names, or for any distinctions, other than the order in which they had come forth. And maybe more than these four would come forth...



You all play as physically existing deities on a currently [mostly] empty world. Your goal will be to gain prestige and fame amongst both gods and mortals alike for great feats of creation/evolution over the history of the world. These "points of divine merit", if you will, will be awarded by me, the GM, upon various laudable actions.
An Interesting Twist:
Since you are persistantly physically existing, you must have a physical form (although this form can evolve, over time, the form you decide upon now is your starting/default form), and you will always be somewhere physically present in the world. Being physically present also means that you/I will be keeping tabs on your physical location turn by turn; when making an action is a certain area, you will be required to be physically present or nearby in order to do the action in that area. Perhaps, think of yourselves less as "gods" and more as "minor gods" or "Titans", or "Giants". You all live in the world as well. This also means that in-character communication between deities can only be feasibly done when deities are in proximity with each other, unless some form of sending messages is evolved to carry messages to other far-away deities. Deities may also hide one from another, fight one another, be robbed while sleeping, etc, which should develop some interesting role-play shenanigans.


The world is small, and consists of a single island the size of New Guinea; 462,840 square kilometers, surrounded by a deep ocean. Currently, the island is simply bare exposed bedrock rising above the ocean, with small lichens and microscopic life. The ocean also is already seeded with microscopic plankton and other minute life forms. (This is designed to aid players in skipping the micro-bio part of creation/evolution so that they can focus on larger creatures, thus keeping the development of the ecosystems interesting and kickstarting their development.)

A few housekeeping rules/statements:
1. Turns will start at 100 years each, until Sapience develops, or until players mutually decide to "zoom in" on time, at which point turns will slow to 20 years. Conversely, depending on how players feel, we may keep the turns going at 100 years regardless. We'll figure that out when we get there.

2. You can do more than one action per turn, but please keep it respectable. If you want a hard limit, I will cap actions at 3 actions per turn. These actions can be as vague or as described as you please.

3. I myself will be attempting to refrain from stepping in as a deity myself, as I will try to solely be the arbiter/narrator of the world and it's situations.

4. Turn actions results will be determined by an unweighted roll of a d100. Even gods are not perfect here. The degree of your success/failure will be dependent on the roll, while the extent of your success/failure will be dependent on the nuances of the action itself.

Introductions:
At first, all the deities will be present at the center of the island. They will introduce themselves with their name, and a description of their physical appearance, as well as whether they were ranked the First, Second, Third, or Fourth, relevant to the initial story. This will be especially important for the first 4 players, as these ranks give these players a bit of the backstory as seen above, and these first four deities will recieve a "Bonus Fame point" for being one of the first four.
Players beyond the four can simply come in order - fifth, sixth, etc, and can, if they wish, choose from the prior deities two which they will call their "parents". We will wait until we have at least four deities present before beginning the first turn; in the meantime, said deities can interact with each other and make discussion about where they see this world going in their eyes.
Players can join after the initial gameplay has begun as well, "Dropping In", and going through the same above introduction process. They will also begin at the center of the island when they initially drop in.
World-Shaping:
The deities will initially act to determine the geography and features of this island; the island will officially support 3 large biomes, which will be created in a first-come first serve scenario; of course, micro-biomes and other anomalies can and probably will be created as well at some point, but for now the gods will stick with three.
Edit: These three biomes have been chosen; the Terrestrial Coral Reefs of the West, The Swampy Marshlands of the East, and the Tropical Rain-forests between them.


After which they will begin to build and evolve its ecosystem, creating basic flora and fauna and guiding them through the evolutionary process in a form of theistically-guided evolution. Or, they may modify the geography itself; or, perhaps, engage in interaction with other gods; or, anything else the gods could possibly want to do.

Since turns are 100 years apart, life will focus around fast paced evolution; for example, a species of fish may evolve limbs in the short span of a century, aided by the divine power of a nearby deity.

Eventually, sentience/sapience will either be created, or will develop on its own, and will most definitely play into the fame and feats of the gods.

There is no stipulation for lifeforms or ecosystems to be 100% logical; for example, a species of rock-creatures (that is, creatures made of stone), could theoretically exist and evolve over time alongside everything else. As long as the god creating or evolving creations can reasonably explain their behaviour to the other gods, it is acceptable.

Starting Deity Template:
Name: __________
Rank: __________ (First, Second, Third, etc)
Parents: _______ and _________
Physical Appearance: ________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Due to the [REDACTED] pandemic, I have been set aside at home for at least two weeks, and I am hoping that this will give me a at least a minuscule amount of time for this (hence limiting actions to 3 a turn), and that I can keep up with this game. Here's hoping this one stays alive for a while!
Last edited by BakedToast on Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 9 times in total.
"Greater than I, none. Less than I, none. For I am Chayrus. All shall be one, as I am."

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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by Burger Cat » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:42 am

Name: Solosis
Rank: First
Physical Description: A island-sized amoeba that was named as the being known as Solosis. Solosis can change and blend himself with the waves of the ocean itself to even change his own appearance to fits for his own goals of evolution for both himself and the beings that he views them as the "Next Step of Solosis-Kin".

"Just posting my god here, to kick it off I guess."
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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by BakedToast » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:53 am

Burger Cat wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:42 am
"Just posting my god here, to kick it off I guess."
Interesting! The First of the gods appears to be a "Sea-god", a terrifyingly gigantic blubbery thing :mrgreen:. Welcome to the world! Do you have a proposition for what you want one of the 3 world biomes to be?
"Greater than I, none. Less than I, none. For I am Chayrus. All shall be one, as I am."

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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by Burger Cat » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:05 am

BakedToast wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:53 am
Burger Cat wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:42 am
"Just posting my god here, to kick it off I guess."
Interesting! The First of the gods appears to be a "Sea-god", a terrifyingly gigantic blubbery thing :mrgreen:. Welcome to the world! Do you have a proposition for what you want one of the 3 world biomes to be?
I'm currently planning to create the first biome to be a coastal coral reef biome that circles around the island itself that can hopefully harbor good enough of interesting life-forms to develop, maybe the coral reefs can develops onto dry land in the future to be similar to the Coral Highlands of Monster Hunter.
The second biome will be a swamp-like marshland biome that stays close to the rivers or just the more wetter parts of the island itself. The third biome I don't really have ideas yet but I'm going to let's the other gods make ideas for it if they fine with my first two ideas.

I'm more liking to pick the coastal coral reefs that can grow onto dry land be a interesting option that I will pick for my choice.
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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by naturegirl1999 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:44 am

Name: Flora
Rank: Second
Physical Appearance: Flora appears as a floating Morning Glory flower with petals of ever changing colors.

(Do we need to ensure our deities can eat or are they immune to starvation?)
I'm gonna put the last thing I copied here. Will change each time I visit for variety
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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by naturegirl1999 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:50 am

Will edit backstory with deity names
In the beginning, there were none. The world was silent, lifeless, with no voice to fill its emptiness. Then something happened. Even the one who came first did not know what.
But then there was one. Nameless, it echoed throughout the silent island, a voice with no substance, a shout with no content. And it was the first god. And it did not want to be alone.
And thus, from Solosis was birthed Flora. From Solosis and Flora was birthed Kipp. Solosis and Flora then fought over who would birth Serinius with Kipp, and after a harsh battle which lasted a century, Solosis won over Flora; and although Kipp did not wish it, Solosis and Kipp together birthed Serinius.
They four traveled the island together for centuries, looking about at its lifeless void. And despite their past grievances, they decided it was time; time to give birth to much, much more. But they knew that there had to be more than simply birthing more. Until now, there has been only four. No reason for names, or for any distinctions, other than the order in which they had come forth. And maybe more than these four would come forth...
Last edited by naturegirl1999 on Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'm gonna put the last thing I copied here. Will change each time I visit for variety
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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by magmacube_tr » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:31 pm

Name: Kipp
Rank: Third
Physical Appearance: A floating fantail goldfish with a body made out of cirrus clouds, eyes made out of ice and fins made out of ice crystals. When she moves, she leaves behind a trail of water mist.

Edit: I specified my gods appearance.
Last edited by magmacube_tr on Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Your everyday cube of molten rock. Also, look, a baby dragon.

░░▄▄▄░░▄▄██████▀
░▀▀██░███████▀▀
░▄█▀░███████▀
██▄▄███████████▄▄
▀█████████████▀

But thats a swa-

Shut up! This is the closest thing I could find.

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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by BakedToast » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:28 pm

Burger Cat wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:05 am
I'm currently planning to create the first biome to be a coastal coral reef biome that circles around the island itself that can hopefully harbor good enough of interesting life-forms to develop, maybe the coral reefs can develops onto dry land in the future to be similar to the Coral Highlands of Monster Hunter.
The second biome will be a swamp-like marshland biome that stays close to the rivers or just the more wetter parts of the island itself. The third biome I don't really have ideas yet but I'm going to let's the other gods make ideas for it if they fine with my first two ideas.

I'm more liking to pick the coastal coral reefs that can grow onto dry land be a interesting option that I will pick for my choice.
The sea itself will have coral reefs in it, I'm sure, as they evolve. The 3 biomes I am referring to will be terrestrial. If I am reading you correctly, you have two suggestions for terrestrial biomes:
Swampy Marshland
Terrestrial Coral-Reef
naturegirl1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:44 am
(Do we need to ensure our deities can eat or are they immune to starvation?)
You do not need to eat. You might end up eating/devouring things for thematic effect, if you have a mouth, but you do not need nutrition. You are immortal.
"Greater than I, none. Less than I, none. For I am Chayrus. All shall be one, as I am."

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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by naturegirl1999 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:41 pm

BakedToast wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:28 pm
naturegirl1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:44 am
(Do we need to ensure our deities can eat or are they immune to starvation?)
You do not need to eat. You might end up eating/devouring things for thematic effect, if you have a mouth, but you do not need nutrition. You are immortal.
Thank you. Suggested Terrestrial biome: Tropical Forest
I'm gonna put the last thing I copied here. Will change each time I visit for variety
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Re: Local gods - Theistic Evolution Game

Post by BakedToast » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:52 pm

We have 3 suggested biomes so far:
Swampy Marshland
Terrestrial Coral Reef
Tropical Forest

As mentioned in the original post, These were to be created in a first-come, first-serve basis.

Thus, on the West of the Island, the sea-floor Corals extend and grow onto the land itself, creating large swathes of aerobic dry-air breathing coral structures of varying colors.
In the Far East, Swamps and marshes full of mangroves, lily pads, sludge, and the like, drain out into estuaries and the ocean of the east.
Between these two biomes lies the Great Tropical Forest, Lush with vegetation and tall trees forming a canopy over the tropics.

These are the 3 terrestrial biomes of The World.

Now, the three gods can either communicate with each other while we wait for the fourth to show up, or they may begin to romp about already.


I'll quote previous players from other games below to see if they are also interested in joining.
joshthehawk wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 pm
Alexcat989 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:18 pm
Tiberius wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:19 am
White parrot wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:09 am
"Greater than I, none. Less than I, none. For I am Chayrus. All shall be one, as I am."

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